Unraptured

By Phil Plait | May 20, 2011 7:04 am

I’ve been getting some email and other notes asking about the claims that on Saturday May 21 the Rapture will occur.

Well, what can I say? Harold Camping, the guy making these claims is, to be charitable, a kook. He claimed the Rapture would be in 1994, for one thing, then changed his mind. His claims are based on numerology. Other evangelicals are coming out against him. And so on and so forth.

We’ve seen such claims come and we’ve seen them go. The problem is, they never really leave, do they? A new one always comes along soon enough to take the place of the last one. And so many others are simply recycled (Velikovsky begat Sitchin begat Planet X, which has been subsumed by the Mayan 2012 folks).

Moreover, the most fervent believers in such doomsday prophecies, after the time comes and goes with nothing happening, usually wind up believing in it even more strongly. I saw it happen myself in 2003 when Planet X failed to show up and wipe us all out as predicted. A lot of people were disenchanted and left that particular cult, but a core group is still going on, still claiming aliens are out there trying to warn us of planetary doom (another site has a history of all that). And heck, the Millerites, a 19th century end-times movement, eventually evolved into the religion of Seventh-day Adventism after failed prophecies of the Second Coming of Christ.

Which makes me wonder: what will happen May 22? I have no doubt whatsoever that when the Rapture fails to materialize, the group surrounding Camping will find some way to rationalize it. Perhaps they’ll claim the date was off. Perhaps they’ll claim it was a test of their faith (a common excuse, actually). Maybe, if they’re lucky, some will leave the movement. But no matter what, excuses will be made.

But that’s in the immediate term. I can’t help but be curious to see if this will continue on, as the Millerites did, and even grow? After 150 years, Seventh-day Adventism is now one of the largest Christian denominations on the planet, after all.

Who will be Camping in the 22nd century?

Image credit: Mark Nozell on Flickr, used under Creative Commons licensing.

Comments (134)

  1. The top money for an excuse is: “We all prayed really hard, and have delayed the rapture.” (until the next time these kooks need attention…)

    BTW, that sign is right outside the driveway to my office. Marc is a local! :)

  2. Hierro

    I hope the rapture isn’t too loud, cause I’ve had a very busy week and I am not putting on an alarm tomorrow.

  3. Scottie

    WE ALL GONNA ESPLODE!!!

  4. James H.

    I am attending two events on Facebook: The End of the World, and Post Rapture Looting. I know for sure that I’m not going anywhere!

  5. Bobbar

    It makes me sick that Camping is making oodles of money with this.

  6. Tony

    I almost wish it would happen just so all these religious zealots would just…disappear. Think about the job openings, reductions in traffic congestion, and shorter lines at Disneyland that would result! Seems a win-win all around.

  7. Airrider

    Am I the only one fearing some kind of mass suicide or incidents of homicide? I know I won’t be affected but I can’t help but be empathetic to people this misguided.

    I mean, like, a Darwin Award winner story is funny. 21st century Jonestown? Not so much!

  8. Georg

    I remember having read (about 40 years ago) a sentence
    of an American author of the 20ties, about this sense:

    In USA nothing/nobody is silly enough, not to find some dozen
    people even more silly/idiotic to follow.

    AfaIr this was about “denominations” then, but I think all
    that conspiracy communities are sort of religion.

  9. Richard

    At least we can offer to look after their pets: http://postrapturepetcare.com/

    A bargin at £70.

    Richard

  10. Peter Davey

    To misquote: “Treat each day as though it was the last – one day you’ll be right”. Or, if not you, possibly your great-great-grandchildren.

  11. Rachel Greenham

    The rapture can’t happen tomorrow, it clashes with Doctor Who! ;-)

  12. HumanisticJones

    If the world doesn’t end tomorrow, we’ll know that we were saved. Saved by a man that transcends time and space. A man that conquered death and daily performs miracles. Yes, saved by The Doctor.

  13. AndreaClaire

    @HumanisticJones That comment makes me love you :)

  14. I just don’t see how one RAPTOR can destroy the whole world…

  15. As for myself, I have stocked up on ball bearings. Nothing like a few good moving targets floating through the air to hone the slingshot skills.

    “Pull!”

  16. @HumanisticJones: As I was reading your comment, I was kind of thinking that the gang from Callahan’s might be the ones saving the day, but really, the Doctor is more likely :)

  17. Ross

    I can’t understand why people concern themselves with this sort of thing.

    If the world is doomed to end tomorrow, or next year, and there’s nothing we can do to prevent it- what’s the point in worrying?

    If Jesus decides to select The Saved from His Flock tomorrow, good for them. If the Mayans used their magical ability to be wiped out by Spaniards to predict doom for all humanity on a specific date in 2012 then we’re screwed either way. What good does fretting about it do?

  18. Maybe we should all wear fezes to celebrate the Doctor saving us. It might be too late to set that up for this one, but we could always do it for the next End of the World nonsense.

  19. TomF

    http://xkcd.com/900/
    “So, are you worried about the rapture?”
    “Not unless it figures out how to open doors.”
    “I said rapTURE.”

  20. Jerry

    Most rational people simply shake their heads and move on with their lives. Indeed, the media coverage of Camping and flock has generally had a tongue-in-cheek undertone to it. But, I can’t help feeling for the families that are divided over this, the hard earned cash that people are parting with on the billboards, and the time and effort spent ‘warning’ us non-believers. To me, these doomsday preachers are dangerous and overstep their 1st amendment rights by inciting fear and panic in weak-minded people (of whom there is no shortage in this country). What happens when someone is hurt out of desperate action due to Camping’s preachings? IMO, Camping is dangerous – maybe not Jim Jones dangerous, but still harmful to many, and should be dealt with accordingly.

  21. Pete Jackson

    Those who will be leaving us should donate all their assets to FEMA, who will be needing the funds when all the predicted catastrophes start occurring.

  22. thetentman

    Harold Camping appears to be old enough to have known Jesus perhaps that’s what himself told Mr C. or perhaps they are a bunch of NUTJOBS. I personally am going to put out a complete set of clothes on my sidewalk so the neighbors think I was raptured. And if this in anyway interrupts Yankees/Mets I will be pissed.

  23. Number 6

    You can follow a pre-rapture conversation on the Doonesbury Comic Strip. — http://www.doonesbury.com/strip

    Trudeau’s been covering this subject for at least a week or so.

  24. AtomicTommy

    I read that the guy already has a backup date of October 21 in case it doesn’t go down…

  25. So far, this rapture’s been a big letdown. Supposedly all these people believing they’ll ascend to heaven tomorrow and not one has given me their iPad 2! What a gyp!

