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Christian group visits Lodi with end-of-the-world message

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Posted: Thursday, December 9, 2010 2:31 pm | Updated: 5:44 am, Sat Dec 11, 2010.

Have you ever wanted to take that dream vacation that you can't afford? Eat food dripping with cholesterol, without worrying about your health? Or do just about anything of pleasure without consequence? Well, you'd better get it done by May 21 of next year because we will all die between that day and Oct. 21.

So says a group of traveling people living in vans who spent Thursday passing out leaflets in Downtown Lodi proclaiming the end of the world coming next year.

The group, from Family Radio, says it's their calling to spread the word about the world coming to an end.

"If we don't tell people, the responsibility lies with us," said Fred Store, who was busy passing out leaflets on School Street about the world ending. "If we tell people and they don't do anything, the responsibility lies with them."

People loaded in five vans arrived in Lodi shortly before 10 a.m. Thursday. They were wearing baseball-style caps with the date May 21, 2011 on them. They were also decked-out in Navy blue and white T-shirts, sweatshirts and jackets.

"Have you heard the awesome news?" it reads on the front of their shirts.

The back side reads, "The end of the world is almost here."

Family Radio representatives maintain that the May 21, 2011 date comes from the fact that May 21 comes 7,000 years to the day of the flooding that destroyed every living being not rescued in Noah's Ark. That came in 4990 B.C., according to Family Radio. The mathematical formula is as follows:

4990 B.C. + 2011 A.D. - 1 = 7,000 years.

The reason you subtract one year, according to Family Radio literature, is because the calendar doesn't have a year "zero."

Family Radio representatives walking through Downtown Lodi on Thursday said that it's irrelevant to have that dream vacation, eat as unhealthily as you want or commit immoral acts because there's no interest in these things when something better is coming.

"We're going to have the most wonderful 'vacation' when this is over and done with," said Sheila Jonas, one of the distributors of literature about the world's end, which they call "tracts."

"What the world offers us is not important anymore," David Liquori, of Long Island, N.Y., said.

Liquori is another Family Radio believer who talked to anyone in Downtown Lodi who would listen to his message.

Jonas, talking with a strong Southern drawl, said she lived in Mississippi and later on a boat in San Diego, and joined the Family Radio caravan about two years ago when she heard a Family Radio broadcast on the subject. She tried to dispute it.

"I thought, 'No way, no way,'" Jonas said. "I dug open the Bible, and it's proven me wrong. There's so much in the Bible that churches are not teaching."

Family Radio believers have sometimes left their family behind due to theological disagreements.

"The truth has come into our households," Liquori said. "Spouses have not always supported us."

Many people walking in the Downtown area declined invitations to read the brochures without even knowing the subject matter.

Lodi resident Roy Macomber, who briefly talked to Family Radio's Fred Store, said he's a Bible student, and Family Radio can't possibly know the date of the flood involving Noah's Ark. Family Radio maintains that the flood took place in 4900 B.C.

Gene Wilburn is pastor of Big Valley Bible church, which preaches that the Bible contains no errors and that it shouldn't be subject to interpretation. Family Radio agrees with that concept. However, Wilburn says that Family Radio and its founder, Harold Camping, is wrong about what the biblical truth is.

Wilburn said he is familiar with Camping and Family Radio, and he disputes their claims, especially knowing the exact date of Judgment Day. Wilburn agrees with many Christian leaders that the world's end is coming, but the Bible makes it clear that it's unknown when that will happen, Wilburn said.

"Calendars have changed numerous times since Noah's flood," Wilburn said. "To even know a day or month, you'd have to go through all those calendars. I look forward with great eagerness to the month of May next year."

Camping and Family Radio supporters maintain that the Bible is indeed clear about when the world will end.

Another major point where Family Radio and many Christians part company is one's relationship with Jesus Christ.

Many Lodi-area pastors have said the same thing — you will go to heaven if you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. However, Family Radio says it's not your choice — it's God's.

"Many of us have left churches that preach that," Liquori said of pastors who say it is up to people to have a relationship with Christ. "If God will accept you, then you can have a personal relationship."

The Family Radio caravan began their journey from its Oakland headquarters and drove to Seattle to begin their journey to spread their message. They then headed south through Oregon and then Redding, Chico and Sacramento before reaching Lodi.

Last Sunday, they were at the California International Marathon in downtown Sacramento, but only one of every 30 or 40 people were interested enough to read Family Radio's literature, Liquori said. They also spent time near the State Capitol and at Denio's flea market in Roseville.

After spending Thursday in Lodi, the group went to Stockton, where they will spend the next few days before the caravan heads to Fresno. Then they will head east, Liquori said, because there is significantly more interest and support for Family Radio and its end-times beliefs.

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122 comments:

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 7:22 pm on Thu, Dec 16, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1880

    Darrell, I have always been taught that the "Fear" of God we should have can be translated to a "very reverend respect for". The image I have is being a lowly peasant in the presence of the king that everyone loves but who also has an incredible army and a strong sense of justice. You have nothing to fear from him per se but you also don't want to appear disrespectful by disobeying him in front of the entire court. As with all metaphors there are holes in this but it gets us close.

    Manuel, My big present this year that I have asked for is the entire Andromeda series with Kevin Sorbo. It is so different that the other series that were out there. I already have Firefly (and the accompanying movie, Serenity) and seasons 2-4 of Babylon 5. to get me through my sci-fi needs.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 6:27 pm on Thu, Dec 16, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    Kevin stated...My fear whenever I hear about these end times groups is how many of them are so influenced by fear that when the date draws near they will pull a Jim Jones (who also was an end-timer) with many of the same messages updated for current fears

    Kevin, I have a question for you. When I attended CCD, several of the leaders spoke words about " fear", that I intrepreted as irrational. For example, the phrase " god fearing man". your phase above reminded me of that. Why would anyone fear god? If god is loving (which I assume he is)and does what is loving, why would anyone fear god. Maybe I am misunderstanding the intentions of the words, but I have never heard a good explanation that makes sense.

     
  • Manuel Martinez posted at 5:12 pm on Thu, Dec 16, 2010.

    Manuel Martinez Posts: 641

    Stargate Universe was canceled today....Now I have to survive on old star trek movies and battlestar galactica. /o\

    The nerd in me sobs this night.

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 2:04 pm on Thu, Dec 16, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1880

    PS. Manuel, My oldest son liked our homage to Star Wars back there. It also shows what geeks we are since I first used the quote and you RECOGNIZED where it was from. He laughed, which is rare for the teen.

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 2:02 pm on Thu, Dec 16, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1880

    I know I wasn't lying. Most of the time I was sitting.

    That quote is deom Romans 3:4 The passage is discussing God being rightous as only he can, perfectly and completely. When read in its entirety it can be seen that what is meant by "Let God be True and every man aliar." is that God is true to his word, faithful and just even if all of mankind isn't.

