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Doomsdays throughout time
May 22nd, 2011
03:07 PM ET

Life goes on: Doomsday believers on the morning after

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

(CNN) – Theirs had been an unwavering belief, the sort that inspired some to quit jobs, leave their homes and walk away from family and friends to issue a doomsday warning.

Without question, they believed May 21 would be the day that Jesus Christ would return and rapture them - and a select 2 to 3 percent of the world’s population - up to heaven.  Everyone left behind would be on a crash course to final destruction, scheduled for October 21.

But now it’s May 22.

The sun rose, birds are singing and life as we know it continues. Those anticipated earthquakes that the May 21 doomsdayers said would ravage the earth on Saturday at 6 p.m. in each of the world's time zones never came.

And the faithful believers - who said the Bible guaranteed this day - are still here, trying to make sense of it all.

“Of course there’s disappointment. There’s no getting around that,” said Tom Evans, who’d left his northern California home to spend the weekend with family and friends. “When you as a person believe that God is coming back, and you believe the evidence is very clear that he’s coming back, that is something every child of God longs for. In a moment, we’d be changed and spend eternity with God. I’m not ashamed of that at all. I’m not ashamed of wanting and hoping for it.”

But Evans did reveal some regret.

“For us to say it was absolute, I think that’s where we went wrong. That’s where we strayed, and that I would gladly apologize for,” he said. “Whether I personally have done something dishonorable, I’m still mulling it over. I was trying to be faithful.”

Evans spoke to CNN as an individual, not as a spokesperson for Family Radio, the Oakland, California, Christian broadcasting network behind the May 21 movement. 

But Evans has been a paid spokesman for the network, a job he said he expects to resume - at least in the short term - after he and Family Radio's board of directors meet with Harold Camping, the network's 89-year-old founder.

“I have not spoken to Mr. Camping about the issue of what to do next,” Evans said. “But he and his wife are fine, and our response will come in the early part of next week.”

Camping, a degreed engineer (not a pastor) who claims to have made the Bible his “university” for more than 50 years, has experience with failed prophecies. He once claimed the world would end in September 1994, later chalking that snafu up to biblical miscalculations and the need for further study. This time around, he said earlier this year, he had no doubts.

Calls to Camping's Alameda, California, home, went unanswered.

CNN reached out Sunday morning to about a dozen doomsday believers, to see how they felt after waking up. Only Evans and one other responded.

"I'm fine Jessica, really!" Darryl Keitt, of Elizabeth, New Jersey, who spent about seven months touring the country in a caravan of RVs, sharing the doomsday warning, wrote in a text message. "Just need 2 process this."

Those who’ve studied end-of-the-world movements are analyzing what happened, or didn’t happen, and forecasting what will come next.

“In the end, it was a whimper, not a bang,” said Lorenzo DiTommaso, author of the forthcoming book “The Architecture of Apocalypticism” and an associate professor of religion at Concordia University in Montréal, Canada. “The 21st of May came and went, and with it Harold Camping’s prediction of the coming of the Rapture and the day of doom.”

Based on past doomed doomsdays, much can be learned, said DiTommaso, who has studied apocalyptic worldviews for 12 years.

He shared what he meant in a written statement to CNN:

Historically, failed prophecies tend to result in disillusionment, with members deserting the group, or, more typically, a faith-saving (and face-saving) statement to the effect that while divine revelation remains infallible, human calculation is not. In short: The math was off, and it’s back to the drawing board. If the logic seems a bit self-serving, recall that in the apocalyptic mindset, faith precedes theory, and theory informs the evidence.

Not that any of this will preclude the appearance of future doomsday predictions. “Apocalypse,” Frank Kermode once observed, “can be disconfirmed without being discredited.” The massive 2012 phenomenon [based on the Mayan “Long Count” calendar] lurks just over the horizon. Even if the media and the public are over-saturated right now, the 2012 event promises to be as big as Y2K. After that, when the predicted events of the 21st of December 2012 fail to occur, a new generation of end-time prophecies will spring up. And that’s about the only sure prediction that one can make.

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Bible • Christianity • Culture wars • End times

soundoff (2,964 Responses)
  1. KennyG

    PDX_Atheist and others like him/her: The proof of God's existence is that the heavens and life do exist. Something came from nothing, and that would be impossible if there was not a supreme being to do the creating. God is so huge that we cannot perceive His power, where he came from (always been here), his plan, and on and on. If you are a true atheist, then why do you care? Why preach anti-god? Is there a benefit to you or the world? Religion, even false religion, has done more good to humanity that atheism. People are the problem. If all people really followed God's will then the horrors that have happened by the few religious zealots would never happened. God created us, and He loves his creation. Too bad that there are people like you that cannot see that.

