WA makes light of impending doom

Megan Bailey

Perth woke up to sunny skies today with no hellfire or brimstone in sight, despite widely-publicised predictions from a US fundamentalist preacher that today the world would end.

While some believers reportedly quit their jobs, ran and hid in the Vietnamese forests or paid atheists to look after their pets in the event of the rapture, most people in WA made light of the impending doom, some planning pranks to leave shoes and shirts on the ground to make it look like they had ascended.

Others joined a joke facebook group called "post rapture looting" with members planning to "pick up some sweet stereo equipment" when God wasn't looking.

Pastor Max Randall from the Kallaroo-based evangelical church Endeavour Christian Gathering said no special services would be held in light of the predictions, given the man who made them, 89-year-old American televangelist Harold Camping, had unsuccessfully predicted the end of the world before.

He said while Christians believed Jesus would come back to earth one day, many were still sceptical that it would happen today.

"Jesus said no man knows the day or hour so Christians are sceptical of this guy as a false prophet," he said.

"He has said some strange things that are not biblical… people aren't worried, judging by what is on facebook this morning."

Kallaroo Anglican Church assistant minister Graeme Middlewick said his church would also not be holding any special services and there was a "danger" when people interpreted the bible in a way that it was not meant to be read.

But he said if the second coming happened soon the faithful would be ready.

"We believe in what the bible says and that nobody knows the time and date except God," he said.

"It doesn't add any value to Christianity when people make predictions like this and they don't come true- hopefully it doesn't taint the ideas of people who aren't Christian about Christianity."

According to Camping, the faithful 3 per cent of the world's population would ascend into heaven today, with everyone else doomed to suffer on earth until October.

Earthquakes throughout the world were predicted and WA did see with a 4.6 magnitude quake at Newman which some residents reportedly slept through.

Camping's belief that the world would end today, or 7000 years after the great flood by his calculations, echo his 1992 claims that the same thing would happen in September 1994.

He blamed that failure on a calculation error.