Christian Pastor: The Rapture Guy Was Wrong Because He Gave a Specific Date

Why does preacher Will Graham (grandson of Billy Graham) deserve any more respect than Harold Camping after statements like this?

“The end of the world didn’t happen yesterday,” Graham said Sunday night, according to [the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association], “but Jesus is returning. God will bring this present world to a close. Time will come to an end.”

“Are you ready to stand before God?”

Graham said Sunday that the rapture is not something that can be predicted as the Bible indicates.

“Unfortunately for Harold Camping, he’s miscalculated. He does it based on numbers. He’s a brilliant engineer and he came out with some formulas trying to predict when the rapture is going to take place. The Bible clearly states we just don’t know the time,” said Graham before Sunday’s event, according to the Asbury Park Press.

Don’t you love it when one guy with a crazy idea mocks someone else for having virtually the same crazy idea?

But, for whatever reason, the people who are saying what Graham is saying — Jesus is coming back… at some unknown point in the future! — are thought of as the sane Christians.

Why is Camping considered a kook while Graham is considered “respectable”?

One thing’s for sure: At least Willy Graham can rely on donations coming in for an “unknown” number of years…

  • eskomo

    “Brilliant engineer?” Was Bernie Madoff a brilliant fund manager? I am an unemployed engineer and Harold Camping taints the profession.

  • ACN

    He doesn’t.

    As Sastra put it over at Pharyngula:

    It’s like someone telling you that his neighbor put out a trap to catch leprechauns, laughing with you for a bit, shaking their head, and then saying “What a moron! It says right there in the Brothers Grimm that leprechauns can’t be caught.” Suddenly, you realize that no, you’re not on the same wavelength. There’s not much to choose between the guy who’s trying to catch a leprechaun, and the guy who thinks that’s silly because leprechauns are too tricky.

  • Nicole

    Well, when you try to predict the future off a work of fiction, of course it’s not going to work. I should start predicting the end of the world off of The Catcher in the Rye. It won’t work. I also like how these people have been hearing for thousands of years that jesus is coming. If I told people I would meet them places and continuously failed to show up, no one would wait around for me anymore.

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff P

    Camping broke the cardinal rule not to claim anything falsifiable. Graham understands this. Graham is just saying that religious people need to be careful to limit their proclamations to stuff that can’t be proven wrong like what is going to happen after you die in some kind of ephemeral spirit world. Anytime religious people get over-ambitious and make proclamations that impinge on the real physical world, they get into trouble because they can be proven wrong. Camping broke that rule. It is not how you play the religious game. Graham called him on it.

    Although, it is apparently fair game to pass laws forcing religious interpretations of bible passages on the rest of us. Like no Gay marriage…

    P.S. If Camping uses “bible-math” in calculations for a bridge design, that is one bridge I won’t be driving across.

  • Claudia

    I’ve always thought that the reason people like Camping are treated as kooks and attacked by people like Graham is because they commit the crime of forcing their beliefs into the realm of verifiable reality.

    By making religious claims that can be very easily verified to be false by everyone (in this case, by may 22nd happening) they are removing the need for “faith”, which is belief in the absence of evidence. As long as you keep things gray and nonspecific and about “faith” you can convince people reared from their parents knee to consider faith a virtue that there’s something respectable about your unverifiable belief. However when you drag your religion to a a place where it is subject to empirical testing, it will inevitably fail. I suspect that religion has a strong built in protection mechanism that encourages the rejection of very specific claims, to prevent it from ending up being shown to be wrong in such an obvious manner.

    Notice how when you come accross the odd highly educated Christian, they scoff at creationists. Unlike the more ignorant of their co-religionists, they are fully aware that there is no “controvery” and that creationism is verifiably false, so they make sure that you know that the creation story is a “parable” and “of course” it’s not meant to be taken literally, carefully carrying their religion out of an area where it will wilt in the light of scientific knowledge.

  • Mark Plus

    The rapture idea postulates that at least some people will go directly to heaven without having to die first. How do christians who believe in this fantasy reconcile it with Hebrews 9:27? “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”

  • Thegoodman

    *Most people will agree that anyone who claims to have interacted with a deity on earth is crazy.
    *Most people believe THEY will interact with a deity after they die.

    It’s alarmingly and infuriatingly illogical that so many people think these things.

  • http://cincinatheist.blogspot.com cincinatheist

    *Most people will agree that anyone who claims to have interacted with a deity on earth is crazy.
    *Most people believe THEY will interact with a deity after they die.

