You've likely seen the billboards or at least read stories about the end of the world coming on May 21. Well, it turns out the man predicting the rapture has made this rather bold prediction before, and he was proven wrong since we are all still here reading this story.
Harold Camping is that man. And he's back. Call it Camping's Second Coming if you will.
The leader of an independent Christian ministry called Family Radio Worldwide believes that through a complex set of numerological calculations, anyone can predict the dates of everything in the Bible. He said his calculations set the return of Jesus at May 21.
He writes on his Web site:
The Bible has given us absolute proof that the year 2011 is the end of the world during the Day of Judgment, which will come on the last day of the Day of Judgment.
But here's the problem -- according to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle, back in 1992 Camping wrote a book called "1994" that predicted Armageddon would happen on September 4, 1994. Needless to say, his calculations were off that time.
So why should we trust him now?
We shouldn't, according to Biblical scholars.
"To be blunt, Harold Camping is a false teacher," said Bible expert Steve Wohlberg. "On May 22, both the old man and his devout followers will still be on earth. Camping's ideas reflect poorly on Christianity itself. His views are pure nonsense."
"Harold Camping has already taken us through this before," said Russell Moore, a dean at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. "From a standpoint of Christian orthodoxy the claim is ridiculous. If Jesus claims not to know the time of his coming, I find it odd that Harold Camping would know. Rather than speculating about particular days or seasons, we should be always ready for the coming of Christ."
Camping now admits he was wrong about 1994 because of a "miscalculation." But he insists he is right this time. We'll find out in a few days.