Harold Camping is in the news constantly this week because, according to his Wikipedia entry:
His current end times prediction is that the Rapture will be on May 21, 2011 and that God will completely destroy the Earth and the universe five months later on October 21.
More specifically, things will get interesting here in Northfield at 6 PM CDT on Saturday, according his explanation in this recent interview in NY Magazine:
In other words, when we get to May 21 on the calendar in any city or country in the world, and the clock says about — this is based on other verses in the Bible — when the clock says about 6 p.m., there’s going to be this tremendous earthquake that’s going to make the last earthquake in Japan seem like nothing in comparison. And the whole world will be alerted that Judgment Day has begun. And then it will follow the sun around for 24 hours. As each area of the world gets to that point of 6 p.m. on May 21, then it will happen there, and until it happens, the rest of the world will be standing far off and witnessing the horrible thing that is happening.
I wasn’t aware of this, as it’s not listed as an event in the May issue of the Northfield Entertainment Guide. Epic FAIL, I’d say.
Most Christians I know aren’t too worried (eg, Josh Nelson, pastor of Spirit of Joy Lutheran Church in Buffalo).
Some heathens are planning some post rapture looting, which has prompted one guy on Facebook to make a t-shirt that says:
I survived the Rapture and all I got was this Lamborghini, this 52-room mansion, this truckload of gold bars, this footlocker full of weed, and this 76" flatscreen TV.
I’m not planning to participate in any looting to speak of but if anyone is looking to unload a Mercedes ahead of time, I’m with Zonker. I’ve not driven in lava before but it can’t be that much worse than the heavy wet snow from the Halloween Blizzard of 1991. I made it to work in downtown Mpls. that morning.
I’m hoping there will be some Northfield area Rapture Parties like the one in Tacoma, WA: Countdown to Backpedaling: The End is Nah!
Where do you plan to be on Saturday at 6 PM?
I have to work. I’m just hoping there’s still some good stuff left to loot by the time I get off duty!
I’ll be getting ready for an epic NHS Choir Concert. Dang. The looting sounds fun!
Well, i’m starting at 8am at the northfield athletic club. if there isn’t any looting, we will just run 4-7 miles.
also, you saw that the CDC put out a zombie apocalypse preparedness message yesterday right?
maybe we are in for a zombie invasion saturday. in that case, I may put a bat in my backpack
I hope Jesus is aware how tricky it’ll be in Arizona when he deploys earthquakes there at 6 pm. Wikipedia says:
Most of Arizona does not observe daylight saving time, and during the spring, summer, and autumn months it is on the same time as Pacific Daylight Time, though it is still called Mountain Standard Time in Arizona. The Navajo Nation, most of which lies within Arizona, does observe daylight saving time, although the Hopi Nation, as well as some Arizona state offices lying within the Navajo Nation, do not.
I had not seen that, Tony… an actual page on the CDC website: Social Media: Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse
There are some who are linking May 21 with the Zombie Apocalypse, example here.
I saw it on twitter yesterday. it got pounded. i actually shared it on buzz too.
I don’t have any plans for 6PM Saturday, but I do hope this Rapture thing doesn’t take too long. I have dinner plans for 7:30.
BTW, is anyone in Northfield’s Christian community endorsing this Rapture prediction?
Let’s start a looting classified ad area here.
I’ll be looting Mike’s Bikes, as I need a decent mountain bike.
But I need a couple of motorcycles and there are no motorcycle dealers in Nfld anymore. The Faribault dealers will be cleaned out by the time I’d get down there.
So I’m looking for the names and addresses of Christian motorcycle owners in the Northfield area who are likely to get raptured. Please help.
Not that I know of, Patrick.
I would think that it would be polite to confirm a business owner’s Raptured status before taking their stuff.
Have you got an App for that?
Speaking of planning for the future, could you get any more customer focused than these folks? http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/05/18/atheists-offer-to-rescue-christians-pets-after-judgment-day/
On the subject of the Second Coming….
