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My Take: May 21st doomsday movement harms Christianity
Osvaldo Colon walks the streets of New York proselytizing with other believers that the world will end Saturday.
May 17th, 2011
03:27 PM ET

My Take: May 21st doomsday movement harms Christianity

Editor’s Note: Robert Jeffress is pastor of the 13,000-member First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas and the author of 17 books, including the forthcoming "Forget Saving America!"

By Robert Jeffress, Special to CNN

In January 1961, a few days before John F. Kennedy was inaugurated as president, he invited Billy Graham to spend a day with him in Key Biscayne, Florida. After a round of golf, Kennedy and Graham were returning to their hotel when Kennedy stopped the white Lincoln convertible he was driving by the side of the road.

“Billy, do you believe that Jesus Christ is coming back to Earth one day?” Kennedy asked.

“Yes, Mr. President, I certainly do,” the evangelist responded.

“Then why do I hear so little about it?” Kennedy wondered.

Were Kennedy alive today, he probably wouldn't be asking the same question.

During Kennedy’s lifetime, few mainline Protestant churches discussed the second coming of Jesus Christ.

Fifty years later, however, televangelists, network television programs, movies and books like the "Left Behind" series — which has sold more than 60 million copies — have succeeded in placing the return of Jesus Christ in the public consciousness.

A 2004 Newsweek poll revealed that 55 percent of Americans believe in the Rapture, the snatching away of all Christians prior to the end of the world and the return of Jesus Christ.

As a pastor who preaches often about Bible prophecy, I am grateful for the general awareness people have of the promised return of Jesus Christ.

But our culture’s newfound interest in the end times has a downside. Bible prophecy inherently attracts fanatics. As a seminary professor of mine used to say to our class, “Remember, wherever there is light, there are bugs!”

One of those fanatics is Harold Camping, the founder of the Christian broadcasting ministry Family Radio in Oakland, California. Camping has predicted that the Rapture will occur at 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 21, followed by the end of the world five months later on October 21, 2011.

Family Radio has plastered billboards across the nation with the warning “Judgment Day, May 21, The Bible Guarantees It!”

Road trip to the end of the world

Readers should note that Camping first predicted the world’s end in 1994. He says he was wrong due to a mathematical miscalculation.

Now I am going to make my own prediction which I’m (almost) willing to stake my life on: May 21 will come and go without any Rapture.

How can I be so certain of my prophecy? The Bible itself says that no one can know the date of the end of the world.

Predicting the apocalypse

In discussing His return to Earth, Jesus told His disciples, “... of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.” (Matthew 24:36).

If God has not even revealed to his own son the date the world will end, I doubt he has revealed it to Harold Camping.

My hunch is that the date God ultimately has chosen is one that will not be plastered on billboards around the country.

What harm is there in an 89-year-old preacher making prognostications about the end of the world?

First, such predictions give non-Christians one more reason to discount the Bible.

For example, many secularists have dismissed the Bible because they assume that it teaches the world is only 6,000 years old. In reality, the Bible never makes such a claim about the Earth’s age. Instead, some well-intentioned Christians have misused the genealogies in the Bible to attempt to ascertain the date of creation.

Similarly, when next Saturday passes without a Rapture, some will say, “See, the Bible was wrong again,” when, in fact, it will have been Harold Camping who was wrong — again.

Second, predictions about the end of the world always lead some people to make foolish decisions. When a self-professed prophet named Edgar Whisenant predicted that the Rapture would occur in 1988, a couple I know responded by charging their Visa card to the limit with a trip to Disney World, believing the bank would be left with the bill once they had left the Magic Kingdom for God’s kingdom.

Obviously, things did not go as planned.

A look at the ways the world could end

Just as every teacher knows how unproductive and unfocused students are the week before school lets out, God knows how tempted we would be to neglect the responsibilities he has entrusted to us if we knew the date we would be raptured into heaven. That is why God refuses to show us his calendar and instead instructs us to focus on our assignment.

