Adventist Media Response and Conversation

Saturday, January 22, 2011

May 21 Another End of the World

Well it is that time once again. Its the end of the world again. The great day of judgment just beats the hysterics of 2012 by several months because now the end of the world comes on May 21 2011. At least according to some acclaimed date setters...though not Seventh-day Adventists.

PHILADELPHIA — Soon it will be spring again. The snow will melt, the dogwoods flower. Trumpets will blast, graves will open, and Earth will begin a five-month descent to its fiery end.
Radio evangelist Harold Camping can hardly wait.
May 21 is Judgment Day, when "this world will be a horror story beyond anything we can imagine," he asserts.
A fixture on Christian airwaves around the world, Camping, 89, is exhorting all who are listening to "make ready" for Jesus' triumphal return, whose precise date he says God has revealed to him with "fantastic proof" in the Bible.
End-of-timers generally have been fixated on the doomsday date of Dec. 21, 2012 — when the "Long Count" calendar of the ancient Maya ends and, presumably, the world with it.
There won't even be a 2012, according to Camping. His website displays the number with a red slash through it.

Some of you may recall Harold Camping from his earlier prediction of the end of the world in 1994. As the Philadelphia Inquirer article states:
 “In the late 1980s, he began warning the end would come in September 1994. When Gabriel's trumpet failed to sound, he revised his dates for several years before dropping the subject.”
Camping however did not  drop the subject. He and his associates have come up with this new date. If we look at one of their websites we see these remarkable facts about 1994 as they list some important dates of Christianity:

33 AD—The year Jesus Christ was crucified and the church age began (11,045 years from creation; 5023 calendar years from the flood).
1988 AD—This year ended the church age and began the great tribulation period of 23 years (13,000 years from creation).
1994 AD—On September 7th, the first 2300-day period of the great tribulation came to an end and the latter rain began, commencing God’s plan to save a great multitude of people outside of the churches (13,006 years from creation).
2011 AD—On May 21st, Judgment Day will begin and the rapture (the taking up into heaven of God’s elect people) will occur at the end of the 23-year great tribulation.  On October 21st, the world will be destroyed by fire (7000 years from the flood; 13,023 years from creation).
Now a good SDA one might ask, from 33 AD to 1988 where is 538 AD, where is 1798 AD which is generated by adding 1260 to 538 however nothing special actually happened in 538, but still where is it and where is 1844, these are important dates in Adventist Eschatology Millerites and Adventists were the most prominent date setters in America.

Once you get past there not being the numbers you as an Adventist are familiar with notice that 1994 somehow became an important date. The 2300 day/year period ended not in 1844 as Adventist's teach but in 1994 and just like in 1844 nothing much changed that we could see, it is all sort of God's plan but does not have anything really to do with us. Except for those who predicted something would happen in 1844 or Harold Camping's 1994. Then it becomes an important date and maybe even critical. Why the new date for destruction by fire is so close to the old 1844 date of October 22 as to be scary if you ignore the 150 years anyway.

If you bother to look at the website to see how they made their calculations you see they are just as silly as those for 1844 but you know once people get an idea they really hang on to it even after the events foretold did not occur. Take for instance this remark made on the comments section of Atoday for January 20th by someone who claims to be a pastor and goes by the moniker Seminary Student (I did not correct spelling or grammar):
Elaine , the point is the Luther left the Catholic church because he believe in scripture not in tradition to interpret scripture , Ellen White  well she was difellowship from the Methodist church  because she  follow Miller interpretation of scritpture which was biblical .”
Now William Miller disavowed his interpretation which in essence became a prediction and now 167 years later we in the Adventist church at our Seminary in Andrews University someone who claims that Miller was right when Miller was clearly wrong. 

The power of reinterpretation from the visible to the invisible. Perhaps it is a strength in Christianity but it most certainly is also a cutting weakness.

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