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End times for doomsday-linked radio network?
Harold Camping, now 91, is the force behind Family Radio -- and a couple failed prophecies.
May 16th, 2013
07:00 AM ET

End times for doomsday-linked radio network?

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

(CNN) - Dealing with a struggling radio business – this wasn’t the way it was supposed to be. By all his calculations, Harold Camping expected to be nearly two years into his Rapture revelry, hanging in heaven with God and the select others who’d been saved.

But when his predicted and vastly promoted May 21, 2011, Day of Rapture came and went, and the end of the world on October 21, 2011, didn’t pan out either, Camping lost his doomsday mojo. It didn’t help that he had another knock against him, having made a similar failed prophecy back in 1994.

By March 2012, the degreed engineer who’s spent more than a half-century studying the Bible admitted mistakes. He vowed to back off from the prediction business.

Now it seems Family Radio, the nonprofit Christian radio broadcasting network Camping started in 1959, may be foundering, according to an investigative story recently published in the Contra Costa Times.

Financial documents show that Family Radio's assets dropped by more than $105 million in less than five years, despite an influx of $85 million in donations over that time, the California newspaper reported. This, of course, was during the big push to spread the news about the end that wasn’t. The paper also said donations have tumbled nearly 70%  since May 21, 2011, spawning layoffs of longtime employees. And saddled with loans, a dwindling cash flow and alleged mismanagement, the network was reportedly forced to sell off its three biggest stations.

“You eliminate those three (FM stations) and, ultimately, the rest of it dies,” former employee Matt Tuter told the Contra Costa Times. “I believe they are killing it off.”

All of these financial struggles, however, come as the network grapples with losing the voice of its biggest star - Camping himself. He suffered a stroke in June 2011. And though he remains involved and still serves as the network's president, the flagship show he hosted, "Open Forum," is only running previously recorded programs.

It was through Family Radio – and its multitude of U.S. stations, satellite feeds, shortwave radio use, Internet reach and translation machine – that Camping’s teachings and 2011 predictions spread across the globe. His doomsday message was bolstered by a massive billboard campaign at a reported price tag of $5 million. There were also initiatives like Project Caravan, which dispatched teams of volunteers in RVs to warn the people.

CNN hopped on board one caravan and traveled with faithful ambassadors who’d given up everything for this cause.

The coordinator for Project Caravan, Ted Kim, left Family Radio soon after May 21, 2011. Once his ambassadors - still around and not raptured - had a place to go, he told CNN, his work was done.

Even though he doesn't work there anymore, that doesn’t mean he’s lost faith in the mission. He still believes spiritual judgment occurred in 2011 and that the world’s physical destruction is near.

Photos: Doomsdays throughout time

Kim, who is now home schooling his children and caring for his mother, suspects the supporters who fell away had erroneously put more stock in Camping than they’d put in the Bible or God himself.

But Tuter, the former employee who served at Camping’s side for years before he was fired in 2012, suggested to the Contra Costa Times that a demise of Family Radio may be deliberate. He said Camping made it clear to him in 1996 that he wanted the network to die when he did.

"He was very specific he did not want it to continue," Tuter told the newspaper. He said Camping confided in him a week before going into heart surgery: "God raised up Family Radio just as a platform for me!"

Tom Evans, who has taken over the network’s day-to-day reins since Camping suffered that stroke, could not be reached by CNN for comment. But he offered the newspaper a very different perspective than Tuter's. Evans said he hopes that Family Radio can move forward, leaving this end-of-the-world banter behind it.

“We want to be a comfort and reminder of God’s strength and mercy,” he said. “In the end, our founding mission is to proclaim the word of God.”

That mission, coupled with the network’s recent history, may not make them boom like they once did. But to Evans and those who are keeping the faith, neither should it portend doom.

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: End times • Media • Radio

soundoff (1,487 Responses)
  1. Abbey S

    I read a great fiction series about the end times. The Christ Clone Trilogy by James BeauSeigneur. The author researched all kinds of prophesy and science and the whole story is footnoted. Highly recommended.

