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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. Reality

    Camping is insane as was JC. JC's family and friends had it right 2000 years ago ( Mark 3: 21 "And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.")

    May 16, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
  2. Oxymoron

    Looks like his prophecy sort of came true...but for his phoney radio garbage. Given his age, he'll be able to see there is no god waiting him seems like any time now...he looks horrible.

    May 16, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
  3. jimbenison

    So who created the creator?

    May 16, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
    • Franklin

      He always been.

      May 16, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • Franklin

      I mean he always been in my ass.

      May 16, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • Franklin

      I don’t remember saying that!

      May 16, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • snooop1e

      The mind which had a beginning and was created cannot grasp the mind which had no beginning and was not created.

      May 16, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • I AM THE CREATOR OF ALL THIS

      The creator-creator.
      And the creator-creator was created by a giant space rabbit.
      And the giant space rabbit was created by a giant alien magician out of his alien magician hat.
      And the giant alien magician was created by a hyper-intelligent 20-dimensional scrotum monster.
      And the scrotum monster was created by a bubble of mischievous 49-dimensional butt genies.
      And the butt genies were created by self-replicating butt magic.
      and the butt magic was created by me. I just pulled all of that out of my ass.

      May 16, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • Fake christian

      And on the second day, man created god in his image.
      What tis so hard to understand?

      May 16, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      snooop1e
      Where did you get that from? pure conjecture, presumption.

      Men created all of the thousands of gods.

      May 16, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
  4. Fake christian

    People here don't appreciate that everthnig they learned in catholic school was right; and it comes back later in life if you expect it or not.
    For example, when i was12, i didn't appreciate the value of getting spanked by a 30-ish year old woman in a habit. Do you have any idea how much that would cost now?

    May 16, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • CHURCH OF ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      Naked Nuns with Big Guns...ism

      May 16, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
  5. Smarter than U

    Amazing how many millions were sent to this wacko.

    May 16, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • fintastic

      That's really the saddest part of this story.... money that could have gone to actually help people in need.... very sad.

      May 16, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
  6. JGN

    "previously recorded programs' are easy to run when you're dealing with a 2,000 year old book!
    I think it's gruesome and incredibly counter productive for humans to be wasting their time on prophecies for 'the end of the world'. EACH of our worlds end when we die, and until then we have to work to do our best to survive and perhaps even lend a helping hand to others regardless of your rhetoric or beliefs.

    May 16, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
  7. LouAZ

    Oh, he gave me special instructions back of the pulpit Christmas Eve. He got to howlin' "Repent! Repent!" and I got to moanin' "Save me! Save me!" and the first thing I know he rammed the fear of God into me so fast I never heard my old man's footsteps! – Lulu Bains in Elmer Gantry by Sinclair Lewis 1927.

    May 16, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
  8. ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

    Religions are hinduism, corruption of truth absolute by hindu Pundits, crook goons to follow hinduism, racism as some thing of a holy nature, one has to be hindu ignorant, not, be able to understand hinduism crookedness of hindu atheist, criminal self centered and not follow truth absolute GOD, as it is commanded to have peace, Islam among humanity.

    May 16, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • Heretic

      All religion is evil. Be it your pathetic pedo prophet or jesus christ superstar. They all need to be stamped out.

      May 16, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • JGN

      Freakishly bad writing from a freakish person!

      May 16, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • snoozie

      huh?

      May 16, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • pfr1nk

      Word soup.

      May 16, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • CHURCH OF ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      Please join our community today and be blessed by GOD truth absolute.

      Our core beliefs:

      1. No goat urine in the coffee.
      2. CONSTITUTION is spelled CONSTI TUTION.
      3. Belief in the undefined "Absolute Truth" absolutely.
      4. Hindu people....well just don't.
      5. CAPS LOCK cures cancer.

      Bless you brothers and sisters!

