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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. John10:10

    Any voice that opposes the divinity of Christ emanates from Satan. The resurrection redefined life, and your life has no real meaning apart from Him. Only He can save you from the guilt of your sins. Don't let Satan rob you of salvation. Remember that you have until your last breath to repent.

    May 19, 2011 at 9:13 am |
    • Michael

      You fundamentalist extremists sure love to talk about Satan, just like your predecessors in the Inquisition. Why don't you take your little horned buddy and go off in a corner somewhere? You don't scare us anymore – we're all grown up now – but your psychotic obsession with evil is harmful to children. Stop spreading it around and get some therapy, for God's sake.

      May 19, 2011 at 9:19 am |
    • Ryan

      Wow...believe what I believe or your are the devil, evil, and will burn in hell. Wow...how very typically Christian of you! So since you believe in the "Devil, Satan", does that also mean you still believe in the boogeyman that hides in your closet? They seem one in the same to me.

      May 19, 2011 at 9:38 am |
    • Bible Clown

      "Any voice that opposes the divinity of Christ emanates from Satan." Wow, that's pretty convenient! So everybody who doesn't buy your story is the devil? Why, then America must be the Great Satan, and everyone in it an imp, and so you must be a demon tempting us into weird heresy. Back, unclean one! Quick, someone flagellate me!

      May 19, 2011 at 10:56 am |
    • Sophie

      Prove Satan even exists.

      May 19, 2011 at 11:02 am |
    • Satan

      Prove Sophie even exists. She could be me under a different name.

      May 19, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • Reality

      Some other things that damage Christianity:

      Jesus was a bit "touched". After all he thought he spoke to Satan, thought he changed water into wine, thought he raised Lazarus from the dead etc. In today's world, said Jesus would be declared legally insane.

      Or did P, M, M, L and J simply make him into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction? Most contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the latter magic-man conclusion with J's gospels being mostly fiction.

      Obviously, today's followers of Paul et al's "magic-man" are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European, white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices.

      May 19, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
    • government spy

      II'm not sure if you're aware of this, but according to Scripture, the one you refer to as Satan, aka Lucifer the MorningStar, was once an angel, the Lord's favorite. The stories say he fell, because of pride, end now rules over Hell.

      What's interesting (if you follow the myth) is that it was all part of God's plan. God "needed" Hell, and technically, needed a steward to run Hell for Him. So is it more likely that Lucifer rebelled against God, or is it more likely that God took his most trusted servant, and ordered him to leave Heaven and become ruler of Hell? So then, technically, Hell (and Lucifer) would be just an extension of God's Will.

      So when you talk about Lucifer being evil, and trying to seduce everyone, he's just doing what God wants him to do. So actually, God wants you to go to Hell.

      May 19, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • Sophie

      Prove angels exist.

      May 19, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • Eric G

      They are comming to get you Barbara!

      May 19, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  2. Steve778

    Leave it to evangelicals to extrapolate the rapture from 3 verses in an epistle, not the word of the prophets, or the word of God, but an inspirational piece of apocrypha written to a repressed minority around the beginning of second century. Any real Christian scholar can point out the abundance of symbolism and metaphors, evangelical protestants need to realize that biblical authority comes from the whole context not just the details.

    May 19, 2011 at 9:09 am |
  3. Tim

    Don't lose too much sleep over this Mr. Jeffress. Christians are a lot smarter than anyone is willing to give them credit for (even CNN). As for the secularists, they have their own gods now. They're more an amusing band of neo-pagans rather than rationalists, worshiping the earth mother and ranting against traditional faith like soldiers in some sort of bloodless jihad. And they say vaudeville is dead.

    May 19, 2011 at 9:03 am |
    • Jaime

      What, pray tell (heh heh hehe), are the "gods" of the secularists? By definition, secularists just are of the opinion that religion should be excluded from civic or public affairs.

      A person can be a secularist and still be devout to any faith. Secularism is just a civic position. Saying secularists have their own gods is like saying, "People named Tim have their own Gods." Being named Tim has no bearing on whether or not a person has faith and what kind of faith that person has.

