Folks, I Never Thought I Would Say This but, thank you Reverend Camping, for I have been looking for someone to prove that what I have been writing, teaching and saying along (over the past few years) is the truth. The truth about what? That it is time to move on, and to put religion, and its often sincere, but misguided teachers into a proper historical context and their rightful place in history, for truth is bigger than religion - Jesus proved that to the Pharisees ... over 2000 years ago!
Let's consider who this man is first of all? Reverend Camping is a man, a Civil Engineer and a preacher by profession. He graduated from the Engineering Department at the University of California at Berkeley, one of my favorite haunts. I love to conduct research at the library, just above Scenic Drive, which is a part of the Graduate Theological Union.
Reverend Camping, in my opinion, is a man of no mean spirit. In fact, he is a man, who in his zeal, has studied the bible, embraces and teaches from it like no other. He believes that every word in it, is the unadulterated word of God regardless of any proof to the contrary. And, no one is going to tell him any different. All of us know, have worshipped with or alongside someone like this before. Their minds are made up, so you would be wasting your time if you attempted to confuse them with facts. Other than he and his religious organization, he is convinced that every other religious organization is wrong, in terms of what they believe and are teaching. Senile dementia, organicity, confusion, arrogance or what?
Given his sincerity, he is a man who is in love with his mental power and a belief in his unique ability to understand things that no one else can. Having said that, he should not be accused of quackery perhaps, something that his latest foray into end-time predictions, has caused people to believe. He simply believes in the power of his unique cognitive abilities, to include powers of comprehension. Again, he appears to be a quack, however, he like too many religious people that we all know of, some out on the extreme edge, that are a bit too much in love with their own minds and egos!
Several decades ago, God had to apparently give him a drop kick to the ground, when he made a similar prediction that turned out to be inaccurate. The Apostle Paul was like him, remember. After graduating from the Hillel School, and Professor Gamaliel, having graduated with honors, the Apostle began his first evangelism tour. His first evangelism tour, a bit different from the one wherein the Apostles, who had fasted and prayed and subsequently laid hands on him to do the work of the lord, he sat out to stop the Members of The Way. Why, members of the Way, as far as he was concerned were misguided, and failed to have his abilities to discern right from wrong teaching. What an ego? Now keep in mind that Paul was 'a religious man and a religious scholar, who was only working for God!
He was so zealous, that he sought out and received permission to leave his place (remind you of the Prophet Jonah), and to pursue those misguided religious souls, who saw things a bit different than he and his denomination did. This man, acted upon what he believed, in the most strenuous of ways - even to the point of killing people, similar to what Cain apparently did to his brother, regarding a denominational dispute in the first family. Members of the Way were martyred, similar to Stephen, remember? And the clothing of the martyred were often laid at Paul's feet. Paul felt pretty good about himself, because his misplaced zeal was being exercised, he was convinced for God.
If he would have simply sat down to be retaught, or converted, he would not have been necessary for him to have been stopped by God ITself. Why would, and why has God, often had to stop people like the Apostle? Answer: Because no one else will be able to stop them, that is without knocking them down. These are hard-headed, my mind is made up and don't confuse me with facts individuals. What a hard-headed man the Apostle was. What is interesting is that God after stopped him, he had to send him to one of the lowly members of the Way, the group that he disdained, who had to guide and teach him. Poor Ananias, was afraid of this religious nut. Haven't you met religious people like this who are completeley out of control. Do the Crusades, Jihads, Fatwahs ... come to mind?
I've said it before, the first and the last individuals to die, apparently did so and will do so in the end as a result of religious secularism, fantascism and obsession!
With people like this, you can't teach them anything, because what they have is a psychological problem - their minds again get made up, and facts won't matter. Even after Ananias finished with him, (Paul), he still did not go up to Jerusalem to be retaught, he took off again with a theology that was even new to the Apostles in Jerusalem. At the time, Paul, was not an Apostle himself.
