A self-taught radio preacher has managed to convince a good many people around the world that the end of days has arrived.
He chose 6 PM New Zealand time for the magic hour.
The preacher is so sure of this, he bought ad space on hundreds of billboards across the country, including ones in downtown Eugene and in Springfield.
If what Family Radio President Harold Camping says comes true…
“There’s going to be a great earthquake such has never been… it’ll be so great that all the tombs everywhere in the world are going to be thrown open,” said Camping.
Then the current view of Eugene will at any minute unfold into a scene right out of the disaster movie “2012.”
“It will make tonight really interesting. I hope we party in the streets if it happens,” said Beth Mead, Eugene resident.
But partying will only be for the believers. According to Camping, they’ll ascend into air to meet Jesus Christ. Non-believers will be left to die.
The message he’s choosen is right out of a bible passage from Thessalonians.
“We who are alive and remain will be caught up together with him, in the clouds, to be with the Lord in the air.”
Eugene Pastor Chet Raube of Immanuel Baptist Church read those words from his bible. He’s more than a little familiar with Camping.
They both spoke at a conference in Santa Cruz in the 70’S.
“It was very obvious that we didn’t agree on when Jesus Christ would come back,” Raube said.
While Raube doesn’t doubt the words in print, he does doubt Camping’s interpretation of them.
“Jesus himself said no one knows the day or the hour…He says that’s he’ll come as a thief in the night. How in the world is it going to be a thief in the night if you know the day and the hour?” said Raube.
Camping and his loyal followers are still convinced, and they’re trying to convince the public before they say it’s too late.
“My feeling is you know, that maybe it wouldn’t be a bad thing if it was the end, but I don’t think we’re going to get out of it that easy,” said Judith Baranowski, Eugene resident.
When a national reporter asked Camping on Friday if he’d do an interview with her on Monday if he’s still here, he said quote “I will not answer your question.”
By Stacia Kalinoski, EUGENE.