I’ve found a few surveys showing a high number of Americans believe that the second coming of Christ will be soon, or “in my lifetime.” Unfortunately, these are all fairly recent sources.
My sense is that this kind of belief has persisted for nearly 2000 years, but I’d like some evidence to confirm (or refute) that impression.
Does anyone know of any sources presenting evidence of how long this “the Second Coming is tomorrow” stuff has been going on?
From wikipedia….”According to historian Charles Freeman, Early Christians expected Jesus to return within a generation of his death. When the second coming did not occur, the early Christian communities were thrown into turmoil.”
Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour.
—1 John 2:18
Pat- I heard a story about this evangelist who went to a small southern town to have some meetings. He asked one residents if he was prepared for judgement day. The fellow asked in return when it was going to be. The evangelist said, “Well, it could be today or it could be tomorrow!” The fellow answered back, ” Well, don’t tell my wife! She’ll want to go both days!”
Pat- This is what the scripture says:
“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.”
Then this verse earlier-
” Then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe him.”
As you can see from the scriptures, this idea has been around since Jesus’ days.
This whole issue of predicting the return is a stumbling block the real issue- getting peoples’ hearts right with God. IMO, it is a distraction to Christians, also, to tempt them into doing fooloish things like borrowing a million dollars or purchasing things on time with the idea of using them without having to pay for them. Such deception!
For a local connection see a review of my sister Barbara Rossing’s best selling book on the rapture: The Rapture Exposed
She has been on 60 minutes talking on this topic and is apparently going to be on MSNBC at 7:30 this evening.
As for me, the end is near for Present Perfect…perhaps a sale to celebrate those of us who will be here on the 22nd!!
Oooh, that’s great, Mary. Any chance she get to Northfield on Saturday? The Contented Cow is having an End of the World wingding and she could give a bit of a Rapture preview when the band Dime Store Watch takes a break during the Cow’s big Mayfly Festival which starts tonight.
I have to work until 3 or 4pm. Should I kiss my doggie GoodBye before I leave, or is this going to happen before I wake up, or after i go to sleep Sat nite? Come on, if this guy can nail down what Jesus said no man will know, then he needs to be more specific!
I live by my planner you know, I want to be available for flight!
The real sad truth is some of you mock this fool’s prediction, not only because you find humor in his assertions, but even more revealing your own displeasure with the whole idea of the second coming of Christ.
A great number of sincere Christians believe in the Rapture and all the events recorded in the Bible. Yet we have to put up with quacks in our own realm no different than any other honored profession. We don’t stop listening to Doctors just because there are few who bring repudiation on a noble calling and career.
The head of the IMF is another example, Arnold Schwarzenegger is another, Athletes who use steroids, Jesse James, not the one who rode through Northfield, Sorry, maybe he has rode through our town.
As a devout Christian, the last thing I want to do is mock this guy’s foolishness. What all Christians should be doing is gently rebuking his error and declaring as best we can the more accurate teachings of scripture. What the overwhelming majority of Christians would tell you is more in line with the prior response #10.2. We would be doing a great disservice to one of the fundamental teachings of the church, to just laugh it away based on one Man’s opinion. Using this episode to bring humor to a future event which most believers look forward to, speaks volumes to me about these individuals own spiritual condition. God’s ultimate timetable is sovereign, yet hoping for the events to unfold in our lifetime is not error as long as we leave specific dates out of the equation.
What’s most remarkable is how often we’ve gone down this path before:
“242 Dates for The End of the World”
“A Brief History of the Apocalypse”
(continued on pages “end2.htm” to “end5.htm”)
Yet, so very many people continue to believe in an imminent Apocalypse – that this time (day, year, lifetime) really will be fundamentally different from all those other times.
Per my cited sources above, 20-24% of present-day U.S. Christians claim to believe that the Second Coming really, truly will happen in their own personal lifetime.
Harold Camping’s belief isn’t fundamentally different from that of those other 20-24% of U.S. Christians. He’s just a bit more precise.