    Seriously, though, we don’t even need to wait until tomorrow to debunk this. The guy is claiming that the rapture will occur at 6pm in every time zone. As I type this, the day/time in Christmas Island is 6/21 at 5am. In 13 more hours (midnight Eastern time), they’ll hit the “magic” 6pm hour. Unless news reports out of Christmas Island indicate lots of fire and brimstone, I wouldn’t worry.

    Granted, I probably won’t stay up. I’ll just check the morning news to see if reports are coming in of the world ending or (more likely) how Camping spins the non-rapture.

  26. @AtomicTommy,

    I think his prediction is that tomorrow all the “good souls” (read: all those who belong to his group and maybe some others who are close enough to his beliefs) will ascend to heaven. The rest of us will be left on Earth until October 21st when the world will suddenly turn into Hell.

    Of course, the fun might be in telling Camping that the Rapture actually *did* happen, but he was left behind! *evil grin*

  27. a different phil

    Camping has some followers that, if the reporting on NPR is correct, have quit their jobs, sold off everything they own and are spending their money down so they have nothing left as of May 21. When the Rapture fails to occur on Saturday, what will they do? Suicide? Lawsuits?

    I’ve heard through the grapevine that some atheist organizations are taking up collections to help these deluded folks get back on their feet.

  28. Badmother

    I’m weirded out that Camping is an engineer. In today’s NYT article about a couple who believe, but whose children don’t, the dad is an engineer. Then you have this http://www.infowars.com/planning-skills-make-engineers-good-field-operative-recruits-for-al-qaeda/

  29. Hannu Siivonen

    Every has been the year of the rapture, if not every has been the day, ever since John Darby came up with that BS.

    The funny thing is, the whole doctrine was based on a child’s dream, and adopted by people who claimed christianity should be based on bible only. Oh the irony.

  30. AtomicTommy

    @TechyDad,

    Ahhh, ok…I had read that from an AP article where they were talking to some other evangelical saying that Camping can’t possibly know since the Bible states that no one knows and to not set a date. I kinda feel bad for all these people that quit their jobs and are putting up billboards for this guy all over the world. What a bunch of idiots.

  31. fredR

    We’ve been here before, and will be here again… http://web.me.com/lorenmadsen/endings/pick_a_year.html

  32. mike burkhart

    You know I have to say something about this.So I’ll start with:THERE IS NO RAPTURE this word never appers once in the Bible nor dose its idea apper the Rapture was an idea proposed by a Portest minister in the 1800s based on his iterpation of Revelation but it is flase.Many Christans (my self inculded)do not beleve in the rapture and find it interesting that people who literly interpent the Bible beleve in something not writen in the Bible .

  33. MattF

    It’s funny that you should have one of those signs posted here. I was getting out of high school in 1991, just as things were gaining momentum for this thing.

    I was a Christian at the time — rock solid, perfectly confident in my faith, preaching the gospel to my friends whenever I saw an opening, leading Bible studies and preaching to the congregation at my local church. And even though I believed that one cannot and should not even try to set the date, I was plagued with doubt and worry. Sure, they were probably wrong… but what if, by some small chance, they were right? Or what if it came the following day? Or the following month? Or the following year?

    I had only just gotten out of high school. Several of my very closest friends, even then, were agnostic or atheists; even the ones who weren’t would not have been defined by my sect as “real, true Christians”, and were doomed to be left behind and suffer in the event of rapture. The thought of their unimaginable anguish tore me up. Even though I believed that the stickers were wrong, I mourned my friends. I mourned the world. I mourned the life I might never have, the woman I might never love, the family I had that would be splintered and fractured in this event and the family I would never get to see.

    And that mourning turned to anger, then to hatred. My faith shattered long before October 28, 1992.

    It messed me up pretty bad. I was unable to make long-term plans of any sort, because the End of the World might come. I couldn’t study in college. I couldn’t form healthy romantic relationships. Those stupid stickers put my life into some kind of weird, useless stasis, and I didn’t even believe they were right.

    It took me a long time to even think about believing in a loving God again; my faith on the matter is still far from consistent, and there’s still a lot of things I’m working through.

    Doubtless, this is why I have come to place such a high premium on epistemology — what we claim to know, and why we claim to know it. It’s also why I bleed for those who suffer because they have had the wool pulled over their eyes, and either don’t have the freedom or simply can’t see enough to question, and why I’m so impatient when it seems others seem slow to respond when people are being taken advantage of. (This sort of attitude toward charlatanism is something I would have been unable to imagine before things went all upside-down.)

    I wish I knew how to reach the May 21, 2011 believers. NPR interviewed some who were rationing their money, their food, and their medication so that it would all run out on the appointed day. How do you recover from something like that?

  34. thetentman

    @mike burkhart

    youse dunt spel twi gud mr kristian i wud be bleeve yu iffen yu cud spel beeter

  35. MattF

    mike burkhart: THERE IS NO RAPTURE […] Many Christans (my self inculded)do not beleve in the rapture and find it interesting that people who literly interpent the Bible beleve in something not writen in the Bible .

    Yeah, but you know how they get around that, don’t you?

    The word “trinity” isn’t in the Bible either. They think they see the concept in the Bible, once they reinterpret all the passages about how to live in light of inevitable death so that they’re about Jesus zapping real, true Christians away before they die.

    It’s also amazing to see these people go through amazing contortions to follow their claim that they interpret Revelation “literally”.

  36. @ thetentman:

    Don’t rag on our Mr. Burkhart. He has issues, which he has to deal with on a daily basis. His heart is in the right place, even if his fingers don’t always hit the right keys. :)

  37. Number 6

    I think a part of all of us can identify though with the appeal for some of the Rapture.

    Just think, if you’re facing some serious life crisis or crises — out of work, losing your home, dealing with alienated or strained personal relationships, and all the various messes that we must take responsibility for and clean up…..With the Rapture coming, if someone believes in it…Wow!…Now, the burden is lifted…No more stress….No more being responsible for this or that. The Rapture can be seductive for those individuals severely stressed, depressed, and/or weighed down.

  38. Chris A.

    You know the old saying: “The difference between a cult and a religion is 100 years.”

    The Mormons are there.

    Scientology is half way.

    I find the two facts above far scarier than anything that’s going to happen tomorrow.

  39. James H.

    My students came up with something amusing. They want to get all their old clothes, assorted boxes, things from the garage, etc, and strew them about all over the street tonight after midnight when everyone is asleep. Then in the morning the first people up and out the door will be greeted to what looks like an apocalyptic scene…They plan to film it and put the reactions on youtube.

