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I lost my inheritance to the doomsday prophet!
Eileen Heuwetter was shocked to find out that her deceased aunt left nearly her entire estate to Family Radio, the group behind predictions that the world would end May on 21.
June 1st, 2011
10:52 AM ET

I lost my inheritance to the doomsday prophet!

By Blake Ellis, CNN Money

New York (CNNMoney) - When the world didn't end on May 21, many people who had given up their earthly possessions were left with nothing.

But one believer never lived to see the day. She left nearly her entire estate - around $300,000 - to the group behind the failed prediction, leaving some family members out in the cold.

Eileen Heuwetter was shocked to find out that her aunt left the majority of her estate to Family Radio, the group responsible for the doomsday warnings that the world would end on May 21. She and her sister were each left $25,000 from their aunt's estate. The rest is going to Family Radio.

The network of Christian radio stations based in Oakland, Ca., is almost entirely funded by donations. According to IRS filings, the group brought in $18 million in contributions in 2009 alone.

Heuwetter, the executor of the will, knew how much her aunt loved the radio station and admired its leader, Harold Camping, who is viewed as a prophet by many of his followers.

Read the full story here from CNNMoney.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church • Money & Faith • United States

soundoff (187 Responses)
  1. PeterVN

    Appropriate quote:
    "Religion is for the ignorant, the gullible, the cowardly, and the stupid, and for those who would profit from them."
    Camping profited.

    June 1, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  2. derp

    "I lost my inheritance to the doomsday prophet!"

    No idiot, it was never your inheritance. You stupid myth believing aunt left it to a church. Get over it.

    June 1, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  3. redvers1899

    Arguing the cryptic passages in the bible is just as productive as arguing the cryptic passages in Alice in Wonderland. Hope you all fell extremely pious wasting away the hours of your existence debating the unknown. Check out the last article: :The Bible was forged"

    June 1, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
    • artemis

      Are you saying that Alice in Wonderland was also written by God?

      June 1, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • derp

      "Are you saying that Alice in Wonderland was also written by God?"

      No, he is saying that neither were.

      June 1, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • artemis

      Sorry,
      Are you saying that Alice in Wonderland was also written by God?

      June 1, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
    • artemis

      One more try:

      {sarcasm}Are you saying that Alice in Wonderland was also written by God?{/sarcasm}

      June 1, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  4. meep

    meep

    June 1, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Well said.

      June 1, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • Zeb

      LOL

      June 1, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  5. Peace2All

    From the Article:

    "Even worse, Heuwetter said, his prediction never came to fruition. Heuwetter's family members were just as angry when they learned about Family Radio's failed prophecy"

    So... #1) They were 'just' as angry that the world didn't come to an end as Camping predicted, which would mean agony, suffering, etc... for everyone(non-believers I guess).

    #2) If Camping had been right in his prediction of the end of the world... what the hell would they have done with the money anyway...? Wouldn't they be gone, as in Jesus would have taken them like a 'thief in the night'...?

    Wow...

    Peace...

    June 1, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      Hi Peace2All!

      Just note, my following lines have something to do with your comment. In the USA their are very many Free Churches. They have a basic problem: They always claim, the Bible is the genuine Word of God, but they don't know how to interpret it correctly. The true interpretation of the Holy Writ is the job of the Christian Church. Teachers of the Christian Church were Bishop Augustine of Hippo, Dr. Martin Luther, Dr. Dietrich Bonhoeffer (he has a memorial at Westminster Abbey) and bishop George Allen Bell (Church of England).

      June 1, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • Zeb

      @Peace2All – I hear ya, bro. Logic is not one of their strong points, I guess. Teaching logic and extended logic is such a threat to so many religions it's no wonder they keep such things in the dark, dusty corners. It's not a required subject at all until you are already screwed up and seeking some fancy degree.
      I'm sorry to say I did not go out to find any of these doomsday believers. It could have been very lucrative to lift their financial burdens before they "flew away".
      Have a great day!

      June 1, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • Reality

      Christian "truth" in the 21st century:

      Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

      The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.
      earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

      For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

      Current RCC problems:

      Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

      Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

      Current problems:

      Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

      June 1, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • Insecure in Bel-Air

      @Rainer B,
      You can't, (well, shouldn't) just post something with assertions, "hanging out there in the wind", with no supporting reasoning.
      How did you decide that your little list of the "true" interpreters are the authentic list ? Why are you different from the "very many Free Churches" ? Who told you that you interpret it correctly. Am sure they all say the same thing. "What's the diff ?"

      June 1, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
    • mike

      some things never change you are still toting the line "Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant", which acknowledges his existence but still cannot speak against Luke 4, where it states He read from the scroll. Or Matthew 6 where He taught as one who had authority.

      You offer nothing but speculation based on nothing... oh wait you counter that by saying only 30% of the writings are authentic but then don't tell us which 30% or how your teachers came up with such a number. It is easy to dispute anything when you point to nothing as your source.

