‘Poetry, Not Predictions’: Religious Leaders Weigh In on Judgment-Day Frenzy

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Harold Camping’s judgment day prediction has garnered quite a following, but— believe it or not — there are competing perspectives on the doomsday drama. Take a look at what some other spiritual scholars say about the May 21st theory.

(MORE: See how May 21 was calculated to be judgment day)

Presbyterian minister Ben Daniel thinks Camping’s followers have misinterpreted the bible’s meaning:

“The history of the Christian church is filled with stories of great disappointments that occur when communities get hoodwinked into believing the rapture is at hand. True scholars of the Bible know that biblical passages about the End of Days are poetry, not meant to be taken as actual predictions.”

Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, criticizes the idea of an established judgment day.

“Christ specifically admonished his disciples not to claim such knowledge…It is an act of incredible presumptuousness to claim that a human knows such a date, or has determined God’s timing by any means.”

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Kevin Barney, a Mormon scholar, says Armageddon-anticipators would do well to look at past precedent:

“My impression is that previous failures have pretty much cured Mormons from wanting to play this game…Mormons believe in the second coming, but not in the Rapture as such. The official position of the Church has always been grounded in Matthew 24:36: “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.”

Daniel McKibben, a Seventh Day Adventist pastor, refutes the May 21 theory but says the end may still be near.

“There are many beekeepers around the world who are losing 95% of their bees. A very famous scientist has said if we lose honey bees, humans have four years left.”

And finally, British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins — the antithesis of a religious voice — says science explains the end of the world.

“Science knows approximately how, and when, our Earth will end. In about five billion years the sun will run out of hydrogen, which will upset its self-regulating equilibrium; in its death-throes it will swell, and this planet will vaporize. Before that, we can expect, at unpredictable intervals measured in tens of millions of years, bombardment by dangerously large meteors or comets. Any one of these impacts could be catastrophic enough to destroy all life, as the one that killed the dinosaurs 65 million years ago nearly did. In the nearer future, it is pretty likely that human life will become extinct – the fate of almost all species that have ever lived.”

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