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End of the world? How about a party instead? (Most Christians Ignore it, Skeptics Milk it)
The Manila Bulletin ^ | 05/19/2011 | Tom Breen

Posted on 05/19/2011 8:39:41 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

NEW YORK (AP) -- For some, it's Judgment Day. For others, it's party time. A loosely organized Christian movement has spread the word around the globe that Jesus Christ will return to earth on Saturday to gather the faithful into heaven. While the Christian mainstream isn't buying it, many other skeptics are milking it.

A Facebook page titled "Post rapture looting" offers this invitation: "When everyone is gone and god's not looking, we need to pick up some sweet stereo equipment and maybe some new furniture for the mansion we're going to squat in." By Wednesday afternoon, more than 175,000 people indicated they would be "attending" the "public event."

The prediction is also being mocked in the comic strip "Doonesbury" and has inspired "Rapture parties" to celebrate what hosts expect will be the failure of the world to come to an end.

In the Army town of Fayetteville, N.C., the local chapter of the American Humanist Association has turned the event into a two-day extravaganza, with a Saturday night party followed by a day-after concert.

"It's not meant to be insulting, but come on," said organizer Geri Weaver. "Christians are openly scoffing at this."

The prediction originates with Harold Camping, an 89-year-old retired civil engineer from Oakland, Calif., who founded Family Radio Worldwide, an independent ministry that has broadcast his prediction around the world.

The Rapture — the belief that Christ will bring the faithful into paradise prior to a period of tribulation on earth that precedes the end of time — is a relatively new notion compared to Christianity itself, and most Christians don't believe in it. And even believers rarely attempt to set a date for the event.

Camping's prophecy comes from numerological calculations based on his reading of the Bible, and he says global events like the 1948 founding of Israel confirm his math. But even some Christians who believe the Rapture will occur think he's wrong.

The Rev. Tim LaHaye, co-author of the "Left Behind" series of Christian prophecy novels, said Camping "trivializes the very serious study of Bible prophecy by ignoring Jesus' statement that everyone seems to know except him, and that is that no man knows the day nor the hour" that Jesus will return.

Camping has been derided for an earlier apocalyptic prediction in 1994, but his followers say that merely referred to the end of "the church age," a time when human beings in Christian churches could be saved. Now, they say, only those outside what they regard as irredeemably corrupt churches can expect to ascend to heaven.

Camping is not hedging this time: "Beyond the shadow of a doubt, May 21 will be the date of the Rapture and the day of judgment," he said in January.

Such predictions are nothing new, but Camping's latest has been publicized with exceptional vigor — not just by Family Radio but through like-minded groups. They've spread the word using radio, satellite TV, daily website updates, billboards, subway ads, RV caravans hitting dozens of cities and missionaries scattered from Latin America to Asia.

"These kinds of prophecies are constantly going on at a low level, and every once in a while one of them gets traction," said Richard Landes, a Boston University history professor who has studied such beliefs for more than 20 years.

The prediction has been publicized in almost every country, said Chris McCann, who works with eBible Fellowship, one of the groups spreading the message. "The only countries I don't feel too good about are the `stans' — you know, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, those countries in Central Asia," he said.

Marie Exley, who left her home in Colorado last year to join Family Radio's effort to publicize the message, just returned from a lengthy overseas trip that included stops in the Middle East. She said billboards have gone up in Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq.

"I decided to spend the last few days with my immediate family and fellow believers," Exley said. "Things started getting more risky in the Middle East when Judgment Day started making the news."

McCann plans to spend Saturday with his family, reading the Bible and praying. His fellowship met for the last time on Monday.

"We had a final lunch and everyone said goodbye," he said. "We don't actually know who's saved and who isn't, but we won't gather as a fellowship again."

In Vietnam, the prophecy has led to unrest involving thousands of members of the Hmong ethnic minority who gathered near the border with Laos earlier this month to await the May 21 event. The government, which has a long history of mistrust with ethnic hilltribe groups like the Hmong, arrested an unidentified number of "extremists" and dispersed a crowd of about 5,000.

