Bear in mind, I’ve begun this column on Friday, as Christians and atheists alike — and even the great comic strip Doonesbury — continue to scoff. But also bear in mind, other great men of history have likewise fallen victim to mass-scoff, most …
By the time you read this, I may already be raptured. And you have been left behind, so: In your face!
Forgive me; one should never gloat once ascended into heaven; it just isn’t Christian. Actually, if you are reading this on the week of May 23, then most likely Harold Camping and his red-faced followers won’t be seen leaving their houses in the daytime for a while. But if you’re not reading this, it might very well mean Camping’s rapture guarantee did indeed happen.
Bear in mind, I’ve begun this column on Friday, as Christians and atheists alike — and even the great comic strip Doonesbury — continue to scoff. But also bear in mind, other great men of history have likewise fallen victim to mass-scoff, most notably Noah and Joe Namath guaranteeing a Jets Super Bowl.
But as I write this with an odd mixture of trepidation and skepticism one day before “R Day,” I’m impressed that Harold is so certain of his mathematical calculations that he and his followers spent a ton of money spreading the message. And although he is 89 – not an age when the majority of clunkers are firing on all cylinders — it’s worth noting Harold is a retired civil engineer. That’s not a rocket scientist, but is a few IQ steps above your average roofer.
Also worthy of mention, Camping misfired on a similar prediction in ’94, but his Family Radio Worldwide followers say that prophecy only foretold the end of the “church age,” a time when those in Christian churches can be saved. Now they say only those outside of what they call “irredeemably corrupt churches” can expect to ascend to heaven. Well, we’ll see, (and if you’re reading this Tuesday and everyone’s still here, we done seen)!
Harold wasn’t hedging this time though, and said “Beyond the shadow of a doubt, May 21 will be the date of the rapture.”
Beyond the shadow of a doubt is a fairly confident assertion, so that’s where my trepidation enters.
“But Doug, aren’t you certain you’ll be one of the faithful that ascends to Heaven?” you ask. Well, yeah, I guess so … maybe. But “beyond a shadow of a doubt” doesn’t come into play.
Camping has even stipulated 6 p.m. as the time of the rapture. I’ve always been pretty good at adding and subtracting in my head, but using mathematics to calculate the exact hour and minute of the end is far beyond my ciphering gifts. I’m admittedly no civil engineer, although I do know the square root of 81 is 9, which isn’t too shabby.
In lieu of the impending end, I see no point in finishing this column tonight. I wouldn’t fill up my tank when my engine is knocking, nor would I study for a test after seeing my teacher’s obituary over the weekend. By the same token, I’m not about to finish a column that might never be read when I could be watching TV instead.
Oh sure, those left behind might still read it, but not if the Powell Tribune editors and typesetters have been raptured, and they do seem like good people. Besides, I don’t think readers will be in any mood for humor knowing they missed heaven. There’s nothing funny about seven years of tribulation and eternal torment.
And so, for now, I am done! Six o’clock Saturday draweth nigh, and the next column I might be called on to write could be titled, “My Euphoric World.”
Well, hello again. That was relatively painless, wasn’t it? It’s Sunday, and I’m assuming Reverend Camping called in sick. I waited until today to resume this column, even though 6 p.m. Eastern time came and went yesterday. I’m not so cynically-rigid not to allow for small miscalculations on the exact hour. Even had the rapture taken place at 9:30 p.m. Pacific time, it still could be considered some pretty darn good ciphering.
We’re reminded again of those scriptures telling us the end will come like a thief in the night, and that no one knows the exact date or time of the Lord’s return. However, I’ve crunched some numbers and have calculated my own end-of-world prediction. I’m fairly convinced the rapture will take place on Sept. 9 at 8:01 MST.
Yes, that would be 9/9, at 8:01. It came to me like a thief in the night: nine is the square root of 81. Scoff at your own peril!