      June 1, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • mike

      One more, your Current problems with Christianity has nothing to do with Christianity but sinful people... hopefully every one passing through this comment can see the bigotry in that statement. Blaming people actions for the truthfulness of Christ is no different then stereotyping people base on color.... Or let's try this, Stalin was an Atheist, Stalin is responsible for one of the most violent periods in the 20th century therefore, by reality logic all atheist must be put to death because atheist cause mass violence.

      The most disturbing part of your post is you really can't be that dumb so cut and pasting this inaccurate stuff for what agenda?

      June 1, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @mike
      You said: "some things never change you are still toting the line "Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant", which acknowledges his existence but still cannot speak against Luke 4, where it states He read from the scroll. Or Matthew 6 where He taught as one who had authority.
      You offer nothing but speculation based on nothing... oh wait you counter that by saying only 30% of the writings are authentic but then don't tell us which 30% or how your teachers came up with such a number. It is easy to dispute anything when you point to nothing as your source."

      There were no eyewitness accounts of Jesus. The Gospels were written by god knows who in the third person. The Gospels were written with an agenda i.e., Jesus was the Messiah and Son of God.

      We know virtually nothing about the persons who wrote the gospels we call Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
      -Elaine Pagels, Professor of Religion at Princeton University, (The Gnostic Gospels)

      The bottom line is we really don't know for sure who wrote the Gospels.
      -Jerome Neyrey, of the Weston School of Theology, Cambridge, Mass. in "The Four Gospels," (U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 10, 1990)

      Jesus is a mythical figure in the tradition of pagan mythology and almost nothing in all of ancient literature would lead one to believe otherwise. Anyone wanting to believe Jesus lived and walked as a real live human being must do so despite the evidence, not because of it.
      -C. Dennis McKinsey, Bible critic (The Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy)

      There are no known secular writings about Jesus, that aren't forgeries, later insertions, or hearsay. NONE!

      Most of the supposed authors lived AFTER Jesus was dead. Can you say hearsay?

      We don't even have a wooden shelf that Jesus might have built. Or anything written by Jesus. God incarnate, and we don't even have a Mother's day card signed by Him. You would expect Him to have been a prolific writer. But, nothing.

      The Dead Sea Scrolls did not mention Jesus or have any New Testament scripture.

      Jesus, if he existed, was not considered important enough to write about by any contemporary person. The myth hadn't had a chance to flourish.

      Paul's writings were the first, about Jesus. But, Paul's writing was done 25 to 30 years after Jesus was dead. In a primitive, ultra-supersti_tious society, 25 years is a lot of time for a myth to grow. Paul never met Jesus.
      Some people feel that Paul, not Jesus, is the real father of what most Christians believe today (Pauline Christianity).

      Questions on the Crucifixion story:
      "Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save." Mark 15:31
      "Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe..." Mark 15:32
      It would appear, that the chief priests are admitting that Jesus "saved" others. If they knew this, then there is no reason for them to demand that Jesus descend from the cross, in order for them to believe. They already admitted to knowing of Jesus's "miracles".
      I'm sure you will apply Evangelical gymnastics to these verses, but taken literally it would seem that this is just an embellishment by Mark. A work of fiction.

      Here is some more:

      According to Luke 23:44-45, there occurred "about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour, and the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst."
      Yet not a single mention of a three hour ecliptic event got recorded by anyone. 'Cause it didn't happen!

      Mathew 27 51:53
      51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
      How come nobody wrote about zombies running through the cities? 'Cause it is all b.s.

      If Jesus was the Messiah and the Son of God, who died for man's redemption, then this would be the most important event in the history of man.
      Why wouldn't god have ensured there was tons of evidence that this was true? Multiple Writings by contemporary eyewitnesses – Jews and Romans. Brilliant writings from His own hand.

      You are going to want to say that there IS lots of evidence, but look at reality: There are way more people, in the world, who are not Christians (68%) than who are (32%). Obviously, the evidence is not adequate to convince even a majority of the world's people.

      Cheers!

      June 1, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • Reality

      mike, mike, mike,

      One more time:

      There is only one place in the NT that suggests Jesus could read i.e. Luke 4:16. This passage is not attested to in any other NT passage or in any other related docu-ment making it a later addition or poor translation as per most NT scholars' analyses.

      See also Professor Crossan and Professor Reed's book, Excavating Jesus, p. 30.

      See also Professor Bruce Chilton's commentary in his book, Rabbi Jesus, An Intimate Biography, pp 99-101- An excerpt:

      "What Luke misses is that Jesus stood in the synagogue as an illiterate mamzer in his claim to be the Lord's anointed".

      It is very unfortunate that Jesus was illiterate for it resulted in many gospels and epistles being written years after his death by non-witnesses. This resulted in significant differences in said gospels and epistles and with many embellishments to raise Jesus to the level of a deity to compete with the Roman gods and emperors. See Raymond Brown's 878 page book, An Introduction to the New Testament, (Luke 4:16 note on p. 237) for an exhaustive review of the true writers of the gospels and epistles.