No such signs of turmoil are apparent in the U.S., though many mainstream Christians aren't happy with the attention the prediction is getting. They reject the notion that a date for the end times can be calculated, if not the doctrine of the Rapture itself.

"When we engage in this kind of wild speculation, it's irresponsible," said the Rev. Daniel Akin, president of the Southeastern Baptist Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C. "It can do damage to naive believers who can be easily caught up and it runs the risk of causing the church to receive sort of a black eye."

Pastors around the country are planning Sunday sermons intended to illustrate the folly of trying to discern a date for the end of the world, but Akin couldn't wait: He preached on the topic last Sunday.

"I believe Christ could come today. I believe he could choose not to come for 1,000 years," he said. "That's in his hands, not mine."

No one will know for sure whether Camping's prediction is correct until Sunday morning dawns, or fails to dawn. In the meantime, there will be jokes, parties, sermons and — in at least one case_ a chance to make a little money.

Bart Centre, an atheist from New Hampshire, started Eternal Earth-bound Pets in 2009. He offers Rapture believers an insurance plan for those furry family members that won't join them in heaven: 10-year pet care contracts, with Centre and his network of fellow non-believers taking responsibility for the animals after the Rapture. The fee — payable in advance, of course — was originally $110, but has gone to $135 since Camping's prediction.

Centre says he has 258 clients under contract, and that business has picked up considerably this year. But he's not worried about a sales slump if May 21 happens to disappoint believers.

"They never lose their faith. They're never disappointed," he said. "It reinforces their faith, strangely enough."


TOPICS: Current Events; Evangelical Christian; General Discusssion; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: christianity; endoftheworld; haroldcamping; rapture
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1 posted on 05/19/2011 8:39:50 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind
"We had a final lunch and everyone said goodbye,"

Better watch this guy....."Heaven's Gate" comes to mind...
2 posted on 05/19/2011 8:50:28 AM PDT by gimme1ibertee ("Criticism......brings attention to an unhealthy state of things"-Winston Churchill)
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To: SeekAndFind

The Rapture happens Saturday?

I doubt anyone will notice, as most of us are staying here.


3 posted on 05/19/2011 8:52:54 AM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: SeekAndFind
The prediction is also being mocked in the comic strip "Doonesbury" and has inspired "Rapture parties" to celebrate what hosts expect will be the failure of the world to come to an end.

When the end of the first millenium didn't bring with it the end of the world (as many then believed), gratitude compelled people to build great cathedrals all over Europe. Now people are planning and organizing *mockery* of God and of people who believe in Him.

How sad (and profoundly unwise).

4 posted on 05/19/2011 8:53:22 AM PDT by Charles Martel (Endeavor to persevere...)
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To: SeekAndFind

Or you can go over to Facebook and join the “Post rapture looting” event.


5 posted on 05/19/2011 8:53:30 AM PDT by the_devils_advocate_666
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To: SeekAndFind

Mark 13:32 “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

A few other versions:

New International Version (©1984)
“No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

New Living Translation (©2007)
“However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows.

English Standard Version (©2001)
“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.

International Standard Version (©2008)
“No one knows when that day or hour will come-not the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father,

GOD’S WORD® Translation (©1995)
“No one knows when that day or hour will come. Even the angels in heaven and the Son don’t know. Only the Father knows.

King James Bible
But of that day and hour knoweth no [man], no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

American King James Version
But of that day and hour knows no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

American Standard Version
But of that day and hour knoweth no one, not even the angels of heaven, neither the Son, but the Father only.

Bible in Basic English
But of that day and hour no one has knowledge, not even the angels in heaven, or the Son, but the Father only.

Douay-Rheims Bible
But of that day and hour no one knoweth, not the angels of heaven, but the Father alone.

Darby Bible Translation
But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of the heavens, but my Father alone.

