Skip to comments.The May 21 Fallout...
Posted on 05/21/2011 10:25:44 PM PDT by pastorbillrandles
I believe that May 21, 2011 will prove to have been a watershed day for millions of people, regardless of the fact that Jesus didnt come back to rapture His flock, and commence the judgment of the earth, as predicted by Harold Camping. Evidently the calculations of the self-confessed life long Bible student, and civil engineer didnt quite add up.
I hope you dont think I am being facetious about it, because there is nothing humorous in this at all. In fact, I have no doubt that though things didnt work out as some anticipated, many lives will never be the same again because of the fallout from this spiritual fiasco. The impact for many will stretch into eternity.
Before I discuss that aspect of this situation, consider the fact that Camping did this before, in 1994, predicting that Jesus would return according to His calculations, in October of that year.
Campings 1994 prediction gained some publicity, but nowhere near as much as this one has. The May 21 prediction had adherents all over the world, Billboards and full-page advertisers in major newspapers appeared in major cities around the globe.
Another magnifying factor is the internet, through which news and views both pro and con about Campings prediction have proliferated. Everybody knew about it, I would assume most people laughed it off, but it intrigued and hooked a good share of people, I have no doubt.
The other difference between 1994, when Camping first made this kind of false apocalyptic prediction, and now in 2011 , is that in the post 09/11, 2001 world, apocalyptic predictions resonate. People have lost the former sense of insularity, they now sense that major, unsettling events really are in the works.
This has happened before in history. When a Bible teacher named Miller predicted the return of Christ in October of 1841, he sparked an eschatological fever throughout America and England . Thousands of people were selling farms, leaving families and jobs, and preaching in the streets.
By the predicted date , people were camping on mountain tops dressed in white robes eagerly awaiting the rapture.
The morning after the great disappointment as it came to be called, those same people faced hard decisions as they sheepishly headed back down the mountain tops to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives.
One option would have been the way of humility. The disappointed Millerites could have simply admitted that they were wrong, and gone back to God, bearing the shame and reproach, but going on with God, chastened but forgiven.
Another possible option would be to become offended, cast off the faith that led to such painful embarrassment, and live as either an atheist or a practical atheist, never to allow any religion to so excite their passions again.
A third option would be to devise a religious rational to justify your false belief (that Jesus was going to come back in 1841. or 2011).
By elaborate contortions of scripture, One Millerite stated that Jesus really did return in 1841, but not to the earth, but to cleanse the outer court of the heavenly temple, thus seemingly excusing or ameliorating the shame brought upon those who believed Miller.
This third option would eventually lead directly to the founding or development of no less than five cults which have plagued the church to this day, all because people didnt want to admit that they had been wrong.Seventh Day Adventists and Christadelphians being the chief examples of this fallout.
That is why I am sure that this May 21 will be of consequence, perhaps eternal consequence for many, even including many who never believed Camping.
May 21,2011 will be for many remembered as the day that some people:
* Abandoned any expression of Christianity whatsoever-Because their pride was hurt, and they were made fools of by believing that they were in on a special revelation, the date of Christs return! Now they look stupid, but wont have the humility to admit that it was unscriptural to set a date which Christ himself said that no man could know.
* Unfortunately, others will give up on Eschatology entirely. This too is a tragedy, because Jesus did say that the belief in his return is of great import. But and if that evil servant will say in his heart My Lord delayeth his coming, he will then beat the menservants and the maid servants and eat and drink with the drunken (Matthew 24:48).
A good many christians have already given up on the belief in the immanent return of Jesus as a result of the Y2K folly which they had bought into, filling their basements with supplies of rice, drinking water and shotgun shells. A classic case of the boy who cried wolf!
* Many who do not believe the gospel at all and for whom this episode has been a rich source of comic relief, will want nothing to do now with evangelicals, whom they will lump together and regard as imbeciles.
Their own mocking of the fiasco becomes a sort of heart hardening process, for though they are mocking Campings false prediction, they end up mocking the church , Jesus, the rapture, the Bible and those who believe it, and the very concept of Divine judgment . You can see how Satan is using this to decieve many.
* I have no doubt, that as in 1841, there will be those who contrive elaborate,scriptural excuses, designed to justify the folly they have invested in. Such contortions of truth itself will only lead them further away from biblically orthodox, saving faith in Jesus Christ. One cannot truly twist scripture, they can only twist their heart and conscience.
* God is testing the world as regards to truth -
And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.( 2 Thess 2:10-12)
This whole episode is really about truth. Think about it, Why would anyone who knows the Bible, give the time of day to a preacher claiming to be able to set the date for the Parousia? Can they possibly Love the truth?