    May 23, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • PDX_Atheist

      That's not proof. Get a grip.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • Artist

      kennyG, get help
      .
      Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that makes it difficult to tell the difference between real and unreal experiences, to think logically, to have normal emotional responses, and to behave normally in social situations.
      As the illness continues, psychotic symptoms develop:
      • False beliefs or thoughts that are not based in reality (delusions)
      • Hearing, seeing, or feeling things that are not there (hallucinations)

      May 23, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • nate

      Religion bothers me because it causes more death than it prevents. I could really care less what someone wants to believe, however it is constantly being pushed on the non-believers. Keep your religion out of politics, schools, and my driveway.. and I could care less what religion you want to follow.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
    • JuneBug

      @ the PDX fool. So we believe in Adam and Eve and you believe in some Monkey. It's called freedom of choice, so let it go. If you think you came from some ape in Africa that's your choice. We have ours so YOU get a grip. As an Athiest once said, "Thank God I'm an Athiest" you damn right, thank him.

      May 24, 2011 at 1:41 am |
  2. Michaeltantino

    JT said: "To those who claim God does not exist: just because you do not have the consciousness of God does not mean He does not exist."

    JT, I don't know whether or not a God exists. That is not something I can know, especially since the God most people claim exists has the flexibility to make it appear as if He doesn't exist. Convenient. What I do know is that our Universe operates consistant with a Universe where no Divine Being is pulling strings. In essence, God is not necessary for our Universe according to 100% of the evidence we have. Our Universe is natural. There is also 0% evidence that suggests a God exists. Therefore any conclusion stating one does is absolutely baseless.

    But more than that, when people like Christians or anyone else begins telling you specifics about their God... it becomes easy to say that YOUR God does not exist. Such as when someone defines their God as loving, as PERFECT, infallible, incapable of mistakes, incapable of faulty reasoning, etc then you paint yourself into a corner. A pefect infallible Being doesn't use faulty logic, and the problem for you with that is you then disprove your own God because you describe GHim and believe He has done things that are inconsistant with that definition. A perfect being does not have any justification for there being a Hell. An eternity of torment for the audacity to not blindly have faith in his existence when he leaves zero evidence of existing is retarded and vengeful. Allowing only 2% of chosen people in Heaven and dooming the rest to Hell is to intentionally create beings with the full purpose of torturing the vast majority as he would know that most would never make it. So much more. Then there are the contradictions in the Bible and blatant errors. You cannot climb to the highest mountaintop and see every kingdom on earth as the bible stated, The earth is a sphere and it does not have corners. Rabbits do NOT chew their cud. Bats are NOT birds. And so on. Oh? You say that the Bible is an allegorical tale? Well then you suggest God wants everyone to behave a certain way but puts His message out there without a clear direction leaving his message open to interpretation making it even more impossible to know which way was right.

    Your God makes no sense, and is described as doing things and wanting things that run contrary to a perfect being. It is clear as day that the BibleGod is a projection of mankind. That is why He is jealous, vengeful, domineering, spiteful, prideful, a murderer, needs you to believe in Him, etc. He is described as thinking like a man in the Bible. It's amazing people still buy into this stuff.

    May 23, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
    • Nightwyn

      100% really? where?

      May 23, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • Michaeltantino

      I suppose you thinking Lightning is really an angry Zeus eh? I suppose you think mental illnesses and diseases are really demons right? I suppose you think that the Earth is flat and center of the Universe right?

      May 23, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
  3. Reality

    "For us to say it was absolute, I think that’s where we went wrong." as per Tom Evans

    What Mr. Evans failed to mention:

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

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

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

    May 23, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
  4. nancy

    I think it is very eeerie that the huge tornado in Joplin was a couple days after the supposed end of the world. It is sad that for so many it is the literal end for them in this horrible calamity. For thousands of others it is the end of thier world as they lived it before the tornado.
    Maybe this doomsday group was not so far off afterall.
    Whether May 21st or some other day, we will all die and stand before the judgement throne. Until that day let us pray and help and love one another. In these scary times let the critism die out and the love come forth as we help our fellow countrymen who have survived disaster.

