I Know It's Been a While, But Who's to Blame...

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by Capstone, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. Capstone
    Offline

    Capstone Gold Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2012
    Messages:
    5,105
    Thanks Received:
    861
    Trophy Points:
    275
    Ratings:
    +4,910
    ...for the lunacy of men like Harold Camping?

    In the wake of his most recent failed prediction(s), I think it bears mentioning, that a couple of the tenets at the heart of the Rapture Loonies' worldview are mainstream beliefs! In fact, the 'Second Coming', Heaven, H-E double hockey sticks, and all of the baggage carried by those ideas, constitute an especially potent portion of the doctrinal fertilizer that's still in wide circulation in Christendom today. True, many in Camping's group live on the edge of Christianity (and probably sanity), at least where some of their beliefs are concerned, BUT Harold and his followers are in lock-step with the vast majority of Christians on certain other ...shall we say, more fundamental matters of belief; and I contend that those matters force Christians in general to 'worship' the worst kind of TYRANT imaginable: an ALL-POWERFUL ONE!

    Now, there seems to be a rift between those who want to lay all of the blame for this Camping business on Camping and his followers, and those who see it as endemic of a larger problem for the Christian Faith. Fortunately, for eveyone involved, all that's needed to bridge the gap is a touch of logic and a simple appeal to the most commonly accepted teachings among Christians, specifically those involving the nature of the God they serve. In that vein, there's really no need to move from the acknowledgement that their omni-everything God should (and supposedly does) possess the power to clearly and objectively express "HIS" will concerning our actions here on Earth. Granting “HIS” omnipotence is completely sufficient to hold that “HE” could have inspired "HIS" chosen authors to write in a manner that would've avoided ANY apparent inconsistencies between the various 'books' and in such a way that would have left absolutely no question as to what’s expected from "HIS" created playthings. Had "HE" done so, there would simply be no room for disagreement among Christians or anyone else on matters of doctrine. The unquestionable prevalence of such disagreement is thereby the proof, that, if "HE" does exist, "HE" apparently chose not to do so with the Bible. The presence of so many denominations and off-shoots (like Camping's group) is thereby directly attributable to that choice. In short: if the God of the Bible exists as conceived by the overwhelming majority of Christians, then the blame for some of the mistakes of men like Camping ...rests squarely on the shoulders of the notoriusly invisible and inexplicably silent Magic Genie of mainstream Christianity.

    Whether the Bible is every bit as full of contradictions as it seems to be, or those apparent inconsistencies are simply the fruition of faulty interpretations, its reliability as an objective "guide" for doctrine, morals, or whatever, should never be granted, 'cuz in any remotely defensible paradigm, it can never be tested! Sure, an "infallible guide" would have been great, but minus an owner's manual or any other objectively verifiable guidance as to how to read it, I can't help but wonder: what good is it? Let’s not lose track of when and where doubt is justified, nor forget that, in this case, doubt regarding a source’s reliability is born of what’s clearly absent (namely the objectivity and clarity of that source). In other words: the skepticism that arises from the Argument from Disagreement comes directly from the logical negation of the objectivity/clarity of a common source for competing and incompatible claims, which could not exist in the presence of inarguable clarity. The skepticism WRT the reliability of that source, is overwhelmingly justified by the available evidence -- namely a boatload of disagreement. True, my language here is very strong, but then, so is the argument on which it's based.

    This much is certain: if it turns out that acceptance of any of these hotly-debated doctrines happens to be requisite to “salvation” (as many Christians claim), let’s just hope and pray that the majority of past and present believers have gotten it right! That Christians must form their own beliefs as to their God's intended meaning, and that some of those beliefs will necessarily be wrong (despite their apparent scriptural basis), is an indisputable referendum on their God's preferred M.O. for guiding them, particularly in light of the purported consequences for failing to get some of this stuff right! This fact can be denied by Christians 'til they're blue in the face, but its truth will remain constant in the face of their denials.

    Moreover, that there's any question as to whether sincere followers of the various denominations are actually "Christians", only further supports my case. Were the Bible "clear" on matters of doctrine, there would still be one "unified" denomination of Christianity – specifically the one responsible for the canon. Bear in mind: it was opposing opinions on matters of faith and morals that led to the initial cracks in the walls of Catholicism, creating the chasm between "East" and "West", the Protestant Reformation, and ultimately the many fundified off-shoots of the “Bible Belt”, everyone claiming along the way to be grounded on the correct understanding of the scriptures. Who's right, their God only knows, but "HE'S" been notoriously silent throughout the ordeal!

