May 21 Doomsday proves 'underwhelming'

  on May 21 2011 2:21 AM

It wouldn't have been quick. It wouldn't have been painless.

Instead earthquakes were to rip apart the earth -- even in places not prone to earthquakes. That lucky percentage of the population that put their trust in Christ and dedicated their lives to the Gospel were to have been spared the pain and pulled up into heaven.

The rest? They would be left to fend for themselves in a post-apocalyptic hell on earth type scenario.

Or so apocalyptic preacher Harold Camping had many to believe.

Camping leads the Oakland-based Family Radio Worldwide  and has claimed to have crunched the numbers and have done the math.

His interpretation of the Bible and his calculations had whipped media and bystanders alike, into a frenzy. Twitter and IBT's own message boards were alit with chatter surrounding the event and in the days leading up to May 21 -- the so called end of the world -- streets were lined with Camping supporters.

While some mocked and ridiculed, relief and general rejoicing ensued after the critical 2am EST deadline -- the time when rolling earthquakes were to start -- passed without incident.

This whole rapture thing, so far, is entirely underwhelming, quipped Alex Falkenberg to Twitter.

I'm here in New Zealand and the rapture didn't happen, Tweeted Simon Tanner.

Perhaps there could be a miscalculation.

Camping and his team had predicted the end of existence was to come in 1994 prior to this most recent apocalypse -- a full 17 years ago.

Subsequent to that he explained a mistake in his math. Camping could not be contacted regarding today's apocalypse as this article went to publishing.

But surely calculating the end of the world would be a daunting task. There is plenty of room for error. Aside from Camping's apparent mistake, there have been other doomsdayers that have made false-calls in the past.

The Christian church has seen this kind of false teaching before,

Dr. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary told IBTimes.

William Miller and his Adventist followers believed that Christ would return on March 21, 1844, Mohler said. Also, in the 1970s, popular Christian preachers and writers predicted that Christ would return on various dates now long in the past.

According to most Biblical scholars this is not something that can be calculated with accuracy -- or at all.

The Bible does not contain hidden codes that we are to find and decipher Mohler said. We are not to look for hidden patterns of words, numbers, dates, or anything else.

While there was definite buzz surrounding the event, most did not believe that the end was truly coming anyway, according to polling conducted by IBTimes.

Sampling 10,000 readers around the world IBT found that a resounding 79 percent of respondents rejected Camping's hypothesis.  Just over 3 percent felt it credible.

While the world may be safe now, interestingly enough 5 percent of respondents went with December 12, 2012 as the real end of the world.

Time will tell of the Mayan-based prediction for the end of the world next year holds true. But its sure to cause a frenzy.

 

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