English Revised Version
But of that day and hour knoweth no one, not even the angels of heaven, neither the Son, but the Father only.

Webster’s Bible Translation
But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

Weymouth New Testament
“But as to that day and the exact time no one knows—not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.

World English Bible
But no one knows of that day and hour, not even the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

Young’s Literal Translation
‘And concerning that day and the hour no one hath known — not even the messengers of the heavens — except my Father only


6 posted on 05/19/2011 8:55:17 AM PDT by Grampa Dave (ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION IS DESTROYING AMERICA-LOOK AT WHAT IT DID TO THE WHITE HOUSE!)
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To: SeekAndFind

This is the hundreth time in my lifetime someone predicted the world was going to end.


7 posted on 05/19/2011 8:56:11 AM PDT by Americanexpat (Everytime I see that guy's face ot)
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To: SeekAndFind

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

Matthew 24:36


8 posted on 05/19/2011 8:56:26 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: the_devils_advocate_666
Or you can go over to Facebook and join the “Post rapture looting” event.

I'm tempted to start a "Shooting the post-Rapture Looters" Facebook page, just to see the reactions.

9 posted on 05/19/2011 8:58:07 AM PDT by Charles Martel (Endeavor to persevere...)
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To: Charles Martel

When you do it be sure to send me an invite.


10 posted on 05/19/2011 9:00:18 AM PDT by the_devils_advocate_666
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To: thackney

Amen!


11 posted on 05/19/2011 9:01:45 AM PDT by Boardwalk
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To: Charles Martel

The prediction is also being mocked in the comic strip “Doonesbury

Scripture also says God will not be mocked.


12 posted on 05/19/2011 9:10:32 AM PDT by Bitsy (!)
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To: thackney
Here's what you see on the first page of the Family Radio website :


13 posted on 05/19/2011 9:11:18 AM PDT by SeekAndFind (u)
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To: SeekAndFind

“Bart Centre, an atheist from New Hampshire, started Eternal Earth-bound Pets in 2009. He offers Rapture believers an insurance plan for those furry family members that won’t join them in heaven: 10-year pet care contracts, with Centre and his network of fellow non-believers taking responsibility for the animals after the Rapture. The fee — payable in advance, of course — was originally $110, but has gone to $135 since Camping’s prediction.”

Not a bad business model.


14 posted on 05/19/2011 9:11:24 AM PDT by trumandogz
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To: the_devils_advocate_666

RE: When you do it be sure to send me an invite.

So, you guys are so sure you’ll be LEFT BEHIND huh?


15 posted on 05/19/2011 9:12:54 AM PDT by SeekAndFind (u)
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To: Charles Martel
Hey Charles (Hammer)! Good info. Do you have a link where I can get information on the first century 'end of world' and cathedral building?

I don't know the day or hour of Jesus Return, however I do know that it will not be on May 21, 2011! ;^)
16 posted on 05/19/2011 9:16:51 AM PDT by Jan_Sobieski (Prov 30)
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To: Jan_Sobieski

Gonna be some very disappointed people on Sunday..


17 posted on 05/19/2011 9:20:46 AM PDT by Cheryllynn
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To: SeekAndFind
Interesting that they confuse “people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman” with self appointed.

Self appointed has an Antichrist feel to it...

18 posted on 05/19/2011 9:25:00 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: Bitsy
It is not really the false prophets like Harlold Camping, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Rick Joyner, etc. that cause God to be mocked by the world. What causes God to be mocked by the world is when Bible Believing people who SHOULD know better follow these reprobates.
19 posted on 05/19/2011 9:26:12 AM PDT by Jan_Sobieski (Prov 30)
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To: SeekAndFind

When looking at the 2012 field of Republican presidential candidates, who would be helped the most if this May 21, 2001 Rapture did occur?


20 posted on 05/19/2011 9:26:45 AM PDT by trumandogz
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To: Cheryllynn

Not me, this means I’ll still be able to watch the new Jesse Stone movie and ‘Game of Thrones’


21 posted on 05/19/2011 9:41:24 AM PDT by stuartcr ("Everything happens as God wants it to...otherwise, things would be different.")
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To: Bitsy

It’s men that are being mocked, not God.


