Get your affairs in order: End of days coming in May

In this Dec. 17, 2010 photo in Raleigh, N.C., Allison Warden poses with her car showing a message about the rapture. Warden, of Raleigh, has been helping organize a campaign using billboards, post cards and other media in cities across the U.S. through a website, We Can Know. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

If there had been time, Marie Exley would have liked to start a family. Instead, the 32-year-old Army veteran has less than six months left, which she’ll spend spreading a stark warning: Judgment Day is almost here.

Exley is part of a movement of Christians loosely organized by radio broadcasts and websites, independent of churches and convinced by their reading of the Bible that the end of the world will begin on May 21, 2011.

To get the word out, they’re using billboards and bus stop benches, traveling caravans of RVs and volunteers passing out pamphlets on street corners. Cities from Bridgeport, Conn., to Little Rock, Ark., now have billboards with the ominous message, and mission groups are traveling in countries from Latin America to Africa to spread the news outside the U.S.

“A lot of people might think, ‘The end’s coming, let’s go party,'” said Exley, a veteran of two deployments in Iraq. “But we’re commanded by God to warn people. I wish I could just be like everybody else, but it’s so much better to know that when the end comes, you’ll be safe.”

In August, Exley left her home in Colorado Springs, Colo., to work with Oakland, Calif.-based Family Radio Worldwide, the independent Christian ministry whose leader, Harold Camping, has calculated the May 21 date based on his reading of the Bible.

She is organizing traveling columns of RVs carrying the message from city to city, a logistics challenge that her military experience has helped solve. The vehicles are scheduled to be in five North Carolina cities between now and the second week of January, but Exley will shortly be gone: overseas, where she hopes to eventually make it back to Iraq.

“I don’t really have plans to come back,” she said. “Time is short.”

Not everyone who’s heard Camping’s message is taking such a dramatic step. They’re remaining in their day-to-day lives, but helping publicize the prophecy in other ways. Allison Warden, of Raleigh, has been helping organize a campaign using billboards, post cards and other media in cities across the U.S. through a website, We Can Know.

The 29-year-old payroll clerk laughs when asked about reactions to the message, which is plastered all over her car.

“It’s definitely against the grain, I know that,” she said. “We’re hoping people won’t take our word for it, or Harold Camping’s word for it. We’re hoping that people will search the scriptures for themselves.”

Camping, 89, believes the Bible essentially functions as a cosmic calendar explaining exactly when various prophecies will be fulfilled.

The retired civil engineer said all his calculations come from close readings of the Bible, but that external events like the foundation of the state of Israel in 1948 are signs confirming the date.

“Beyond the shadow of a doubt, May 21 will be the date of the Rapture and the day of judgment,” he said.

The doctrine known as the Rapture teaches that believers will be taken up to heaven, while everyone else will remain on earth for a period of torment, concluding with the end of time. Camping believes that will happen in October.

“If May 21 passes and I’m still here, that means I wasn’t saved. Does that mean God’s word is inaccurate or untrue? Not at all,” Warden said.

The belief that Christ will return to earth and bring an end to history has been a basic element of Christian belief since the first century. The Book of Revelation, which comes last in the New Testament, describes this conclusion in vivid language that has inspired Christians for centuries.

But few churches are willing to set a date for the end of the world, heeding Jesus’ words in the gospels of Mark and Matthew that no one can know the day or hour it will happen. Predictions like Camping’s, though, aren’t new. One of the most famous in history was by the Baptist leader William Miller, who predicted the end for Oct. 22, 1844, which came to be known as the Great Disappointment among his followers, some of who subsequently founded the Seventh Day Adventist church.

“In the U.S., there is still a significant population, mostly Protestant, who look at the Bible as kind of a puzzle, and the puzzle is God’s word and it’s predicting when the end times will come,” said Catherine Wessinger, a professor at Loyola University in New Orleans who studies millennialism, the belief in pending apocalypse.

“A lot of times these prophecies gain traction when difficulties are happening in society,” she said. “Right now, there’s a lot of insecurity, and this is a promise that says it’s not all random, it’s part of God’s plan.”

Past predictions that failed to come true don’t have any bearing on the current calculation, believers maintain.

“It would be like telling the Wright Brothers that every other attempt to fly has failed, so you shouldn’t even try,” said Chris McCann, who works with eBible Fellowship, one of the groups spreading the message.