    It’s alarmingly and infuriatingly illogical that so many people think these things.

    I’ve always said that about prayer. If I told a believer that I talked to Jesus on the phone this morning, they would scoff at me. Yet somehow, removing the phone from the equation makes the situation perfectly normal.

  • http://pinkydead.blogspot.com David McNerney

    You could argue that Camping was just an idiot – but this guy and others like him are using the techniques of confidence tricksters.

    They deserve less respect than Camping.

  • sailor

    Mark 13/30 talking of the end times: “Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place.”

    It is absolutely clear if your read Mark and Paul, that the end times were expected BACK THEN some 2000 years ago. Guess what, they didn’t happen back them either. The bible is wrong, but just as true believers will try and make the best of Campings predictions, religious people have weaseled their way round things that are clearly erroneous. They generally try to avoid making specific predictions, but that does not make them smarter. After all Camping pulled in millions.

    How say we start a campaign demanding that religious have to comply with the same standards as other non-profits, not get a free pass to rip everyone off royally?

  • John

    And according to the idiot CAMPING, he know says, its OCOBER 21st, when the world will end! “Recalculating. . . .” (like a pathetic, OLD, broken, LOST GPS device that WON’T TURN OFF!)

  • http://hoverFrog.wordpress.com hoverfrog

    Oh well if the bible says that we don’t know the date then it must be true. :roll:

    Actually it doesn’t have to be remotely true at all for rather obvious reasons. Some people (OK a lot of people) have just been sold the idea that this book is somehow an authority that governs their lives.

    Wrong again.

    They need to grow up and start taking responsibility for their own lives rather than look to a book or a fairy tale to do it for them. If they don’t then every con man with a god story to sell is free to fleece the sheeple. FFS isn’t the Camping debacle enough of a wake up call for these people?

  • Anonymous

    It’s always heartening when elected officials buy into the End Times scenario. :( Whilst fighting against equal marriage, ‘nach. (And sadly, he’s a Democrat)

    http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2011/05/ny-sen-ruben-diaz-on-rapture-fail.html

  • Blacksheep

    Mark 13/30 talking of the end times: “Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place.”

    It is absolutely clear if your read Mark and Paul, that the end times were expected BACK THEN some 2000 years ago. Guess what, they didn’t happen back them either.

    No doubt some of Jesus’ followers expected Him to return within their lifetimes. But it may not be what Jesus said to them. There are many interpretations of this verse, I’ve always looked at “this generation” as meaning the human race, or the “line” of believers. The below may be a better interpretation, which I just found when I searched the subject, as this forum pushes me to do:

    ” The Greek verb used in the original text is ??????? (sorry, the Greek font won’t copy over) and is used as an “ingressive aorist.” The same verb is found in all three Synoptics and is translated “takes place” (Matt. 24:34; Mark 13:30; Luke 21:32). As an ingressive aorist it emphasizes the beginning of the action with the meaning “begin to take place.” All those things would begin in that generation and find their ultimate completion at the Second Advent. This fits with the idea of not being deceived by the events mentioned in Matthew 24:4-8. The Lord specifically referred to these as “the beginning of birth pangs”

  • Joel Wheeler

    There are many interpretations of this verse, I’ve always looked at ‘this generation’ as meaning the human race, or the ‘line’ of believers.

    There are many interpretations of this verse, I’ve always looked at “this generation” in a way that allows me to continue to believe what I want to.

    Fixed.

  • Blacksheep

    There are many interpretations of this verse, I’ve always looked at “this generation” in a way that allows me to continue to believe what I want to.

    Fixed.

    Joel,

    Whether the topic is anthropology, astronomy, psychology, or ancient texts, there is always a journey of study, dicovery, digging deeper, and gaining in understanding.