    May 23, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • PDX_Atheist

      There are tornadoes touching down all the time. It's unrelated so stop trying to make non-nonsensical connections.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • Reality

      A rational and contemporary view: (assuming there is a god)

      o From the famous, theologian Schillebeeckx in his book , Church: The Human Story of God,
      Crossroad, 1993, p.91 (softcover)

      "Christians must give up a perverse, unhealthy and inhuman doctrine of predestination without in so doing making God the great scapegoat of history" .

      "Nothing is determined in advance: in nature there is chance and determinism; in the world of human
      activity there is possibility of free choices.

      Therefore the historical future is not known even to God; otherwise we nand our history would be merely a puppet show in which God holds the strings.

      For God, too, history is an adventure, an open history for and of men and women."

      May 23, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • minnesotan

      There are so many things one could point to that go on every day across our world that are truly just natural phenomina but get claimed as being the result of a deity. If the odds of winning the lotto are 170million to 1, and 170million people play it, then 1 person, scientifically calculated, should have the winning ticket. Now my question is this: If even half of those people payed to win, why would god choose the individual he did to win? Or was it truly chance, as it always is and always has been.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
  5. Barry

    Does anyone recall what Voltaire did on his deathbed, after a lifetime of mocking God and religion?

    The evangelical modern classic God's Plan for Man relates a terrifying account of Voltaire's last days:

    [Voltaire] was well known as an outspoken opponent of Christianity, and predicted that it would cease to exist within 100 years. However, when a stroke put him on his death bed, Voltaire's stony exterior began to crack and reveal his miserable, frightful condition. For two months he was tortured with such an agony that led him at times to gnash his teeth in impotent rage against God and man. He would turn his face and cry out, "I must die, abandoned of God and of man." His condition became so frightful that even his associates were afraid to approach his bedside. In fact, his own nurse is quoted as saying, "For all the wealth of Europe, I would never see another infidel die. It was a scene of horror that lies beyond all exaggeration."[

    May 23, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • Sergio

      So? are you sugesting that god have something to do with is suffering?...It was his free will if he did't like religion...was god punish him for that?

      May 23, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • Bruce

      The record of these deathbed words is about as credible as Darwin's deathbed words...

      May 23, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
  6. Barry

    Does anyone recall what Voltaire did on his deathbed, after a lifetime of mocking God and religion?

    The evangelical modern classic God's Plan for Man relates a terrifying account of Voltaire's last days:
    [Voltaire] was well known as an outspoken opponent of Christianity, and predicted that it would cease to exi
    st within 100 years. However, when a stroke put him on his death bed, Voltaire's stony exterior began to crack and reveal his miserable, frightful condition. For two months he was tortured with such an agony that led him at times to gnash his teeth in impotent rage against God and man. He would turn his face and cry out, "I must die, abandoned of God and of man." His condition became so frightful that even his associates were afraid to approach his bedside. In fact, his own nurse is quoted as saying, "For all the wealth of Europe, I would never see another infidel die. It was a scene of horror that lies beyond all exaggeration."[

    May 23, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • Over It

      Barry,

      There are just as many stories and quotes telling a different story of Voltaire's last days:

      The curate of St. Sulpice was annoyed at being forestalled by the Abbe Gautier, and as Voltaire was his parishioner, he demanded "a detailed profession of faith and a disavowal of all heretical doctrines." He paid the dying Freethinker many unwelcome visits, in the vain hope of obtaining a full recantation, which would be a fine feather in his hat. The last of these visits is thus described by Wagniere, who was an eyewitness to the scene. We take Carlyle's translation: -

      Two days before that mournful death, M. l'Abbe Mignot, his nephew, went to seek the Cure of St. Sulpice and the Abbe Gautier, and brought them into his uncle's sick room; who, on being informed that the Abbe Gautier was there, "Ah, well!" said be, "give him my compliments and my thanks." The Abbe spoke some words to him, exhorting him to patience. The Cure of St. Sulpice then came forward, having announced himself, and asked of M. de Voltaire, elevating his voice, if he acknowledged the divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ? The sick man pushed one of his hands against the Cure's calotte (coif), shoving him back, and cried, turning abruptly to the other side, "let me die in peace (Laissez-moi mourir en paix)." The Curd seemingly considered his person soiled, and his coif dishonored, by the touch of the philosopher. He made the sick- nurse give him a little brushing, and then went out with the Abbe Gautier. ['Carlyle's Essays,' Vol. II. (People's Edition), p. 161.]

