I missed this story when it came out but journalists from CNN joined a group of people on their way to a festival in Florida. They left every possession behind, and their families, to caravan around the States until the end of the world. They believe Judgment Day is coming and, thanks to their favourite Christian radio show, they gladly joined Family Radio’s Project Caravan and are spreading the word.
Starting with one station in Oakland, California, in 1959, Camping’s Family Radio now boasts 66 stations across the United States. Thanks to strategically placed satellites, shortwave radio and the internet, the message has gone global in 61 languages.
“We pretty much blanket the whole world,” says Camping, 89.
This degreed engineer, who calls the Bible his “university,” believes the church age ended and the “Great Tribulation” (the years leading up to the end, he says) began on May 21, 1988, when Satan entered the pews. Truth, he says, can be found only in the Bible and not through the mouths of clergy.
He has dissected scripture and crunched his biblical numbers to come up with the fateful dates. He rattles off mathematical explanations of how he did this work, throwing out Bible verses and calculations that leave an outsider’s head spinning.
But Camping also happens to be the man who once said September 6, 1994, would be the big day.
I thought that name sounded familiar. I’ve written about Harold Camping and his lame prediction and bad math before.
MSNBC interviewed 32 year old Army veteran Marie Exley about why she’s doing this:
“A lot of people might think, ‘The end’s coming, let’s go party,’” said Exley, a veteran of two deployments in Iraq. “But we’re commanded by God to warn people. I wish I could just be like everybody else, but it’s so much better to know that when the end comes, you’ll be safe.”
No, Ma’am, I think you’re commanded by an aged kook who should have been put to pasture rather than passed a microphone. Her military training has come in handy for this, though; she was instrumental in sorting out the “logistics challenge” of telling people where and when to drive their RVs.
Back to CNN and Camping, explaining his botched first attempt to predict this event:
He explains now that he originally thought 2011 was the year, but a few verses tripped him up and he concluded that the Great Tribulation might get cut short. There was still scripture he was grappling with, end-time signs that were to come — he points to the gay pride movement as one of them — and truths that had yet to be revealed, “but because of the urgency of time I had to get it out quickly,” he says of his previous warning.
This time around, he has no doubts.
And, it seems, neither does anyone else who faithfully follows his ministry and its broadcasts.
Arianna Ramrajie, of Ocala, Florida was interviewed at the festival and shared this warning:
On May 21, the sun will “turn red like blood,” the Earth will open up, bodies will be strewn about and “some people will die for eternity,” she says.
“It scares me a little bit because some people are going to die, and I think I’m one of them,” she adds. “I’m trying to do good things, but I’m afraid I’m doing something bad.”
According to the article, she’s seven years old.
being good all the time cannot be easy. Her father stands next to her, nodding his approval.
Imagine the nightmares this kid must be having, the ridiculous level of fear she’s living under, even if she can forget for a little while and enjoy a parade. When the show’s over, Dad will have her handing out tracts again, warning people of the end times.
I’m sure I’m not alone when I say I’m appalled at that. What are these people going to do on May 21st when everything they think is going to happen doesn’t?