For believers like McCann, theirs is actually a message of hope and compassion: God’s compassion for people, and the hope that there’s still time to be saved.

That, ultimately, is what spurs on Exley, who said her beliefs have alienated her from most of her friends and family. Her hope is that not everyone who hears her message will mock it, and that even people who dismiss her now might still come to believe.

“If you still want to say we’re crazy, go ahead,” she said. “But it doesn’t hurt to look into it.”

___

Online:

Family Radio Worldwide: http://www.familyradio.com

eBible Fellowship: http://www.ebiblefellowship.com/

Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press

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21 Responses to "Get your affairs in order: End of days coming in May"

  1. logtroll  January 3, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Strange that folks would feel so compelled to “advertise” the unavoidable end of times because, “it’s so much better to know that when the end comes, you’ll be safe.”

    Huunnhhh?

    Perhaps it’s just Old Man Ego acting out again, that special part of our common human psychological need to view our individual selves as uncommon. You know, the same need that drives me to post on CHB.

    • Almandine  January 3, 2011 at 12:19 pm

      As a true believer… safe in heaven, one would suppose.

  2. Guardhouse Lawyer  January 3, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    So if the world is ending why the hell would I bother getting my affairs in order? Anyone out there want the deal I offered here before in discussion about the Aztec calendar bullsh1t? I pay you $50 and you assign to me all your assets as of May 22 of this year? If the world comes to an end you certainly have no use for them and everyone could use an extra $50 two weeks after Christmas.

    No one seems to want a piece of this action. Wonder why.

    • Almandine  January 3, 2011 at 11:15 pm

      Take it up with Ms. Exley…

  3. woody188  January 3, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    A rapture of sorts is coming. Economists are saying by October 2011, it will be all but obvious that the United States does not intend to pay off it’s debt, and that will be the end of dollar hegemony. It will take with it the comfy living most Americans have enjoyed since Bretton-Woods was put in place. Who knows what will come in it’s wake. There are predictions of food riots, martial law, and the end of our Constitution. I hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

    • Jeffery Haas  January 5, 2011 at 3:44 am

      “It will take with it the comfy living most Americans have enjoyed since Bretton-Woods was put in place.”

      —You seem to have skipped over a crucial piece of history, either unknowingly or blithely, but it doesn’t matter which.

      Anyway, the comfy living that Americans enjoyed was only thanks to Bretton-Woods until August 1971 when Nixon BROKE Bretton.

      That’s what the long slide began, and we’re just now seeing the end in sight, which as you say, ain’t too pretty.

  4. griff  January 3, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    Damn! Right before volleyball season. F**king prophets!

  5. Carl Nemo  January 3, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    Thinking readers might like to have some fun concerning so-called “end of days” prognosticatons, I”m supplying the “Earth Impact Efffects” program. You can plug in your own values relative to where you live and see how it effects you. The main thing to hope for is that the impact is below the horizon so the thermal effects which are almost instantaneous won’t get you.

    http://www.purdue.edu/impactearth

    Shy of a major caldera eruption in the Yellowstone basin and asteroid strike of some significance would be the only thing that wreak instant havoc on a large population shy of nuclear war.

    Anyway have some ‘end of days’ fun. : )

    Carl Nemo **==

    • Carl Nemo  January 3, 2011 at 11:21 pm

      They have two programs on the site, one basic and one with enhanced visuals. The enhanced version although more fun takes time to load and seems a bit slow. The following is a link to the simpler version that can be found by clicking on “Home” for the site.

      http://impact.ese.ic.ac.uk/ImpactEffects/

      Carl Nemo **==

    • woody188  January 3, 2011 at 11:42 pm

      My sources say thermonuclear war ala WWIII instigated by the USA and fought between the USA/NATO and a Sino-Russian alliance with the USA on the losing side and the last nation-state superpower on Earth. A global system is ushered in the wake of this war, a war they are saying will be so bloody and violent that it will make men lose their stomach for war for a millennium.

      But that’s just what my sources claim. I tend to believe them.

      • Carl Nemo  January 4, 2011 at 12:24 am

        “men lose their stomach for war for a millennium.” …extract from post

        Regardless of who games out these conflicts, the end result is holocaust; ie., Armageddon. Everything in the northern hemisphere will be reduced to ruins along with a handful of cities south of the equator.

