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May 20th, 2011
09:01 AM ET

My Take: Doomsdayers not so different from the rest of us

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

I know a lot of people are eagerly awaiting 6 p.m. this Saturday, either to greet the rapturous return of Jesus with open arms or to snicker at the idiocy of the followers of radio host Harold Camping, the evangelist behind all this holy hoo-hah.

I’m looking forward to 6:01 p.m., and the recalculations and reinterpretations that invariably ensue whenever Bible believers are proud enough to imagine that they know the day and the hour of Jesus' return, and bold enough to announce their imaginations to humanity.

People have been predicting the end of the world ever since they started thinking about the world as a story with a beginning, a middle, and an end. Thus far everyone has been wrong. So we have a lot of experience as a species with what the Millerites of the 19th century called the Great Disappointment.

Initially, the Baptist doomsday preacher William Miller predicted the return of Jesus between March 21, 1843 and March 21, 1844. When the latter date passed his followers did some recalculations (based on a different Jewish calendar) and settled some other dates. When those dates passed they found another date—October 22, 1844—based on a prophesy in the Bible's Daniel 8:14 (“And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed”).

After this Great Disappointment, some Millerites slinked away. Others decided that Jesus actually had returned, just not as they had expected. The notion that October 22, 1844 marked a spiritual rather than a physical return of Jesus became the basis for the Seventh-Day Adventist Church.

As for Harold Camping, he has been here before, too, predicting the arrival of Judgment Day in September 1994 only to go back to the Bible and his calculator and settle on this coming Saturday.

Predictions–and disappointments–such as these have inspired a cottage industry of social scientists trying to figure out how doomsday believers deal with the cognitive dissonance that comes “when prophecy fails.”

But the bottom line is that religion persists because it is adaptable. And one of its adaptations is that it almost never goes the route of Emily Litella, the hard-of-hearing "Saturday Night Live" news commentator who would come on "Weekend Update" (in the body of Gilda Radner) and complain, for example, about the effort to turn Puerto Rico into a steak, only to be corrected by Jane Curtin. At which point she would say, “I’m sorry.  Nevermind.”

I know my atheist friends are getting ready to party on May 21, and many Christians are already embarrassed by Camping and his followers. But I’m not convinced the rest of us are all that much different.

When confronted with facts that disprove their pet theories, for instance, our politicians almost never say, “Nevermind.” They recalculate and equivocate and go about their business. The rest of us do much the same, often preferring in our relationships, our jobs and our worldviews (religious or otherwise) the comfort of the stories we carry around in our heads to the reality of the facts on the ground.

Religious fanatics aren’t always so different from the rest of us. They are bolder, perhaps–more willing to air their craziness to the world. But the rest of us are crazy in our own way, harboring illusions about the federal budget deficit, or our spouses, or our politicians that are disproved by the facts, and dealing with cognitive dissonance with more of the same.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Belief • Bible • End times • Fundamentalism • Obama • United States

soundoff (1,432 Responses)
  1. huertb

    I would like to know what information the author used to conclude that the Seventh-day Adventist religion is based upon the view of The Great Disappointment as a spiritual rather than physical return of Jesus Christ...

    May 20, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
    • Greg

      How about http://carm.org/religious-movements/seventh-day-adventism/history-seventh-day-adventist-church

      May 20, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
    • huertb

      Thank you for that link

      May 20, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
  2. Barry

    Lycadis,

    I can’t speak for others, but I’ve spent a considerable part of my life studying the Bible from a critical point of view—and I mean quite critical.

    I am familiar with the texts which underlie the books of the Bible; I’m familiar with the ancient Mesopotamian, Babylonian and Egyptian sources, which have connection with the Bible; I’m familiar with the work of philosophers, such as Socrates and his student Plato, and the effects they have had on shaping the canons of logic and the form of the biblical texts; form criticism, literary criticism, myth and their functions; ancient religions and their connection with the Bible; Hellenistic influences; the Synoptic Problem, etc..

    I still believe the Bible is the word of God and that it’s the Truth, despite all of its human consequences. And I’ve looked and thought long and hard about the Bible, including it’s so called flaws.

    I also am quite interested in mathematics, history, evolution, the sciences, etc., and I have great appreciation and respect for these matters.

