Ho hum, here we go again. The world is going to end today…maybe. Probably. In all likelihood. This is according to one Chris McCann of eBible Fellowship, the never-say-die spiritual heir of the infamous failed prophet Harold Camping, who entertained us all greatly in 2011. Who could forget the billboards and wild pictorial vehicles paid for by Camping’s followers, spreading the news that the world would end in May 2011? Whoops—he meant October 2011. And whoops again. After the second great disappointment in a year, Camping had the grace to admit he was wrong, that maybe it was not such a good idea to try and pin God down, and then he had a stroke and died at the age of 93.
But some of his believers, in a dazzling display of cognitive dissonance, found a way to believe Camping was right all along, though perhaps a bit naive in expecting the cosmic symptoms of apocalypse to look like they do in the movie 2012. Chris McCann, the most vocal of these believers, has come out with a complex apologia for Camping’s apparent failure, plus a new date for the fiery destruction of the sin-soiled old world: 7th October 2015.
It seems that, to McCann, the end of the world is a process rather than an event. Here is his calendar of events, based in large part on Camping’s timeline:
- 21 May 1988 – the end of the Church Age, and the beginning of the last Great Tribulation, when Satan takes over the churches.
- 21 May 2011 – the end of the Great Tribulation, the beginning of Judgment Day, and the deadline for salvation.
- 7 October 2015 – the end of Judgment Day, and the destruction of the world.
The timing of the grand finale was inferred from Revelation 14:19-20:
And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.
The 1600 furlongs, according to McCann, are a metaphor for the 1600 terrestrial days that will make up Judgment Day, taking us neatly from 21 May 2011 to 7 October 2015. Corroboration comes from the fact that this date coincides with:
…the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles (harvest). This, along with several other pieces of Biblical evidence points to that day as the very likely day God will end the world and thereby bring spiritual fulfillment to the feast day as He has done at other times in history.
So, it’s your pretty standard cherry-picking GIGO. But then there’s this puzzling thing about the “end of salvation” having taken place 1600 days ago—1600 days, indeed, when other Christian salvation vendors never ceased hawking their wares. The answer has to do with McCann’s espousal of Camping’s heretical logic regarding salvation, as laid out in a pamphlet entitled I Hope God Will Save Me. According to Camping, we can forget about free will—predestination is everything. God chose up Team Jehovah even before he created the Earth, and there’s not a blessed thing you can do about it if you’re not one of the Elect. Hell, if you weren’t pre-selected, Jesus did not even die for your sins, and he probably doesn’t love you, either. As Camping’s pamphlet says, all in caps:
THERE IS NO MERCY FOR THOSE WHO THINK THAT THEY CAN INITIATE OR ASSIST IN ANY WAY IN THEIR SALVATION.
Anyway, that’s the key to the 1600 days making up the Day of Judgment. Apparently, all of the Elect were technically already saved by 21 May 2011, but a large number of them weren’t aware of it yet. Therefore, it was the business of the consciously saved to let the unconsciously saved know about their happy and exalted status in time for the apocalypse. In practice, of course, this looks a lot like standard Christian methods of trawling for converts.
And if the world doesn’t end today? McCann has been hedging his bets a little, with words like “probably,” and “likely.” But that’s not all. In case we’re still here tomorrow morning, McCann has already lined up an array of excuses:.
Although salvation is no longer possible, and although the Bible makes it clear that this universe will be destroyed in order to usher in a new heaven and new earth, who knows if God will delay that judgment, even though the Bible has made it clear that this universe is scheduled for destruction on October 7, 2015? The Rapture should definitely occur on that date, but will God allow the annihilation of this universe to be delayed? There are many verses that talk about The Last Day as the day of The Rapture and the Day that all will be destroyed and the New Heaven and New Earth created, but we already have a Biblical precedent of the “Day of Salvation” being more than one literal day (spanned 1955 years of the Church Age), and the “Day of Judgment” is also more than one literal day (from May 21,2011 to October 7, 2015), could the “Last Day” be more than one literal day? I don’t profess to know the answer.