End of the World Happens Tomorrow

According to radio evangelist Harold Camping, May 21, 2011 will be Judgment Day for the world. This is not the first time Camping has predicted the end. His last stint in the news was back in 1994 when he was convinced that the end was near then, too, except this time, he is being broadcast to a much larger audience thanks to CNN and MSNBC.

Camping has come up with Saturday, May 21, 2011 (at 6:00 PM) as the beginning of the rapture based on his understanding of two Bible passages found within 2 Peter and Genesis. According to Camping, tomorrow signals the end because it is approximately 7,000 years after the earth was initially flooded, and he thinks that May 21 is the same day of the year as when Noah had to board his Ark. This is a conclusion based on what is known as ‘Biblical numerology’ – a nonscientific study of the scriptures which compare and contrast numbers and numerical equivalents in history and when used as symbols. While used to understand certain traditions and recorded events in the Bible, using it as a predictive tool is dangerous and oftentimes silly.

Cults are known for depending on numbers to justify conclusions (such as the end of the world) and use them as a form of cyclical authority. By claiming to know what things ‘really’ mean via numbers, they are committing the heresy known as Gnosticism.

Time will tell whether or not Camping’s prediction will come true, but in the meantime, we can read Deuteronomy for ourselves and look back on his failed predictions and conclude that he is, in fact, a false prophet.