      May 23, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
  7. Joe

    God is "coming back?" I wasn't aware he ever left.

    May 23, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • Mesa Mick

      There never was nor is there ever gonna be a gawd so how can "he"? ever come back?

      May 23, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • Rider3

      I liked this one.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
  8. El Conde

    Mr Atheist. Sure it's no going to happen. But when the time comes you'll be the first to cry like a little girl. Then you'll get a grip.

    May 23, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
    • PDX_Atheist

      Another dummy.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
    • mike90210

      There are people on this planet who spend the day they are born until the day they die starving to death. If gawd does show up, he better hope I don't get my hands on him because I'll immediately place him under arrest for child abuse/neglect/endangerment/etc.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • HaloFlies

      To the PDX athiest. Takes one to know one. Please to meet you, hope you guess my name.

      May 24, 2011 at 2:00 am |
  9. Let it Be

    Mr Atheist. This has nothing to do with religion. I agree with The Net. We will destroy ourselves. And you'll be the first to crap your pants when it happens.

    May 23, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
    • PDX_Atheist

      Your statement makes no sense. Why would an atheist be the first to crap his(or her) pants? The reality is that it is atheist scientists who are least likely to be surprised about such an end. We look at facts, not fiction. Go read something besides the bible then come back and make an intelligent statement.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
    • El Conde

      Funny thing is, I dont even read the Bible. Your mind just assumes it.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • PDX_Atheist

      @El Conde Really?

      May 23, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
  10. Barry

    The end of time, the Judgment Day, and the return of Christ has always an important matter for believers (Jews and Christians). And concerns about these matters go back to the time of Jesus and before (among the Jewish community), according to biblical and extra-biblical texts.

    The early Christians seemed to believe that the return of Christ was imminent (that it was about to occur at any moment) and that it was going to happen soon and in their lifetimes.

    (See: Acts of the Apostles 1:9-11; “After Jesus said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”)

    When Christ did not return as and when they thought he would return, the church began to understand two things: 1.) that Christ’s return was immanent (that it was already present and already at work in their lives), and 2.) the ultimate consummation of this reality may not occur in their lifetimes, so they must continue to work and persevere, until the end comes.

    (Consider the following verse of Scripture, as a counter example of having Christ be at work in their lives in an immanent fashion; in Ephesians 2:2; Paul writes: in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.)

    See: the following Scriptures.

    II Thessalonians 3:10; Paul writes: “For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”

    Colossians 3:23 Paul writes: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters…”

    Acts 20:30; Paul says: “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”

    I Corinthians 4:12; Paul writes: “We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it…”

    Second Corinthians 6:5 Paul writes: “…in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger…”

    Ephesians 4:28 Paul writes:”Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.”

    The early Christians were learning what Christians today believe, that God was in the process of revealing his message to them; and, the message is: the end will come soon enough; we will be judged for everything we have done while in the body; that only God through Christ’s death on the cross can atone for our sins; and, we should remain vigilant and be prepared for the end—whether that comes in the form of natural death, through cancer, car accidents, coronary heart disease or some other form.

    The end (death and the grave) is coming. Be ready!

    May 23, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
    • PDX_Atheist

      Wake up.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
    • Madtown

      From the big-picture perspective: why all the scriptural quotes to support your point? Those verses were written by men professing a certain point of view. When you offer their writings, as proof of what they were writing about......just doesn't prove anything.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
    • Sergio

      You really BELIEVE all that BS?

      May 23, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • Darren

      Wait a second...Barry said that Paul said that Jesus said that the world was going to end?

      Clean up in aisle 5, I just sharted myself!!!

      Good luck next time believers, Maybe you'll eventually get your wish that 98% of the world's population dies. That would make you so happy, wouldn't it?

      May 23, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
  11. Hazel Motes

    Channeling William Tyndale: See all the trouble you caused? And you were warned, too!

    May 23, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
  12. RUSSELLBENNETT59

    Jesus is the Word. Read John 1:14 The Father only, not the Word, knows
    the day or hour. Read Mark 13:32. Jesus did not tell someone the day or
    hour because it is not known by or in the Word. But Jesus did say "Take
    heed lest any man deceive you" Read Mark 13:5

    May 23, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
    • Michaeltantino

      And 100 different religions can point to their religious texts to argue yours. Then you all can beat your chest about whose imaginary friend is cooler.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
    • PDX_Atheist

      Not having a date is no worse than having one. They are both ridiculous claims. You are just as wrong as the Family Radio dummy. No go bury your head back in your bible.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
    • james

      amen

      May 23, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
    • Nightwyn

      Harold Egbert Camping used Bible-based numerology to predict dates for the Rapture READ en.wikipedia.org

      If he used a T.V. guide there wouldn't be so many comments.....