But the most harmful consequence of Camping’s false prediction is that it discourages people from making the necessary preparation for the real event when it actually occurs.

Remember the boy who cried wolf once too often? The villagers were so hardened to the boy’s false alarms that they were unprepared when the wolf finally arrived.

When May 21 passes and Camping’s prophecy is added to the ash heap of discredited prophecies, some will be tempted to join the chorus of cynics whom the Bible predicts will mockingly say, “Where is the promise of Christ’s coming?” (2 Peter 3:3-4).

Make no mistake about it. As Billy Graham affirmed to President Kennedy, Jesus is coming back some day. Over 1,800 verses in the Old Testament and 300 verses in the New Testament prophesy of the lord’s return.

Don’t allow the Harold Campings of the world keep you from making the necessary preparation for the end — whenever it may be.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • End times • Heaven • Opinion

soundoff (1,945 Responses)
  1. I AM SQUIRREL-JESUS ! ! ! FEAR ME ! ! ! OBEY ME ! ! !

    The rapture is coming soon, pesky humans, and only the righteous will be taken to meet me! Imagine your shock as billions of squirrels suddenly float up, up, and away into the sky to be in my happy squirrel-heaven, leaving behind you miserable humans in your hideous world of squirrel-squishing cars and squirrel-eating cats and squirrel-shooting rednecks.

    Burn in hell, infidel humans! You will soon learn that human Jesus and human Allah and human Buddha gave up on you nasty losers centuries ago and went off to play cards and get ugly drunk over at Flying Spaghetti Monster's heaven.

    May 18, 2011 at 2:21 am |
    • Adelina

      Intelligence level of atheists = 0

      May 18, 2011 at 3:16 am |
    • Wipe0ut

      All atheist's bloated like space blob but their brains shrank to the size of a quark!

      May 18, 2011 at 5:06 am |
    • Fidei Coticule Crux

      Typical of someone who engages their brain without a pure heart to guide it. All thought not based in love ultimately leads to evil deeds.

      May 18, 2011 at 6:42 am |
    • Oakspar

      If you are Squirrel-Jesus, then I am Squirrel-Zeus, striking them down from mount Olympus-front poarch- with my .22LR Lightning Bolts, only to roast them in the everlasting (20min) fire of Gehenna (Gerber) before stripping the flesh from their bones – taste like chicken.

      Seriously, athiest are like that dorky kid in High School who always tried to get everyone to smoke weed because he had no friends and everyone who he could convince to be as wrong as him were at least associates. If they believed what they said that they do, they would (1) be happy and not feel the need to convert others – having no command from above to do so, nor any pressing natural law putting such a perrogative on them and (2) would see that athiesm is a loosing bet where the best outcome is not being wrong – as there is no outcome where they can be right, a negative can never be proven.

      On camping, as a wise teacher once told me, always bet against the doom sayer – because he can never be right. Either it happens before his day (he is wrong, but who cares), it happens after (you are right), or it happens just then (he is right, but who cares). The only scenario in which anyone is left to care about being right or wrong is the one in which you win. So the next time you hear someone picking a day, have them put some money on the table – after all, they won't need it after the end, right?

      May 18, 2011 at 8:11 am |
    • grampa307

      With Narcissim comes an addiction and religion can be an addiction. They left their home, children, relationships to pursue self-obsorbed thoughts.
      They have medication that can help.

      May 18, 2011 at 10:22 am |
    • MG

      Religion is an insult to human dignity. Without it you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, it takes religion.

      — Stephen Weinberg

      May 18, 2011 at 11:06 am |
  2. The Many Loves of Edna Pimples

    As a Christian, I can tell you that these May 21st end of the world people are crazy. Those Mayan end of the world people are nutters too, just like those comet spaceship end of the world crackpots a few years ago. No, all good Christians know that the end of times is near, just like Jesus told us 2000 years ago when it was near, but it's not the same near that these crazy whackos think.