    My kids have a real twisted sense of humor. :-)

  40. Chris

    The one thing that got me was saying it will occur at 6 PM. OK which time zone?

    From the link Phil provided
    Here’s the gist of Camping’s calculation: He believes Christ was crucified on April 1, 33 A.D
    So Jesus was crucified on April Fools Day???? Also a little back calculating (http://www.timeanddate.com) April 1, 33 AD is a Wednesday, while all tradition has it on a Friday.

  41. MattF

    James H.: My kids have a real twisted sense of humor.

    Twisted schmisted. If I had the money, I’d buy a whole bunch of lawn mowers and gas and leave those mowers running over certain graves at 6 PM local time. Graves of people who performed all sorts of atrocities in the name of Jesus Christ, like Hitler, Charlemagne, or Torquemada.

    Problem is, that would be a lot of lawn mowers; I can’t realistically fund such a venture. It would be an excellent opportunity, though, to see what happens. Either some minimal kind of justice will finally be served, or I’ll get to see how indestructible theophanies really are.

    Chris: The one thing that got me was saying it will occur at 6 PM. OK which time zone?

    Local time. It’s supposed to be heralded by a massive earthquake moving east. I shit you not.

    I have no idea whether or not Daylight Savings Time applies.

  42. oldebabe

    Maybe I’ve got this all wrong, but I thought the `rapture’ was where all the believers of it would be taken away to heaven /disappear (is this a bad thing?), in this instance on the 21st, and the end of the world would take place from then on to October 13 or by then, anyway. As if any of it is even plausible.

    Not the first, or the last, of these types of predictions and beliefs, so to an elderly person, it’s oh, no, not again, not another one, i.e. just boring. And of course, sad.

  43. Daffy

    Puck nailed it.

  44. Brad

    @Prince of Pithy
    I wear stetsons now. Stetsons are cool.

  45. Sam H

    While I still am (and will always be) at least sympathetic to the religion of my upbringing, it’s plain to see that this is BS. Every single person I know knows this, but sadly the 8-year old daughter of my drama teacher has been apparently scared by the news reports. There’s no need to fret of course, but I still feel sorry for her – nothing we can do about that, though. And I really like your take on things, MattF – it doesn’t say whether or not you became an atheist/agnostic after the 1992 incident, but is a clear reminder of the destructive power of cults. Isn’t it amazing how far we humans will go to find meaning in life – even if it’ll destroy us?
    Two other things:
    @29 Hannu – I once studied the rapture issue extensively, and while JN Darby originally popularized the modern day doctrine he wasn’t the first pre-tribulationist. And the thing about the teenage girl’s dream is almost certainly an urban legend, so far as I know.
    @39 James H – I now love your students :) – Make sure you post the link of their video for all of us when it’s up!!
    @40 Chris – if anyone’s interested, some more mainstream theologians are now proposing April 3, 33 AD as the crucifixion date. The curious thing about this date (aside from the fact that it actually was a Friday) is that the moon rose in partial eclipse as seen from Jerusalem, which according to some interpretations corresponds with the prophecies of “the moon turning to blood”.

  46. Calli Arcale

    The Rapture ain’t happening this weekend. I believe that God is a good and loving person, and He couldn’t possibly pre-empt the greatest TV show ever created (Doctor Who). :-P Also, the idea is pretty much bollocks.

    However, I do need to make a minor correction to those who say the word “rapture” never appears in the Bible. It kind of does, though not in the English translations. The relevant verse is 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17, and in Latin, the word is “rapiemur”, a literal translation of the Greek, and is generally translated into English as “taken up” or something similar, though there is great variation due to ambiguity in the Latin word’s actual intent. (Reverting to the Greek makes it clearer; “taken up” is a reasonable translation.) Notably, however, this is the Latin cognate of the English word “rapture”. So, though nobody uses the word “rapture” when translating the text (as far as I know), it’s kind of there in the Vulgate.

    So the idea of the Rapture prior to the Tribulation isn’t actually dependent on Revelations. Revelations would be about the Tribulation (in “rapture speak”); this bit in 1 Thessalonians tells us that we faithful Christians (if we’re really truly good Christians and not just faking it) will be spared all that. However, it goes without saying that the passage is out of context — as I read in context, it’s more like the little platitudes people say at funerals, meaning well and not being able to think of anything else to say. “It’s all right, he’s with Jesus now. We”ll all get to see him later someday.” (Which really isn’t that helpful for a grieving person, IMHO, because it comes across as “you stupid idiot, why are you still moping?”, but they mean well.)

    I like the idea of wearing fezzes to summon the Doctor to save us all from the end of the world. I don’t have a fez, so I’ll have to wear my Tom Baker scarf. ;-)

  47. Old Muley

    Who recalls when the Church of the Subgenius predicted an alien fleet would swoop down on July 5, 1998 to take away it’s members? When it didn’t happen, they said alternately that they had gotten the year “upside down” and X-Day was going to happen in 8661, or the calendar is wrong and July 5th, 1998 has not really arrived yet.

    I wonder what Mr. Camping’s excuse will be this time around? Either way he is undeserving of SLACK!

  48. Yojimbo

    I’d love to have all the non-believers (or better still all the non-Christians) hide from 6PM Saturday to 6PM Sunday. “Really god? EVERYBODY but us?”

    Someone on Facebook has suggested leaving around lots of boots with dry ice in them… :)

  49. Liath

    MattF

    You have my sympathy. That’s a hard row to hoe.

  50. Bryan D

    I’m always…. bemused I guess would be word by this type of stuff, especially when it says flat out right in the Bible that no one can predict this kind of stuff.

    Just in case tho, I’ll stick with the old saying “Jesus is coming, look busy”. :)

  51. Tom K.

    Religion is absolutely the most horrible invention of man. The Human species will not survive with it because you have been brainwashed that you cannot survive with out it. Every bit of it is fiction.

  52. A local bar and grill is having a tongue-in-cheek “end of the world” party this weekend.

    So empty out your bank accounts, call your friends, make peace with your enemies and head on down to NY Firehouse Grille and say goodbye to this wonderful planet that has sustained us and past civilizations for billions of years…Because Harold Camping said so.

    Of course, they have a discount coupon “just in case”, which is “good until May 25th 2011 or The End of Days…Which ever comes first”.

  53. What will be the reanimation status of boob jobs, nose jobs, dyed hair, facelifts, laser depilation, anal bleaching, collagen injections, Botox, tummy tucks, liposuction, dermabrasion, laser resurfacing… Japanese dentation, British smiles?