      May 16, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • Den Bover

      lol

      May 16, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
  9. For the poster called "Science"

    http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=carl+jung+man+and+his+symbols&view=detail&mid=80FC24F0FF1C56CB28F380FC24F0FF1C56CB28F3&first=0&FORM=NVPFVR

    May 16, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • For the poster called "Science"

      http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Carl+Jung+Archetypes&view=detail&mid=A940622D792F61037911A940622D792F61037911&first=0&FORM=NVPFVR

      another

      May 16, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • For the poster called "Science"

      http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Carl+Jung+Archetypes&view=detail&mid=A940622D792F61037911A940622D792F61037911&first=0&FORM=NVPFVR

      Last but not least..Jung on religion

      May 16, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • Science

      Numbers..............but sole is on bottom of shoe............can be replaced or repaired.

      Peace

      Carbon – 14..................E = mc2.........................(u-Pb)

      May 16, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • Science

      Oops................(U-Pb)

      May 16, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
  10. coderjones

    religion is the worst invention of mankind

    May 16, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      That sounds like a Samuel Clemens line...

      May 16, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • jSmith

      If we want to get out of debt, we need to start taxing these criminals of religion

      May 16, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • JGN

      Well, among the worst certainly. Nuclear weaponry and racism are pretty bad 'inventions' too.

      May 16, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
  11. Apple Bush

    Christians, Mormons, Islam, etc., cling to religion and continue to endorse it as reality and insist that it somehow should govern morality and law-making. One can lay out all the evidence and build (and have built) an airtight case against every single religion on Earth past and present, but still believers will not budge from their point of view, even when presented with the lies and contradictions in the very scriptures they base their beliefs on.

    Understand, I am not talking about a belief in God. I do understand that. I am talking about religion. Every one of which has been empirically proven false but yet clings like moss to ancient rocks.

    I believe the single most important factor in this inability to see through the foolishness of religion is fear. Children’s stories of heaven and hell. The initial indoctrination for many, simply cannot be undone.

    Secondly, there is a feeling of community that comes with any “club” Naturally this is not relegated to religion so it does not qualify as an excuse.

    Lastly some minds are unable to think creatively enough to imagine the more plausible alternatives. What are those alternatives? Well we have to turn to science, but also we have to accept what we don’t know and keep looking. And in truth, we don’t really know anything about how the universe came to be, what came before and where it is going. If there are multiple universes and time lines through which we move, these would be marvelous discoveries. There was a wonderful article in Scientific American a few months ago regarding a new spin on the Quantum theory. That being the quantum universe could have foamlike fluctuations that rule spacetime, not unlike the 0’s and 1’s that are the foundation of computing and storing information.

    If we wish to believe in the supernatural, we have to make things up. Hence religion. It doesn’t mean there is no god, or gods, or aliens, but it does mean that we don’t have the answers and most likely never will.

    Now we arrive back at fear. What will happen to me when I die? For me, I look forward to an eternity of nothing. Others fear this prospect and prefer to believe in fairies and fantasies and are not even ashamed that their mental description of an after life is akin to that of a 5-year-old’s picture book.

    I believe the Universe and the “everything” are FAR more bizarre than we could ever imagine with the faculties we have thus far obtained via evolution on this planet. And I wonder how many millions of civilizations across the vastness of space and time have pondered likewise.

    Finally, the entire planet is affected by the irrational belief systems of the various mainstream religions. It affects the global economy, it affects world peace, it affects our secular life style in the United States. These ancient belief systems are based on superst.ition and mythology. One would think humans would have moved forward by now but instead we as a species behave in the same self-destructive manner now as we did thousands of years ago with more at stake then at any other time in history.

    May 16, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
    • LouAZ

      The use of supernaturalism to manipulate and control people is the world's oldest confidence scheme, it relies on the ritual abuse of children at their most impressionable stage by adults who have themselves been made childish for life by artifacts of the primitive mind.- Your Mom on a CNN comment.

      May 16, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • Mance Lotter

      Each religion has been empirically proven false? That can only be true if our understanding of science is flawless, which you admit is not the case. You are the perfect example of someone who 1) can't understand how someone could have different life experiences than you and 2) stumbles over one's own logic.