Nlfd Patch: Northfield Religious Leaders Unconvinced by Saturday’s Predicted Apocalypse
Joe, I think most of the people yukking it up here are probably Christians and have respect for Jesus and his teachings. I do, even though I’m an atheist.
But I think that talk of rapture or second coming, whether based on a predicted date or not, has little relevance to people. It’s Jesus’ teachings about how to live our lives that really matters, don’t you think?
Joe- This is born up by 2nd Peter 3:3&4:
3 Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts,
4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.”
The most important thing we believers can do is stay in close fellowship with God. Then, it really doesn’t matter when the return comes, we will be prepared. Those who are wise take heed to the parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25: 1-13. The question is not how far away from God we can live and get away with it. The question is upon what we set our heart.
According to the 19th-century Millerites, the Second Coming was supposed to happen on October 22, 1844. Its failure to occur resulted in The Great Disappointment.
Joe- (and John you know this already)- I am a Bible toting Christian. I belive as God made us, he is responsible for our possession of a sense of humor, or a complete lack of one.
You’re certainly entitled to be dour and dispensational, that does work for those who cannot laugh at themselves, even as a group.
However I ask that you not “should” on the rest of us who can laugh and try to spread genuine laughter in God’s world.
Michelle- Years ago, I learned a song, “Does God Ever Laugh?” Anyone who would create squirrels must have a sense of humor! I think I have a pretty good (depends on your perspective, I guess) sense of humor. I cause quite a bit of mirth for myself. My wife always tells me that happy is the man whose pleasures are simple. Laughing at ourselves and self deprecation is a sign of maturity, IMO. Laughing at and being desparaging toward others is a different matter, though.
I think Joe has a point. Cyber-mocking a fringe Christian doesn’t do much to promote a healthy respect for what is an important concept to most Christians. From my limited knowledge, the Second Coming is one of Jesus’ teachings, and its foundations probably deserves a serious analysis.
Rob, that is a fascinating movement you linked to: the Millerites and the Great Disappointment. They are not to be confused with the MillerLites, and the Somewhat Disappointed.
And David and Joe, click Rob’s link, you’ll see that those whack-a-doodles were mocked in their time too.
Michelle, If a group of Christians in a private setting want to have a chuckle about this individual’s silliness….more power to them! I think I am a pretty funny and jovial guy. Yet, you misinterpret my statements as to your right as a Christian to laugh about this occasion. The Bible says, “Don’t let your good be spoken of as evil”. In other words…you may know the truth and see no problem in joining in the banter. The question which remains is what does everyone else who questions the existence of God or of an event such as the rapture take from your innocent joking?
Last thought I don’t want to get into a volleying match about the rights of Christians…..especially since I don’t know you very well. I apologize if you think I question your faith…Because I don’t. Peace!
Patrick, actually he is less precise if you use the Scriptures as your standard. He is more specific, but completely off like all the former prognosticators. The more precise answer was given in entry 10.2…no one but God knows the day or the hour. I do like your thoughts!
Harold’s prediction is extremely precise. We just don’t know whether or not it is accurate. Yet.
I happen to believe that that he will be proven wrong for the simple reason that 100% of previous predictions of the Second Coming have been demonstrably wrong – and we have a very large sample of prior Apocalyptic predictions.
Why do you believe Harold is wrong?
Joe’s point was that it is not fair nor respectful to use Camping, even indirectly, as an example of Christianity, and thoughts about the Second Coming. Rather than mocking Camping, it would be much more interesting to have an intelligent conversation about the origins and beliefs behind the Second Coming.
Maybe the joke is on us. Maybe Camping is getting the attention that he wants.
ya I agree, lets talk about christianity:
the belief, that some cosmic jewish zombie, who is his own father, can make you live forever if you symbolicawy eat his flesh and telepathically tell him that you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul, that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree
I am not arguing your use of the word “precise” for something to be precise it has to have a standard. Your standard for his answer is a calendar. You are correct he has picked a precise date on the calendar. But his answer is not precise according to the Scripture….the precise answer according to the Scripture is to state what the Scripture says….no one knows the time or hour…..
