What -- if anything -- are we to make of [David] Wilkerson's warning?
It is, to borrow (and rip out of their original context) words from Jeremy Bentham, "simple nonsense . . . rhetorical nonsense -- nonsense upon stilts."
Or as the Scroll of Pythia puts it, "All of this has happened before. All of this will happen again."
"This," of course, being the Christian attraction to crackpot apocalyptic scenarios. Three words: Y-2-K. Nine years ago, people were scared that at the stroke of midnight (midnight where was never entirely clear), civilization would collapse and all of our young men would eventually be forced to either work for Aunty Entity or enter a cage with a 50-50 chance of never leaving.
The nadir of this was a then (I don't know about now) well-known radio broadcast about the family (not that one, another one). The host, instead of dispensing his usually solid advice about marriage and kids, got on a Y2K kick that culminated with the following scenario (I'm quoting from memory): "It's January 15, 2000, two weeks into the Y2K crisis. A family knocks at your door -- a man, woman and their two children -- and they say 'We're hungry, can you spare some food?' What do you do?"
My answer then, as now, is "check your thorazine, because you're probably hallucinating." At the time, I wrote about this and other absurd fantasies and the terrible witness they represented. (Apparently, the host learned about it and tried to defend himself, saying that his words weren't alarmist. Yeah, right.) Nothing says "Jesus Shall Reign" like stockpiling water, ammo and Spam by the kilo, doesn't it? I acknowledged that after the "crisis" passed, at least the Spam would make lovely housewarming gifts, as in "I'm here to tell you about the peace, love and joy a relationship with Christ can bring. By the way, would you like a 5 kilo tin of Spam?"
A decade later and the band is getting back together for a reunion tour. The recession/depression has them dusting off the old songs and adding a few new ones. However, their music still -- well, you get the point.