The end is near: one family braces for the Rapture

From the New York Times comes this story about a family bracing for the Rapture on May 21:

The Haddad children of Middletown, Md., have a lot on their minds: school projects, SATs, weekend parties. And parents who believe the earth will begin to self-destruct on Saturday.

The three teenagers have been struggling to make sense of their shifting world, which started changing nearly two years ago when their mother, Abby Haddad Carson, left her job as a nurse to “sound the trumpet” on mission trips with her husband, Robert, handing out tracts. They stopped working on their house and saving for college.

Last weekend, the family traveled to New York, the parents dragging their reluctant children through a Manhattan street fair in a final effort to spread the word.

“My mom has told me directly that I’m not going to get into heaven,” Grace Haddad, 16, said. “At first it was really upsetting, but it’s what she honestly believes.”

Thousands of people around the country have spent the last few days taking to the streets and saying final goodbyes before Saturday, Judgment Day, when they expect to be absorbed into heaven in a process known as the rapture. Nonbelievers, they hold, will be left behind to perish along with the world over the next five months.

With their doomsday T-shirts, placards and leaflets, followers — often clutching Bibles — are typically viewed as harmless proselytizers from outside mainstream religion. But their convictions have frequently created the most tension within their own families, particularly with relatives whose main concern about the weekend is whether it will rain.

Kino Douglas, 31, a self-described agnostic, said it was hard to be with his sister Stacey, 33, who “doesn’t want to talk about anything else.”

“I’ll say, ‘Oh, what are we going to do this summer?’ She’s going to say, ‘The world is going to end on May 21, so I don’t know why you’re planning for summer,’ and then everyone goes, ‘Oh, boy,’ ” he said.

Read the rest.  And cancel your plans for Memorial Day weekend…

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35 responses to “The end is near: one family braces for the Rapture”

  1. What a bunch of bologna! How many times has this been predicted? Wonder what the excuse will be this time when tomorrow comes and goes and we’re still here? OOPS!

    But if it does happen and those chosen few are removed to be raptured, there will be more room here for me. :o)

  2. One more thing—why would you get rid of all your things to be ready? Just take it with you! Those folks that left their jobs? Are they going to be rehired because–well—God didn’t make it on the 21st?

  3. pagansister — Exactly. If you’re going to be raptured, why not keep on at what you’ve been doing until then. And you don’t have to get rid of anything since it’ll all be left behind anyway.

    One weird thing is that the idiot who has “figured this out,” Harold Camping, published a book 20 or so years ago to tell people that the end would come in 1994. You’d think that would have taught him that he can’t calculate the date; and you’d think it would have taught other people the same thing.

    Of course, the other thing is that there is no pre-tribulation rapture (even if there is a tribulation separate from what’s been happening for the last 2000 years). It’s all a load of hogwash dreamed up by a 19th century Englishman. The passage about being caught up to be with the Lord in the air is talking about what happens at the general resurrection at the end of the world, not about something that happens earlier.

  4. Rapture prank: put your clothes and shoes on your lawn as if you disappeared. Add dry ice for full effect hahahhaha

  5. @Sean M – Haha! That is great, I must tweet that!

    On the not-so-funny front, those Haddad kids. Good God have mercy, I really feel for them at every level. I’m sure there are other similar (tragic) stories.

  6. I too feel very badly for those poor Haddad kids; but on the upside, as the parent of three teenaged boys, you bet your a$$ I’m pointing my guys to the Haddad kids as Exhibit A of why my guys actually DON’T have it as bad as they sometimes like to think they do!!

  7. pagansister

    Are you ready ? don’t get caught off guard ! no man knows when the ” day of LORD ” will be . Only GOD knows !
    Scripture says HE will come as a ” thief in the night “.
    HE will come at a time when people feel ” safe ”
    and ” secure ” in their unbelief. ( 1 Thess 5 :3 )
    Is that you ?. If it is , may i bring the ” GOOD NEWS ” of the
    Gospel to you from ROMANS 10:14 &15 and hope that the
    HOLY SPIRIT of GOD opens your heart to receive the ” free”
    gift of salvation > JOHN 16 :7-11 & EPHESIANS 2: 8 & 9

  8. Somewhere back in time, likely immediately before my ordination in 1978, a minister with the Assemblies of God earned a PhD in American History at some secular university or another. His doctoral dissertation was a study of 100 years worth of “end-times” movements that had swept through the American culture from the Reconstruction Era of 1870 forward. Shortly thereafter, our author revised it for the public market and it had a respectable sale. I had that book once upon a time and gave it away never to be seen again.

