Friday, 20 May 2011

Harold Camping warns world's end begins May 21st

If you believe a fringe Christian radio group, then you’ve got a little more than 24 hours to either party it up, or repent for your sins. Because according to the “Family Radio” network, 6 p.m. Saturday will be when the “rapture” begins and the end of days begins.

Tthe Family Radio network’s founder, 89-year-old Harold Camping, said Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. will be when the rapture of the church takes place.
The rapture of the church is a relatively new idea in the realm of Christianity. It refers to the time when Christians believe that Jesus will take the faithful to heaven ahead of the calamity and destruction that lies ahead in the tribulations from the book of Revelation.

It’s drawn from passages in the bible including I Thessalonians 4:17 which states, “After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

This would follow Jesus raising the souls of Christians who had already died over the millenniums.

Camping, a civil engineer, has managed to convince thousands of people the beginning of the apocalypse is near and the rapture will happen Saturday evening.
So how did Camping come up with his dire prediction?

He based his theory for the rapture and second coming of Jesus on two Bible passages. The first is in second book of Peter in the New Testament.

Camping said the 2 Peter passage says that “One day is with the Lord as a thousand years and a thousand years is one day.” By his deduction, Camping implies this to mean 7,000 years from the great flood will be the end of the world.

He also cites the book of Genesis. Camping said Genesis states, the flood began on the “17th day of the second month.” In his interpretation of the Jewish calendar, that date is May 21.

Combining the two, Camping has come up with Saturday as the date of the apocalypse. And what will happen precisely as 6:00 p.m., well, Camping said great earthquakes will be felt to start the apocalypse.
But don’t start worrying about not knowing if the Heat can beat the Bulls, or what the final episodes of Oprah will look like on television. Camping also predicted the world would end in 1994, which only happened for hard-core Nirvana fans.

So, if you believe the prediction from Camping and are planning on attending the Exxxotica convention, catching some rays on South Beach, or getting in a couple rounds of golf, you might want to do it before Saturday evening when Camping’s forecast calls for cloudy with a chance of rapture.

But what do you think?

The Bible is actually quite clear on the matter, but not the way Camping interprets it.

Matthew 24:36 quotes the words of Christ himself: “Concerning that day and hour (the 'end of the world') nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but only the Father."

So, at the time not even Jesus knew for sure when the end would come. In fact when his disciples questioned him about it he told them (in Acts 1:7):“It does not belong to YOU to get knowledge of the times or seasons which the Father has placed in his own jurisdiction".

Basically God has no intention to let us know exactly when the end would come. When the disciples questioned Jesus about it on another occasion (in Matthew 24:3), rather than give them a date, or even encourage them calculate for themselves, he simply gave them a "sign". 'Sign of the times' as we tend to call it.

This is what he told them (Matthew 24:4-14):

"Jesus said to them: “Look out that nobody misleads YOU; for many will come on the basis of my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many. YOU are going to hear of wars and reports of wars; see that YOU are not terrified. For these things must take place, but the end is not yet. “For nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be food shortages and earthquakes in one place after another. All these things are a beginning of pangs of distress. “Then people will deliver YOU up to tribulation and will kill YOU, and YOU will be objects of hatred by all the nations on account of my name. Then, also, many will be stumbled and will betray one another and will hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and mislead many; and because of the increasing of lawlessness the love of the greater number will cool off. But he that has endured to the end is the one that will be saved. And this good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come."

Great earthquakes, great wars, severe famines, and serious illnessess, to name a few, were all part of the sign that would indicate the nearness of the end. By looking out for this composite sign we would know that the end is near. Surely we see this to be the case right now!

But why give a sign if it was possible to calculate the exact day?

You see then that we cannot work out God's timetable with some 'clever' manipulation of scriptures. Christ gaves a sign and asked us to 'stay awake', be alert regarding the times we live in, as we are warned in the Bible:

" Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come. Don't let anyone deceive you in any way". (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3)

We are urged further:

"Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled." (1 Thessalonians 5:1,2,6)


Monday, 2 May 2011

Osama bin Laden dead, body buried at sea

WASHINGTON: The body of Al-Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden has been buried at sea after he was killed by US covert forces in Pakistan , US media reported Monday. 

Cable television networks CNN, MSNBC and Fox said a senior US official had confirmed to them that bin Laden's body had been buried in the sea, without giving further details. 

US officials did not respond when contacted by AFP for confirmation of the reports. 

But earlier an administration official said of the corpse: "We are ensuring that it is handled in accordance with Islamic practice and tradition. 

"This is something that we take very seriously. And so therefore this is being handled in an appropriate manner." 

Burying bin Laden's body at sea would ensure that his final resting place does not become a shrine and a place of pilgrimage for his followers, ABC television reported earlier. 

Osama Bin Laden: Dead or Alive?

Some analysts say that bin Laden's memory may now inspire followers, who will now see him as a martyr, to take revenge. 

And the extensive online forums, chat rooms and websites operated by al Qaeda sympathisers will ensure his role as the group's motivator-in-chief will endure. 

"As a symbol, as a source of ideology, bin Laden can continue to play those roles dead as well as alive," Pillar said. 

But his departure will add to pressure on morale throughout the network, despite al Qaeda's glorification of martyrdom and a perception that bin Laden died an honourable death in battle. 

Gerges said it would "take a miracle" for al Qaeda to recover ideologically and operationally from bin Laden's death. 

Thomas Hegghammer, a specialist on militancy at the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment, said that over the long term his loss would deepen the group's disarray. 

"It is bad for al Qaeda and the jihadi movements. Bin Laden was a symbol of al Qaeda's longevity and its defiance of the West. Now that symbol is gone."