      May 16, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • JGN

      You're just trying to hedge your bets when you attempt to separate religion from belief in god. You may be thinking of how churches, temples and mosques are run when you say that, but the fact is religion IS god, and you either believe in it or you don't. I do not and make no excuses about it.

      May 16, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • Codeman333

      Right on! You said exactly what I believe. It's hard not to say these things to all the others around me who believe otherwise and are angered by anyone who disagrees. You are branded an Athiest despite the fact that you admit the possibility of god. All you religious folks think you are so all knowing and profess to speak for god. It's quite arrogant, really.

      May 16, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Mance, It is impossible to disprove your god or any other god but you have rejected all but one without being able to disprove the others. Those that make extraordinary claims need to provide extraordinary evidence and to date there is no evidence of any god.

      May 16, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • Mance Lotter

      the irony of it all is that a religious person has faith in God and their religion (i.e, they know it's true without visible evidence). an atheist cannot possibly know God does not exist (unless the atheist can be everywhere at once) and cannot possible know that not even ONE religion is true unless he or she confirms this with God. Basically, the religious person and the atheist (or one who doesn't believe in religion) operate on faith. yet one criticizes the other for it.

      May 16, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Mance

      Wrong-o, but nice try at a false equivalency. You are correct that Atheism, at best, can claim that the probability of a god or gods is so slight, that there's equal chance of Santa existing as god or thor, or ra, etc...

      The criticism however is having your life revolve around the faith in something that most likely does not exist, or living a life unshackled by unwarrented faith.

      That's the crux of the argument and in no way places any onus on me, an atheist, having the same type of faith as a believer who attends church every Sunday.

      But like I said, nice try at the false equivalency

      May 16, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • V in Chicago

      Completely agree.

      May 16, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Mance, Look up what atheist means. How do you believers decide what the one "true" religion is without evidence? And why do you reject all the others? Whatever those reasons are, then that is why I reject yours. (Chad's circular reasoning of I know my god is real will not suffice as it doesn't explain the why and how of the choice).

      May 16, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
    • Paul

      The Christian god is not real, Zeus told me so himself.

      May 16, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • Palmer

      You make many wonderful arguments here but have missed one important concept. Civilization was started by religion (google "Gobekli Tepe") It's been a part of us for over 12,000 years. Religion served a vital and necessary role in forging humankind into the most prosperous, complex and advanced being ever to evolve on this little blue marble. It's the tool that enabled humanity to cease being random hunter/gatherers and begin to work and live together. However it is only a tool and tools should evolve with us or be replaced. Not like I'm going to build a house with a rock for a hammer and a stone axe. Some people just have a hard time letting go of the past.

      May 16, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
  12. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    @HS Again – I feel like I may have actually lost a couple of brain bytes reading your last post...

    May 16, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      @Lucifer's Evil Twin

      You atheists scatter pebbles on the beach and expect Jesus to pick them up for you, but it is you who must clean up after Him. Your lies about Jesus do not fool a real Christian. My camel-toe introduced the new litter today. Follow in the footsteps of Jesus and you will find your destination.

      Amen.

      May 16, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      OUCH! Stop that!

      May 16, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • Heretic

      The sad thing is, if i follow his footsteps and find him, I am more likely to hang him on a cross again for his indifference to human suffering and effectively being a party to genocide, than to worship him as a god. Our moral codes would clash spectacularly.

      May 16, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • JGN

      We are not obliged to clean up after jesus because he died 2,000 years ago and IF as you believe he was the son of an unseen god he himself hasn't been seen since either!

      May 16, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • Fake christian

      @HS
      The last time i followed someone too far i ended up getting arrested for stalking.
      NOT doing that again.

      May 16, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • fintastic

      Oh heavenstench, ....I see you're posting your crap again.... you must enjoy the laughter!.......

      May 16, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
  13. C. Ryan Rope

    God WILL return any day, but NO man knows the day or the hour! People who think they do are seriously misguided and uninspired! These people claim to be speaking for God, but, most don't, for many cone as wolves in sheep's clothing, looking to deceive and devour their victims! It is prophecised to occur, when, we don't know, but, it WILL occur, or God is a liar and God can't lie, it is impossible! Satan lies all the time and this world worships him, although they know it not! Repent!

