Let the countdown begin. Jesus will be returning May 21, 2011. At least that is what California-based Harold Camping and his Christian followers believe. Billboards have been popping up all over the U.S. and Camping’s radio show is keeping beat as the clock winds down.
Never mind, that Jesus himself said, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Matthew 24:36). That doesn’t seem to bother Camping who claims “We Can Know” on his show and websites.
The fear mongering here is priceless and the fact that the movement continues to grow shows just how anxious people are for the world to end (With gas going to $5 a gallon and people upside down on their mortgages who wouldn’t want a way out?). While Camping uses his interpretation of dozens of scriptures to prove he is right and that what he is saying is biblical, his interpretations are just that – his. Just like the use of interpretations of scripture to forbid dancing, gay marriage, birth control, heavy metal, monogamy, instrumental music, parts of the old testament, parts of the new, and just about anything else you can think of, it’s individual interpretations that are being decided.
Opinions and interpretations about the bible (or even great books of literature and movies) are just a person’s own beliefs about what was read. Sometimes you can get a large enough group to believe as you do and form your own group, church, and religion. Succession from established religions and the forming of new denominations and sects is just what America is all about. After all, we have more denominations, religions and belief systems represented here than the entire world combined. It’s our freedom of speech and religion that so sub-divides us so heavily as a country.
Harold Camping and his group are just expressing their own set of beliefs here. Why these Christians put such an importance on the end of world and Jesus returning makes little logical sense. If you are saved by your faith and God’s grace, whether you die in a catastrophic event that ends the world or die quietly at home alone, there should be no significant difference. After all, the day you die is the most important day to you no matter how you go.
The act of trying to save others using fear tactics always seems desperate. If your lifestyle and beliefs are so wonderful – show us how. Conversion by fear isn’t as deeply effective as you may think. When May 22 rolls around, those who believed because of fear will feel duped and are likely to return to their old ways and beliefs.
For centuries people have studied the bible and the book of “Revelation” attempting to predict the end of time. Yet, whether you die in a lake of fire, tsunami, car accident, or in your sleep, what does it matter? If you are right with God, a catastrophic end to our planet doesn’t change anything. Whether you die on May 21st or tomorrow or in 2099, it’s not when you die that matters, it’s what you believe about it that does.
No church group or leader should attempt to win support by predicting the end. It doesn’t really matter when the world ends. It only matters when yours does. Jesus said no one will know the day or hour of his return. Harold Camper says he knows better. According to him, it’s May 21, 2011. Then again, In his 1992 book titled 1994? Camping was pretty sure it was then. Who knows, if he’s still around by 2022, he might just say it is then. Of course, if he dies before then, it won’t really matter to him. Will it matter to you?
Have a comment? Make your voice heard below.
WANT TO CONSTANTLY CHALLENGE YOUR MIND? Are you looking to think outside your box? Subscribe to this Examiner’s national articles and receive e-mail updates when new articles are posted. CLICK HERE and click the SUBSCRIBE button next to his photo. Then prepare yourself to look at issues in a new way.
To follow this Examiner’s personal blog for additional articles that are not found on this website including an article about “Homeland Sexurity” CLICK HERE.