      And one more time, some of the references used by NT scholars for reviewing the life of the historical Jesus and the names of some of their books containing their conclusions:

      From Professors Crossan and Watts' book, Who is Jesus.

      "That Jesus was crucified under Pontius Pilate, as the Creed states, is as certain as anything historical can ever be.

      “ The Jewish historian, Josephus and the pagan historian Tacitus both agree that Jesus was executed by order of the Roman governor of Judea. And is very hard to imagine that Jesus' followers would have invented such a story unless it indeed happened.

      “While the brute fact that of Jesus' death by crucifixion is historically certain, however, those detailed narratives in our present gospels are much more problematic. "

      “My best historical reconstruction would be something like this. Jesus was arrested during the Passover festival, most likely in response to his action in the Temple. Those who were closest to him ran away for their own safety.

      I do not presume that there were any high-level confrontations between Caiaphas and Pilate and Herod Antipas either about Jesus or with Jesus. No doubt they would have agreed before the festival that fast action was to be taken against any disturbance and that a few examples by crucifixion might be especially useful at the outset. And I doubt very much if Jewish police or Roman soldiers needed to go too far up the chain of command in handling a Galilean peasant like Jesus. It is hard for us to imagine the casual brutality with which Jesus was probably taken and executed. All those "last week" details in our gospels, as distinct from the brute facts just mentioned, are prophecy turned into history, rather than history remembered."

      See also Professor Crossan's reviews of the existence of Jesus in his other books especially, The Historical Jesus and also Excavating Jesus (with Professor Jonathan Reed doing the archeology discussion) .

      Other NT exegetes to include members of the Jesus Seminar have published similar books with appropriate supporting references.

      Part of Crossan's The Historical Jesus has been published online at books.google.com/books.

      There is also a search engine for this book on the left hand side of the opening page. e.g. Search Josephus

      See also Wikipedia's review on the historical Jesus to include the Tacitus' reference to the crucifixion of Jesus.

      From ask.com,

      "One of the greatest historians of ancient Rome, Cornelius Tacitus is a primary source for much of what is known about life the first and second centuries after the life of Jesus. His most famous works, Histories and Annals, exist in fragmentary form, though many of his earlier writings were lost to time. Tacitus is known for being generally reliable (if somewhat biased toward what he saw as Roman immorality) and for having a uniquely direct (if not blunt) writing style.

      Then there are these scriptural references:

      Crucifixion of Jesus:(1) 1 Cor 15:3b; (2a) Gos. Pet. 4:10-5:16,18-20; 6:22; (2b) Mark 15:22-38 = Matt 27:33-51a = Luke 23:32-46; (2c) John 19:17b-25a,28-36; (3) Barn. 7:3-5; (4a) 1 Clem. 16:3-4 (=Isaiah 53:1-12); (4b) 1 Clem. 16.15-16 (=Psalm 22:6-8); (5a) Ign. Mag. 11; (5b) Ign. Trall. 9:1b; (5c) Ign. Smyrn. 1.2.- (read them all at wiki.faithfutures. Crucifixion org/index.php/005_Crucifixion_Of_Jesus )

      o 1. Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.htm – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books on the subject.
      2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/
      – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication–
      30-60 CE Passion Narrative
      40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q
      50-60 1 Thessalonians
      50-60 Philippians
      50-60 Galatians
      50-60 1 Corinthians
      50-60 2 Corinthians
      50-60 Romans
      50-60 Philemon
      50-80 Colossians
      50-90 Signs Gospel
      50-95 Book of Hebrews
      50-120 Didache
      50-140 Gospel of Thomas
      50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel
      50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ
      65-80 Gospel of Mark
      70-100 Epistle of James
      70-120 Egerton Gospel
      70-160 Gospel of Peter
      70-160 Secret Mark
      70-200 Fayyum Fragment
      70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
      73-200 Mara Bar Serapion
      80-100 2 Thessalonians
      80-100 Ephesians
      80-100 Gospel of Matthew
      80-110 1 Peter
      80-120 Epistle of Barnabas
      80-130 Gospel of Luke
      80-130 Acts of the Apostles
      80-140 1 Clement
      80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians
      80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews
      80-250 Christian Sibyllines
      90-95 Apocalypse of John
      90-120 Gospel of John
      90-120 1 John
      90-120 2 John
      90-120 3 John
      90-120 Epistle of Jude
      93 Flavius Josephus
      100-150 1 Timothy
      100-150 2 Timothy
      100-150 T-itus
      100-150 Apocalypse of Peter
      100-150 Secret Book of James
      100-150 Preaching of Peter
      100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites
      100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans
      100-160 Shepherd of Hermas
      100-160 2 Peter