    August 14, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
  2. Leoma Perney

    Type A flu virus is constantly changing and is generally responsible for the large flu epidemics. The influenza A2 virus (and other variants of influenza) is spread by people who are already infected. The most common flu hot spots are those surfaces that an infected person has touched and rooms where he has been recently, especially areas where he has been sneezing.-."^

    Check you later

    http://healthwellnessbook.comcd

    June 20, 2013 at 11:54 pm |
  3. lazarus00000

    There is way too much stock placed in the Bible as it is written by and presented from the Roman Religious Royality. The various religions, all claiming to be the "one and only" way to the path of Heaven.
    however true historians look at the actual evidence of the times that led to the point where we live today. The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls gave us positive evidenc that the work of the Bible is an incomplete work edited to support the task that rome needed it to do...Control the population.
    a man named Geza Vermes and many faiths as well as numerous Universities and Scholars translated the scrolls, and Mr. Vermes has written many acclaimed books on the Early Christians and how they came about and why we are here today.
    The notion of the coming of the Lord is nothing new and was predicted by many over the thousands of years and Jesus himself predicted it within a lifetime of the Apostles.
    Read, research, and seek the truth as truth is the only thing that will save us from a self-fulfilling prophesy.

    "Learn from the past, Live for today, and Hope for the future."
    Albert Einstein

    Lazarus

    June 14, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
  4. hellenistyczny

    trzos złocista pieszo nie hellenistyczny
    przechodzi, jest dozwolone naciułać. Nieco zdystansował biskupa,
    tego, jaki obiecał, iż wybędą miasteczko na krzyż nikogo nie
    niepokojeni. – Za spowodowanie pogrożenia.

    May 27, 2013 at 9:02 pm |
  5. get more information

    That is the best weblog for anybody who desires to find out about this topic. You understand so much its virtually onerous to argue with you (not that I actually would need…HaHa). You definitely put a brand new spin on a subject thats been written about for years. Great stuff, simply nice!

    May 24, 2013 at 5:35 am |
  6. Science

    ETHICS.......and MORALS..............whom ever is doing the deleting has NONE

    Hey James Madison................religion has none it looks like.............with the comments on this blog.

    The Big question is ETHICS ! does religion have any ?

    The Ethics of Resurrecting Extinct Species

    Apr. 8, 2013 — At some point, scientists may be able to bring back extinct animals, and perhaps early humans, raising questions of ethics and environmental disruption.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130408165955.htm

    May 21, 2013 at 6:17 am | Report abuse |

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/05/when-christians-become-a-hated-minority/comment-page-109/#comment-2355282

    May 21, 2013 at 6:23 am |
    • Science

      Whom ever is doing the deleting on article below................you know..............thanks.........have a great life !

      http://www.richarddawkins.net/news_articles/2013/5/5/when-christians-become-a-hated-minority#

      Peace

      May 21, 2013 at 7:36 am | Report abuse | Reply

      Hey faith.......Chadie...........the peach........... did you learn or hear from that Discovery show about the LAND BRIDGE ?

      How many years ago did we cross into North America ?

      Also is place maybe for International RR ?

      May 21, 2013 at 6:35 am | Report abuse | Reply

      Science

      Kepler or not, we'll find life in space

      http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/20/opinion/urry-kepler-malfunction/index.html?hpt=op_t1

      Evolving Planets Get a Bumpy Ride

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120305131756.htm

      Where Does All Earth's Gold Come From? Precious Metals the Result of Meteorite Bombardment, Rock Analysis Finds

      Not by the horn-y red thingy CHAD !

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110907132044.htm

      Peace

      May 21, 2013 at 6:06 am | Report abuse | Reply

      May 21, 2013 at 6:53 am | Report abuse |

      May 21, 2013 at 7:52 am | Report abuse |

      May 21, 2013 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |

      Science

      Whom ever is ............you know .................has no morals or ethics !

      Hey James Madison................religion has none it looks like. ............with the comments on this blog.

      The Big question is ETHICS ! does religion have any ?

