Here we go again

If you haven't yet had your fill of prognostications from end times prognosticators you'll be glad to know there are still more to be had. The false prophet/teacher Harold Camping hasn't yet learned his lesson. Since at least 2005 he had been predicting Saturday, May 21, 2011 as the day of judgment, with the full end of all things coming October 21. When nothing happened last Saturday--even though, according to Camping, the Bible guaranteed his prediction--he was forced to make some revisions. His revisions follow the pattern set by another prophetic prognositcator in the 19th century. New York farmer turned preacher William Miller had predicted the Lord's return to "cleanse the sanctuary" (Dan. 8:14) no later than March 21, 1844. When it didn't take place as he expected, he said it would happen later the same year in October.

Second verse, same as the first, a little bit louder and little bit worse.

Like Miller, Camping has given a brief extension of hope to his followers by postponing the dramatic event until October. He still says May 21 was a significant day in God's last days timetable; he had just misunderstood what the significance was. He thought all Christians would be carried away to heaven, and God's judgment on earth would begin. He now says that May 21 was actually the beginning of a "spiritual" judgment...whatever that means.

Again the parallels to the Miller debacle are remarkable. To William Miller's credit, when October 1844 came and nothing he expected happened, he gave up the whole enterprise of attempting to predict the Lord's return. Others, however, were not deterred. Certain of his followers, led by Ellen G. White, said that in fact Miller was correct about the date, but wrong about the event. She said Jesus didn't return to earth to cleanse an earthly sanctuary after all. No, he cleansed the heavenly sanctuary. It was thus a "spiritual" event.

If you care to read more, you can do so here.


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