    Interesting that John would choose this passage to bring out since it goes on to say: "7 Someone might argue, “If my falsehood enhances God’s truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?” 8 Why not say—as some slanderously claim that we say—“Let us do evil that good may result”? Their condemnation is just!" Which says that lying (baring false witnes) and cheating, even when about God and his message, will lead to comdenation. Aren't these the two claims I have been making about Harold from the beginning? That he is lying about what God has said and cheating people out of money using God's words.

     
  • Manuel Martinez posted at 12:36 pm on Thu, Dec 16, 2010.

    Manuel Martinez Posts: 641

    "Let God be True and every man aliar."

    I guess that's your only hope then...nvm thinking about it, we're lying in the process...

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 7:10 am on Thu, Dec 16, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1880

    So I guess that is a big negatory or getting an apology from John on Sept 22nd.

    Well, I will stick to my offer. If the world ends before Sept 22nd then I will issue a public apology.

    Some may have thought this was a silly attempt to be funny but it was, in reality, a serious attempt to see if John would be willing to reassess who he is listening to about God's will. On Sept. 22nd John should walk up and say "but he was so sure. He convinced me. If he got this wrong, what else is he getting wrong. Is he making any of this up?" He being Harold Camping.

    My fear whenever I hear about these end times groups is how many of them are so influenced by fear that when the date draws near they will pull a Jim Jones (who also was an end-timer) with many of the same messages updated for current fears. I hope any tragedy surrounding this group is widely reported so more in the future know how dangerous it is to live in fear of a single date.

     
  • John Francis posted at 6:37 am on Thu, Dec 16, 2010.

    John Francis Posts: 10

    Good morning, the caravan is leaving early this morning to embark on its eastward mission to visit the cities that God has already ordained from before the foundations of this world. Our God is an awesome God and we thank Him that we were able to share with Lodi His love and mercy and Truth. I will leave you with the encouragement to listen to your localfamilyradio FM station and read the free material that is available on the website www.familyradio.com. to see whether these things we say are True. Let God be True and every man aliar. Search your Bible. It is the gift of God. And may He bless those who seek Him with all their heart, mind,soul, and strenght. - John

     
  • Manuel Martinez posted at 11:40 pm on Wed, Dec 15, 2010.

    Manuel Martinez Posts: 641

    Spore does that I believe(excluding the May 2011 deadline). Unfortunately, it borders on unscientific grounds because there is no conscious entity in real life that selects features, so at best, it could be seen as a game of artificial selection. I might get it nonetheless.

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 11:14 pm on Wed, Dec 15, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1880

    If i were smarter than I am I would develop a Civ like game but using evolution as it's basis. You'd start in a random part of a hypothetical world as a single cell. Then over time yo develop your species. Based on what upgrades you give it then it achieves advantages or disadvantages for that cycle. Natural disasters from large to small would occur demanding a quick change. Even fighting it out with other species to dominate a niche in the planets ecosystem. The whole thing would be won once you achieved a level of planetary domination but if you wiped out the wrong type of species or too many species then repercussions could occur like less food for the future, maybe the species you wiped out would have controlled the population of a pest that eats all your food, or something like that. And a level of sentience achieved through development of community characteristics like cooperation, mutual protection and planning. You'd have until May 2011 to win or the planet would be wiped out ;)

    Sorry I'm typing so slow, the cat is in my lap demanding attention.

     
  • Manuel Martinez posted at 10:33 pm on Wed, Dec 15, 2010.

    Manuel Martinez Posts: 641

    "This is blue leader, I've got the exhaust vent lined up, preparing to fire torpeAHHHH"

    Practically a 6th of the posts on this thread are mine, it could do with some off-topic discussion after 100 "YES" "NO" "rabble rabble" comments. At least until John comes back to enlighten us more on how his group deduced that a.) Noah's flood DID occur regardless of what the modern geological consensus is(not to mention the reliability of radiometric dating, among other methods) b.) that it occurred 7000 years ago instead of the proposed 4000 year time frame put forth by the more biblical-literalist groups and c.) why his claim is any more credible than the earlier prediction that failed, unless he seriously wants to maintain that it was a "hahaha kidding! We just wanted those non-believers out" moment.

    I play Civ 4, my Civ 3 Conquests broke for some reason and I can't play it anymore. It was really fun(especially the instantaneous travel allowed through the use of railroads). Theres a scenario featuring a second American civil war, I always played as California and conquered the continent.

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 9:53 pm on Wed, Dec 15, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1880

    "This is red leader, stay on topic, stay on topic. Luke, there's too many of them. AHHHHHH!"

    You are right Jared, some things will never change, people will always try to make money off the end times. Look how popular the Left Behind series was.

    Manuel, I'm still using Civ 3. I hadn't heard enough good things about the new ones so I figured why switch. Two similar games I liked were Railroad tycoon, nothing like cutting the country in half with you line so you had the only cross country line. The other never got much press but was Capitalism. You had to develop your entire product from harvesting raw materials to getting the final product to the store, then you could diversify. A very educational game for young minds to get them thinking about just how things get to a store, like books about how the world will end in 1988 (see, stayed on topic).

     
  • jared coffey posted at 4:47 pm on Wed, Dec 15, 2010.

    jared coffey Posts: 15

    Manuel and Kevin...could you stay ON-TOPIC, please...

    Talked to these folks earlier this year in Stockton.

    When you mention that "no man knows the day or hour," they say the Greek implies a "yet."

    I remember when Vine & Branches sold a book called "88 Reasons The Rapture Will Be In 1988."

    ...some things never change...

     
  • Manuel Martinez posted at 4:00 pm on Wed, Dec 15, 2010.

    Manuel Martinez Posts: 641

    I love city building games as well.(although they messed up Civ V badly. What genius thought it was a great idea to limit a hex to one unit occupation?!). I wish they would make a Star Trek New Worlds 2 since the first game doesn't work on modern computers/operating systems. I miss my Warcraft 2 from when I was a kid.

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 2:42 pm on Wed, Dec 15, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1880

    I never got into the Halo type games, maybe because i don't play well with others. I think I did Mech warrior a couple times. I'm more into the building games. Civ has always been one of my all time favorites, can kill a whole night with that one. Madden football got me for a while. I did one of those hunting games for a while and have been thinking about it for the Wii again. Right now I just enjoy the low tech Fate and saving the villagers from the bad things.

     
  • Manuel Martinez posted at 1:01 pm on Wed, Dec 15, 2010.

    Manuel Martinez Posts: 641

    Kevin Paglia posted at 11:33 am on Wed, Dec 15, 2010:
    "Oh, I see, Harold used the first date to trick the non-believers out of his flock. Interesting way to preach the glory of God.

    Where's Manuel, at least he made sense in our disagreements."


    I decided to play Halo, it was a better use of my time since John seems to pick scriptures that aren't normally used to fabricate hints regarding when the end of the world will be.


    John Francis posted at 11:52 pm on Tue, Dec 14, 2010:
    "God was not kidding or playing games. 1 day equalled 1 year."