  • DocShinobi

    Hitch said it best.
    “There is a large part of mono-theistic, messianic religion that quite clearly wants us all to die. It wants this world to come to an end – you can tell the yearning for things to be over. Whenever you read any of its real texts or listen to any of its real, authentic spokesmen – not the pathetic apologists that sometimes masquerade for it. There was a famous spokesman for this in Virginia until recently who wrote about the rapture. He said:
    Those of us that have chosen rightly will be gathered into the arms of Jesus – leaving everybody else behind. If we’re in a car, it’s your lookout – that car won’t have a driver anymore. If we’re in a plane and the pilot is taken, it’s your lookout – that plane will crash. We will be with Jesus and the rest of you can go straight to hell.
    The eschatological element that is inseparable from Christianity – if you don’t believe that there is to be an apocalypse, an end, a separation of the sheep and the goats, a condemnation, then you’re not really a believer. And the contempt for the things of this world shows through all of them. It is well put in an old rhyme from an English Exclusive Brethren sect. It says:
    We are the pure and chosen few
    And all the rest are damned
    There’s room enough in hell for you
    We don’t want heaven crammed
    You can tell it when you see the extreme Muslims talk. They cannot wait for death and destruction to overtake and overwhelm the world. They can’t wait for what I would call, without ambiguity, a final solution . . And there are Christians in this country that consider it their job to help this happen so that armageddon can occur – so that the painful business of living as humans and studying civilisation and trying to acquire learning and knowledge and health and medicine and philosophy… can all be scrapped – and the cult of death can take over. That to me is a hideous thing in eschatological terms and in end-times terms. A hateful idea and a hateful practice and a hateful theory but very much to be opposed in our daily lives where there are people who sincerely want to ruin the good relations that could exist between different peoples, nations, races, countries, and tribes – who openly say that they love death more than we love life and who are betting that with God on their side, they are right about that.

  • JimG

    Christianity: Not intended to be a factual statement.

  • ACN

    There are many interpretations of this verse…

    Isn’t a drag that despite being omnipotent and omniscient god still can’t seem to communicate a relatively simple message clearly?

  • Blacksheep

    Isn’t a drag that despite being omnipotent and omniscient god still can’t seem to communicate a relatively simple message clearly?

    That would be nice.

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff P

    If there is a God and if the basic concept of Christianity is right, then given God’s communication abilities, it will probably be somewhat random who he sends where when the real Rapture happens.

  • sailor

    Blacksheep, That is exactly what I call weaseling. Now the earliest biblical writings as you know are those of Paul. I think this little passage below is where the whole absurd idea of the “rapture” comes from – people being lifted to heaven without dying.

    Here Paul is is trying to explain to a congregation how come some faithful Christians have died already before the end times and what happens to them (that part is before this quote but I don’t want to put the whole new testament in here). Note he is talking to one of his congregations when he says “We will not all die”. He clearly thought the end times were coming while some of those he was writing to, and including himself (WE) would still be alive. Within the context of what he was writing and why, there is no way he was talking about two thousand years down the road. But you can weasel around this one too I am sure.

    Paul Cointhians 15/ 50 What I am saying, brothers and sisters,* is this: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I will tell you a mystery! We will not all die, but we will all be changed, 52in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed

    By the way I don’t think the word rapture occurs in the new testament but I am not a scholar, so not one hundred percent sure. I wonder if they meant ruptured? Just on a statistical basis I am sure many were ruptured on the 21st. Maybe they got the word wrong.

  • http://whatthefaith.wordpress.com Jaime Delgado

    Does this same Christian realize that many of the NT authors and even Jesus expected the apocalypse to occur within their own lifetimes (except Jesus of course)?

    http://whatthefaith.wordpress.com/2011/05/21/apocalyptic-hypocrisy/

  • dc

    @Blacksheep, Most of us here were Christians for years and have already investigated all the possible ways to interpret a verse when it obviously states something that disturbed, puzzled or embarrassed us as Christians. You’re talking to informed Ex Apologists here.

    I know you mean well, but honestly, if there were a god, don’t you think that he would be capable of contacting us each directly to explain away any doubts? If you believe that a god can hear and respond to everyone’s prayers personally, why would he need a middle man (you) to go around making excuses/interpreting for him?

    How do you expect to convince us that we should vote for an invisible candidate whose last attributed appearance was 2,000 years ago? If such a candidate exists, he needs to rethink his campaign strategy.

  • Stephen P

    @blacksheep: Paul is so certain that Jesus is returning within his generation that he urges his followers to abstain from sex. As far as Paul is concerned, there won’t be a next generation. Playing around with Greek verb tenses is just dodging the issue.

  • Blacksheep

    @blacksheep: Paul is so certain that Jesus is returning within his generation that he urges his followers to abstain from sex. As far as Paul is concerned, there won’t be a next generation. Playing around with Greek verb tenses is just dodging the issue.

    That’s why I said that some of his followers thought he was returning within their lifetimes.

  • Blacksheep

    @Blacksheep, Most of us here were Christians for years and have already investigated all the possible ways to interpret a verse when it obviously states something that disturbed, puzzled or embarrassed us as Christians. You’re talking to informed Ex Apologists here.