    May 16, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • midwest rail

      With all those exclamation points, you must be right.

      May 16, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • sam

      REPENT, SINNERS!!!

      May 16, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • fintastic

      There is no such thing as "god" or "satan"....... talk about "misguided" ? that's funny coming from someone who confuses mythology with reality.

      May 16, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      God doesn't lie.
      He might tell you to kill your own, but don't worry – He doesn't really mean it. He's just phukkin' with you.
      He might torture you for years, destroying every vestige of anything that could give you happiness in this life just so He can win a bet with Satan, but He won't lie to you!

      May 16, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      That's one reason why religion has no credibility; believers can't even agree what their god's word is yet they all claim they have the truth about god's word.

      May 16, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • Fake christian

      My Dog was gone for three days and nights.
      He did not smel llike whale barf when he got back, si I figured god had nothing to do with His return.

      May 16, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • Fake christian

      My Dog was gone for three days and nights.
      He did not smell like whale vomit when he got back, so I figured god had nothing to do with His return.

      May 16, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • pfr1nk

      God and satan are both inventions of men to keep morons frightened and it seems to have worked in your case.

      May 16, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • JGN

      My mother once wrote "I don't believe in sin but if I did it would be the sin of omission".
      I'm sorry you think so many people are going to hell. The good news is that we are not. The bad new, for you, is that there is no 'reward' in heaven after you die either, so you are wasting your precious time on earth dreaming about something which will only be darkness after you pass away.

      May 16, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • boocat

      It's 2013...the 21st century....wish you were here.

      May 16, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      God made satan knowing full well the consequences. God is ok with anything satan does.

      OR...
      Men created all gods and religions, no gods have ever been found.

      Join us in reality.

      May 16, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • violinexpress

      Gee prove it. How do you have one idea in hell that what you believe is truth? You talk like a little kid who's mad that his mother just found out he's lying. Belief is a mind game and you are losing the game.

      May 16, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
  14. Doc Vestibule

    The Church of the Subgenius also had a failed doomsday prophecy.
    They said that on July 5th, 1998, X-Day would arrive when Subgenii would be taken up in The Escape Vessel of the S/ex Goddesses to be harvested as drugs by the Elder Gods.
    When that failed to happen, the Church issued an apology that stated they got the numbers upside down and that XDay would actually happen in 8661.
    This was their interim excuse until they could come up with a good one, which they have encouraged all Subgenii to try and come up with.

    May 16, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • C. Ryan Rope

      Anyone who claims to know the future without Gods Guidance know NOTHING! The Holy Bible is the ONLY source of TRUE prophecy, not some religious nut who is claiming lies as truth! Most of mankind, namely about 95% of humanity has rejected God Almighty, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Bible, for if the hadn't, they'd be following EVERY one of the Ten Commandments and worshipping on the True Sabbath which is sundown Friday until sundown Saturday, NOT Sunday! Sunday is Pagan! As with observing ALL pagan holidays such as Easter, Christmas, New Years, Birthdays, Nowhere in the Holy Bible does it ever mention to celebrate these Pagan holidays. This world follows Satan, yet they know it not! Christ WILL return, When? We don't know, but He WILL return and when He does those who have ever mocked Him or denied Him WILL be destroyed as He is NOT coming in peace, but JUDGMENT on this sinful IMMORAL world! REPENT!

      May 16, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Rope. You must be a poe.

      May 16, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • pfr1nk

      Rope. Jebus said he would come back within the lifetimes of the people he was talking to. He didnt. He just died like all the rest of the apocalyptic preachers of the time.

      May 16, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      "true prophecy"...that's funny.

      May 16, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
  15. Heretic

    Christians are a laughing stock.

    May 16, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • JWB

      Whoever mocks the poor shows contempt for their Maker; whoever gloats over disaster will not go unpunished..Proverbs 17:5...
      and even if you disregard this verse, have compassion on those that make an attempt to explain what they believe and fail..it's a First Amendment Right of expression and not for you to judge the merits

      May 16, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      JWB. I don't see the relevance of the quote. Of course we can make judgements – that is also protected by the 1st Amendment; I'm sure you make judgements on TV shows, salesperson pitches, etc.

