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Hey Christians, can I have your house on May 21st? May 17, 2011

Posted by shaunphilly in religion, atheism, polyamory, culture.
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In case you have not seen the billboards, bumper stickers, literature being passed out in the street, or any of the news coverage, Jesus is coming back this Saturday, May 21st, 2011.  No specific time of day was given.

This campaign was initiated by Harold Camping, who has some experience with predicting the date of Jesus’ return (see below)

And what’s even more impressive about this knowledge that Harold Camping acquired is that not even Jesus knew:

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

and further in the same chapter:

24:43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.

24:44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

In other words, the book of Matthew, as well as a few other New Testament books, claim that we can’t know when this ‘prophecy’ will happen.  It’s amazing that some academic or priest did not discover this 1500 years ago, or even 200 years ago.  It always seem that when some discovery like this is made, it is coming soon.  The cynic in me thinks that Bible ‘scholars’ have a bunch of interpretable dates saved up which they drag out a year or so before they come around.

A modest proposal (No, not that one Swift!)

But, in any case, I have a proposal for any Christians out there.  See, I’ve been unemployed for some time, and don’t have a lot to speak of financially these days.  I’ll bet there are a few real Christians out there (the ones who accept this looming date, of course) who have a few bucks, a house, etc which they will not need come rapture, so I figured they could help me out.  See, this prediction is about the return of Christ, not the end of the world (that is not until October!), so for those who will be going up to heaven on Saturday, you will not need all those nice things for the next few months, but struggling people out there, like myself, might.

This may even be a boon for our economic issues.  With all those good Christians leaving (and of course God makes sure that those good Christians are employed and comfortable, right?), there will be jobs available to fill their vacancies.  With our new found jobs (for as long as they last; remember October…) there will be less unemployment, more to go around, and less Christians, at that.  Sounds like paradise, and I can’t wait!

See, once Jesus really does come back and I am left with the tribulation of the last months of existence, I might as well have money so that I can…help other people prepare for the end? And while I’m helping, I’m sure that 55-inch plasma TV I have coming will allow me to watch the news coverage as well as keep up on my new favorite televangelist (I assume some will remain behind).  Plus, why not enjoy the last months I will have, whether it is heaven, hell, or oblivion which follows?

What do you need with your money after Friday anyway?  This guy has the idea right.

If you really believed, you would not be worried about losing anything, so why not give all of your money and valuables to people like me?

Thanks, in advance.

Oh, right, Harold Camping.  He predicted the return of Jesus in 1994.  Here’s some video.  Man I love the internet!

(BTW, real Christians don’t watch this until after you give me your stuff.  Thanks)

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Comments»

1. Ash - May 18, 2011

I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for higher-paying jobs (or out-of-state jobs) come Monday!

2. Matt G - May 21, 2011

real Christians believe your above quoted scripture. so thank you for reading the plain meaning of the words. and why not keep on reading? you might personally meet the author!

3. shaunphilly - May 21, 2011

Actually Matt, I have read the rest of it. Much of the Bible I have read a few times. I especially like Job, Ecclesiastes, and some of the Song of Solomon. Have YOU read the entire Bible? Most Christians have not, but atheists usually have.

4. Matt G - May 21, 2011

it is arrogant to speak of frequency, actually6 i haven’t yet this morning. my point is not to brag about my literacy,
I want to defi8ne ” Christian” for the readers it does not include those who set dates and follow an authoritarian figure using allegory to interpret scripture. more specifically there may be sincere followers of Camping but they are following a false teacher.
so please understand i am not challenging your frequency, it is just an encouragement with you will continue to believe that h.c. is completely wrong, and you continue to read yourself with the guidence of the Holy Spirit

5. shaunphilly - May 21, 2011

Buit I don’t believe in the Holy Spirit. I find it rather odd that most people’sguidance of the HS to be along the lines of their worldview, however. To me, the Holy Spirit is not much more than the feelings Christians have which they attribute to some higher power. I have those feelings too, but I recognize they are coming from me.

I was not talking about how often I read the Bible, just saying that I have read it all, and so your suggestion to keep reading is irrelevent because I have.

As for arrogance, I find it arrogant to assume that your interpretation is correct over others. Camping’s silly prediction aside, I’ll bet you think many people who call themselves “Christians” you will call false Christians, and they might say the same about you. It’s fighting over the interpretation of fairy-tales….

6. Matt G - May 22, 2011

Jesus himself will divide those he knows as true believers. The sheep and the goats However biblical orthodoxy is clear about the critical Issues. In the book of Acts, the Holy Spirit is revealed as a person, Chapter 5 you canno9t lie to a feeling or force only to a person not a force or feeling. but you are correct there. you have a way to contact me to continue with this discussion. or google people like like CS Lewis, Walter Martin Ravi Zacharias Chuck Swindoll, Billy or Franklin Graham. you will be exposed to a central simple message. there are complexities and mysteries, which is plausible because we cannot entirely fathom all of God, but he revealed himself through the
Jewish people and then through their Messiah, we gentiles call Christ. what better way to communicate with man. I am not going to convince you of something you do not believe. you have a sample of names I benefited from listening to, at least we can agree our conversation went through May 21st in every part of the globe. we get to see how he backs out of this one. take care.