      May 23, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
    • Reality

      Mark 13:28-32 = Matt 24:32-36 = Luke 21:29-33

      Another view of these passages: As per Professor Gerd Ludemann in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 92,

      Mark 13: 30, "The saying reflects a delay over the events of the end. By contrast, Jesus expected the final arrival of the kingdom of god in the immediate future. So the saying is certainly inauthentic.

      [31], "The saying comes from the community and is inauthentic."

      [32], "The saying is inauthentic as it presupposes the divine sonship of Jesus."

      [34-36], Inauthentic based on redaction and tradition.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
  13. Allie

    Excuse me if I am wrong because even though I was raised Catholic I don't practice any religion now, But I thought in the bible it stated that NO man Nor Angel will know when the Lord returns? To be aware of false prophets. Well how will this man know when it will happen if the Bible states no one will know? And if these people are true Christians then they would know this man is a false prophet or whatever he claims to be. I'm confused. Although I've never been a bright person. lol

    May 23, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
    • Michaeltantino

      Our world WILL end inevitably. Our star will continue to expand as it ages and eventually this planet will no longer be hospitable for life as we become more like Mercury. There IS an end to the world and it doesn't need belief in fairy tales either. Once again our Natural Universe wins.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      And with how many Faiths predict that the world would be consumed by fire? Sounds like a similarity to your science 🙂

      May 23, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • Michaeltantino

      That's called confirmation bias.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • Over It

      Mark from Middle River,

      "And with how many Faiths predict that the world would be consumed by fire."

      Fire seems to consume stuff pretty effectively, and with pizazz. That's how folks destroyed stuff back then. Nowadays, we could write of destruction by dissolving in acid or by other more imaginative means.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  14. George

    I need a good lawyer, I am going to sue this church for emotional distress, I say 100K will do. Any lawyers out there wanna do this ?

    May 23, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
    • HUH?

      1800 ASK GARY

      May 23, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • R J

      yeah and i maxed out all of my credit cards .....now who do i sue ?

      May 23, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
  15. Duane Allen

    Whoa! Not so fast with all the gloating proclamations of an unfulfilled doomsday rapture... has anybody seen Elvis since Saturday?!

    May 23, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
  16. PlayfulDreamer

    Let this be a lesson to the faithful that blind assurance in something we cannot understand is both near-sighted and dangerous. I wonder what else they're wrong about?

    May 23, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
    • PDX_Atheist

      Thank you.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
  17. ToErrIsHuman

    Idiocy in the name of religion? Sure. Idiocy also happens in the name of love, hate, sports, climbing mountains, cars, money, drugs, putting food on the table, video games, curing disease – well, the list could go on. People do inexplicable and sometimes ridiculous and even idiotic things for any number of reasons.

    People do wonderful things in the names of all those things, too. The idiocy stems not so much from religion (or anything else), but from being human. Any human can be an idiot.

    Why, I had a bout of acute idiocy just last fall. Still haven't recovered. : )

    May 23, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @ToErrIsHuman: You said, "People do inexplicable and sometimes ridiculous and even idiotic things for any number of reasons."

      But in every other case, we call it "ridiculous" or "idiotic," as we should. When it comes to religion, far too often it's called "God's work" and gets a pass from the apologists. No more. Idiocy no longer gets a free ride under the guise of "faith."

      May 23, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
  18. JT

    To those who claim God does not exist: just because you do not have the consciousness of God does not mean He does not exist. God does not depend upon your believing in order to exist; your believing is required for YOUR salvation, not God's existence. There's a difference between something not existing and someone not being conscious of that thing. A child may not be conscious of the Middle East conflict, so to that child the conflict seemingly does not exist; but who would say that the conflict does not exist simply because the child is not conscious of it? If you want to become conscious of God you must receive God Himself as life into your spirit. Romans 10:9 says that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead you shall be saved.