      3. Historical Jesus Studies, faithfutures.org/HJstudies.html,
      – "an extensive and constantly expanding literature on historical research into the person and cultural context of Jesus of Nazareth"
      4. Jesus Database, faithfutures.org/JDB/intro.html–"The JESUS DATABASE is an online annotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era. It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to the traditions found within the Christian New Testament."
      5. Josephus on Jesus mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm
      6. The Jesus Seminar, mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/seminar.html#Criteria
      7. Writing the New Testament- mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/testament.html
      8. Health and Healing in the Land of Israel By Joe Zias
      joezias.com/HealthHealingLandIsrael.htm
      9. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.
      10. 7. The Gnostic Jesus
      (Part One in a Two-Part Series on Ancient and Modern Gnosticism)
      by Douglas Groothuis: equip.org/free/DG040-1.htm
      11. The interpretation of the Bible in the Church, Pontifical Biblical Commission
      Presented on March 18, 1994
      ewtn.com/library/CURIA/PBCINTER.HTM#2
      12. The Jesus Database- newer site:
      wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?t-itle=Jesus_Database
      13. Jesus Database with the example of Supper and Eucharist:
      faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb016.html
      14. Josephus on Jesus by Paul Maier:
      mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm
      15. The Journal of Higher Criticism with links to articles on the Historical Jesus:
      mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm
      16. The Greek New Testament: laparola.net/greco/
      17. Diseases in the Bible:
      etd.unisa.ac.za/ETD-db/theses/available/etd-08022006-125807/unrestricted/02dissertation.pdf
      18. Religion on Line (6000 articles on the history of religion, churches, theologies,
      theologians, ethics, etc.
      religion-online.org/
      19. The Jesus Seminarians and their search for NT authenticity:
      mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/seminar.html#Criteria
      20. The New Testament Gateway – Internet NT ntgateway.com/
      21. Writing the New Testament- existing copies, oral tradition etc.
      ntgateway.com/
      22. The Search for the Historic Jesus by the Jesus Seminarians:
      members.aol.com/DrSwiney/seminar.html
      23. Jesus Decoded by Msgr. Francis J. Maniscalco (Da Vinci Code review)jesusdecoded.com/introduction.php
      24. JD Crossan's scriptural references for his book the Historical Jesus separated into time periods: faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan1.rtf
      25. JD Crossan's conclusions about the authencity of most of the NT based on the above plus the conclusions of other NT exegetes in the last 200 years:
      faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan2.rtf
      26. Common Sayings from Thomas's Gospel and the Q Gospel: faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan3.rtf
      27. Early Jewish Writings- Josephus and his books by t-itle with the complete translated work in English :earlyjewishwritings.com/josephus.html
      28. Luke and Josephus- was there a connection?
      infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/lukeandjosephus.html
      29. NT and beyond time line:
      pbs.org/empires/peterandpaul/history/timeline/
      30. St. Paul's Time line with discussion of important events:
      harvardhouse.com/prophetictech/new/pauls_life.htm
      31. See http://www.amazon.com for a list of JD Crossan's books and those of the other Jesus Seminarians: Reviews of said books are included and selected pages can now be viewed on Amazon. Some books can be found on-line at Google Books.
      32. Father Edward Schillebeeckx's words of wisdom as found in his books.
      33. The books of the following : Professors Marcus Borg, Paula Fredriksen, Elaine Pagels, Karen Armstrong and Bishop NT Wright.
      34. Father Raymond Brown's An Introduction to the New Testament, Doubleday, NY, 1977, 878 pages, with Nihil obstat and Imprimatur.
      35. Luke Timothy Johnson's book The Real Jesus

      June 1, 2011 at 11:39 pm |
    • mike

      Dave, I didn't finish getting through your post yet, but I figured before we can continue you can explain your account of "There were no eyewitness accounts of Jesus." and Luke's words of

      Luke 1
      Introduction
      1 Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled[a] among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were ****eyewitnesses***** and servants of the word. 3 With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.

      I highlight the key word.... please come stronger then "it's a lie"

      June 2, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • mike

      "Dave Johnson doesn't exist" - random person off the street.... no explainition necessary

      The bottom line is we really don't know for sure who wrote the Gospels.
      -Jerome Neyrey, of the Weston School of Theology, Cambridge, Mass. in "The Four Gospels," (U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 10, 1990)

      again Luke 1, I LUKE

      See if you are just going to consider everything false, then your post itself becomes false, there is no way for us to know if "Dave Johnson" ever wrote this post, no one ever confirmed it, and I can find a person who disagrees with it.

      You see how that just doesn't work in reality.

      There are no known secular writings about Jesus, that aren't forgeries, later insertions, or hearsay. NONE!

      Joesphus, and don't just explain away 18.3.3 but explain 20. Again just because you were not privledge to the first hand experience doesn't mean it didn't happen. Just like if you never been to Texas it still exist

      I, like you, can not explain why people DON'T do things.

