Apocalypse Now – Is May 21, 2011 Really Judgment Day?

"And then she understood the devilish cunning of the enemies' plan. By mixing a little truth with it they had made their lie far stronger."    – CS Lewis The Last Battle


It’s a beautiful day here in North Carolina, and we’re in celebration mode because our very own Scotty McCreery has made it to finals of American Idol. We’re so proud of him and can’t wait for next week to arrive so we can see whether he wins.  


Oh no! I just remembered that tomorrow is May 21, 2011Judgment Day – according to Harold Camping. This 89 year old preacher and founder of Family Radio has boldly proclaimed that on May 21 he and his loyal followers will be raptured while the rest of us will face worldwide destruction and death.Check out this startling video.

As you might imagine, the media has had a feeding frenzy over Camping’s outrageous prediction.  Most of the networks have covered it, with ABC News airing this report.  Also, be sure to watch this clip that features one of the many billboards paid for by Camping and his followers.   Why May 21, 2011 you may wonder…Here’s the explanation for this specific date, provided on the Family Radio website.  


“In the Bible a wise man is a true believer, to whom God has given a profound trust in the authority of the Bible. True believers have been in existence since the beginning of time. But the timeline of history as it is revealed in the Bible was never revealed to the hearts of the true believers. For example, throughout most of the church age it was generally believed that Creation occurred in the year 4004 B.C.


However, about 35 years ago God began to open the true believers’ understanding of the timeline of history. Thus it was discovered that the Bible teaches that when the events of the past are coordinated with our modern calendar, we can learn dates of history such as Creation (11,013 B.C.), the flood of Noah’s day (4990 B.C.), the exodus of Israel from Egypt (1447 B.C.) and the death of Solomon (93l B.C.)*


However, it was not until a very few years ago that the accurate knowledge of the entire timeline of history was revealed to true believers by God from the Bible. This timeline extends all the way to the end of time. During these past several years God has been revealing a great many truths, which have been completely hidden in the Bible until this time when we are so near the end of the world.”


So these “true believers” are the only ones who know what’s on the horizon. Hmmm… Camping continues his justification of May 21, 2011 being the Day of Judgment by quoting from the books of Daniel and Revelation. Then he explains the following on the Family Radio website (at above link):  


“Several years ago we had learned that the silence in Heaven for about half an hour referred to the 2,300 days that were the first part of the 23-year (exactly 8,400 days) Great Tribulation period. This period began on May 21, 1988. It was during this 2,300-day period that, both in the churches and throughout the world, very few, if any, were saved. Revelation 8:1 reports that there was silence in Heaven. This would have been the situation beginning on May 21, 1988, because joy in Heaven occurs as sinners repent. In Luke 15:4-32 the Bible reports this joy in Heaven, a joy that was not in silence.


We had learned that May 21, 1988 was the last day of the church age and was also the first day of the 23-year period of Great Tribulation, during which Satan has been employed by God to officially rule all of the churches as well as the whole world. During the first 2,300 days of this 8,400-day period the Holy Spirit was withdrawn from all of the churches as well as the entire world. This produced silence in Heaven. This sad situation is to continue in the churches until the end of the 23-year Great Tribulation period. However, beginning 2,300 days after May 21, 1988 (the end of the church age), the Holy Spirit was again poured out, producing what the Bible calls the “latter rain” (Zechariah 10:1; James 5:7) throughout the world (but not in any church), and God began a final great harvest of salvation, bringing great joy in Heaven. This salvation is not occurring in any church, but will continue outside of the churches to the end of the Great Tribulation, on May 21, 2011.”


Too bad for the Christians who actually believe what Jesus uttered here on earth in Matthew 24:36:


“No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."

It’s pretty incredible that God has somehow enlightened Camping about the last days so that he can warn the rest of us.  


Last year Steve Gill, a Nashville broadcaster, interviewed Camping on his radio show about the May 21, 2011 prophecy. Please listen to this extremely insightful audio clip.  


You will hear Gill challenge Camping regarding his erroneous 1994 prophecy and whether he will apologize on May 22 for being a false prophet. Gill also points out that Camping is profiting from his prophecies and that perhaps there is a better way to allocate resources on God’s behalf than by putting up huge billboards about the world’s end on May 21, 2011.  


