Recently while out and about in my current home of San Diego I passed a billboard that declared that Judgment Day, also known by many as the Rapture, was coming on May 21, 2011. I found this a little weird and just let it go and didn’t think about it again. Then a week later I was out again and was riding along on the freeway and from the place that I was at the time I was able to look out over a part of town and was able to see three of these billboards from this one spot. So now I was really curious to know the deal was and what was going on.
The Rapture is one of those Biblical things that I’ve always found really interesting. The idea of people essentially being sucked up into the sky, killed, as it were, and then taken to heaven just makes me wonder. I used to watch the show “Six Feet Under” back when that was on. If you aren’t familiar with the show, in a nutshell, it centered on a somewhat eccentric family that owned and operated a funeral home. At the beginning of each episode you got to see how the person that is coming to the funeral home that episode died and their story would somehow tie into the episode. In the season four episode “In Case of Rapture” one of these people died as a result of a “false Rapture”.
So the whole Rapture thing has always seemed sort of weird to me and I’ve always wondered about how some people interpret the whole thing. So I went and started looking into this current prediction of the Rapture and subsequent End of the World. The current prediction of the Rapture happening on May 21, 2011 comes from a Christian minister and radio host named Harold Camping, an 89 year old ex-construction business owner and former mathematical engineer. Camping is the founder of Family Radio and the president of Family Stations, INC, a network of 6 FM and 7 AM radio stations. While he was young Camping took an interest in God and the Bible but his love of numbers lead him to questioning why certain numbers and dates showed up in the Bible. Camping has since come to the conclusion that the Bible is essentially a calendar for predicting events from the Bible.
Camping says that the Bible, when the numbers are calculated “properly”, dates can be predicted. With regard to this prediction Camping has said “Beyond a shadow of a doubt. May 21 will be the day the Rapture and the day of Judgment.” The reason that this is a big of a big deal for Camping and why he’s stressing that he’s right “beyond a shadow of a doubt”, is because he made a similar prediction in 1994. Camping had predicted that on September 6, 1994 the Rapture was going to happen and people came to gather with Camping and his followers at the Alameda Veteran’s Memorial Building in Northern California, holding their Bibles, dressed in their Sunday best, waiting for Christ to come down and pull them up to heaven. Nothing happened. Camping said a “mathematical error” was the cause but he’s positive his math is right this time.
Camping is working with Michael Drosnin’s Bible Code to create his calculations. Some Biblical scholars have come to agree with Drosnin’s process and have tried to lend some legitimacy to it while many more have come along to declare it to be rubbish. Drosnin, through using his own calculations, has predicted that a giant meteor is going to hit earth in 2012 and destroy it, ironically in the same year that many have predicted as the end of the world because this is when the Mayan calendar ends.
So if you can keep up, here is how Camping comes up with his date of May 21, 2011. Keep in mind this is all Camping’s information and only his information. There is nothing from anyone else that I’ve found that comes up with this calculation or information.
- Christ was hung on the cross on April 1, 33.
- April 1, 33 AD to April 1, 2011 is 1,978 years.
- 1,978 multiplied by 365. 2422 days in a solar years (not the calendar year) is 722,449.
- April 1, 2011 to May 21, 2011 is 51 days and when that is added to the total from step three is 722,500.
- Camping then takes the numbers 5, 10, and 17 and multiplies them (5x10x17) which also comes out to 722,500. These numbers, according to Camping, represent Atonement (5), Completion (10), and Heaven (17). Camping says this shows the story of Christ paying for man’s sins and then the eventual process of everyone being saved.
And this is why Harold Camping says the Rapture will happen on May 21, 2011.
One person who has come out to say Camping has it wrong is the author of the book “Secrets of the Apocalypse Revealed”, James Kreuger. Kreuger says Camping is making a “classic beginner’s mistake” with his predictions. Kreuger uses the Bible to dismiss Camping’s calculations by citing Matthew 24:36 “Of the day and hour knows no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my father only.” This has been the scripture that many who oppose Camping’s predictions have used to try and say he’s wrong, saying that this scripture shows no one can ever know the exact date and time of the return of Christ.
What is really interesting, and somewhat crazy is what Camping says is going to happen that day. First, there will be a huge earthquake, some say world wide, in order to serve several purposes. It will open all the graves of anything that has died in the last 13,000 years and all those who died as “true believers” will be resurrected and carried up to heaven. Those who didn’t will have their bodies strewn across the earth. According to Camping 200 million people will be “saved”, meaning billions of bodies will just be left to rot in the open.
Next, millions of people will die that day and every day thereafter and the bodies will just be left to lie around and rot since, according to Camping, there will be nobody there to bury them. Those “left behind”, according to Camping, will be able to actually see the saved, living and dead/resurrected, being drawn up to heaven. So, yes, much like the scene in “Six Feet Under” bodies will just be floating around in the air if it happens like Camping believes.
Finally, after 153 days from the event of the Rapture the earth will be destroyed by a world wide fire on October 21, 2011 and anyone left will die and the world will end.
This video, done by a Christian who feels Camping is a false teacher and false prophet, shows interview clips with Camping talking about what he feels is going to happen. It’s long (well, to me it was long, running a little over 15 minutes) but it’s interesting.
What I think is quite scary and unfortunate are the things that people who believe things like the world is going to end in a few months or that the world will end in 2012 do thinking that it’s their last hurrah. People take out loans they can’t ever repay, buy expensive electronics and furniture on “no payments for two years” type of plans, all with the idea in their heads that everyone will be dead, including them, and that they wont ever have to pay it back. People do crazy and reckless things when they think they’re going to die or when the world will end. I think it’s going to be really interesting to see what happens in the Christian community leading up to May 21st.
It’s also interesting that Camping has been spending a great deal of time soliciting donations and raising money to “spread the world” about this coming event. One caller to his radio show has asked if those people will get their money back when nothing happens. I thought that was a good one.
And I’m DYING to see what will happen on May 22nd!
What are your thoughts? What have you heard and do you know anyone, friends or family, who believe this is going to happen?