The reason he is wrong is he is picking a specific date, and the Scriptures are very clear about this subject. Obviously he or any other prognosticator could go on picking dates and get lucky. No different than hoping you get all the numbers right in the Lottery. Matthew 24 has one of the best answers for this subject, “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh…..”
Eventually, someone will win the lottery. Why not Harold?
I like the true version “Love your neighbor as yourself.” better than Christianity according to Anthony.
Patrick- Actually, Joe and I have already won! We know we will be with Jesus in Heaven someday. How we get there, rapture, natural death, auto accident, etc. is really not important. The promise of the Scriptures is that we will be like Him and be with Him throughout eternity. He has gone to prepare a place for us, and He will come back to get us. I’ll take that over the Lottery any day!
If my back-of-the-hand time zone calculations are correct, the first earthquakes should hit New Zealand and Siberia in a couple hours. Then it’s on to Japan soon after.
I’m going to bed; I do hope that God doesn’t destroy East Asia before I wake. I realize there aren’t many Christians that far east, but at the very least Japan should be spared. The Japanese have suffered more than enough this year.
God has answered your prayers, Patrick. UK Guardian: Apocalypse not now: The Rapture fails to materialise
I just tweeted this:
Thank you for “accurately handling the Word of Truth” on this topic. It is tough to find stronger proof than Mathew 24:36 to prove that no man knows the day and the hour, not even the angels, nor Christ himself.
Which leads to my point:
why do people, sincerely believing people,( which Mr Camping is I am sure) deliberatly disregard such strong evidence? How about his followers? Have not any of them did a thorough study of all of the Bible’s counsel on the second coming?
I would guess( would you agree?) that he is using the apocryphl writings of Scripture to validate his decision? These writings need the broadest and most complete knowledge of the Word to accurately understand and apply, and then, your conclusions can’t conflict with clearly written instruction.
If I were to talk with him, or anyone who is believing this man man doctrine, I would pray that they would have a hunger for the whole truth of God, then appeal that they use sound interpretation methods to form their conclusions.
2 Peter 1:20 ” But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation”.
Then, they could say…”they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things were so”. Acts 17:11
I hope God provides me with contact with some of these people today. I would be more than happy to sit down and discuss the issue with them.
I have had it on very good authority that the Rapture will not commence at the Pacific Date Line but Northfield Mn from whence at at which time the misery will start rolling west and east. Ask Arthur.
Janalee- You have presented the key to understanding the purposes of God. I call it taking the whole counsel of God. There are certainly things in the prophetic books that I don’t completely understand, but I trust that God will reveal them in the proper time.
I have heard two basic schools of thought concerning the second coming. One is called the imminent return of Christ. It takes the verse in Matthew and interprets it this way- since we don’t know the day, it could be at any time, so we need to be prepared. The effect I have seen on some people who believe this doctrine is that they live in fear of being caught with some unrepented sin. I don’t adhere to this doctrine.
The other school of thought is that the return is centered around what happens to Israel. This takes in the whole of the prophetic writings and lays out a time line around what God says is going to happen there. In this school of thought, there is not foundation to support a specific day or hour. See Matthew 24:31-33 as an example. Most Biblical scholars interpret the fig tree to mean Israel. I happen to believe there is more Biblical support for this doctrine, so I take note of what is happening in Israel. I’m especially concerned about President Obama’s admonition to Israel to devide itself back to the pre 1997 land area. If you want some interestinfg reading, you might check out Mike Bickel’s writings on the Morning Star Ministries website. I’m always cautious of contemporary prophetic words, but some of the things that have happened over the last couple years have been prophesied 20 years ago. One of the tests of a prophet is if his word aligns with Scripture and then comes to pass. I think there is reason for pause at his writings.
I think Joe and John and the others who have cited Matthew 24:36 have the proper Christian attitude. It seems to me that Christianity is ideally a religion of humility, as Christ himself was certainly humble, and there is an unbecoming lack of humility in claiming to know what only God can know. I personally take that epistemological humility a step further. and say that only God can know whether or not God exists. This is not a denial of God, it is simply humility in the face of a mystery that I cannot pretend to penetrate. Too much harm has been done in the world by those who claim to know the mind of God.