How does Camping respond to Christians like me who actually believe Matthew 24:36? Check out this excerpt from the Family Radio link provided.  




Christ and Judgment Day come in the night. In 1 Thessalonians 5:3 Christ tells us, “When they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them.” Because destruction comes upon them, we can know for certain that these people are not saved. Being unsaved, they are in spiritual darkness. They are in the night. Judgment Day is coming for them as a “thief in the night.” Yet they believe they are at peace with God and safely under His care. WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?


The language of this verse describes perfectly all of those in the world who on May 21, 2011 are still following any church. Because churches teach many things that are not true to the Bible, including a plan of salvation that is contrary to the Bible, and the Holy Spirit has abandoned all churches, those still following any church on May 21, 2011 are not saved. Nevertheless churches teach their members that:


1. They as confessing members of their church are safely in Christ’s care.


2. No man can know the day or hour of Christ’s return. Therefore, they are certain that Christ will come as a thief in the night.


These dear people do not realize at all that they, themselves, are in spiritual nighttime, a condition that guarantees that when Christ comes they, themselves, will be destroyed in the Day of Judgment. How awful! It is the true believers who know the time (the hour) and much about Judgment Day (the day). They are not in the nighttime of spiritual darkness.”


Here’s the bottom line, as Steve Gill pointed out. Camping is profiting by making prophecies. Praise God that there are those who are challenging Camping on this issue. Here’s a caller who confronted Camping about whether he will refund the life savings of older people who have bought his prophecies hook, line, and sinker. Listen to how an irate Camping responds to the caller.  


Thankfully, there are those who are speaking out against Harold Camping. Hank Hannegraaf produced the following video, which we hope will bring assurance to anyone concerned about what may happen tomorrow.  



Perhaps the only redeeming aspect to Camping’s prediction is that it will hopefully challenge everyone to consider the second advent of Jesus Christ, which is predicted in the Bible and how it will impact them in light of eternity.   We wish you Godspeed, and we look forward to seeing you right back here on Monday, May 23rd.  


In the meantime, here’s a thought-provoking song written by Larry Norman and performed by DC Talk – “I Wish We’d All Been Ready”.




Lydia's Corner: Judges 19:1-20:48 John 3:22-4:3 Psalm 104:24-35 Proverbs 14:22-24



Apocalypse Now – Is May 21, 2011 Really Judgment Day? — 46 Comments

  1. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    For over one hundred years, someone in this country has set a date of the rapture, tribulation or some other event in their misguided understanding of Revelation, Daniel and other parts of the Bible. It is predominantly an American phenomenon!

  2. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    Oops. Left out that that the date is set for sometime in every year for the last more than 100 years!

  3. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    Anyone remember the book, “Eighty-eight Reasons Why Jesus is Coming Back in 1988”?

    Then of course, people were real concerned about Y2K.

    There is nothng new under the sun.

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    Arce and Mara

    Aw gee, I guess this means I do have to do the dirty dishes after all. And I was just getting comfortable with my tin foil helmet with antenna.

  5. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    To all my friends:

    Please remember to change your wills tonight, and leave everything to your local atheist (see Arce for details). Wouldn’t want anything to go to waste after you all vanish tomorrow…

    One thing I’ll give to Christianity…you have to appreciate the entertainment value 🙂

  6. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    I believe that God honors our individual beliefs in the matter. So only pre-tribbers get raptured, and post-tribbers have to endure the tribulation. That’s why I choose partial Preterism. Makes me feel safer.

  7. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    Where’s Scully & Mulder when ya’ need em’? I’m sure they could clear this up.

  8. Pingback: Apocalypse Now | Video, Torrent, Downloads | Poodlesnatcher

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    I’m still here, but wait!! My keys are missing…raptured? Arrgh the dreaded tribulation….jump starting my car for years to come. I should have listened. 🙁

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    Hope the link works. My computer is giving me fits lately

    Anyway, replace two thousand zero zero with two thousand one one and have fun. Those who can, anyway.

  11. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    Though Gary has become far too cozy with Vision Forum, here’s his stuff on Camping. Gary DeMar is post-millienial:

  12. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127


    I saw the Gary DeMar stuf and found it interesting. There is so much out there on Camping that it’s incredible!

    Well, it’s just after 2 pm in my little corner of the world. What a magnificent day! My daughters and I are going strawberry picking on a Mennonite farm this afternoon. We’re gonna get enough to put in the freezer for future enjoyment.