    One wonders about tattoos – and the flensing mechanism if they stay behind. It is very Goddess universe to postulate unicorns crapping pulled pork tacos in Heaven. How are vegans accommodated? Heavenly hosts are not, as they say, “complete.” It will be a long eternity. What about beards and body hair for both sexes? Who decides? The Middle East is renowned for dense sweated pelts on both sexes.

    All that stands between Yahweh’s disappointment with His Creation and its ablation is 36 Tzadikim Nistarim – three dozen men so unknowingly pious and pure that God cannot bear to end All for their presence. They are each and all guaranteed elevation. What of the rest of the universe thereafter?

  54. Something I’ve wondered about his “numerology” to determine the date. What version of the Bible is he using? Is it some modern English translation, or the original Hebrew? Is he using the Hebrew calendar, the Julian calendar, the Gregorian calendar, or something else? What time on the 21st does it begin, and given the different timezones, will things work east-to-west across the globe, giving those in Alaska the most time to be saved? Has He consulted with Santa on tips for how to complete the task in a single night?

  55. ophu

    And they never tire of being wrong. OK, I predict that the rapture will not happen this year. Statistically, it’s a very good bet. :-)

    Of course, I make the same prediction every year. That gives me twenty correct predictions to Harold Camping’s two failures. Yes, I know I’m jumping the gun, but I’m pretty sure his latest prediction won’t pan out.

  56. Bryan Feir

    @Badmother:
    See http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Engineers_and_woo for other notes. While that page annoyingly generalizes the issue, it is unfortunately fairly well documented that there are a disproportionate number of engineers who get caught up in idiocy like Intelligent Design (or people like author and engineer James P. Hogan, who became a Velikovskyite). A lot of it boils down to not being properly trained in scientific principles to start with (since they’re not doing science), and being intelligent enough to fall afoul of the Dunning-Kruger effect.

    The ultimate version of this is the Salem Hypothesis: “In any Evolution vs. Creation debate, a person who claims scientific credentials and sides with Creation will most likely have an Engineering degree.”

    And I say this as an engineer. One of the Civil Engineering profs at my university was a creationist. Thankfully, I never had him as a prof.

    @MattF:
    I have no idea whether or not Daylight Savings Time applies.
    I’m pretty sure it doesn’t, so it’s what would be 6pm standard time, so 7pm under Daylight Savings Time. Yes, there are actually people out there who believe that time zones are divinely ordained but Daylight Savings Time is a man-made addition.

  57. Carl

    @6: Not to mention not having to fight Creationism in schools. In fact, whether I get taken up tomorrow or not, it’s a win/win as far as I’m concerned.

  58. MattF

    Sam H: And I really like your take on things, MattF – it doesn’t say whether or not you became an atheist/agnostic after the 1992 incident, but is a clear reminder of the destructive power of cults. Isn’t it amazing how far we humans will go to find meaning in life – even if it’ll destroy us?

    Indeed. What I have found most appalling — and, in some sense, enlightening — subsequent to all of this is the Christian notion of “let them abide”(*), an attitude which many Evangelicals seem to embrace even though most have probably never heard of it. Sure, those guys might suffer, but we know better, and it’s better to distance ourselves and let the whole thing implode than get involved and risk being rebuffed or scorned or being confronted with teachings that make us question our own ideas.

    Liath: You have my sympathy. That’s a hard row to hoe.

    Thank you. Even though my 18-year-old self would likely be appalled at what I have become, I am appalled at what I once was. It says something powerful and distressing that some beliefs can be damaging even by being in proximity to other, more obviously dangerous beliefs.

    (*) This comes from the story told by Dr. W. H. Van Doren in “The Evangelist”, which has come to be repeated often to encourage Christians with the power of prayer. In it, an elderly fellow who lived in on a mountain in Wyoming with his four sons urged them not to go down the valley and into town when they needed food, explaining that during prayer his mind was impressed with “Let them abide till the morrow”. The sons listened. That night, a local tribe raided the town, killing all but a few and setting every building ablaze. Naturally, the elderly saint and his family were thankful for their deliverance, which I can understand. I can’t help but think of the suffering of everyone in the town, though, and fear that a common modern outlook encourages people to rejoice in their own deliverance from calamity without regard to those who suffer because they don’t manage to avoid that particular calamity. It’s especially shameful that Christians, who claim to have the love of Christ and love everybody, would reflect this attitude with such stark clarity, even to the point of considering it a virtue.

    Even the notion of the rapture is like this, if you think about it — being zapped out so that you don’t have to suffer like all those people who Should Have Known Better.

  59. Quiet Desperation

    It makes me sick that Camping is making oodles of money with this.

    It makes me sick I didn’t think of it.

  60. Sam H

    @50 Tom K: Aie…yet another who really believes Dawkins, Hitchens and Harris on religion being a “poison”? Look: whether God exists or not, it appears that all humans beings have some need to believe in something beyond themselves (and I’m pretty sure that atheists are included – for Carl Sagan it was aliens, and for others it’s merely the power of science). And even though religion can be destructive, we have come this far with it, we will almost certainly go farther without being “destroyed”.

  61. Number 6

    Many years ago in a previous profession, I worked with older adults….most were frail and pretty advanced in their years. Sometimes, they’d predict with what appeared to be absolute certainty that they would be dead in a week or a month. In the vast majority of cases, I remember visiting them many months or years after their “for sure” prediction…They were still hanging in there.

    Sometimes, I wonder if it’s similar with these predictions of the earth’s demise. Various groups are convinced, but after every doomsday deadline, each time, of course, life goes on.

    We are all poor predictors of our individual demise and the world’s demise.

    Yet, the exception to this is if Phil posts an emergency annoucement here about a asteroid screaming towards earth the size of Charlie Sheen’s ego.

  62. Joseph G

    I want to find where these people are meeting.
    Then I want to fill a bunch of blow-up dolls with helium, and let them go in locations nearby, all around them, at the appointed hour.
    Then I want to get some pictures of their faces when they see dozens of scantily-clad, very surprised-looking women being Raptured up into the air, while they’re “Left Behind” :D

  63. Bob_In_Wales

    @58 – This is a demonstrably false assertion. Proof? Well, me, for starters. I feel no need to “believe in something beyond me”, if I do anything it is the opposite, I “believe IN me”. Everything else is a model subject to revision.