Furthermore what is it that people have been laughing and joking about openly, when they lampoon the rapture of the church, the second coming of our Lord and Saviour , the last judgment and the belief in Salvation?
What of those who believe in these things,will they back off of the Truth out of embarrassment? Will we maintain loyalty to truth in the face of ridicule?
The Truth of the gospel stands regardless of Harold Camping. Jesus is coming, there will be a Harpazo of the church,(see I Thess 4:17), the world is truly under a judgment, yet people laugh at Camping as though because he was proven so spectacularly wrong, they dodged the bullet.
My only hope is that in spite of the above, somehow or other, God in mercy can use even this for our good and hs glory. Perhaps the Spirit can use these events to convict some of these realities and bring them to saving faith.Remember, that God is not willing that any perish, but that all come to repentance.
Still eating spam from Y2K. What fallout?
People like Camping (and a good number of phony-baloney televangelists to boot) do far more harm to Christianity than the world’s athiests could ever hope to do.
There are people out there right now, searching for spiritual meaning in their lives, who will be turned off by silly shenanigans like this.
Camping & Co. ought to be deeply ashamed of themselves.
Amen! Thats what I am trying to say also.How pathetic!
I know what you are saying, Camping was absurd and it is hard to fathom anyone being so simple as to follow him, but believe it or not there are many thousands in the Phillipines, Thailand and through out the third world who were sucked in by him, not to mention the thousands in the USA who support his Family Radio .
I am not saying true faith will be destroyed,I am saying that false faith, weak and wavering and uneducated faith, as well as the testimony of Christ has been assaulted by this.Thanks for the comments.
This bastard needs to pay....
Good points in your article and I appreciate the tone as well - it is a sad day for Christians - not because the rapture didn’t happen but because this man’s false claims reflect on us all.
I PRAISE GOD THAT IT CHASED MANY TO THEIR BIBLES AND THEIR KNEES.
I sent a Blondie CD to Harold Camping just to mess with his mind. (”Hey, check it out; it DID arrive!”)
What will you think/do when there isn’t a pre-trib rapture?
Who said there had to be a “Pre trib” rapture?
That’s all I needed to know. Thanks
The damage this Nut does to the message Christians are trying to get out to the unsaved is unmanageable. Using phrases like The Bible Guarantees It, only makes it harder for our missionaries and evangelist to discuss the Gospel with those who dont know the Bible, particularly in foreign lands where much of his advertising was done.
And when discussing prophecy and end-time events with others we will be forever doing damage control, when they come back with wasnt that supposed to happen back in May of 2011?.
This is why Jesus gave a special warning in Mathew 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
This personal interpretation end times left behind nonsense only feeds the liberal stereotype that Christians are simpletons, buffoons, and morons.
What makes it difficult for the rest of Christianity is the fact that those who subscribe to personal interpretation end times left behind nonsense are.
I am personally not too happy about this. There are 3 categories of people in regards to this.
1) Those that are already in a personal relationship with the Lord, to whom the day meant nothing (because whether it was today, yesterday or tomorrow they were ready).
2) The second group is those who got 'chased back' to their Bibles and knees. Yes, this group was probably praying fervently, but I fear that their fervor was analogous to that of the parable of the seeds that fell on shallow soil. Sure, they sprouted quickly and their growth was frenetic, but the parable states that the plants soon withered and died because the soil was not deep enough. Anyone who ran to their knees because they thought the end of the world was yesterday is probably not on their knees today. Their faith was based on apprehension and trepidation, not from sincerely seeking out the Lord.
3) Then there is the third group, which is the one that worries me. Camping spent a lot of money in nations all over the globe. I know there were adverts in Nigeria, and in Kenya all sorts of people have been discussing about it (most of the Christians know that no man knows fortunately). In Latin America, Asia, other parts of Africa - the banners and ads were all over. However, there are many who are seeking Christ, or who do not know him that well yet, who were swayed by the message. From people in the US who sold off everything, some even putting their pets to sleep, to people in other nations who were told this is irrefutable Biblical evidence. Their faith just got hit. It got hit hard. Sure, men and women of God who are strong in the Word are not going to be affected. I know it will not affect you, or many others on FR. We all had a laugh about it even most probably. But there are new Christians, and people who would want to become Christians, from the US, the UK, Israel, Nigeria, Kenya, Vietnam, Argentina, etc who just received a major body blow because of this man. Sure, some will recover, but there is a big chance that a good number of people will not take the path to salvation because of him. Also, there are probably some people who will kill themselves ...someone doesn't sell all his property, liquidating all accounts including the education accounts for his kids, and then proceeds to put his dogs and cats to sleep, only to wake up on the 22nd and everything is 'ok.' Things are hard enough as it is for many people, and the financial hit for some is huge. Add in the ridicule and shame and I would not be surprised if some people arranged their own 'exit tickets.'