      Christians can be secularists, too, you know. I'll go so far as to say that Christians who are NOT secularist as well are no different from Islamists – just wanting to impose their religious values via the coercive force of government. As a libertarianism and secularism go hand in hand. 🙂

      May 19, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  4. Justin

    Even this guy's article is weird. Religion is just weird. So weird.

    May 19, 2011 at 9:02 am |
  5. Chad

    The doomsday movement can't harm Christianity any more than the utter fiction of the entire religion already does. Sorry guys. It's the 21st century. There are no talking snakes. There are no virgin births. There is no prayer-answering god in the sky. There will be no "second coming" of Christ.

    http://www.godisimaginary.com

    May 19, 2011 at 8:56 am |
    • g

      LOL that's hilarious 🙂

      May 19, 2011 at 9:03 am |
    • John10:10

      He's alive. The mystery is why we know and you don't.

      May 19, 2011 at 9:03 am |
    • Chad

      No, there's no mystery at all. You're simply delusional. A delusion is "a belief strongly held in spite of invalidating evidence," which fits Christianity (and indeed all religion) perfectly. There may be a supreme being, I acknowledge that (small) possibility. I'm agnostic, not atheist. However, the god of the Christian bible is provably false, using the bible itself. So I assure you, there is no mystery to me whatsoever.

      May 19, 2011 at 9:09 am |
  6. Non Believer

    Religious people look at the only paradise we will ever experience, Earth, as a temporary short term stop, like a bus station, where they use the rest room, dump their trash, eat a meal, take a nap, otherwise care nothing about its upkeep or anything that is there, while they eagerly wait to depart to their actual destination – which those of us that rely on logic, reason, proof know, is 6' feet under the "bus station" for eternity, not some gold city (really? who wants to spend enternity in a city, much less one made of cold metal?) ... Religious people are driving the humans to extinction, with their unsustainable ideas of people having as many children as possible (policy meant to ensure plenty of new minds to brainwash into placing money in the collection plate), supporting wars against other religions, becuase they are certain their's is the ONE, supporting Jews occupying other peoples' land – becuase their bible says that they must destroy the other religions shrine, replace it with their shrine, fulfilling prophecy, the saviour can come back to earth, where "HE" will begin tossing all the jews / others that do not accept him as the one, into a nice hot lava bath for eternity – nothing like the threat of eternal burning to make me a believer, one would think a loving "saviour" would win us over with love / kindness, not threats of unbearable pain and suffering... religious people PROMOTE the destruction of the only place that will sustain the lives of our chilrdren, drill-baby-drill!, while at the same time screaming that all fertilized eggs should come to term, and that there is no limit on the number of children one should have ... mankind can not evolve to the next higher level, until we stamp out this relic from our primordial past, where early humans relied on belief in magic and super hero god(s) to explain events they did not understand , we now know the answers and/or the process for investigating an arriving at the most probable or certain answer – non of which include the input of a magic man ... non-beleivers need to unite and begin to speak out during elections against politicians that refer to an invisible god who helps them in decision making, really? Do we really want people who believe in such things with their fingers on the button of world destruction? I understand however, to say today that you are a nonbeliever, especially in the workplace, could result in discrimination or worse, if somewhere in the chain, there is a staunch believer ...

    May 19, 2011 at 8:54 am |
  7. Jaime

    The end is nigh, the end is nigh, the end will always be nigh! It will be nigh until the first catastrophic event that destroys 60% of the human population and changes culture. We now have the capability to do that via biological and nuclear vectors, but there will be no angels to come and gather the faithful. The believer will die along side the non-believer. The only difference will be the non-believer will feel only pain, while the believer will be comforted by their willful delusion.

    This day will come, not because of reason or atheists or rational thought, but because there are true believers acting to fulfil what they believe their roll to be to bring about the rapture. True believers who seek a policy of bringing about the rapture.

    I do not fear 100 nuclear warheads in the hands of a viscious dictator. I fear 1 nuclear device in the hands of a believer.

    Only the faithful can be convinced that killing millions is not an act of evil, and thus believers have the potential to unleash the most suffering. The true villian always sees themself as the hero.