22 posted on 05/19/2011 9:42:43 AM PDT by stuartcr ("Everything happens as God wants it to...otherwise, things would be different.")
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To: Ezekiel
“It’s the end of the world as we know it! But I feel fine…!”
REM

Later!

23 posted on 05/19/2011 9:43:41 AM PDT by Jeremiah Jr (AYIN RIMMON)
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To: SeekAndFind

Camping and his ilk are the direct products of individual interpretation of the Bible coupled with misguided trust in the theory of Sola Scriptua. Yet many support this chaos and the expansion of cults now numbers well over 30.000 plus. What a shame.


24 posted on 05/19/2011 9:50:20 AM PDT by bronx2 (while Jesus is the Alpha /Omega He has given us rituals which you reject to obtain the graces as to)
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To: bronx2

RE: Camping and his ilk are the direct products of individual interpretation of the Bible coupled with misguided trust in the theory of Sola Scriptua.

_______________________________________________________________________

I wouldn’t attribute it to those who adhere to the doctrine of Sola Scriptura. After all MOST Evangelical Christians DO NOT support Harold Camping at all.

Many have in fact spoken to him to disuade him from continuing his foolishness ( the church he used to go to, a Reformed Church banned him from teaching after he stubbornly refused to listen ).

When a group of individuals want to be stubborn and refuse to listen, the only way to make them listen is for them to learn their lesson.


25 posted on 05/19/2011 9:55:14 AM PDT by SeekAndFind (u)
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To: Charles Martel

They’re not mocking God or the people that believe in Him. They’re mocking dinks that think they’re the chosen ones and that Saturday is the chosen day and they’ll all be whisked away to heaven. If anybody in this is mocking God it’s the folks thinking Saturday is rapture day and they’re invited.


26 posted on 05/19/2011 10:00:59 AM PDT by discostu (Come on Punky, get Funky)
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To: SeekAndFind

This is how the world is going to end with this flash animation.
http://endofworld.net/

(warning: bad language!)


27 posted on 05/19/2011 10:16:16 AM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: Charles Martel
Now people are planning and organizing *mockery* of God and of people who believe in Him.

I don't mock God, or the people who believe in Him, but I don't take seriously those who think they know the day or the hour. Calling them out is not even in the same ballpark as "mocking God" but folks throw up that old strawman all the time.

28 posted on 05/19/2011 10:20:39 AM PDT by Larry Lucido
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To: Bitsy
Scripture also says God will not be mocked.

Scripture doesn't say Harold Camping won't be mocked. :-)

29 posted on 05/19/2011 10:28:16 AM PDT by Larry Lucido
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To: SeekAndFind
... many other skeptics are milking it.

I don't get why people who state that they do not believe in God call themselves "skeptics" when it comes to matters of religion. It sounds like they have their mind made up already.

30 posted on 05/19/2011 10:30:44 AM PDT by pnh102 (Regarding liberalism, always attribute to malice what you think can be explained by stupidity. - Me)
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To: bronx2
... misguided trust in the theory of Sola Scriptua.

First, it is Sola Scriptura.

Second, Scripture states very clearly that not only does anyone not know when Jesus will return, but that we must reject the teachings of anyone who claims to know such a thing. IMO, Camping and these other blasphemers are doing the Devil's work.

31 posted on 05/19/2011 10:33:41 AM PDT by pnh102 (Regarding liberalism, always attribute to malice what you think can be explained by stupidity. - Me)
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To: Larry Lucido

Scripture doesn’t say Harold Camping won’t be mocked. :-)

Point.


32 posted on 05/19/2011 10:33:45 AM PDT by Bitsy (!)
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To: SeekAndFind

So tonight I’m gonna party like it’s 1999.


