Can you hear me now??? Throughout the ages religious men have predicted the end of the world. Obviously none have been accurate but some people of faith are still drawn to these Apocalyptic wolf cries.
What is it that draws them and why do Christian men still make their heralds of chicken little?
Harold Camping and his Family Radio Station has thousands of deluded people selling all their worldly possessions, renting billboards and preparing for the end of the world and the return of Jesus Christ.
As I said, this is nothing new. Here is a list of a few of the past failed predictions...
400 Martin of Tours Stated that the world would end before 400.
1284 Pope Innocent III Pope Innocent III predicted that the world would end following 666 years of the rise of Islam.
1689 Benjamin Keach
October 16, 1736 William Whiston Comet colliding with the earth.
1792 The Shakers
1806 The Prophet Hen of Leeds: In Leeds, England in 1806 a hen began laying eggs on which the phrase "Christ is coming" written on the eggs. Eventually it was discovered to be a hoax. The hoaxster had written on the eggs in a corrosive ink so to etch the eggs, and reinserted the eggs back into the hen. The Prophet Hen of Leeds
1843-1844 William Miller Miller predicted Christ would return between March 21, 1843 and March 21, 1844, then revised his prediction, claiming to have miscalculated Scripture, to October 22, 1844. The realization that the predictions were incorrect resulted in a Great Disappointment. Miller's theology gave rise to the Advent movement. The Baha'is believe that Christ did return as Miller predicted in 1844, with the advent of The BÃ¡b, and numerous Miller-like prophetic predictions from many religions are given in William Sears book, Thief in The Night.
1867-1875 Rev. Michael Baxter Forty 'Wonders' occurring in the following seven years and seventy-five days including wars, famine, pestilence and earthquakes culminating in the return of Christ in 1875.
1873 Jonas Wendell In 1870 Wendell published his views in the booklet entitled The Present Truth, or Meat in Due Season concluding that the Second Advent was sure to occur in 1873.
1914 Charles Taze Russell "...the battle of the great day of God AlmightyÂ… The date of the close of that "battle" is definitely marked in Scripture as October 1914. It is already in progress, its beginning dating from October, 1874."
1919 Albert Porta Alignment of planets causing the sun to explode.
1925 Joseph F. Rutherford "Seventy jubilees of fifty years each would be a total of 3500 years. That period of time beginning 1575 before A.D. 1 of necessity would end in the fall of the year 1925, at which time the type ends and the great antitype must begin. What, then, should we expect to take place? The chief thing to be restored is the human race to life; and since other Scriptures definitely fix the fact that there will be a resurrection of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and other faithful ones of old, and that these will have the first favour, we may expect 1925 to witness the return of these faithful men of Israel from the condition of death, being resurrected and fully restored to perfect humanity and made the visible, legal representatives of the new order of things on earth."
December 21, 1954 Dorothy Martin Martin, a housewife from Chicago claimed to have received messages from aliens via automatic writing which stated that the world would end in a great flood before dawn on December 21, 1954. When Prophecy Fails
Summer of 1969 Charles Manson Manson predicted that an apocalyptic race war would occur in 1969 and ordered the Tate-LaBianca murders in an attempt to bring it about. Helter Skelter (Manson scenario)
January 11 â€“ 21, 1973 David Berg (Moses David of the Children of God) Colossal doomsday event in USA heralded by Comet Kohoutek
1975 Watchtower Society "Bible chronology which indicates that Adam was created in the fall of the year 4026 B.C. would bring us down to the year 1975 A.D. as the date marking 6,000 years of human history with yet 1,000 years to come for Christ's Kingdom rule. So whatever the date for the end of this system, it is clear that the time left is reduced, with only approximately six years left until the end of 6,000 years of human history."
1980 Leland Jensen In 1978 Jensen predicted that there would be a nuclear disaster in 1980, followed by two decades of conflict, culminating in God's Kingdom being established on earth.
1980s, 2000 Hal Lindsey Lindsey has been continually predicting the end of the world since his 1970 book The Late, Great Planet Earth. His later books including The 1980s: Countdown to Armageddon and Planet Earth 2000 A.D.: Will Mankind Survive? gave revised dates.