    May 19, 2011 at 8:48 am |
    • Michael

      Right on Jaime. On the other hand, if we covered Gadhafi in corn syrup, would he then be a viscous dictator? 🙂

      May 19, 2011 at 8:57 am |
    • Mike

      Correction... Only extreme radicals can be convinced that killing millions is not an act of evil.

      You seem to have a failure to differentiate true christians with extreme points of view and false religion... kind of the point of this entire article.

      May 19, 2011 at 9:02 am |
    • Jaime

      Mike,

      I take your point to heart, I really do. I've been told that I am "one of the best christians I know, and you're not even Christian" because in my life I follow the teachings of Jesus. I don't think he's the son of God, I just happen to agree with him, and try to live like him. But I am not a Christian.

      But here's the problem that dulls your point: What is a true Christian? There and hundreds of different sects that give different justifications for "true" christians. There are people who honestly believe that if you are pro choice, that you are not a Christian. There are people who believe if you don't accept the baptism, you are not a Christian. There are some who believe if you don't take communion for the properly ordained order (Catholicism) that you are not a true follower. Nearly every Chrisitian has a different definition of what is a Christian. I assure you that many of the extremists don't consider themselves as extremists.

      I mean look at the whole republican party and their high Christian percentage, then ask them how many of them believe in and follow the concept of a "just war" as defined in the Bible. That might be considered mainstream, which would then make ALL evangelicals extremist by definition. Do you accept that?

      Maybe, because many of them do have the RAPTURE as the source of their foriegn policy.

      You could always argue that *some* of the people who believe in something are reasonable, and the rest are crazy, but then you start picking and choosing the tenants of your morality from the source material that is provided as canon. I'm fine with that, but at that point you must acknowledge that you are no longer adhering to a religion and instead and just following a philosophy.

      Kind of like I am doing. Personally, I would love for you all to join me.

      Follow the ideas of Christ. To H*#$ with Christianity, just be Christlike.

      May 19, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  8. Logical26

    It's the new and improved "Heavens Gate" cult. It sure would be nice if all the nut jobs were gone in an instant... I really just dont understand how anyone with any common sense believes in the Bible in the first place... crazy!!

    May 19, 2011 at 8:46 am |
    • God

      OMG i totally agree LOL!! I was just thinking if this did actually happen, the one good thing is that all of these Jesus Freaks would be gone!!

      May 19, 2011 at 8:48 am |
    • Jesus

      OMG Dad! LOL!

      May 19, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  9. Will

    I love freedom of speech. Yet once again the media and the atheist go to far. Ok so some christians believe the end of the world is this saturday. That does not mean the flock follows. We are all humans and make mistakes. Also, the media wants you to believe all christians are crazy. This country will try anything to get rid of God. They use stories about steven hawking, who has had an unforgiving life. He says that God is not the divine creator of physics and that all christians are good at fairy tales and we are scared of the dark. All i have to say " Oh you with no faith". Thanks to the media future generations will be drained and posioned by your vile.

    May 19, 2011 at 8:39 am |
    • dne

      Good Points, Will. The last country to pseudo-successfully remove God from everything was the Soviet Union. How'd that work out? if you haven't, read The Rage Against God by Peter Hitchens. Very intelligent piece by a very intelligent Atheist turned Christian via reason sans brainwashing. God Bless.

      May 19, 2011 at 8:55 am |
    • Richard

      "I love freedom of speech....Also, the media wants you to believe all christians are crazy. This country will try anything to get rid of God....All i have to say " Oh you with no faith".
      Will, "Oh you with too much blind faith to allow a little reason to enter the picture and not jump into defense posture every time a new article is published that disagrees with your system." should be said in return. Any faith can have zealots or radicals or crazies; no one has implied that every member of your faith follows that path. "The media." What is this, and why is it the de facto Darkside every time someone asserts logic into topics the faithful disagree with? No one's really out to get rid of God, but some of us who don't cling to anyone's robes feel there needs to be some way of reining in God's Army and protecting us from the rancid cream that always rises to the top because they shout louder. If anything, "the media" is using our freedom of speech to report on those among you who are crazy and act like simple sheep. Christ's teachings are very powerful if you read them with a mind focused on their potential to show us how to love one another, not as an excuse to belittle and deny one another our freedoms. Getting rid of God is not an option or the goal of anyone, but tempering His Zombies needs to be.

