By that I mean, the end of any shred of credibility that the likes of Harold Camping might have among those who take the Bible and the Christian faith as a serious description of reality that is worth thinking about.
You don't need to go any further than Harold Camping's "mathematical calculation" of the date of the rapture (and the ensuing end of the world) to see the ridiculousness in his thinking. Here is how he came up with the date of May 21, 2011:
- The number 5 equals "atonement," the number 10 equals "completeness," and the number 17 equals "heaven."
- Christ is said to have hung on the cross on April 1, 33 AD.
- The time between April 1, 33 AD and April 1, 2011 is 1,978 years.
- If 1,978 is multiplied by 365.2422 days (the number of days in a solar year, not to be confused with the lunar year), the result is 722,449.
- The time between April 1 and May 21 is 51 days.
- 51 added to 722,449 is 722,500.
- (5 × 10 × 17)2 or (atonement × completeness × heaven)2 also equals 722,500.
- Thus, Camping concludes that 5 × 10 × 17 is telling us a "story from the time Christ made payment for our sins until we're completely saved."
As I write this, the enormous earthquake that was supposed to kick this whole thing off this morning (Eastern time in the USA) didn't happen. No one has "disappeared" and Harold Camping is no doubt sitting in his office with a calculator and a Bible scratching his head about where he got the numbers wrong ... for the NINTH time in his career.
Why anyone has ever taken this guy seriously is beyond me. Harold Camping can believe whatever he wants to believe. But I pray that he will admit that he was wrong (again), and ask thinking Christians and non-Christians to forgive him for leading people astray.
If not, I hope he will at least desist with the nonsense, fulfill his own "prophecy" for the rest of us ... and just go away.