1982, 2000s Pat Robertson In late 1976, Robertson predicted that the end of the world was coming in October or
November 1982. He also predicted various cataclysmic events for the first decade of the current century such as a Pacific Northwest tsunami " and a Middle East war involving Russia that did not come to pass. Pat Robertson
April 23, 1990 Elizabeth Clare Prophet Prophet predicted an impending nuclear holocaust, leading her followers to stockpile a shelter with supplies and weapons. Later, after Prophet's prediction did not come to pass and she was diagnosed with epilepsy and Alzheimer's disease, the group's leadership attempted to draw the focus of its work away from doomsday predictions. The Summit Lighthouse
October 28, 1992 Lee Jang Rim Rim, the leader of the Dami Mission in Seoul, predicted the Rapture for the given date. South Korean officials took elaborate precautions against a mass suicide, posting 1500 riot officers to monitor about a thousand followers who had gathered in the group's headquarters to await the Rapture. Their efforts were successful, although four group members had committed suicide in previous days.
June 9, 1994 Pastor John Hinkle Hinkle of Christ Church in Los Angeles predicted the return of Christ this day.
!!! September 6, 1994Harold Camping Camping predicted the Rapture would occur on this date.
January 1, 2000 Various "Y2K" Computers predicted to stop working, leading to failures of the electrical grid, dams, nuclear warheads, and everything else with a computer in it. Year 2000 problem
January 1, 2000 Credonia Mwerinde, Joseph Kibweteere An estimated 778 followers of this Ugandan religious movement perished in a devastating fire and a series of poisonings and killings that were either a group suicide or an orchestrated mass murder by group leaders after their predictions of the apocalypse failed to come about. Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God
May 5, 2000 Richard Noone In his book 5/5/2000 - Ice:The Ultimate Disaster, Noone predicts that the planets Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn would align for the first time in 6000 years. This would cause a catastrophic build up of ice at the South pole leading to devastation across the planet.Cataclysmic pole shift hypothesis
Oct, 2011 Harold Camping Camping predicted that the Rapture would occur on May 21, 2011 with God taking approximately 3% of the world's populations (200 million people) into Heaven. The actual end of the world was predicted to occur five months later. 2011 end times prediction
December 21, 2012 Various Several scenarios for the end of the world including galactic alignment, a geomagnetic reversal, a collision with Planet Nibiru or some other interplanetary object, alien invasion, earth being destroyed by a giant supernova.
2012 Doomsday theories
2060 Sir Isaac Newton Newton proposed, based upon his calculations using figures from the book of Daniel, that the Apocalypse could happen no earlier than 2060. Isaac Newton's occult studies
2240 Talmud, Orthodox Judaism According to the Talmud and mainstream Orthodox Judaism, the end of the world will be on Rosh Hashanah 6000 from creation, which according to Orthodox Judaism is the year 2240 CE. Most Orthodox Jews interpret the "six thousand year" schema to be metaphorical.
2280 Rashad Khalifa According to Rashad Khalifa's research on the Quran Code, the world will end in the year 2280 CE.
5079 Baba Vanga Unknown, however, it could be connected with event that is predicted to occur one year earlier when population decide "to leave the boundaries of the universe" even though 40% percent of population is against it. Unfullfilled Religious Predictions -Wikipedia
But why do people love doomsday predictions? Catherine de Lange, NewScientist.com
People always tell you to live life like there's no tomorrow, and for once I'm considering following that advice - literally.
With a massive deadline looming on Monday, I was planning on spending most of the weekend working. But according to the evangelical preacher Harold Camping, the world is going to end tomorrow, so if today is going to be my last day on Earth, I think I'd like to spend tonight doing something a little more fun - especially if there's no all-day hangover awaiting me on the other side.
According to Camping, who is basing his prediction on a mathematical calculation using dates in the Bible, tomorrow - 21 May 2011 - is the Rapture. The day when Christians will rise up to meet Jesus in the sky.
It might sound silly if you don't believe in God, but according to a Pew Research Center poll, 41 per cent of people in the US believe Jesus will return to Earth before 2050. According to a New York news website, some of Camping's thousands of supporters have sold their belongings and quit their jobs in anticipation.
So why are people so keen to predict the end times? Sceptics might see it as a way to make money, or an attention-seeking ploy. Camping has certainly made a name for himself and his radio station. But according to Lorenzo DiTommaso, associate professor of religion at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, these people have a genuine belief: "It wouldn't work otherwise," he says.