  64. Joseph G

    @47 Yojimbo: Someone on Facebook has suggested leaving around lots of boots with dry ice in them… :)

    Yes! Yes! We MUST do this :D

  65. Number 6

    Many years ago, I remember watching either a short TV program or movie about a family living on a planet where the sun was supposed to go supernova by morning of the next day according to the all of the noted and respected scientists. Everyone was told to prepare for this “certain” event. The father and mother of the family wanted to spare their children from experiencing the horror of the end of the world so they gave them a painless poison that killed them in their sleep. (I faintly remember disagreements between the mother and father as to if the poison should be administered.)

    The morning of the next day, the sun rose like every other day. Their sun was fine. The government and scientists made an announcement about how they’d been wrong.

    It was a heartbreaking and depressing science fiction story…Sorry if I brought anyone down by telling it.

    The story’s theme appeared to making a statement about human fallibility.

  66. John Sandlin

    in #58 Sam H Says on May 20th, 2011 at 2:31 pm:

    Look: whether God exists or not, it appears that all humans beings have some need to believe in something beyond themselves (and I’m pretty sure that atheists are included – for Carl Sagan it was aliens, and for others it’s merely the power of science).

    For me it is a belief that there are intelligent human beings on the planet Earth. So far I’ve been fairly disappointed.

    jbs

  67. George Martin

    Following Bobbar @5

    It makes me sick that Camping is making oodles of money with this.

    And Quiet Desperation @57

    It makes me sick I didn’t think of it.

    It is too bad that there is no practical way to indict Camping for fraud. All of the money for the billboard adds and things like full page ads in USA Today comes from money he fleeced from people. Yes those people shouldn’t be so gullible, but other scams, which prey on the gullible, are prosecuted.

    George

    P.S.

    In the U2 song “Bullet the Blue Sky” there is the wonderful line,
    Well the God I believe in isn’t short of cash, mister!

  68. Quiet Desperation:

    It makes me sick that Camping is making oodles of money with this.

    It makes me sick I didn’t think of it.

    Where can we get a scruple-ectomy? It’s amazing to think how much money could be made, if only those darn scruples didn’t get in the way.

  69. Chris Winter

    Color me irreverent, but when I see that sign I think of something along the lines of “Are you ready for some FOOTBALL???

  70. John Sandlin:

    For me it is a belief that there are intelligent human beings on the planet Earth. So far I’ve been fairly disappointed.

    Paging Glenn Ross and John Kane.

  71. Chris Winter

    “I’m weirded out that Camping is an engineer.”

    It boggles the mind. I’ve noticed that a fair percentage of engineers and physicists don’t believe in global warming either.

    BTW: In another blog, I read that Harold Camping just renewed his FCC license for several years. So… his Rapture prediction is a fraud, eh?

  72. Tony (#6):

    I almost wish it would happen just so all these religious zealots would just…disappear. Think about the job openings, reductions in traffic congestion, and shorter lines at Disneyland that would result!

    Jobs and traffic, yes. But, you don’t think that anyone who is righteous enough to be saved would enter such a seething den of heathenism as Disneyland, do you?

  73. Joseph G

    @70 Ken B: Good point.
    On the other hand, the ‘Vegas area brothels are going to be absolutely clamoring for customers to make up for the loss :)

  74. Douglas Troy

    I can almost see the News Headlines now:

    All Religious People Raptured!
    Wars END!
    Education and Science advancement at all time high.
    Average IQ of people and children double.
    World fights Global Warming together.
    Science research ends world hunger.
    Disease related deaths at all time low thanks to vaccine research.
    Moon colonized.
    Mars colonized.
    SETI discovers signal from distant planet. Earth has been LIKED!

    Thanks, but I’ll be staying. Party at Phil’s house.

  75. Dosco Jones

    In case of weekend rapture, does anyone need me to water their plants?

  76. Quiet Desperation

    Where can we get a scruple-ectomy?

    Just pay attention to the world. If you are not a cold, hard cynic, you are not paying attention.

    Living in California helps, too, where no corruption goes unrewarded. Some days it seems about 3/4 of the population is gaming the system one way or another. Meanwhile I *scrupulously* pay my taxes like a big sucker.

    It’s amazing to think how much money could be made, if only those darn scruples didn’t get in the way.

    You’re right, Captain Morality! I have seen the error of my supervillainy ways! I shall reform!

    …after I write one book full of hoo ha, sell it out to the wackaloons and retire.

  77. Quiet Desperation

    Many years ago, I remember watching either a short TV program or movie about a family living on a planet where the sun was supposed to go supernova by morning of the next day according to the all of the noted and respected scientists. Everyone was told to prepare for this “certain” event. The father and mother of the family wanted to spare their children from experiencing the horror of the end of the world so they gave them a painless poison that killed them in their sleep. (I faintly remember disagreements between the mother and father as to if the poison should be administered.)

    Ah, easy one.

    “The Illustrated Man” based on the book by Ray Bradbury.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Illustrated_Man_(film)

    Considered a critical failure, but I thought it was OK.

  78. Matthew Saunders

    Are alien abductions really just Rapture Training Sessions? :)

    And those of you who are upset at Camping making money, hey, just another entrepreneur…take a look at Facebook, they’re making money off of NOTHING :)

  79. The beautiful irony is that I am going ‘camping’ tomorrow. I will be sure to listen to Rapture by Morbid Angel on my drive to the trail head. Then, there will be a rapture on the way to camping on May 21st. ^.^

  80. Richie

    For a lark I went onto Mr Camping’s website and opened up his article “ANOTHER INFALLIBLE PROOF” (caps are all his). I then checked his math.

    Guess what? Far from infallible, he makes a significant error quite early in. I decided to take two of the critical assumptions to be true: JC died on April 1, 33AD and that there will be 722,500 days between the Crucifixion and the Rapture.

    Yes, I know, both are wrong/unfounded/unreliable/imaginary, but this is hypothetical.

    He next states the length of the Earth’s year to be 365.2422, and then multiplies that by the number of years between 33AD and 2011 (1,978). Then add 51 days for April 1 to May 21, giving him the ‘magic’ number of 722,500

    The problem is, the official sidereal year is actually 365.256363004. That’s about 20 minutes difference. And multiplied over 1,978, with the 51 days added, and we get 722,528. So we’re late for the rapture by almost a full month. (Or only 17 days if he remembered to factor in the 11 missing days of the 1582 date switch)

    All that was required for this discovery? 2 minutes on Wikipedia and another 5 in Excel. It’s not exactly hard to do.

  81. Matt F (different one)

    @Richie, don’t forget the slowing of Earth’s rotation.

  82. JB of Brisbane

    To expand the Millerism progression, Seventh-Day Adventism in turn spawned Jehovah’s Witnesses, who also preach that we are living in the end times, and made several predictions of the Last Day in the past, but have given up on putting an exact date on it.