    While certainly the most famous of these “end-times” events were the Great Jehovah Witness predictions of the immediate Post World War I era, if I remember correctly, our author also included those that surfaced around America’s Bicentennial — probably caused by the publication of Hal Lindsey’s “The Late Great Planet Earth.”

    Since that time, my guess is that we have suffered through maybe about a dozen more. I had forgotten about Camping’s 1994 prediction but I do remember two which surfaced in my ordination year of 1978, a whole bunch that surfaced because of that “y2k” fiasco, and now this one in 2011.

    More importantly, has anyone ever considered how destructive these predictions are to the folks who actually commit their souls to follow those teachings? Their “god” was a false one who blew up in their faces! How tragic !

  9. #8 Jireh: Ready for what? Not to worry—I am so fine it is scary. You follow your heart, I’ll follow mine.

    Deacon Norb: Certainly know this prediction was one of dozens, but from what you wrote this is kind of thing has been going on since at least 1870 and probably way before. Some folks will fall for anything.

    naturgesetz: Yes, you’d think that folks would learn, but the above proves that doesn’t seem to be the case.

  10. Sweet.

    I thought to myself, ‘Hmm, I suppose I should go to confession sometime Friday or Saturday morning, just in case.’

    But then it occurred to me: thinking that I must confess my sins to a priest is precisely the sort of papist claptrap that is going to get me Left Behind.


  11. I have to say, I get frustrated by Christian religions that profess such wacky stuff, because it just makes it easier for non-religious people to poke fun at all of us Christians. Sigh.

    Of course, I’m a Catholic, and there are probably plenty of Rapture-believers who think it’s insane that I ask saints for their intercession and that I believe in the Real Presence. They probably think that I give Christians a bad name. To each her own, I suppose.

  12. So far, so good—I’m still here. Was it at 6:00 tonight that this is supposed to happen? 5 more hours. Hummm.

  13. It will be interesting to see what their explanation is tomorrow. It’s sad that these kind of predictions keep on coming. I’ve been hearing them for many years. I don’t want to spend my time investigating their reasoning, but you really have to ignore Our Lord’s words in the Bible in order to believe this theory!

    God Bless,
    Gary Zimak

  14. OK, so now what do they tell the children? We’re still here and it’s past the appointed time of the current prediction of the Rapture. OH well, guess they will have to guess again!

  15. I am convinced that the media loves giving big play to miniscule sized crackpot Christian groups to discredit the whole Christian religion.
    On the day this Rapture stuff was getting big media play–the ordination of one of our largest group of priests in years was mostly ignored.

  16. I’m amazed at how many followers this Harold Camping has. Does anyone know how many?

    Such silliness. Well, it’s well passed 6 PM and I’m still here in flesh and blood. I have not heard of any earthquakes. Mr. Camping has a lot to answer for. 😉

    Maybe some of his followers will now see the light and come over to the real church established by Christ through the apostles, the Roman Catholic Church (or the Eastern Orthodox). Somehow I doubt it. If they fell for this nonsense, they will fall for whatever excuse will be provided.

  17. On another site, someone debunked Camping’s prediction by pointing out that when he calculated the number of days from the crucifixion of Jesus he neglected to take into account the shift from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian. 10 days were dropped, and Harold Camping ignored that — so he was wrong.

    Unfortunately, that just means he should have predicted the rapture for May 31 …

    … if he had any good reason for the number of days he assigned for the interval from the crucifixion to the rapture

    … if he had the date of the crucifixion right

    … if he should have started with the crucifixion rather than the resurrection or the descent of the Holy Spirit

    … if attempting to predict the date of the rapture wasn’t inherently ridiculous

    … if there was going to be a pre-tribulation rapture to begin with.

  18. naturgesetz #18

    To add to your litany, a program I heard once — from a deacon-scholar, no less — pointed out a recently discovered archaeological find that contemporaneously placed the death of Herod the Great on the ancient Roman calendar used at that time four years before Christian tradition had placed it.

