Okay folks, this may be the final post of GatorUptown.com that some of you read, if all goes according to plan… And by “plan” I mean Christian multi-millionaire radio network owner Harold Camping, who has staked his reputation (once again) on his irrefutable belief that 200,000,000 of Christ’s followers (including those dead and buried) will be sucked up into Heaven the evening of Saturday, May 21st.
As you might imagine, I have a few things to say on this subject.
First, let’s talk about Mr. Camping’s justification for being absolutely certain that the Rapture will begin Saturday evening at 6:00pm CXT with an earthquake near Australia, before making its way around the globe. From an article summarizing the math involved in this prediction:
As early as 1970, Camping dated the Great Flood to 4990 BC. Taking the prediction in Genesis 7:4 (“Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth”) to be a prediction of the end of the world, and combining it with 2 Peter 3:8 (“With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day”), Camping concludes that the end of the world will occur in 2011, 7000 years from 4990 BC. Camping takes the 17th day of the second month mentioned in Genesis 7:11 to be the 21st May, and hence predicts the rapture to occur on this date.
Another argument that Camping uses in favor of the May 21st date is as follows:
- According to Camping, the number five equals “atonement”, the number ten equals “completeness”, and the number seventeen equals “heaven”.
- Christ is said to have hung on the cross on April 1, 33 AD. The time between April 1, 33 AD and April 1, 2011 is 1,978 years.
- If 1,978 is multiplied by 365.2422 days (the number of days in a solar year, not to be confused with the lunar year), the result is 722,449.
- The time between April 1 and May 21 is 51 days.
- 51 added to 722,449 is 722,500.
- (5 × 10 × 17)2 or (atonement × completeness × heaven)2 also equals 722,500. [Ed. note: that’s a superscript 2, meaning “squared” but it doesn’t copy well here.]
- Thus, Camping concludes that 5 × 10 × 17 is telling us a “story from the time Christ made payment for our sins until we’re completely saved.”
I really just don’t even know what to say to this… I really find it amazing that any adult human being with an education and relatively coherent mental faculties is following this train of logic and thinking, “Well yes, I suppose that IS all the proof that I need.”
What’s even more head-shake-inducing is the fact that Harold Camping has predicted the exact date of the Rapture a couple of times before, and (you guessed it) nothing happened.
On the date of Camping’s Sept. 6, 1994 prediction, dozens of his followers gathered a short drive from his station’s office in Alameda to watch for the return of Christ. They wore their best clothes and held their Bibles open toward heaven.
When the day came and went, the preacher initially didn’t admit his error. Instead, he offered a new date. Nothing happened again.
After a San Francisco Chronicle reporter asked him to explain, he said “nothing has been negated…The Bible is based on the Biblical calendar, which began in March. So 1994 runs until March 31, 1995.”
Some of Camping’s followers have really bought into this nonsense hook, line, and sinker. They’ve sold their homes, quit their jobs, given away their worldly possessions, and are ready to meet their Savior tomorrow. (They’re banking on the certainty that not only is Camping right, but that they themselves are among the “saved” 200 million.)
Assuming Camping is wrong about the Rapture, one has to wonder if he’s going to reimburse those poor misled morons for the completely unsalvageable mess they have made of their lives as a result of his insistence that the Rapture is absolutely, positively, without a doubt going to begin tomorrow.
But let’s say he’s right… Let’s say this earthquake is going to come and signal the beginning of the Rapture at 6:00pm ’round Australia. Apparently, the Rapture will move along smartly “as the sun advances” and will hit the East Coast of the United States around 6:00pm EST. So all the graves of the dead-and-buried “saved” will open up, and the living “saved” will fly up with them into Heaven, where Jesus is waiting. What next?
Here’s where it gets interesting: this isn’t actually the “end of the world” yet! All of the “saved” will be gone, but the rest of us doomed souls will still be on Earth until October 21, 2011. (There are already “post-Rapture looting” parties planned on Facebook to help fill the days between.)
So don’t worry, GatorUptown readers… I am completely confident that Rapture or no Rapture, I’ll still be around to occasionally post my rants, raves, and adventures to help you pass the time until Armageddon.