  83. Some Guy

    Lol Phil you seem so defeated and drained ;). I can’t say I blame you, I would be as well after so many years of battling the cancers of scientific and critical thought.

  84. Ben

    I’m having my own “SAVE THE WORLD” party, and I encourage others to do the same! Show this charletan how powerless his god really is! We’re going to stop his puny god from doing his evil work! We’re going to make sure the rapture DOESN’T happen on May 21st. And there’s nothing he or his impotent god can do to stop us! Just wait and see!

  85. Jeremy

    I’m 50/50 about this whole thing. I grew up Southern Baptist but I now consider myself agnostic. The idea of a loving, just god is awesome, but the fact that the just, loving god commands murder for all those who don’t follow him is disheartening to say the least.

    I’ve read many articles trying to debunk Camping’s theory, (my favorite being this one: http://www.scribd.com/doc/52488242/Harold-Camping-and-the-End-Times-Fraudulent-Math-Faulty-Numerology-and-False-Dates) but none of them get rid of that “What if…?” fear.

    I’ve literally been pulling my hair thinking of the possibility, I’ve had this nervous habit forever. It will be 6 PM in New Zealand at 1 AM central time in America. I’m gonna stay up for 1 or 2 hours, checking the news, and if nothing happens, I’ll sleep.

  86. Catsceo

    I’d just like to report there has already been an attempted double homicide/suicide over this bullhocky: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Vj8-_jhFAA&feature=share

  87. sorrykb

    The 14-year-old son of a couple of doomsday parents (from the NY Times): “I don’t really have any motivation to try to figure out what I want to do anymore,” he said, “because my main support line, my parents, don’t care.”

    That’s just sad.

    Although something else struck me as I read the article: Astonishment at how kids raised by those parents could still turn out… sensible. (Check out the article for other quotes from the kids.)

    Human beings really are amazing, sometimes in the worst but also sometimes in the best sense of the word.

    – KB

    P.S. My money’s on the “It was a test of our faith” excuse. Although “The Doctor saved us” is altogether more plausible.

  88. solitha

    Unfortunately, my main thought right now is that all these believers are going to end up sucking up public funds to make up for their errors in belief, basically stealing from others in genuine need.

    @76 Douglas Troy…
    The list sounded great, until I realized that the ones we have the most problems with aren’t the ones that would be going. Actually, we’d be stuck with the hypocrites who use their faith as a bludgeon, instead of the gentler, true believers who use it as a blanket. And the hypocrites would have no “brotherly” check on them afterwards. We would, basically, be left with the chaff of Christianity.

    Tennessee would be beyond help in mere days.

  89. Wzrd1

    You kind folks fail to realize, THE WORLD IS GOING TO END!!!!
    In a mere one billion years, it’ll be dead. Conditions so horrific, even the most dedicated scientists wouldn’t want to come here.
    In 4-5 billion years, it’ll be gone in fire. The fires of the sun that has nurtured for all those years, only to turn against us in its elder years.

    I’m not too worried though, I checked my calendar, I’m booked for a vacation on Europa when the Earth is superheated to death.
    I’ll be vacationing on Titan when the Earth is consumed.

  90. Ryan rengifo

    Wow shame on you author of this article for having the audacity to use sitchin’s good name In relation to a doomsday prophecy. This is ignorant sensationalist attempt at validating your work. At best, if you want to allude to the work of someone far more respected and accomplished than yourself at least include a disclaimer that you have no idea what you’re talking about, and that it should only be taken as an attempt to drop names.

  91. ellie

    70. Ken B “Where can we get a scruple-ectomy?”

    Wall Street.

  92. Since Camping lives in the Bay Area (his house is in Alameda, across the estuary from Oakland where his HQ is) he’s been in the local papers a lot the past week. He claims it’s not about the money, but saving souls. Right. When they say it’s not about the money, it’s about the money.

    Also, there’s been a great “billboard war” going on on the SF side of the Bay Bridge. Camping’s billboards are all over the east bay, of course, but in San Francisco, on the eastbound approach about a mile before the bridge there’s a huge ‘board on the left side put up by a skeptic organization that says: “You Know it’s Nonsense! 2000 Years of ‘Any Day Now!’ ” At the bottom is the ad for their annual convention being held (where else?) in Oakland this weekend along with a post-rapture party tomorrow night. Entertainment is by Brian “Mr. Deity” Dalton.

    After that billboard, on the right side a half mile later, is another one put up by a different “end times’ group that claims that Jesus is already here and has been for some time collecting the names of the 144,000 that will follow him into heaven tomorrow. If you want to hear an actual recording of Jesus’ seminar where he talks about this (and sings!) just visit their website. Sorry I didn’t write it down (I was driving), but that should be enough for you to find it on your own.

    – Jack

  93. Don

    One thing I’ve heard is that Camping has been collecting contributions from followers and the speculation is that he will be the only one “raptured”, as in disappearing to some island with a bulging Swiss bank account.

  94. MusicalJedi

    Well its 3am and nothing is being reported from anywhere in the world… Maybe next time Camping.

  95. EVE: Online — the space RPG — had a log in banner last night (click my name to see it) that read:

    The World Ends Tomorrow

    Might as well spend the night playing EVE: Online

  96. patrick

    What makes me sick is the people who died yesterday are being called the first taken rip randy savage and we know you may be in heaven but you were not raptured

  97. Svlad Cjelli

    I guess Jesus thought about baseball.

    (Cookie if you get it.)

  98. PeteC

    Jeremy (87) : The “what if..” fear is natural when you hear of an unlikely threat, but in this case completely unwarranted. It’s exactly the same as the “what if…” fear people get when they finish watching Independence Day and there’s a rumble of thunder, or Night of the Living Dead and there’s a noise outside, or anything else similar. The likelihood of it being huge UFOs or zombies is low. Being concerned when you hear a noise in the house at night is far more sensible – the unlikely chance of it being a human intruder and not the plumbing is a lot higher than it being god come to kill you for the crime of wearing clothes made from cotton/nylon mix, something banned by the Bible.

    Supposed Christians like this have been making prophecies that the world was going to end very soon for a couple of thousand years now, and they’ve not been right once. It happens every year or two. It will happen again next year, with all this Mayan 2012 nonsense. It will happen again after that. It comes down to two types – the ones who, without modern media, would be stood at the side of the road in rags gibbering and shouting “Dooom! Dooooooooom! DOOOOOOOOOM!” and the ones who will have a very good ‘reason’ the next day why they were wrong – “a slight miscalculation” or “we prayed and convinced god to give all you unbelievers more time”, and yet their bank account is a lot fuller and their supporters are somewhat short of funds.