    I appreciate that. I have come to realize the truth of what you’re saying about many people here being ex-Christiians, which I didn’t expect when I found this forum.

    I am also a thinking person, so of course there are things that disturb, puzzle, and I suppose sometimes embarrass me as well – until I focus on Christ.

    However, since I’m “still” a believer, you know that I believe that once one is a Christian they remain one (the sheep and the shepherd and all that). So it could be that a person who says they used to be a Christian never really believed it in the first place. Granted, that’s a perspective from inside the faith looking out.

  • Blacksheepette

    There are many paths up the mountainside. What is meaningful to me will not be meaningful to someone else. I have my own experience. And it seems real. It seems meaningful. I was raised by a Christian evolutionary biologist — I understand the problem of reconciling the how with the why. But the explanation that we’re here “just cause” doesn’t satisfy me. As for hearing God speak — I hear it everyday. Yesterday, I was praying that my mom who cares for her elderly parents would not feel bitter when her sister in law who lives out of town and does not understand the challenges she faces is critical of her. And God said “It starts with you.” Clear as day, the thought entered my mind and I tell you that was not my thought. What he was saying is that I shouldn’t enable my mom to be bitter, but point out that she has chosen her current life state — old inlaws and all. Anyway — that means nothing to you, but it means something to me. This is how Christians experience a personal God. In quiet closets with clear minds. I may have just cast my pearls before swine, but there you have it. I’m not an idiot and I’m not crazy and I accept that the natural me that came from pond scum must first and foremost overcome my biology (die to myself) and replace my natural will with God’s will. I have to do this everyday. It’s the choice I made to walk with Christ. I’m not perfect because I’m a Christian, but because of Christ.

  • JSug

    Okay, I got this… The common Christian refutation of Camping’s and other similar predictions seems to be that we cannot know the day that the rapture will occur. So why don’t we set up a system where every day, someone predicts the rapture will come “tomorrow”? By their logic, that person can never be right, or else the bible would be wrong. Problem solved.

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff P

    @JSug,

    They would only need to reinterpret scripture yet another time to get around that problem. Kind-of like in Life of Brian when Brian says he is not the Messiah (after everybody has been chanting that he is) and Brian says “I am NOT the messiah“. And some woman says “Only the true messiah denies his divinity“. Brian then say. “OK, I AM the messiah“. And everybody yells in unison “He IS the messiah!“. Kind of like that.

    @Blacksheepette and @Blacksheep,
    Are you two different people or the same person? If different people, you should associate avatar images with your email addresses so we can more easily tell you two apart.

  • sailor

    Blacksheepette,

    The mind is an amazing thing, what we experience is not the world in the raw, but as a model we have created that helps us interpret it. I am sure what you relate is true. I also have no doubt that if I seriously started believing in a deity and posed all my thoughts and questions with reference to that deity (and it would not matter which one), my own mind would start giving me feedback from my chosen deity. As I don’t, when I get clarity it is just one of those “aha” moments when you finally manage to make sense of something. When you get a thought, how can you know with provable certainty whether the source is you, god or the devil? A scientist would look for the simplest explanation which would be it is all you. It is true that experience is a powerful thing, that does not always make it true. If it did there would be several thousand Americans who get abducted into flying saucers every year.

  • Thackerie


    And God said “It starts with you.” Clear as day, the thought entered my mind and I tell you that was not my thought. … This is how Christians experience a personal God.

    Yep. They interpret their own thoughts as speaking to a god. Tell us something we didn’t already know.

  • Blacksheep

    @Blacksheepette and @Blacksheep,
    Are you two different people or the same person? If different people, you should associate avatar images with your email addresses so we can more easily tell you two apart.

    Different people, same savior.

    good idea jeffP.

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff P

    @Blacksheep,

    Good, I want to soon see an image of a Blacksheep for your avatar and hopefully a blacksheep with a pretty bow on its head for Blacksheepette ;)

    @Sailor,

    It sounds like you have had time to do some good thinking while out on your boat.

  • Blacksheep

    jeff P,

    How do I put an avatar in?

  • Joel Wheeler

    “I may have just cast my pearls before swine, but there you have it.”

    Well, at least we know what you think of us.

