Only 21 More Shopping Days Till the End of the World!

That’s right, boys and girls—the world will end one month from today on October 21, 2011.  There’s not much time left to finish those nagging last-minute chores!

Of course I’m referring to Harold Camping’s predicted Rapture on May 21 and the end of the world 153 days* later.  Not a lot happened on the “Rapture” and, as Armageddons go, the one we’re in right now seems quite mild.  Camping’s predictable backpedaling reframed May 21 as “an invisible judgment day.”

Camping’s Family Radio organization came out of this fiasco financially strong, but many of his followers spent their retirement savings to spread the word during the run-up to May 21.  Camping has done nothing to correct the harm he’s caused, and some have called for a fraud investigation.

Camping hasn’t learned from his public humiliation and is holding fast to his date for the end of the world.  He said, “It won’t be spiritual on October 21st.  The world is going to be destroyed all together, but it will be very quick.”**

Many Christians, embarrassed that Camping spoke for their religion, quoted Matthew 24:36 to argue that Camping is unable to make a prediction about the end.  In this verse, Jesus says:

But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

Christians also quote another verse: “The day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.…  Destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman” (1 Thessalonians 5:2–3).  But Camping can quote the very next verse:

But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.

Aha—the true Christian like Camping apparently can know the end!

Or maybe the Bible is simply a sock puppet that can be made to say anything.

Photo credit: Wikipedia

*Why 153 days?  Since 153 = 32 × 17, we consult Camping’s numerological handbook to find that 3 = God’s purpose and 17 = heaven.  He says that this means that it’s doubly sure that those for whom it was God’s purpose to take to heaven will indeed go there.

But 153 means nothing to the good souls who’ve already been raptured and applies only to the unfortunates left behind.  Why not conclude instead that it’s doubly God’s purpose (3) that those suffering through Armageddon will go to heaven (17)?

And if we’re playing numerological games, why stop at 153 = 32 × 17?  The sum of the numbers 1–17 is 153.  What does that mean?  And if you cube the digits and add them up, you get the original number: 153 = 13 + 53 + 33.  It’s easy to find whatever magical message you want through numerology, though it’s no better at predicting the future than reading animal entrails.

**Elizabeth Tenety, “Harold Camping reaffirms October date for the end of the world, says May 21 date was ‘invisible judgment day,’” The Washington Post, May 24, 2011.  Link.

Related links:

  • Who better to help out during these post-Rapture times than atheists since they’re guaranteed to not get raptured?  Seattle Atheists collected money to help those left behind with a program called Rapture Relief.  In the unlikely event that the sun rises on October 22 and this whole thing was another in a long list of foolish predictions of the end, the money will be donated to Camp Quest, an organization dedicated to help the next generation not get sucked into belief systems lacking evidence.  Like Christianity.

  • Bob Calvan

    And again we have Bob the Athesit asuming Harold Camping is a true believer? Camping Theology is not orthodox Christianity. Camping is a false teacher and the spokesperson for a cult . So again this has nothing to do with the true God, and God’s perfect plan to save those He has given to the Son.
    Jesus will return when all His elect are gathered. And will seperate His sheep from the goats. This is Judgement day, which no man knows.

    • http://galileounchained.com bobseidensticker

      Sure, I get it. Christianity is fragmented. But of course as an outsider, I’m in no position to judge one contradictory claim vs. another.

      But you haven’t told me why the 1 Thes. 5 verse doesn’t support Camping’s position. And, now that you mention it, you still haven’t told me why Matt. 25′s parable of the sheep and goats doesn’t tell us that you get into the Kingdom with good works alone.

  • Bob Calvan

    False religion is fragmented but Christianity is not. You seem to lump what you pressupose as Christianity under a false umbrella and call it Christianity. And there are no contradicitory claims in the Bible.

    1 Thessalonians 5. I s just a warning reminder to the believers to be doing the work of the Lord and be ready for the day of the Lord. (Jesus return). And Jesus return will be like a thief in the night..Where no one expects it, and the unbeleivers will not escape. That’s it! Like I said when God gathers His last elect sinner by Grace, then Jesus will come like a thief in the night. This will be a public event that takes place at the end of creation as we know it.
    Matt 25 is a decriptive parable, not a prescritive verse on salvation.
    If you are looking for how God saves His Elect. Look at Romans 8:28-30; and Eph 2:8-9; All God ( monotheism) not works! Man can do nothing to earn salvation. It is all from God.

    • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

      You still confuse religious claims (which your posts are full of) and logical debate (which I wish you had more of). When we’re trying to figure out if Christianity is correct, I have no use for the former.

      Did you not read 1 Thes. 5? Jesus will not return like a thief in the night! At least not for those true believers. “This day should surprise you like a thief”!

      No, I don’t care to turn away from Matt. 25. This is the Bible, we’re talking about. Holy scripture. You’re going to use what to rebut the Bible?? Doesn’t much matter if it doesn’t suit your preconceptions, it says that works gets you into heaven. Right?

  • Bob Calvan

    1 thessaloains 5 , like I said is a public event that takes place at the end of creation as we know it.
    As far as you thinking Matt 25 teaching works salvation.
    Nope! Works are the results of the new birth. In fact if you read Matt 7: 21-23. (which comes before Matt 25) You will see people who did many “Good Works” in Jesus name.. They phrophisied, did miracles,cast out demons. And Jesus said to them he never knew them. Only those the Father gives the Son will inherit eternal life. (John 6) And only those Jesus wills to reveal the Father to will inherit eternal Life. ( MAtt 11 which comes before Matt 25) Your problem is you are ignorant on the bible’s teaching on Soteriology.

    • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

      (I replied to this in a comment in “Believers are Products of their Environment.”)

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