    So that scripture saying a day to the lord is a thousand years and a thousand years, a day was all just for giggles eh? I so do love the PSYCHE! moment described as separating the "wheat from the tares". Seriously, someone made a claim that didn't come true and attempted to explain away his apparent failure by claiming it was intended so those non-believers(...the people that subjected your claim to a rational thought process) would go away, and let only the righteous(delusional) inherit the earth when it REALLY is destroyed in May of 2011.....sounds legit.

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 11:43 am on Wed, Dec 15, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1880

    Hey, I just noticed something. first the date in 1996 was used "was not proclaiming the end. It was written to declare what was being revealed to us as a very important time." from 9:33 am on Wed, Dec 15. Now it really was "This has been used of God to separate the "tares" from the "wheat". Or rather the True Believers from the non-believers" 10:40 am on Wed, Dec 15. Is this how Harold has taught you, if you get to pinned down then change the purpose like he changes the date?

     
  • John Francis posted at 11:38 am on Wed, Dec 15, 2010.

    John Francis Posts: 10

    I see that a prior steward of a local perish is back in the news. Perhaps he would like to comment on the fires of Judgment? and the end time Judgment that is plagueing the churches today with false gospels? Surely he is a practicing Christian who knows more about God's wonderful mercy and grace and plans for His people in the kingdom that is to come. Even so LORD Jesus come

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 11:35 am on Wed, Dec 15, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1880

    I notice you still haven't said whether you personally will come back on Sept 22 to apologize for misleading people. I already stated I would if I'm wrong, won't you offer the same courtesy?

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 11:33 am on Wed, Dec 15, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1880

    Oh, I see, Harold used the first date to trick the non-believers out of his flock. Interesting way to preach the glory of God.

    Where's Manuel, at least he made sense in our disagreements.

     
  • John Francis posted at 10:40 am on Wed, Dec 15, 2010.

    John Francis Posts: 10

    the preceding post is from Eccliastes 3:14,15, and 16, There is a typo. But also this is a illustration of how we always go back to the best and most faithful translations of the Bible to review a matter. Harold has done this and God's Word has corrected us. But only because the Holy Spirit has guided Harold and corrected him. This has been used of God to separate the "tares" from the "wheat". Or rather the True Believers from the non-believers

     
  • John Francis posted at 10:33 am on Wed, Dec 15, 2010.

    John Francis Posts: 10

    I know that, whatsoever God does, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing . Judg,taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before Him. That which has been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past. And moreover I saw under the sun the place of Judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there. Judgment must begin at the house of the LORD

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 10:05 am on Wed, Dec 15, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1880

    PS. the last paragraph in the article is fascinating.

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 10:03 am on Wed, Dec 15, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1880

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/1994/october24/4tc084.html

    "September 1994 came and went. "Apparently it was incorrect," end-times forecaster Harold Camping told CHRISTIANITY TODAY by September 28, referring to his prediction that the world would end on the previous day."

    What you said: "The book was not proclaiming the end. It was written to declare what was being revealed to us as a very important time."

    Obviously Harold DID think the world was going to end, he even admited he got it wrong. So who lied to you when they said this as always meant to be a time things were revealed?

    Shouldn't it make you wonder when the people saying all the other churches are lying, lies himself?

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 9:57 am on Wed, Dec 15, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1880

    Soooo, you won't be offering an apology on Sept 22nd?

    How about this, on Sept 22nd will you leave the church because the date was wrong?

    Oh, and my church teaches it is NOT the church that saves, it is Jesus. Not one soul in the history of the planet has been saved because of what building they went to on Sunday mornings. Salvation has always lay OUTSIDE the institution of the church, salvation only comes from Jesus. It sounds like your leader has been teaching otherwise.

    "But rather to proclaim the End with all the resources at our disposal". Here is another good indication of the difference in our missions on Earth. You are want to proclaim the end of the world. I want to proclaim the goodness of the Lord. The very passage (when read in its entirety) says that we will be brought before courts for proclaiming God's goodness (which isn't happening yet), not brought before courts for proclaiming the end of times. Salvation is found though seeking Jesus, not the end times.

     
  • John Francis posted at 9:33 am on Wed, Dec 15, 2010.

    John Francis Posts: 10

    We are told in Mark 13:15 by our heavenly Father "But when you see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet standing where he ought not, ( let him that readeth understand, ) then let them that be in Judea flee to the mountains: And let him that is on the housetop not go down into the house, neither enter therein, to take any thing out of his house: And let not him that is in the field turn back again for to take up his garment". The churches and congragations that are called by Christ name are ruled by satan and his emmissaries today. That is the ABOMINATION of desolation spoken of God here. We are to flee to the mountains (the Bible or Christ ) for the Word of God is our protection. We are not to go back to church and ask for our money back. But rather to proclaim the End with all the resources at our disposal. Kevin, perhaps you should go and ask the churches and congregations that have lied to you about what God says in the Holy Scriptures. As far as the book "1994?" is concerned - notice the "?". The book was not proclaiming the end. It was written to declare what was being revealed to us as a very important time. That time is known to us as the "Jubilee" in which God would begin to save a multitude of people OUTSIDE the church institutions. If you gave money in support of Family Radio before then, then we thank you for your support to make all this information available free to me who did not learn this in the church I gave my financial suppot and whatever I could do to help to get the Gospel out. Or rather what I believed was the True Gospel. Thank you Kevin. But it would not be feasible to always expect our money back from people who have violated or trust or mistrust. It is against the Law of God to ask for our "stuff" back when we are commanded to get out of false Gospels.

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 7:13 am on Wed, Dec 15, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1880

    You are right, the end of the world is seriously discussed here. And I seriously asked, will your leader give back the money collected if the world does not end on may 21? A question you won't address.

    You also won't address why he is right this time when he was wrong with his dates in the past.

    On Sept 22nd will you (or he) come back on here and a publicly apologize for getting it wrong? If I am I'll do so publicly.

    If he gets this date wrong (again) will he close up shop or pick another date which is "biblically" supported and start collecting money again?

    Here is the thing, the Bible also says to be alert for false prophets. I believe your leader is a false prophet, in it for the profit or the fame or some other reason. His intentions may even be good, but he is misleading God's children (if I am right) and leading people away from God which we are also warned about in the Bible as I quoted.

    If God wants to judge me for following his word as it is in front of me, I'll accept that. At least I am not adding to it nor using it to garnish my own followers and a deceived buck. I will continue to live my life talking about the glory of God and telling people that ANY DAY can be the end times for them so every day should be spent prepared for that. This is in polar opposite to what you stated at the end of your 1st post 10:08 pm on Mon, Dec 13. I WILL ALWAYS be willing to discuss if God does or does not exist because that is what we are told to do so in the Bible and it challenges my beliefs to grow. My faith is not built on the end times, it is built on the glory of God as it has been revealed thus far.

     
  • John Francis posted at 11:52 pm on Tue, Dec 14, 2010.

