Reverend Camping predicted that at the very least, "the Bible guaranteed that the Rapture would take place today May 21, 2011 …"
The real question that Reverend Camping should be prepared to answer is whether or not he is still on earth, missed the Rapture and should simply stick with Civil Engineering.
I don't have time this evening to drive over to the East Bay to ask him, however, I have a strong feeling that the Reverend is still here. He is in good company however, because based on what I read in the Apostle Paul's letter to the Church at Thessaloniki (the modern day pronunciation), he also erred with respect to the timing of the Rapture.
The Apostle Paul was under the impression that he would be alive and well at the time of the Rapture. Some of this reminds me of a church group called The Triumphant Church. I don't know whether it still exists today or not. The members of this group were going to escape death altogether. Religion makes people crazy, where truth, makes you free! The truth about religion is going to have to be exposed for the one's who will listen. Religion means, 'to bind'. And too many humans have been and are still being bound by religion.
Hopefully, the latest exercise in predicting the end of the world, by another religious sycophant, will put an end to religious prognostication and prognosticators. However, even and if that were to occur, it wouldn't put a stop to religious obfuscation, or religion's monopoly on truth.
Folks, it really is time to move on and to admit that although the canon is a useful collection of books, Constantine's Canon, has its problems. Many religious teachers and preachers cannot admit that publicly, even the one's who know better. Why? Because in the past they taught their followers that the Canon is inerrant. Now how can these preachers and teachers who know better, go back and say to sycophants, "oops, I may have overstated my claim, now that I have learned a bit more about its origin and construction". Sensible people wouldn't be upset at all - all of make mistakes.
Most of us were handed the book, and were told 'this is the inerrant word of God'. Well, who would question God! Well, later in life, some of us did have some questions, and discovered that the Canon is not inerrant, and I suspect that is true of all holy books! Am I boring or frightening you?
To the group that cannot admit the truth, that you erred - or the one's who don't know any better, I would simply say this: ask God, admit that you were sincerely wrong (without any intentional malfeasance), so that we can move on and find out what (IT) this great phenomenon really wants from or to give us. And if the terms phenomenon or (IT) offends you; God, not a name anyway, has been referred to by many appellations throughout history. Our nascent predecessors taught us this: that there was something unseen, that it was greater than 'human and non human kind', and human intelligence and knowledge ... and as result we believed!
Truthfully, all of what we have learned so far from the past, should also teach us that members of today's post-enlightenment period are interested in truth, should continue our search in another direction, one that takes us beyond uncorroborated, and unsubstantiated, although I suspect, well-intentioned writings.
I suspect that the God-phenomenon should never have been relegated to or described from a strictly a religious point of view. Why? Too much poetry, myth, magic, borrowed texts, imagery hyperbole ... was mixed in with reality. And that is the problem with the book, as well as with religious pundits and proponents of, 'the book only'. Clearly, the real phenomenon that we ought to be making an effort to understand exceeds anything that religion can comprehend or teach. In other words, religion only touches the surface. We cannot ignore the facts of the Universe, that won't fit into a religious paradigm. If I were God, I would be insulted by the religious organizations that attempt to know me.
The best thing that has come out of religion is this statement I suspect: Seek The Truth! Why? According to the Canon, and several of its writers, even God tired of religious exercises, sacrifices, oblations …, and Jesus told the people, mostly religious and descendants of Abraham mind you, to seek the truth.
And just in case you're wondering about me? The answer is, where religion left-off, I pressed on, a lot of good people have. Now having said that, there are some good things about religion, for example, religion is a good starting place for beginners, as long as everything about it is explained in a proper context. However, even biblical writers suggest just that there is a place of understanding that exceeds the principle phase, the place where most religious people get stuck. In other words, the author of the Philippians discourse wrote, "leave the principles and go on to perfection".
Most religions, and most religious people, from what I have observed are stuck in the principle phase, I believe. And, and nothing is going to move them past memorizing scriptures, fasting twice a week and paying their tithes, while waiting to be beamed up to the Mother Ship. Don't forget that most of the greats, that were written about in the Canon, never held Constantine's Canon, not even Enoch, Elijah, Elisha, Jesus ... come to mind, and some of them apparently were beamed or carried up in chariots of fire, and appearing and reappearing from other dimensions.
Religious people today are satisfied with the Eucharist ...
And what do I really think about all of these old-school preachers and teachers (of the unadulterated word of God). Well, I know many of them intimately. I have helped to put stocks on their feet, when their backs gave out. I have driven some, septu-and octogenarians; and some of them have driven me to and from camp meetings. Many of them have been kind to me, and some cruel (never ask a question that differs from or question their pre-held beliefs).
Having said that, when I consider the nature of these individuals by comparison with the current school of religious acolytes ... I have found all of them to be sincere in terms of what they believe. The former believe that they are representatives of the true God, the Bible is inerrant, and that they are teaching the word of God.
However, what they are really doing is teaching from a historical perspective that were written by, translated or interpreted by individuals who were not the most reliable, even though many of them were also well-intended writers, storytellers, teachers, historians and preachers who wrote about their experiences or perceptions... It is not for me to fight with them, even the ones who walk among us today.
On the other hand, it is for I and others like me to do what we believe that we are called upon to do today, that is to help ourselves and other individuals who desire the truth (including secularists), who have been held or stuck in primordial religious mud. Where the Spirit of the Lord is: there is freedom, right? I believe that we have got a lot of work to do yet, that could even lead to extending the life-cycle and much more, perhaps our relocating in space, escaping from these time-censured bodies, watching our loved-ones suffer from disease and going to sleep. I also believe that we have missed out on a lot of great discovery due to misguided, there is only one way, religious sycophants. And the way, is typically there way. In other words, their minds and keen understanding are unparalleled.
We have trusted too much, in my opinion n outdated, unproven ... materials, and teachers of the same, some of which could be a good starting place for kids, however, we are not children anymore. Didn't the Apostle Paul touch on that theme in his writings. And what did he do for all intent and purposes, with respect to the Jews and the other Apostles, he moved on, even to the extent that he got up in the Chief Apostles face. Let's move on folks!
BTW, Jesus had to do the same in his day, and it cost him his life! In the long-run, I believe that Reverend Camping is going to help more than he is going to hurt. And thinking human beings, that really do not have an ulterior mind, those of us who are not mad at God or have some other nefarious agenda, should simply try to get along with everybody, but at the same time, we should resume our Search for the Real God (whatever it turns out to be)! If we continue the typical patty!ern, and if we could, 3000 years from now, we will still be waiting on the Rapture and denying the truth that surrounds and is within us!
Solomon, or to some Suliman
Beam em up Scotty!