11 September-13 September 1988. Wingbat Prophet--Edgar Whisenant-- flames with his millenialist predictions.
Dr. Rusten tells the story.
Rusten, E. Michael and Rusten, Sharon. The One Year Christian History. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2003.
Available at: http://www.amazon.com/The-Year-Christian-History-Books/dp/0842355073/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1393302630&sr=8-1&keywords=rusten+church+history
Edgar Whisenant, a retired NASA engineer, from Little Rock Arkansas, published two wingnut-dispensationalist books:
1. Rapture Rosh Hash Ana 1988 and 88 Reasons
2. On Borrowed Time: The Bible Date of the 70th Week of Daniel, Armageddon, and the Millenium
The wingnut predicted Jesus would return between the sunset of 11 September 1988 and sunset of 13 September 1988.
By 11 September 1988, other wingnut-millenarian fanatics bought 4.5 million of the first volume above. This wingnut sent 300,000 of them to millenialist American clerks. They were flying off the Christian bookstores hawking them to other gullible types, evidence of modern lunacy and gullibility. Some, reportedly, we putting their pets to sleep, selling off belongings, and literally going to the hilltops to witness the Second Advent.
One huckster began hawking tours to Israel to witness the Second Coming of Jesus to Israel. The huckster offered this pitch:
“We stay at the Intercontinental Hotel right on the Mount of Olives where if this is the year of the Lord’s return, as we anticipate, you may even ascend to Glory from within a few feet of His ascension.”
The price for the trip was only $1975 from Los Angeles or $1805 from New York (including return if necessary).
One wingnut TV broadcasting operation made programming changes to coordinate with the event. Dr. Rusten does not identify the nitwit-outfit. However, it 1988, it was either the wingnut-CBN with Pat “the false prophet” Robertson or that wingnut-TBNer, Paul Crouch. Whichever one, not to lose a beat, they ran rapture-stories and videos up-to-and-through 11-13 September 1988. What else can one expect from fanatical millenarians and Pentecostal enthusiasts? (Partial answer beyond the incompetent theology is Hillbilly music)
Of course, Wingnut-Edgar Whisenant failed. So, he revised his dated to 3 October 1988. That failed so he wrote another book saying he might be off by one year. That failed, blah, blah. Another book, The Final Shout Rapture Report 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993.
Let us raise the toast to celebrate wingnuttery and American fanatics in print and on Pentecostalist television. Let us never forget the gullibility and stupidity not just of individuals, but also wide tracts of other loons. Fanatics, the whole lot of them.
Abanes, Richard. End Time Visions: The Doomsday Obsession. Nashville: Broadman and Holman, 1998. 93-105.
Alnor, William M. Soothsayers of the Second Advent. Old Tappan, NJ: Revell, 1989. 15-33.
Chandler, Russell. Doomsday: The End of the World Through Time. Ann Arbor, MI: Servant, 1993. 273-74.
Whisenant, Edgar C. On Borrowed Time: The Bible Dats of the 70th Week of Daniel, Armageddon, and the Millenium. Little Rock, AS: by the author, 1988.
Whisenant, Edgar and Greg Brewer. The Final Shout Rapture Report 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993. Nashville, TN: World Bible Society, 1989.