    John Francis Posts: 10

    Kevin seems to go off tangent when the end of the world is seriously discussed here. God tells us in 2 Peter 3:7 "But the heavens and the earth which are now by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the Day of Judgment and perdition of ungodly men" ---- 2 Peter 3:5,6 - "For this they willingly are ignorant of that by the Word of God the heavens were of old and the earth standing out of the water and in the water, whereby the world then was, being overflowed with water, perished" So Kevin, you see that there is a reason why God says that we should NOT be ignorant of the Flood being a time reference. Also, in the Old Testament, God gives us a clue when He tells rebellious Israel that "... your children shall wander in the wilderness 40 years and bear your whoredoms until your carcasses be wasted in the wilderness after the number of the days in which ye searched the land even 40 days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities even 40 years, and ye shall know my breach of promise." - Numbers 14:33,34 God was not kidding or playing games. 1 day equalled 1 year. God explains why He does what He says He will do. The context reveals the Truth. --- Family Radio is listener supported and does not charge anyone for their material which can be downloaded for free at the website given. Freely ye have received, freely give.

     
  • Manuel Martinez posted at 5:27 pm on Tue, Dec 14, 2010.

    Manuel Martinez Posts: 641

    Actually that would indicate that strange powerful beings are rendered powerless by the utterance of a word. Everything else still requires convincing evidence.

    Does the caravan get funding from individual donors?

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 4:34 pm on Tue, Dec 14, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1880

    Manuel, there is a matter of faith behind the words. Just like Christians who go to church every week and say the words but mean nothing that they say aren't accomplishing anything.

    That said one of the interesting things I have read is about near death experiences. More than once I have read accounts of atheists/agnostic dying, experiencing the not so pleasant "next". As the demons were surrounding them they called out for Jesus to save them and the demons peeled away. Upon returning to life the once atheists find a church and believe.

    My thought is this, if you are face to face with a demon and you realize that is what is happening then, in that moment, you will have the concrete proof you want of God and will believe sufficiently to call on Jesus to help you. Just my thought though, no money back guarantee

     
  • Manuel Martinez posted at 4:01 pm on Tue, Dec 14, 2010.

    Manuel Martinez Posts: 641

    Kevin Paglia posted at 3:21 pm: "So you are saying that God create the world in 7000 years? Jesus wandered the desert for 40K years? He rose on the third millennium?"

    lawl, I almost asked him if the rainfall for the flood lasted 40,000 years since the bible says it rained for 40 "days" and nights.


    "And you completely skipped the biblical FACT that the fallen angels are driven out by the mere mention of Jesus' name therefore they couldn't be standing and facing him in full out battle as described in Daniel and Revelations."

    Umm...really? All I have to do is say Jesus and any demon that tries to possess me is thwarted? I don't mean to oppose you, it just seems a little difficult to consider...

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 3:34 pm on Tue, Dec 14, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1880

    So let me ask this; Will your leader offer money back (for books and donations) if the world doesn't end next year? We both know the answer is no. So the next two questions are why not? and If he is so sure about this then wouldn't it show complete faith in his interpretation to say he would repay if he was wrong (you know, like he was in the 1990's).

    This is his second attempt (at least) to predict the end of the world. Does he promise to not try again if he gets this date wrong as well. Probably not if there is still money to be made.

    If I "knew" when the world was going to end the money back guarantee would be part of my message. "I am so sure about this that IF I am wrong then I will repay every dollar sent to me." Then if I got it wrong, I wouldn't come back 10 years later and try the whole thing over again.

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 3:21 pm on Tue, Dec 14, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1880

    So you are saying that God create the world in 7000 years? Jesus wandered the desert for 40K years? He rose on the third millennium?

    Don't need to re-read a book I haven't read in the first place. Maybe if it came with that money back guarantee, but we all know that won't be offered and why.

    Non-profiteering religious leaders describe 7 as the number indicating completeness or perfection. In terms of creation, it was complete, nothing more to be added (which is why i reject the idea of a multi-verse). For Noah, it rained until the purpose of the rain was complete, to wash away the rebellious early man. Why 7 in revelations, it is for the perfect, complete judgement of God.

    And to say God is bound by Earthly time is arrogant to say the least. Time is a creation of God's as well, he is no more bound to it than he has a physical body with two arms, two legs and so on.

    Finally, to say angels means "messengers" is like saying humans means "cops". Yes, some are but there is a whole host (pun intended for those with a sense of humor) with other tasks and duties. Michael for instance is not a messenger and never was a messenger. He is a warrior, the leaders of the armies of God as Daniel described. And remember that even those that follow Satan are still "angels", are they messengers? Trivializing what angels are doesn't make you more correct here, it only weakens your position.
    http://bible.org/article/angels-god%E2%80%99s-ministering-spirits

    And you completely skipped the biblical FACT that the fallen angels are driven out by the mere mention of Jesus' name therefore they couldn't be standing and facing him in full out battle as described in Daniel and Revelations.

     
  • Manuel Martinez posted at 2:53 pm on Tue, Dec 14, 2010.

    Manuel Martinez Posts: 641

    Harold Camping's Civil Engineering degree grants him the ability to be a proponent of 'Flood Geology' and dispute the use of radioactive dating? Of course. -_-

     
  • John Francis posted at 1:50 pm on Tue, Dec 14, 2010.

    John Francis Posts: 10

    I am having lunch now in between distribution of literature, or "tracts", so to answer one of your concerns about the so-called "absence of adequate physical evidence of a global flood about that time". I think if you look honestly at the Grand Canyon and the truth about carbon dating which Harold Camping ( a college - taught engineering graduate ) you may have to retract your presumptive position on the dating of the first destruction of the earth. As far as Michael the "Archangel" goes, the word angel means messenger. And we know that only Christ is the "Chiefmessanger". Devin should re-read Harold's book with a more prayerful heart. Another "proof' is that God told Noah that in 7 days He would destroy the earth. In 2 Peter chapter 3 :8 God tells us "to not be ignorant of this ONE(my emphasis) thing, a day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as a day". God is talking about the FLOOD of Noah's day in the verses before this admonition. If you were to substitute 1 thousand years for 1day, you would have 7 thousand years, the timing is May 21, 2011 to the very day. Anyone interested and alarmed at this Biblical information can visit www.familyradio.com for a lot of more information that God is teaching us. God bless - John

     
  • Manuel Martinez posted at 11:59 am on Tue, Dec 14, 2010.

    Manuel Martinez Posts: 641

    I think the logic they follow(they aren't alone in this) is that Michael was the first of creation, who then created everything else with God's approval and power. He was the one incarnated in human form, with the name you know- Jesus. Colossians 1:15-17, Daniel 12:1

    In either case, I think the story itself is a little out there, but just wanted to point out that there's a different interpretation that other denominations abide by when referring to Jesus' pre-human existence. Such as the Seventh Day Adventists.

    Each time I read Hebrews 2:9 I think of Hercules(speaking of which, I'm gonna put that on. "Somebody call IX.I.I")

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 10:51 am on Tue, Dec 14, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1880

    Manuel, we got off on the tangent of movies earlier. Have you seen Book of Eli? I loved that movie and it is relevant here as the main bad guy wanted to use the bible to justify his actions and control people to do his will.

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 10:41 am on Tue, Dec 14, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1880

    "That is just 1 clue God has hidden in the Scriptures."