        Of course the planners of such an evil agenda will be in their respective bunkers with a ten year supply of food, first run movies and other pleasures that I’d rather not mention on this forum all provided by U.S. and other nations’ tax slaves.

        The rest outside will be clamoring for safety only to reduced to shadows in “green glass”.

        Your reference to men losing their stomach for warfare for a thousand years doesn’t wash with me.

        It’s only been 65 years since the end of WWII, truly a nightmare simply at the hand of conventional weapons until the wrapup with Hiroshima and Nagasaki which was a preview of coming attractions.

        WWI was referenced as “The War to End all Wars, but the onset of WWII followed within 22 years.

        We’re never going to see men and women living in harmony, not in this lifetime or ever as long as they are genetically programmed for their prime directive; ie., survival of the fittest along with all the seedy overtones connected with competition run amok as found in so-called civilized socities.

        Self-interest reigns supreme with the prevailing attitude being…”I’ve got mine…screw you!”

        I just watched “The Road” a move based on Cormac McCarthy’s book.
        A few years back I read the novel when first released. For some reason I thought I’d watch something dark and grim this holiday season. It protrays the U.S. and no doubt the world in a post Apocolyptic tragedy. What caused the waste and destruction is never disclosed, but people can use their imaginations as to what caused the calamity along with countenancing survival post conflagration.

        Carl Nemo **==

        • logtroll  January 4, 2011 at 12:25 pm

          “The Road” is a source of reliable information on the future?

          “Road Warriors” has more substance.

          But I’m going with “Avatar”.

        • woody188  January 5, 2011 at 1:51 am

          Lives lost will be around 5 billion. This will make the other world wars look like child’s play. There will be so few left they won’t be allowed to forget. And their luxury lives watching television, playing video games, drinking and taking drugs will be gone. Think around 200,000 survivors per continent. No joke. Think new Dark Ages with ex-cops and ex-military as the new feudal lords.

          Those people in bunkers will have to come out to protect their air sources. Most will smother from lack of oxygen, too afraid to surface. The “elite” are fools thinking they can bury themselves in the ground. Their money won’t protect them as soon as their paid armies realize they can just kill the rich and take what they want.

          Self-interest cannot exist without lower classes propping them up. With all the others wiped out, only tribes/clans will stand a chance as free people, and the others will be ruled over as serfs serving their feudal lords. This will last for a very long time until a new age of enlightenment occurs.

          I’ve not seen “The Road” but it sounds interesting. The original Mad Max was pretty cool for it’s day. The Thunderdome took it a bit over the top. :)

      • Almandine  January 4, 2011 at 11:30 am

        If the latest generation (y, z, ?) is any indication, any war that leaves anyone standing will soon be forgotten. Maybe that’s a function of our “modern” govt schools and their multicultural curriculi, or perhaps our MSM and its facilitation of post-modern antimoral culture, but WWII was such a war and that has shrunk into the historical abyss without anyone even appearing to care, much less use it for instructional purposes.

        • Carl Nemo  January 4, 2011 at 11:24 pm

          Spot-on and well said my friend in thought. : )

          Carl Nemo **==

    • Carl Nemo  January 3, 2011 at 11:28 pm

      Thanks for the great link Almandine. Well I guess that would mean the end of the almighty Euro note along with all their banking problems.

      Of course such a mighty eruption would disrupt weather on earth in general so things wouldn’t be a cakewalk for the entire northern hemisphere and would have the capability of plunging the world into another ice age within ten years or less. The effect on grain crops would be devastating to say the least.

      Mother Earth is patient. It’s not “if” these events will happen, but simply when. Earth’s inhabitants are like planetary lice relative to her crust. When she decides to roll over in bed she takes the sheets with her…no? : ))

      Carl Nemo **==

      • Almandine  January 3, 2011 at 11:31 pm

        Planetary lice… great analogy.

  6. Pondering It All  January 4, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    I feel inspired to start up a website based on “It is easier for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle.”

    The plug would be for the true believers to donate their assets to charity before the day in May. I’m sure I could manage that for a tiny 5% overhead. That would be much better than most organized charities.

  7. Danny Adams  January 4, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    It’s been my experience thus far that if someone predicts the End O’ the World on a certain date, that’ll be the one day it doesn’t happen.

  8. Phil  January 6, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    I hope all these who believe quit their jobs. That would put some sane people to work.

Comments are closed.