  99. Old Rockin' Dave

    If you have the email addresses of any of the folk who expected to go flying off today, be sure to send them this link:
    http://www.nelsonhaha.com/

  100. star girl

    Small point – seventh day adventism is a small offshoot of Christianity – according to Wikipedia it has 17 million adherents – no where close to ‘one of the largest Christian denominations on the planet’

  101. Darth Robo

    Now I get all confused with all this international timezones stuff, but it’s 6pm here in old Blighty. Is anything supposed to have happened yet?

    :/

  102. Stargazer

    According to the Bible, he is a false prophet and should be, at least, ignored.

    But Jesus himself was a false prophet, saying he would return within the lifetime of hid contemporaries.

    Also, to all the Christians distancing themselves from this guy saying he’s crazy, your own beliefs are not much less crazy, if at all. Don’t pretend your own religious beliefs are all reasonable.

  103. Wzrd1

    I’m still laughing about their notion that a massive earthquake was to occur, starting at, of all places, on the international date line.

  104. Betsy

    It occurred to me a few minutes ago that the very first person to predict the return of Jesus and the coming of the Kingdom of God, was JESUS. He said it would happen before the people who were listening to him were dead.
    Well if HE was wrong, the other guys ought to give up!

  105. Kevin

    Somebody pinch me….am I still alive? I still have so much to do before the end of Earth!

  106. don gisselbeck

    Since there are only seven righteous persons in the world, no one will notice when they are Raptured.

  107. Darwin Dawkins

    Well the Crapture didn’t come. Perhaps the kooky fella made another mistake in his biblical numerology and got his figures all messed up. Maybe next year he’ll confidently predict the Rupture to fall on the 21 of august?
    Still, this idiot Camping is showing how false all this religious bull sh*t is.

  108. Quiet Desperation

    Since there are only seven righteous persons in the world…

    Name names or GTFO!!!1!!2! ;-)

    Jesus is already here and has been for some time collecting the names of the 144,000 that will follow him into heaven tomorrow

    You know, that would make an awesome TV show. Some guy shows up claiming to be Jesus, and even demonstrates some apparent miracles, signs up 144,000 people, and takes them on a journey through different parallel worlds. As they are departing through a gateway of some sort, some hideous thing comes out of space at near light speed and blasts the Earth into chunks. All through the season the nature of this Jesus figure and the truth behind his mission could be the big mystery.

    My advice is to write the last episode first. Hire a seasoned mystery writer to at least consult.

  109. don gisselbeck

    I misremebered, the Kabbala says 36. That seems a bit high to me.

  110. Wells S.

    As with any scientific prediction, there is always an error bar. In this case, I’d say it’s one of a few trillion years. So for those rapture deniers, you just wait…

  111. Mark Hansen

    Sorry I’m late posting on this… did the world actually end?

  112. Number 6

    @Quiet Desperation…..

    I’m indebted to you….I’d always wondered where — in the literary world –that story came from.

    Have a good weekend….it’s past 6 PM central daylight time…so it looks like you, me, and all of us will be spending it here on planet earth!… :)

  113. Ariane

    Worst. Rapture. Ever.

  114. Messier Tidy Upper

    Well, no apocalypse yet. What a surprise – not! :roll:

    ‘Rapture’ used to be a nice word meaning only extreme happiness once. Sigh. :-(

  115. Messier Tidy Upper

    Of course, this :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0GFRcFm-aY

    has to be the theme music for today.

    @ 64. Joseph G :

    I want to find where these people are meeting.
    Then I want to fill a bunch of blow-up dolls with helium, and let them go in locations nearby, all around them, at the appointed hour. Then I want to get some pictures of their faces when they see dozens of scantily-clad, very surprised-looking women being Raptured up into the air, while they’re “Left Behind”
    :-D

    LOL. Classic idea. :-)

    Has anyone done / seen any pranks on these sorry jokers yet?

    Slightly cruel perhaps and I do have a smidgin of sympathy for the most guillible of them, but, yeah, they probably do deserve it & a fair bit of mockery is justified in this case. After all they think the rest of us are going to be put through hell and deserve it so my sympathy for them is rather limited.

    @69. George Martin : In the U2 song “Bullet the Blue Sky” there is the wonderful line,
    “Well the God I believe in isn’t short of cash, mister!”

    Yes. Great song :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGvNHH_Ebtk

    As is this one :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWhaGa-2Hq0

    Also by U2. :-)

    Find the most appropriate line for this (non-)event .. methinks its about the 1 minute and 1 second mark. ;-)

  116. Gark

    @92. Ryan rengifo
    “Wow shame on you author of this article for having the audacity to use sitchin’s good name In relation to a doomsday prophecy. This is ignorant sensationalist attempt at validating your work. At best, if you want to allude to the work of someone far more respected and accomplished than yourself at least include a disclaimer that you have no idea what you’re talking about, and that it should only be taken as an attempt to drop names.”

    http://thenhlhotlist.azvibe.com/images/207_not_sure_if_serious.jpg

  117. Messier Tidy Upper

    Well it’s May 22nd now even in the USA and I’ve got one thing to say to Camping and his followers :

    http://www.sadtrombone.com/

    Oh & what # 101. Old Rockin’ Dave said :

    http://www.nelsonhaha.com/

    too. :-P

    No rapture yesterday folks. Although there’s always this :

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/11/01/awesome-timelapse-video-rapture/

    Version of the ‘Rapture’ to console ourselves – much better than the fundamentalist version! :-)

    Which happened back on Nov. 1st last year if you’re curious. ;-)

  118. katwagner

    We need some more RAPTORS here – still have massive quantities of voles in the fields and gardens. They’re digging holes in the raised beds and eating the snow peas I just planted. We had five or six owls in our yard all winter but we need the big guns now! Red tail hawks, sparrow hawks, turkey vultures and the occasional golden eagle. Bring ‘em! Hurry!

  119. Donovan

    Christianity itself is a spin-off from a Jewish end-of-the world cult, if we accept that what the Bible says is an accurate portrayal of the sermons of a man named Jesus.

  120. MaDeR

    Some here expressed some pity or are sorry for these gullible people. I am not. If experience of last few thousand years does not learn them anything, they are just hopelessly retarded idiots.

  121. jess tauber

    Those who c the light, and let themselves be suffused with it, shall be lifted heavenward during the Full-of-C Rapture.

  122. Nic

    What a nasty horrible thief.
    If he truly believed this stuff (yeah right) by now he’d be right on the way handing all the money back. Yeah sure.
    An evil, evil, thief preying on the vulnerable.

