Beliefnet News

Beliefnet News


Believers Warn Neighbors of Impending Doom on May 21

By KATHLEEN O’BRIEN
c. 2011 Religion News Service

(RNS) Give these billboards credit: They don’t hedge their bet.

Judgment Day is coming May 21, 2011 — not sometime this decade, not sometime this year, but precisely on May 21.

The hundreds of billboards warning unrepentant commuters of their impending doom are courtesy of a California radio station led by 89-year-old Howard Camping, who initially predicted the world would end in 1994.

In New Jersey, about 30 believers paid to erect the signs in hopes of warning and saving their neighbors, said Bob James, a Morristown electrical engineer who organized the grassroots effort.

“Seven billion people are facing their death! What else could I do?” said James, who views the billboards as a message of hope. “When you have this information, with my love for my fellow man, I wanted to tell people.”

Warnings of “end times” are cropping up all over. Along Route 15 in Rockaway Township, a handmade sign has a litany of upheaval that could double as a CNN news crawl: earthquakes, tsunamis and war.

“Pray! Pray! Get right. The signs of his coming are here,” urges the anonymous prophesy.

Throw in buzz about the Mayan calendar’s purported lights-out date of 2012 and it makes for jittery times.

“People love to speculate about the end of the world. It’s human nature to want to know when Jesus is returning,” said Barbara Rossing, author of The Rapture Exposed and an ordained pastor at the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago. “But Christ specifically admonishes us, ‘Don’t try to figure it out.”‘

She finds Camping’s views to be at odds with even those described in the best-selling Left Behind books about the Rapture, when some Christians believe they will be swept up into heaven as those left behind endure years of war and hardship.

“He has some very strange teachings on his website,” she said. “This is very odd thinking.”

Many May 21 believers say the Bible contains clues that brook no argument. God tells Noah the world will end in seven days; the Bible also equates a day to 1,000 years. The date of the flood has been set at 4990 B.C., so adding 7,000 years plus one for the missing year “0″
produces the year 2011. Translating a biblical reference to a month and day, from the Hebrew calendar to the Gregorian, results in May 21.

“It’s no other date. It’s only that date,” said Michael Garcia, special projects coordinator at Camping’s Family Radio enterprise.

The gathering up of saved souls will begin, followed by five months of chaos and tribulation that will serve as a spiritual going-out-of-business sale. It will culminate with the end of the world on Oct. 21.

That is daunting to Anthony Hernandez, a 44-year-old technology worker from Chester Township who runs a monthly Bible study class in his home. Although he devotes himself to proclaiming the message of the May 21 date, he knows that doesn’t guarantee his salvation.

“If I find myself here May 22, then I’ll be unsaved, because all the believers will be taken,” he said. Asked if that scared him, the father of seven answers, “It is scary. I don’t know if my children are saved.”

He’s made no contingency plans for life after May 21, neither booking a summer vacation with relatives, nor stocking up on provisions.

“I’ve done nothing, because if I’m lost, I’m lost. It’s over,” he said.

Although the May 21 prediction is widely dismissed, even mocked, Camping’s followers see validation in that reaction. After all, Garcia said, Noah met nothing but skepticism when building his ark.

“It probably wasn’t even raining at that time,” said Garcia, a 39-year-old father of six.

“What was the attitude of everybody else? They scoffed — and they died,” said James, who also sees inspiration in Noah’s tale. “So scoffers don’t bother me.”

Nor is the refusal of mainstream churches to accept their prediction any cause for doubt, for Camping’s followers believe most churches are now corrupt.

Family Radio has placed about 1,000 billboards nationally. Garcia declined to disclose the cost, nor how much contributors gave in total, but individual donations ranged from $100 to $5,000.

End-of-the-world predictions are nothing new, said Rossing, who specializes in eschatology, or the branch of theology examining the end of the world.

Baptist preacher William Miller had thousands of followers — called Adventists — convinced the date would be Oct. 22, 1844. Many climbed on their roofs in anticipation of their imminent ascension. When that didn’t happen, the day became known as the Great Disappointment.

Belief in the discovery of secret information is alluring, Rossing said.

“It’s like the decoder ring you found in your cereal box,” she said. “You can be the first on your block to decode the Bible.”

(Kathleen O’Brien writes for The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J.)