      And do you really want to judge everything by popular vote, does that include slavery?

      @Reality, way to aviod the topic, again. Good job not answering the 30% or the passage in Matthew

      "This passage is not attested to in any other NT passage or in any other related docu-ment making it a later addition or poor translation as per most NT scholars' analyses. "
      Neither are your copy and paste post, so that removes their legitamcy also, correct?

      Poor poor argument.

      June 2, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • Reality

      mike, mike, mike,

      The 30% authentic comment comes the studies of the previous referenced contemporary NT scholars. Hopefully, some day you will read said studies. Note: some scholars such as Professor Gerd Ludemann have concluded that the figure is a lot lower than 30%. Said professor for example gives no historic credence to John's gospel.

      And you did not specify what passage in Matthew you were referring to. Chapter and number?

      June 2, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @mike

      Again, Mike: The Gospels were written to "prove" Jesus was the Messiah.

      Luke's statement only proves he was not an eyewitness and was just recording the myth. Hearsay. If Luke did so much research, why didn't he record the names and record statements from these eyewitnesses? Pfui!

      Mark was the first gospel (Markan Priority). Luke and Mathew copied from Mark and from a doc_ument called Q. 90% of Mathew's gospel, is copied from Mark. Why would an eyewitness need to copy from Mark? 54% of Luke came from Mark. John is different from the other three. The plagiarism from Mark, shows that it is highly unlikely that the three were eyewitnesses to, or even laid eyes on Jesus.

      If the gospels were written by eyewitnesses, why don't they describe Jesus? Why are they written in the third person, instead of first person? All eyewitness accounts are written in the 1st person.

      You said: "Joesphus, and don't just explain away 18.3.3 but explain 20. Again just because you were not privledge to the first hand experience doesn't mean it didn't happen. Just like if you never been to Texas it still exist"

      Ummm... Hearsay is not admissible in a court of law, because it is so unreliable. It is like faith. It is worthless.

      Your Texas example is lame (so what's new?). You sound like you are trying to use the "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" argument.
      We can look at this from the standpoint of: If Jesus was the redeemer and god incarnate, what would we expect to see:

      The birth and death of Jesus, if He were the offspring of god, would be THE MOST important event in history.

      If Jesus was the Messiah and died for our sins, wouldn't god want everyone to know this?

      1 Timothy 2: 3 – 5 says the Christian god does desire this:

      3For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
      4Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
      5For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

      1. If Jesus was the Messiah and god incarnate, this fact would be obvious.
      So obvious in fact, that EVERYONE, or nearly everyone would believe. There would be only worshipers of the Christian god.

      2. Jesus, the Messiah and god incarnate, is not, in fact, as obvious as we would expect.
      This is evidenced by the fact, that 68% of the worlds population is not Christian.

      3. Therefore, Jesus the Messiah and god incarnate, is very unlikely to exist.

      Source: Wikipedia
      Flavius Josephus – Jewish historian, born A.D. 37, at Jerusalem; died about 101. Note the birth date. He was born after Jesus was dead. RIP. Anything he wrote, would obviously have to be what he was told. This is hearsay, at its finest!

      And anyway:

      The passage often quoted as proof of the existence of Christ is believed to have been inserted by a Roman Catholic bishop, Eusebius, in the fourth century A.D. Eusebius was a historian in his own right, but the bishop was more concerned with proving the legitimacy of the early Roman Catholic church than he was in historical accuracy. When the passage believed to be inserted by Eusebius on Jesus is removed, the text that occurs in Josehpus's The Jewish War flows in context.

      Messianic pretenders in Judea were a dime a dozen during the time the Jews were under Roman authority. It was tough working for the Romans. Superman! Where are you? We need you! LOL

      You are flogging a dead horse, Mike. To debate this further is a waste of time. Believers want desperately for faith and hearsay (myth) to be equal to evidence. They are not. They are worthless!!

      Jesus predicted He would be back in the 1st Century:

      "Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” – Matthew 24:34
      I know you will want to try and spin it, but Jesus said what He said. It is what it is. Both the Catholics and the Preterists agree that this verse should be taken literally.

      Prayer doesn't work, like Jesus said it would. Know anyone who can move a mountain? Give an amputee back his limb?Miracles are random chance and coincidence. Nothing more.

      Jesus, if He existed at all, was just a man. Like the gunslingers of the Old West, His legend grew after His death. Paul, turned this legend into a religion (Pauline Christianity).

      Cheers!

      June 3, 2011 at 10:34 pm |
  6. Artist

    As like all christians, her faith was in man's writings.

    June 1, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • The Truth

      "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." Matthew 24:36
      Read the Bible and stop listening to these money grubbing false prophets. It would have saved her $300,000. It's really simple!

      June 1, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • Reality

      Matt 24:36/Mark 13:30 has been judged to be inauthentic by many contemporary NT scholars. e.g. Professor Gerd Ludemann in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 93.

