End of the end of the world as we know it . . .


. . . didn’t happen.

Our friend, The Sensuous Curmudgeon, got it right, I think:

The BBC reports ‘Rapture’: Believers perplexed after prediction fails. It says:

Some believers expressed bewilderment or said it was a test from God of their faith, after the day passed without event.

Meanwhile, the evangelist at the centre of the claim, Harold Camping, has not been seen since before the deadline.

Maybe Camping has gone to his reward. We don’t know — but we do know one thing: This will probably our last Rapture thread for a while.

If only we could get the creationists to make some kind of spectacular, easily verifiable, utterly goofball predictions like the end-of-the-world folks do. But it wouldn’t matter; they’ll continue to be creationists. If 21 May has taught us anything, it’s that true believers never stop believing.

Evidence prevents the need to believe; we should stick to the evidence.  Camping started with a calculation that the flood of Noah, which never occurred as Camping thought, occurred 7,000 years ago, some 2,000 to 3,000 years different from the calculations made from the Bible by most young Earth creationists (but not Ken Ham), and way off the smoke-ring calculations of intelligent design whimsies, who can’t be pinned down to any number at all.

But they never stop believing contrary to the evidence.

Keep them off of juries, if you wish for justice.

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12 Responses to End of the end of the world as we know it . . .

  1. Ellie says:

    Ed, it is of little concern to me personally, what PZ Myers thinks. If he didn’t hear anyone in the faith community speak out against Camping, it would be because few knew who Camping is, although they may now. I doubt that the Pope does. I have similar doubts about the Archbishop of Canterbury and most others who aren’t living here in the US. At any rate, Myers is unlikely to hear what the average Christian had to say about Camping — assuming that they were aware of him at all — because he doesn’t like us. Period. I read his blog occasionally, and judging from that, he would be unlikely to hear anything we said anyway.

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  2. lowerleavell says:

    Ed said, “Do we owe it to all other Christians, and everyone else, to call “fraud” when Camping or anyone else makes such a “prediction?””

    Well, on one hand there is so much “false” and “fraud” out there that to ward off every false teacher believers would be spending all their time fighting off threats. But when something like this becomes national news…yeah, I can see addressing it. Historically, the church fought teaching that was trying to invade the church itself and take over orthodox teaching. That really is the time and a place to stand up against false teaching. The church did with the Judaizers in Acts 15, those who preached that there would be no resurrection, and other Gnostics who were creeping in in the later parts of the 1st century, etc.

    I can’t speak for every “church” or anything like that. I don’t know why the pope or any archbishop didn’t decry this thing. For one, (just speculating) they may not have been aware of it since this was an American thing. But many Christians also believe that the best way to show false teaching to be false is to make the truth plain. You don’t just tell people that darkness is dark and why, you show them what light looks like and let them see for themselves. Like being able to spot a forged $100 bill because you are so well versed in seeing the real deal, so should we know what the Bible actually says in order to dispel wackos like Camping who twist the Bible to make predictions that it expressly forbids.

    Beyond that, I know pastors usually use their pulpits rather than newspapers, etc. to speak to their people against these sorts of things. If PZ Meyers hasn’t heard any pastor or teacher decry Camping it’s probably because he needs to get involved in a church that teaches the Gospel. I myself have spoken out against it, our church posted a sign inviting people to come to a special service to hear why Camping was wrong as my pastor went over the details of what Jesus actually says back in April. Also, more popularly, I don’t know if you saw on my facebook page I posted a clip from a sermon by reformed pastor like Mark Driscoll who showed why Camping would be wrong. I’m sure there were others.

    Ed, “He’s nuts, isn’t he? Shouldn’t we be shouting that from the temple parapets.”

    I think we are, aren’t we? I’m not sure what more we could do besides spending millions of dollars that could be used for REAL good to set up billboards etc. saying that he’s wrong. I’m more interested though in showing how Jesus is RIGHT than how every false teacher is wrong and allow Jesus and His apostle’s own words dispel false teaching.

    Hope that makes sense.

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  3. Ed Darrell says:

    Joe,

    Do we owe it to all other Christians, and everyone else, to call “fraud” when Camping or anyone else makes such a “prediction?”

    P. Z. Myers’ concern is that very few Christians said anything before May 21 about the nuttiness — no Pope, no Archbishop of Canterbury, no moderator for the Methodists, Disciples, no Baptist Convention, no Lutheran Synod, no Mormon Council of 12.

    What is a Christian to do when a Camping makes such a claim?

    By the way, he says he was off a few months, so he wants us all to be ready in the fall.

    He’s nuts, isn’t he? Shouldn’t we be shouting that from the temple parapets?

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  4. lowerleavell says:

    Nick, “Oh jeez, it must be a sign of the end times when Lower and I agree.