33 posted on 05/19/2011 10:34:35 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: SeekAndFind

“The End Of The World As We Know It”

That’s great, it starts with an earthquake, birds and snakes, an aeroplane -
Lenny Bruce is not afraid. Eye of a hurricane, listen to yourself churn -
world serves its own needs, regardless of your own needs. Feed it up a knock,
speed, grunt no, strength no. Ladder structure clatter with fear of height,
down height. Wire in a fire, represent the seven games in a government for
hire and a combat site. Left her, wasn’t coming in a hurry with the furies
breathing down your neck. Team by team reporters baffled, trump, tethered
crop. Look at that low plane! Fine then. Uh oh, overflow, population,
common group, but it’ll do. Save yourself, serve yourself. World serves its
own needs, listen to your heart bleed. Tell me with the rapture and the
reverent in the right - right. You vitriolic, patriotic, slam, fight, bright
light, feeling pretty psyched.

It’s the end of the world as we know it.
It’s the end of the world as we know it.
It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.

Six o’clock - TV hour. Don’t get caught in foreign tower. Slash and burn,
return, listen to yourself churn. Lock him in uniform and book burning,
blood letting. Every motive escalate. Automotive incinerate. Light a candle,
light a motive. Step down, step down. Watch a heel crush, crush. Uh oh,
this means no fear - cavalier. Renegade and steer clear! A tournament,
a tournament, a tournament of lies. Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives
and I decline.

It’s the end of the world as we know it.
It’s the end of the world as we know it.
It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.

The other night I tripped a nice continental drift divide. Mount St. Edelite.
Leonard Bernstein. Leonid Breshnev, Lenny Bruce and Lester Bangs.
Birthday party, cheesecake, jelly bean, boom! You symbiotic, patriotic,
slam, but neck, right? Right.

It’s the end of the world as we know it.
It’s the end of the world as we know it.
It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine...fine...

(It’s time I had some time alone)

-R.E.M.


34 posted on 05/19/2011 10:40:33 AM PDT by Emperor Palpatine (One of these days, Alice....one of these days.....POW!! Right in the kisser!!!!)
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To: SeekAndFind
So, you guys are so sure you’ll be LEFT BEHIND huh?

I'm hoping that neither my LEFT BEHIND nor my RIGHT BEHIND get left below.

35 posted on 05/19/2011 10:44:53 AM PDT by Larry Lucido
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To: Charles Martel
I'm tempted to start a "Shooting the post-Rapture Looters" Facebook page, just to see the reactions.

LOL!!!! Sign me up!

36 posted on 05/19/2011 10:46:51 AM PDT by Larry Lucido
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To: SeekAndFind
So, you guys are so sure you’ll be LEFT BEHIND huh?

I have this terrible feeling that I'm still going to need to mow my lawn this weekend.

37 posted on 05/19/2011 11:18:44 AM PDT by the_devils_advocate_666
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To: Larry Lucido; Alex Murphy
Speaking of Left Behinds:


38 posted on 05/19/2011 11:28:02 AM PDT by Gamecock (It's not eat drink and be merry because tommow we die, but rather because yesterday we were dead.)
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To: Gamecock; Alex Murphy

Long as they’re not cotton dockers!


39 posted on 05/19/2011 11:45:51 AM PDT by Larry Lucido
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To: SeekAndFind

Speaking of scams: http://www.aftertherapturepetcare.com/

I’d say my dog is more likely to go to heaven than most people, I know, though...


40 posted on 05/19/2011 3:23:47 PM PDT by Chucky is a girlie man
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To: bronx2

bronx2 expatiated:
“Camping and his ilk are the direct products of individual interpretation of the Bible coupled with misguided trust in the theory of Sola Scriptua.”

Give it a rest.


41 posted on 05/19/2011 8:06:05 PM PDT by Belteshazzar (We are not justified by our works but by faith - De Jacob et vita beata 2 +Ambrose of Milan)
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To: Gamecock

Love it.

I wonder if I could get one to wear by Sunday afternoon, the 22nd.


