Judgement Is Coming... On Saturday

When I was a kid I went to fundamentalist Baptists churches, and we occasionally would have "revivals" where visiting preachers would come and deliver some out-of-town fire and brimstone to the faithful.  One of these preachers was a guy by the name of Darell Dunn.  Dunn was an "expert" on the "Second Coming" of Jesus.  He was convinced, based on a complicated mathematical process, that "The Rapture" (an event that many Christians believe will occur that will "snatch" away Believers from this world into the next) was going to occur in 1980---or 1981, I forget which.  Obviously, he was wrong.

I often wondered what happened to Darrell Dunn, and through the magic of the Interwebs, I found him.  He is still preaching on the Second Coming, and I am sure he has an idea when that will be.  You can visit old Darrell Dunn online HERE.

Lucky for Darrell that back in 1980 the Interwebs didn't exist.  He'd be a laughing stock... or more of a laughing stock.

Case in point... Harold Camping, an 89 year-old civil engineer and founder of  Family Radio Worldwide has made the bold prediction that the Second Coming of Jesus will occur on Saturday, May 21st around 6 PM.  Camping bases his prediction on a convoluted set of mathematical calculations--much like Dunn and others have done before.  Originally, Camping thought that "The Rapture" was going to occur in 1994, but had to admit afterward that he miscalculated.

The Rapture--the belief that Christ will bring the faithful into paradise prior to a period of tribulation on earth that precedes the end of time---is a relatively new notion compared to Christianity itself.  In fact, the doctrines upon which Camping and many Evangelical Christians base their beliefs about Jesus Second Coming can be traced back to Cyrus Scofield, who included the doctrine in the study notes of his translation of the Bible in the late 1800's.

 The recent best-selling Left Behind books, which sold millions of copies, helped to bring this doctrine (known as Dispensationalism) into mainstream Christian culture. 

And all of this is based on flawed interpretation and it's unbiblical as heck.

This is not the space to expound on Dispensationalism, though.  If you want to read about this topic and learn for yourself, try this book:


Okay,  Here's the mathematical calculation that Camping used to come up with his date of May 21st:

He believes Christ was crucified on April 1, 33 A.D., exactly 722,500 days before May 21, 2011. That number, 722,500, is the square of 5 x 10 x 17. In Camping's numerological system, 5 represents atonement, 10 means completeness, and seventeen means heaven. "Five times 10 times 17 is telling you a story," Camping said on his Oakland-based talk show, Family Radio, last year. "It's the story from the time Christ made payment for your sins until you're completely saved."

When he discovered the importance of 5, 10 and 17, Camping said, "I tell ya, I just about fell off my chair when I realized that."

I know.  It makes perfect sense.  

A friend of mine twittered today, "Any of you heathens want to take care of my dog after I get raptured on Saturday?"  I thought it was funny.  There's a lot to make fun of with this whole Camping thing.

But I am starting to feel a little grieved.  I wonder how many people are getting (again) a wrong view of Christians and their beliefs.  I also believe that anyone who espouses a literal Rapture without first really reading the Bible and studying the subject themselves absolutely cannot make fun of these people who are saying it's about to happen. 

And I also wonder how many Christians are going to watch 6 PM on Saturday come and go and secretly breathe a sigh of relief that Jesus didn't come back.  And then they can go on living like he's far away instead of here among us, moving, cajoling and desperately desiring we would do a better job of showing the world what he's really like. 


Comments

  1. The last paragraph really jumped out at me I was talking to my son and I asked him do u think we take a sigh of relief? If yes why is it because we r not ready in our lives and heart is not ready or because we love the things of our life so much (things we do, go have) do those things mean so much?

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  2. Great post Leon! Good stuff to think about!

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