Skip to comments.Catholic scholar dismantles May 21 Judgment Day claims
Posted on 05/20/2011 11:09:10 AM PDT by NYer
.- The claim being circulated that May 21 will mark the end of the world and be a day of judgment by God has no basis in Scripture or authentic Christian teaching, according to Catholic scholar Dr. Jared Staudt.
The professor of theology at the Augustine Institute, located in Denver, said that Biblical teaching and Church tradition show it's clear that it is not scriptural to seek for a date for the day of judgment.
It sometimes can be easy to ridicule groups like this for coming up with such calculations, but we should remember that this is a perennial problem, Staudt told CNA.
In the end, I think it is a problem of faith. We have a hard time simply trusting in the Lord and waiting for Him.
Family Radio, a religious group out of Oakland, California that has been broadcasting for several decades, recently launched a nationwide campaign claiming that May 21 at 6:00 p.m. will signal the beginning of hell on earth for non-believers, and a day when Christians around the world will be raptured into heaven.
The group has worked around the clock in recent weeks to push their message, using radio and TV broadcasts, billboards, t-shirts, pamphlets and even bumper stickers. Their website received over 3 million visits in April.
Family Radio president Harold Camping, 89, has been hosting the live, call-in talk show Open Forum for 50 years.
During a May 15 show, he speculated that people will be dying by the millions in the terror-laden months that will follow Judgment Day, until the final destruction of the earth on October 21.
The group uses multiple verses from the Bible to calculate the end of the world, asserting in a booklet that the great amount of Biblical signs and proofs absolutely guarantee Judgment Day is May 21, 2011.
In an May 19 interview, however, Dr. Staudt explained that the group uses literal interpretations of several Bible verses taken out of context.
Family Radios prediction of the day of the judgment is premised on the literal interpretation of 2 Peter 3:8, which states: 'with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day,' Staudt explained.
Building upon this interpretation, Family Radio then applies it to the surrounding context in 2 Peter, the day of judgment in relation to the flood 2 Peter 3:6.
Staudt explained that the group also draws its warning from the passage in the book of Genesis where God warns Noah of the flood arriving in seven days. Since one day is as a thousand years God, Family Radio concluded that 7,000 years from the start of the flood, or May 21, 2011, will be Judgment Day.
However, Staudt emphasized, St. Peter also clearly says that 'the day of the Lord will come like a thief,' echoing our Lords own words.
Jesus said he would come as a thief in the night and also clearly stated that it did not pertain to His mission to announce the time of His Second Coming, he clarified. It is clear that Jesus did not want us to know the time of His coming, but rather to remain in watchful expectation.
He said that He would come soon Rev 22:20 but this is not meant to create fear in the disciples, but rather hope, knowing that Christ is the Lord of history and will triumph in the end.
Additionally, the rapture is not part of Catholic teaching, Staudt said. We do not separate the resurrection of the just and the reprobate, nor the final tribulation and the Lords coming.
We are to have a faith filled expectation of the Lords coming, but without trying to have control over it, he said.
We also have to remember that the Lord comes to us every day in the Eucharist and He also comes to us in our own death. Our lives should be centered on watchfulness so that we have open hearts to Him in prayer and in expectation of the future glory, which He promises us.
Staudt noted that a primary factor in cult-like groups making misguided claims about the end of the wold comes from a lack of union with the Church established by Christ.
When a group is on its own, it sits down with the Bible and tries to figure things out, he noted. But these groups do not have the context that comes from hearing the Word of God proclaimed in the liturgy or the authority of the Magisterium to interpret the Bible in unison with Tradition.
Rather than respond with ridicule or dismissiveness, however, Staudt reiterated the importance of engaging such groups with charity and truth.
Throughout the Catholic tradition, the response to a contrary position is always to find the good in what is presented and to seek dialogue, he said. In this particular case, one could certainly affirm and even praise the desire to proclaim the biblical message of the need for conversion and forgiveness.
However, one could also see the sensational presentation as a trivialization of this message. Regardless of that fact, it is still an opportunity to discuss the topic, which has been brought up in a very vocal way.
Staudt said it's important to remember that many people, if not most, have never heard a clear and well founded presentation of the Catholic faith.
