Today is May 21, 2011 – and for some people, this day marks a most auspicious event – the biblical Day of Judgment. You’ve all heard reports of the followers Harold Camping, who has decided that his interpretation of the End of Days is imminent and correct, selling and giving away their life’s savings and traveling across the country proclaiming that End is Here. There was a similar swell of excitement apocalyptic judgment in the 18th century America led by William Miller. Thousands upon thousands believed his calculations of the end of the world on October 22, 1843, to be true, and they acted accordingly, selling all they had. They stopped working. They gleefully mocked others that they would be left behind while the believers would be carried up to Heaven wearing gleaming white robes. You can imagine their disappointment when none of it came to pass. That crushing disappointment is known as the Great Disappointment, and the 21st Century version will be no less catastrophic for the believers of Camping.
Most will depart from Camping and many will be mocked for having acted so foolishly. Some will claim that the event happened in Heaven or was an invisible, “spiritual” event. Some will go back to the drawing board and try to find the error that misled them. They will never see that the error was in the belief in apocalyptic Christianity itself, They will never see that it was belief itself that was the error.
Interesting how money was used within proclamations of apocalypse. When the belief in the coming end-of-the-world was is its strongest, people throw away their major concern: money. It’s like money has become the necessity of life – and only belief in Jesus’ return can free people from the belief of the necessity of money. The connection between money and religious is fascinating because there is a tacit recognition that belief in the power of money, for most of us, is far stronger than belief in God because we can see the effect money (or the lack of it) has on our lives, Money is actually the True God of this world, and for the people who foolishly threw their money away in a fit of religious excitement, will find out how their unwavering belief “in things unseen,” devastated their lives. They will blame Camping, but they must realize that there is no Jesus coming back to bring his followers to Heaven, Maybe another 2000 years of failed prophecy will convince them.