The 14th of December has fully come, at least here in New Zealand, where the midnight hour has already struck, and fear not (or perhaps fear greatly), it will be arriving elsewhere in due course.
This is the beginning of the Second Weinland Tribulation.
Ron, a former WCG and UCG minister who founded his own breakaway sect, got it awfully wrong first time around: the Trib was confidently announced for April 17 this year. Oops! But give the guy a break, anyone can make a mistake, right? Today it finally all comes crashing down around us, though Ron says this is in a prophetic sense rather than a literal one, and the faithful followers shouldn't be too perturbed if nothing dramatic actually occurs today. In fact he says nothing may happen for up to a year. In that case, what's the point of the three and a half year period?
This distinction between a prophetic sense and a literal one is a ham-fisted attempt at a stroke of genius. Exactly what he means is a bit cloudy as Ron is a pretty literal-minded kind of fellow, but it should at least buy Ron a few days of grace - or a few months from his denser admirers - before the disturbing and difficult questions start popping up. Questions like: what on earth was Ron really doing with that Swiss bank account he now admits to having?
We know how Ron said he'd handle disconfirmation the first time round: he said he'd admit to being a false prophet and get out of the Bible-bashing business. Of course God was merciful, and faithful Ron was given new insight (the 50th Truth!) - complete with a spiffy new countdown to wow the credulous sheep with - so thankfully the poor man didn't have to back down and keep his word, or, perish the thought - apologize.
But what happens if - heaven forbid! - Ron gets it wrong this time too? I haven't been following the great man's words too closely, but it seems he's not loudly repeating the "get out of Dodge" line from before.
And hey, Ron could be right. All that Xmas shopping and office partying poses a good deal of tribulation after all, not to mention the inevitable arrival of the Visa and MasterCard accounts in January. From such catastrophes Ron and his Santa-free flock will no doubt be divinely protected. Whether the little band of true believers, who have been hanging on Ron's every gracious word for months now, will continue to take the Witless One seriously when no German soldiers appear to goose-step down the main street in Puyallup, Washington... well, only time will tell.