Most of us have been laughing at Harold Camping and his prediction that the world was to end in 1994. Oops, miscalculation it’s really going to be May 21, 2011. Once that deadline came and went, we quickly skipped the date ahead to Oct 21. The reactions to these events by believers have become very predicable. I’m pretty well willing to bet that there won’t be a significant depopulation of the Earth occurring next October either.
However, what differentiates Camping, and many end-times prophets from others is the specificity of the date .
Here’s a graphic lifted from PZ Myers
From the comments at PZ’s blog, I have tentatively identified most of the men on the right.
- Charles Stanley There will be no death for those who are raptured. They will be taken—caught up—in the air to be with Jesus! Paul believed that Jesus’ return was imminent, and that brought great comfort to him in his daily struggles.
- Billy Graham Christ will ultimately return bodily, visibly, and gloriously to reign and rule with His resurrected and transformed saints forever and ever. The details of this great event will be made known in God’s own time.
- C.S. Lewis The Return is wholly unpredictable. There will be wars and rumors of wars and all kinds of catastrophes, as there always are. Things will be, in that sense, normal, the hour before the heavens roll up like a scroll. You cannot guess it. If you could, one chief purpose for which it was foretold would be frustrated.
- Pope (speaking for RCs) With respect to the rapture, Catholics certainly believe that the event of our gathering together to be with Christ will take place, though they do not generally use the word “rapture” to refer to this event. [Until recently, the Jews were collectively held responsible for Jesus’ crucifixion, and ineligible for saving.]
- Jerry Falwell I believe in the premillennial, pre-tribulational coming of Christ for all of his church
- John Piper ( Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota) Then when the day of the Lord comes and all the nations are gathered for judgment in verdict valley, the Lord will be our refuge
- John MacArthur (Grace Community Church) you’re going to have a literal return, and a literal tribulation, and then a literal rapture, that’s all
- Albert Mohler (Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) Jesus clearly taught that the Father has not revealed such dates and timing, but has reserved that knowledge for himself.
- Martin Luther Luther thought he was living in the end times. And that belief, that conviction, was central to almost all that he did.
I may be wrong with the names, as I am depending upon other for identification, but I changing the ID, won’t change the message. Many of us see Camping as being a nut for forecasting the end of the world. Millions of others just think he picked the wrong day.