    May 18, 2011 at 2:10 am |
  3. Ron

    In the history of the early Christian church, they believed that Jesus would return in 'their' life time but he didn't.
    The bible was written for people who are dead and gone but for conservative/ evangel christians, they attempt to make everything as it were for them today. For centuries, christians have spoke of the return of Jesus and things still continue as they always have. In the bible, Jesus said that no man knows when the return will happen, including him, that only the father knows, yet, we have people claiming the return is immanent. The day will come and go and the sad part is people will be the butt of comments and jokes. Things like this make Christianity look pretty dumb as this reflects on ALL Christians.

    May 18, 2011 at 1:56 am |
  4. Peace2All

    One of the issues here is the 'unquestioned assumption' by the author, Pastor Jeffress... and some of the other fervent believers here on this -belief blog.-

    There are several assumptions going on here, but the 2 main ones i'm referencing here for discussion are:

    1)The end of the world will one day come. Yes, I do agree... science does show us that 'one day' the Earth and all life on it will end.

    2)The end of the world *means* Jesus has returned. This one however, is one of the 'unquestioned assumptions' I speak of. There is no proof in any way to 'assume' that Jesus is(first of all-coming back to Earth, assuming that a Jesus even existed.) and... is going to come and kill all of the unrighteous and send them to an 'eternal fiery hell' while he and all the 'good/believing' Christians are whisked off to 'heaven.'

    I will say this... of course, for (me) to be fair and intellectually honest here... I need to say...yes, of course... the believers here 'may' be right in their 'unquestioned assumptions.'

    However, as you know, the 'end of the world' 'may' very well and (IMHO–'most likely') come and go (without) Jesus... or for that matter any deities involvement.

    Respectfully,

    Peace...

    May 18, 2011 at 1:38 am |
  5. Minho

    Jesus came to this child to show her that Hell is a real place and told her to warn everyone! This testimony even tells you how Hell really is! That it is inside the earth!

    http://dcicons.org/forum/topics/angelica-zambrano-dead-for

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZFI7R4ZxKQ&w=640&h=360]

    May 18, 2011 at 1:36 am |
  6. Michael

    And for time you believe that one side of the worlds time is different from the other side it is not possible time is the same here as it is there!

    May 18, 2011 at 12:49 am |
  7. rgphil

    Excellent! Thanks for a more accurate view on this important topic. rgphil.com

    May 18, 2011 at 12:44 am |
  8. Michael

    The day is coming when you would like a good meal! And when God closes the books you wont fell a thing! It will be quick not slow like the way you kill the cats and dogs. The animals depend on you and your not there!

    May 18, 2011 at 12:43 am |
  9. Evan

    It is unfortunate that so few people understand what Christianity is about. Christianity is about loving others (John 13:34). Jesus does not support violence (John 18:10-11). Jesus does not support slavery; He points we are all slaves to sin (John 8:34), and desires to free us (John 3:16). You may say "The Bible is so bloody and violent". Sure, but the Bible does not approve of all of its records, such as the violent ones. You may be thinking "Christian propaganda. Did you just discard the verses you don't like like every other Christian". No, I've read the Bible, and specifically studied the verses I did not understand. As many scholars believe, every "diificulty" in the Bible has an explanation somewhere within its own pages. Would you like to know what "Mere Christianity" should be like? Read the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). I'm not trying to convert you to Christianity. I'm just trying to explain that people often abuse Christianity; claiming you are doing an unjust act for God does not make it right.

    May 18, 2011 at 12:31 am |
  10. Evan

    I'm a Christian, and I do certainly believe Jesus Christ will return someday. However, there is no reason to believe it will be this Saturday:

    1) Most importantly, Jesus Christ Himself said "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father" (Matthew 24:36, Mark 13:32). This article says it best: "If God has not even revealed to his own son the date the world will end, I doubt he has revealed it to Harold Camping".

    2) I've read the "proof" that the Second Coming will be on this day, but it is less-than-convincing. Essentially, Camping took a couple random verses with dates, added the numbers up, and it came out to May 21, 2011. He essentially did the same thing with the "September 1994 end-of-world predictions".

