Sunday, May 22, 2011

The World Didn't End Yesterday!

I simply couldn't get myself very excited about being included in the mass migration to Heaven yesterday. 

Who is this man that was so sure the world was going to end yesterday?  Well, according to the Christian Post, here is the skinny on Harold Egbert Camping:

  • He was born in 1921 in Boulder, Colorado.
  • At an early age, he moved to California where his interest in math and science developed.  He later attended the University of California Berkeley during WWII, where he received a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering.
  • He started his own construction business and earned his own living.
  • In 1943, he married, and he and his wife had seven children.  
  • During these earlier years, he and his wife belonged to the First Christian Reformed Church of Alameda, where he was the most popular Bible studies teacher. 
  • He was a self-taught Bible instructor for his students.  His charisma and careful eye for biblical details are said to have helped him gain popularity among his students and the church.
  • After 1954, he became the owner of Camping Construction Company, and by 1958, he and two others formed the non-profit ministry of Family Stations, Inc. in San Francisco.
  • Family Radio was the ministry's Christian educational network, and it expanded over the decades as its broadcast teachings, Bible readings, as well as Christian music, like the southern gospel, spread across the country.
  • In his 40s, he started hosting an Open Forum program on weekends, which still continues to be broadcast on more than 140 stations in the U.S.
  • In 1973, he sold his business and became a full-time volunteer employer of Family Radio, where he served as the president and general manager of the stations.
  • The network is reported to now be worth more than $120 million and has 66 stations throughout the country.  These broadcasts are available in 61 languages online.
  • In 1988, he started talking about the world's impending end during his radio program and in his Bible classes.
  • In 1992, he published the book "1994?" in which he predicted that the world would end, but he wasn't yet sure about the year, only that it would happen in the near future.
  • In 1994, his followers gathered at the Alameda's Veterans' Memorial Building to wait for the return of Christ.  They dressed in their Sunday best and held their Bibles open-faced toward Heaven.
  • Nothing happened.  So, Camping said it was just a 'preliminary study' and that's why there was a question mark after the title of the book.  He spent the next ten years studying.
  • In 2005, he published 'Time Has an End' where he officially proclaimed that he had recalculated the rapture date to be May 21, 2011.  (That was yesterday.)
  • He predicted that around 200 million people would be raptured at 6 p.m. last evening, and the rest of us would suffer for five more months until October 21st.  He made that the definitive date for complete world obliteration.  Blotto.  Kaput.
  • It is reported that among his family members, only his wife of 68 years believes him and none of his six living children, 28 grandchildren, and 38 great grandchildren believe in his theories.
Quite a story, if, in fact, it is accurate.  There are countless ways to become rich and to become a household name.  How better than to be the man who could predict the end of the world!  I would imagine that his wife has no other choice but to believe in him after all these years.  If she is faking her loyalty to him just to keep peace in their home, then she would have been left behind with the rest of us to suffer.  Seems to me that Heaven is going to be a pretty lonely place if Harold knows what he's talking about.  Kinda like a club for the elite only. 

Looks to me like this present-day prophet might have a B.S. degree not only in Civil Engineering, but also in Bible.....but that's just my inkling.

(Underlining mine)