      The Ethics of Resurrecting Extinct Species

      Apr. 8, 2013 — At some point, scientists may be able to bring back extinct animals, and perhaps early humans, raising questions of ethics and environmental disruption.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130408165955.htm

      May 21, 2013 at 7:57 am | Report abuse |

      May 21, 2013 at 7:59 am | Report abuse | Reply

      May 21, 2013 at 8:03 am |
  7. david campbell100

    until I looked at the draft that said $5460, I have faith that...my... father in law had been actually taking home money in their spare time from there new laptop.. there great aunt haz done this less than twelve months and just repayed the loans on their villa and purchased themselves a Lotus Carlton. I went here............ Fℴx85. ℂℴm

    May 21, 2013 at 3:13 am |
  8. faith

    "Reality
    As you noted, the 500 "witnesses" to the risen Jesus only appears on one scriptural reference, 1 Cor. 15:3-9. Rigorous historical testing requires at least two attestations so Paul's reference fails historic authenticity. And please note, Paul also predicted the coming of JC in Paul's lifetime. Still waiting for that one."

    lol

    what an idiot.

    May 21, 2013 at 1:09 am |
    • faith

      god is pretty worried about "historic authenticity."

      May 21, 2013 at 1:20 am |
    • Reality

      God? What god?

      The Apostles' 2013 (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

      Should I 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 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
      (References used are available upon request.)

      May 21, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
  9. RiadaKram

    Back in the day, false prophets would be executed. If we still did that, there wouldn't be so many megalomaniacs selling the end of time.

    May 20, 2013 at 7:21 am |
  10. One one

    I wonder if Christians ever pray to their god for world peace ? Either A) they don't , or B) they do, but god does not answer their prayers.

    Now, if god exists, and if he answers prayers, I would think this one would get high priority. But Apparently not. Instead, He must be busy answering other prayers like "dear god, please make my daughter the home coming queen."

    May 19, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
    • faith

      One one
      I wonder if Christians ever pray to their god for world peace ? Either A) they don't , or B) they do, but god does not answer their prayers.
      Now, if god exists, and if he answers prayers, I would think this one would get high priority. But Apparently not. Instead, He must be busy answering other prayers like "dear god, please make my daughter the home coming queen."

      dear dad
      give us this day our daily bread
      lead us not into temptation
      forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against
      hollowed be thy name
      thy kingdom come
      thy will be done

      May 21, 2013 at 1:19 am |
  11. wayniebob1948

    @Reality. Jesus is coming again soon. The choice will be Alexander or Jesus. I choose Jesus. Reference upon request. wayne.myers916@yahoo.com

    May 19, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • Reality

      Saving Christians from the Infamous Resurrection Con/

      From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15: 14, Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

      Even now Catholic/Christian professors of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

      To wit;

      From a major Catholic university's theology professor’s grad school white-board notes:

      "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
      Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.

      Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

      Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

      The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

      Only Luke records it. (Luke mentions it in his gospel and Acts, i.e. a single attestation and therefore historically untenable). The Ascension ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers.

      The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

      "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."

      http://eternal-word.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2HEAVN.HTM

      The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.

      With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

      An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue,

      p.4

      "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."

      p.168. by Ted Peters:

      Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. "

      So where are the bones"? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, covered with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

      May 20, 2013 at 7:39 am |
  12. wayniebob1948

    @Reality...What motivated Moses to write the first five books of the Bible? Book deal with Double Day? Jesus' disciples gave their lives for their belief. He is coming again shortly. Everyone left can choose between Jesus or Alexander. I choose Jesus.

    May 19, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • Reality

      origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.

      New Torah For Modern Minds

      “Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. (prob•a•bly
      Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell).

      The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions - the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years - have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity - until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument.

      The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "LITANY OF DISILLUSION”' about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel - not one shard of pottery."

      May 20, 2013 at 7:33 am |
    • Mike from CT

      Still after two years this is now very sad. See how hypocritical it is to say that someone 2000 years removed from the event has better information then the contemporary writers and over 500 eye witnesses

      May 20, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • Reality

      Please verify that there were 500 witnesses to some risen corpse anywhere at anytime. Film footage would really help.

      May 20, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      Do you have Film footage of Abraham Lincoln getting shot? Any from the Roman empire? French Revolution?

      Ok so now that we established film footage only form historical evidence. What historical evidence do we have? We have a document that passes 4 test of historicity of internal consistency, manuscript evidence, archaeology, contemporary writings and literary style.

      For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.—1 Corinthians 15:3-9 (ESV)

      BEGGING his readers to verify what Paul writes.

      Hope that helps.

      Let me short circuit your canned response. JD's Jesus Seminars, which has been discredited on all sides as bias voting mechanism, does not meat the historical test of contemporary writing.

