Sunday, May 15, 2011

Challenge for Harold Camping followers

On May 22, 2011, we will either see that many Christians have disappeared and we've been left behind, or that the claims of billboards like this are completely false.  If any individual or group of Camping followers have a strong belief that the former is the case, I challenge you to sign an agreement to transfer to me $100,000, effective May 22, 2011, in return for one of two things.  In the case that you have, in fact, been raptured, I promise to use those funds to evangelize in support of your beliefs to try to save as many of those left behind as possible.  In the far more likely case that you remain behind, I promise not to engage in public ridicule and humiliation of your nonsense for a year.  So it's a win-win.  Any takers?

UPDATE (May 20, 2011):  Via Tom McIver:  "Camping has a very idiosyncratic scheme: basically amillennial, and a hybrid of his own Bible numerology and a variant of the World Week (world lasts 6,000 yrs after Creation) framework. Camping puts Creation at 11,013 BC, Flood at 6,000 + 23 yrs later at 4,990 BC, Christ's birth 7 BC, and end of Church Age / beginning of Tribulation 13,000 yrs after Creation. 7,000 yrs after Flood (13,000 + 23 yrs after Creation) is 2011. 1988--13,000 yrs after Creation--was beginning of Tribulation (and also the year Camping left the established church, deciding it was heretical and that all churches had been taken over by Antichrist). 2011 is 23 yrs after 1988 (previously, Camping had predicted a shorter Tribulation ending in 1994). May 21 is Rapture and Judgment Day, world is destroyed Oct 21." And: "Camping also made much of 1948 (founding of Israel), with next Jubilee supposedly 1994. He has much more numerology as well. Interestingly, he doesn't focus on political leaders or natural disasters (although I think the news reports of catastrophes and wars has increased his following)."


Eamon Knight said...

Predictions (which I guarantee you have more chance of coming true than Camping's):

1) No one will take you up on your offer.
2) Come next Sunday, there will be dead silence from the Camping, um, camp. Few or none will say "Oops, we were wrong; sorry" -- same as they did in 1994.

Old Rockin' Dave said...

On May 22, I intend to email the following link to Camping and as many Camping followers as I can find:

Jim Lippard said...

Eamon: I won't bet against those predictions!

pee said...

I thought the rule was that you couldn't be saved _after_ the rapture. Or was it that you could be saved but you have to suffer and hope you don't die before hand.

Really... is there no fscking rulebook for this event?

Gridman said...

Hey, if they can't afford $100,000, I'll offer the same for as little as $5,000.

Although, for anything less than $50,000, I can only hold back the ridicule for 6 months.

Jim Lippard said...

pee: Depends on whose theology you're following, often divided into "pre-trib," "mid-trib," and "post-trib," for those who think the rapture occurs before the 7-year tribulation, in the middle of it, or at the end. There are Christian martyrs during the tribulation, so if the rapture occurs pre-trib, as Camping and his followers suppose, there must be conversions during it. The "Left Behind" series also argues a pre-trib position, which seems to require the absurdity of a massively obvious verification of prediction that for some reason almost nobody is able to recognize.

I highly recommend Slacktivist's hilarious page-by-page commentaries on the Left Behind books, which point out their absurdities as theology and fiction.

vocab malone/jm rieser said...

Jim, I imagine you are aware that many Christians do not believe in a secret rapture of the church at all, as it is not either biblically or historically strong in its foundation.

Also, Camping may have some followers but most folks have recognized Family Radio for what it is - a cult.

Lastly, I am doing a radio show on this non-event event this Sunday night at 9pm on Backpack Radio.

Jim Lippard said...

Vocab: Not sure I've seen the adjective "secret" applied, but I agree. This stuff is associated with dispensational premillenialism, which originated in the 19th century (though premillenialism itself goes back to the 1st century). Catholics don't buy any of this, for example.

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