What's more, these kinds of apocalyptical prophecies have been around for 23 centuries since the Book of Daniel, he says, so are forcibly more than a media ploy.
One theory is that such precise predictions feed the human desire to know the unknown. It could simply be a way of trying to explain the world around us, or to give us hope, says DiTommaso: "Within its limitations, apocalypticism is very rational. It's a world view that explains time, space, and human existence. It's not science - it's not universal or repeatable - but it does explain things."
DiTommaso also says that sociological studies have shown that people who tend to enjoy an apocalyptic world view also seem to be the kinds of people who seek out explanations of the world: "They tend to be quite intelligent compared with the general population but they are looking for answers for how life is the way it is, and whether there is a purpose. Envisioning a better time past the evils of the world provides a very powerful way of understanding the world and all its problems." Surprising as it may sound, even Isaac Newton spent a great deal of his career trying to decipher the prophesies of Daniel in the book of revelation.
So, what's the likelihood Camping is right? If I'm going to base my weekend plans on his track record, I should probably keep my head down and work. He predicted the end of the world in 1994, but that one was postponed due to a scheduling error (turns out he got the mathematics wrong).
It may seem odd that people don't dismiss Camping, considering he got it wrong last time. But psychological studies show how the failure of such prophesies has the surprising effect of making the beliefs of their proponents' even stronger.
In their 1956 book When Prophecy Fails: A social and psychological study of a modern group that predicted the destruction of the world, Leon Festinger and others explained that this is a fundamental tenet of human psychology, which they called cognitive dissonance.
Essentially, the social psychologists said that people have a problem when they have two beliefs that sit uncomfortably side by side. For example, the belief that the world will end (for which you have sold your home and all your possessions bar a placard) and the realisation that the world is still here, as are you. In an article written for New Scientist, psychologist Richard Wiseman says: "According to this idea, people find it uncomfortable to hold two conflicting beliefs in their head at the same time, and will perform all sorts of mental gymnastics to reconcile the two."
Because people can't deal with having two contradictory beliefs, they will quickly find a seemingly rational explanation - that the calculations were wrong, for example, or that their preaching converted so many people that the world was saved.
There are other scientific explanations of why we prefer to stick to old beliefs, even in the face of new facts. For example, the principle of confirmation bias shows how we seek out information that supports our beliefs.
It seems then, that if the rapture doesn't happen Camping will be able to explain why, and his followers will likely believe even more strongly than they did before.
Explaining why the mathematics doesn't add up shouldn't be too hard, either, says DiTommaso: "The calculations depend on a lot of variables including a lot of data that can't be verified, like the fact that the world was created a little over 7000 years ago. You can really massage your figures any way you see fit."
If, like me, you're hedging your bets, why not just join in one of the Rapture parties: but make sure you buy some paracetamol for the morning, just in case.
(news editors note) Bottom line is, we love NEWS. It's like legal gossip. But what bigger news story could you read that surpassed "THE END OF THE WORLD IS TOMORROW!!! That combined with the fact that most people are disgruntled with their world, their country, the economy and their lives. Also the fact that the miracle of instant world wide media informs us of every catastrophe, storms, droughts, floods, wars, earthquakes, tsunamis, wars, pestilence, famine, murder, mass murders and rape as soon as it happens that most people already have a notion it's the end of the world as we now it and WANT it to be over...
It is 7:15 pm Central time as I write this and just a few more time zones to before the prophecy is officially bogus. I will be interested in seeing what kind of back peddling and tap dancing Mr Camping comes up with. ( I will be following this closely and post the latest as soon as it is available) But this I will say....If even one person commits suicide over this debacle I believe Harold Camping should be arrested and charged with accessory to murder.
What saddens me is the aftermath and devastated families that will suffer because they were sucked into this delusion and gave away all their worldly possessions or bought bill boards for this mad man. But were my heart truly goes out to is the innocent children who had their parents hoodwinked and end up in the care of DFCS because their parents are now penniless and homeless...
But if any victim of the false prophecy happens to be reading this, please watch the following video and know that there is still hope and help to be had... It is not the end of the world.... -David T Pike, News editor @ http://factnet.org/
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