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff P

    Blacksheep,

    Its been a while since I did it, but the way I did it is first browse to gravator.com and click the link to “Get your Gravator today”. Then type in your email address (you must use this same email address when you leave messages on FA). This will set up a Gravatar account. Then once your account is set up, you will be able to upload your image file to associate with the email address you used. Then after you activate your image, when you leave comments on FriendlyAthest (other blogs too), your image will be shown if you remember to type in your email address. The email address is for identification purposes only for retrieving the image. If you enter an email address, the bog will automatically check to see if there is an avator image associated with that email address. The email address won’t be visible to the readers of FA. Your privacy will be preserved. You can also type in a URL when you post comments but that is optional. It is just the email address that will cause the image to be rendered. It may take a day or so for things to be rendered after you set it up and post your first comment including your email address.

  • Opaquesheep

    Tell us something we didn’t already know.

    Here is something you might not know because you mostly just talk to each other and have fiercer convictions than most religious folks. Atheism is the philosophy of glorifying sarcasm.

    The logical and scientific view of God should be that anything that may or may not exist outside of our space and time cannot be studied using the scientific method (save analysis and discussion) and therefore we cannot conclude that there certainly is or is no God. Atheism is as illogical as theism from the scientific perspective. Therefore, all religious / spiritual experience is personal. And as I said, my evidence will not convince anyone but me because it is meant for me. I certainly know the difference between my ideas and someone else’s ideas, though. Perhaps that is how it should be — I don’t think God wants dumb oatmeal cookies, but free willed sentient life. The universe is probably teeming with this precious resource just far enough apart to prevent most fights.

  • Blacksheep

    Thanks Jeff.

  • http://cultwords.blogspot.com P.

    I guess it’s because you can’t “technically” prove that the world isn’t going to end. You can prove that it’s not going to end on a specific date by just waiting until that date, but if you don’t put a specific date on it, you can still always say, “Well, it OBVIOUSLY hasn’t happened yet. Just keep waiting, though. It totally will in the future.” It’s sort of like when you assign homework that is due at some point in the future: we both know nobody’s going to do it unless their grade is borderline. But until you assign a specific due date and that due date passes, you can’t PROVE we aren’t planning to do it.

  • Tom

    For almost 2000 years Jesus has been “coming back soon”. Apparently his original disciples must still be alive somewhere in remote places in the world.

    “Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.” Luke 21, 32

  • polkadotsheep

    Blacksheep, I think you’re beginning to like it around here. One of us?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBXyB7niEc0

  • DW

    I suppose I’ll put my two cents in here: like many of you, I was once an apologist for the faith, and I knew all the talking points. I’m a little surprised to see (judging from Blacksheep’s responses) that no new points have been added to the arsenal. You know the saying “it takes one to know one”? Well, I know about how it feels to be an apologist, and how difficult it can be. I finally came to the decision that I didn’t want to live detached from my life and times, from the only world I would ever know. I was tired of being on the defensive against the greatest attacker of them all–my unsatisfied mind. I am finally at peace; and the world is more wonderful than ever before.

  • DW

    One more thing: doesn’t young William understand that just because Grandpa was a great preacher doesn’t mean he’s got to take up the mantle? Billy Graham’s son is keeping the name alive (however poorly).

  • Ron in Houston

    Apparently “fleecing the believers” and nepotism go hand in hand.

    As someone who had to watch Presidents go sucking up to that idiot Billy Graham, watching his spawn is simply making me ill.

  • Valerie Shiels

    Harold Camping a brilliant engineer? you gotta be kidding me right?

    If he’s such a brilliant engineer, I’m glad he didn’t build anything because it wouldn’t last.

  • Fundie Troll

    Don’t you love it when one guy with a crazy idea mocks someone else for having virtually the same crazy idea?

    Will Graham is mocking Harold Camping? The impression that I received after reading the article is that Graham was very gracious towards Camping, more so than he needed to be.

    As a matter of fact I would go so far as to say that your above statement is not only a gross exaggeration, but an outright lie.

  • Dan W

    Jesus isn’t coming back, for the simple reason that he likely never existed to begin with. There’s still no historical evidence that Jesus was anything more than a myth. It’s part amusing and part sad to see religious people arguing over which interpretations of their particular brand of nonsense are correct.

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverfrog

    Opaquesheep

    Atheism is the philosophy of glorifying sarcasm.

    Like we need to glorify sarcasm.

    The logical and scientific view of God should be that anything that may or may not exist outside of our space and time cannot be studied using the scientific method (save analysis and discussion) and therefore we cannot conclude that there certainly is or is no God. Atheism is as illogical as theism from the scientific perspective.

    Nope. Sorry but you seem to think that atheism is anti-gods. It isn’t, it is without gods. It is saying that there is nothing to indicate that gods exist so we’re just not going to believe that they do.