      May 16, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • RationaistKC

      Could not agree more. Religion in general is a human disgrace. People believe in heaven and hell because they are afraid of dying or are filling some existential hole by using emotional crutch. Their opinions and actions are not based on reason and knowledge by any stretch. They don't even look at the facts. The end of the world? Sure: Allah and Jehovah, a self fulfilling prophecy–the world will be over. His god fights your god, while his god protects his nation... and so it goes. It is relieving that the ranks of non-believers are increasing, but so very many are still held hostage by these ancient religions. Does anyone reading this think I'm Satan here to seduce you? They wrote that in the bible to scare and confuse you.

      May 16, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
  16. fred

    Harold Camping did what many believers and non believers did and still do which is to go against an expressly stated verse in the Bible. No one but the Father knows the day or the hour of the End of Days. Given that this is repeated in various verses in different context there is little doubt it is so.
    I am not aware of a single verse in the Bible of significance to general doctrine that stands alone. The principles of God are repeated and expressed in various ways so that they are clear and in full agreement with the Bible taken as whole.
    Skeptic sites like to point out contradictions or error and some I put in my mystery pile where I doubt even the apologist on the issue. There is no error or contradiction on Gods purpose of creation and how we are to respond.

    May 16, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      It is very possible to know when the end will come, suicide. God hates that.

      May 16, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      except that God doesn't exist. your premise is based on silly myths.

      May 16, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • fred

      Apple Bush
      Yes, some verses can apply on the individual level as well as towards mankind or existence as we know it. In the Bible I can only think of Judas and Legion that committed suicide. They were already dead in a biblical framework prior to suicide. Suicide attempts that I have been involved with also were focused on self and had they been successful I dread to think of the eternal disposition. So I would agree with you in that God does not take to suicide as a good thing.

      May 16, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      "No one but the Father knows the day or the hour of the End of Days" ...how convenient

      May 16, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • fred

      Bottyfunk
      To the believer what difference does it make if God is real or a myth? A believer lives his or her life out with a hope in a promise. If the plan shown by God is followed it presents the best possible and meaningful existence known to date. Should there be no God what's the big deal if there is no soul and everything ends when the chemical reactions stop. If God is some other entity it would still be well with my soul since only good would have been the result of my existence. If what is outside of life turns out to be a gottcha then we are all in for a big surprise.
      At a minimum I assume you would agree we all headed out of this existence. Tell me again how a chaotic random accidental existence could have such an orderly consistent exit that is predictable and falsifiable!

      May 16, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • fred

      Lucifer's Evil Twin
      Not convenient but logical. With the exception of Satan when someone knows the time is at hand they behave very different based on my own experience. I have only been with a few atheist's at their passing and they double checked the reasons why they believed as the moment approached.
      Satan knows two things certain in full view of the lake of fire and that is only the Father knows and the battle was lost at the Cross.

      May 16, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      fred " I have only been with a few atheist's at their passing and they double checked the reasons why they believed as the moment approached."

      Atheists don't believe so I'm not sure what you're trying to say.

      May 16, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Rationalize your irrationality all you want, but it is a convenient loophole/escape clause nonetheless. If I wanted to make a claim, but was afraid that someone might one day call me out on it... I would definately make sure that I built in an exploitable loophole...

      May 16, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • fred

      InSantaWeTrust
      I have not been with a strong atheist that is absolutely certain down to the bone that there is no God. One atheist told me to get the hell out when I was visiting another atheist in the bed next to him. I am not sure what happened to him but I took the reaction as a sign he was suddenly not so sure. The atheist I was speaking with asked for prayer (actually said if it helps you go ahead) and made a miraculous recovery. Another asked a lot of questions about specific verses but remained very agitated about such a God allowing pain. Another asked for a Bible and his wife tells me he was reading a few parts but I don't know which parts.

