Judgment Day, 6 pm May 21st has come and gone somewhere in this world. Now what?
“Even though there were no time zones during biblical time, Camping told The Atlantic that he knows exactly when it will happen. It is officially the Rapture at 6 p.m. on May 21 at 180 Longitude. That will be 2 a.m. in New York. It will start with an earthquake of unprecedented magnitude and the Rapture will slowly move across the globe, hitting at 6 p.m. in every time zone.”
Well, 6 p.m. on May 21st, 2011, in Tonga has come and gone now. No massive earthquake. No fires from heaven. No graves opening and the damned rising. Another day is in the process of ending, while another will shortly begin.
I have followed this event religiously (pardon the pun) for months now – even posting it in my calendar as a reminder, just in case I forgot and the news did not go viral such as it has. Society is very fascinating… people forever passionately striving in a belief in hopes of making a difference. Sadly, many follow the wrong people for the wrong reasons. Now that these believers of The Rapture are beginning to realize they will be waking up on earth, and not in heaven, on May 22nd… what are they to do.
The foreboding Judgment Day has caused panic to set in. People fleeing from their homes to go into hiding. In the US, thousands have quit their jobs in order to hit the road and spread the word of the upcoming biblical Armageddon.
Gregory LeCorps left his job in a medical facility weeks ago to hit the road, taking along his wife and five young children.
A New York couple, Abby Haddad Carson and her husband, Robert Carson, a few years ago stopped saving money to send their kids to college and started going on missions that the world will end today. Their children are not only worried about whether or not they will be able to afford to go to college, but also somewhat embarrassed by their parents’ actions.
These few examples only show a small amount of people who have given up what many have worked years… decades to build. Gone.
May 22nd will be a very sad day for many.
This week, I finally was handed a copy of the pamphlets that Rev Camping has been so proudly circulating throughout the world. I wanted to know what words were so powerful which would steer thousands of people away from the security of their homes, families, and jobs. Immediately I sat down to dissect his written words. What I read did not surprise me in the least. Man has followed this tactic for centuries.
Many bible verses were quoted. Naturally, depending upon which version of the bible one is reading, these numbers will vary. Between the Old and New Testament, there are approximately a total of 1,189 chapters, and 31,102 verses (according to Wikipedia). With over 31 thousand verses, it is not difficult to pick and choose the verses which will suit the needs of the publisher… in this case, Rev Harold Camping. I am not even going to touch on the topic of the textual translations which occurred throughout history.
Next, Camping’s computations… which are many. I will give him much credit in his work… and creativity. But there is an old saying, “…that if an infinite number of monkeys were left to bang on an infinite number of typewriters, sooner or later they would accidentally reproduce the complete works of William Shakespeare (or even just one of his sonnets).” Camping’s computations strongly remind me of this old saying which is related to mathematics of probability.
Camping chose a select set of numbers in which he felt were important. And with these numbers, he would multiply, divide, add, subtract… all based upon days from the year of the Crucifixion of Christ amongst other “spiritual” numbers. I can understand why it took him so many years since his prior failed 1994 prediction to finally arrive with this new date of May 21st, 2011. It took complete devotion to twist and turn these numbers to finally arrive with a final number to use to formulate a date… The Judgment Day of 2011.
Yes, Camping manipulated numbers to achieve his desired result. Surely this is no surprise to most. But I wanted to see these numbers for myself.
The Bible does not hold any more magical numbers than any other text – not for the reasons Camping used them. Anyone who has the devotion and time may be able to do this with any large text. It is no different, for example, to find a set of numbers in an encyclopedia from AA to AN in the same manner, achieving the result the human calculator desires. It takes time, mistakes, reworking, reformulating… but eventually one may postulate what they are needing.
Primarily through this past week, I have been obsessed with finding humor in the upcoming apocalypse. Although it is still not yet May 21st where I am, 6 pm on May 21st somewhere in this world has come and gone – and I find that my heart is saddened.
What is to happen with those people who believed enough to give up their homes, their jobs, and have become estranged from their not-so-dedicated family members?
And what will Camping say now? I am sure it will simply be that he, once again, miscalculated.
“Mistakes are a great educator when one is honest enough to admit them and willing to learn from them” - unknown "Do not fear mistakes. You will know failure. Continue to reach out." - Benjamin Franklin “All men make mistakes, but only wise men learn from their mistakes.” - Winston Churchill
This goes to you, Reverend Harold Camping… you can only be a bigger man by admitting you made a mistake – and not in calculations. Own up to the fact that thousands of people gave up everything for you and your misleading prophecy. Help these lost souls rebuild. Put them back in a home, support them until they are once again able to support themselves. Make right what you have wronged. Take care of people like Gregory LeCorps, and Abby Haddad Carson and her husband, Robert Carson.
And I urge these followers to think carefully before acting. Everyone is still responsible for their own actions.
With that, I have spoken.