    What a b*stard.
    N

  123. Messier Tidy Upper

    So .. what’s the weak excuse been and is Camping now apologising and handing out refunds? Anyone know?

  124. mfumbesi

    Good day, it is the 23th of May 2011 and the end is not here yet. Maybe the high prophet misread the sings, maybe he indulged to much on the holy herb. We will never know. Singing off: mfumbesi.

  125. Messier Tidy Upper

    Well here’s the Camping guy’s response to the non-Rapture – a news item :

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/05/22/BAKO1JJIK7.DTL

    Via this thread :

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/05/doh_we_should_have_known.php

    on the Pharyngula blog.

    @126. mfumbesi : “Maybe the high prophet misread the sings, maybe he indulged to much on the holy herb.”

    I’m pretty sure Harold Camping wasn’t a Rastafarian :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rastafarian

    And, as (not) such he probably was NOT a huge believer in partaking of the “sacred ‘erb”. Then again .. guess we don’t really know what could’ve inspired him to “prophesy”! ;-)

  126. JB of Brisbane

    Want to hear something funny? At 6:00PM AEST I was at my local Catholic church, awaiting the start of mass. Almost right on the dot of six, just as the opening commentary finished and the processional hymn was about to start, the laptop computer that runs the Powerpoint presentation with the hymn lyrics on it shut down inexplicably and refused to restart. My first thought – doomsday virus?

  127. Messier Tidy Upper

    Just one more link for this thread (promise!) :

    http://www.satirewire.com/content1/?p=3062

    which explains everything. (Kinda.) ;-)

    ****
    Thanks to MinnieTheFinn, Fan of Modern, Sinful Dancing (May 21, 2011 5:25 PM) on Pharyngula’s “While Harold Camping sits safe with his millions…” thread.

  128. mike burkhart

    I think he needs to stop worrying about the end of the world. I am a Christan(Catholic) and I don’t worry about the end of the world when it happens it happens. I’ve got other things to worry about. Like the fact it’s rained so munch this spring I’ve havent had good Astronomical observations for months ,How am I suposed to unravel the mysteries of the Universe if I can’t see anything but clouds?

  129. Nic

    I should have thought of this earlier – why was that person collecting money at all? If the world is ending or whatever the stupid bloody story is, why collect money?
    As a total and thorough atheist I will always and without question ignore portents of doom from anything other than science backed evidence based sources. However in future if I do happen to see a religious sect really pushing such an agenda and not collecting money (approximately as likely as pigs flying without some kind of rather interesting and big heat engine) I will at least blink. And then continue doing what I was doing.

  130. calculus

    Because I am an atheist who was raised Jewish, I threw a “party in hell.” Because I don’t believe in jesus, as dose nobody else in my family, I would go to hell for “not believing.” I invited all my freinds (None of which are even close to the beliefes of these christian nut jobs) to sleep over and bring their sleeping bags to have a party in hell! I did everything. We played Nine Inch Nails on max volume, oujia board, read hellboy comics, World of warcraft at 1 in the morning ( only as my most demonic horde!!!!!),and to top it all off, we all did a flawless reanactment of that ending scene to Indiana Jones and the temple of doom (complete with fake blood!) Then, we all woke up to see if we had gone to hell. We didn’t! In fact, we spent the morning eating at IHOP! The place was empty! More like heaven than hell!

    PS. Darwin loves you! LOL

  131. Jimmy

    [Re Unraptured, here’s a web scream that’ll blow you away. The rapture is a hoax that is less than 200 years old! Jimmy]

    PRETRIB RAPTURE SECRETS

    How can the “rapture” be “imminent”? Acts 3:21 says that Jesus “must” stay in heaven (He’s now there with the Father) “until the times of restitution of all things” which includes, says Scofield, “the restoration of the theocracy under David’s Son” which obviously can’t begin before or during Antichrist’s reign. (“The Rapture Question,” by the long time No. 1 pretrib authority John Walvoord, didn’t dare to even list, in its scripture index, the too-hot-to-handle Acts 3:21!) Since Jesus can’t even leave heaven before the tribulation ends (Acts 2:34, 35 echo this), the rapture therefore can’t take place before the end of the trib! (The above verses from Acts were also too hot for John Darby – the so-called “father of dispensationalism” – to list in the scripture index in his “Letters”!)
    Paul explains the “times and the seasons” (I Thess. 5:1) of the catching up (I Thess. 4:17) as the “day of the Lord” (5:2) which FOLLOWS the posttrib sun/moon darkening (Matt. 24:29; Acts 2:20) WHEN “sudden destruction” (5:3) of the wicked occurs! The “rest” for “all them that believe” is tied to such destruction in II Thess. 1:6-10! (If the wicked are destroyed before or during the trib, who’d be left alive to serve the Antichrist?) Paul also ties the change-into-immortality “rapture” (I Cor. 15:52) to the posttrib end of “death” (15:54). (Will death be ended before or during the trib? Of course not! And vs. 54 is also tied to Isa. 25:8 which is Israel’s posttrib resurrection!)
    Many are unaware that before 1830 all Christians had always viewed I Thess. 4’s “catching up” as an integral part of the final second coming to earth. In 1830 this “rapture” was stretched forward and turned into a separate coming of Christ. To further strengthen their novel view, which the mass of evangelical scholars rejected throughout the 1800s, pretrib teachers in the early 1900s began to stretch forward the “day of the Lord” (what Darby and Scofield never dared to do) and hook it up with their already-stretched-forward “rapture.” Many leading evangelical scholars still weren’t convinced of pretrib, so pretrib teachers then began teaching that the “falling away” of II Thess. 2:3 is really a pretrib rapture (the same as saying that the “rapture” in 2:3 must happen before the “rapture” [“gathering”] in 2:1 can happen – the height of desperation!).
    Other Google articles on the 181-year-old pretrib rapture view include “Famous Rapture Watchers,” “Pretrib Rapture Diehards,” “X-Raying Margaret,” “Edward Irving is Unnerving,” “Thomas Ice (Bloopers),” “Walvoord Melts Ice,” “Wily Jeffrey,” “The Rapture Index (Mad Theology),” “America’s Pretrib Rapture Traffickers,” “Roots of (Warlike) Christian Zionism,” “Scholars Weigh My Research,” “Pretrib Hypocrisy,” “Pretrib Rapture Secrecy,” “Deceiving and Being Deceived,” and “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty” – all by the author of the bestselling book “The Rapture Plot” (see Armageddon Books).

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