    Incidentally many scholars, including some of the worlds brightest and most gifted individuals, also believe that the Bible is the word of God.

    Christians can be found among every strata of society, including some among the elite and intelligentsia. Just like the rest of humanity.

    A kind, humble and compassionate person would respect the limitations of others and would treat them with respect. You would want those with intellectual prowess greater than yours to do this for you, would you not?

    May 20, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
    • Ummm

      Lycidas ego is too big for that.

      May 20, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Barry

      You said: "I can’t speak for others, but I’ve spent a considerable part of my life studying the Bible from a critical point of view—and I mean quite critical.
      I am familiar with the texts which underlie the books of the Bible; I’m familiar with the ancient Mesopotamian, Babylonian and Egyptian sources, which have connection with the Bible; I’m familiar with the work of philosophers, such as Socrates and his student Plato, and the effects they have had on shaping the canons of logic and the form of the biblical texts; form criticism, literary criticism, myth and their functions; ancient religions and their connection with the Bible; Hellenistic influences; the Synoptic Problem, etc..
      I still believe the Bible is the word of God and that it’s the Truth, despite all of its human consequences. And I’ve looked and thought long and hard about the Bible, including it’s so called flaws."

      At last! I'm sure you are the one who can offer actual evidence for the Christian god being real! Praise the lord!

      So, give me your proof that god exists.

      You said: "Incidentally many scholars, including some of the worlds brightest and most gifted individuals, also believe that the Bible is the word of God."

      Hmmm...Most of the elite scientist do not. They are atheists.

      In 1998, a study by Larson and Witham appeared on the leading journal Nature ("Leading scientists still reject God"), showing that of the American scientists who had been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, only about 7 percent believe in a personal god. Religious believers form about 40 percent of the less eminent scientists in America.

      Your god does not exist. Prove me wrong.

      Cheers!

      Christians can be found among every strata of society, including some among the elite and intelligentsia. Just like the rest of humanity.

      A kind, humble and compassionate person would respect the limitations of others and would treat them with respect. You would want those with intellectual prowess greater than yours to do this for you, would you not?

      May 20, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Barry- I do not know to which ccomment of mine you are referring to, but believe me when I say that I treat those as they treat others. If a person gives a reasonable comment on here...cool, great and nothing wrong with that. As with your comment I can see that you seem to have a comparable background with mine and glad to see you are well versed in your studies. Not everyone is and they come on here to ridicule those of faith.
      I have little patience for ppl like that and have no problem in returning the favor. I would hope they would see that it is not fun and take it to heart. But very few do.

      As to Ummmmm, you have a perfect name for yourself. No doubt you use that sound a great deal in your life.

      May 20, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
    • Ok

      "I say that I treat those as they treat others."

      LOL! It's funny but the great spiritual leaders of the world would disagree with this statement. You are not a spiritual person with a line like that. It's what you have to tell yourself so you can justify your own poor behavior.

      May 20, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "give me your proof that god exists."

      This seems familiar and yet no one can say what "proof" would really convince them.

      "Most of the elite scientist do not. They are atheists."

      Define "elite" in the manner that you are thinking of and tell us what scientists go with that definition.

      "Your god does not exist. Prove me wrong."

      How when you are so closed minded? No evidence would be enough for you....true?

      Shalom!

      May 20, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
    • LOL

      "As to Ummmmm, you have a perfect name for yourself. No doubt you use that sound a great deal in your life."

      Now that's ego!

      May 20, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "You are not a spiritual person with a line like that."

      A likely answer from one that doesn't know much from the Bible. Guess you wouldn't consider a spiritual leader one that would call ppl vipers and knock their stuff over either would you?

      May 20, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Lol- Not ego...it could be fact. Did you not consider that before writing? Try pausing then commenting next time.

      May 20, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
    • OK

      "A likely answer from one that doesn't know much from the Bible. Guess you wouldn't consider a spiritual leader one that would call ppl vipers and knock their stuff over either would you?"

      You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these.

      The love you have for yourself is pitiful, no wonder you needed to believe in a god that loves you.

      May 20, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
    • LOL

      "@Lol- Not ego...it could be fact. Did you not consider that before writing? Try pausing then commenting next time."

      Your assumptions show you don't pause. LOL!

      May 20, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
    • airwx

      @ David Johnson

      As you ask for proof from the faithful, I ask you for the same proof.