Reverend Camping, reminds me a lot of Paul pre-conversion and post-conversion Paul. Now let's get back to Reverend Camping. I enjoyed listening to him this past Sunday, on a Bay Area Talkshow. Professor Brent Walters, graciously invited him to speak on his show, on KGO Radio, for an hour during the 3rd segment of his 3-hour long Sunday morning radio show. It might be fortuitous to note that Reverend Camping was nearly 15 minutes late arriving at the show, which might say something about the way that he keeps time, er herm, you see where I am going with this!
Reverend Camping’s predictions that the Rapture of the Saints will occur on May 21, 2011, and that the world will end five days later, has not been hidden from the public eye. All across the country, the prediction that the world is coming to an end …, has been posted on billboards, talked about in the media and preached about on TV and Radio. In fact, Reverend Camping has appeared as a guest on several News Talk Shows!
To many other preachers and scholars who won't agree with him, he appears to be a complete idiot - and of course, some of them appear to be the same to other people!
But what is it that he is really saying. Just look at his website www.familyradio.com, and you will appreciate a bit more what he is actually saying. This is important because when he was interviewed by Professor Walters of San Jose State University, a professional acquaintance of mine, he repeated what is written on his website, and it is as follows: “The Bible Guarantees It”.
Most of us who were raised in the Church (regardless of which religious group or denomination) we hailed from, are aware of the following scripture found in Matthew 24:36. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only". That day, is what for sure most Christians, but not Christians only, are waiting for. It is the day when God comes to get them, the good Christians ..., in order to remove them from the great unwashed. Man, these people hate the world, that they helped to ruin. And they do so to the extent that they cannot wait to get out of here, as if they are somehow better than anyone else.
Well, fine I say them, for when the majority of them have been beamed up to the Mother Ship, then you and I can enjoy the San Francisco Bay area easier, with less traffic congestio, and we can get on with the business of discovery, unimpeded!
From what I can see, there is a lot more for us to learn right here, and clearly, we have wasted the last 2,000 years in our quest to understand more, because people like Reverend Camping, who only need Constantine's Canon and a few commentaries to understand man's purpose in life... will be in another place fighting with each other over something.
Trust me, Reverend Camping, a bible literalist, is very aware of Jesus's pronouncement, that non man knows the day and hour ..., just as most believers and non-believers are aware. And that explains why so many believers are disgusted, and equally dismissive of his predictions. So why would he put himself out on a limb like this, one that could destroy his 100 million dollar ministry? It is simple: He is only reporting, what the Bible guarantees? He is not responsible for the errors, in other words, in the canon. Perhaps, in the aftermath of all of this, he will admit that the canon is flawed, not him of course. When it comes to the incredible powers of comprehension that he possesses, he will be quick to say that the Canon, and not he is wrong!
What do I believe about biblical eschatology and all of this? Well, there are historicists, post-millennialialists, pre-millenialists, amillenialists, pretribbers, posttribbers within the Christian faith alone …, and none of them agree, and all of these expected to be beamed up because they are the only ones who understand the truth. So what does that tell you? And don't forget that the Apostle Paul, a man who often shot from the hip, believed that he would apparently be a part of the rapture, without going to sleep. This is what I understand him to be saying in his letter to the Thessalonians, or church at Thessaloniki.
Futhermore, are over 50,000 Christian denominations, and millions of preachers and teachers in religion, who will have an opinion about the end of time, and about Pastor Camping’s prediction. And again, none of them agree on every point with each other. As I stated in a similar paper, what we have here is Babel all over again. On that occasion, people planned their ascent into the heavens, and in turned became confused. We see that scenario being played out all over again.
What they will have to say, the latter group of religious zealots is: He, Reverend Camping, is wrong, but I am not wrong! I can recall all of the prognosticators of the past, who named the day and hour when Jesus would return, the Rapture would occur, or when the world would come to an end. None of them would agree with what I am writing, but I don't feel bad because they don't agree with each other.
Why do they do Christians and other groups engage in this kind of espistlemological and eschatalogical canard? One of the reasons that I will speak to, which will explain why they do so, is because people religious people are fascinated, when it comes to this particular theme, also religious people don't have anything better to do.
