Apparently, a few people in California have been saying that the world is going to end today. Why this should be a source of endless chatter on Facebook and other social networking sites is beyond me. After all, if I said that the world was going to end next week and produced a bizarre calculation based on various biblical texts to prove it (easy enough to do, believe me), my friends might have their concerns for me and my employers might perform some kind of sanity assessment, but no one else would pay a blind bit of notice. So why all the attention for Harold Camping, a man who has already got the rapture date wrong once (he last predicted it would come in 1994)?
Apparently he runs a radio station, which reaches millions of people. He has also spent more than $100 million on an advertising campaign, warning people that the end is nigh. When you put that much money where your mouth is, I suppose people do take notice, if only to throw stones. Money gets attention.
One item of false information I’d like to correct is that Camping has predicted that Christians will all rise to be with God on this date, about 200 million throughout the world. In fact, Camping has condemned all mainline Christian churches and all who attend them as apostate. He doesn’t accept that the vast majority of Christians are true believers at all and the number of people he expects to rise is very small indeed. He has nothing to do with mainstream Christianity. In fact, he is hostile towards it.
He has achieved massive publicity for his campaign. I wonder what the fall-out will be: those mixed-up people who have fallen under his influence who now find themselves alive and well after his latest staged “rapture”. The reaction of some has been to laugh at them. I'm not laughing...