In Matthew 24:26, Jesus says that no one knows the day or the hour that the world will end. But Harold Camping thinks otherwise.
Camping’s nonprofit Christian organization, Family Radio, raked in $80 million in contributions between 2005 and 2009. But he’s become headline news fodder for his prediction of a massive earthquake that will hit tomorrow, May 21, on “Judgment Day” issuing in the second coming of Christ. Like many cities around the United States, he’s advertising “Judgment Day” on a billboards in Denver–including a street we regularly drive down.
When I first saw the billboard for “Judgment Day”, I thought it was a fluke, a one-off sponsored advertisement by a religious fanatic. Now I realize the billboard is part of a larger national media campaign. The whole initiative is bothersome on several levels.
1. Camping has inaccurately predicted the end of the world before, namely, in 1994. I’m not sure why anyone would believe his prediction would be any more accurate this time around.
2. Camping’s own employees aren’t convinced of the prediction. CNN Money reports that an estimate 80% of Family Radio’s employees don’t believe that tomorrow will mark the end of the world. That’s why they’re booking appointments, scheduling events, and planning to come to work on Monday.
3. Camping has issued a Farewell Letter which isn’t a bad idea for a 90-year-old, but in the context of his media campaign, it brings to remembrance cults of the past that didn’t end well.
But what if Camping is right? What if God spoke to Harold Camping and tomorrow really is Judgment Day? Yeah! Point for Harold.
But the better question is what if Camping is wrong? What is the end of the world doesn’t come tomorrow? (Or today, as may be in New Zealand).
That’s where the damage is done–again, by someone who probably means well, but has been swept up in apocalyptic nonsense that leaves people looking wide-eyed at a distorted view of Christianity and the Scripture.
What do you think?
*Photo courtesy of here