    So, I guess the most pertinent question to any Christian reading this is two-fold: first, how can a person put into practice this "holy guide" for doctrine and morals, when nobody's sure about a great deal of what it says; and secondly, on what basis then can any Christian condemn the readings and teachings of others (esp. those of men like Camping)?!

    Of course, the more pressing question is this: what does all of this divinely-inspired confusion on matters of such grave and eternal importance say about the nature of the one supposedly responsible for it all?
    _________________
     
  2. Avatar4321
    Offline

    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2004
    Messages:
    70,537
    Thanks Received:
    8,161
    Trophy Points:
    2,070
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Ratings:
    +12,152
    Harold Camping is.

    Did you think someone else was responsible for what he says and does?

    How exactly widespread do you think Camping's teachings are? Most people are completely ignorant of him and wouldn't condemn him for being wrong even if they weren't.

    People are wrong all the time. They are condemned. Quite the opposite, we all try to learn from one another.

    Quite frankly, Im not sure he is a lunatic at all. Just misguided and incorrect.
     
  3. Capstone
    Offline

    Capstone Gold Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2012
    Messages:
    5,105
    Thanks Received:
    861
    Trophy Points:
    275
    Ratings:
    +4,910
    No, but only because I don't believe in Camping's god.

    On the other hand, if "HE" does exist as conceived by the majority of Christians, then yes ..."HE" is directly responsible for any false beliefs/doctrines that have any apparent basis whatsoever (erroneous or not) in the Bible.

    Well, that depends on which 'teachings' we're talking about.

    Notice that my focus in the OP is centered on the mainstream view as it relates to the nature of the god of Christianity (omnipotent, omniscient, ETC.).

    I beg to differ on both counts.

    First of all, his "Judgment Day" billboards and the cross-country bus tours landed him and his followers more mainstream media attention than any other group of religious kooks in the long and storied history of American religious kookery (Don't forget, he actually managed to extend the coverage from May to October even after the May prediction had failed).

    Secondly, generally speaking, in my experience with Christians from a wide range of denominational backgrounds, I've never picked up on any reluctance to openly condemn any perceived false teachings by members of other Christian sects. To the contrary, most have been quick and adamant in their condemnations, usually providing a butt-load of scriptures to support their rejections.

    Didn't you mean, "Are they condemned?", or maybe, "They aren't condemned."?

    Nothing like a little Freudian slippage to illustrate how you really feel, though. ;)

    One question: are Catholics wrong in their insistence that adherence to the doctrine of The Holy Trinity is requisite to being classified as a "Christian"?

    Misguided by whom?

    And on what grounds do you base your assessment of Camping's understanding of the scriptures?
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2012
  4. Intense
    Offline

    Intense Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2009
    Messages:
    44,909
    Thanks Received:
    5,849
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +5,863
    Just curious what is your perspective on Albert Pike....... Uh hum....yes......yes...... how is the Anti Christ these days?
     
  5. Capstone
    Offline

    Capstone Gold Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2012
    Messages:
    5,105
    Thanks Received:
    861
    Trophy Points:
    275
    Ratings:
    +4,910
    Highly intelligent, even if a bit of a lightening rod for controversy.

    The Antichrist, as in a singular Bizzarro to Christ's Superman? -- Mythical as ever, I suppose.

    On a completely unrelated note: I'm not now, nor have I ever been, a Freemason, although I did inherit my Grandpa's Masonic ring and a scrapbook of newspaper clippings, pictures, and documents chronicling his thirty-plus years in the Lodge.
     
  6. Intense
    Offline

    Intense Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2009
    Messages:
    44,909
    Thanks Received:
    5,849
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +5,863
    A little bit? :lol:

    Albert Pike received a vision, which he described in a letter that he wrote to Mazzini, dated August 15, 1871...........

    "The Third World War must be fomented by taking advantage of the differences caused by the "agentur" of the "Illuminati" between the political Zionists and the leaders of Islamic World. The war must be conducted in such a way that Islam (the Moslem Arabic World) and political Zionism (the State of Israel) mutually destroy each other. Meanwhile the other nations, once more divided on this issue will be constrained to fight to the point of complete physical, moral, spiritual and economical exhaustion…We shall unleash the Nihilists and the atheists, and we shall provoke a formidable social cataclysm which in all its horror will show clearly to the nations the effect of absolute atheism, origin of savagery and of the most bloody turmoil. Then everywhere, the citizens, obliged to defend themselves against the world minority of revolutionaries, will exterminate those destroyers of civilization, and the multitude, disillusioned with Christianity, whose deistic spirits will from that moment be without compass or direction, anxious for an ideal, but without knowing where to render its adoration, will receive the true light through the universal manifestation of the pure doctrine of Lucifer, brought finally out in the public view. This manifestation will result from the general reactionary movement which will follow the destruction of Christianity and atheism, both conquered and exterminated at the same time." 4