  13. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    It is already May 22 in New Zealand and Australia, as well as parts of Asia.

  14. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127


    Game over.I have removed my tinfoil helmet and will make dinner after all.

  15. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127


    To you point-this in the Christian post

    “Among his followers on the East Coast is the family of Adrienne Martinez, 27, who decided not to attend medical school after she listened to Camping on Family Radio. Martinez and her husband, Joel, quit their jobs and moved from New York City to Orlando to spend the last supposed year they had on Earth reading the Bible, distributing tracts and spending time with their two-year-old daughter.

    “We budgeted everything so that, on May 21, we won’t have anything left,” Adrienne told NPR.

    She is due with the couple’s second child in June.”


    This is one person I don’t want operating on me.

  16. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    It’s Y2K all over again. How embarrassing.

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    Happy May 22nd everyone! Glad we’re still here…

    How much did all those billboards cost? What a waste!

  18. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    At least the Y2K scare caused the biggest peacetime economic boom – which brought prosperity to just about everyone, as the results of $2 trillion of consumer spending on software trickled through the US economy. Companies like Microsoft made a king’s fortune, and many Microsoft employees prosepered as a result. Even Bill Clinton would boast that he left the country with a “surplus” after his term of office.

    The only thing prospering from the latest May 21 scare is Harold Camping’s wallet.

  19. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127


    How do you know we are all here? …:) Actually, there are some who think I am not all there.

  20. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    well, next year is 2012… so I guess we can all look forward to another doomsday scare, albeit from a different quarter.

  21. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    oops! I had intended to put a 😉 in my last post, but forgot.

    these doomsday predictions make me sad for the people who believe in them…

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    A little end-time fun…ones in bold are just special…

    2nd Century CE: The Montanist movement predicted that Jesus would return sometime during their lifetime and establish the New Jerusalem in the city of Pepuza in Asia Minor.

    365 CE: A man by the name of Hilary of Poitiers, announced that the end would happen that year.
    375 to 400 CE: Saint Martin of Tours, a student of Hilary, was convinced that the end would happen sometime before 400 CE.

    500 CE: The antipope Hippolytus and an earlier Christian academic Sextus Julius Africanus had predicted Armageddon at about this year.

    968 CE: An eclipse was interpreted as a prelude to the end of the world by the army of the German emperor Otto III.

    992: Good Friday coincided with the Feast of the Annunciation; this had long been believed to be the event that would bring forth the Antichrist, and thus the end-times events foretold in the book of Revelation. Records from Germany report that a new sun rose in the north and that as many as 3 suns and 3 moons were fighting. There does not appear to be independent verification of this remarkable event. (Now there’s something that could have convinced an atheist!)

    1000-MAY: Charlemagne was disinterred on Pentecost. A legend had arisen that he would rise from his sleep to fight the Antichrist.

    1005-1006: A terrible famine throughout Europe was seen as a sign of the nearness of the end.

    1147: Gerard of Poehlde decided that the millennium had started in 306 CE during Constantine’s reign. Thus, the world end was expected in 1306 CE.

    1179: John of Toledo predicted the end of the world during 1186. This estimate was based on the alignment of many planets.

    1205: Joachim of Fiore predicted in 1190 that King Richard of England would defeat the Antichrist The Millennium would then begin.

    1284: Pope Innocent III computed this date by adding 666 years onto the date the Islam was founded.

    1346: The black plague spread across Europe, killing one third of the population. This was seen as the prelude to an immediate end of the world. Unfortunately, the Christians had previously killed many of the cats, fearing that they might be familiars of Witches. The fewer the cats, the more the rats. It was the rat fleas that spread the black plague.

    1533: Melchior Hoffman predicted that Jesus’ return would happen a millennium and a half after the nominal date of his execution, in 1533. The New Jerusalem was expected to be established in Strasbourg, Germany. He was arrested and died in a Strasbourg jail.

    1669: The Old Believers in Russia believed that the end of the world would occur in this year. 20 thousand burned themselves to death between 1669 and 1690 to protect themselves from the Antichrist.

    1689: Benjamin Keach, a 17th century Baptist, predicted the end of the world for this year.

    1736: British theologian and mathematician William Whitson predicted a great flood similar to Noah’s for OCT-13 of this year.