7. shaunphilly - May 22, 2011

So, in other words you have accepted the mainline American evangelical orthodoxy. And then you imply that Jesus will divide the goats from the sheep (and who really wants to be a sheep except an enslaved mind) via the orthodoxy that you accept. That is the height of arrogance.

This also demonstrates an overwhelming ignorance on your part about the history of Christianity, which was what I studied as an undergrad. What about Eastern Orthodox, Catholic, gnostic, coptic, etc? American 5-point Calvinism is but one view, and can only be considered orthodox by those who already accept it as such. That was my point; you eschew other views as unorthodox, as they do to you.

I know who CS Lewis is. I have read much of his work; I especially enjoyed The Screwtape Letters. As for Zacharias, the Grahams, and one preacher from Texas who I have not heard of'(that I can remember, as I have seen many preachers over the years), I know what they say and find it all silly. They have similar messages, and yes they admit to mystery but that is hardly the point.

What was “revealed” in the Bible has not been validated by anything outside of it, not to mention internal inconsistencies. That’s not surprising since the doctrine and its canon were decided by a conference of politically motivated bishops and other officials, led by Constantine himself, in the 4th century at the Council of Nicaea (as well as later councils).

I would refer you to the work of Bart Ehrman, Robert Price, Karen Armstrong, and a host of other writers and speakers. I would be surprised if you are familiar with them. And if you are, than I’ll be surprised that you have read any of their work.

I am familiar with Christian history, theology, and apologetics. I am not sure you are familiar with the fact that the atheist community is often very well versed in the Bible, arguments for God and Christianity, as well as the many Christian leaders that Christians look up to.

What I have found over my many years of engaging theists is that Christians almost always are ignorant of other religious traditions, atheist counter-apologetics, and even the history of their own religion. Demonstrate that you are an exception to this rule and I will be willing to discuss this with you. Maintain reliance on the Bible and the “orthodox evangelical message and you will only be telling me things I’ve heard hundreds of times before, and therefore wasting my time.

If you respond, can you do so without relying on the Bible to make a point? I don’t accept the Bible as authoritative in any way. Its accidental overlap with actual history, on occasion, lends it almost no credibility as a resource for knowledge on any topic. And without that set of documents, you have to demonstrate the existence of a god to my satisfaction before we could even start on which god, which scripture, and which interpretation.

Your comments here have not demonstrated any deep understanding of the relevant issues, my worldview, or real skeptical thought. If you have that within you, demonstrate it or concede that you have insufficient ammunition to converse with me.

8. Matt G - May 23, 2011

Shaun I have to go point by point, I can focus and respond to many of the points and questions you listed if you give me ample opportunity to refer you to specific resources which address the concerns you raise. Perhaps we can only agree now that our mutual experience has supplied us with a number of assumptions of the point of view which you and I hold. So it would benefit me in my ability to understand you and to keep focused on one particular topic at a time.
I do not need ammunition to discuss these topics with you. that would suggest
I am relying on my own skill intelligence (which is limited) and logical arguments without recognizing God has revealed through the Holy Spirit his Word as sufficient to answer the basic questions in life [this is a STARTING off point]. I know the world view you agree with does not accept these as valid. However, your proposed
condition of not relying on the bible to make a point. is not realistic when discussing world view with a Christian. Your acceptance of the Christian scriptures does not invalidate any argument i may offer, but i recognize these arguments will be less credible to those who reject biblical authority as Gods Word. which only when revealed by the Holy Spirit is sufficient to INTRODUCE us to the author.
I am willing to share with you what I have learned to this point and to invite you to investigate specific resources if I believe they are relevant to your statements. but I do not need any other ammunition except that which God provides. 1. His Word as revealed, using other sources which illuminate his word as it applies to our discussion and this is accomplished not by my ” winning the argument”. but only that the points I remind you of make it plausible for you to refine your currently accepted world view.
so we can use this forum or email especially web links because I know only what I know and i would have to investigate the rest whatever works. In summary this discussion isn’t about me hopefully it will be focused on Jesus. REMEMBER our discussion initiated on a mutual rejection of what Camping predicted and was followed by my skepticism of Camping’s refusal to accept what I am offering you as 8 rules of biblical interpretation, The violation of these contribute to Camping’s false teaching. I am refraining from discussion of his motives, because I don’t have reliable evidence to assess those. so for now I think Ravi Zacharias and also William Lane Craig gave plausible arguments for the existence of God, who is the source of moral authority and the second and third point are He can be known as revealed by the Christian scriptures as The God of Abraham Issac and Jacob, as revealed through Moses and the prophets ultimately through Jesus as portrayed in those scriptures and rejecting those other documents which offer another perspective on God or Jesus Finally I fully recognize what
I offer you is completely the evidences, writings I select and what I leave out colors the presentation!
would you like to review the knowing God issue or Knowing the Christian God question?