    3) If God actually wanted us to know the day when His Son would return, He would have made it obvious. God would not "hide" it in the Bible and leave us to figure it out. Even some of Paul's Epistles deal with this subject: worry more about being a good person than the exact day Christ will return.

    4) I'm sure Camping is a friendly guy and all, but he seems to think that he is some sort of "prophet". Due to his false prediction that the world would end in September 1994, he is already deemed a false prophet by Biblical standards (Deuteronomy 18:22)

    5) Ths article also brings up another good point: "My hunch is that the date God ultimately has chosen is one that will not be plastered on billboards around the country". It is true. When asked "What would you do if you knew that you were going to die tomorrow", most Americans will reply with "Eat all the junk-food I want", "Get drunk", "Break laws", etc. In other words, they will participate in actions that the Bible does not approve of. If God revealed the date His Son would return, people would do these immoral things.

    In short, there is no reason to believe that this Saturday will be the end of the world. Jesus Himself did not know the date, so why would this guy? You can't just smash Bible verses together that reveal some sort of date and expect the world to end that day. The day the world is going to end is less important than being a good person. We have no reason to trust a, although friendly, false prophet. Lastly, end-of-the-world prophecies tend to have a negative effect.

    This article sums it up: "Similarly, when next Saturday passes without a Rapture, some will say, “See, the Bible was wrong again,” when, in fact, it will have been Harold Camping who was wrong — again".

    In short: let's concentrate on being a good person today. Worrying about what will happen in the future to the point where we neglect doing good today is something the Bible frowns upon.

    May 18, 2011 at 12:10 am |
  11. lolz

    lolz @ Jesus coming back, and lolz @ thinking Jesus actually existed.

    May 18, 2011 at 12:04 am |
    • Evan

      Jesus is mentioned by Josephus, the Talmud, Tacitus, Lucian, Suetonius, Pliny the Younger, the Early Church Fathers, etc. Do you believe Alexander the Great existed? What about Confucious? The Buddha? Charlemagne? There is less evidence that they existed than that Jesus did. All we know about these people comes from people comes from second-hand+ accounts, sometimes even hundreds of years after the person's death. An unbiased historian has no choice but to conclude that this man existed? A much better question to ask would be this one: Was Jesus who He claimed to be: God's Son?

      May 18, 2011 at 12:14 am |
  12. Minho

    Matthew 24:43 (New International Version)

    Matthew 24
    43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into.

    I am sad for the many people out there who misunderstand Christianity. True Christians know that we must wait patiently for our Lord to return and keep watch as if he will return at any minute. We do not know the day or the hour.

    2 Peter

    15 Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 

    16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. 

    Harold Camping is a lost man, his predictions does not fit the scriptures in the bible. It's sad that his actions are leading and deceiving many people and is putting a bad mark on Gods word and a terrible reputation upon the true believers of Christ.

    http://dcicons.org/forum/topics/angelica-zambrano-dead-for

    I believe this testimony in the link above was given to this young girl by Jesus Christ and the premonition and upcoming events that will unfold soon was given to her to witness to the world what's coming. Her testimony also matches all scriptures in the bible.

    The most interesting part of this testimony tells us that Satan & his demons are planning to bring down the preachers, ministry and the church... Sounds exactly what is happening right now.

    As for Harold camping...

    Stop trusting in man, who has but a breath in his nostrils. Of what account is he? Isaiah 2:22

    Proverbs 14:25, "A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies."

    God Bless those who will listen, there are no second chances after we die, the time to repent is now- You must be saved through the prayer of salvation to Jesus Christ & God in order to become one of Gods Children-

    May 18, 2011 at 12:02 am |
  13. MARTIN

    Perhaps it's a good thing that people think that the end of the world is coming soon. Perhaps this would be a great time to reflect on our lives and how well we have treated each other. Also I have found that many people don't start praying or having faith until they find themselves in debt, or in a bad health condition. I hear many people saying "Oh God, if you can hear me now". Maybe the main reason that many of us fear the end, is because we have done so many wrongs. Instead of criticizing these fanatics, I started asking myself " if I were to die right now, how would people remember me? Was I a good person?. I read the billboard the other day, and if anything it's making me focus on my own actions.