      Explain to me how science explains a soup of chemicals, given perfect laboratory conditions and external stimulus becomes capable of self replication? Explain to me how long it would take for such an event to occur by chance. Explain to me the probabilities of such an occurence. Then explain growing that self replicating being into over 10,000,000 current and extinct species and how long that would take by chance.

      There is no scientist, no matter how elite, that has created a lself replicating being from chemicals.

      Believe what you will, but a skeptic would avoid the cognitive dissonance of science until the proof is in!

      May 20, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
    • Lycidas

      OK- Ah, but who is my neighbor? Neighbor means in the original language "friend".

      May 20, 2011 at 7:15 pm |
    • ummmm

      "Explain to me how science explains a soup of chemicals, given perfect laboratory conditions and external stimulus becomes capable of self replication?"

      DNA is a polymer capable of self-replication.

      May 20, 2011 at 7:15 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @LOL- your comment has been noted and thrown out like the rest of the trash, but thatnk you for taking the time to write 🙂

      May 20, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Ok- I guess you forgot the one where Jesus said, "If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him."

      Why does everyone think Jesus was something akin to a undisciplined hippy. He felt quite strongly about what he was teaching.

      May 20, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
    • airwx

      @ UMMM that explains what has happened.... I asked for the probaility of it to happen by chance. And remember that DNA is only the code that causes replication, but it must act on protiens and amino acids. Without both coming into existence, there would be no life. My question still stands....what are the odds....

      May 20, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
    • OK

      "OK- Ah, but who is my neighbor? Neighbor means in the original language "friend"."

      Really, but how would Jesus define it? If you look at the scriptures he was not pointing to the word friend. Nice try.

      May 20, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
    • LOL

      "@LOL- your comment has been noted and thrown out like the rest of the trash, but thatnk you for taking the time to write"

      No it didn't since you took the time to respond your ego couldn't let it go.

      May 20, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
    • Dorothy

      "@ UMMM that explains what has happened.... I asked for the probaility of it to happen by chance. And remember that DNA is only the code that causes replication, but it must act on protiens and amino acids. Without both coming into existence, there would be no life. My question still stands....what are the odds..."

      Instead of continuing to twist peoples word why don't you just give your evidence. The reason you play this game is you can't. By the way that makes you look really stupid.

      May 20, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @OK- Condisering it was what the word meant in the original herbrew/aramaic...forgive me if I don't think you know what you are talking about.

      May 20, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @LOL- Thank you again Lol. I will have to as*sume you won't get what you are effectively doing in all this, but anyway.

      May 20, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
    • airwx

      @Dorothy If you are addressing me you might wish to read the original post. I play no word games; I have asked a question that does have an answer. The problem is that to answer the question means that a skeptic has to admit overlooking the faults in science to the same degree that they accuse believers of overlooking in the Bible. Now then.. I have 7 minutes before I have to leave.... anyone want to try answering the question "What are the Odds"?

      May 20, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
  3. holly

    I agree entirely. When it comes down to we are all very similar, and all very stupid. I truly believe we are all wrong about most if not everything. I think if people didn't exist in such great denial wrapped up in the nuances of society everyone would be able to step back and say "wow, I'm pretty dumb, and I really have no idea."

    May 20, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  4. Woodrow

    Jesus has returned and I am Jesus. Thing is I go by the name of Hey Zeus and I steal hubcaps from cars. Wanna borrow my crowbar? I will make you immortal if you can tell me what song I am talking about.

    May 20, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  5. Jeepers

    The real question is, "What does Kirk Cameron think?" Because he really seems to be in the know about this stuff.

    May 20, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  6. killallthewhiteman

    Not sure why these people feel the need to tell everyone about this. If I truley believed that the end of the world was in a few days, I would not be in a shopping mall passing out fliers. Do they think that Jesus is going to high five them and say " You called it bro! "

