Judgment Day 2.0

Whew! That was close. Looks like May 21 passed without incident, despite being the date that millions -- okay, dozens -- of Christians believed would be the day of the Rapture, their last Saturday on this Earth. It's possible God got busy on the weekend and forgot the prophecy that Christian broadcaster Harold Camping has been preaching for years. On the other hand, the large billboards that Camping's Family Radio Network put up around Nashville, Tennessee, should have reminded the Almighty -- on God’s occasional drives across Interstate 40 -- to double check the apocalyptic calendar.

Camping made news in 1994 when he and his followers staged a highly-publicized Rapture event, gathering to wait for the heavenly hosts to lift them off to heaven, after getting clearance from air traffic control (to avoid mid-air collision with other ascending believers). But the group eventually dispersed because, well, Jesus didn't make it. He could've been busy, or maybe got tied up in traffic. One never knows.

Camping later admitted he had made a miscalculation -- hey, you try to get this stuff right every time! -- but now claims to have developed a new method of determining the Last Day, one that uses an elaborate mathematical system to decipher clues hidden in the Bible. (Bible math is not an area with which I’m familiar, which probably explains why I blew that section on my SATs.)

And -- no foolin' this time -- Camping discovered the actual date of Jesus' return is May 21.

Which is why I got a haircut on May 20.

You want to look your best when Jesus comes back and renders judgment, and I figured a little trim might take the sting out of a wasted life. "You have sinned many times, my son. But I like the sideburns."

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July 2011 Sojourners
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