    Or that is just one twisting of god's word Harold has made and lined his pockets with. Just like he did with the one that Jesus is really Michael.

    And please explain how Harold got it wrong in the 1990's when he said the world was going to end then.

    How's this, if we have Harold's book and the world doesn't end will he refund all our money? Anyone who donates to his "cause" and the world doesn't end, will they be refunded as well? I bet not, his actions say more than his words. He's a profiteer, not a prophet.

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 10:37 am on Tue, Dec 14, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1880

    http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Wolves/harold_camping.htm

    Harold claims that Michael is Jesus in his book.

    #8 In Revelation 12:7-11, "Michael is the Lord Jesus Christ" (p. 56 in Harold's book).

    Now, how faithful to God can a man be when he claims that Jesus was not God's son (you know, as the Bible says) but rather an Angel in disguise?

    Harold's own citation shows Rev 12:7-11 shows that Michael can not be Jesus. Biblically demons were subject just to the name of Jesus, cast out in his name by us lowly humans. Now, how can the demons who are subject to just the name of Jesus stand against him in full on battle? Mark 16 14-20 affirms that demons can not stand against followers of Christ who speak in Jesus' name. Again, there is no way they could stand before Jesus in full on battle.

    Harold's hypothesis that Jesus is really Michael in disguise leads people away from the son of God.

     
  • John Francis posted at 9:07 am on Tue, Dec 14, 2010.

    John Francis Posts: 10

    This has been an exhaustive study done over many years with Harold Camping and Family Radio staff spending many hours doing what God commands us to do. That is to compare Scripture with Scripture while praying for guidance through the Holy Spirit's leading into Truth. I can point out 1 very important point that God had hid in the Old Testament in the Book of Genesis. When a "Calendar Patriarch" ( someone whom God was going to use as a "timekeeper" (my word) " "begat" a son, this son was not an immediate son, but rather a great-great-great-great...grand"son". God hid this Truth in the Hebrew word QARA SHEM. "Qara shem" means "called his name" . To call his name is to name one's own child. Example: Adam called his son Seth, Noah "qara shem" Shem. If "qara shem" was not used by a patriarch or it could be found otherwise to be an immediate son then it would be a son born the year that the "Calendar Patriarch" died. In this way God kept time for us to discover later. That is just 1 clue God has hidden in the Scriptures.

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 8:57 am on Tue, Dec 14, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1880

    In the next one of the things I will be interested to look up in the great library up there is just how many souls were lead astray by all the "the world is about to end" profits (yes, I spelled it that way for a reason). I'm not talking about those that follow the profits, I'm talking about the people who see absurdity of the claim an say, "if that is what Christians are, then I don't want to be one any more." I wonder if the profits will be included in the Luke 17: 1-3 warning "1 Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come. 2 It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble. 3 So watch yourselves."

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 8:51 am on Tue, Dec 14, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1880

    Here's how I am 100% confident that the world will not end in 5 months; The universe itself.

    Here on Earth we have a single book, the Bible, that I already stated could not possibly hold all the wisdom of God. It probably barely holds enough to get us by, at the most it holds just enough for us to begin to understand, but not to understand completely. To say the world will end on May 22 is to say the there is nothing more God wants us to understand about Him.

    I strongly disagree with that sentiment. The entire universe was created for us to have ample opportunity to learn about God, I fully believe there are other lifeforms in the universe (my two scenarios). The belief that: 1)We are alone in the universe 2) God created the ENTIRE universe for us and finally 3) he will eliminate us before we have the opportunity to more fully learn about the Universe he created seems flawed from the get-go. It would imply that 14.5 billion years of natural law established by God, the painstakingly tiny details he put into everything to get things were they need to be, the thousands of "coincidences" that occurred to bring life to this planet was all so we could know about him for 2000 years then nothing more and it would all be wiped away. Like we are nothing more than a science experiment to see what would happen and now it's time to clean the lab and start a new experiment. That is a very negative view of God and not supported in any scriptural reference.

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 8:36 am on Tue, Dec 14, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1880

    Manuel, "How did you come to the conclusions you do regarding this statement: "There is much information that God has been revealing since He ended the "Church Age" in 1988."

    That's easy, look at the pocket book of the leader of the "movement". Never trust a religious or political leader who is making obscene money off what they say.

    The claim starting May 22, 1988 comes from the Latter Rain movement. Here is a write up on them: http://www.cephas-library.com/latter_rain.html Interestingly enough, the passage all this is based on, James 5:7-8, when read in its entirety James 5: 7-12 is not talking about end times, the judgement of God or anything of the sort. It is saying be patient through the trials and sufferings that life brings. Don't give up. Rain will come again (to a farmer rain is a blessing and a sign his crops could survive after dry spells).

     
  • Manuel Martinez posted at 10:30 pm on Mon, Dec 13, 2010.

    Manuel Martinez Posts: 641

    "But the issue of "does or does not" God exist, will not be entertained by me. "

    Awww, and here I was looking forward to a person capable of being honest with themselves. Poo.

    Well, I guess I do have a few questions. How did you get the date of Noah's flood when most theological positions on the matter place the flood to be around the 2300's(BCE), much less amidst the absence of adequate physical evidence that a global flood occurred around that time?

    How did you come to the conclusions you do regarding this statement: "There is much information that God has been revealing since He ended the "Church Age" in 1988. In 1994, He ended a period of SILENCE that He talked about in the book of Revelation chapter 8 verse 1. Normally there is JOY in Heaven when a sinner becomes "saved". But from May 22, 1988 - Sept7,1994 no one was being saved through the normal venue of the True Gospel being preached in a relatively faithful church."

     
  • John Francis posted at 10:18 pm on Mon, Dec 13, 2010.

    John Francis Posts: 10

    Correction - May 21, 1988 was the end of the "church Age" and previous statement of "no JOY ("but" rather silence)... should be understood.

     
  • John Francis posted at 10:08 pm on Mon, Dec 13, 2010.

    John Francis Posts: 10

    I am part of the Caravan that visited Lodi last week. It seems like this discussion has gotten a bit off topic. Maybe I can answer some of your questions concerning how we can know the hour and day of God's impending and unchangable Judgment. There is much information that God has been revealing since He ended the "Church Age" in 1988. In 1994, He ended a period of SILENCE that He talked about in the book of Revelation chapter 8 verse 1. Normally there is JOY in Heaven when a sinner becomes "saved". But from May 22, 1988 - Sept7,1994 no one was being saved through the normal venue of the True Gospel being preached in a relatively faithful church. That could not be possible as God removed His Holy Spirit from the buildings that are called by His name. See II Thessalonians 2:7. Therefore there was no joy (or silence) in Heaven. Churches are the most resistful of our message today. That is not unexpected. Although it seemed very strange at first. Ask questions about how we can know and I will do my Biblical best to answer them. But the issue of "does or does not" God exist, will not be entertained by me.

     
  • Manuel Martinez posted at 1:16 pm on Mon, Dec 13, 2010.

