The end of the world? What nonsense! lay locals
SAN FRANCISCO — The U.S. evangelical broadcaster who predicted that Judgment Day would come today was planning to stay close to a TV or radio to monitor the unfolding apocalypse.
Harold Camping (89) previously made a failed prediction that Jesus Christ would return to Earth in 1994.
But the head of the Christian radio network Family Stations Inc said this week he was sure an earthquake would shake the Earth on May 21, sweeping true believers to heaven and leaving others behind to be engulfed in the world’s destruction over a few months.
“We know without any shadow of a doubt it is going to happen,” said Camping, whose Family Radio broadcasts in more than 30 languag- es and on U.S. and international stations.
His supporters have posted about 2 200 billboards around the United States about the coming apocalypse, and followers were driving across the country to spread the news.
Volunteers also handed out pamphlets warning about May 21 as far away as the Philippines, telling people God had left clear signs the world was coming to an end.
Camping, a civil engineer who ran his own construction business before turning to evangelism, told Reuters he planned to spend May 21 with his wife and watch the doomsday unfold.
“I’ll probably try to be very near a TV or a radio or something,” he said.
Like his last prediction, Camping’s doomsday date is based on his reading of the Bible and a timeline dating back to ancient events including the Biblical flood survived by Noah.
Camping’s pronouncement of a specific date for the apocalypse puts him outside the Christian mainstream.
But his contention that the souls of believers will leave their bodies and enter heaven in a rapture is a central tenet within many Christian churches.
Stephen O’Leary, an expert in religious communication at the University of Southern California, said the idea of rapture first appeared in Christian teaching in the 19th century.
“It is very appealing to people,” ETIENNE STEYN FROM PINETOWN: GUGU KHUMALO FROM WESTVILLE: MARY REED FROM RICHMOND: ASHLEY RAMDHANY FROM NORTHDALE:
ROZANNA PONNEN FROM NORTHDALE: said Barbara Rossing, professor of the New Testament at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, who describes “an enormous end-times prophecy industry” including video games, board games, books and more.
Tom Evans, a spokesperson for Camping, said at least several tens of thousands of people listen to Family Radio’s message.
One of those is Allison Warden (29) of Raleigh, North Carolina, who most recently worked as a payroll clerk for an Ohio company and now runs the end-times website Wecanknow.com.
“My boss does not agree with this … He thinks next week I’ll be back to work like normal,” she said.
— Reuters. NKOSINGI PHILE MAHLOBO FROM IMBALI UNIT 13:
Thousands of billboards worldwide predicted today as the beginning of the end of the world.
‘I must say that I’m one of the sceptics. There’s been too many failed predictions and I don’t think it will hold true this time either. The way I see it is, they must wait until the Sharks win first. But it will be business as usual for me.’
‘I am not at all concerned because it is not true. I’m a born again child of God and the Bible says even Jesus doesn’t know the time or hour. Only God knows. If Jesus doesn’t know, who are they to know? It’s total nonsense.’ ‘The Jehovah’s Witnesses have been saying that for a long time and unfortunately people sell their homes and leave their jobs and nothing happens. If it is going to happen, I believe it is going to happen naturally much like what happened in Japan.’
‘I don’t believe it is for us to know. As human beings we don’t have a right to predict. Many have predicted before and it has never come true.’
‘I think it’s all about fame and money for the people behind these campaigns. I think the numbers they come up with is by chance and if we believed everything we read, where would this world be?’ ‘Personally I’m quite concerned about how other people will react to those predictions. From what I know the Bible to say I’m not worried, but I’m concerned that those predictions could push people to give up on life.’