    May 20, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  7. Abm

    To "Audacious" (yes you are) Speaking as one of Jehovah's Witnesses and having been one all my life, WE NEVER SAID ARMAGEDDON WAS COMING IN 1975. In the book published by The Watchtower, Bible and Tract Society, a question was asked that since 1975 marked the end of 6000 years of man's history (not 6000 years of earth's history, because the earth is much, much older and we ARE NOT fundamentalists)"could it mean that the 1000 year reign of Christ would begin shortly thereafter?" Then it said, "We do not know since no man knows the day or hour." All Jehovah's Witnesses have ever done is follow Christ's command to keep on the watch. Weather you want the end of wicked mankind to come to an end or not (and that is what the Bible promises, NOT the end of the earth)it will in Jehovah's own due time. We have also not "sank our entire lifes efforts, aspirations, family, fortunes...everything...in preparation for the day that never..." will come. We have just chosen not to persue a materialistic life course, which anyone can see does not buy happiness or a longer life. Instead we have chosen to do as Jesus said and keep our eye simple so that we are free to help honest hearted one's find the truth of God's word. If anyone wants to know what Jehovah's Witnesses believe, please ask one of us instead of listening to...people(?) like Audacious. They do not know what they are talking about.

    May 20, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
    • ladybug

      well said.....

      May 20, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
  8. Cemetrius

    Derikdeaf
    THANK YOU !!!! ENOUGH SAID !! False prophets are in the bible too. Not trying to judge but ......

    May 20, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  9. Barry

    I don’t know whether Christ will return on 5/21, but there is something good that has come about because of Harold Camping’s prediction about 5/21 being the end of the world: It has caused people to think about the end of time and about the end of their lives.

    I trust that this was one of the purposes of the teachings in the Scriptures about Christ’s return and the end of time.

    Whether the end comes on 5/21 or on anther date—or at the time of our natural death, the fact is the end is coming for each of us, and death and the grave is inevitable.

    We who are Christians may disagree about when the end of times is, but we are in general agreement about the fact that death and the grave awaits all of us. We are also in agreement that we are vulnerable and utterly powerless in the face of death and the grave; and, for this reason we put our trust and hope in the promises of God.

    We believe that only through the crucifixion of Jesus (whom we believe is the Christ or Messiah) and his resurrection, can we have hope of redemption, forgiveness and eternal life.

    Incidentally we also believe that we cannot live from day to day, without the help and power that only comes through the cross of Christ.

    I don’t know whether the end will come on May 21, 2011, but I know that the end for me is coming. It’s coming for you too.

    Jesus’ message was simple. The end is coming. We will face judgment. Be prepared always!

    And we believe that we need the divine help that only the one who was crucified for our sins can provide.

    May 20, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  10. JEBUW

    The sad thing here is that the bible is looked at anything other than a book of fables w/ a dash of historical events thrown in.

    May 20, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
    • Lycidas

      I would guess you haven't really done much research into the Bible apart from what other (and very biased) ppl have written and spo*on fed you.

      May 20, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  11. Michael

    I don't see a difference between these doomsayers and normal Christians, they both believe in unproven magic and a magical end time for the world, they just put a date on it, how much crazier is that? It isn't.

    May 20, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
    • JEBUW

      Agreed.

      May 20, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "Magic" is your term. I have yet to see any Christian use it.

      May 20, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • Hmmmm

      Mayan's and Nostradamus thought the world will end in 2012...wait till next year.

      May 20, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
    • Joe

      does anything NEED to be proven to believe? the whole concept of faith is... just that.. faith. It's not crazy. it's accepting the fact that our being isn't just a physical body, but also consists of soul and spirit which will go somewhere when the body decays. And there's a place for our souls after life. you don't believe that?

      May 20, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "Nostradamus", try to get your stuff in order. There has been no actual correlation between 2012 and Nostradamus's writings.

      May 20, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
    • Michael

      Call it miracles instead of magic if you think it makes you sound more sane.... It doesn't.

      May 20, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
    • Ogre

      Magic: "The power of apparently influencing the course of events by using mysterious or supernatural forces."

      If the shoe fits...

      May 20, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Michael- so you do not feel there is a difference? So you would call an African American "black" and it there is no difference in the terms right? No difference at all? I doubt you would agree. Same goes for your word use. Magic carries an imagery that has very little to do with the Abrahamic religions. Just because you think there isn't a difference doesn't mean there isn't any.

      @Ogre- You might want to use definitions that go beyond the use of card games. How about, "the art of producing a desired effect or result through the use of incantation or various other techniques that presumably assure human control of supernatural agencies or the forces of nature. "
      The Abrahamic religions do not support this.

