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Harold Camping and the end of the world

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Here is some insight into the question of how the advertising campaign is being financed.

A retired MTA employee has pumped his $140,000 life savings into an ad campaign warning that the world will end on May 21.

Robert Fitzpatrick, a follower of the notorious California Evangalist Harold Camping, has posted his Doomsday message on 1,000 subway car placards and at bus shelters throughout New York city.

So, at least some of the ad campaign is grassroots-funded: not only have people quit their jobs to help promote Camping's wackiness, they're also paying for the ads. Yeah, if I were Harold I might give away a lot of stuff, but I'd hang on to the Rolodex that has my lawyer's number in it.

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I've posted a few thoughts re. Harold Camping and May 21 on Christ and Pop Culture.

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I've posted a few thoughts re. Harold Camping and May 21 on Christ and Pop Culture.

Well done, Jason. I've Shared this on my Facebook page.

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The rapture or whatever is after 6 pm on Saturday, right? Need to make sure I get the kiddies to the kite festival early this year, must hit that beach by noon.

Then again, who knows, maybe we'll all just get left behind. If the kites are still flying I probably won't care.

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If the rapture takes place in each time zone one at a time, then does this mean people like me can just wait and see what happens in New Zealand and Asia and Europe first, before deciding to repent our ways and join the elevator off this planet?

For that matter, could a non-believer on the western side of the International Date Line experience a sudden conversion, after seeing all his Christian friends vanish, and hustle across to the eastern side of the International Date Line in time for lift-off?

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Conversely, if nothing happens to the east of me at 6 p.m., will it be too late to get theatre tickets?

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If the rapture takes place in each time zone one at a time, then does this mean people like me can just wait and see what happens in New Zealand and Asia and Europe first, before deciding to repent our ways and join the elevator off this planet?

IIRC, the earthquakes starts somewhere in the Pacific rim at 6pm and then moves across the globe (though I'm not sure if it moves east or west). So those living in, say, Europe, will have a few hours of advance warning until it gets to be 6pm for them.

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These things amaze me. The only thing that would amaze me more is if he's right...

The man's 90 years old. A lot of people that age still have their wits about them. He's obviously lost a few. Someone should have a kind word. In my experience obsessing like this can be a sign of mental disfunction. May God have mercy on his soul.

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Well, it would have to start at the International Date Line, in Fiji or thereabouts. If it starts in any other time zone, then some people will end up getting raptured on the wrong date!

That would give me and Peter 21 hours' notice ... but according to Camping, only people who have a fervent "desire to follow the entire Bible" are truly saved and can expect to be raptured. (Baptism, profession of faith, etc., are not sufficient, he says.) I don't know if 21 hours will be enough time for an individual to develop the kind of faith that would satisfy Camping's conditions.

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mrmando wrote:

: I don't know if 21 hours will be enough time for an individual to develop the kind of faith that would satisfy Camping's conditions.

Oh, if the sudden rapturing of Kiwis and Aussies proved Camping's beliefs, I think I'd be inclined to follow his beliefs in other areas too. Granted, I wouldn't have time to prove whether I had the stamina to maintain my newfound beliefs, and granted, Camping might not care much for the parable of the landowner who paid all the day labourers equally no matter when he had hired them, but still -- at that point, I think God's conditions would matter to me more than Camping's.

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On the other hand, a fervent desire to follow the entire Bible would have to include the willingness to put false prophets to death, wouldn't it?

Edited by mrmando

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If the rapture takes place in each time zone one at a time, then does this mean people like me can just wait and see what happens in New Zealand and Asia and Europe first, before deciding to repent our ways and join the elevator off this planet?

IIRC, the earthquakes starts somewhere in the Pacific rim at 6pm and then moves across the globe (though I'm not sure if it moves east or west). So those living in, say, Europe, will have a few hours of advance warning until it gets to be 6pm for them.

Oh, now THAT is the grace of God. You know how those heathen Europeans are. They're gonna need more time.

Edited by Persona

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The man's 90 years old. A lot of people that age still have their wits about them. He's obviously lost a few. Someone should have a kind word. In my experience obsessing like this can be a sign of mental disfunction. May God have mercy on his soul.

I agree, it's quite possible that he has lost a marble or two -- but I actually don't think his obsession with eschatology is the best proof of that. Plenty of ordinary, reasonable Christians believe Jesus will return to judge the quick and the dead ... it's in the Apostles' Creed, after all. A somewhat smaller number believe that Jesus' return is imminent ... a belief that apparently proceeds from the assumption that Biblical prophecies about ancient Israel are also applicable to the modern State of Israel. (This assumption may be questionable, but I wouldn't say everyone who makes it is crazy.)

I think where Camping goes seriously off the rails is in his claim that sometime in the late '80s or early '90s, God brought an end to "the age of the church" and "opened up" the interpretation of scripture in an unprecedented way ... meaning that all preceding paradigms of God's kingdom throughout history are now incorrect, and that only Harold Camping is teaching the true gospel. That's the sort of thing a delusional cult leader would say.

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Tonio K.: Hey John, The Ballad of the Night the Clocks All Quit (and the Government Failed)

Daniel Amos: Side 2 of Shotgun Angel, natch.

Then there's the corny stuff by Degarmo & Key and White Heart that I wish I could get out of my head ...

Edited by mrmando

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Then there's the corny stuff by Degarmo & Key and White Heart that I wish I could get out of my head ...

I don't think "Let the Kingdom Come" is corny.

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Daniel Amos - "Hole In The World"

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Odd coincidence: Camping's declared date for the "end of the church age" corresponds to the period when his former church, Alameda CRC, barred him from teaching his end-times theories in Sunday school.

And here is one of the more creative responses from a skeptic I've seen...

6 p.m. tomorrow at the International Date Line is 9 p.m. tonight, my time. So if anything happens, I should know before I go to bed.

For the record, methinks that if you want to guarantee that Jesus will NOT return on a certain date, the best thing you can do is exactly what Camping has done for May 21.

Edited by mrmando

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mrmando wrote:

: Daniel Amos: Side 2 of Shotgun Angel, natch.

It says something about the musical excellence on display here that I totally love this album, even though I haven't subscribed to the eschatology expressed by this album in years. "Lady of the sky, Oh where'd you go, where'd you fly...?" There's a real sympathization with the people who have been left behind that was noticeably missing from DA's previous album ("Oh my, you'll fry as we fly through the sky...").

Incidentally, side two of Shotgun Angel was re-issued about a decade later as an album called The Revelation, with narration by Chuck Smith, and the re-issue is most notable for a brand-new song it included, called 'Soon!':

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Yes, I liked "Soon" but did not care for Chuck's narration. As you know, the band is about to release yet another reissue of Shotgun Angel...this one is a double-disc set with 24 new tracks (mostly outtakes and interviews, I gather):

Speaking of downright weird Judgment Day songs, it's hard to top this one, from the Dry Branch Fire Squad:

Edited by mrmando

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Or you can some cheese to go with your corn:

If the world does end tomorrow, at least there would be some good news for Cleveland. Since they have the best record in baseball, I suppose the Indians would have to be declared World Series champs!

Edited by Crow

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MSNBC comes up with the money quote:

Jerry Jenkins, co-author with Tim LaHaye of the "Left Behind" series of apocalyptic novels that have sold millions of copies worldwide, has a problem with the prediction.

"As a believer, I'm already a kook compared to most people, so for someone to choose a date and get everyone excited about a certain time, my problem is it makes us look worse," said Jenkins, 61.

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Everyone still here? I am not sure exactly when this was predicted to happen. Just checking in...

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