The Rapture: Waiting... Waiting on the World to Change

Harold Camping: Giving Religion a Bad Name

May 21, 2011 is less than a half year away.

Maybe you don't see any great significance in that fact but Harold Camping does.

Camping is chief guru at Family Radio, a world-wide religious conglomerate not to be confused with a church.

On his five-nights-a-week radio program, Camping eschews churches as the domains of Satan and preaches that your only chance for salvation is to heed his dire warning.


Because Camping believes he's discovered what no one else in the 13,000 year history of the universe (yeah, 13,000 years) has ever found until now.

Camping claims to have cracked the ultimate Da Vinci Code. He believes that he has broken the final seal of the Bible's Book of Daniel that reveals the mystic secret of the End of Days.

According to Camping, May 21, 2011 will be the day that all the fans of Tim LaHaye's Left Behind series dream about.

On that day, True Believers will be caught up in the divine rapture, while those who are not so true will be cast screaming and wailing into the Lake of Fire.

And don't think that being dead already will save you from the agony of it all.

On that dark day in May, if you've already bought the farm but are not among the lucky Saved, whatever's left of your rotting carcass will be ripped from your grave and strewn across the ground like "stinking manure" (Camping's words).

That's a bad day.

But then things take a real turn for the worst.

Five months later, on October 21, 2011, the entire universe will be obliterated in a flash of divine providence.

All that has ever been will be no more. Forever gone. For all time forgotten.

Perhaps what's surprising about all this is that Camping claims that his source for this timeline to destruction is the Holy Bible itself.

Yeah, that's right. It's apparently all there for those who are open to the truth of God's word.

At least it's there for all those who see the messianic math when they, like he and his followers, read between the lines of scripture.

Like a Thief in the Night.

And don't try to throw Thessalonians at Camping. He's heard that old saw that at the time of the Second Coming, Jesus will arrive, unexpectedly and unannounced, like a thief in the night.

According to Camping though, only those who refuse to heed his time-specific warning will be caught napping when everything goes down in flames this coming May.

The Numeric Proof: Show Your Math

And what is the miraculous math that Camping has uncovered? What is the statistical basis for the Bible's greatest secret?

Okay, here goes...

Camping says Jesus was crucified on April 1, 33 A.D. He doesn't really explain how he came up with the specific date but there you go.

Anyway, because in Camping's head certain numbers in the Bible convey spiritual truth, this is where things get seriously wacko.

Harold says the number 5 means atonement, the number 10 means completeness and the number 17 means heaven.

So multiplying these three numbers times each other twice (to show just how serious God is) gives you:

(5 x 10 x 17) x (5 x 10 x 17) = 722,500.

Now adding 722,500 days to April 1, 33 A.D. brings you to:

May 21, 2011

Did you get that? Simple, right?

If Camping is correct about all this, there's not much more to say about it.

But if he's wrong (and we're betting that he is wrong if you haven't guessed) come May 22, 2011, Harold will have a lot of explaining to do.

And by the way, when he predicted a similar end of days back in 1994 he covered his tracks on that one claiming that he hadn't truly perfected his mathematical model yet.

But the May 21, 2011 date, according to Camping, is locked in.

Not the day before, not the day after. And none of that Mayan 2012 crap either.

May 21, 2011 or Bust

Indeed, as Camping would suggest, the full faith and credit of God Himself is riding on absolutely, positively delivering the Rapture on this date.

By Camping's own argument, a non-event on that particular day will undermine and deconstruct the basis for the very existence and divine authority of the Living God and Heaven.

Harold Camping has really doubled down on this one. Big time.

There will always be doomsayers like Camping in the world but the real tragedy here are the possibly hundreds of thousands of people across the globe who, because of his rantings, are at this very moment deciding not to go to college, get married, have children, start a business, travel, seek help for physical or emotional problems, etc.

Those people are right now too busy preparing for the end because they've bought into the message that this perhaps good-intentioned but hopelessly misguided person is spewing.

So we're running a pool to see which excuse Harold will trot out if the sun rises on May 22 without any sign of the horrific shock and awe of the beginning of the end.

Here's our best guesses at this point.

1. Oops, My bad.

2. Did I say 2011?! I meant 3011.

3. Math never was my best subject, you know.

4. Just because you and I didn't get raptured doesn't mean that somebody didn't.

5, Hey, who would have thought that heaven looks so much like Jersey?