      May 20, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
    • BoldByAnonimity

      Not a single, anti-christian comment on this board is an original thought. It is the same tired, worn out rhetoric that has been spewed from the mouth of atheists for centuries. The truth is, we will all die one day and our names will be forgotten but the name of Jesus will stand forever and one day, at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. So keep posting your hate comments but know they don't amount to anything.

      May 20, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • Ogre

      Lycidas,
      "The Abrahamic religions do not support this."

      The Abrahamic religions don't encourage prayer (incantation) and sacrifice to their special supernatural being?

      May 20, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • Michael

      @ Lycidas "So you would call an African American "black"" – Your logic is idiotic. For one saying African American is in relation to one's nationality. Saying someone is a "black" is in reference to skin tone. You made absolutely no sense. Magic refers to something that bends the laws of physics (more commonly we tie it in with illusions- tricks). Miracles refers to something that also bends the laws of physics and is done by an unproven master of the human race, they are both the same thing.

      May 20, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
    • Mirror

      Lookee Here: @BoldByAnonimity

      "Not a single, [BoldByAnonimity] comment on this board is an original thought. It is the same tired, worn out rhetoric that has been spewed from the mouth of [believers] for centuries."

      May 20, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
    • huertb

      In all honesty, I've always looked at the term 'miracle' as having a supernatural connotation to it – more so than, 'magic'. The thing with magic is it tends to be demonstrated by human beings – whether it be because the individual is performing the magic through some supernatural force, or is applying a clever use of logic to demonstrate tricks. While the term 'magic' can also have a supernatural connotation to it, I don't think that it is in the sense that it cannot be explained.
      Miracles on the other hand, seem to be events that cannot be explained. [The way I see it: Magic occurs through something explainable (humans) that Could be depending on something unexplainable (supernatural force); miracles occur through something generally unexplainable (supernatural force). I can see how they are similar, but not the same.

      May 20, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      BoldByAnonimity: you're simply parroting the rantings attributed to an ancient snake-oil salesman who was most likely brainwashed to the same degree as those nuts who are predicting tomorrow's doomsday...

      May 20, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Ogre- "The Abrahamic religions don't encourage prayer (incantation) and sacrifice to their special supernatural being?"

      No, at least not in the manner you are thinking. Research the book of Amos.

      May 20, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Michael- I see my example went way over your head and you decide to lash out...typical. Ok, obviously you don't see the stigma present by using the word magic. But of course you are using it in a negative manner and probably think you are justified in doing so. But tht is a problem with biased ppl that have already made up their minds.

      May 20, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @huertb- Thank you, at least someone understands.

      May 20, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
    • Ralph

      "@Michael- I see my example went way over your head and you decide to lash out...typical. Ok, obviously you don't see the stigma present by using the word magic. But of course you are using it in a negative manner and probably think you are justified in doing so. But tht is a problem with biased ppl that have already made up their minds."

      What a hypocrite, do you need a definition of that?

      May 20, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Ralph- easy there, you'll get your thin skin all wrinkled up

      May 20, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
  12. humanist

    The whole concept behind religion is an exercise in cognitive dissonance. The ongoing belief in something for which no proof exists. It's the ultimate in wishful thinking and doomsday advocates go right out to the cliff.

    May 20, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
    • Joe

      you're very eloquent. but even you don't know if the Faith of Christianity will or will not be proved to be true at the 'end'. bottom line, nobody knows. 'scientific proof' is not a sufficient or necessary condition to believe in anything. sometimes, wishful thinking can come true. if you can be open minded and step outside of the currently popular humanistic view of things, you may appreciate having a faith in something that can't be proven in this world, by science or anything.

      May 20, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @humanist- You are in error to as*sume that those who have faith have no evidence. It is just not evidence that convinces you.

      May 20, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
    • Larry

      "it is just not evidence that convinces you."

      Come on now you keep using this line but yet aren't willing to share this evidence. What is the evidence you keep referencing. Wait for it folks, it will be more twisting of words without any substance.

      May 20, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
    • airwx

      You might wish to read the works of Harold J. Morowitz on the probability of spontaneous creation of a single cell organism and then consider the complexity of taking that single organism (less than half as complex as anything that currently exists in nature) and modifying it into the current 1.4 million species and more than 10,000 extinct species. And Dr. M is not a Christian!