    Manuel Martinez Posts: 641

    The problem with this logic, is that despite the near infinite possibilities for describing the qualities of a creator(of which I said, I am still unconvinced), the one that is religious asserts that he knows at least something about that designer, which then compels one to ask "what evidence do you have that persuades you that the unconfirmed designer has this quality?". Were we to contact an extraterrestrial species and compare religious beliefs(they may not have any, they may have developed to where non-belief is more rational, which is also a factor in this game) any commonality in belief would not provide evidence for the quality believed to be manifest in a designer, given that this is an appeal to popularity, rather than satisfying the demand for something concrete. Therefore, option 1 is dismissed as inadequate. Option 2 asserts an insurmountable level of hubris in believing that out of many planets orbiting at the least 10^21 stars in the observable universe, we were privileged with the mind and word of the grand designer.

    The point you made in your first post seems more important to consider: "I believe that absolute faith is absolutely freeing. It frees me from doubt, fear and uncertainty as to my future in the next. That faith comes from personal experiences, some I have mentioned here in the past."
    The freedom you believe you feel can only be maintained when you partition your critical thinking from your desires. The doubt, fear and uncertainty are avoided, by placing faith in an ideology that provides absolute certainty about what has, is and will happen. When thought about in this way, it no longer appears to be a liberator, but that which imprisons the mind, whereby one appeals to the absolute certainty of faith(of which you stated comes from personal experience, implying that you yourself do not think there is a criteria for adequate evidence) rather than the skepticism of which is multifunctional. Manifesting fear in the minds of some, but providing the framework for evaluating claims and determining what is truth, which then allows us to narrow down what is palatable. In either case, the 2 posts do not meet the burden of proof laid out in my previous response.

    I have no doubt that your faith brings you consolation. In fact, the fear of removing the consolation one feels when believing in a God has stopped me from discussing this in person. It is the only factor I consider worth tip toeing over given it's implications. I however have to point out that however much consolation it gives you, one cannot infer that it is true merely because it brings happiness. In so doing, you are judging an argument by it's consequences and not it's merits. As a final point, I've explained in detail, the meaning of the article you brought up regarding what it is about religion that makes the religious report higher levels of happiness, and I assure you that there are secular alternatives that can satisfy your desire for happiness and community involvement without appealing to things that we do not know.

    "When considering the truth of a proposition, one is either engaged in an honest appraisal of the evidence and logical arguments, or one isn't. Religion is one area of our lives where people imagine that some other standard of intellectual integrity applies." - Sam Harris

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 9:23 am on Mon, Dec 13, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1880

    Along those lines have any of you watched "The Fourth Kind"? Now that will bring up some interesting discussions, I won't blow it for any of you that are still interested in watching it.

    But let me say this in relation to what I previously posted bringing together things with no evidence, Faith, aliens and the long reveal. I see two possible scenarios for God and alien life.

    1) That God has revealed himself to other cultures and at some point, when they came here our understanding will explode as each of us may have received a small bit of the puzzle and we (collective universal "we") will realize we are all looking at the same divine entity thus the great reveal moving us from stone age to bronze age. This comes from john 10: 16.

    2) God has revealed Himself to us and we, as his sole representatives in the universe will be tasked with showing Him to the other inhabitants of the universe after our next reveal.

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 9:17 am on Mon, Dec 13, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1880

    These past posts just reaffirm that we are from two different mindsets. Not that anything is wrong about that. I believe that absolute faith is absolutely freeing. It frees me from doubt, fear and uncertainty as to my future in the next. That faith comes from personal experiences, some I have mentioned here in the past.

    But let me clarify one point as well. I don't believe that everything we need to know about God is contained in the Bible. I realize many Christians reading that probably just inhaled sharply and I may get a rebuttal but let me explain. We are talking about a finite book trying to explain an non-finite entity. This would be like trying to explain the Internet to cavemen. At some point you have to simplify and that is enough for now. I believe God asserted his presence here with Adam and Eve (who I believe to be the first humans to know God), over the years has reveled bits and pieces until we were ready as a species for Jesus. After Jesus we have needed a long time to digest what was reveled to us there. And over the time more and more has been reveled (I find the visions of Mary throughout history fascinating). At some point in time there may be a second revelation (Oh, there is that word) at which we will better and more fully understand "God". It may take us from caveman to bronze age. But the point is that I believe there is a long revel going on, not just one bit.

     
  • Manuel Martinez posted at 1:39 am on Mon, Dec 13, 2010.

    Manuel Martinez Posts: 641

    If your definition of "true love" expressed most deeply in Lifetime movies...no...I do not believe in "Love". I believe that one has the potential of feeling a strong emotional bond that can develop if one connects rather well with a mate of their choosing. There is no destiny involved, no meant to be, merely an affinity for another that one shares much in common with(of which is not rare when considering a population of billions).

    I reserve the same statement for the term "evil". I do assert that there are a multitude of negative actions that have harmful outcomes, but I do not believe it has a supernatural/non-corporeal origin. Rather, we have change in an environment. Following an evaluation of that change we determine that change to be positive, neutral or negative, whereby we then express our support, indifference or opposition to that particular shift in the status of our niche.

    In conclusion, I seek to reiterate my position regarding the criteria necessary to classify a piece of evidence as sufficient: sufficient evidence is that which is open to numerous researchers to review, and produces fairly similar results by most of them that indicates that that which is asserted is probable. It must stand up to critical scrutiny by peer review. It must be tested and retested until our understanding of it's qualities diminishes the reasonable level of doubt initially present in reviewing the evidence.

    I also would like to point out that there are more answers to questions that would be changed if we conclude that there is a God, in contrast with the number of answers to questions that would be changed if we concluded that "Love" is real(...as you put it). Hence, the two questions have a bit of inequality. The God question is far more complex than the defense of love or evil, and is therefore subject to additional scrutiny given it's implications.

    "Exceptional claims demand exceptional evidence" - Christopher Hitchens

     
  • Manuel Martinez posted at 12:25 am on Mon, Dec 13, 2010.

    Manuel Martinez Posts: 641

    I know rather well that it would evolve into more questions, but I am used to that. In fact, I thrive on new questions coming up in conversation because I find it stimulating for the mind to continue on and on and on, even after a eureka moment has occurred. When you bring your interpretation of the scripture cited, it then becomes subject to review, for which critical thinking is applied in order to evaluate the position.

    You asked the question that I have been dwelling on for months now. If you read many diverse articles, you may have come across the debates between Jerry Coyne and PZ Myers regarding this very issue. PZ Myers asserts that any evidence put forth is unconvincing, primarily because that which is posited to be possible expressions of evidence of a God is limited in scope so much so that it would be insufficient to narrow down which faith it is promoting.