    1792: This was the date of the end of the world calculated by some believers in the Shaker movement.

    1794: Charles Wesley, one of the founders of Methodism, thought Doomsday would be in this year.

    1830: Margaret McDonald, a Christian prophetess, predicted that Robert Owen would be the Antichrist. Owen helped found New Harmony, IN.

    1850: Ellen White, founder of the Seven Day Adventists movement, made many predictions of the timing of the end of the world. All failed. On 1850-JUN-27 she prophesied that only a few months remained before the end.

    1856: At Ellen White’s last prediction, she said that she was shown in a vision the fate of believers who attended the 1856 SDA conference. She wrote “I was shown the company present at the Conference. Said the angel: ‘Some food for worms, some subjects of the seven last plagues, some will be alive and
    remain upon the earth to be translated at the coming of Jesus.” That is, some of the attendees would die of normal diseases; some would die from plagues at the last days, others would still be alive when Jesus came. “By the early 1900s all those who attended the conference had passed away, leaving the Church with the dilemma of trying to figure out how to explain away such a prominent prophetic failure.” (Hmmm…now what?)

    1891: Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon church, attended a meeting of church leaders. He said that the meeting had been called because God had commanded it. He announced that Jesus would return within 56 years (History of the Church 2:182)

    1914 was one of the more important estimates of the start of the war of Armageddon by the Jehovah’s Witnesses (Watchtower Bible and Tract Society). They based their prophecy of 1914 from prophecy in the book of Daniel, When 1914 passed, they changed their prediction; 1914 became the year that Jesus invisibly began his rule, 1914, 1915, 1918, 1920, 1925, 1941, 1975 and 1994, etc. were other dates that the Watchtower Society (WTS) or its members predicted. (There nothing if not persistant!)

    1970:The True Light Church of Christ made its claim to fame by incorrectly forecasting the return of Jesus.

    1981: Hal Lindsey boldly declared that “The Rapture” would occur before Dec. 31, 1981, based on Christian prophesy, astronomy and a dash of ecological fatalism. He pegged the date to Jesus’ promised to return to Earth a generation after Israel’s rebirth. He also made references to the “Jupiter Effect,” a planetary alignment that occurs every 179 years, that would supposedly lead to earthquakes and nuclear plant meltdowns.

    1982:A group called the Tara Centers placed full-page advertisements in many major newspapers for the weekend of April 24-25, 1982, announced: “The Christ is Now Here!” and predicted that he was to make himself known “within the next two months.” After the date passed, they said that the delay was only because the “consciousness of the human race was not quite right…”

    1983: Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, Guru of the Rajneesh movement predicted massive destruction on earth, including natural disasters and man-made catastrophes. Floods larger than any since Noah, extreme earthquakes, very destructive volcano eruptions, nuclear wars etc. will be experienced. Tokyo, New
    York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Bombay will all disappear.

    1986: Moses David of The Children of God faith group predicted that the Battle of Armageddon would take place in 1986. Russia would defeat Israel and the United States. A worldwide Communist dictatorship would be established. In 1993, Christ would return to earth.

    1988:Rapture in Rosh Hashanna Sept. 1988 before Sept 21, Edgar C. Whisenant (Book: 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will be in 1988

    1989: After the passing of the deadline in 88 Reason’s, the author, Edgar Whisenaunt, came out with a new book called “89 Reasons why the Rapture is in 1989.” (if at first you don’t succeed!)

    1992: David Koresh of the Branch Davidian group in Waco Texas changed the name of their commune from Mt. Carmel to Ranch Apocalypse, because of his belief that the final all-encompassing battle of Armageddon mentioned in the Bible would start at the Branch Davidian compound. They had calculated that the end would occur in 1995

    1991:A local group in Australia predicted Jesus would return through the Sydney Harbor at 9:00 am on 31st March, 1991.

    1991:Nation of Islam Leader Louis Farrakhan proclaimed the Gulf War would to be “the War of Armageddon … the final War.”

    1991:Menachem Schneerson, a Russian born rabbi, called for the Messiah to come by Sept 9, 1991, the start of the Jewish New Year.

    1992:Lee Jang Rim started a church called, “Mission For The Coming Days” was jailed for two years after embezzling 4.4 million dollars from 10,000 of his cult followers. He had used the money to buy bonds that matured after the end of the world! (I think the proper word is Chutzpah!)

