By Qasim Rashid
The case of the missing Messiah is a mystery that has intrigued countless minds through the ages. Pope Innocent III predicted Christ’s return and doomsday in 1284. William Miller made his call in October, 1844. Alexander Dowie launched his campaign at the turn of the 20th century. Edgar Whisenant added his pitch for September, 1988. Some throw Nostradamus and Sir Isaac Newton, too, in the ring of doomsday predictors.
And then there is Harold Camping, a quasi-theologian Christian who swears “beyond a doubt” that May 21st, 2011 will hail Christ’s return — and doomsday. Camping was already wrong once before in 1994, but there is a much deeper issue that many are missing.
Orthodox Muslims believe Jesus ascended to heaven, and await his descent to save Muslims and destroy their opponents. Many Christians believe the same, only this time Jesus saves Christians. Jews believe Elijah’s descent from heaven will hail in the Messiah’s coming and victory for the Chosen People. Multiple other religions promulgate similar views but regardless of the religion, each proclaims an absolute monopoly on truth and personal assurance of salvation upon the Messiah’s return.