Well, here we go again! Amongst all the hype around the world ending on 21 December 2012 a confident Mr Harold Camping predicts the rapture will happen on 21 May 2011.
For those not familiar with Harold Egbert Camping, he is a Christian radio broadcaster and president of Family Stations, Inc., a California-based religious broadcasting network, including more than 150 outlets in the United States as well as a Web site. Camping, 89, has scrutinized the Bible for almost 70 years and says he has developed a mathematical system to interpret prophecies hidden within the Good Book. One night a few years ago, Camping, a civil engineer by trade, crunched the numbers and was stunned at what he’d found: The world will end May 21, 2011.
However, this is not the first time that Harold has made predictions about Judgment Day. On Sept. 6, 1994, dozens of Camping’s believers gathered inside Alameda’s Veterans Memorial Building to await the return of Christ, an event Camping had promised for two years. His followers dressed children in their Sunday best and held Bibles open-faced toward the heavens.
But, as we now bear testimony, the world did not end. Camping responded that he might have made a mathematical error. He spent the next decade running new calculations, as well as overseeing a media company that has grown significantly in size and reach. His Family Radio Station extends from the United States to China and is growing. And it seems that South Africa is not immune to Camping’s prophecies and doctrines. Camping has raked up a considerable listenership and following here in South Africa.
In Camping’s latest publications, We are Almost There!, To God be the Glory, "No Man Knows The Day or The Hour?" and "Another Infallible Proof That God Gives That Assures The Rapture Will Occur May 21, 2011," he states that a number of Biblical passages point unquestionably to May 21, 2011 as "the first day of the Day of Judgment", and October 21, 2011 for the end of the world. Some people point to Camping as a "date-setter" following his own method of Biblical interpretation. Camping maintains that he follows the Bible’s method of Biblical interpretation.
Furthermore, Camping is not the only man to see truths in the Bible hidden in the numbers. In the late 1990s, a code-breaking phenomenon took off, led by "The Bible Code," written by former Washington Post journalist Michael Drosnin.
Drosnin developed a technique that revealed prophecies within the Bible’s text. A handful of biblical scholars have supported Drosnin’s theory, lending it an air of legitimacy. But just as many scholars have decried it as farce.
One of Drosnin’s more well-known findings is that a meteor will strike Earth in 2012, the same year some people believe the Mayan calendar marks the end of times, and the same year the "2012" action movie surmised the Earth’s crust will destabilize and kill most humans.
So as the sands of time run out in Mr Camping’s hourglass I can’t help but wonder if he will be available to take my call on 22nd May 2011.