The Apocalypse is in Fashion
Harold Camping (1921 – ), an evangelist preacher from Family Radio station, became famous (or maybe infamous) worldwide during the last month of May 2011. Having arrived at the happy age of 90 in sound mental condition, Mr. Camping has a lifelong background in studying numerological aspects of the Bible and their prophetic interpretation. His research made him conclude that the end of the world was going to be orchestrated by the Creator on May the 21st, 2011.
The good gentleman, who had already prophesied another unfulfilled apocalypse for 1994, is by no means the first, nor will he surely be the last to develop prophecies based on biblical texts. He is simply the next in a long line of clairvoyance tradition that, sometimes honestly and sometimes manipulatively, has believed to see the divine sign of Doomsday coded in Scripture.
Mistaken Prophesy and Collateral Damage
This time the whole world has heard about Mr. Camping’s mistaken prophesy thanks to the internet and thanks to a large advertising campaign on radio spots, billboards, vehicles, posters and brochures handed out in many cities around the USA. And basically these issues would have no more interest than the pure dialectical entertainment, or dinner talk, if they didn’t usually bring about unfortunate consequences as collateral damage, usually suffered by the most gullible. In this case we have been reported that a citizen of New York has contributed to this campaign with the savings of a lifetime.
Thank God Doomsday didn’t come on May the 21st 2011, since here we are playing tongue and cheek while we discuss about it. But far from admitting the error, Family Radio has reinterpreted the facts (or rather the absence of facts) and states now that God did not start the destruction of the world, but the previous phase, in which He reviews the heavenly archives of all people who have ever been, in order to pick out those with better CVs and promote them to Saints, to be saved directly without trial. According to the Book of Revelation, this opening act will last for five months and come to an end on October 21st, 2011 when the Creator will really destroy the world and the party of Doomsday will finally be thrown.
There is nothing new in this amendment. It’s but the usual next step of that endearing (leave out the previously mentioned collateral damage) prophetic tradition when things don’t turn up as prophesized (fortunately for us all). It seems to be the natural reaction of the stubborn when, facing the evidence, they still refuse to acknowledge the error, as if following that absurd piece of advice Count Lozano gives to El Cid’s brother in “Las Mocedades del Cid” (El Cid’s youth) by the Spaniard Guillén de Castro (1569-1631):
Always try to be right
Men of honor and might;
But in case you are wrong
On your error, you stand strong.
Lack of Basis
The full understanding of this prophecy interpretation tradition will take us to a journey that starts with the first Christians and ends up joining Mr. Camping in our days. On the way, we’ll find some of the most brilliant minds mankind has given. This virtual tour will help us better understand the behavior of Camping and give us information to perhaps (I hope) convince us of the lack of basis for this belief.
- Video presentation for the series “The End of Times”.
- This article is also available in Spanish “El fin del mundo del 21 de mayo de 2011 (1 de 8)”
References:http://www.familyradio.com http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/blogpost/post/may-21-and-other-judgment-days-that-have-come-and-gone/2011/05/12/AFHjwnyG_blog.html http://www.familyradio.com/graphical/literature/study/study_01.html#ch1_10 http://newsfeed.time.com/2011/05/16/by-the-numbers-how-may-21-2011-was-calculated-to-be-judgment-day/ http://worldwide.familyradio.org/es/what_happened.html