    There's no need to argue concerning the existence of God. If you do not believe in God it's not that He does not exist, it's that you simply are not conscious of His existence. If you have any sincere interest in gaining consciousness of God you can simply speak to God sincerely and say, "God I do not believe that You exist. I'm open and I want to know if You truly exist. God make me conscious of Your existence. Whatever You have to do I give You the ground to do it."

    The only person who would not pray such a prayer is someone who is afraid of being proven wrong. If you're a true atheist and are not afraid of God, you have nothing to lose in praying such a prayer in private. However, if something in your being is prompting you that you just might be wrong and you still do not pray such a prayer then that is on you. God cannot enter into you unless you LET Him in and you cannot become conscious of God unless you are willing.

    Believe it or not, God exists and He has a purpose. Just because you may not be conscious of something or someone does not mean it does not exist. None of you were conscious of me before I made this post; nevertheless, I have existed for the past 25 years. Just give the prayer a try; either way, whether aethiest or agnostic, you truly have nothing to lose and I believe everything to gain. Maybe you think nothing to gain, but either way it cannot hurt.

    May 23, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • PDX_Atheist

      There is no god no matter how much you try and justify your beliefs. You cannot prove it and I don't have to prove a negative. You claim there is a god, it's up to you to prove it. If you can't them you should probably reconsider your ridiculous beliefs.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
    • a

      Oh give it up already... you are not conscience of purple unicorns either are you? do you believe in them too?

      May 23, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
    • Laughing

      Question: For those of us who have been perfectly open to listening to this god and asked privately AND publicly "God, prove yourself" and heard nothing, what then? You're analogy of the kid not being aware of the conflict in the middle east is just plain dumb. Religion is so much more nuanced than that and unlike being able to prove to a child that events in the middle east are happening, you can not prove the existance of god to an ubeliever. You say," just open yourself up and you'll be aware" that's bull.

      Please riddle me this, why are you right and all the 1000's of other religions are wrong. Did God tell you specifically? If that's a yes then please, go get mental help. If it's a no and you heard it from someone else then congrats on being led like a sheep. I hope you can find a fulfilling life outside of religion though, just open your eyes!

      May 23, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
    • KennyG

      PDX_Atheist, can you prove that there is no god? Can you explain where the matter for creation came from? What is energy like electricity; can it be explained, besides the movement of electrons? Energy is something that exists but we really don't know what it is. There are many things that science can't explain but has developed ways to use. I am so grateful that we have God (or rather, he has us), and his Son, who provided a way of escape from death.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
    • PDX_Atheist

      @KennyG I don't have to prove a negative. You make the positive claim, you provide the proof. Oh what's that? You cannot prove it? That's what I thought. There is no god.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
    • GodsChild

      Amen JT!

      May 23, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
    • derp

      "A child may not be conscious of the Middle East conflict, so to that child the conflict seemingly does not exist; but who would say that the conflict does not exist simply because the child is not conscious of it?"

      All I have to do is pick up a globe and I can show a child the middle east. Can you show a child god?

      Take your entire above paragraph and everywhere you use the word god, replace it with unicorns.

      Like this

      "There's no need to argue concerning the existence of Unicorns. If you do not believe in unicorns it's not that they do not exist, it's that you simply are not conscious of their existence. If you have any sincere interest in gaining consciousness of unicorns you can simply speak to unicorns sincerely and say, "Unicorns I do not believe that You exist. I'm open and I want to know if You truly exist. Unicorns make me conscious of Your existence.

      See, it works with just about any other make believe things. It's fun, try using bigfoot, aliens, or wookies.

      You won't be able to stop laughing.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
    • AJ

      AMEN JT ❤ !!

      May 23, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • Lubiana

      Wonderful post! Good job!

      May 23, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
    • Michaeltantino

      Purple Unicorns are real! You best believe in them or you will be punished! If you don't beleive in them then clearly you are not trying to believe in them. If you truly sought out a belief in Purple Unicorns and kept your mind open to them, you would find them.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • Over It

      JT,

      It seems that you mean well. I, and many like me, were once as adamant about "God" as you are. We have been the prayer route, read the Bible for more years than you are old, and have discovered that it is bunk. There is no-one up/out/over/under or around there. You are talking to yourself.

      I wish you peace and a relationship with reality.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • Sergio

      KennyG: you are the ones with the tale, you are the ones who have to prove it.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
  19. PDX_Atheist

    I find it humorous that over the past week I heard so many "Christians" mocking these idiots who bought into this BS. If you believe AT ALL that there was a Jesus and he's coming back for you, you are NO BETTER than these dummies. Your belief is no different and just as ridiculous.