People are drawn towards cults because they are looking for the truth and also for a sense of belonging, he observed. Cults provide simple clear cut answers and usually a well defined way of life. We know that this is simply a parody of what Christ intends and actually offers.
We need to use opportunities like the one presented by Family Radio to engage in conversation, to listen, and to gently, yet firmly, proclaim the truth of Christ with which we have been entrusted in His Church.
Arguing with trolls.
I was watching the Sarah Conner Chronicles on SyFy Channel yesterday, and Judgement Day was supposed to be sometime in April 2011.
Jesus did tell us that we will not know the day nor the hour, but many people seem to have skipped this part of the Gospels...
That said, the US has a long tradition of flaky Protestants climbing onto their rooftops and awaiting the end of the world. Actually, I think I’m insulting Protestants in saying this - most of these people need another name, like “Self-Proclaimed Churches,” since they really come out of no authentic Protestant tradition and are just out there doing their purely individual thing - and collecting bucks for it.
That the book of Revelation has Mary misrepresented in Revelation 12. The women in Rev 12 being with child IS ISRAEL, because Israel has the genealogy of Messiah, not the Catholics.
Rev 12+Mary is a private interpretation by a group of like minded interpreters...
Rev 22:18-19 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that re written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out the the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
For in that HE died, HE died unto sin ONCE: but in that HE liveth, HE liveth unto God. Romans 6:10
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23
At least MY GOD, MY CHRIST, MY SAVIOR and neither me has ADDED to the words to the book of Revelation: Mary is NOT in Revelation.
To use the expression “it’s all in the math” would deflate this ‘prophet’s’ case.
see link for a quick summary: worldwide - 158K people die every day. In one year, that’s a lot of souls going to heaven.
Just wait a couple days and the claim will dismantle itself.
To be fair, Protestant scholars are also debunking this latest absurdity from Mr. Camping. There is no Protestant church that will own him.
Actually Mr. Camping proudly does not belong to any church, and teaches his followers not to, either, so please don’t brand him as “Protestant.” He is no more a Protestant than the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are Catholic.
” a lot of souls going to heaven “... you error, for how do YOU know and assume correctly that these people have come to know the faith OF Christ, who have believed in grace not works for salvation, who are adopted as sons (Romans 8:14-16) and place their entire trust in Christ who died once for the remission of sins that are past.
I’m no scholar and even I can read “no man will no the time or day” (or thereabouts - not a direct quote).
Still, Obama’s betrayal of Israel was timely enough to make be take pause.
“That said, the US has a long tradition of flaky Protestants climbing onto their rooftops and awaiting the end of the world.”
Oh, we’ve had plenty of Catholic sects do the same, so no stones will be thrown here.
Year 1000 was particularly bad for it.
That’s what I said. He’s Protestant in the sense that he’s not Catholic, but he’s not part of a Protestant stream or church and is a self-proclaimed preacher (like Joseph Smith) doing something that has often been done in the US - preaching the end of the world.
I have read many articles and even books about this, but I still don’t know why this “end-times” stuff is so popular in the US.
Entirely off topic, by the way.
I fail to understand how anyone could hate The Church so blindly that at the mere mention of religion their first reaction is the lash out like a wounded boar at Catholicism.
Or it won’t. ;>)
Still, Obamas betrayal of Israel was timely enough to make be take pause.
Is it possible that "cause" and "effect" are reversed?
The 1st millenium was very bad and produced huge numbers of writings (along with a few gorgeous illuminated manuscripts) mostly written by hermits or monks in Northern Spain and the marginal areas of Northern Europe.
However, there was never an official Catholic “the End of the World is Tomorrow” campaign. And as I said, while the current crop of flakes comes out of Protestantism, they are independent operators, mostly people from the Protestant Evangelical or Pentecostal streams who have set up their own churches.
Nature of a God that lives outside time, I suppose.
On topic, this “preacher” is a kook and to call him a Protestant is an unfair slur to Protestants.
Like I said, not going to throw stones.
I am sure some anti-Roman Catholic Freeper will dig up some nut Priest or Bishop proclaiming the end is near.
In truth, said nuts are only a reflection on themselves.