    May 17, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
  14. A Pastor

    Just wanted to add my two cents to the equation. First off, I understand that there are religious fanatics out there that fit every stereotype that has been posted on this forum. That's why they're stereotypes. However, why is it assumed that Christians are not educated, logical, or cannot think for themselves? My wife and I are both pastor's with a masters degree from Duke University (I went to school for eight years to get it). We both have duel degrees in literature and philosophy. We are not inbred nor are we brainwashed.

    As for the article. I'm glad to see someone speaking out against this misguided man. I read his logic and it...well...it really has no basis in scripture, but is a gross mutilation of scripture. I do, however, want to know where people are getting the idea of the rapture and the world ending in the Bible, though. A thoughtful reading through scripture will reveal that the 'Left Behind' interpretation of scriptures has no true basis in scripture. Why would Christ encourage others to suffer as he did for the sake of reaching out and helping the poor, the needy, and the sick of society and then 'rescue' us when the world needs that witness the most? Also, scripture never says anything about the end of the world, just the end of the world as we know it. It never says our souls go to heaven for eternity, but that are bodies will one day be raised. The earth is never discarded, but that heaven, the New Jerusalem, will come down and become with the earth making a new heaven and a new earth in Revelation. I really think that if the church would embrace this church, Christians would find a wonderful reason to be more environmentally aware, no longer convinced that it will be destroyed down the road.

    May 17, 2011 at 11:05 pm |
    • Reality

      What we do know:

      1. The Sun will burn out in 3-5 billion years so we have a time frame.

      2. Asteroids continue to whiz by us daily.

      3. One large hit and it is all over in a blast of permanent winter.

      4. There are enough nuclear weapons to do the same job.

      5. Most contemporary NT scholars do not believe in the Second Coming so apparently there is no concern about JC coming back on an asteroid or cloud of raptors/rapture.

      Bottom line: our apocalypse will start between now and 3-5 billion CE.

      May 17, 2011 at 11:19 pm |
    • JOregon

      The real question is how long have you spent studying the scripture?
      1 Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
      1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
      .
      ...to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
      Also remember Paul says to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.
      Present with the Lord where?
      QUOTE: “The earth is never discarded,”
      2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
      .
      ...the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
      After the earth is destroyed God will create new heavens and a new earth.
      What denomination does Duke represent?

      May 18, 2011 at 12:59 am |
    • Reality

      The Apostles' Creed 2011: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians during the past 200 years)

      I might believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven.

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
      Jerusalem.

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
      and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

      Amen

      May 18, 2011 at 7:55 am |
  15. oh well

    Dang, that's going to ruin our long weekend in Canada.

    May 17, 2011 at 11:04 pm |
  16. Epicurian

    6

    " Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
    Then he is not omnipotent.
    Is he able, but not willing?
    Then he is malevolent.
    Is he both able, and willing?
    Then whence cometh evil?
    Is he neither able nor willing?
    Then why call him God. "
    -EPICURUS-

    May 17, 2011 at 11:02 pm |
    • Thinker's Dam

      If all evil were prevented by God, then we would never learn compassion, humility, or generosity. We learn these things from our own suffering and that of others. If God wants us to learn them, then suffering is necessary. Some of the most selfish, self-centered, cruel people I know are those who have never suffered. You don't really want to spend eternity with them, now, do you?

      May 17, 2011 at 11:14 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Thinkers Dam

      Hey there -TD...

      While I understand your comment is within the 'context' of @Epicurians posting which is around a god's thoughts, abilities, qualities, desires, etc...

      And you responded within that framework.

      And... I'm guessing here that you 'believe' what you wrote, which would be mere 'unproven speculation.' Yes...you 'may' be right, yes... I know. I do acknowledge that.

