I was serious Christian from when I was 16 to until I was 20.
When I was even younger, I figured out that Jesus would come back in 1983. Even at the time I honestly didn't believe it then and now most certainly don't since I'm no longer a Christian (I'm much more a Gnostic and the rest of Christianity wiped them out so I rather enjoy holding a grudge). To help myself extract myself from Christianity, I took a fair bit of Christian history in college and it helped me a lot with perspective. Anyway my point is doing these calculations are not hard as there are a lot of what appears to be hard numbers in the Bible.
So now we have Judgement Day prediction du mois which is set for May 21.
This end times thing is absolutely nothing new. The early Christians thought Jesus was coming back very soon (like within their lifetimes, and that feeling is often stoked from time to time.
Reading this fantastic NPR article here: http://www.npr.org/2011/05/12/136239062/divining-doomsday-an-old-practice-with-new-tricks
It's clear that what Mr Camping needs is FUD lessons (Fear, Uncertainly, Doubt). The strongest fears are vague and for heavens (sorry) sake don't put a date on it, you're just going to look like the moron that you really are.
And what I can't figure out is it they people are literalists then they really have their order all wrong.
I still have a New International Version of the Bible (a very geeky bible)
The order laid out in Revelation indicates that the current wackos are just off the scale.
There isn't a rapture in Revelation by the way. In fact the word isn't in the Bible though this reference points out the various places the concept may be referred to in the Bible: http://christianity.about.com/od/faqhelpdesk/a/whatisrapture.htm
- Christ reappears in Rev 19:11 if you believe that "Faithful and Truth" is Jesus
- lots of B Movie bloodshed ensues
- then 1000 years passes (Where is this in their calculations?)
- at the end of that then Satan is unbound
- then you finally get your Judgment Day
Do you know how much I'm looking forward to doing a: "Happy Judgement Day, All sinners present and accounted for?" Status update? And of course there will be: "Happy Day After Judgment Day." A friends wants to see if she can talk one of them out of the nice car that they're driving. I look forward to see if she succeeded.