Marie Exley of Colorado Springs is convinced that Armageddon, the end of the world as written of in the Bible, will come next year.
Her conviction is so strong that, though unemployed, she’s paid $1,200 to buy advertising space on 10 Springs bus benches through October to get the word out. The ad says, “Save the Date! Return of Christ: May 21, 2011, WeCanKnow.com.”
“I want to do all I can to get the message out,” Exley, 31, said.
Exley got the idea for the ads from listening to Family Radio, a Christian broadcast heard on 55 stations in the United States, including KFRY, 89.9 FM, in Pueblo. It’s hosted by controversial Christian leader Harold Camping.
Camping predicts Christ will return on the date in Exley’s advertisement. Listeners in other states have also purchased outdoor ad space to proclaim the date.
The ads are written and designed by the creators of WeCanKnow.com, an Ohio-based web site devoted to reminding people of Christ’s return.
“We hope it raises awareness and sends people to their Bible,” said Robert Dunham, spokesman for WeCanKnow.com. “Time is running out, but there is still time for salvation.”
Predicting Christ’s return and how the world would end is a controversial subject within Christianity.
Camping teaches that it will happen with Christ’s return, followed by Armageddon, in which nonbelievers are destroyed by fire, and the Rapture, in which believers are taken up to heaven.
Christian leaders have predicted the imminent end of the world since the founding of the faith. Some who base their ideas on the Mayan calendar say the world will end in 2012.
But others say the time of Christ’s return and world’s end can never be known.
“It’s just wrong,” said John Fuller, pastor of Harbor Lights Church in Colorado Springs. “Those who make predictions are just trying to get recognition for themselves.”
Exley has bittersweet feelings about Camping’s prediction.
“There are things I felt I always wanted to do — get married, have a kid, travel more,” she said. “But it’s not about what I want out of life. It’s about what God wants.”
For more on Christian eschatology, go to Barna’s blog, “The Pulpit,” at www.thepulpit.freedomblogging.com.