9. Matt G - May 23, 2011

Here is RZ offering an arguement

10. shaunphilly - May 23, 2011

Sorry, but if the best you can do is refer to Zacharias and Craig, both of whom I have seen flailing around with awful arguments, then there is no reason to continue. You still have not offered me ANYTHING I have not heard a hundred times before. You obviously did not understand my last comment, and I will waste no more time in talking with you about this unless that changes.

11. Matt G - May 23, 2011

so the prophecy mentioned by RZ from the book of Daniel Alexander the great his generals divided in history offers no credibility?
I will not be able to impress you with my intellect, however Shaun to refute the significance of this prophecy and its fitting into history is left in your court. I accept your conclusion that I am not worth repeating what you know, and you will resolve these difficulties only if they strike you as worth while
someone who ignorantly follows what they are told is responsible to God for that. I still struggle with Steophens speach in Acts chapter 7 and the difference of how ancient historians reported scripture, and used numbers, and the like, and I am willing to learn more about these areas. If you believe you have completely absorbed and evaluated all existing information about Jesus’ life death and resurrection [ which is the critical point of the Christian faith] then yes my arguments are not additionally valuable Just be sure you have considered all the evidence. which you have your entire life to do, however long it lasts. I have a brain tumor and am aware of my mortality, so when Jesus actually returns or when I die and face him my security rests on him and his promise. I understand you are not willing or able to do that. and that is a matter of the heart, not only an intellectual exercise.

12. ShaunPhilly - May 23, 2011

LOL!

No. That “Prophecy” does not impress me at all. Biblical scholarship dates the book of Daniel to the 4th-3rd centruries BCE for some of it, but the middle of the 2nd century for others, especially chapter 11, which makes reference (while some of it incorrect historically) to various rulers.

It is a common strategy to assue that the book was written at some point (say, 522 BCE) and that the events that occur after this historically validate its being called “prophecy.” According to most scholars, what is really happening is that the book was not really finished being composed duntil after much of the events, except in this case “Daniel” got some facts about the end of Antiochus’ reign incorrect, which implies that not only was “Daniel” not prophetic (because it gets these facts wrong) but allows us to date when in fact the book was composed.

If I write a book today that I say I wrote in 1999 and it talks about 9/11 but gets wrong the events of the end of Barack Obama’s presidency, that implies that I wrote it before the facts are incorrect and after the facts are correct. Ockham’s razor.

As for Zacharias…. That video made my girlfriend and I just feel bad for Ravi. He is so ignorant and delusional…it’s sad. It’s like watching Deepak Chopra talk about quantum physics or Jenny McCarthy talk about vaccination. If that is a video you thought would make me re-think anyhing or even pause, you seriously are uneducated about Biblical scholarship.

Here, a friend of mine is an historian who specializes in the Bible. Read his blog: http://tomverenna.wordpress.com

I’m sorry to hear you are not well. I hope that you are fortunate and are able to enjoy however long you have, as I believe that this life is all we have, and we should not waste it. I am aware of my own mortality, and I try to live my life fully with people for whom I care. I wish you the best in terms of health, and encourage you to enjoy your life.

13. Matt G - May 23, 2011

“You obviously did not understand my last comment, and I will waste no more time in talking with you about this unless that changes.”
Shaun thank you for modifying your previous position to completely cut off this thread thank you for the link to tv site and it lets me know what you base your positions on. even if we end up with different conclusions. Is it too far a reach for me to ask you if you accept the concept of absolute truth? especially can it be known? just trying to grasp your pov. even if we now end this thread at least the ideas were put out there. Perhaps some other reader will be inspired to agree or disagree with the content these pages. I think you do appreciate a person having a well thought out pov even if you believe it cannot be supported as valid according to all available evidence. I get your analogy via Obama & 911 to the late dating of Daniel. you know another body of scholarship exists opposing that assumption. Yet My best to you and your girlfriend and I believe this 30 minutes of typing was a valuable investment of my time clearly I am not as well schooled as your friend, but know there are others who are. and the resurrection is real and absolute truth can be known even if your position remains unchanged. Written to an audience in ancient Palestine The gospel is offensive to the Jew and foolishness to the gentile

14. shaunphilly - May 23, 2011

I am not sure what is meant by “absolute truth.” I think there is a real world that actually exists and there are truths about it, but when it comes to there being a truth, implying a truth-givewr, I don’t believe that such a thing exists. I certaintly reject the idea that Christianity, any interpretation, is the truth (absolute or not).

If there is some ultimate truth, I belive our ability to know it is veiled by various epistemologica problems. The idea that sone super being revealed some historical person, moral ideas, and other theological ideas and that these things are the absolute truth is, well, laughable to me.

I am willing to concede that some god might exist, although I have seen no definition of this term that I believe in that is worthy of the title. It is not remotely respectable to believe that Christianity is true, let alone absolutely true. It is so obviously false, from where I stand,. I see it no differently than Mormon, Moslem, or Hindu mythology.

15. October 21st 2011 is the end! (for real, this time!) « The atheist, polyamorous, skeptic - October 20, 2011

[…] So, remember several months back there was this whole big thing about the world ending on May 21st, 2011? I mean, there were billboards, people on the street handing out pamphlets ( I still have a copy around somewhere), and lots of media talk about it.  In fact, I wrote about it here. […]


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