Take Two

The world was supposed to end on May 21, but things got fouled up, and it didn’t happen. However—take heart—the place is definitely disappearing, for good and for sure this time, on October 21. Which is, like, tomorrow.

So, whatever you wanted to do in this life: do it now. Time is definitely a-wasting.

I wrote of the previous end of the world, the May 21 version, at some length—length in fact commensurate with, say, War and Peace. Particularly those who are bedridden or imprisoned, and therefore have nothing much else to do, might want to go read the thing, here: should be time enough to peruse most of it, before everything winks out.

The world is ending because the deity according to 90-year-old electronic preacher Harold Camping is tired of the thing, and wants it to just go away. Said deity is in fact so sick of the place that, as Camping has explained, not only will the planet itself be vaporized, but also every memory of it, in every person, place, and thing. It will be as if it had never been.

Godless mockers have in recent days cycled back to Camping to snicker about his new, improved, end-of-days date.

If there’s a Rapture and no billboard announces it, has the world really ended?

Yes, or probably, according to the Oakland, Calif.-based Family Radio ministry and its leader Harold Camping, who are sticking to their latest prediction that the world will end—for real this time, well maybe—Friday.

The billboards have disappeared, the evangelical caravan parked, followers have folded up their End of Days sandwich boards, and Camping, recovering from a stroke at his Alameda, Calif., home, and his ministry have kept quiet.

“We have no comments for the media,” a friendly Family Radio operator said Friday. “We’re not doing that any more.”

“Family Stations, Inc. has no comment concerning October 21,” wrote spokesman Thomas Evans in an email. “Our media response was made back in May.”

Camping’s home phone number has been disconnected.

A woman answering the door at Camping’s house Monday said he was not seeing anyone and politely closed the door.

Camping recorded a message to his followers in recent weeks.

“I’m still a long ways away from being healed, but there is progress being made,” says Camping, his normal gravelly voice now slurred.

In the six-minute message, Camping addresses the mistakes of May 21 and the expectations for Friday, which will not come with the global earthquake he previously predicted.

“There’s a lot of things that we didn’t have quite right and that’s God’s good provision,” he says. “I really am beginning to think as I restudy these matters that there’s going to be no big display of any kind. The end is going to come very, very quietly, probably within the next month. It will happen that is by October 21.”

This time, Harold Camping sounds like a man who has suffered the whisper of self-doubt.

The Oakland minister’s latest prediction of the end of the world—which he’s set for Friday—is couched among words like “probably” and “maybe,” a far cry from the carved-in-stone certitude he projected onto his infamous May 21 forecast.

“I do believe we’re getting very near the very end,” Camping, 90, said during a podcast recorded earlier this month and posted on his Family Radio website. “Oct. 21, that’s coming very shortly, that looks like it will be, at this point, it will be the final end of everything.”

The once resolute Camping’s use of words such as “probably” has led to seeming crisis of faith among his adherents in a Yahoo chat room dedicated to all things Family Radio and Rapture.

“This is so confusing. One person says that October 21st is guaranteed, another person [Mr. Camping] says that it’s a ‘possibility,'” one chat room member rants. “Which is it? What do we really believe? What do we stand for? . . . Either we believe what we preach or we don’t . . . I’m telling you, if nothing happens on October 21st, I’m ending it all. I’m done. I’m through. And Family Radio is to blame.”

Camping posted to his website an explication of where he went Right, and Wrong, with his May 21 prediction.

He begins by noting that The Big Guy in no way erred. Of course. That’s what makes him The Big Guy. He don’t make mistakes.

What really happened this past May 21st ? What really happened is that God accomplished exactly what He wanted to happen. That was to warn the whole world that on May 21 God’s salvation program would be finished on that day. For the next five months, except for the elect (the true believers), the whole world is under God’s final judgment. To accomplish this goal God withheld from the true believers the way in which two phrases were to be understood. Had He not done so, the world would never have been shaken in fear as it was.

Okay. I think what he’s saying here is that Yahweh didn’t wrap things up on May 21 because he wanted people to be in More Fear.

And that does sound like the guy.

There next comes some jibber about the Camping-meaning of the words “earthquake” and “rapture,” punctuated by another reminder that The Big Guy wants all to “quake” in Fear:

Therefore we have learned from our experience of last May 21 what actually happened. All of mankind was shaken with fear. Indeed the earth (or mankind) did quake in a way it had never before been shaken.

Then comes the bummer for those who thought they could wait till the last minute to get “saved”: Camping says if you didn’t do it before May 21, you’re out of luck:

The second word, “rapture,” identifies with the idea of the completion of God’s salvation program. The catching up of all the elect meant that there was to be no more salvation activity to be done anywhere in the world by God. Each and every true believer had become eternally safe with God in Heaven. No more was there any aspect of God’s salvation program that remained to be done.

But the same thing became true this past May 21, even though no one was raptured. No one who had not become saved by that date can ever become saved.

So, judgement did arrive on May 21, after all, but for reasons that passeth understanding—except Camping’s—this will not be made manifest until October 21. This allows Camping to claim he was pretty much Not Wrong:

Thus we have learned that except for a somewhat different understanding of the words “earthquake” and “rapture” or “catching up” no other past teachings of Judgment Day or the end of the world have been changed. The time line, the certainty of it, the proofs, and the signs are all precisely the same. No other past teachings have been changed or modified. Indeed, on May 21 Christ did come spiritually to put all of the unsaved throughout the world into judgment. But that universal judgment will not be physically seen until the last day of the five month judgment period, on October 21, 2011.

So get ready, folks, as it’s almost All Over:
Thus we can be sure that the whole world, with the exception of those who are presently saved (the elect), are under the judgment of God, and will be annihilated together with the whole physical world on October 21, 2011, on the last day of the present five months period. On that day the true believers (the elect) will be raptured. We must remember that only God knows who His elect are that He saved prior to May 21.

The world ending: that would be a drag. Not that it would affect me. Because I am protected. By G-L-O-R-I-A.


1 Response to “Take Two”

  1. 1 possum October 24, 2011 at 9:29 am

    He who makes enough predictions may one day be right. Maybe what Camping needs to do is make even more predictions far into the future so one day he may be correct.

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