      May 16, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • sam

      "One atheist told me to get the hell out when I was visiting another atheist in the bed next to him. I am not sure what happened to him but I took the reaction as a sign he was suddenly not so sure."

      'Get the hell out' usually means...get the hell out. FYI.

      May 16, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      @fred – no one knows how each of us will react when the final sleep is nigh. I do not begrudge a person's fear of the void... or their sudden hope for a different outcome at the end... it is I think human nature...

      May 16, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • fred

      Lucifer's Evil Twin
      Jesus was not into loopholes to cover the bases. Actually, Jesus spoke in parables so only some could hear and see. With others he flat out refused to show signs. Even in the old testament no one can see God, God is a pillar of smoke or a cloud.
      I suspect you think faith is loophole as is the fact God can do anything even if contrary to known laws. That is not the case. We have the physical which science does a great job at measuring and explaining. You can argue we are just attempting to fill the unknown with "God" but that is just an opinion as no one knows what is in the unknown or anything about causation for our very existence in the first place.
      Atheists use the loophole we don't know but someday we will know. Believers know by faith that the End of Days will arrive when the greatest number of souls possible have been redeemed in the best manner possible.

      May 16, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • fred

      Lucifer's Evil Twin
      Agreed, it is human nature. I often wish I could convince someone of God by reason but I never have been able to do that. Some switch flips in a person where they can see something real that did not previously exist. Then suddenly it becomes obvious it was not about talking serpents or stuffing a boat full of animals but getting past the smokescreen of such foolishness.

      May 16, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • Arthur Bryant

      Oh, I get it now! If you go all squinty-eyed and look at the pages sideways under the light of the full moon, you'll find out what it REALLY means. It's not like anybody's coming up with bogus arguments to demonstrate that it doesn't mean what it obviously (to a 3 year old child) means, no, not at all. No siree. Nope. No pretzel pseudo-logic going on here.

      May 18, 2013 at 1:26 am |
  17. Apple Bush

    If you consult the dictionary, here is the first definition of God that you will find:

    "A being conceived as the perfect, omnipotent, omniscient originator and ruler of the universe, the principal object of faith and worship in monotheistic religions.

    Most believers would agree with this definition because they share a remarkably clear and consistent view of God. Yes, there are thousands of minor (and some major) quibbles about religion. Believers express those quibbles in dozens of denominations - Presbyterians, Lutherans, Catholics, Baptists, Episcopalians, Methodists and all faiths. But at the heart of it all, the belief in God aligns on a set of core ideas that everyone accepts.

    What if you were to simply think about what it would mean if there were a perfect, omnipotent, omniscient originator and ruler of the universe? Is it possible for such a being to exist?

    Epicures thought about it in 300 BCE, and he came up with this:

    "The gods can either take away evil from the world and will not, or, being willing to do so, cannot; or they neither can nor will, or lastly, they are both able and willing. If they have the will to remove evil and cannot, then they are not omnipotent. If they can, but will not, than they are not benevolent. If they are neither able nor willing, then they are neither omnipotent nor benevolent. Lastly, if they are both able and willing to annihilate evil, how does it exist?"

    In other words, if you sit and think about who God is supposed to be, you realize that such a being is impossible. Ridiculous, in fact.

    May 16, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • numbnut

      But, Apple, why do you need to rely on the Bible to tell you what is right and wrong? Shouldn't that, isn't that a natural instinct? No killing, no stealing, no raping, just be a sane person and make a positive contribution to life? Those that don't live life like that, are the crazies. And I'll bet you that those crazies believe in God.

      May 16, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
    • pasigiri

      To be honest AppleBush, you inadvertently just shared the Gospel.

      "... Lastly, if they are both able and willing to annihilate evil ..."

