End of the World, Take 2 (or 3 or 4 or…)

In case you haven’t been paying attention, the world, for some believers, is in its last week of existence. Friday is Doomsday.

It’s not such a big deal as it was last spring, when Harold Camping and his followers predicted the world would come to a cataclysmic end on May 21. Many of these followers sold sold their belongings and went on crusades of conversion, encouraging repentance as a preparation for judgement day. Camping was wrong, of course, because that day came and went much like every other day. But then again, he insists he’s right. On his Family Radio website, which has gone through an extreme makeover, he explains what really happened on May 21. That the world didn’t come to a violent end was all part of the Plan.

Image from the Family Radio website, two days before the world did not en

“What really happened is that God accomplished exactly what He wanted to happen. That was to warn the whole world that on May 21 God’s salvation program would be finished on that day. For the next five months, except for the elect (the true believers), the whole world is under God’s final judgment. To accomplish this goal God withheld from the true believers the way in which two phrases were to be understood. Had He not done so, the world would never have been shaken in fear as it was.

“…Indeed, on May 21 Christ did come spiritually to put all of the unsaved throughout the world into judgment. But that universal judgment will not be physically seen until the last day of the five month judgment period, on October 21, 2011.

That’s right. Friday is the day. The last day. For good.

Only this time, according to Camping, it will be a quiet event. In a Time magazine newsfeed, Camping states:

“I really am beginning to think as I restudied these matters that there’s going to be no big display of any kind. The end is going to come very, very quietly, probably within the next month. It will happen, that is, by October 21.”

The quote, according to Time, comes from one of Camping’s radio announcements.

Camping, who is ninety, had a stroke in June. Perhaps, for him—not to mention a good deal of others around the world—the end will come quietly on Oct. 21. For the rest of us, however, we all have December 21, 2012 to look forward to—or worry about, depending on your particular beliefs.

Doomsday predictions are as old as the hills, as the saying goes. Here’s a list of 10 failed predictions. It doesn’t include Camping’s bogus 1994 prediction. I’m predicting the Mayan Calendar non-event will make the list in due time.