Rob- What about all the damage done by people who think God doesn’t mind?
No one told me that Jesus was coming ! Oh I missed it shoot ! Did anything happen ? Did Kurt Zellers show up? I guess I was busy too bad
Patrick- I don’t mean to be inflamitory, but abortion is the first thing that comes to mind.
Hopefully my reply to your post will reflect the
humility you referenced earlier.
Scripture does give us the answer to the question “can we know the mind of God”. In looking at the apostle Paul’s answer to the church in Corinth, we see
1 Corinithian 2:16 “For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he should instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ”.
Then, moving over to the Gospel of John we have his information,
John 1:1-2 ” In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.”
The issue then is “is the Word of God really true”.
I find that alot of people believe in God, but when you ask if they believe the Word is true, the percentage dwindles sharply. I believe that this has been influenced by a movement called “higher criticism”. Any objective anaylsis of this subject has to include the historical influences that have brought us to point in history we are today where a large majority of people don’t believe in the inerrancy of Scripture.
The results of this movement,along with the shifts in thinking started in the Enlightment Period, have moved us from a God-centric to man-centric culture.
For me personally, coming to the belief that the Bible is the Word of God, was THE battleground. It took historical,(Jewish and secular writers) archeological, linguistic and internal evidences for me to displace the unbelief.
So, back to your comment, I do beleive we can know the mind of God, accepting the fact that He hasn’t told us everything about Himself, but we have enough in the Scriptures to understand Him and His ways.
Maybe Bradlee Dean and Kurt Zellers were looking for Jesus yesterday: With pastors like Bradlee Dean and FOX News Maybe we really need to fear all the things that they say : All I can say is that Jesus would probably not tolerate the message that these people put out in the name of God : Jesus (I think that he said) We are suppose to Love our neighbors as ourselves: Maybe Pastor Bradlee does not love himeslf Oh well have fun in church : If we go to church we must practice what we preach : And not pick on a certain group after all that is not what Jesus teaches and it is not meant for one day a week it is meant for all week : I have to try to remind my self of this I am far from perfect but before we cast our stones are we without fault? WWJD :Thanks Have fun in Church
Janalee: I’m afraid I’m unable to escape the “higher criticism,” and so I conclude that the Bible is a human document, written in human language, written by and for humans. I can’t accept that it is the literal Word of God. Other religions, including Islam, make the same claim for their holy book. I see these holy books more as “constitutions,” by which groups of people attempt to forge a communal identity and give it the sanction of a higher power.
I admit that my own values have been shaped by being raised in the Presbyterian church, by reading and studying the Bible at a formative age, and by concentrating on Reformation history as an undergraduate history major (my senior thesis was on Erasmus). For me, the important “leap of faith” is not believing in God, it’s accepting and living by the fundamental moral teaching that David L. quotes in #16.2.2.: “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” This teaching acknowledges that the bonds between people—the bonds of sympathy and understanding and mutual support—are where humans make God happen.
I would rather work at putting that one teaching into practice in my own life than get caught up in all the arcana and tribalism of organized religion. That one sentence, “love thy neighbor as thyself,” is enough work for a lifetime.
I thought you were trying to claim that our amusement at the passing of yet another End Of The World was somehow harmful?
I’m not going down the Abortion path with you.
Patrick- No worries. I was doing a little bit of a play on words. Rob’s comment-
“… those who claim to know the mind of God.”
“… people who think God doesn’t mind?”
I know it is a far stretch, but most of my humor is.
As fas as “… the passing of yet another End Of The World …”, your amusement is not harmful. I just look at these things and shake my head. I believe there will be a last day, and we need to be prepared, because none of us is going to know beforehand any more than we know right now.
Great tweet by some guy named Chris Jericho:
I think you live your life on the highest law.