      However, you may very well be 'wrong' in your 'assumptions'...i.e... there is God, this God desires us to suffer to learn etc..., God thinks/desires, etc... I don't need to go into the whole of your assertion, and I understand... you 'fervently believe' what you say to be true, but... 'beliefs do 'not' necessarily = FACTS, here.

      Respectfully,

      Peace...

      May 18, 2011 at 2:19 am |
    • US Patriot

      Epicurus missed something important when he said that... God gave man free choice. It is man's sin that has brought suffering on mankind. Not God. God simply allows us to suffer the consequences of our choices... much like having to pay a ticket for speeding. The speeder made the choice to break the law and therefore paid the consequence.

      May 18, 2011 at 2:20 am |
    • Peace2All

      @US Patriot

      Hey there.. Patriot...

      I would suggest that my previous post to @Thinkers Dam, also applies to your posting. You are making 'speculations.' Again, there is a God, God 'let's us' suffer, etc... All unproven assumptions.

      Again.... you may be right.

      And... you 'may' be wrong. But, attempting to state a -belief- and act as if... they are FACTS doesn't fly here.

      Respectfully,

      Peace...

      May 18, 2011 at 3:47 am |
  17. danai306

    Jesus gave us a sign post about the end of the world. Jesus said "When you see the Fig Tree in leaf....... know that it is very near, even at the door." The Fig Tree we know from the Bible is the nation of Israel. Israel miraculously became a nation again in 1948 after nearly 2,000 years of dispersion. Jesus said when we see this happen then we should know the end of the world is very near. Christians should have taken this warning from Jesus seriously.

    The end is definitely going to be in our generation. If May 21 passes without the rapture, the Christian world is going to breath a great sigh of relief but that will be the fulfillement of another prophecy: "When they shall say peace and safety then sudden destruction commeth upon them and they shall not escape."

    May 17, 2011 at 11:01 pm |
    • Thinker's Dam

      @danai306 "Jesus gave us a sign post about the end of the world. Jesus said "When you see the Fig Tree in leaf....... know that it is very near, even at the door." The Fig Tree we know from the Bible is the nation of Israel. Israel miraculously became a nation again in 1948 after nearly 2,000 years of dispersion. Jesus said when we see this happen then we should know the end of the world is very near. Christians should have taken this warning from Jesus seriously."

      But the Edict of Toleration that permitted Jews to return to Israel happened in 1844, which is why the Millerites said that that would be when Jesus would return. Overall, I think the Millerites were more correct than Camping.

      May 17, 2011 at 11:32 pm |
    • JOregon

      @Thinker's Dam
      The Edict could have planted the seed, but the tree came into leaf May 14, 1948.
      That was what Jesus told us to look for as a sign he was at the door.
      Since we were told to watch for that sign, he should return within the natural lifetime of someone that was at least alive at that time. Most likely old enough to know what to watch for.

      May 18, 2011 at 1:54 am |
  18. Bibletruth

    The second coming of Christ cannot occur on May 21, 2011 because some things have yet to occur and everybody will know they are occurring when they occur. The rapture (aka "the secret rapture" ) is 100% unscriptural. When Jesus comes back, and I beleive it will be soon, every eye shall see...it will be the most climactic, noticeable event of this worlds history. It will be the fullfillment of Christian hope , it will be absolutely wonderful for those that love God and Jesus...... and the most undescribable terror (mental as well as physical) for those that have rejected the conviction of truth and love God has sent them . It is a shame so many believe in the "rapture" (aka secret rapture) idea...as that belief will almost certainly get them lost.

    May 17, 2011 at 11:01 pm |
    • JOregon

      Camping is preaching a very visible rapture. Followed by a very dramatic judgement on all remaining on earth.

      May 18, 2011 at 1:47 am |
    • Peace2All

      @JOregon

      Hey -JOrg...

      You know, I forgot to ask, and didn't really catch what you believe in your postings. Do 'you' believe that Camping is correct...?

      This Saturday, May 21st is it...?

      Respectfully,

      Peace...