      May 20, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • Reality

      As you noted, the 500 "witnesses" to the risen Jesus only appears on one scriptural reference, 1 Cor. 15:3-9. Rigorous historical testing requires at least two attestations so Paul's reference fails historic authenticity. And please note, Paul also predicted the coming of JC in Paul's lifetime. Still waiting for that one.

      And with 500 witnesses, why was Paul the only one told about it? Hmmm?

      May 21, 2013 at 12:29 am |
    • Peteyroo

      Willingness to give one's life for a belief isn't unique to Jesus and his brood. A lot of Nazis gave their lives for Hitler. Fierce belief isn't always good or always bad. It happens.

      May 21, 2013 at 12:56 am |
    • Mike from CT

      @Reality
      "Rigorous historical testing requires at least two attestations " Bull. There is only one version of the constitution, for example, or one source for Abraham Lincolns address.

      @Peteyroo, correct. The point is people do not die for that which they KNOW to be a lie. That is if they made the whole thing up. See the Watergate scandal for example and how in about 6 weeks it began to fall apart. The disciples willing to put their lives on the line, not for what they knew, but what they claim to see. Jesus raised from the dead. We known from psychology that they did not make the story up.

      May 23, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
  13. Bob

    Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but he who trust in the Lord, lovingkindess shall surround him. ...Psalm 32:10

    May 19, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • sam stone

      people who parrot the words of comic books are imbeciles

      May 20, 2013 at 9:25 am |
    • Peteyroo

      Boob, do you think that nonbelievers are wicked? How does one become wicked?

      May 21, 2013 at 12:58 am |
  14. Bob

    We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing that exalts itself against the kowledge of God. We are taking every thought captive to the obediance of Christ. ....II Cor. 10:5

    May 19, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
  15. Bob

    The Lord is righteous in all HIs ways and Holy in all HIs works. ...Psalm 145:17

    May 19, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • Peteyroo

      Boob, are you able to think for yourself? Do you have any original thoughts? Or are you only able to quote from the Bible?

      May 21, 2013 at 12:59 am |
  16. Bob

    You formed my inward parts: You wove me in my mother's womb. ....Psalm 139:13

    May 19, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
  17. Shiyizh Tsosie

    People would do anything for publicity or to have gain of wealth. We all know in the bible that jesus said," no man know the hour of his coming." You might as well believe when they will tell you to jump off the cliff and be saved.

    May 19, 2013 at 11:40 am |
  18. For someone special

    God already proved who he is by what he said, and did, and I believe him.

    May 19, 2013 at 4:00 am |
    • tallulah13

      You can believe whatever you want, but people who seek the truth rather than easy answers are not swayed by myths and emotions.

      May 19, 2013 at 4:24 am |
    • For someone special

      You want the truth, fine, the truth is, there are things God said in the bible, that are a thrill of a lifetime to read and understand. Chills down your spine and tears of joy reading them... God interacting is like that. God can easily say things happening centuries before, like Jesus dying for the sins of others and why he's more than 'just a man'... or seconds before they happen, in detail... like he's already watched it before, saying it before. Jesus showed that, when he talked with them and told them stuff before, or told them what happened over their lifetime, it's easy for God to do that.

      You're missing out on the truth of God... because you don't believe him or care about what he said. I do care, I love him, and he doesn't deserve the un-belief shown to him. He's done more than enough for anyone if they'd just take the time to figure it out... and stop diverting people from him. You see it as a personal mission to divert people from the best there is: God. But it's the worst thing you could do to them.

      Believers really need to strengthen up, read and understand, before people like you divert them from the truth of God. Your blindness and endless doubt, always asking 'what is the truth'... when it's right there... right there in the bible... and here come the blind pulling others into the ditch. What is so wonderful about living in the ditch? Why do you want darkness? Why do you love nothing? That's emptiness, it's total loss. If you onlly knew... so much... God does so many things... and they're all a void to you. I can't imagine that.... but that's how it is.

      May 19, 2013 at 5:23 am |
    • Reality

      AND THE INFAMOUS ANGELIC CONS CONTINUE TO WREAK STUPIDITY UPON THE WORLD

      Joe Smith had his Moroni. (As does M. Romney)

      "Latter-day Saints like M. Romney also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

      Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

      Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).

      Jesus and his family had/has Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day demon of the demented. (As does BO and his family)(As do Biden and Ryan)

      The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

      Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie/horn-blowing thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.

