May 21st the end of the world? Or just another Saturday?
Wed, 18 May 2011 18:10:27 GMT —
UPDATED: May 24 at 6:31 a.m.
Click here for the newest update on the doomsday prophet, Harold Camping.
UPDATED: May 21 at 10:58 p.m.(CBS News) In the waning hours of May 21st, there was no sign yet that a much-ballyhooed end-times prophecy is coming true.
CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy, on the doomsday watch, reports that there have been, and probably always will be, many predictions about when the world will end.
Hollywood has been obsessed with the end of days for decades. Mankind has struggled with the implications for centuries. Some claim to have seen the signs. Others worry they don't even have the time to think about it.
You may have seen one of the 1,200 billboards that are the work of one man: 89-year-old Christian preacher Harold Camping, owner of the Family Radio Network.How Harold Camping marketed the Rapture So how much would Doomsday cost? The End of the World, as seen on Twitter
"You and I are living at the time of the end of the world," Camping said recently.
His followers have spread the word of the world's end all across the globe, using donations to pay for it.
"There's going to be a big earthquake that will make the one in Japan seem like a Sunday school picnic," Camping said.
He says it will first strike Fiji and New Zealand, then work its way around the world. But it appears to be late. By Camping's own estimates, it should have hit there already, and it certainly has not.
Camping arrived at Saturday's date using a complicated mathematical formula based on biblical numbers, but he still has gathered a host of doubters.
"It doesn't say anything about the Bible. It says a lot about their imagination," said Rev. Michael Seiler with St. Matthew's Episcopal Church. "I just think it's a bunch of - baloney."
The Mayan calendar famously calls for the end next year. The Bible itself is pretty clear on this: Matthew 24:36 says, "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."
As for Harold Camping, he previously said the world would end in 1994. It appears he is now 0 for 2.
UPDATED: May 21 at 4:45 p.m.
It's 4:45 p.m. and most of the world has passed the discussed time that was 'supposed' to mark the end of the world. No massive flood has begun ... as long as you don't count the rising Mississippi and it's tributaries.
As you've probably seen on our Facebook page, we've started to follow a Huffington Post blog called, "Rapture 2011: Apocalypse Now... No, Now! (LIVE BLOG)."
They seem to be sitting around Brooklyn noting mentionable events pre and post-rapture time. The most recent post ... at 4:43 p.m. their time ... "Housefly sighting in Brooklyn. EARLY SIGN OF THE PLAGUE???"
In otherwords, the internet buzz seems to have turned a bit sarcastic.
What do you think?
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We asked on Facebook, "If you knew this was your last day on earth, what would you do?"
The response is overwhelming ... we've gotten comments from viewers like Kelly Begley-Belak, who said, "Pray!" to comments like the one from Bernie Trueper who says, "Party like it's 1999."
Becky Purdom-Kindle made a very valid point when she said, "Seriously! Are we really giving this guy the attention he is begging for! When it happens, we are not going to be able to predict it! Does the media not realize that everyone is giving this so much attention (we are hearing it everywhere) and in the process of doing so, the word also gets out to our children, you people talk about how to help your kids deal with natural disasters and such because it is so disturbing to them especially at young ages, so why cover such a crazy story and put fear in their minds. I want my kids to know the love of god, not fear the day of his return! Am I the only one that feels this way?"
What do you think? Like us on Facebook and join the conversation here.
You've probably heard of Nostradamus and even the Mayan calendar which have contradicting predictions on the end of the world.Forget about those predicting the world ending on December 21, 2012. There's a group foreseeing an apocalypse sooner ... much sooner actually.
Family Radio Group is waiting for what they call Judgment Day and putting up billboards to warn people about the coming end.
Camping said, "You and I are living at the time of the end of the world."
The 89 year-old theologist says his 70 year study of the Bible leads him to believe God will destroy the Earth, starting this weekend.
Camping said, "There's going to be a big earthquake that will make the one in Japan seem like a Sunday School picnic."
That's sort of reminescent of the Hollywood movie 2012 that portrayed the end of the world according to the Mayan calendar.Related Stories... Apocalypse Soon: Christian Movement Says 5/21/11 (CBS News) Craigslist Opportunist Sees the Positive of the World Ending on May 21 (TIME) By the Numbers: How May 21, 2011 Was Calculated to be Judgment Day (TIME)
Camping said, "This day, May 21, 2011, it will also be the first day of judgement, a time of horrible death and destruction, for all those left behind."
Camping says he gets prediction by counting seven thousand years from Noah's Great Flood you can find here in Genesis in the Bible.
He says it starts out with some simple arithmetic: 4990 plus 2011 minus one equals 7000. That's how the group's leader, Harold Camping, is predicting the demise of the world.
The group believes Noah built his ark in the year 4990 BC when they say God told Noah he had seven days to escape worldwide destruction. Family Radio interprets one day as 1000 years making seven days equal 7000 years and since there was no year zero (hence, the minus one), we arrive at 4990 + 2011 - 1 = 7000 a.k.a. this year.
But Bible Scholars like Jeremy Schopper, Minister at the Church of Christ in Quincy says the best intentions aside, this prediction is flawed. First, he says the mathematical formula is based on assumptions about the dates of the flood.
Schopper said, "No one knows when the flood actually happened. That's a fact still discussed in academia."
Second, he says the Bible verse the group uses in 2nd Peter 3:8 is taken out of context.
Here's the verse: 2nd Peter 3:8 "But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. "
Schopper says the verse that verse was written to Christians who were anxiously awaiting Christ's second coming. it was written to remind Christians that God doesn't work on a human timetable. It was more of a figure of speech, not to be interpreted literally.
Schopper says you have to be ready all the time...because the end of the world will happen...some day.
Schopper said, "Jesus said this in Matthew 24:36 36 But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,[f] but only the Father. '" Jesus didn't even know when he was coming back. Why would we know? It just doesn't make any sense."
As for Saturday...we asked people what they thought.
Chris Gump said, "I'm going to do whatever I normally do and whatever happens happens."
Donna Mutchler said, "It's going to come to that day and nothing's going to happen and they're going to be disappointed."
Carlos Parker said, "I just don't believe it."
Kayla Brooke said, "I think it's a bunch of rumors. People think that because of everything that has happened."
Don Mayes said, "It's a man who's saying all that. How does he know it's the end of the world. There's nobody in the world that is going to know when he comes back."
Back in May 21, 1994 Camping warned of a similar apocalypse, but attributed the world's survival to a miscalculation. So instead of May 21, 1994, we got May 21, 2011.
Family Radio says about three percent of the population or 200 million people will be raptured and taken to heaven this Saturday while the rest are left behind.
Do you believe the world is coming to an end on May 21, 2011? Vote in our poll below and leave a comment here or on our Facebook page to let us know what you think.