      May 20, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
    • airwx

      Correction: 10,000,000 species

      May 20, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Larry- Would first hand accounts be ok for you? They usually are in a court of law.

      Oooh, wait for it...here comes the part where they dismiss it without a thought.

      May 20, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
    • David

      @Joe The problem with having faith in something that can't be proven or dispproven, in other words blind faith, is that since you require no proof you can use it to justify anything. As the attackers on 9/11 did. They believed with conviction that god wanted them to do it. They don't need proof, they have faith. As a wise man said, good people do good things, bad people do bad things, but to get good people to do bad things that takes religion.

      May 20, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
    • Larry

      "Would first hand accounts be ok for you?"

      Sure let me guess you are going to try and use the Bible for that, but those were not first hand accounts.

      May 20, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
    • huertb

      As a Christian, I believe the evidence for Christ is hidden in the hearts of every person, as well as in the Bible – one just has to be willing to search it out.

      May 20, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Larry- Of course not, I am talking about my personal experiences. Can you quit making as*sumptions.

      May 20, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
    • Larry

      "Of course not, I am talking about my personal experiences"

      So share this evidence, I am willing to keep an open mind, can you?

      May 20, 2011 at 7:06 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Larry- Oh I have a very open mind. But perhaps you can tell me specifically what statement I must have made and said was true above all else and that everyone else was fools for not believing.that I am needing to prove.

      May 20, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
  13. hmmm!!!!

    What time zone are we talking about here? Just to be safe should I panic as each country hits 6:00pm?

    May 20, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
    • airwx

      It's supposed to be Eastern time, but I'm not so sure I'd trust Camping's sun dial!

      May 20, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
    • Ogre

      The old codgers who wrote the Bible weren't even aware that the southern hemisphere or most of the western hemisphere existed.

      I'm thinkin' that only the Middle East will be destroyed 🙂

      May 20, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Ogre- Socrates also didn't know about the lands of the western hemisphere, do you think he was also wrong in his sayings?

      May 20, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  14. Abraham

    sooooo does anybody wanna share what they are doiing on sunday?

    May 20, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
    • TG

      Planning go to gim

      May 20, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
    • airwx

      Same thing we do every Sunday, Pinky...Try and take over the world!!!

      (sorry, I couldn't resist!)

      May 20, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
    • Joe

      changing their website name to itturnsoutwedonotknowsquat.com from wecankno.com

      May 20, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  15. Michael A.D. Smith

    Boycott of Family Radio on Facebook!

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Boycott-of-Family-Radio/

    Join and Sign by pressing "Like". Send a message that we will not tolerate this kind of false teaching!!!

    May 20, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  16. Mike

    ...and people call atheists arrogant for relying on pithy things like natural evidence and facts.

    May 20, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
    • Christian America

      ... and magical "big bangs" and fairy tales that frogs really do turn into princes if you add millions of years. (or is it "billions"? I don't know since so called scientists have been recalculating their errors for years)

      May 20, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
  17. Derikdeaf

    What A Christian and i was preach said many time –

    "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." Matthew 24:36

    "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." Matthew 24:36

    "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." Matthew 24:36

    "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." Matthew 24:36

    "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." Matthew 24:36

    "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." Matthew 24:36

    "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." Matthew 24:36

    Camping is not reading the Word of God. but I m call A Camping bible. thereof I not fellow Harold Camping

    May 20, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  18. Audacious M

    Yeah... the biggest spawn of the Millerites and Seventh-Day Adventists became a much larger group of doomsday loonatics: Jehovah's Witnesses. They predicted the end/Armageddon no less than 5 separate times from 1877 all the way through 1975.. after repeated failures of prediction, they just started saying "REAL SOON".. that's been going on for over 30 years now, and still no end. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of JW's have sank their entire lives efforts, aspirations, family, fortunes... everything... in preparation for the day that never came. INSANITY.

    May 20, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  19. Roland

    The Bible teaches that God will punish sinners with death. "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord". We should keep on praying and ask God for the forgiveness of our sins. Nobody knows the end except God the Father.

    May 20, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
    • humanist

      Ah, yes that would explain the "everyone is a sinner" precept in religion. But then everything dies eventually regardless of anything religion says.

      May 20, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  20. sylv

    sheesh...this is all you have to do to get some free publicity.

    May 20, 2011 at 5:04 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.