      The evil spoken of is sin. And since we are all sinners, we SHOULD be annihilated. But God gave His Son, Jesus. Jesus took OUR sins, the evil spoken of, and put it on Himself. He and He alone could do this because He is sinless (you can't pay a debt when you spent all your money). In other words, he took the bullet for us on the cross. If He didn't do it, we would be annihilated. God showed His love through redirecting His annihilation on His Son and by doing so annihilating sin. Now what Jesus went through on the cross if a good description of what COULD happen to one who doesn't put his faith and life in what Jesus did. And no that doesn't mean you have to do a bunch of stuff because there is nothing to do. Jesus paid the debt. He put HIS cash on the bill, but your the one who has to bring the bill to the Lord God. You don't ... well let's just say God will show you what Holiness is.

      May 16, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • My goodness but you’re stupid

      That definition is so general that most other religions “would agree with this definition because they share a remarkably clear and consistent view of God” and the only difference between Jew, Hindu, Muslim and Christian religions are ”minor quibbles”.

      May 16, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • c-lo

      Apple–a pretty smart guy not too long ago provided his analysis of your "quandry." Evil, like darkness, itself does not exist, but the lack of something else (good/light). His name was Albert Einstein–you may have heard of him. This is a secular answer to your question. Can/does a god (or God himself) posess the power to stop evil? Yes, but that would go against one of the original tenets of the Bible, Koran and Torah, that The Creator allowed us self determination, the right of choice. This would be the spirital answer to your question.
      I am a Christian and I minored in physics in college, including study in astro-physics. While religion/spiritiality sometimes provides more questions than answers, I found the same to be true when studying the universe. And it seems even today that scientific "truths" may be as miscalculated and misunderstood as many claim spirital "truths" to be. Examples include the speed of light may not be the universal speed limit, a certain breed of dinosaur did not "exist" but turned out to be a juvinile of another type, in 1960s and 1970s we were on a collision course with another Ice Age, 30 years later we are supposedly heating up uncontrollably, and on and on...
      Why are scientific "discoveries" that contridict old "truths" not seen as evidence that these "truths" were flawed at some point and therefore sience is not perfect? But evidence of a Creator/God through evidence like miracles, prophets (or profits if you prefer), omens, are fiction? Even if you don't believe in the personification of a God, how many of you non-believers believe in some type of metaphysical activity and how do you explain it? Also, how do you explain consious thought, morality, and the "physical laws" of the universe? Even the non-beleiver who accepts the Big Bang theory as fact should have a heck of a time explaining how all the matter of the universe fit into a space the size of the head of a pin...not mocking, just curious.

      May 16, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
  18. Bootyfunk

    how many people have been sent to the poorhouse by this charlatan? brainwash children into believing in an invisible sky fairy and they'll do anything you want - give you all their money and possessions, refute facts and believe myths, even kill themselves. religion is a powerful force for ignorance in this world.

    May 16, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      I can't hear you I'm on fire.

      May 16, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • Ken

      People's greed for something too often clouds their better judgment. It works in ponzi schemes where people are promised ridiculous returns on their investments, and it works on believers who are promised heaven. They both forget the old wisdom concerning things that sound too good to be true, and their greed for these things gets them into trouble.

      May 16, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Isn't it because of fools that this fraud-man has so much cash to his name?

      May 16, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • numbnut

      The downfall of society: 1) Money. 2) Religion

      May 16, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
  19. Doc Vestibule

    “Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour.”
    —1 John 2:18
    Christians have been waiting on tenterhooks for the Second Coming since the Bible itself was written.
    Many have prophesied the exact time of date of His return and ALL have been wrong.
    George Rapp said it would be September 15th, 1829.
    William Miller predicted October 22, 1844. Jesus’ failure to arrive is known as “The Great Disappointment”. Many of his disillusioned followers went on the found the 7th Day Adventist Church, who are still patiently awaiting His return.
    Charles Russell, 1st President of the Watchtower Society told his fellow Jehovah’s Witnesses that Jesus would be back in 1874.
    Rudolf Steiner maintained that from 1930 onwards, Jesus would grant certain people psychic powers to enable them to witness his presence in the “etheric plane”.
    Herbert Armstrong, Pastor General of the Worldwide Church of God said 1975.
    Bill Maupin managed to convince his followers to sell all of their worldly goods in preparation for Jesus’ return on June 28th, 1981.
    Benjamin Crème stated that on June 21st, 1982 Christ would make a worldwide television announcement.
    Mark Blitz, Pastor of El Shaddai Ministries says it would be September 30th, 2008
    Jerry Falwell said it’d happen between 1999 and 2009.
    Harold Camping told everyone that the Rapture would happen May 21, 2011 after failing in his first predicted date of 1994.

