Judgment Day Is May 21, Some Christians Believe

May 11, 2011, 14:47 by Sarah Long

It's difficult not to notice the thousands of billboards popping up around the world pronouncing May 21 as Judgment Day, and as the date nears, some are starting to wonder if the prediction is actually true.

Family Radio, a California-based sectarian Christian group, says that May 21 marks the beginning of the end. "The Bible guarantees it!" the site proclaims, under a passage from the book of Ezekiel, which says "blow the trumpet... warn the people."

That's just what Family Radio has been doing. The group said five caravans have been traveling the country since October handing out flyers predicting arrival of the biblical end of times and it is now buying billboard space to augment those efforts, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Wednesday.

Harold Camping, the 89-year-old co-founder of Family Radio, said Judgment Day will come in the form of massive earthquakes beginning at 6 p.m. May 21 and continuing until October. He said believers will be called to heaven while the unrepentant will be shamed.

Not everyone is convinced. Richard Ascough, a professor in the School of Religion at Queen's University in Kingston, Ont., has been watching Family Radio's campaign with skeptical eyes.

He has seen other apocalyptic predictions come and go, but Family Radio's differs in a notable way: it isn't accompanied by a bold, up-front request for money.

"I think they really believe it's going to happen," Ascough said in an interview with CBC Tuesday.

"When they're not doing that so blatantly, it worries me more, because I think they really do believe it and they can convince people who may end up in fact doing things like � quitting their jobs, selling their house, not necessarily to give the money to this group, but simply to divest themselves in light of Judgment Day."

Ascough added that he thinks Camping's way of reading scripture is "irresponsible."

"It's not the way these Biblical texts were meant to be read, even by their original writers."

And even if they were, scholars can find mistakes in the mathematics and historical assumptions put forward in the Judgment Day predictions, he said, as reported by CBC. "It's all very slippery."

Camping, who previously predicted an apocalypse in 1994, said his biblical research was not properly completed at the time and he is now certain the end times will arrive May 21.

Source: UPI