Religion in Society

98% of Bible Readers Don't Buy May 21, 2011 Rapture Hype

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In a poll conducted on May 16th, visitors to the King James Bible Online (www.kingjamesbibleonline.org) website and Facebook page were asked, "When do you think Judgment Day is?" The three choices offered were: "May 21, 2011," "December 21, 2012," or "No one knows, but God." Of the 179 respondents, 176, or approximately 98 percent, marked "No one knows, but God." Three respondents, or approximately 2 percent, chose May 21, 2011 as Judgment Day. No respondents chose December 21, 2012.

The poll was taken as a measure of recent claims about this Saturday being Judgment Day. According to Harold Camping and the Family Radio organization, at 6pm this Saturday, a violent earthquake will strike, marking the beginning of Judgment Day. The description on the Family Radio website explained, "On May 21st, Judgment Day will begin and the rapture (the taking up into heaven of God's elect people) will occur..." Camping previously predicted Judgment Day as being in 1994.

The website version of the poll allowed respondents to type open-ended responses about the Judgment Day predictions. One such response was from Sarah King, a King James Bible reader from Avondale, Ariz., who said, "The Bible strictly states that no one knows, not even Jesus Christ himself, when the judgment is. Man always wants to think that they know as much as God, but that will never be," said King. "You are supposed to live each day as if were your last. Tomorrow is not promised."

Other respondents directed their comments specifically toward Harold Camping. Nick Rivera, a Call Center Customer Care Agent from West Haven, Conn., said, "The Bible has a perfect prophetic track record, however, the same cannot be said for Camping who is batting zero due to previous failed predictions." Rivera continued, "What good is the 'date' if you are not pointing to the way, the truth and the life and how to be prepared to meet Him (John 14:6)." Rivera said he will be attending his sister's graduation this weekend.

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One of the respondents who chose "May 21, 2011" as being Judgment Day is Donald Cozzi, an Electronics Technician from York, Pennsylvania. Cozzi said, "I think Family Radio does not deserve all the credit for the May 21, 2011 message, many, many, have found this by careful study. This credit belongs to God for revealing this to all of us!"