      June 1, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • mike

      been judged to be inauthentic by many contemporary NT scholars... his book, Jesus After 2000

      Because someone who existed 2000 after the event has the most reliable testimony. Let's try this I judge you incompetent... therefore it must be, no explanation necessary.

      June 1, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • Reality

      http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?ti-tle=265_Within_this_Generation

      Mark 13:28-32 = Matt 24:32-36 = Luke 21:29-33 (Matthew and Luke copied from Mark's work)

      Professor Crossan's analysis:
      Item: 265
      Stratum: II (60-80 CE)
      Attestation: Single
      Historicity: negative

      Another view of these passages: As per Professor Gerd Ludemann in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, pp. 92-93,

      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.

      June 1, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  7. Rainer Braendlein

    OMG!

    Sometimes the disciples asked Christ about points in time and periods of time. He (Jesus) just answered his disciples, it would not be their concern to know points in time and periods of time. End of story.

    The only thing the Christian Church can predict is the following: It is sure that papacy will decline. Their will be a very big attack of the Islamic empire against the Christian empire. Isreal will realize that Jesus from Nazareth is Christ (God's only begotten Son) and Israel's Messiah.

    Everybody, telling you something about points im time and periods of time must be an impostor. Chase him away!

    http://www.confessingchurch.wordpress.com

    June 1, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Rainer Braendlein

      Hi -Rainer...

      You Said: "OMG!Sometimes the disciples asked Christ about points in time and periods of time. He (Jesus) just answered his disciples, it would not be their concern to know points in time and periods of time. End of story."

      That may be what your bible 'says,' which does not = that this 'actually' happened in 'reality' as it is written.

      You Said: "The only thing the Christian Church can predict is the following: It is sure that papacy will decline. Their will be a very big attack of the Islamic empire against the Christian empire. Isreal will realize that Jesus from Nazareth is Christ (God's only begotten Son) and Israel's Messiah.Everybody, telling you something about points im time and periods of time must be an impostor. Chase him away!"

      Again, that may be what is said in the Bible, however it is still your 'opinion' yet, you act as if... it is (fact) in that it (will) happen.

      Personally, I really don't see too many degrees of difference in Camping spouting his opinions as facts, and you stating your opinion's as facts.

      The only basic differences here really is that Camping set an exact date, and you're not, however stating that all of these things 'still' will happen at 'some unknown point in time.' Jesus coming back, 2nd coming, etc...

      Regards,

      Peace...

      June 1, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      Hi Peace2all!

      Nice to meet you again. What I have written is not my own opinion (God forbid!), but indeed the opinion of Christ's Church. Dr. Martin Luther interpreted the Book of Daniel (prophet Daniel) and the Revelation and got the result, you can read above. By the way Luther was no loner, but cooperated with a lot of other most gifted theologians. Any questions?

      June 1, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Rainer Braendlein

      Hey -Rainer, nice to have a discussion with you again as well.

      I was merely pointing out in your 'first' posting, the difference between just because it 'says so' in the Bible doesn't *mean* that it actually 'will' occur in *reality.*

      In your, 'second' posting you have now changed your stance: "What I have written is not my own (opinion) (God forbid!), but indeed the (opinion) of Christ's Church.

      Big difference from your 'first' posting where you stated and *inferred* with (certainty): "It is (sure) that papacy will decline. Their (will) be a very big attack of the Islamic empire against the Christian empire. Israel (will) realize that Jesus from Nazareth (is) Christ (God's only begotten Son) (and Israel's Messiah)."

      If I somehow interpreted your posting wrong, which is possible, my apologies.

      And... given the the 'content' within the 'context' of your other postings, including this one, I am assuming that what you see written in the Bible to be actual (fact), yes...?

      Do you 'believe' in "the (opinion) of Christ's Church"...?

      Or, do you disagree with the Bible and 'not' think these things will happen...?

      Regards,

      Peace...

      June 1, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • JohnR

      The bible doesn't mention the pope or islam. And i wouldn't bet the house on even a significant minority of israelites deciding that jesus is the messiah.

      June 1, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Rainer Braendlein,

      Since Martin Luther was a fallen priest [and we do have them from time to time] why would his interpretation of any Bible Books make you think he interpreted the Bible correctly? [especially when the Bible says that scripture is not a matter of personal interpretation.]
      2 Peter 1:20
      Understanding this first, that no prophecy of scripture is made by private interpretation.

      Martin Luther wrote in his Commentary on St. John, “We are compelled to concede to the Papists that they have the Word of God, that we received it from them, and that without them we should have no knowledge of it at all.”

      I would think that Martin Luther had heard of these verses:
      Galatians 1:8-9
      But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema. As we said before, so now I say again: If any one preach to you a gospel, besides that which you have received, let him be anathema.

      So why did Martin Luther think he could preach a different gossip…?