  • Jeff

    @Jeff P: Camping broke the cardinal rule not to claim anything falsifiable.

    This really is the crux of it. The other fundies are furious because he’s forced them to confront, even if only momentarily, the house of cards upon which their belief system is founded. It’s the worst thing you can to to an addictive personality; they’ll never forgive you for it. Also, he’s subjected them to even more ridicule from the godless heathens, and they’re insecure enough as it is.

    Meanwhile, this is the first I’ve heard of Will Graham. The Grahams, the Swaggarts, the Copelands – these evangelical ministries have all turned into family businesses, some of them being into their third generation. I don’t know if it demonstrates my contention that it’s an inheritable neurological disorder, or if it simply attests to the power of money.

  • ACN

    Opaquesheep,

    Sarcasm is self-glorifying.

    If you’re happy to take your leave of reality, fine. Do it. Willfully submit yourself to your non-existent deity. But be aware that personal anecdotes are not evidence of your claims, and if you can do no better than that, don’t bother talking to anyone else about the “rightness” of your claims.

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff P

    I had a vision from God last night and was divinely inspired to write down the revelations which I will now call the new scripture of the third covenant. This revelation is that God is displeased with what Christianity has become and He has decided to only send to heaven people (regardless of prior beliefs) who have performed a simple demonstration of worthiness. People are to wear a red hat and hop three times on your left foot while flapping your arms like a chicken while making chirping sounds. All people who do not do this will go to hell. The revelations end with the statement that these revelations are true and no person can add or delete from them (or great personal misfortune will result).

    The skeptic may ask where is the evidence for this new religion. Just point to the new scripture of the third covenant that I just spoke of. The skeptic may ask how do you know that this scripture is true? Because it says so right towards the end. The skeptic may spout about circular reasoning but I can tell you that you must have faith. The skeptic may say God is not fair in that He denies salvation to those that can’t physically perform the worthiness demonstration. Well, everybody knows that God hates amputees. Besides, he works in mysterious ways.

    Now, how is this any different (in principle) than Christianity (or any other religion)?

    P.S. chirp, chirp, chirp

  • Blacksheep

    Blacksheep, I think you’re beginning to like it around here. One of us?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBXyB7niEc0

    Dude that clip is horrifying – but I couldn’t look away! :)

  • ACN

    The only difference is in the numbers of people who believe it.

  • dc

    @Blacksheep, Although there are two camps within Christianity regarding the “once saved, always saved” belief, I understand your position, how you support it with your scripture and thus, why you believe it. Unfortunately atheists are “accused” of never having been saved all the time. It’s kind of like telling someone who was married for years and after careful consideration, made the difficult decision to get a divorce, that they were never really married in the first place. I know that you might not realize that that comes across as being arrogant, but from our perspective, it’s patronizing. My Christianity was a very real, and important part of my life. I sincerely believed it with all of my heart. I prayed and read the bible daily, attended church weekly or more often, was baptized, tithed and gave additional offerings, etc. I witnessed, I donated my time to hold church offices and considered myself to have a personal relationship with what I believed was a god. I now realize it was just an imaginary friend, but that made the experience no less real to me all those years.

    @Blacksheepette, I DO understand how Christians believe that their god speaks to them. I was one for 42 years and had many similar experiences, which were special to me. I continue to have them now that I’m an atheist. As others have said, our perception of those moments of clarity is different. It saddens me that you don’t believe that you were capable of attaining that beautiful thought on your own. I wish you the best as you work through this difficult situation with your mom and choose to face it in a positive, proactive manner. Good for you!

  • WayneD

    Why is it that none of these goofs who try to predict the end of the world ever notice that in the oldest gospel, which based on historical basis is generally more reliable than the other gospels that were written later. Also, has any of these goofs ever asked themselves why Jesus was fervently preaching to his followers to prepare for the arrival of God’s Kingdom, if it wasn’t supposed to happen until thousands of years later? I hear quotes from a later gospel that Jesus stated that even he doesn’t know the exact time, but in Mark 9:1, he doesn’t give the exact time. What he does do is tell those he is preaching to that some of them will not taste death until they see his Father arrive in glory in His Kingdom. I.e., it was supposed to happen back then. Since it did not, that leaves only one possibility and that is that Jesus was just another failed prophet. Jesus even told this to the high priest. Yet, all these birds ignore that. But it means that if it didn’t happen then, then Jesus was wrong and not the son of God, and, therefore, there is not going to be an end of the world brought on by a god.


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