Finally, Constantine's canon is the real culprit, particularly among individuals that refuse to do any real work. Okay, and fear. The latter has been drilled into most of us from the time that we were toddlers. Religious people are afraid to think outside of the box, and they have plenty of teachers who will fighten them into remaining into the box.
Thank God, Jesus was not like that, er herm! Of course he learned what religious people will do to you, if you cross them. And these are the people that everyone wants to beam up with, to the Mother Ship. Again, religious people, in Christianity for example, believe that Constantine's Canon is the inerrant word of God. And even with proof to the contrary, don't try to convince otherwise, they still believe it.
I have proposed that we write a new set of books, that includes modern-day data. No one likes that idea. People still want to read about 'pigs running down a hill, after having a spirit of a crazy many injected into him. I wonder what Jesus would say about this story. Perhaps, given their limited mental states, he did so, on the other hand, I doubt that he would have wasted his time - Jesus, was trying to teach people, and to elevate their levels of wareness. . It is for the rest of us, who believe that there is some thing that we refer to in our culture, as the God phenomenon. We know that it is bigger, and past where most religious people, even Christians take their point of departure.
We know that it will be for us to sensibly pursue and understanding, contact, and joining if there is to be one with what we call God. Who was the brother, secularist, who wrote the book: The God of the Brain. I forget his name, but the brother was on to something. Perhaps, the connection exists in the brains of some of us. The rest, I would have agree, may not have a brain. Okay, he didn't say that! He believed that God was hard-wired in certain human's, brain.
My thing is I don't care. Jesus, was pretty much saying, don't worry about it, and to just do your thing while you are on Earth, because otherwise you will be preoccupied with an event that will occur, that (at least in the common era, those folks wouldn't have been smart enough to decipher). Let's see, how many human beings have, and for for many years, hours and days have waited for that to come. And if it was, or is as we understand it, the Rapture - have not taken place yet. Jesus, didn't meet Reverend Camping. But then Jesus didn't have Constantine's canon either, did he?
So why am I writing this piece? It is, first of all, to thank Reverend Camping for making my point about religion. It is what I have been writing and saying, that in a 21st Century Context, we simply need to move on, because much learning about Constantine's bible, has made too many humans mad. The second reason for writing on this topic is to say, that we cannot possibly understand all of what was being said 2000 years, was written and translated years later, or what was meant. And this is just one other reason that religious people need to move on. Thank you Reverend Camping! And in a non-linear or 3-D world, perhaps what we refer to as the Rapture, occurs everyday – remember, we believe that God is Time Independent, and has the ability to view the past, present and future of our world, all at the same time.
BTW Reverend Camping, if you are still alive on May 21st, would you donate some money to Hope for Outdoor People in San Jose California. The organization that I am president of, is trying to help 'outdoor citizens', like Jesus was doing, to get going again. And if you are not going to be here anyway, I will put the money to good use - helping other people, who will be left behind with me.
And may I have the keys to all of your homes, cars, yachts, credit cards, 401Ks, …, so that I can house the individuals who will be left behind. Many of them will likely be here either trying to figure out how they got 'left behind', and whether another ship will be coming by to get them.
And don't worry, perhaps I will get some of them to listen, once the distractions (and religious distract0rs) have been removed to an another plane, so that they can keep, enjoy and expand upon the the wonderful gift that we have here in Earth. So far it has been underutilized, because religion leads to hatred, and hatred to fighting and war, and war leads to death. I want to teach a new paradigm, one that will put people in touch with what put them here in the first place – so they can live in a non-religious paradise on Earth.
Clearly religion, and most religious teachers are not helping, and have become an embarrassment to what we refer to in general, as God! Reverend Camping will prove that Constantine's canon, should not be our only source. By the way, does anyone else have any claims on South Lake Tahoe and Emerald Bay? If not, I will take it!
And finally, 'we will know them by their love', not as a result of scripture memorization ... Why are there so many homeless people in America alone, if all of the people who planned to be beamed up to the mother ship, know anything about love!
Beam 'em up Scotty'!