I’m waiting. Are you? <tap tap tap>
<wait wait wait>
If you know me well, you know I was not gifted with a large amount of patience. Yes, really.
I like to plan. I like to make my outlines (including notes) so that I am sufficiently organized to move forward. Once I know what I’m doing, the written stuff can go by the wayside, as I learn what is working and what isn’t, and start tweaking, or de-bugging, as it were. My critical thinking skills are in near constant use.
Some plans take a bit longer to flesh out and implement, like getting chickens, for example (Do I really want to do it? What will it mean for taking vacations? Do I really want more animals?). Other plans are more straight forward; supplies are obtained and the plan is put into motion.
These are the kinds of things I prefer- the ones that make good logical sense (or do not) after doing research. I’m always gathering information, and adjusting my opinion accordingly. This doesn’t mean I’m an expert on stuff; just someone capable of researching and applying critical thinking.
The one area of my life where this M.O. isn’t based on that process is my faith. Faith is its own entity within my life, and I have had plenty of actual experiences (working in hospice; dealing with and being there when people passed, etc) to know solidly where I stand on this topic overall.
One area of the Bible – or perhaps it’s a subscription to thought- that I have not extensively studied is Revelation and the End Times. I think on some level, it’s overwhelming, since there is so much stuff to wade through.
Put your boots on, grab a shovel, and let’s go……
**One thing to always keep in mind: most Biblical topics have some kind of debate somewhere, at some time; case and point, the books of the Bible. Different denominations have different chapters in the Bible, not to mention the gazillions of translations out there. And then there is the interpretation of texts and the ensuing discussions…….. I don’t pretend to be a Biblical scholar, nor do I play one on TV.
This particular topic (as in May 21, 2011 being Judgement Day) reflects my travels on the internet in my quest for information and opinions. In other words: Don’t be throwing rocks at me, y’all!
To begin with, there is not agreement of the End Times, nor how things will unfold. This page of Now The End Begins does a pretty good job, I think, of demonstrating the 4 main schools of thought on the Rapture. This topic can be confusing, since conflicting beliefs are all over out there.
Last Saturday, I was sitting here, at my computer, cruising Facebook, when I saw the comment. You know the one, right? That comment about whether or not to do “x” because, after all, the world was ending May 21, 2011? And then someone posted a link.
I ♥♥♥ links. They feed my desire to read. So I clicked, and away I went.
That link went to the We Can Know website. This is just one of many sites that are based on the teachings of Harold Camping.
But let’s back up the bus a little and get a little history. We all know that from the dawn of Christianity, there have been those (including Paul, although there is debate on his teachings as well) that believed and actively proclaimed that Jesus was coming soon.
Some of those folks even gave concrete dates, like William Miller, out of which the Seventh Day Adventist Church theology was rooted. (No, he didn’t found it- he was dead by the time the SDA Church was founded. The church does credit him, however, with founding the “Adventist” movement.)
Anyhow, the followers of William Miller were called Millerites. They believed that the second coming of Christ was going to happen soon. At some point, a date based on the Karaite Jewish calendar was given to this event. That date was October 22, 1844, and was preached on by Millerite Samuel S. Snow.
Obviously, the anticipated event didn’t happen. As a result, a new name was given to it: The Great Disappointment. What’s interesting, though, is that there were religious groups that were born based on theses beliefs, and some of them are still around today.
So, it’s nothing new to hear about people warning us that the end is near. What I find fascinating is the money behind some of this stuff. Granted, it doesn’t cost much to get a site on the internet. It doesn’t cost much, if anything, to put a blog out there and share your two cents.
Harold Camping founded Family Radio, and has $117 *million* dollar radio network has predicted that Judgement Day is today, May 21, 2011. This is not the end of the world. No, that will happen on October 21, 2011. *That’s* the day when, according to this website based on Camping’s teachings, God will destroy the earth.
“This web site serves as an introduction and portal to four faithful ministries which are teaching that WE CAN KNOW from the Bible alone that the date of the rapture of believers will take place on May 21, 2011 and that God will destroy this world on October 21, 2011. Please take your time and browse through the teachings of Harold Camping, President of Family Radio”
Today, though, God is just going to “take up” His believers. I was wondering last night, as I lay in bed, what was happening on the other side of the world; you know, where it was already May 21? I forget where it was I read it originally, but apparently, part of Judgement Day will start with an earthquake at 6 pm, local time. The earthquake (which hasn’t happened yet) was to start at 6 pm on Christmas Island and then each time zone would have their own quakes. That gives me a few more hours.
Since I am still sitting here, and I wonder if I need to get back to the post-Rapture checklist. Although, since Harold Camping originally predicted September 6, 1994 as being “The Day,” one has to wonder. In fact, he wrote a whole book about it, titled (wait for it……) “1994?”.
Another thing I have wondered about was how he arrived at this particular second date. According to these sites, this date was arrived on due to the date of May 21, 1988 that “God finished using the churches and congregations of the world.”
I have yet to find a site that actually explains (in language I can understand) where in the Bible this “information” came from. I did find another site whose author shares my concern, saying, “I was never able to figure out how he arrived at 23 years for the length of the Tribulation when both Daniel and Revelation make it clear that the Tribulation will last 7 years. I’m sure his answer is there somewhere, based on allegorical interpretation, but I couldn’t find it.”
As seriously as Camping takes his predictions – after all, his $117 million radio station is all around the world and translated into 84 languages - there are others who are equally passionate about questioning him and his teachings. One of the better sites I’ve found is an entire site (as opposed to a blog post or two) refuting his teachings. This page of the Refute Camping website deals with just the timeline of his predictions.
The home page of the site explains its goal: “The purpose of this site is to diligently search the scriptures, like the Bereans, and to compare the teachings of Harold Camping and Family Radio with scripture, the bible.” While it continues to be a work in progress, I’ll be interested to see what – if anything – more happens with the site, now that “the day” has nearly passed.
I think it’s safe to say that there will be others who predict “the end” and fail just the same. In the meantime, I’m going to keep reading and thinking.
Here are some links to things I’ve stumbled across that I thought were interesting.
Commentary on Camping’s, er, “group”: http://www.politicususa.com/en/the-world-to-end-on-may-21-2011
Failed end of the world predictions: http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2011/0518/Judgment-Day-Five-failed-end-of-the-world-predictions/October-22-1844
Bible Prophesy Blog: http://www.bibleprophecyblog.com/
Feel free to comment and share your links with me!