      May 18, 2011 at 1:57 am |
    • US Patriot

      The rapture is clearly scriptural... what Bible are you reading????

      May 18, 2011 at 2:16 am |
    • JOregon

      @Peace2All
      He could be. I know he is very methodological in his studies.
      Like Mr Camping my father was a Civil Engineer and would have been about the same age. My father was an agnostic but there is something about how people with this type of mind approach problems that is very well thought out. They generally cross all their t's and dot all their i's.
      As I read the bible I also see that all of the signs we were told to watch for have happened or are happening.
      As I look at the physical world I can see it is dying.
      I don't like the direction he has gone by claiming he can't be wrong and also when he says if you don't see it the way he does you are condemned. That is a complete 180 from what he has said in the past. In the past he has said no man can know everything the bible says. We see in part so we prophesy in part. He has also said different people have different talents – his is numbers yours might be in nurturing.
      As such I haven't totally read his studies, in that I would need to check every detail. I doubt most of his followers have either.

      May 18, 2011 at 9:40 am |
  19. ncghostwriter

    It truly shows how selfish many Christians are. Think of the idea and say it is not selfish, a small group of people on earth get taken to a land of milk honey and those that are not Christian have to be tortured. This may explain the vile personalities of the devout. I can't say this is true for all but a can say that many live everyday smiling at the fact that something "eternally" bad will happen to those who they don't approve of.

    May 17, 2011 at 10:58 pm |
    • Anonymous

      You are right. Evangelical Christianity seems to have devolved into a psychopathic cult that not only manipulates individuals but has gotten behind right wing politicians to create a theocratic, corporate government. It is reminiscent of fascism with nationalism being replaced with Christianity. And people are afraid of Islam. They are actually both becoming totalitarian, suppressive forms of government.

      May 17, 2011 at 11:32 pm |
    • Nathan

      For god sake what would happen if an emotionally aware person became a christian and because of their simple recognition of truths actually became useful to other people. And then God gave them a crazy amount of SPirit because he saw they saw the sense in the little things and God decided to move them onto bigger things. and people could trust this person because they were always honest to themselves and to God. Why dont you become a christian and find out. we need real people not zealots

      May 17, 2011 at 11:36 pm |
    • Thinker's Dam

      @Nathan "For god sake what would happen if an emotionally aware person became a christian and because of their simple recognition of truths actually became useful to other people. And then God gave them a crazy amount of SPirit because he saw they saw the sense in the little things and God decided to move them onto bigger things. and people could trust this person because they were always honest to themselves and to God. Why dont you become a christian and find out. we need real people not zealots"

      People don't have to "become Christians" to do this. God can inspire any good person, in any religion or in no religion, and people can still see their honesty. Perhaps they honor and follow the teachings of Jesus, but without declaring themselves to be actual "Christians," and without having to follow the laws of some religion in which some minister decided he knew what Jesus meant. Would that be good enough? After all, Jesus said, "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, [and] one shepherd."

      May 18, 2011 at 12:11 am |
    • US Patriot

      @thinker- ahhh.... the other sheep there refer to the Jews living in Judea at the time...lol, not non-Christians. Oh, and btw... there are ZERO good people according to God's Word. Sorry. Not you, not me, not anyone. God clearly says our good works are as "filthy rags". We are all sinners. So yes, a person DOES need to become a Christian. The verse you use did NOT prove your point- rather, it showed that you quote scripture without understanding what it is you are quoting...

      May 18, 2011 at 2:14 am |
    • Thinker's Dam

      @US Patriot If a person follows the teachings of Jesus to his best ability, maybe even without knowing about Jesus, I think only God can judge whether he is Christian enough, but I don't mind you disagreeing on that point.

      Sorry if I missed the true meaning of "other folds." Would you mind giving the verse where Jesus clarifies that? Thanks.

      May 18, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  20. George Guadiane Austerlitz, NY

    Its difficult to harm Religion with this when Religions have done so much, in so many ways, for so long to kill itself off.

    May 17, 2011 at 10:54 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.