    I'll phrase it like this. If one posits that the universe is so complex that it necessitates a designer, this only gets us as far as Deism if I accept your claim without scrutiny. This alone is obviously insufficient to give reason to believe in the biblical God, we then have to go further.
    Is the creator interested in the affairs of it's creation or is it like the engineer that is content with the natural flow of his mechanism that any byproduct that results from the reactions within it's design are deemed to be inconsequential?(Theism vs. Deism) For the sake of argument, let's arbitrarily choose Theism.
    Can it be stated that only one consciousness gave rise to the universe or could a multitude of consciousness' design the universe as we see it? This question presents a fork in the road, whereby we must choose. Is the designer an individual or a collective(monotheism vs. polytheism)? Thus far, I am unaware of any plausible explanation to choose one position or the other. Again, for the sake of argument, let us arbitrarily choose monotheism.
    How many religions, past, present and future posit the existence of a monotheist God responsible for the existence of the universe, including the Earth and it's inhabitants? Needless to say, many. From a statistical point of view, there is no special criteria among any of these faiths that compels individuals to follow their particular faith. Rather, geography plays a big role by isolating communities, whereby parents instill their values onto their children, and the children primarily follow not knowing much else beyond their community.(the modern age changed that which is why we see a sharp rise in atheism)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iV2VjdpVonY

    above is a minor aside related to my point.
    Let's jump the hoop once more and go with Christianity. How many denominations claim to present an accurate point of view on the teachings of Christ?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_denominations

    In short, many.

    Note the point of this. In each instance, none of these points are considered by the common worshiper when narrowing down a faith. None thus far have seen corroborating evidence presented by a particular faith that would be accepted by the scientific community or the skeptical society to such an extent that would convince others to believe, if they too were presented sufficient evidence of the claim. So when I say that I am open to the possibility of there being a God or designer, the proof of such a designer goes only so far to change my stance from an atheist to a deist. Until someone can provide evidence that he has recently meddled in his design after it's completion, my hypothetical Deism will trump my potential Theism. Until someone can provide evidence that it was the work of only one designer instead of a multitude of designers, my hypothetical polytheism is equivalent to my hypothetical monotheism, initiating an unresolvable state. Until someone can provide evidence that the God(s) posited to exist are the ones detailed in a particular faith on Earth during it's past, present or future, I will be unable to decide which particular brand of worship is sufficient were I to decide that they are worthy of worship. Finally, until someone can provide evidence that the monotheist designer's will and doctrine are upheld by 1 out of the many denominations present on this planet, I will be unable to determine who has rightful claim to accurate worship.

    Finally, sufficient evidence is that which is open to numerous researchers to review, and produces fairly similar results by most of them that indicates that that which is asserted is probable. It must stand up to critical scrutiny by peer review. It must be tested and retested until our understanding of it's qualities diminishes the reasonable level of doubt initially present in reviewing the evidence.

     
  • Kim Lee posted at 12:22 am on Mon, Dec 13, 2010.

    Kim Lee Posts: 1798

    Manuel Martinez wrote, "A Pleasant HumanLight to you Kim...I think you want the Christmas thread in the Opinion column; that way ----->"

    No, Manuel, I'm on the right thread.

     
  • Kim Lee posted at 12:20 am on Mon, Dec 13, 2010.

    Kim Lee Posts: 1798

    Kevin Paglia wrote "There is no evidence of love being real, but I bet you believe in it."

    Kevin: Excellent comment.


     
  • Kim Lee posted at 12:20 am on Mon, Dec 13, 2010.

    Kim Lee Posts: 1798

    Manuel Martinez wrote, "I do not state that there absolutely is no God. I state that there is no evidence of one..."

    Manuel: I too would like to know what would satisfy you as evidence of God.

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 10:59 pm on Sun, Dec 12, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1880

    Manuel, just as I predicted in the 10:59 pm on Fri, Dec 10 posting, every scriptural response I give adds more and more what do you think about this and that and then if I respond to those then even more questions. While I enjoy sharing my beliefs and standing by my convictions I am in no way educated enough to go into the nuances I think you are looking for.

    I asked Billy Reuben this question once and I'll ask it of you, what would constitute absolute proof for you that there is a God?

    Let's open up the argument on what is real evidence. There is no evidence of love being real, but I bet you believe in it. "Love" as we know it is nothing more than a chemical reaction. Animals experience the same thing when finding mates, is that love? If someone were to ask you to prove Love exists, how would you prove it to them?

    How about the other direction, do you believe "evil" exists in this world? Is there evidence of it?

     
  • Manuel Martinez posted at 10:17 pm on Sun, Dec 12, 2010.

    Manuel Martinez Posts: 641

    It is my position that personal evidence is inadmissible. I do not state that there absolutely is no God. I state that there is no evidence of one, thereby leaving the possibility open without making an absolute claim for which there is also no evidence. Therefore, I consciously state that there is nothing I believe in for which there is no evidence. I do my best to reevaluate what I do believe every so often so that I may maintain intellectual honesty and modify my position if evidence is found.

    Kevin, I was hoping for responses on earlier posts. I have no problem with responses to newer posts, but arguments prior to this interest me just as much.

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 9:50 pm on Sun, Dec 12, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1880

    "My position is that there is no evidence for the existence of God"

    See, Manuel, this is a point where we will differ on. In my life I have had ample, personal evidence that there is a God, is an "enemy" (Apparently formal names are considered objectionable??) and is a war between Heaven and Hill (also objectionable).

    Let me ask it this way, is there ANYTHING there is "no evidence" of that you believe in?

     
  • Manuel Martinez posted at 8:10 pm on Sun, Dec 12, 2010.

    Manuel Martinez Posts: 641

    A Pleasant HumanLight to you Kim...I think you want the Christmas thread in the Opinion column; that way ----->

     
  • Kim Lee posted at 7:59 pm on Sun, Dec 12, 2010.

    Kim Lee Posts: 1798

    Merry Christmas!

     
  • Manuel Martinez posted at 7:41 pm on Sun, Dec 12, 2010.

    Manuel Martinez Posts: 641

    Need I remind you that it was Kevin that brought forth the article? The exegesis of the study indicated the following statement: "It is not religion, faith or ritual according to the report that leads religious people to their happiness, but the friendships they acquire while in attendance, giving us a reason to conclude that secular institutions have the potential to fill the role of religion, without an appeal to the supernatural.”

    Note the article itself: "It's not their spirituality, belief in heaven, or even the ritual act of praying or going to a house of worship that leads the pious to happiness. Rather, the study found, it's the close friends people gain through their religions that makes a difference."

    If the deciding factor for the gaps in happiness between the Religious, somewhat religious, and non religious demographics is the widespread access to a community, it therefore implies that any community that fosters strong bonds among individuals meets the criteria of religious institutions if the goal is to manifest happiness. The additional benefit of this knowledge is the promise of strengthening communal bonds without stating things that we have no evidence for(such as the world will end on May 21, 2011...), allowing us to have intellectual honesty when engaging with others.

    Simply because I am capable of making my case with what I am presented, it does not imply that I have no interest in what Kevin has to say. The entire point is to ascertain what one ascribes to and apply critical thinking to the position.

    What is your comment about lifestyle about? I am an atheist and an anti-theist(for future reference, the two are not mutually exclusive - making a preemptive point for little Darrell who has a hard time thinking.) My position is that there is no evidence for the existence of God and as such I am not bound to the dictates of an ancient book for which lacks corroboration, and that even if the God proposed to exist in the particular holy book were revealed to be an existing being, his existence would not compel me to worship him(or her), nor give credence to the commandments set forth in the holy book. I demand an avid defense of every claim and rule set forth by a doctrine precisely because an appeal to authority is insufficient to make that case.

