09 May 2011

There is no plan B!

Remember back in 1994 when Harold Camping did his 'bible math' and predicted that the world would end on 6 September? Oops...


I was listening to NPR the other day and learned that it turns out Mr. Camping had not completed his biblical research. "At that time had not [sic] gone through the book of Jeremiah, which is a big book in the Bible that has a whole lot to say about the end of the world." This time the end of the world is coming on 21 May 2011. No, really. It's all right there in my bible math, feel free to check it.

Dear Mr. Camping. I bet all of your followers could have been spared a lot of grief and embarrassment if you had bothered to finish your reading homework.

Dear followers of Mr. Camping. WTF...?! From what I recall there was no 'plan B' back in 1994 so what are you thinking this time round?

According to NPR it's unfortunately the case that some of them are not thinking.

What gets me are people like the young (mid 30s) family I heard interviewed and they said that they have managed their finances so that they will run out of money exactly on May 21. All of their savings, gone. They quit their jobs, they spent their retirement funds, everything. Trying to earn more money at this point with the end so near would just be 'greedy' one of them said.

I'd put a reminder on my calendar to check out web sites like this a week from Sunday but I think I need to apply a second coat of wax on our car that day, or run the refresh cycle on my laptop battery and watch the progress bar the entire time. You know, really important stuff. But if I was a reporter, I would give anything to stick a microphone in the face of all these people who had no plan B on 22 May and be like,"And... now what?"

I guess what kills me is that any time someone does bible 'science' or 'math' or quotes from the scriptures I can't help thinking that they are forgetting the most basic flaw in their argument. Unlike some holy script like say the book of Mormon, the bible is total hearsay, right? It's just a bunch of stories and second (or third) hand accounts of what some people claim happened that were written hundreds of years after said events took place and written in a language other than English. Last time I checked basing anything on he-said or she-said is flawed. Fundamentally. To say nothing of waiting hundreds of years. And have you ever heard of the expression, "lost in translation"? Hello, it happens.

But that's what faith is all about, right? You need to continue to believe something in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. If you didn't you wouldn't be faithful after all. Stubbornness is a sign of strength. Genius.

I also love the domain that Mr. Camping chose for his web site: http://www.familyradio.com/

What's my favorite thing about the site? Is it the answers that Mr. Camping gives to callers' questions which are 100% his personal interpretation of the bible? Or that the teachings of this site seem to change every time that Mr. Camping changes his mind? Nope, it's this image:


In closing I figured I would hip you to one more teaching of the Camping Camp just in case you were thinking this might be a really opportune time to jump on the bandwagon and secure your place in the rapture as it were before 21 May comes along and throws a bucket of cold water (or hell fire in this case) on your party.

Salvation is unmerited and cannot be achieved by good works, prayer, belief or acceptance. It is a pure act of God's grace and that those to be saved were chosen "before the foundation of the world". Camping has been accused of adding conditions to salvation and teaching relative free will of humanity. However, he has admitted that some, though very few, could be saved, while still in the worldly churches, just as there would be those saved inside the nation of Israel, and that leaving the churches is merely something a believer should do, just as a believer should not lie or cheat. He also gives credit to God for what has been called "common grace", where the unsaved, the yet to be saved and the saved are blessed to do good works, but this is not considered the gift of salvation itself.

Sweet. Where do I sign up? Oh wait, I can't. God has already decided for me.

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