This is why I am not happy about Camping's 'work.' He is a false prophet, and people should pray for God to reach out to those who would otherwise be significantly impacted by this. Right now there are a lot of people who are looking at significant financial hardship and globs of shame, as well as others who were kneeling yesterday but are hitting the bottle today. As for Camping, wherever he is he is probably laughing (if he was cognizant of his hoax), coming up with an excuse (if he is an unabated charlatan and wants to continue milking this), or in a deep dark dank depressions (if he is crazy and actually believed his tripe). Either way he doesn't care much ...he has been wrong before, and he has read his Bible and knows no man can tell. He does not care, and I will not be surprised ...if the man has not killed himself ...that he will come up with some other interesting calculation that is absolutely ridiculous. However, real people have been hit by his 'prophecy.' Hit hard.
Jesus didn’t come. I can still listen to caramelldansen!
Humans have a natural desire to predict the future. It is built into our genes. Because of that, there have always been the fortune tellers, the prophets, the wizard and the tribal witch doctor. Give me a predictor of the future, and I will be at that horse race or crap table with a pile of money. We have had scriptures about them and we have had movies about them. We have had Nostradamus and we have had David Koresh. Then, we have had tons of gullible people willing to give up all their worldly possessions to follow history’s snake oil salesmen of the future.
This latest apocalyptic episode was a calculated effort to dupe more people and gain new membership.
Yes. And one of these predictions will seem to come true because an event will occur and the media will cover it exclusively. Too many will forget that the Bible tells us that every eye will see His return. That means, if you first see it on TV or in a paper, it didn't happen and the Evil One is gearing up for his final defeat...but will attempt to take as many souls with him as he can.
However, there are over 30,000 plus of these cults and the spiritual damage done is diffuse. Just read some of the loonies on this forum and see the anti catholic toxins they vomit and the preposterous ideas they propose. Perhaps they don the "White Sheet holding and burning cross" when they post
Thee Left Behind series of religious zanery spawned a fervor for Camping’s prophecy. None of this has anything to do with Christ.
The Bible is clear that no one knows the day or the hour of His return. Folderol like Campings is demonic. It leads followers down a jaded path to destruction. the man could not even prophesy his own death. That, at least, would have gained him some credibility.
As things stand he is an old fart with worthless spiritual awareness. Nuf said.
As I’ve said, I tried to talk some sense into him 40 years ago.
I’d certainly rather he’d been AT LEAST Biblical . . . or silent.
You made many good points, imho.
I don't think any reasonable person will associate Camping with mainstream Christianity any more than people associated the Branch Davidians or Westboro Baptist with mainstream Christianity.
I'm an atheist, and I certainly don't. That being said, I don't think he's quite as out of the mainstream as Westboro or the Davidians. Those were cases of just a few hundred people at most, and there are certainly many more people who fervently believe in (and wish for) the rapture, to the point that it impacts their life on a regular basis.
I used to have a co-worker that would would almost always try to tie any news event mentioned in conversation to the coming Biblical apocalypse. My guess (and that's all it is) is that there are tens if not hundreds of thousands of people out there like him.
There hasn’t been a pre-trib rapture every day of my conscious life, and for centuries past. This is nothing new to me.
Therefore, my answer to TwoSword’s question is found in a favorite hymn of mine.
I know not when my Lord may come,
By night or noonday fair,
Or if I’ll walk the vale  with Him
Or meet Him in the air .
But “I know Whom I have believed
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed unto Him*
Against that day .”
 Psalm 23:4
 I Thessalonians 4:17
 II Timothy 1:12
*The meter of the hymn puts a break between “committed” and “unto”, which I have removed to bring back the meaning of the verse.
It doesn’t take a full on belief in everything to lump us all together - jokes about “end of the world” tend to taint the entire group of believers
We are never to abrogate one's responsibility to understand and ponder scripture through study, prayer and enlightenment with help of the holy spirit to another human. That my friend is un-biblical. The mutterings of man should NEVER supersede scripture. You kinda made a point contrary to what you intended here. Camping is what you are advocating here, not interpreting scripture yourself through careful study but through someone else interpreting for you. Your KKK reference is hateful and unnecessary. No one was attacking the Catholic Church here but you flame baited anyway.