    May 23, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
    • Brian Hartman

      PDX_Atheist:

      I think it's unfair to say that all Christians who believe in an end time/rapture are no better than these people. The big difference (at least, in my eyes) is that most Christians at least read their bibles well enough to know that believers aren't supposed to guess at the day or time. Those who play the guessing game are taking things to a whole new level. For the Christian, as far as I understand it, Judgment Day should be no different from any other day. You've either gotten with the program, or you haven't. Trying to guess at the day, so you can warn others, is pointless, and just makes you look like an idiot.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
    • PDX_Atheist

      @Brian Hartman It's perfectly fair. Live with it.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
    • WhatwouldJesusDo

      Where are you trolling from Hell?

      May 23, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
    • PDX_Atheist

      @WhatwouldJesusDo Looks like Jesus would do nothing. Perhaps because he doesn't exist?

      May 23, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
    • Emily

      Just to be fair, there is a historical record of Jesus' existence. I know you may not believe, as Christians do, that he was divine, but he did exist...and the other thing I don't understand is why people who are Atheists have to respond so angrily. You can think these people are believing in something that isn't real, but why does it always have to be defensive mocking?

      May 23, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • derp

      "You can think these people are believing in something that isn't real, but why does it always have to be defensive mocking?"

      Because we are all sick and tired of people blathering about how we are going to hell because we don't believe in bigfoot, er...I mean god.

      And it's funny.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • PDX_Atheist

      @Emily You might want to take a closer look at the "historical record" or you'll end up looking as foolish. On the subject of why I mock believers, YOU DESERVE TO BE MOCKED FOR YOUR UNJUSTIFIED BELIEFS. You think there is actually a "historical record"??? You need to pull your head out of your bible and do some REAL research. Your pastor or other religious leader isn't going to do it for you. You have much to learn, like it or not.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      "makes you look like an idiot" I gotta say you believers are the ones looking idiotic right now, but it was very Christian of you to call him one. Do you EVER read that book at all?

      May 23, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • Clinton

      PDX – My other comment is awaiting moderation which means in short, it won't be posted.... Suffice to say i had some not nice things to say about your comments, but i'll sum them up for you... why do you feel you have the right to bash my beliefs? It's not fun when someone does that to you, like how big of a moron you must be for believing in a Magical Bang that thrust everything into existence... Especially when Basic Physics disproves that theory and nobody is even close to coming up with an answer for "what would cause such a thing" they've just conceptualized an answer to make idiots like you believe in a Man as if he has all the answers..... so you're coming to me... telling me that a Magical Boom occurred billions of years ago (nevermind this doesn't answer what caused or created this boom -- This would require something to have ALWAYS EXISTED and nothing to have created it..) You're tellin me the Magic Boom made me... and you essentially worship scientific theories that change every 5 years... and you're callin me an idiot for believing in an Omnipotent Being that initiated the creation of the Universe and at a point in Human history sent his son to teach us all how to live properly and be kind to our neighbors and showed us how to be forgiven for the bad stuff we do... And this is crazier in your mind... to magical particles ALWAYS existing somehow creating and explosion culminating in the creation of a seemingly endless reality? ............. why ... why is your idea more plausible? PLEASE... SCHOOL ME... MR. GENIUS OF THE INTERNET

      May 23, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • PDX_Atheist

      @Clinton It doesn't take a genius just a willingness to read something besides the bible.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      "defensive mocking?" Why is it so important to you to believe that it's defensive? You are the one who sounds defensive here. You say an invisible man does miracles, I say show me one, and you call me angry and defensive. It's YOUR invisible man, not mine. YOU are defending it, not me

      May 23, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • derp

      "and you're callin me an idiot for believing in an Omnipotent Being that initiated the creation of the Universe and at a point in Human history sent his son to teach us all how to live properly and be kind to our neighbors and showed us how to be forgiven for the bad stuff we do... And this is crazier in your mind"

      You left out the talking snakes, magic apples, rib woman, virgin birth, really big boat, guy who lived inside a whale, a dude who can walk on water, leviticus, people rising from the dead, burning talking bushes, parting of seas, and all of the other bizarro stuff your omnipotent being sent along with his god/son

      Yes, I'm calling you or anyone else an idoit for believing it. And yes it is crazier in my mind.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • QS

      "Trying to guess at the day, so you can warn others, is pointless, and just makes you look like an idiot."