    :P”

    Ha, I was thinking the same thing! :-)

    I am looking forward to Jesus’ return as much as the next believer, but He has given us a job to do in the meantime. That job is declaring the Good News of the reconciliation of the relationship of a believer to God through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Until He comes, that mission has not been completed as there are more to whom we have to share who have never heard. Being “ready” for His return means we are busy doing what He wants us to do!

    In the Epistles, Paul preached the return of Jesus to believers as a source of comfort and confidence that our beliefs are not a waste of time. He did not use Jesus’ return to scare people into ‘self-centered’ conversions to get a “get out of judgment free” card. Judgment is coming, to be sure, but that is not the motivation in coming to Christ.

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  5. Nick K says:

    Oh jeez, it must be a sign of the end times when Lower and I agree.

    :P

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  6. Nick K says:

    Robert writes:
    Matthew 24:36 But of that day and
    hour knoweth no man, no, not
    the angels of heaven, but my
    Father only.

    Can we look at “signs of the times”? Of
    course we can!

    Yeah the problem is that “signs of the times” your side keeps on pointing to as “evidence” are the same exact “signs of the times” that has been pointed out for 2000 years. Or to put this another way…they’re the same natural phenoma that have been occurring for a lot longer then human history.

    When you purposely go looking for “the signs of the times” naturally you will find those signs everywhere you look. That’s the problem with prophecy…it’s too generic…it’s “signs” are always way too generalized.

    I say this as a Christian..live your life to the best of your ability and quit worrying about the “end times.” They, when they occury, will take care of themselves.

    Robert writes:
    The most important question about this discussion is, are you ready? If not, you can be. You can accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior today, right now. We can’t know exactly when Christ will return, but we can be ready!

    THe “accepting” of Jesus as Lord and Savior because one is afraid the end times is just around the corner is nothing more then conversion by fear and is therefor fraudulent. You are practicing fake faith.

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  7. Jim says:

    Hello there, everyone!

    Several people to respond to in this thread. Ellie, you are so right. Jesus came not to bring fear, but to bring a spirit of power, love and a sound mind. So says St. Paul, anyway.

    Lower, you could not be more correct, brother. Jesus was unequivocal about it. I had an elderly and wisened woman once say this to me about Bible Prophecy and the End Times: “Chile, just keep the lamp lit and shut up about it.” I think she had lived long enough to see 20 Harold Campings come and go! Thanks for the encouraging reminder.

    Robert, I see no reason whatsoever for the hostility aimed at Ed. Ed is a dear brother in Christ. Ed has been a constant reminder to me of a sign we had posted over our church door for awhile. It read, “Hearts and lives changed here. Brains left intact”.

    I would encourage you — if you have the courage — to read Dr. Mark Noll’s book, “The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind”. Noll, an Evangelical long associated with venerable Wheaton College, has written an epic tome aimed at well-meaning followers of Jesus just like you and some of the other good folks who like to do the “hit & run” posts here condemning intellect, erudition and scholarship. You’ve nothing to lose, Robert. I bet your local library has a copy, so you don’t even have to spend a cent. It’s a transformational read, I assure you.

    As to your claim that Jesus is coming back, all I can say as a fellow Christian is, “Amen”! I know He is. Each Sunday, we say…”We await His coming in glory”. And the Nicene and Apostle’s Creeds are clear on the matter, too. In addition to Scripture. I didn’t hear Ed scoffing at all about the return of Jesus.

    I did hear him scoffing at the foolish presumption that a human being — ANY human being — can plot the great uncaused Cause on a dispensational flow chart. (This same sort of slavish thinking is what leads to other errors, too. Like rejection of theistic evolution in favor of selective literalism and the “end justifies the means” ethic of historical revisionism so rampant on the religious right.)

    If anyone is really serious about reading some scholarly work on the subject of Eschatology, I would recommend the following:

    First, one must understand the history of the eschatalogical obsession. The best book on the subject is Dr. Paul Boyer’s “When Time Shall Be No More”. A decent follow up to that would be Dr. Robert Kyle’s “The Last Days are Here Again”.

    I have not read Dr. Barbara Rossing’s, “The Rapture Exposed”, but I think it’s probably a solid work. I need to get a copy.

    I *strongly* encourage you to Google the following: “False Profit: Money, Prejudice, and Bad Theology in Tim LaHaye’s Left Behind Series by Jimmy Akin. Akin is a conservative Roman Catholic and, while I may not share all his political convictions or necessarily agree with him on the minutiae of all things eschatalogical, I think his overarching synopsis of what’s wrong with the historically very young dispensationalist view is spot-on.

    Finally, I commend wholeheartedly the following works by the foremost New Testament scholar on the planet today, Bishop N.T. Wright:

    “Surprised by Hope”
    “After You Believe”
    And for a heavier, even more scholarly approach…his theological trilogy cannot be beaten. I believe these titles are…”The New Testament and the People of God”; “Jesus and the Victory of God” and “The Resurrection of the Son of God”.