      June 2, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
  8. Artist

    This can be a good lesson for the family of believers left behind. Wake up.

    June 1, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
  9. David Johnson

    I wish the old lady had left her money to a cat. At least the cat would be real.

    Look how many people are bilked out of their hard earned money by religion. There is an entire block of channels on my receiver, devoted to religious programming – mostly Evangelical – all with their hand out.

    Why does Jesus need so much money?

    One televangelist says, I need to plant a seed, so god can give to me! Another says, god wants to bless me financially, but He can't until I trust HIm by giving all I can. Pfui!

    When you give to these snake oil salesmen, you are not giving to a god. There is no god. Give your money to the local food bank. The United Way etc.

    If you have a few bucks and you are old, give it to your family. Giving it to a church won't help you get to heaven. You are going to die. There is no afterlife. Let the people you love enjoy your gift. We live on, through the love and memories of our friends and relatives. If god existed, I would tell you.

    Cheers!

    June 1, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @DJ

      You are making some very valid points, per usual.

      Peace...

      June 1, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • Greg

      You just can't lump them all together like that. There are scam non-profits as well as televangelists.
      But where do you think the majority of the money and volunteers come from that run the real food banks you laud so much? Churches, whatever else you think, are beneficial to their communities in that regard.

      June 1, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • Haha

      'If god existed, I would tell you'...thats hilarious...why do you think GOD doesn't exist-because you cant see HIM?

      June 1, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Haha. I'm not speaking for David Johnson since he does a fine job for him self.

      Do you believe in Santa? In the Easter bunny? In Ra? Zeus? Thor? The Flying Spaghetti Monster? Pink Unicorns? Any of the millions of mythical creatures ever thought up by anyone?

      If there's anyone that you don't believe exists, please explain why.

      If your answer is something like:"There's not a shred of evidence that exists.", please apply that same logic to your god.

      June 1, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • LinCA

      That last line should have read:
      If your answer is something like:"There's not a shred of evidence that insert mythical creature here exists.", please apply that same logic to your god.

      June 1, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • mike

      Applying the same logic... the 500 witnesses, the change in culture of the region in the time after the crucifixion, josephus,talmud…

      And before you go down the wrong road and claim an insertion there are two references in antiquities 18 and other in 20. now explain both not just 18.

      Now do you believe in the Civil war, the Spanish armada, the assignation of Abraham Lincoln?

      If your answer is something like:"They are a part of history and docu mented.", please apply that same logic to your God

      I see the new forum did not fix moderation

      June 1, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
    • PeterVN

      mike, your comparison is not valid. Abraham Lincoln is not being claimed to be divine.

      Furthermore, why is it that your "god" can't provide solid evidence in the here and now for its own existence? Pretty thin excuse for a got that you've got yourself there. Your god is purely mythical, and merely the superst-ition of ancient peoples who didn't know better. Move on.

      June 1, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @mike

      Your examples suck.

      How come we have no testimony from any of these five hundred people?

      How come none of these five hundred people ever wrote anything regarding their experiences when they witnessed the resurrection of Jesus? No one even spray painted a wall. LOL
      This is hearsay evidence. The gospels came after Paul's. Yet, no mention is made in the gospels about these 500.

      It is enough now to acknowledge that Paul's reference to Jesus' appearance to five hundred people at once is found nowhere in the Gospel tradition. (John Shelby Spong, Resurrection: Myth or Reality? p. 52)

      Paul may well have been a liar or a lunatic who saw "visions"...Liars and lunatics are certainly more plentiful, than zombie Messiahs.

      Cheers!

      June 1, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
    • mike

      PeterVN, the comparison is completely valid, both are historical events, you believe booth shot lincon but you don't believe the empty tomb? What is it about the two accounts, both of which you were not present, that you believe one and not the other.

      As for proof...

      20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

      Do you really belive order and design can come out of nothing? Do you look at Mount Rushmoore and actually say, look how the water erroded the rocks, that looks like George Washington. Order and design demand a creator.

      June 2, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • KingdomCome

      @ LinCa
      The pure in heart will see God.

      June 2, 2011 at 8:37 pm |
    • KingdomCome

      If you are wondering if God exists, seek Him, and you will find Him, knock, and it will be opened to you. For EVERYONE who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. There are NO excuses for not searching... except if you're being lazy... you can't expect someone else to do your work... you must be be interested enough to pursue God.

      June 2, 2011 at 8:48 pm |
    • LinCA

      @KingdomCome.

      You said:"@ LinCa
      The pure in heart will see God.
      "

      I am pure in heart, yet I see no gods, nor any evidence there are any.

      June 3, 2011 at 1:44 am |
  10. Ron

    I was wondering when stories like this was going to pop up. How many people quit their jobs, sold their homes and everything they owned so they could go "spread the news".
    It was inevitable that these issues were going to surface. I realize they made the choice to sell and follow this "man" but I knew this was going to end as it did. Funny, though, Camping didn't sell a thing and kept everything he owned.
    While I do not believe in the Christian hell, for Campings sake, I hope something is created for him. Something to let the punishment fit the crime.

