With the recent mania surrounding Harold Camping’s failed rapture prophecy, Christianity has been in the media spotlight a little more than normal. If you somehow missed the media blitz surrounding yet another failed prophecy of Jesus’ glorious (and terrible) return – Harold Camping used his small media/radio empire familyradio.com in order to promote his unquestioning belief that Jesus Christ would return to earth on May 21st, 2011 – he claimed to know this using a strange combination of Numerology and the Bible. He and his followers have spent an excess of 200 Million dollars buying billboards, radio ads, internet ads and other assorted media – many of them selling their homes and depleting their savings accounts in order to pursue the goal of “sounding the warning trumpet”.
Though this event unsurprisingly gained meme status among the atheist crowd, many were surprised to see that a number of Christians also had a tendency to mock Camping and his followers. As a former Christian, I actually understand this entirely. Like many others, I know that the Bible has many references to man’s inability to know the date of Christ’s alleged return. For the most part, this is an accepted orthodox position. However, with hindsight comes understanding, and though I likely would have ridiculed Camping as a Christian I now have to look at him and all Christians in a different light.