    A warning, though. Wright is not to be trifled with. If you read him with an open mind and heart, and if you have the intellectual heft, you’ll come away changed.

    Yes Robert, Jesus IS coming back again. With you, I eagerly say, “Lord Jesus, come quickly”.

    But He is coming to bring Heaven to Earth, not to snatch away all the nice, conservative Republicans and to rain fire down on all the liberals, gays, black people, poor people, academics and Democrats. You may wish so if you like. But I would wish for you a more loving, joyful way.

    Eastertide blessings,

    Jim

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  8. Here’s your “Creationist” response Ed. This is the text of a Gospel tract I just wrote. Lots more “predictions” I could make Biblically, but you’re not really interested. You take your “evidence” (signs), and I’ll take my “believing” (faith).

    At the time of the writing of this tract, a date announced for the “Rapture” just came and went. A man predicted a date for “the beginning of the end”, for at least the second time only to be proven wrong by the simple passing of time. Which makes some ask, when is Jesus coming back? I hope to shed some light on that with help from God’s word. If we want to know the truth about God, the only way to find out the truth about God is to look into His word.
    First of all, Jesus is coming back.
    According to the Bible:

    John 14:3 And if I go and
    prepare a place for you, I
    will come again, and receive
    you unto myself; that where I am,
    there ye may be also.

    So Jesus is coming back, but when
    Well, the short answer is, we don’t know.

    Matthew 24:36 But of that day and
    hour knoweth no man, no, not
    the angels of heaven, but my
    Father only.

    Can we look at “signs of the times”? Of
    course we can!

    2Thessalonians 2:3 Let no man
    deceive you by any means: for
    that day shall not come, except
    there come a falling away first,
    and that man of sin be revealed,
    the son of perdition;

    Certain things must happen before Jesus
    comes back. But it will surely be an
    “unannounced visit”.

    1Thessalonians 5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

    What will happen to Christians? We’re out of here!

    1Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
    1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

    The most important question about this discussion is, are you ready? If not, you can be. You can accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior today, right now. We can’t know exactly when Christ will return, but we can be ready!

    Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

    Romans 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

    If you pray and accept Christ or if you have any questions, please contact us.

    PUBLISHED BY
    I AM WITH THEE MINISTRIES
    http://www.iamwiththee.com

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  9. Here’s your “Creationist” response Ed. This is the text of a Gospel tract I just wrote. Lots more “predictions” I could make Biblically, but you’re not really interested. You take your “evidence” (signs), and I’ll take my “believing” (faith).

    At the time of the writing of this tract, a date announced for the “Rapture” just came and went. A man predicted a date for “the beginning of the end”, for at least the second time only to be proven wrong by the simple passing of time. Which makes some ask, when is Jesus coming back? I hope to shed some light on that with help from God’s word. If we want to know the truth about God, the only way to find out the truth about God is to look into His word.
    First of all, Jesus is coming back.
    According to the Bible:

    John 14:3 And if I go and
    prepare a place for you, I
    will come again, and receive
    you unto myself; that where I am,
    there ye may be also.

    So Jesus is coming back, but when
    Well, the short answer is, we don’t know.

    Mat 24:36 But of that day and
    hour knoweth no man, no, not
    the angels of heaven, but my
    Father only.

    Can we look at “signs of the times”? Of
    course we can!

    2Thessalonians 2:3 Let no man
    deceive you by any means: for
    that day shall not come, except
    there come a falling away first,
    and that man of sin be revealed,
    the son of perdition;

    Certain things must happen before Jesus
    comes back. But it will surely be an
    “unannounced visit”.

    1Th 5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

    What will happen to Christians? We’re out of here!

    1Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
    1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

    The most important question about this discussion is, are you ready? If not, you can be. You can accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior today, right now. We can’t know exactly when Christ will return, but we can be ready!

    Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

    Romans 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

    If you pray and accept Christ or if you have any questions, please contact us.

    PUBLISHED BY
    I AM WITH THEE MINISTRIES
    http://www.iamwiththee.com

    Like this

  10. lowerleavell says:

    I’d heard Camping’s radio program before. This is the same guy who said that all church’s were apostates and that the church-age officially ended years ago. Only he and his follower have the truth. I’ve never once met someone who took this guy seriously. Surprised and saddened to see people who actually did.

    Sad that Jesus actually warned about guys like Camping who would make these kinds of predictions and yet people still follow.

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  11. Nick K says:

    Apparently he disappeared too.

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  12. Ellie says:

    I dare say that most Christians would not have been able to tell you who Camping was until they read about him in the newspaper or on the Internet or possibly heard something on the radio or saw it on TV lately — unless they happen to remember his last failed prophecy back in the late ’90s. He just isn’t part of the lives of most Christians in this world. I’m sorry for those people who live in such terror and are so sad living this life that God gave us. It must be truly terrible to be weighed down with that kind of misery.

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