This week’s soulful Sunday post has been moved to Saturday. Why? Because Sunday is Mother’s Day. Anyway, I now return you to your regularly scheduled post. Sorta.
Does the billboard on the right look familiar? They’ve been popping up between New Jersey (where I live) and California and everywhere in between. As you may have already guessed, the billboard is to raise awareness about Judgement Day.
The billboards are from Family Radio, an independent, non-profit Christian broadcasting station. The group, headed by Harold Camping, claim that May 21st 2011 marks the beginning of Judgement Day and the world will be destroyed by October 21st, 2011. Camping and his group are spreading the word through radio, the internet, billboards and colorful vans.
Camping calculated the date of Judgement Day by interpreting The Bible. According to Camping, the Bible acts as calendar by which you can calculate the date of the prophecies. Camping has once calculated the date of Judgement Day before. He predicted it was going to be on September 6, 1994. He admitted that his calculations could be wrong and proclaimed that if it didn’t happen in 94 it would definitely happen in 2011.
To counter these billboards and ads proclaiming the end is near, a group called American Atheists are posting billboards of their own. The group posted a billboard in Oakland, California where Family Radio is based. Their billboards proclaim “The Rapture: You KNOW it’s Nonsense. 2000 Years of ‘Any Day Now'”. In addition to these billboards, the group is holding rapture parties on May 21st and 22nd in Oakland, California, Houston, Texas and Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
In a surprising twist, many Christians are shunning Family Radio and its founder. Many are proclaiming Camping a false prophet because his ideals are contradictory to what The Bible says. For example, the bible discourages date setting. Acts 1:7 states that He (Jesus) said to them “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.” Mark 13:32 also states that “no one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the son, but only the Father.” In addition to date setting, Camping has also urged Christians to leave their churches because they are now all apostate and rely on Family Radio to tend to their spiritual needs. This type of teaching contradicts Matthew 16:18 (“And I tell you that you are my Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it). Finally, many Christians feel that Camping has distorted the words of Christ by claiming that his date of the rapture is part of the Bible’s message. Because of this, he is doomed to suffer the fate described in Galatians 1:9 (“As we have said before, so I now say again, if anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you have received, let him be accursed.”)
Do you think the world is going to end on May 21st? How about 2012? Feel free to voice your opinions in a comment or vote in the poll. Thanks for reading!