    1992: Rapture; Full page ad in USA Today, on Oct. 20, 1991, placed by the Hyoo-go (Rapture) movement. EP News service quoted one sect, “50 million people will die in earthquakes, 50 million from collapsed buildings, 1.4 billion from World War III and 1.4 billion from a separate Armageddon.”

    1994: In the book, F. M. Riley foretold of God’s plan to rapture His people. The name of his ministry is The Last Call and operates out of Missouri.

    1994: Pastor John Hinkle of Christ Church Los Angels caused quite a stir when he announced he had received a vision for God that warned of apocalyptic event on June 9th, 1994. Hinkle, quoting God, said, “On Thursday June the 9th, I will rip the evil out of this world.”

    1994:After promising themselves they would not make any more end time predictions, the Jehovah’s Witnesses fell off the wagon and proclaimed 1994 as the conclusion of an 80 year generation – the year 1914 was the starting point

    1996: California psychic Sheldon Nidle predicted the end would come when 16 million space ships converged upon the Earth on Dec. 17, 1996, along with a host of angels. Nidle explained the passing of the date by claiming the angles placed us in a holographic projection to preserve us and give us a second chance. (Gotta love the creative spin!)

    1997:Stan Johnson of the Prophecy Club saw a 90 percent chance that the tribulation would start Sept 12, 1997. He bases his conclusion on several end-time signs. The date of September 12 was chosen by Johnson because it will be Jesus’ 2000th birthday and it will also be the day of atonement, although not what is currently the Jewish Day of Atonement.

    1997: Weekly World News carried a statement by a spokesperson of the International Association of Psychics. 92% of their 120,000 members have had the same “end time” vision that the world would end by 2001 (The ‘500’ who witnessed the resurrection pales in comparison!)

    1997:The Vortex of the Star of David religious sect of Luskville, Quebec was quoted as predicting the end of the world on Saturday, MAR-8.

    1998:A Taiwanese cult operating out of Garland Texas predicted Christ would return on Mar 31 of 1998. The group’s leader, Heng-ming Chen, announced God would return, and then invite the cult members aboard a UFO

    1999:1999 – Sept – 30: Second Coming of Jesus Christ predicted by Kirk Nelson using Edgar Cayce’s Predictions in correlation with the Christian Bible.

    1999:Sun Magazine listed a prediction of “Bible expert” Dotson Meade. He predicts that “something will happen that brings about the war which will end the world as we know it… There will be a vicious cycle of storms and earthquakes that lead to the final battle the world has awaited.” This date was derived from
    information in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

    1999:Concerned Christians This group, whose members were ordered deported from Israel, was started by Monte Kim Miller, who used to run an anti-cult network in Denver. People who know the cult say Miller believes he is the last prophet on Earth before Armageddon. Miller, who reportedly believed he
    talked to God each morning before he went to work, was said to claim that America was Satan and the government evil. Miller has predicted he will die on the streets of Jerusalem in December 1999 but will rise from the dead three days later.

    SOON!: Jerry Falwell “In a speech about the concern people have over the new millennium, The Rev. Jerry Falwell said the Antichrist is probably alive today and is a male Jew. Falwell also told about 1,500 people at a conference in Kingsport, Tenn., on Thursday that he believes the second coming of Christ probably will be within 10 years.

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    I wonder about the veracity of that bit about the Old Believers in Russia (though they were horribly persecuted and I think that might have a lot to do with the notion of believing that the end of the world was coming).

    Not sure about the cats thing re. the Black Plague, either… and even if true, nobody at that time had seen either bacteria or viruses through a microscope’s lens, so they did not know that a whole world of “invisible” things exists.

    Re. Ellen White and the SDA, yeah… there are some pretty crazy “prophecies,” and I doubt many members of the SDA church know about them – or believe in them, if they do.

    Final thought: the list is highly selective; it focuses primarily on Western Europe and the US. afaik, fear of the world’s end isn’t exclusive to Christians and Jews… (Hindus believe that we live in the age of Kali Yuga; many of them are waiting for a messianic figure named Kalki – see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kali_Yuga and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalki for starters… and many Buddhists are waiting for the coming of Maitreya – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maitreya )

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    OK… gotta eat my words, as there were mass suicides among the Old Believers in Russia:


    also in this book: click to see (link is in “click to see,” as it’s a Google Books search result and those links are incredibly long; might get flagged as spam here).

