Well, here it is... May 20, 2011. The day before the RAPTURE as predicted by Harold Camping. There has been a lot of media coverage of this prediction here in Colorado, probably because, as it turns out, Harold Camping lives in Boulder, Colorado. Actually, that kind of surprised me since I would have expected him to be based out of Colorado Springs more (which is home to Focus on the Family and has a very strong Christian influence). Of course, there has been discussions about the fact that he himself has predicted the RAPTURE before (in September 1994), and of course, it didn't happen then. At that time, he said that the world was going to end between September 15-17, and would not pin down the exact date, citing Matthew 24:36 that says no man knows the day nor the hour when Christ will return to the earth. Apparently since predicting the end of the world in 1994, though, Mr. Camping has altered his position on that scripture since now he gives a very specific day - May 21, 2011 - for the RAPTURE. This article on the Christian Research Institute website goes into quite a bit of detail about this topic.
The sad thing about these types of predictions is that these "prophets" typically gain followers, and in convincing them that the end of is near, they end up becoming rich from the contributions they receive. And of course, many of the followers end up selling their possession in anticipation of being lifted up in the RAPTURE. And then, when the RAPTURE doesn't occur, they are left destitute and disillusioned. This morning, I read a great post on the Belief Blog on CNN.com that goes into this aspect of things. The author (David Silverman, a proclaim atheist from age 6) gives a very good description of just how religious predictions such as this one harm people.
And of course, there have been many other blog posts on this topic as well. I read one on (Will's) Moroni Blows blog this morning, which is entitled "To Rapture or Not to Rapture." In this post, Will talks about a radio personality in Salt Lake City (a Mormon, of course), and states:
Interesting point made by Will. Then his blog goes on to say:"Today he commented on the up-coming rapture event set to happen this Saturday. He made the statement that its things like this that gives Christians a bad name, and went on to state that Mos do not believe in such an event. Here is where I have a problem. The corp teaches emphatically that the righteous (those who pay their tithing and pay homage to the men in SLC) will be lifted up and not burned at Christ's coming. Is this not the rapture? It may be a rapture for different reasons, i.e., the payment of friendship dues and underwear sniffing, which is yet another concept that separates the corp from Christianity, but in effect it is a/the rapture just the same."
Another interesting point. When I was an active Mormon (very TBM), it bothered me when I heard things like this, as if to say that everyone else is wrong, and only the Mormon point of view is right. Of course, it also bothered me (way back then) that the Mormon Church professes to be the Only True Church on the Face of the Earth. When I started researching more independently, away from the "authorized areas," I did a lot of reading about cults, and realized that "exclusivity" (i.e. saying that a particular religion is the only true one) is one of the signs of a cult. Of course, in looking at the various characteristics of cults, I came to believe that the Mormon Church is very much a cult because it fits every single category for cultism."In the same breath he made the point that if someone proclaims to know the moment in time when this supposed event should take place, it would be an indication that they are not on the right track and don't know from whence they speak. I have a problem with this as well, seeing how the Mos testify their leader to be a prophet of god, actually the only mouth piece for god."
AND I JUST CAN'T WAIT...