      May 19, 2011 at 9:34 am |
    • Richard

      Oh, Will, PS: A Baptist minister wrote this article, so don't go blaming us Atheists...

      May 19, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • Jaime

      Will,
      The reason that all you have to say is, "Oh you with no faith" is because you can't provide a reasoned argument to counter the rational positions put forth. I don't fault you for having no arguments, though. So many sheep are led to the slaughter anually, and people ar very similar. They follow the back end of the sheep in front of them without bothering to think about where they are going.
      To continue the metaphore, I suppose if you could extricate your face from the backside of the sheep in front of you, you might see the mental feneces that keep you pinned inside.

      What requires more faith? To close ones mind and follow the same path well trod before you, or to strike out on your own and try to make the world a better place in the here and now?

      Maybe you lack faith that people can be better and lack faith in your own ability to be kinder and more giving and more loving without the guidance of the rear end in front of you.

      Have a little faith.

      May 19, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  10. JoeS

    Is the end of the world matter much to me? The matter most to me is make sure that I repented all my sins so I could live with God again someday. I will live my life here as fruitful as possible and gain more knowledge of this I life that will benefit my future after life. I wish I could live more and enjoy more instead of worrying the end of this beautiful earth we are living in. The longer I live here the better so I could gain more knowledge while I am here.

    May 19, 2011 at 8:28 am |
  11. Reality

    Some other things that damage Christianity:

    Jesus was a bit "touched". After all he thought he spoke to Satan, thought he changed water into wine, thought he raised Lazarus from the dead etc. In today's world, said Jesus would be declared legally insane.
    Or did P, M, M, L and J simply make him into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction? Most contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the latter magic-man conclusion with J's gospels being mostly fiction.
    Obviously, today's followers of Paul et al's "magic-man" are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European, white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices.

    May 19, 2011 at 8:26 am |
  12. Mike

    The hilarious part about naysaying Christians?
    They don't decry this group on the fact of the rapture, just its timing.

    Good job!

    May 19, 2011 at 8:24 am |
  13. Michael

    Thanks for the balanced article. I wonder if Camping has suspended his programming or production of Family Radio programs post May 21, 2011. Has anybody investigated to see if his own organization has wound down in anticipation of Saturday's rapture? For example, it would seem incongrous for Family Radio to have locked-in agreements with radio stations post May 21, 2011 or programming lined up for June 2011.

    May 19, 2011 at 8:24 am |
  14. Chris de B

    What a fear based way to live. These people were most certainly severely potty trained.

    May 19, 2011 at 8:21 am |
  15. Milton

    Here is yet another reason why Christians aren't the best at promoting a sustainable planet. Why take care of this planet when the good stuff happens after you die? At least animistic faiths have their environmental benefits. Religion is a potent meme that parasitizes its victims by requiring the absence of reasoned thought about it. Once you get past that protective covering, the time of its demise will accelerate. I'm predicting the end of religion before the end of days. If not, religion may actually be the CAUSE of the end of days through a self-fulfilled prophecy. There is a race against time to overturn religion in favor of strict rationalism. Atheism is currently the only not-really-a-religion growing in all 50 states. The percentage of professed atheists has doubled since 1990. I can only hope rationalism doesn't arrive too late to save our planet. Until then we have to cope with global warming deniers, creationist "scientists", anti-vaccination enthusiasts, and, of course, end-of-days crackpots (including the author above).

    May 19, 2011 at 8:19 am |
    • max in ny

      Milton- soooo true. I always worry about this. I think the biggest thing to do right now is to live your life in the most environmentally friendly way, to offset their negative impact as much as possible. Then hopefully through knowledge and example they will change their ways.

      May 19, 2011 at 8:45 am |
    • Tim

      You have your gods, we have ours.