    Conversely, many believe He’s all ready come in the form of Sun Myung Moon, Emanuel Swedenborg, Baha u llah, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, David Koresh, Hailie Selassie, John Thom, Arnold Potter, William Davies, George roux, Ernest Norman, Krishna Venta, Ahn Sahng-Hong, Jim Jones, Mashall Applewhite, Hulon Mitchell, Wayne Bent, Ariffin Mohammed, Mitsuo Matayoshi, Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda, Inri Cristo, Thomas Provenzano, David Icke, Shoko Asahara, Hogan Fukinaga, Marina Tsvigun or Sergei Troop.

    It would appear that the much lauded Jewish carpenter has been thoroughly dead for 2000 years and will remain so.

    May 16, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • asdrel

      Oh, no He won't. Just because all those others were wrong doesn't mean I will be!!! I predict the end of the world will occur on April 31st, 2117 AD. If that date comes and goes with no end of the world anyone who had read this rediction and wishes may come and yell at me for being wrong.

      May 16, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • Colin

      Doc, I have an even earlier one (as supposedly spoken, at least) for you to add to your repitoir – Jesus-

      Jesus in Matthew 16:28 “There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”; Similarly, in Mark, “Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. (Mark 13:30-31);

      “He also said to them, "Amen, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see that the kingdom of God has come in power." (Mark 9:1); and

      Luke "Truly I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God." (Luke 9:27).

      "Immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming upon the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a trumpet blast, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. Learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see all these things, know that he is near, at the gates. Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. (Matthew 24:29-34).

      May 16, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Colin
      And before we get the apologetics saying that nobody knows what a "generation" means in the bible, we actually do.
      The biblical definition of a generation can be found in Psalm 90.
      "The years of our lives are 70; and if by reason of strength they be 80 years, yet most of them are labor and sorrow; for life is soon cut off and we fly away."
      26 Psalms 90:10
      This is confirmed in the Gospel of Matthew.
      "Therefore all the generations from Abraham down to David are 14 generations; and from David down to the Babylonian captivity are 14 generations; and from the Babylonian captivity down to messiah, are 14 generations."
      – Matthew 1:17
      Matthew is using the Psalm 90 definitions of Generation in order to tell a specific chronological story.

      May 16, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
    • sam

      And the Lord spake, saying, "First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin. Then shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it."

      May 16, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • Koss

      To asdrel: The date April 31st, 2117 doesn't exist. April only has 30 days. Unless of course there is some kind of big calendar alignment event between now and that date...

      May 16, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • Paul

      April will have 31 days by 2117, this just shows what a good prophecy he made. It is actually two prophecies at once.

      May 16, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • yujinchia

      @Colin

      Matthew 16:28, Mark 9:1, Luke 9:27 – this is a completely different topic. Jesus was not talking about the second coming, he was talking about the kingdom of God:

      And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
      Luke 17:20-21

      So indeed, quite a few did not taste death until they saw the kingdom come. This is clearly not the second coming, because that will definitely come WITH observation:

      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.
      2 Pe 3:10

      Mark 13:30-31 and Matthew 24:29-34 are indeed the second coming. The problem with your reasoning there is you're assuming Jesus was speaking about the CURRENT generation when he said 'this generation.' He was not- he was speaking of the generation he had just described in those chapters. So he was not being a false prophet and claiming he would return in that same generation. That also wouldn't make sense, seeing as how he said he himself did not know when he would return (Mt 24:36 – the same chapter).

      I commend you for taking the time to read the Bible, but as Jesus would say, "Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God."

      May 16, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
  20. Jesus Christ

    Ah HAhAHhA HA h AhHA HA H...

    May 16, 2013 at 2:02 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.