    That means that Jesus of Nazareth may well have been born during the year we now calculate as 6bce and that the crucifixion/resurrection sequence took place in April of what we now know as 28ce.

    Such fun!

  19. I’d be tempted to tell Camping’s followers: “What do you mean it didn’t happen? You just weren’t judged worthy either!”

  20. I am convinced that the media loves giving big play to miniscule sized crackpot Christian groups to discredit the whole Christian religion.
    On the day this Rapture stuff was getting big media play–the ordination of one of our largest group of priests in years was mostly ignored.

    Publicize your ordination group with hundreds of hours of airplay on your syndicated radio show and a $100 million advertising campaign and you’ll get media attention too.

  21. From Rapture to Rupture; Harold laid another egg.

    Such careful reading of the Bible by the celebrated fundamentalist reminds me of fundamentalism’s two main characteristics:

    No Fun, and no Mental.

    It begins, not with an adherence to the literal sense of scripture, but with a rejection of the literal sense. For instance, Harold keeps missing where Jesus says that not even the angels or the Son of Man knows the day or the hour, only the Father (So Harry says 5/21 @ 6PM).

    The celebrated anti-Catholic also misses the literal sense of Matt 25 where Jesus gives a very different looking judgement scene than the Rapture (which isn’t mentioned in the Bible!).

    Dirty Harry also rejects the Gospel passages where Jesus gives His Apostles the power to bind and loose sin, where He put Peter in charge with the Power of the Keys, and all of the passages dealing with the real presence in the Eucharist. Similarly, his doctrine of justification by faith ALONE is in direct contradiction to James, who in his letter states we are NOT justified by faith alone.

    Lest anyone think I’m picking on an old man, my dad made me endure listening to this rabid crackpot in the 1970’s and 80’s. Camping has been around a long time, and I have no doubt that his lengthening record of self-humiliation is part of God’s merciful forbearance.

    That said, I was with 50 Boy Scouts this weekend who were nervously eyeing the clock, despite our assurances, and who burst into jubilant celebration at 6 PM on Saturday. My son, whose 12th birthday was Saturday, was relieved that the world didn’t end before our celebration of his birth was over.

  22. 17 – Thank you Deacon. That is it, in a nutshell. The media will show every crackpot, and any Priest who strays from his vows, but not a bit of coverage to the works of Christ that go on everyday. The hospitals, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, foreign missions, pregnancy care centers, that is never shown. They avoid anything positive about religion and only show the negative. Laurie Goodstein at the NY Times is the prime example of this.

  23. @ Ray

    The reason for the hate is that the Church is viewed as a moral authority.

    Without the Church, you get moral relativism — don’t question my lifestyle and I won’t question yours as they are equally valid.

    So, for gay marriage and alternative lifestyles to work — you need to destroy societies norms or the fountainhead of values — i.e. the Church.

    Priests and Bishops played into the media hands and handed them the ammunition with the decades of child molestation.

    Now, the media can say that the Church lost its moral authority to comment on others lifestyles because it was hypocritical itself.

    Sadly, this is social decline is gaining strength and the Church is losing its influence. I just pray and raise my family in Jesus’s teachings and hope for the best.

  24. Camping just gave the world something to think about besides all the wars and troubles that are going on in the world right now—he is IMO, called entertainment. Now he can crawl back into his radio station until his next prediction—-providing he lives long enough to see whatever date he comes up with next. 89? Maybe his death will occur first and he can meet his maker personally.

  25. Perhaps, it is time to move beyond Camping’s predictions and motivations and simply say a prayer for those who he led astray. Those who gave up jobs and careers. Those who are now trying to heal broken relationships and heal wounds of alienation in their families. There are people who have been seriously harmed by this whole affair.

  26. What part of “you know not the time nor the hour that the Son of man is coming” don’t they get? I cant tell you that Churches founded earlier than 1850 do not believe in the rapture. Jesus will come on the last day and only on the last day!

  27. DK: Goes to show that being an “adult” doesn’t mean you think clearly. Basing whether to sell things, quit your job, etc. on ONE man’s prediction is not to adult, IMO. But some folks place a lot on their faith—and now some folks have paid dearly for it. It’s sad.

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