      May 19, 2011 at 8:49 am |
    • Shell

      Hey you're using a blanket statement based on your own opinion. I'm a Christian. I have a bachelor's in biology. I believe in Creation. I also think it is important to take care of our planet. I've been to almost every national park in the US. I recycle, use organic cleaners, and have a compost pile. I have a love of animals and nature, heck I even pick up worms from the side walk so they don't die. You sir, mock religion, but you indeed have your own as well, a humanistic one.

      May 19, 2011 at 8:53 am |
    • Non Believer

      Well said Milton! My god is my own internal conscience, choosing to treat others, humans / other life forms, and the earth with at a minimum respect due ... i base my decisions on golden rule, treat other life forms, as i like to be treated, and no, this is not a philosophy born in christianity, has many christians i know assert, but was around for centuries before JC, written down by idol and multiple-god worshippers like the Chinese, Romans, Greeks, Egyptians ...somehow, these ancient people came up with this idea without the teachings of JC ... go figure ... in fact, there are no new uplifting philosophies for humans in JC's teachings, only self serving ones, that you have to believe in him to recieve a "reward" ...

      May 19, 2011 at 9:19 am |
    • Bible Clown

      "You have your gods, we have ours." You go RIGHT on believing that, chum.

      May 19, 2011 at 9:43 am |
  16. blf83

    Fools have based such apocalyptic ideas on Revelation for the couple of hundred years. The Book of Revelation was nearly left out of the Bible, and it most certainly is not about "end-times." It was a coded description of life under Roman rule. The "rapture" is not ever mentioned in the Bible as it is a late 19th century concoction of an embezzling, womanizing snake oil salesman. See y'll Sunday, and Monday, and ....

    May 19, 2011 at 8:17 am |
  17. blj

    Well said, Mr. Jeffress!

    May 19, 2011 at 8:06 am |
  18. KP

    "Over 1,800 verses in the Old Testament and 300 verses in the New Testament prophesy of the lord’s return."

    Now that's proof right there! Mr. Jeffress sounds more rational than the doomsdayers but he really isn't.

    May 19, 2011 at 7:57 am |
  19. Ryan

    All religion is a lie. Look at what religion has given this world. Cruisades, Inquisitions, witch burnings, suicide bombers, murder, death...all of it in the name of "God's" favor. The Bible is not some holy book that was Fed Exed to the world by God a few thousand years ago. It was witten by mortal men who, for all we know, could have been (and probably were) just as crazy as this Camping clown, and then selectively arranged and assembled by a ROMAN council. Jesus is just about as real as Peter Pan. This book's (and all the other religious texts as well) only truths are the ones it's blind and pathetic followers give to it. I wish bookstores would place all religious books into the "Fiction" section...where they belong.

    This world WILL be destroyed...either 5 billion years from now when the sun turns into a red giant, or when humanity finally accomplishes that goal on its own. Religion is nothing more than BS that breeds and fuels hate, intolerance, and brainwashing. Go out, have fun, enjoy your life, focus on the time you have with your loved ones. Stop devoting your time, energy, and money to these corrupt religious organizations. You will find yourself much happier for it.

    May 19, 2011 at 7:53 am |
    • KP

      Ryan, I agree with you. But religion does not cause all of our shortcomings as a species but serves as an excuse and fabricated reason for them. The problem is us, not religion or even belief. Religious people are often bad and crazy and non-religious people are, as well. But since I have to choose, I rather go with the secular, and thus slightly less mad, crowd.

      May 19, 2011 at 8:01 am |
    • TH

      Instead of saying stuff like that, move on and don't feel the need to bash something that people believe in. Just because a small group of people feel the need to use fire and brimstone tactics doesn't mean that all Christians are like that. I believe in God and I believe that Jesus resurrected. I am not saying you need to believe the same thing that I do, but why do you feel the need to push what you believe onto other people? Sounds contradicting.

      May 19, 2011 at 8:05 am |
    • JM

      Agreed wholeheartedly. I could not possibly have said it any better, and would only add that the ONE thing I would most like to see before I draw my final breath, it would be to see the end of religious belief. It'll never happen in my life, but in the long run, hopefully it will.

