T-minus seven days.
The world will end a week from today. So this is the last newspaper column I'll ever write. Pity, cause next week I was going to reveal a great many secrets on prominent citizens I've stashed away over the years. Oh well, you probably didn't want to know those anyway.
So the world is going to end on Dec. 21, 2012. So sayeth the Doomsday preppers, so sayeth the Mayan calendar. Will it be a magnetic pole reversal resulting in the North Pole becoming the south and tidal waves washing over all land on earth? Will it be the super volcano under Yellowstone? Will it be the crashing of the Internet resulting in mass suicides because no one can update their Facebook status to complain about traffic on I-20 or to inform their thousand friends (who don't care by the way) that they are "pumped because it's Friday"?
I'm not sure. But one way or the other, the world IS going to end next Friday. I mean, just because the world didn't end when thousands predicted Haley's Comet would wipe out civilization at the turn of the last century, and just because the world didn't end when noted televangelist Pat Robertson said it would on numerous occasions, and just because the world didn't end when all the IT folks said it would at Y2K, and just because . . . you get the idea.
World ending talk = nothing more than bunk.
It seems for as long as there have been people treading this good Earth, there have been those among us who have confidently predicted an imminent and ultimate demise.
For at least 2,000 years, there have been those who have predicted the end of the world due to religious reasoning or by pointing to scientific "proof."
According to the Book of Acts, a man named Theudas declared himself the Messiah and said the end was at hand. His influence spread, and he was able to convince some 400 people to follow him into the desert wasteland. Eventually the Romans beheaded him.
But the world did not end.
The return of Christ has been predicted many times over. It is foolish to predict an exact date for God's word tells us that no one in Heaven or Earth save for the Father knows when the world will end.
Prophets of doom come from all walks of life, from the preacher to the scientist. They all share two things in common. They are only good for inciting fear in the naive and the gullible, and their predictions do not come to pass.
Pull out your Bible; flip to the Book of Matthew and read. Chapter 24, Verse 36 states: "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."
And even if you don't follow the Good Book, there's no real evidence to back the claims. There's even no evidence the Mayans predicted the world would end in 2012. Simply put, the ancient civilization's calendar comes to an end on Dec. 21, 2012. But that doesn't mean worldwide doom as some believe.
An interview conducted by the Associated Press with Apolinario Chile Pixtun, a Maya Indian elder who lives in Guatemala, points out that the ancients never viewed 2012 as the end time.
Pixtun, who says he is "fed up with this stuff," tells us that December 21, 2012 was a momentous day to the Mayans but not for the reasons being thrown about in the Western media.
"It's the time when the largest grand cycle in the Mayan calendar – 1, 872,000 days or 5,125.37 years – overturns and a new cycle begins," he says.
From the article: "During the empire's heyday, the Mayans invented the Long Count - a lengthy circular calendar that transplanted the roots of Mayan culture all the way back to creation itself.
"During the 2012 winter solstice, time runs out on the current era of the Long Count calendar, which began on what the Mayans saw as the dawn of the last creation period: August 11, 3114 B.C. The Mayans wrote that date, which preceded their civilization by thousands of years, as Day Zero, or 184.108.40.206.0.
"This month, the lengthy era ends, and the complicated, cyclical calendar will roll over again to Day Zero, beginning another enormous cycle.
"The idea is that time gets renewed, that the world gets renewed all over again much the same way we renew time on New Year's Day or even on a Sunday or Monday morning."
So the world's not going to end next Friday. Do not be fooled by false prophets. They are arrogant to think they know better than God. And as for the poster boy of the apocalyptic community, that fellow Nostradamus, well he predicted without a doubt the world was coming to an end in 1999.
But the world did not end. Count me among those not surprised.
Josh Beavers is the publisher of the Minden Press-Herald. He is a two-time recipient of the Best Newspaper Column award given annually by the Louisiana Press Association.