    WW3 - More About Albert Pike and Three World Wars
     
  7. OldUSAFSniper
    Offline

    OldUSAFSniper Conservative

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2011
    Messages:
    1,225
    Thanks Received:
    701
    Trophy Points:
    1,000
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Ratings:
    +868
    As an evangenlical Christian conservative, I have to be completely honest and tell you that I had absolutely NO IDEA who Harold Camping was. That is until I saw a piece on him on Fox News and heard that he had predicted that the world was going to end on a specific time and date. I laughed and changed the channel. Naturally, I was not paying attention when the 'end' came and went.

    I was partying when Y2K came and went and civilization as we know it was supposed to melt into chaos (even though I had been working on Y2K conversions for about seven years). I kind of figured that it wouldn't.

    Probably, just like I won't be paying attention when the 'end' comes and goes on December 21st, 2012.

    You see as a Christian, I know all too well the words of the bible that He will come like a "thief in the night." That we should be prepared at all times for His return because we will NEVER know. These predictions of total destruction only make me smile because in my very humble analysis, if someone is heralding the end, then I can almost be sure it won't be then.

    Also, I have to smile when I see those who are 'anti-Christian' point to these type of people in an attempt to use the broadest brush possible and paint an entire religion. I am an evangelical Christian; my sister and brother-in-law are very devout Catholics; a brother and his wife are Lutheran. Which one of us is 'assured' a path to heaven? None, and none are barred from entering. Humans, my friend, are fallible, incoragable, and corruptable. Get ten of them together with the simplest instructions and you will have ten interpretations. I would be suspect if there was not. The fact that there are so many variations on the instructions for salvation only confirms my suspicions that man will do his utmost to stick a finger into any situation to 'screw it up.'

    Christianity is the belief that Jesus Christ was the living son of God who died on a cross of wood for the sins of man. He was raised in three days from the dead and sits at the right hand of God, His father, interceeding for man who needs only to ask for forgiveness to have it granted. Even in that short description there will be those who will conjecture, define, and pick apart. What is the resurrection? Was an actual raising from the dead or was it symbolic?

    It is for each to decide... it is for each to understand what their 'salvation' looks like...
     
  8. Intense
    Offline

    Intense Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2009
    Messages:
    44,909
    Thanks Received:
    5,849
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +5,863
    ;) Matters of Conscience, of Salvation, are between Each of Us and Our Maker.
     
  9. Newby
    Offline

    Newby Does it get any better? Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    Messages:
    9,094
    Thanks Received:
    1,577
    Trophy Points:
    190
    Ratings:
    +1,703
    Who's Harold Camping? Never heard of him? Perhaps he attracts the loonies of the opposite extreme? Seems like it. ;)
     
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 1
  10. Avatar4321
    Offline

    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2004
    Messages:
    70,537
    Thanks Received:
    8,161
    Trophy Points:
    2,070
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Ratings:
    +12,152
    I take one issue with what you said. The claim that we will never know. That's not true. We will know. We will all know because the Second Coming will be very obvious and the whole world will know when it happens. You can't interpret the scriptures to mean that no one will ever know. Because clearly it's going to happen. At one point every knee shall bow and ever tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ.

    The Question we have to ask is can God reveal when the Second Coming will occur before it actually occurs. I would think He would have to at some point to at least some people. Christ, for example, will likely be told when it will happen before it will happen. Some of the angels will likely know before. I dont know whether any mortals will. However, there is nothing in those verse prohibitting God from revealing it to whom He chooses. But I think the scriptures are clear that the world in general will not know the date.

    The scriptures also say that no man knows the day & hour. Nothing about the week, month, year, decade, etc.

    I think God can reveal whatever He chooses concerning the Second Coming whenever He chooses it. Whether He will or not, I don't know. It seems to me that if He did reveal the date to someone, it would be for a specific purpose. And as is often the case when God reveals Sacred Truth the General public is not to know, He would command them to be silent on the matter.

    Thus i think it is safe to presume that anyone claiming to know the day and time and revealing to the world are not telling the truth. Of course, when in doubt, the Holy Spirit will guide.
     

Share This Page