Camping, the founder of Family Radio (a network of Christian radio stations) and a former civil engineer, sat down and did some ciphering and came up with May 21, 2011. How'd he do that? Here's the formula (courtesy Wikipedia):
- According to Camping, the number five equals "atonement", the number ten equals "completeness", and the number seventeen equals "heaven".
- Christ is said to have hung on the cross on April 1, 33 AD. The time between April 1, 33 AD and April 1, 2011 is 1,978 years.
- If 1,978 is multiplied by 365.2422 days (the number of days in a solar year, not to be confused with the lunar year), the result is 722,449.
- The time between April 1 and May 21 is 51 days.
- 51 added to 722,449 is 722,500.
- (5 × 10 × 17)2 or (atonement × completeness × heaven)2 also equals 722,500.
There you are. Welp, been fun knowing y'all, but I intend to be in that number come next Saturday. Enjoy the eternal torment of the lake of fire. Write when you find work!
Now, Camping also made an 'irrevocable' statement that the world would end...in 1994!
C'mon, man! You should only get one chance to predict the exact date of the end of the world. I'd think if you miss, you lose some credibility. That might just be me, though.
I have no idea how Camping came up with numerical 'values' for atonement, completeness, and heaven, nor why you square the equation in step 6. I'd think you'd cube step 6 (the cube, or third power, representing the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit). I suspect Mr. Camping either missed his meds or took too many on the day he was coming up with the equation. His mathematics are correct, though, for what it's worth.
As my coworker, Brad, who studied physics in university, pointed out-the chances of the Rapture happening are not zero-which can be a matter for concern. However, the chances of a black hole appearing in the Earth's core, or a gamma-ray burst hitting the planet, or the Cubs winning a World Series this year, are also not zero-but the odds are overwhelming enough that I wouldn't lose any sleep over it.
It's going to be interesting for Mr. Camping come next Sunday and everyone's still here. My guess is he'll either say 'Obviously God is a God of love and has seen fit to give humans a little more time to get right' or 'Did I say Saturday would be the Rapture? I meant to say that 30 years ago Blondie released the song 'Rapture' and I have given up eating cars and bars and now I only eat guitars' or 'Someone wipe the Cream of Wheat off my chin'.
Really, how many thousands of people need to make false predictions of the end before we all say 'enough'? The answer from the Second-in-Command is clear. He said:
'Of that day and hour knows no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my father only.' -Matthew 24:36
And what Jesus might have also implied was So don't spend all of your time on Earth worrying about it. Live each day like it were your last. Someday you will be right!
I'm in the Methodist denomination, and as a body, we don't spend a lot of time fretting over the supposed 'End of Days'. There's life to be lived and work to be done here. And I'd hate to be in a sect or denomination where the End Times prophecies are the main focus of the church. Doesn't sound like those people would get a lot of enjoyment from life. Each cat his own rat, though. As long as they don't strap on the Brooks Brothers tailored TNT Vest and blow up themselves and a market, I don't care. Actually, if they put on the vest and just blow themselves up, I don't care.
At any rate...the end comes for all of us eventually. A great English philosopher once said 'You come from nothing, you go back to nothing. What have you lost? Nothing!!'
Will the world end someday? Yes. Will humanity's reign on earth end? Almost certainly (It might be good if we found some relatively cheap way to colonize some other rocks in the universe). I personally don't believe a vengeful God will destroy mankind, since we're big boys and girls and are quite capable of doing ourselves in if we put a bit of thought to it. But pinning down the exact day of the End? I'll leave that to the nutcases-and laugh at them and live a little along the way. I once saw a bumper sticker which may apply for this week.
'In Case of Rapture, Can I Have Your Car?'