      Added details are available.

      May 19, 2013 at 5:52 am |
    • For someone special

      Did I mention that God is the most incredible being ever? The absolute definition of incredible? There is no one better and never will be anyone better. He is the best, ever. No one compares to God. No one is even close.

      May 19, 2013 at 6:35 am |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things
      If you seek the Truth you find GOD

      May 19, 2013 at 6:37 am |
    • tallulah13

      Hey, special

      You aren't providing any proof. Just empty rhetoric about your personal feelings. You are simply worshiping your own emotions.

      And by the way, it's disgusting how you christians think it's great that an innocent man was tortured to death, not only so that you don't have to be responsible for your own actions, but so that you can live forever (after you die) in paradise. How feeble is that?

      May 19, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • Reality

      And again summarizing with a prayer:

      The Apostles'’ Creed 2013: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

      Should I 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
      (references used are available upon request)

      May 19, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • For someone special

      God's word provides all the proof anyone needs, what he said proves he is God. Jesus dying for sins was not feeble, he could have had the entire roman army of soldiers wiped out in seconds if he wanted to, but he was there to pay for the sins of those that would believe him. Jesus could have stopped it the night before too, or any time prior to being beaten to near death, and later dying on the cross. As Jesus predicted, he rose again the third day and later acended into heaven. I don't see anything feeble about any of it. If you think it's feeble, let's see you walk up to roman soldiers to be scouraged to near death... for someone else.

      May 20, 2013 at 1:23 am |
    • sam stone

      what did he do?

      May 20, 2013 at 9:26 am |
    • Reality

      (from Professor JD Crossan's book, "Who is Jesus" co-authored with Richard Watts)

      "Moreover, an atonement theology that says God sacrifices his own son in place of humans who needed to be punished for their sins might make some Christians love Jesus, but it is an obscene picture of God. It is almost heavenly child abuse, and may infect our imagination at more earthly levels as well. I do not want to express my faith through a theology that pictures God demanding blood sacrifices in order to be reconciled to us."

      "Traditionally, Christians have said, 'See how Christ's passion was foretold by the prophets." Actually, it was the other way around. The Hebrew prophets did not predict the events of Jesus' last week; rather, many of those Christian stories were created to fit the ancient prophecies in order to show that Jesus, despite his execution, was still and always held in the hands of God."

      "In terms of divine consistency, I do not think that anyone, anywhere, at any time, including Jesus, brings dead people back to life."

      May 20, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      The next paragraph in the book

      Ben Meyer comments that most Jesus scholars of the day couple the liberal emphasis on the ethics with an equally liberal "hermeneutic of empathy" In turn, a host of imaginative these were put forward in an effort to understand more fully Jesus religious experience by tracing out the psychological development of Jesus's messianic awareness. This was very attractive in that it allowed the authors to write something akin to a biography of Jesus. The weakness of this approach lay in the fact that it depended more on the imagination than on the historical method. Again the resurrection is moved to the background as the light is focused on Jesus' psche and the effect hist teachings had on the early Chrurch.

      William Wrede responded to such ideas by insisting that the nineteenth-century psychological theories of Jesus' work were derived from somewhere other than the text. Wrede declares: And this is the malady to which we must here allude–lut us not dignify it with the euphemish "historical imagination." The Scientific study of the life of Jesus is suffering from psychological "suppositionitis" which amounts to a sort of historical guesswork. For this reason interpretations to suit every taste proliferated. The number of arbitrary psychological interpretations at the same time from the basis of important structures of thought; and how often do people think that the task of criticism has already been discharged by palying tuneful psychological variations on the given factual theme!"

      May 20, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • Reality

      Mike,

      What book are you referencing? Professor Crossan's (with Watts) book, Who is Jesus, is on-line at
      Google Books:

      http://books.google.com/books?id=XNkKf5htZq4C&printsec=frontcover&dq=Who+is+Jesus&hl=en&sa=X&ei=2vmaUbWUCM-s0AHbvoHwCw&ved=0CGEQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=atonement&f=false

      May 21, 2013 at 12:41 am |
  19. Laurence Charles Ringo

    Wow,Sue! How'd you get away from that gun held to your head?

    May 19, 2013 at 2:43 am |
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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.