  • Pingback: Scab of a nation, driven insane : okay, this is just stupid…

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pagansister

    Yea, right, May 21. Will jot that down on my calender. NOT!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment nnmns

    Well, soon enough we’ll see if the Bible’s authentic.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Joe Ganci

    Here is my simple test: if you really truly are convinced that on May 21st you will be caught up in the Rapture, then logically you will have no need of anything you own nor the cash you have in the bank. So if you really want to prove your faith, send me all your money and worldly goods. Anything less and you are showing doubt and God will be very displeased!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment joe Ganci

    nnmns, here’s my prediction: On May 22nd, they will declare that they had all prayed really hard and God had decided to postpone the Apocalypse for a while longer to give people more time to repent and to send money to these people. So the Bible won’t be wrong, God will have changed his mind.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment jestrfyl

    For some the end of the world is at hand. For others God’s realm is at hand. One is dire the other is hopeful. I choose hope every time.

    At least we will have had The Royal Wedding by then. Sadly, all of the good summer TV shows won’t start until June. It would stink to have to miss them.

    It would sure bum me out to have the world end before I get any time off.

    Do you suppose the “Death Tax” will be repealed May 22 – in resignation, if nothing else?

    A toast to May 22, 2011!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment jestrfyl

    I bet all those folks who have their money on Dec 21, 2012 will be laughing like mad on May 22, 2011.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Ryan

    NO JUDGEMENT DAY COMING. REMEMBER THIS MESSAGE ON 22 MAY.

    Message of God.

    I am a true prophet and messenger chosen by God.

    I only bring you truth from God.

    I don’t belong to a church.

    I can’t do any miracles, speak in tongues or healing.

    All I have is God.

    I am nothing and not worthy.

    All the glory and praise to God.

    I only follow Jesus. Jesus: “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

    I can’t give you any proof accept the truth that will be revealed to you from God on 22 May 2011.

    To God all the glory and praise.

    For God only speaks truth and God is good.

    God speaks to me not in dreams or visions but crystal clear loud only truth.

    I have been praying for 3 days.

    God spoke to me and said He will not bring judgement on 21 May 2011. This is a promise from God.

    God said you have been deceived by satan and you are not listening to His word.

    God said you must listen to the message that I bring you for it is the truth and promise from God.

    God said I must warn you not to be deceived by anyone for no one knows the day or the hour when the Lord comes.

    God said you are mislead by satan and you don’t listen to His word.

    God said satan is deceiving you and making you doubt His word.

    God said you all will doubt His word on 22 May 2011.

    God said satan will try to deceive you again with a new date.

    God said satan knows the bible better than any man.

    God said stay away from all churches and keep reading His word and follow Jesus and remember what Jesus said.

    God said don’t be deceived by false prophets, false apostels, any spirits, tongues and many miracles that is yet to come.

    God said He has a plan for every one that listens to His word and this message from God.

    God wants to bless you 777 times more if you listen to His message.

    God has a plan for good and wants to use you to save allot of people.

    Satan is a liar and he wants to be God. Satan wants to make you doubt God’s word and mislead you to join his churches.

    Satan comes as angel of light and has many forms. Satan has used the scripture to deceive you so you can doubt God’s word.

    Satan has done this so that many unbelievers will turn even more against God for nothing will happen on 21 May 2011.

    God wants you to turn away from satan’s deceit and stay true to His word.

    Please contact me on 22 MAY so I can share with you what God wants me to do for Him.

    All that listens to this message of God and does what God is asking will be blessed 777 more.

    God has plans for good and wants to bless you.

    But you need to listen and believe with all your heart and mind.

    Don’t be willingly ignorant. Don’t let satan deceive you again with another judgement day date.

    God only speaks truth. You will know the truth on 22 May.

    For it is written that a prophet that brings a message of God. If that message comes to pass. That prophet is send by God

    And God send me to help you see the truth. To bring you this message.

    And to warn you that satan is deceiving you. And satan is a liar and he is going to deceive you again.

    GOD DOES NOT LIE. GOD ONLY SPEAKS TRUTH. PLEASE REMEMBER THIS MESSAGE ON 22 MAY 2011.

    GOD WANTS TO BLESS YOU ALL 777 TIMES MORE BUT YOU NEED TO BELIEVE AND LISTEN TO THE TRUTH.

    DON’T LET SATAN OR ANYONE ELSE DECEIVE YOU AGAIN. DON’T BE WILLINGLY IGNORANT.

    DON’T TURN AWAY FROM THE TRUTH. GOD WANTS YOU TO HELP ME. YOU WILL BE BLESSED 777 MORE.