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    Ah yes, 88 reasons Christ is coming in ’88. That one got quite a few folks around here going. I know one (non-charasmatic) church in the area whose pastor bought into it, and one very scared child of a friend of mine in that church that went the other way after it didn’t happen. Not that I blame her too much considering she was also in a very legalistic Christian school.

    I was thinking the other day about why people, with the ‘no man knows the hour or the day’ verse people keep going this way in Christian circles. But if you think about it, interpretation of scripture essentially requires we look for the exceptions. There are so many verses that if we took them at their ‘plain meaning’ we just can’t accept. Jesus said lots of things we don’t think really were meant to mean exactly what he said. Like the verses on divorce and remarriage? The Catholics pretty much take Him at His world (technically – they have their ways around it) but most protestants don’t. The ever present issues of the roles of women in church. And so forth.

    And don’t get me wrong, we have good reasons to interpret the text the way we do most of the time, but the reality is we DON’T typically take the words of scripture at face value, so Camping and crew are just anither example where a fella thinks he has justification to do an end run around some things Jesus said.

    Now I can justify in my mind why he is wrong but I’m OK.

    But I’m quite sure he can do the same thing.

    And I don’t know about the rest of you, but I find that disturbing.


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    “Y2K scare”

    It was real. Computers were going to belly flop, crash, burn, whatever all over the place. It was only due to a massive spending effort that a lot of issues were avoided. Of course some of that spending was done to kick the can down the road. There are not a lot of systems with Y2021 and such problems.

    But believe me. The issues were real. Just talk to the small merchants who got to buy a new credit card processing box because their old ones were not “fixable”. At $400 and up it was painful for a lot of small businesses.

    I even got to deal with a similar issue on a business system where I was the lead developer. Way back when, before my time, a date system was picked that would run out in 1991. This was in the P&C insurance industry. We had to do a Y2K conversion in 87 for about 2500 insurance agency systems. It was a royal PITB. Lots of work with little appreciation and basically no income.

    Y2K was real. It was a non event to most people because it was handled by the computer nerds.

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    I agree, it’s just a shame that our educational institutions cannot seem to turn out even one deity that has the ability to communicate clearly and unambiguously to His hordes of loyal or would-be followers.


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    Karl, I think people are going to believe what they want to believe regardless of what public schools teach or don’t teach.

    That said, I’m troubled over what I think is a real lack (in most schools, public and private) in teaching kids to think critically about what they are taught. The ability to do that well is (imo) a very important component of life and goes far beyond analyzing textbooks and other assigned material.

    Have you ever read Frances Fitzgerald’s book America Revised It was published in 1979 and … I think very few people listened to her. (Look at the incredible attempts at historical revisionism in the Texas public school curriculum, for example…)

    I also feel that it’s entirely possible to believe in a deity (or deities) *and* be able to think through the particulars of one’s beliefs and religious texts. My guess is that a lot of folks from non-evangelical backgrounds (Anglicans, in many cases; also the best Roman Catholic scholars) don’t feel a dissonance between belief and study/questioning.

    Maybe, as Dee has suggested before your SGM background has made you feel a need to walk away from all of it? (Meaning Christianity, agnosticism – the lot.) If so, I sympathize. Given a lot of my own experiences in abusive/doctrinally insane churches, I think it’s kind of amazing that I actually believe in God. 😉 (j/k, but not really.)

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    I was in junior high school and high school in the first years after Sputnik and we learned a lot about critical thinking. We also learned not to take what any teacher said as TRUTH but to go and do our own research. It was a wonderful time. Of course, I went to a large suburban school in an area with lots of mid-level executives, managers, and scientists from the tire industry and their research labs. (Side bar: a benefit of being a high school student in the Akron area was great help with science projects and I got to play golf once at Firestone.)

    Critical thinking is not inimical to faith. It is inimical to some of the garbage add-ons and the positions that some take on the B through Z issues in theology and ecclesiology. BTW, theology is NOT the study of God, but the study of human’s thinking about God. An example of the ridiculousness is the Chicago statement on inerrancy: That the original ‘autographs’ are inerrant. Of course, we don’t have those and never will in this life. So why argue over the matter??? Answer: ecclesiastic politics: Say it my way or take the highway.