      May 19, 2011 at 8:06 am |
    • dne

      Ryan, it is not the religion that causes these things to happen, but the men who mis-use it...just like anything else. Would you blame the entire education system for pedophiles that use employment for their own sick and twisted gain? Heck, you're spreading your own dogma religiously (i'd be willing to bet this isn't your first post), that you've picked up here and there through your lifespan, and preaching a relative truth...absolutely. What makes you any different?

      May 19, 2011 at 8:11 am |
    • CRay

      I am very sad about your response to this articile. The God I worship loves you in spite of your beliefs and He wants you to love Him. I will pray that the Holy Spirit will change your heart and open your eyes to the truth before it is too late.

      May 19, 2011 at 8:13 am |
    • TheWiz71

      What has religion (and specifically Christianity) contributed to the world – let's see – schools, the university system, the hospital, social welfare of most kinds, a fair bit of scientific discovery and insight (including, but limited to, the beginning of genetics), great literature and art.
      To use your characterization and oversimplification, what has atheism contributed to the world – the political philosophies of Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot, three of the greatest mass murderers of human history, whose crimes (and the resulting human suffering) far overshadow the crusades and inquisitions.

      May 19, 2011 at 8:15 am |
    • Chuck

      @Ryan, How do you know there is no God? Do you have some scientific proof to back that claim? As frustrating as it is to you to hear that people are "gullible" enough to believe in God it is equally frustrating to me that people like you make these statements through ignorance. Believe it or not it is actually more challenging to be an atheist than to believe in God. Religion as you state it has it's bad side where people use it to propagate their own greed and desire for power, but it has also been used to bring millions of people food and shelter. I think you listen to to many crackpots like this guy predicting the end of the world and really need to talk to someone who has a true understanding of Christ's message to the world...One of peace, he gave us the greatest gift of all...Grace and forgiveness.

      May 19, 2011 at 8:31 am |
    • God

      AMEN!! So true.

      May 19, 2011 at 8:51 am |
    • God

      Uhhh TH, what you're telling Ryan not to do is EXACTLY everything that religious people do. You are supposed to be the ones that are nonjudging, loving, and forgiving, but that is a JOKE. Religious people are the biggest hippocrites on the planet. If it's not your way, it's wrong! Trust me, as a gay man I no. Bring on the rapture if only to get rid of Jesus Freaks!

      May 19, 2011 at 8:57 am |
    • Non Believer

      many christians that replied asked the question, why us non-beleivers cannot simply let religous people have their beliefs, why cant we just agree to disagree... accused us of preaching as they do, well the answer lies in the fact that unlike religious people, nonbelivers are not promoting and facilitating war, intolerance, discrimination, misogyny and policies that could end human existence ... i task believers to point to one major world war that was started by a provable god/religion non-believer, and please dont refer to Hitler, there is mountains of evidence that proves he was at minimum affiliated with catholic church, and referred to christianity favorably in his speeches routinely, including face-to-face meets with the holy see, while he was systemically murdering millions of Jesus killers back in the fatherland ... the number of people who have died due to humans' religious beliefs is so large it is not quantifiable ...we are currently involved in a 20 year (+-) war that pits christian and jew against islamic fundamentalist lunatics, both shaded and sheltered by more "reasonable" middle or less believers, who wish they could be as observant and sacrifice as much as those lunatics, but since they are cafeteria plan not absolute believers, not willing to be a holy warrior on the front line, rationalize they are serving, doing their part in the "war", by protecting the lunatics in their sects from detection and prosecution ... non believers must speak out, preach, attempt to stamp out this mental illness, other wise, we could find ourselves imprisoned, stoned to death, burned at the stake, or worse by white men in rediculous costumes, as did so many of our ancestors

      May 19, 2011 at 9:51 am |
    • Bible Clown

      Heretic! Burn him alive for Jesus!

      May 19, 2011 at 10:12 am |
  20. J.D.S.

    From what I understand, this moron has predicted the end of the world before. Maybe one of these days before he dies he might be right. Then he can say ," I told you so". But then again, who is he going to be able to tell that to?

    May 19, 2011 at 7:42 am |
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About this blog

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.