Monday, May 16, 2011


Will You Survive The Camping Trip?




Mark your calendar. May 21st, 2011.

It's the end of the world.

If you're a good Christian, raptured to heaven you will go. As for the rest of us, we're screwed.

So says Harold Camping, President of Family Radio, a Christian broadcasting service heard throughout the world via shortwave radio. I wrote about his prediction back in 2009 [ http://xrayer.blogspot.com/2009/03/camping-trip-end-is-near-again-as.html ]. I almost forgot that the hour was nigh. (Sin is so distracting.)

How can Camping declare the world will end when it's stated in the Bible that no one will be tipped off about when Final Judgment is going to hit?

This point is raised at the Family Radio Website:

"No one except God knows the time of the end of the world. How does anyone dare to teach that the Rapture and the Day of Judgment will occur on May 21, 2011? Doesn’t the Bible say very plainly that no one can know the day or the hour of Christ’s return? Indeed the Bible did teach that. "

But there is an out for someone like Harold Camping. As he notes:

"Therefore, regardless of how brilliant or how learned a theologian or Bible student might have been, or how diligently they studied the Bible or faithfully served Christ, it was impossible to learn from the Bible the timetable for the end of the world. Anyone who claimed he knew the time of the end was always wrong.

"Nevertheless, there is a very striking statement in the Bible. It is recorded in Ecclesiastes 8:5. There God declares:

"'Whoso keepeth the commandment shall feel no evil thing: and a wise man’s heart discerneth [better translation: will know] both time and judgment.'

"In the Bible a wise man is a true believer, to whom God has given a profound trust in the authority of the Bible. True believers have been in existence since the beginning of time. But the timeline of history as it is revealed in the Bible was never revealed to the hearts of the true believers. For example, throughout most of the church age it was generally believed that Creation occurred in the year 4004 B.C.

"However, about 35 years ago God began to open the true believers’ understanding of the timeline of history..."

From this point Camping uses "logical" reasoning -- or as I call it, hyperlogic -- to say that the situation has changed, a wise man (Camping) has new knowledge revealed by God that allows one to now see the hidden messages in the Bible pertaining to the timeline of creation and destruction. The "That was then, this is now" argument.

As Camping explains:

"Therefore, whatever end-time information had been given to Daniel, but was not to be understood until the time of the end, had to have been included in the Bible before the Bible was completed. However, God wrote it in such a way that it could not be understood until the world was almost at its end."

Camping bases his claims on all sorts of historical calculations, assuming that certain events went down at certain times, and then uses what I call hypermath to prove his statement about the quickly approaching last day.

So what will happen on the last day of life as we know it?

On a Web page called "FACTS about May 21, 2011" Camping says a great earthquake -- of biblical proportions, of course -- will shake the world, opening up all the graves. The remains of the faithful will be transformed into spiritual bodies while those of the unsaved will be thrown to the ground to be shamed. And what about the living? Camping states:

"The inhabitants who survive this terrible earthquake will exist in a world of horror and chaos beyond description. Each day people will die until October 21, 2011 when God will completely destroy this earth and its surviving inhabitants."

Apparently the living good souls get beamed up to the Starship Enterprise -- oops, I mean heaven. As for the unsaved, we don't get tossed into the eternal fires of Satan's Spa; instead, we just lose consciousness when we die during the horror and chaos, just snuffed out (Camping believes in the Christian belief of annihilationism).

As a hippie would say: "Man, what a far out trip!"

Keep in mind that Camping predicted The End was going to happen in 1994 in one of his books. But he explains that people overlooked an important part of the book's title: "1994?" -- the stress on the "?" (Yup, don't forget that weasely question mark.) Also, once again using the "That was then, this is now" argument, Camping says when he wrote his book certain important biblical knowledge remained unknown.

Of course, in one way Camping could be right. If he happens to die that day, the world will end -- for him.


= = =

Sources:

Family Radio Website:
http://www.familyradio.com/index2.html

No Man Knows The Day Or Hour?
http://www.familyradio.com/graphical/literature/nomanknows/nmndh.pdf

FACTS about May 21, 2011
http://www.familyradio.com/facts/

Harold Camping
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Camping

7 comments:

Mayra said...

Did anyone see the picture of the controversial billboard that was recently put up by another spiritual group near Family Radio’s headquarters? It directly challenges them about May 21. Here is a picture of it:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/62779138@N08/5708063636

Marvin the Martian said...

I'm totally good with May 21. Then I don't have to do yardwork this weekend.

X. Dell said...

I've gone through so many of these end-of-the-world dates--at least six of them during my lifetime. Why should I fear a couple more?

What's curious about apocalyptic beliefs aren't the beliefs themselves, but the believers. Why would they so ferverently hope, and root for the destruction of their fellow man.

Then again, since many of them are fundamentalists, they do that ever single day, it seems.

Ray said...

Mayra: ThanX for the link.

Marvin: Are you unsaved? According to Camping you're going to be stuck down here with the rest of us after earthquakes rock the planet. Seems to me an earthquake means plenty of yardwork.

X. Dell: Let me paraphrase H.L. Mencken: "Fundamentalism - the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy."

Doug said...

I remember seeing a little sign about this about a year ago, taped to a pole outside my doctor's office (just coincidentally). I must admit: I never thought it would get this level of attention, but clearly I should know better than to underestimate the power of crackpots to get what they really want: the quasi-validation of mass attention.

I've done my part to make this worse over on my site. I did direct all five of my readers to this post of yours (granted, Marvin's already seen it), as you, as always, have done a much better job of dissecting this sort of thing than I ever could.

See you the big hole in the ground...

GrrlTragic said...

Did you see now that he's saying the Rapture really DID happen but we just can't see it? I guess it turned out to be spiritual and we're still goners in October.. Ahh well, good thing I already planned to BBQ like it was the end of the world for all of this summer..

Ray said...

Doug:

ThanX for your link. So how big was that hole in the ground over there in California? I bet mine was bigger! (And don't forget, I'm more humble than you are.)

GrrlTragic:

ThanX for stopping by. I've heard stories about invisible UFOs -- they're there but you can't see them. So why not invisible raptures? And invisible dragons, unicorns, gnomes...