    No one really takes all of Genesis literally. Living 900 years? Yeah, right.

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    My SGM background had nothing to do with leaving the faith…at the time I pretty much enjoyed all of the churches I attended including SGM, it was a bit left of center for me, but other than that a good time. I left the faith because I realized how silly it all was and got tired of all the illogical, unreasoned and unsupported nonsense. I am not saying that to be mean or aggressive, but simply because that’s the truth of the matter.

    People believe for a wide variety of reasons….insecurity (want group acceptance), inability or unwillingness to examine why a person does something, uncritical thinking (at least about the initial assumptions), fear of the unknown or afterlife, a need to feel in control (answers for everything), certainly, for some, it’s a job, for some a power trip (control over others), for many, just an unwillingness to abandon what they know inside to be false or unlikely because of the social ramifications…and on and on and on.

    For me, there was just nothing compelling. After leaving, and 25 years later, I still feel that way. Nothing lost and a great deal gained.

    Hope that gives you some insight into why I left.

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    you’re killing me…here I planned a nice long (700-850) year retirement, so I could travel and see the world.

    Thanks for the vocabulary though…”inimical” was a new one for me. I would disagree though I think critical thinking, is, or at least should be inimical to faith, if carried far enough.

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    Did you look it up? I have 24 years of education. No Kinder, M.A. and Ph.D. in Psychology, Postdoc in mathematical psychology and the theory of data, J.D. cum Laude from a top 40 law schoo, three years teaching research methodology, statistics, ethics, at the graduate and undergraduate level, as well as teaching some psychology courses. Research field was how to effectively evaluate programs to determine what was and was not functional. One year as a Congressional Science Fellow (got federal funding for hospice care as an alternative treatment to hospitalization under medicare and medicaid -1978, behind the scenes with aegis from a Congressman). Five years as a research manager at a large R&D organization overseeing environmental impact assessments of chemical, energy, and nuclear facilities, as well as environmentally appropriate economic development plans for communities affected by military closings. One year as Sr. mgr in industry. Started and ran my own business teaching businesses how to avoid environmental, health and safety liabilities for chemicals used or produced, and consulting in over 500 plants, with staff of six professionals. Chaired five national scope environmental conferences. Then went to law school.

    Education in and the ability to critically think is not contradictory to faith. It is inimical to faith only if the faith is that which is often misrepresented as Christianity by people who are not willing to critically evaluate their faith — the sort of thing taught in bible colleges, which are really indoctrination centers. We have some seminaries who want their students to be in the 70-80 percentile and not 95-100 percentile. Smart enough to learn the language and organize the information but not sharp enough to critically analyze what they are being taught while still parroting it back effectively enough to pass the courses and keep the indoctrinators happy.

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    Also did the criminology and enforcement analysis for the studies resulting in our new, more resistant to counterfeiting currency in 1983.

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    @ Karlton: thanks for your post, although I suppose it leaves me with many unanswered questions. 😉

    I do know what you mean about many things being illogical and/or nonsensical, but … I think a lot of *those* things aren’t intrinsic to Christianity (or any kind of religious faith, come to that).

    And I think Arce has made some very good points about critical thinking – as well as saying that most bible colleges are “indoctrination centers.” (Funny, I never even knew that bible colleges existed until after I started hanging out with evangelicals, back in the early 70s… they just weren’t a feature of the landscape, as if they either didn’t exist and/or weren’t legit unless they had the word “seminary” in their names). I guess you can chalk that up to the dangers of being beer-drinking, card-playing, social dancing, moviegoing Lutheran(s). 😉

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    But simply stating that it is so, is not sufficient. I am too tired tonight .. but tomorrow let’s continue. Let’s begin by defining “faith” by it, do you mean to simply have hope, to believe in heaven and a loving God, but not to alter your behavior as those it were already an established fact…a nice comforting thought for when times are hard. Or do you refer to “faith” which causes changes in the present based on the supposition that the object of your faith actually exists.

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    You did not give one positive reason for people believing in God or holding to a faith. We are either stupid, psychologically weak, or deficient in some other way. One might think that you do not have any respect for the psychological or intellectual abilities of your friends in the faith. Could it be that some believe because it just makes sense to them?