    GOD MADE A PROMISE THAT JUDGEMENT DAY WILL NOT HAPPEN 21 MAY 2011 AND GOD PROMISED TO BLESS YOU 777 MORE IF YOU HELP ME.

    GOD SAID I NEED TO BUY A GYM BUSINESS FROM AN ATHEIST. I NEED TO BUILD 2 CHILDREN HOSPITALS.

    AND I NEED TO RUN THOSE BUSINESS LIKE I RUN IT FOR GOD WITH ALL MY HEART.

    MANY WILL GET SAVED OUTSIDE THE CHURCH AND TURN TO GOD AND FOLLOW JESUS.

    ALL OF YOU THAT HELP WITH FUNDS WILL BE BLESSED 777 MORE. THIS IS A PROMISE FROM GOD.

    NOW IF GOD SAYS SO THEN YOU KNOW IT IS TRUTH. PLEASE DON’T LET SATAN DECEIVE YOU AGAIN ON 22 MAY. PLEASE LISTEN TO GOD’S MESSAGE.

    Jesus: “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

    GOD IS TRUTH. ALL GLORY AND PRAISE TO GOD.

    GOD BLESS YOU ALL.
    http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000134056323

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Crispy

    These poor people are terrified of their vengeful angry God, so people, give them a break on the 22nd.

    Notice this movement is about escaping the “judgment”, not about how happy they will be to be with God. Its not “yay!, its almost heaven time” but rather “Humanity is a bunch of worms about to be trampled, lets suck up to God so he won’t torture us for eternity”

    That makes me so sad as it reminds me of my youth when I believed similar things.
    The cognitive dissonance of believing in a “loving father” / “torturing avenger” that happens to be the same guy made me a psychological and emotional mess.

    If I believed in God anymore, I would pray for these people.
    I can hope at least that when they wake up on the 22nd, at least a few of them will find a crack in their smoke and mirrors world of unseen terror and find freedom and peace.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pagansister

    There have been predictions of the END for centuries. And somehow the date comes and goes and we’re still here. OOPS! Guess God changed his/her mind. I’m as worried about this as I was about all the other ones—-that would be not at all.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Henrietta22

    God gets blamed for an awful lot of peoples problems it seems. It isn’t God, it’s human’s interpretation of God that causes pain and problems. Our problems are caused by ourselves to ourselves and others. God is our comforter. I think the people who look for the last day do this because it would end their struggles as they see them, and they want it to happen to escape.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Maria Van

    It seems as if another group has entered the billboard wars in Camping’s/Family Radio’s back yard of Oakland, CA. They are disputing Camping’s claims with a compelling message of “Jesus is already here.” Here’s the billboard photo:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/62779138@N08/5708063636

Previous Posts

Hispanics turning evangelical, Jews secular
Worship service attendance is up in New York City, but down among young adult Jews, according to recent studies. On the other hand, fewer Spanish-speaking teens are attending Catholic mass, but more are showing up at Evangelical churches. [caption id="attachment_12343" align="alignleft" width="48

posted 3:10:30pm Nov. 05, 2013 | read full post »

Billy Graham: I know where I'm going
“Daddy thinks the Lord will allow him to live to 95,” said Franklin Graham recently. It was not a prophecy but a hope, Franklin explained, that he would live to see the beginning of a Christian re

posted 10:02:01am Oct. 24, 2013 | read full post »

Are All These Christians' Complaints of Persecution Just So Much Empty Whining?
The headlines are alarming: “Catholic-Owned Company Wins Religious Freedom Court Decision,” “Death Toll Rises to 65 in Boko Haram Attack on Students,” “Little Sisters Catholic Charity Victimized By Obamacare,” “Christians Sought Out, Murdered in the Kenyan Mall Massacre,” “Judicial

posted 2:41:26am Oct. 07, 2013 | read full post »

How can Christians defend themselves against today's random violence?
So, a crazed gunman opens fire and you’re caught in the middle. How can you survive? Heroes come in all sorts of packages. And they wield all sorts of defensive weapons. Such as guns and Jesus. Sometimes both at the same time. [caption id="attachment_12246" align="alignleft" width="480"] Ant

posted 2:53:48pm Sep. 27, 2013 | read full post »

Does Sunday Morning Church Really Need All This Glitter, Showmanship and Gimmickry?
What’s wrong with church today? Are we in danger of turning worship into a flashy concert? Of watering down the message so nobody is offended? Of forgetting the simplicity of the Gospel? I grew up with a preacher’s kid. He was a fake following in the footsteps of his flimflamming father who d

posted 11:26:20am Sep. 20, 2013 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.