      And this is what we Atheists are trying to explain to those who keep expressing this sentiment – you're arguing semantics over the time, but you still believe the "end" will happen as the bible says, so you are essentially issuing the same warning just with less confidence of when it will happen.

      It's not the timing that we're mocking in the end, it's that those who believe the same rapture story were mocking along with us, only they were mocking their own belief at the same time. That's what makes you all look like idiots to us, including the ones who were saying "this guy's a joke, he can't possibly know when the rapture will happen...because none of us can."

      You really don't see the utter irony of the contradiction?

      All I'm saying is, if so many "Christians" believed Camping to be crazy or delusional simply because he thought he knew the time of the rapture, why is it now off limits for us non-believers to believe you're all just as crazy for believing the same nonsense...just without a time frame?

      To us, you're all saying the same thing as Camping, except while he said "it will happen at this time" you're all just saying "it will happen, at some time".

      May 23, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @Clinton: Why does there have to be a "creator?" More to the point, why do you insist there has to be a "why?" Why are you so afraid of being unimportant?

      May 23, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • Clinton

      PDX – It doesn't take a Genius to realize from my statements that i have read things other than the Bible you moron i have spent many hours reading and listening to scientists about their theories on the big bang, i have listened to ideas from the most revered scientists including Hawking and others, and they all admit that there are holes in their theories, that nothing fully explains their big bang theory, the physics doesn't add up let alone the concept, there are plenty of scientists hard at work trying to make the numbers fit and the theory hold weight but if you ask any of them they cannot give you the answers and the reason being... there are none, the theory doesn't work, If by the observable laws of Physics, Matter in this Universe cannot be created or destroyed, you can only change its state, i.e. solid to liquid, to gas... to energy... There is no explanation for how an entire reality full of Matter can be created out of nothing... Scientists know this... idiots that are atheists and simply would rather NOT believe that their lives and actions they take within their lifespan are being witnessed by an Omnipotent God do not WANT to believe... but Your belief in God does not change whether or not he exists you will be judged. Scientists are people, they are flawed, and I'm pretty sure God did not provide us with the mental ability to fully understand how he pulled everything off, but either way, In General science spends it's time trying to figure out how God did it... not why... you want to know why... I propose to you, as you suggested I open another book and learn, i propose you open a Bible and learn why God Created you.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • Over It

      Clinton,

      Open the Bible and read the rantings, ravings and tales of superst.ition of primitive Middle Eastern men who knew a whole lot less about the world than you do. You'll get a nice flavor of the times back then, but "The Answer to Everything", no.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • Sergio

      Emily: Historical records of JC existence?..really?, where?..love to see it !!!...you maybe have the key so solve the big problem !!..please don't name the Bible !!!

      May 23, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • Laughing

      Clint! I missed you! We never got to end our discussion on the other threads!

      I think you're harping too much on the big bang, which I'm fairly certain I've pointed out to you in each of those threads. I'm still confused why you so adamantly hold up the big bang THEORY (a theory is something that is not proven and so is not fact in case you missed that) as the be all end all proof that Atheists are wrong and christians are right. The big bang does make sense, it just doesn't fit with our current model of physics......that does NOT mean that the big bang is wrong because we're right. It might actually mean the opposite. Since we still have so much to learn who knows that it's utterly impossibly to create something out of nothing. You posit that anyway believing that this god of yours can do that.

      Science is also not looking to explain how "god" did anything, what it's actually doing is refuting the existance of such a fanicful being.

      Love your enthusiasm though, keep it up!

      May 23, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
  20. The Net

    This is nothing a human can predict much like earthquakes. No one knows when this will happen. The only fear is among us with all the nuclear weapons that are now in the wrong hands. Man will destroy the world NOT GOD. We are the ones who control the future of this planet and humanity. Doomsday will come when greed takes one further step to destroy us all. Best of luck to all of us.

    May 23, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
    • PDX_Atheist

      One problem with your comment. IT"S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. Get a grip.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • KennyG

      God will not destroy the world: He will recreate it...

      May 23, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • PDX_Atheist

      @KennyG I'm sorry to inform you that you are incorrect. There is no god.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • Sergio

      Kenny G: read the old testament...you'll see that your god is a criminal, he can destroy a lot of things!!...we are very lucky he does't exist!!

      May 23, 2011 at 1:42 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.