I thought about creating a new category for this one. Truth really is stranger than fiction. The Telegraph posted “Crowds worship eight-limbed baby as Hindu god” on 11 August 2009.
You may be aware that Vishnu is often symbolized with many arms, depicting his power. Krishna, who is really an incarnation of Vishnu, is sometimes pictured with many arms during his battles. However, lately the elephant god Ganesh has become much more popular amongst Hindus and even some Buddhists. He is often pictures with multiple arms and/or legs as well, which appears to be an evolution as he became more popular.
Villagers in the Nepalese district of Ramechhap have said six-month-old Risab is akin to the elephant god, whose various forms have between two and 16 arms. The boy has a headless "parasitic twin" attached at the abdomen, causing the deformation.
"Some say he is like a god and they come to worship him and give money," his father, Rikhi Ghimire, told the Guardian. "They just give a few rupees, make an offering. Mostly the gifts are food and clothes.
Other villagers are unconvinced, calling it a curse.
Personally, I always thought the number of limbs was supposed to be symbolic. It appears that some are taking this quite literally, however.
Yet, what can we say in a world where a supposed image of Mary in a grilled cheese sandwich fetches $28000?
And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
~ Rev 13:11-14
The cynic in me says it probably won’t be that hard to deceive the masses.
Yet, fire coming down from heaven (lightning would be my guess) is more impressive than a grilled cheese sandwich. I guess more level-headed people would have to be deceived as well.
…Take heed that no man deceive you.
…For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
~ Mt 24:4b, 24
What is interesting, though, is that just before v 24, He says, “If any man shall say unto you…”, and in v 26 He says, “If they shall say unto you….” How much does peer pressure play a role?
And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days.
Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries.
And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed.
~ Da 11:33-35
You know, it may be that the miracles of the False Prophet are not all that impressive in the larger picture, but rather that enough believe and supply the peer pressure to get others to relent.
That’s why we need a healthy dose of God’s Holy Spirit. We need to make sure we are asking for it every day, even as we ask for our daily bread.