42 posted on 05/19/2011 8:09:16 PM PDT by Belteshazzar (We are not justified by our works but by faith - De Jacob et vita beata 2 +Ambrose of Milan)
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To: Bitsy
Scripture also says God will not be mocked.

The only people who are mocking God are the single digit IQ buffoons who believe the rapture is Saturday.

43 posted on 05/19/2011 11:42:37 PM PDT by Jeff Chandler (Just once I'd like someone to call me 'Sir' without adding 'You're making a scene.' - Homer Simpson)
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To: pnh102
Scripture states very clearly that not only does anyone not know when Jesus will return, but that we must reject the teachings of anyone who claims to know such a thing. IMO, Camping and these other blasphemers are doing the Devil's work.

That's your personal interpretation.

44 posted on 05/19/2011 11:43:57 PM PDT by Jeff Chandler (Just once I'd like someone to call me 'Sir' without adding 'You're making a scene.' - Homer Simpson)
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To: Jeremiah Jr; null and void
Traveling Wilburys - End Of The Line
45 posted on 05/20/2011 3:40:52 AM PDT by Ezekiel (The Obama-nation began with the Inauguration of Desolation.)
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To: Grampa Dave

The group addresses those verses, making clear somehow they’re special and given that top secret info.


46 posted on 05/20/2011 3:59:13 AM PDT by ctdonath2
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To: Belteshazzar
How else can one explain the continued existence of these Harold Camping types who are is the poster children for the doctrine of Sola Scriptura. Perhaps these Camping types would do well to give it a rest and not impugn the true message of Christianity.

Camping ,and the entire rapture crowd see all through a dispensationalist lens, while trying to decode God's plan.

This nonsense started with C I Scofield in the late 1800"s whose bible, with copious notes, energized those who needed to see the hidden plan of God.

The proponents of Sola Scriptura will argue they are not as loopy as Camping but their methodology and foundational assumptions are the same. The proponents of Sola Scriptura have no more moral authority than each other to assert interpretations of scripture because it is just them and their bibles to justify their faulty interpretations.

The Sola Scriptura types treat their Bible as a supernatural hero code book or a fortune tellers code book.

Camping and Sola Scriptura types demonstrate their lamentable ignorance of American protestant history. Historically these prideful interpretations of the bible produce cataclysmic prognostications which serve only to deprecate the doctrine of Jesus Christ.

47 posted on 05/20/2011 5:28:58 AM PDT by bronx2 (while Jesus is the Alpha /Omega He has given us rituals which you reject to obtain the graces as to)
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To: Jeff Chandler
That's your personal interpretation.

If you are a Christian, then I ask you to please consider the following passages of Scripture, From Matthew 24:

23 - At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it.

24 - For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

25 - See, I have told you ahead of time.

26 - “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it.

This is in addition to the direct teaching of Jesus where He personally states the time is unknown. While yes, this may be my "personal interpretation," it just happens to be based upon what Jesus taught. No one who calls himself a Christian can go around preaching things that are definitely and irrefutably un-Christian and not expect to be corrected and rebuked by the Christian community.

48 posted on 05/20/2011 6:02:23 AM PDT by pnh102 (Regarding liberalism, always attribute to malice what you think can be explained by stupidity. - Me)
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To: pnh102
. No one who calls himself a Christian can go around preaching things that are definitely and irrefutably un-Christian

Who determines what is definitively and irrefutably un-Christian?

49 posted on 05/20/2011 10:01:23 AM PDT by Jeff Chandler (Just once I'd like someone to call me 'Sir' without adding 'You're making a scene.' - Homer Simpson)
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To: Jeff Chandler
Who determines what is definitively and irrefutably un-Christian?

Someone who preaches false gospel under the moniker of Christianity is not a Christian. They are "workers of iniquity."

50 posted on 05/20/2011 10:49:06 AM PDT by pnh102 (Regarding liberalism, always attribute to malice what you think can be explained by stupidity. - Me)
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