Jesus’ response to the scribe in Mark 12:29-31 explains,
(29) “The foremost is, Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord:
(30) “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind and with all your strength.
(31) The second is this, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these.”
The seed that was planted in your youth was rich and found “good soil”.
I,too, abandoned the denominational training of my youth, but for some reason didn’t abandon the Book itself.The man made part of religion still causes me to want to shout from the rooftops, but, over time I have come to understand why and how the fence laws, distortions,ect. have happened.
Your comments have been edifying and encouraging. Blessings on your day.
It is unfortunate that the media focus was upon one fringe person, and not upon the larger concept of a Second Coming. In that sense, I think mocking Camping was harmful to ground rules for good civil discourse.
Harold Camping will be back for an Oct. 21 rerun. NY times: An Autumn Date for the Apocalypse
Wow, Mr. Camping’s faith is strong:
This will be his fourth Second Coming.
The guy just re-did his math isn’t it funny how the money he made off this exploit is already spent I wonder what he does with his money and his he tax-exempt what a true shame if he is he does not look trustworthy: Harold Camping or Harold Crampimg our style : I will not heed his warning for he is a false prophet :
He doesn’t get another swing at the plate. Three strikes and your out. Thankfully even the scriptures tell us about individuals like him.
Matthew 17 clearly tells us to;”don’t go out and follow them.”
FYI: He will not be the last of the false prognosticators…nevertheless
pay attention to your what your heart says to you! What is life all about…Why am I here…What’s my purpose…Where am I going?
For those wondering where the three strikes rule comes from, it’s to be found in First Epistle of Yogi Berra to the Brooklynites, Chapter 8, verse 1! 😉
I was taught and told by Christian Apologetics that for a prophet/prognosticator to be the real deal, not even one of their predictions can be wrong. Not one. Because God doesn’t lie, isn’t wrong when he speaks to us through a prophet.
All others are false.
But very entertaining wonderful fodder for humor. Yes, I believe God laughs at such follies as His children are so capable of! I think I’ve heard a giggle or two about my own follies and falls!
Yes, that is an important passage. It has interesting parallels to The Book of Armaments, Chapter 2, verses 9-21:
You know, Saint Attila once raised the hand grenade up on high, saying, “O Lord, bless this thy hand grenade, that with it thou mayst blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy.” And the Lord did grin.
So it is written….
Patrick & Phil- You missed the most important admonition in that Book- “Thou shalt not shoot off thy mouth about the second coming.”
My apologies for taking so long to get back to you.
I agree that the “imminent return” idea is fear based and thus lacks the peace and hope that are to be a part of the Christian’s character.
The idea you mention of connecting the second coming of Christ to modern day Israel is one that I haven’t spent gobs of time studying. Keeping the spirtual above the political fracas of this world seems to be a very high road of witness to God. Like you,I am very cautious about ascribing “prophetic” emphasis to a contemporary presentation, but I will think on these things and check out the sources you mentioned.
What I do believe, though it seems simple after reflecting on these two views, is that when the apostles asked this question in Matthew 24:3 ” And as He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things come to be, and what will be the sign of the Your coming and of the end of the age?”, is that Jesus was referring to the end of the Jewish age.( destruction by Rome, A.D. 70) It is reasonable to infer this from his answer to the question in verse 2, a direct reference to the tearing down of the temple.
I don’t emphasize any type of “end times” theology in my own life or in what I teach, and with Matthew 24:36 telling us we can’t know when the last day is, keeping a focus on the day to day walk with God seems to be the place of greatest emphasis in Scripture, which as you know, can be quite demanding all by itself.
Do you use any version of LOGOS to support your study?
Maybe our Republican Friends who claim they have a friendship with Jesus should take a look in the mirror : Jesus would not cut Hursing Homes : Where is the promise of not hurting the elderly ? WWJD : Get a Budget that works : Tony Sutton and his friends I will blame for a shutdown and not Mark Dayton : It is time to represent the People and not the Party interests : Thanks : I’ll try to keep looking for Jesus
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