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    My point was, I am a critical thinker, able to parse out rhetoric from reality, fact from fiction, faith from superstition, and reason from sentimentality, and I am a man of faith, one who lives to link others to a God who loves them and wants them to accept that love. As a lawyer, I know that a gift is incomplete until it is accepted by the donee. The God I worship does not force himself on anyone, but freely offers love and reconciliation to all who will truly accept the gift and then live out of love, just as one does in a marriage or parent-child relationship, but more fully than those could ever be.

    I stack my critical thinking skills against anyone. I scored 1548 on the old SAT, 798 on the math portion. I scored in the 99.8 percentile on the LSAT. intending the first take to be practice, with minimal preparatory work so that I did not approach the weird questions without some understanding of how they work. My spouse and I have raised two merit scholars, one of whom was awarded one of 20 full ride scholarships given out by Michigan State each year. without taking the usual test, because of his scores and accomplishments (published playwright and poet, top Latin scholar in Texas, mathematical genius, arranger of music — jazz themes to classical and vice versa — and accomplished improvisational jazz saxophonist who can learn any instrument to a performance level in less than a month if he chooses — bassoon, flute, piano, trumpet, vocalist; etc. etc.) Now he builds bicycles and gives them away as a hobby, and is an accomplished news and art photographer. Soon to be on the faculty at an Ivy.

    My faith is based on my critical thinking about a world that cannot be fully explained by natural processes, and I do know all the counterarguments (my son is also broadly read in philosophy and religion and just turned 26). I do not reject any of the science, I just know that, while it is extensive and covers a lot of territory, it is not sufficient. Therefore, I choose to believe in a God of creativity and love. That is why I am a Christian, in what I call a soft evangelical strain. It is why I help people whenever I can, to share the love I have received. Without love like I have received, the world would be a very dreary place and I would not wish to live long without a purpose.

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    Could it be that some believe because it just makes sense to them?

    Good question! For me, the answer is “yes.”

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    Loved the “soft evangelical strain” comment.

    Also, I always knew you were smart. You read this blog, don’t you?

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    You said “My faith is based on my critical thinking about a world that cannot be fully explained by natural processes”.

    As I have pointed out before, an inability to explain something does not justify or imply a supernatural explanation. It sounds to me, so far, as though your belief is based on a combination of a God of the gaps with a little bit of argument from incredulity.

    While I’m sure you aren’t saying that no one in this world has better critical reasoning skills than you, that really isn’t the point…people live with cognitive dissonance all the time, regardless of intelligence or reasoning ability. The human mind is very adept at compartmentalizing our belief systems.

    So, for my benefit, what are your logical and well reasoned justifications for belief in the Christian God (by that I mean an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent being who has existed from eternity, will never cease to exist and who exists beyond our space-time continuum), or if you prefer just a reason for believing in the supernatural at all.


    The answer isn’t good enough, not if you want to examine your own beliefs. Why does it make sense to you, and do those reasons make sense? Otherwise it is little different than the child who answers “because!” to every question with no more detail.


    I most certainly did give positive reasons…people who believe because it makes them feel better, provides a support when times get hard, because they need to have hope in something. These ARE positive reasons for people believing in something, but not to the point that you believe someone is really speaking to you (and only you can hear it) or that you take actions based on what you think this invisible being wants you to do…then I’m afraid, to some extent, it’s delusional. (or God really does exist)..but without any sound, objective evidence who’d want to commit their life to a lucky guess. I could pick random bizarre ideas out of the air all day long…if I do it long enough I might stumble on something that’s really true…but I’d be a fool to commit the one life I do have in the hopes that I might be right about something for which I have no evidence.

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    Arce, why can’t I believe in a 900 yr. lifespan in the antidiluvian past? Of course I have no proof. I simply choose to engage in reasonable speculation about much of what the Bible sez aside from the tenets of the Creeds, because the thoughts resonate with me. I don’t give a rat’s ass what Augustine, Calvin, or Luther said, I keep my own counsel.

    Karlton, I admitted in a previous comment thread that my belief in an actual corporeal afterlife is driven largely by self-interest, namely the innate desire for immortality. Once again, I have no assurance, I have a hope based on what Messiah has promised me if I continue to live ethically and treat others as I would want to be treated.

    The objection could be raised here that my belief is no different than poor old Renfield’s delusions in a London asylum whilst awaiting his master Count Dracula. Once again, worm food or ransomed, time will tell.

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