    June 1, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Ron

      "Funny, though, Camping didn't sell a thing and kept everything he owned."

      Oh, the irony of it all, yes...?

      Peace...

      June 1, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
  11. Adelina

    You can make $300,000 anytime. I'm glad no one committed suicide or got killed because of this doomsday thing.

    June 1, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
    • Ron

      Actually, there is one account of a woman who tried to kill her two daughters and herself in California because she was afraid of 'judgement day'. The neighbors heard the screaming and call the police, who came in the home and found the woman and her two daughters. They were taken to the hospital and all were treated and survived.

      June 1, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
  12. TheTRUTH

    BOOOOOMMMM !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 1, 2011 at 11:56 am |
  13. civiloutside

    There are plenty of people in this world who would be doing backflips for joy to see the $25,000. And while we can speculate all we want about what the deceased aunt would have done with the money if she'd known the prediction was a bust, we can't know. I think it's sad that anyone would give money to Family Radio, but it was her legal right to do so.

    June 1, 2011 at 11:52 am |
    • JohnR

      Yeah, if she wants to give me the $25K, I have a car loan I'd like to pay off! Since it's nothing to her, don't see why she wouldn't hand it to me, right? 😀

      June 1, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
  14. Ed

    I feel for this lady but the fact of the matter the money was never hers it belonged to her aunt and her aunt did what she wanted with her money. Unless her aunt was not of sound mind she has not right to contest the will. Granted Camping is a loon but her aunt gave her money to who she choose. I'm sorry for her but the money should go to the place her aunt wanted it to go

    June 1, 2011 at 11:51 am |
  15. tallulah13

    Fact of the matter is, it was her money, and she could leave it to whom she chose. If this radio program gave her greater comfort than her family, then even if it was a scam, it had value to her.

    June 1, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • Insecure in Bel-Air

      Exactly.
      If she had shown signs of being incompetent, they should have insti'tuted guardianship proceedings.
      Her money was her own to do with as she wished.
      It's not HER inheritance, unless the will left it to her. Why did she feel ent'itled to it ? The article said the poor woman died alone.
      "Heuwetter's family members were just as angry when they learned about Family Radio's failed prophecy, so they brought the case to several lawyers".....Oh, like they would have been happier if the prophesy HAD come true ?
      OMG Get a life.

      June 1, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
  16. GSA

    In my best impression of Nelson from the Simpsons – HAHA!

    June 1, 2011 at 11:36 am |
  17. Muneef

    Is that what it is for....to rob the elderly believers from their savings? OMG how hard hearted are those who do this aren't those who God spoke of as being fuel of Hell....?

    June 1, 2011 at 11:18 am |
  18. Mark from Middle River

    I guess if her aunt had invested in Bernie Madoff's scam and lost her money, this story would be over at CNN Money with her crying about only getting 25 thousand.

    I guess she was looking for 150k for her pockets.

    "were left with nothing." ... So we have reached the day when someone giving you 25k is nothing.

    "It was a good amount of money that would have helped a lot of people live better today - but now it's not helping anyone." .... So this is to say that she would have taken her aunts money and also given it away?

    June 1, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • mike

      Good point Sir

      June 1, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  19. Colin

    Most people recognize immediately the sheer absurdity of leaving money to an organization like this, but do not blink at the prospect of spending their entire lives and basing their entire moral outlook on exactly the same (highly unlikely) proposition of an all knowing sky-god returning to Earth.

    Believing in the absurd ideas of an immortal soul surviving our own physical deaths to live happily ever after in heaven at the behest of some cosmic John Frum is every bit as silly as anything this cult did. The ONLY difference is they had the courage/stupidity to set a date.

    June 1, 2011 at 11:05 am |
    • Haha

      The fact that you said '(highly unlikely)' shows that you DO believe in GOD but hope HE doesn't...imagine when you die and you find out you're WRONG...how hot uder the collar are you gonna be??

      June 1, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Haha. No, that means that the existence of gods can't be ruled out entirely as it is impossible to prove a negative. The existence of any god is equally likely as the existence of pink unicorns. On the other hand, the likelihood that your god exists can be summarily dismissed because of mutually exclusive traits attributed to him/her/it.

      Bringing out a thinly disguised version of Pascal's Wager isn't helping your case either. For your hypothesis to have any merit the following have to be true:
      – There has to be exactly 1 god.
      – This god has to be your god.
      – He/she/it must give equal points for truly believing and pretending to believe.

      June 1, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  20. Nonimus

    Not sure why this is a news item. She was fine with it until she found out what Camping was actually doing. Why didn't she look into it before? She has no basis for disputing the will at this point as the lawyers have explained.

    June 1, 2011 at 11:01 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.