April showers bring May…apocolyptic earthquakes?
By now you’ve probably heard of Nostradamus and even the Mayan calendar which have contradicting predictions on the end of the world. Forget about the world ending on December 21, 2011. There is a group of people who are foreseeing an apocalypse sooner, much sooner in fact. Led by theologist (aka loony tune) 89-year-old Harold Camping, this group of Christian followers know as The Family Radio Group are waiting for what they call ‘Judgement Day’, putting up billboards and traveling across the country to warn people about the coming end, which according to them, will take place on Saturday, May 21. Yep, that’s right my friends. The world as we know it is shutting its curtains and turning out the lights this weekend. And I was supposed to go to the Brewers game on Sunday! Aww man! Well, what can I say Earth…you had a mighty good run.
But wait just a minute-rice… what makes Camping, along with these so-called ‘Doomsday Ambassadors’ so convinced that the end-all be-all will occur this Saturday. I mean, I don’t know even know what I am going to have for dinner tonight, let alone know when the world is going to come to an end. What proof, if any exists? And how reliable are his predictions?
According to Camping, his over 70-year study of the Bible leads him to believe that God will destroy the Earth with a massive earthquake, starting this very weekend. There is ‘proof’ which ties into his prediction of the impending doomsday, and it involves an intense and brain-wracking amount of math, so put your thinking caps on and try to stay with me. You all have probably heard the story of Noah and the Great flood, which if you are unfamiliar, can be found in the book of Genesis in the Bible. According to Camping and his followers, the Great Flood occurred in 4990 B.C., exactly 7000 years ago. Camping states that God told Noah at that time that he had 7 days until the flood would begin, thus leading him to build his arc and gather his family and two of every animal, species and plant in order to make it through the devastating rains. 7 days! I can’t even begin to fathom what must have been going through Noah’s mind at the time. “Okay family. Pack your bags. We are going cruising on my massive wooden boat that I built because God told me there was going to be a world-ending flood. We’ve only got 7 days to pack, and since we will be sharing our floating boat with every form of life that there is, I would try to pack light…there’s not going to be a lot of room. That means it’s probably best you leave your sandal collection behind, honey.” Crazy, right?! But that is what is so awesome about this story. Ever since I was a little girl, I was fascinated by Noah’s Ark. I thought the whole idea of building a giant boat, watching animals walk into said boat two by two, putting total and complete faith and trust in the Lord like Noah had done…it was truly amazing.
But I digress…back to the theory at hand.
Camping goes on…taking a passage from 2 Peter 3:8, it is said a day for God is like a thousand human years. Because of this translation of text, the church, as well as Camping and The Family Radio Group reasoned that seven ‘days’ equals 7000 human years from the time of the flood…which, you got it…makes 2011 the year of the apocalypse.
Because of their steadfast and adamant beliefs that this is the real-deal, The Family Radio Group, members of whom have quit their jobs and given up their families and possessions all to join this final mission, are hitting the streets with t-shirts and banners and billboards, setting out across the country in a convoy of caravans to bring the ‘awesome’ message of impending doom to as many people as possible’. This traveling caravan of ‘doomsday ambassadors’ has visited states across the country, mostly focusing on the south-east and western parts of the US. I recently spoke to my mom who lives in Georgia and she said that she has seen the influx of this group already; billboards have popped up along busy streets and there have been a couple of public demonstrations. And for anyone harbouring doubts over the accuracy of their prediction, the group has a cast iron answer – ‘the Bible guarantees it’.
To every heads, there is a tales. For every yin, there is a yang. The same theory applies to this argument. There are many people who think that this prediction is a bunch of, pardon my french, bologna. Biblical scholars believe that, best intentions aside, Camping’s prediction is flawed. For one, there is no exact recorded date of the flood; this remains a topic of discussion in colleges and universities everywhere. Secondly, the passage that Camping refers to in 2 Peter was taken out of context. It was meant to remind Christians that God does not work on a human timetable; it was a figure of speech more or less and is not supposed to be taken literally. Thirdly, this is not the first time that Camping has made such a prediction. He previously had stated that the end of the world would take place on March 21, 1981. The last time I checked, the Earth was still spinning and Lady GaGa was still wearing meat and traveling in eggs. Speaking of which, I was thinking…how awesome would it be to have a dress made out of Kit Kats or Skittles? Forget the smelly, nasty meat. Give me a pair of pants made out of Twizzlers any day!
Now, I am not placing any judgement on these aforementioned beliefs that the world is coming to an end this Saturday, nor am I placing judgement on people such as Harold Camping and The Family Radio Group who are holding them to be true. I am not saying that they are wrong or crazy (okay, maybe a little crazy). All I am saying is that I, personally, don’t believe such a prediction, nor do I want to really believe in it. My faith has been such an important part of my life, ever since I was a little girl. I know that God has a plan for each and every one of us, that he is there watching over us, protecting us, guiding us along this amazing and beautiful and sometimes crazy and hectic life. And yes, one day, hopefully a long, long, long time from now, I will no longer be here. But you know what, there is only one person, one, who knows how my future, how everyone’s future, is going to pan out and I am perfectly happy with leaving that up to him. Not knowing how much time you have left in this world gives you a great sense of appreciation and gratitude for your life, what you have, what you want to accomplish and see and do and feel. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to give that up for anything.
Come Saturday, I plan on going on with my life as usual. Maybe go for a run, bake some cookies (and then proceed to eat as many as I can because if it is the end of the world, why not go out with a full and very happy stomach?), talk to my parents and take in an epic Seinfeld marathon. You’ve only got one life…so live it to the fullest, come earthquake or high flood water.
So…does this make me go ‘hmm’? It is definitely something to talk about around the water cooler at work.
Have a great Thursday guys!
Question of the day? Are you buying into the hype of the world ending on Saturday or do you think it’s a bunch of hocus-pocus?