    In short, sod off.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 6:01 pm on Sun, Dec 12, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    Just an observation… when Manuel states "It is not religion, faith or ritual according to the report that leads religious people to their happiness, but the friendships they acquire while in attendance, giving us a reason to conclude that “SECULAR INSTITUTIONS” have the potential to fill the role of religion, without an appeal to the supernatural.”, it makes my point that he is not interested in what Kevin has to say, he is interested in proving intellectually that Kevin is wrong, and he is right, and therefore has nothing to worry about by following the lifestyle he is following. AGAIN, YOU HAVE SELFISH MOTIVES IN YOUR PURSUITS. ... sorry, just had to make another observation... which is understandably unwelcome by Manuel.

     
  • Manuel Martinez posted at 12:07 pm on Sun, Dec 12, 2010.

    Manuel Martinez Posts: 641

    Uh no, Romans 2:8-9 spells out rather clearly what happens to those god deems "evil"(indignation, anguish, tribulation and wrath), in contrast with verse 7, which rewards the faithful with eternal life. The presence of those 4 states does not indicate that it is the absence of a reward, but a direct punishment to those God arbitrarily declared to be evil.

    I've read the verse as well, but it does not address my point. It's meaning is actually counter to how we in the U.S handle violations of the law. Imagine, you are primarily culpable for a violation of God's law IF you have read the scripture that declares the law. However, if you commit a crime in the United States, you cannot claim that you did not know it was against the law. Moreover, your statement implies that if you simply try to abide by what you think God wants instead of actually reading the text to determine his will to the fullest extent, you will still be rewarded(I didn't realize God gave out gold stars for effort...), this therefore rewards ignorance and penalizes the studious. Beyond this aside, it by no means addresses the anti-democratic system that we are commanded to abide by or face his wrath.

    I also haven't heard a response to the scriptures cited in the 52nd post of this thread, detailing the call to evangelize the coming end, thereby confirming that being a Christian includes more than "being a good person". Finally, I would like your response on the report you brought up, because I think it is rather clear: It is not religion, faith or ritual according to the report that leads religious people to their happiness, but the friendships they acquire while in attendance, giving us a reason to conclude that secular institutions have the potential to fill the role of religion, without an appeal to the supernatural.

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 9:49 am on Sun, Dec 12, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1880

    A more interesting passage is Roman 2 12-16 (in part) 12For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law; 13for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified."

    All this basically says if you know the laws of God but ignore them then you will still be judged under them. Conversely, if you don't know the law of God but still live according to His laws (by instinct or however) then you will still be rewarded.

    So all this, the first part of Romans 2, through vs16 says in summery "if you live for youreslf on Earth you will be judged harshly in the next. If yo live for others, live according to the greatest commandment following God's laws, then you will find mercy in the next."

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 9:39 am on Sun, Dec 12, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1880

    Manuel, Looking at the passages around Romans 2:8-9 helps with my response (I hate trying to read King James Version, I know it's English but hard to read). Looking at what is said around 8-9 it all basically says people who do good, seek to do good and continue to do good even when the world is against them, then they will be rewarded. Those who do bad things, things that are solely for self, well, they won't be rewarded.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 4:46 am on Sun, Dec 12, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    No problem Manuel, please continue with your ratiionalizations. When I said I would bow out, it was in reference to participation in your trivia... I was just making an observation of your wrings, not participating in your discussion.

     
  • Manuel Martinez posted at 2:21 am on Sun, Dec 12, 2010.

    Manuel Martinez Posts: 641

    Darrell Baumbach posted at 4:56 am on Sat, Dec 11, 2010.
    "Ill leave this blogg and let you and Manuel enjoy each other..."

    Do you say things just to say them? My post is a response to a point he made in the post that precedes it, it is not a random reference. I have yet to even bring up an afterlife in my discussion. You may sink back into obscurity and let Kevin "waste" all the time he wants in at least discussing a topic that you said is not your cup of tea.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 2:07 am on Sun, Dec 12, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    Manuel, sounds like you want to participate in intellectual rationalization and justification of your atheist position. I think you are selfishly wasting Kevin’s time as you just want to shore up your position as an ex-Christian (15 years you said previously).. I think something is eating at you deep inside that is telling you that you are living in sin, but you keep on rationalizing. I do not know or pretend to know what may happen after we die, but you definitely are extra concerned about the after life for you to dwell on this in such detail… I still think this is a complete waste of time as you can not prove one way or the other what will eventually happen and this is time that could be used for something you have control over and can be helpful to real existing conditions.

     
  • Manuel Martinez posted at 11:16 pm on Sat, Dec 11, 2010.

    Manuel Martinez Posts: 641

    The title of citizen is granted to all whom are born within the United States, for which include, not just adherence to the laws of this country, but also the right to vote; To change the laws and policy of this nation following extensive debate. We do not have that power under the rule of a supernatural omnipotent being, who is known quite well for his demand(at least according to Judaism and Christianity, within the Torah/bible) that we obey his laws or face his wrath. Romans 2:8-9: "But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness; indignation and wrath. Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the gentile."

    We as a democratic collective do not get to decide what is wrong, or the appropriate punishments. Instead, we are condemned to live under the heel of a tyrant for which no revolution would have the power to depose. Those of us that did not choose such a government, should not be forced to comply to an anti-democratic system. It is not the messenger I oppose, it is the origin. I am a proponent of human independence and solidarity(Secular Humanism), absent of supernatural explanations or appeals in place of rational acquisition of customs and knowledge.

    I was more interested in your take on the study you cited regarding the happiness fostered among the religious and how secular institutions have the capacity to fill the role of religion without an appeal to faith. I would also like your take on the scriptures I quoted in the first portion of my response.

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 9:04 pm on Sat, Dec 11, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1880

    " I share his viewpoint that one should not have to abide by the dictates of a deity whom we swore no loyalty to(if such a deity exists) and are therefore beyond his jurisdiction"

    If we have the expectations that people who have not sworn loyalty to the US are still under the jurisdiction of the US laws when they are here why is it so far fetched to think people are still subject to God's laws while they are here?

    Actually, Manuel I don't really expect people who don't believe in God to follow Christian/biblical concepts. How can I expect someone to live according to what they don't believe in? That said I still believe EVERYONE is subject to his jurisdiction. Knowing what the law is and ignoring it because we don't like the messengers or the message is not a defense for not living according to that law. If we don't like a law in the US and ignore it, don't we still pay the consequences for not obeying it?

     
  • Manuel Martinez posted at 4:46 pm on Sat, Dec 11, 2010.

    Manuel Martinez Posts: 641

    To address the latter half of your response, I read the report a couple of days ago as well, attempting to explain the factors that make religious individuals report higher levels of happiness. My response to it was ".we know that already..." In fact, I had the report in mind when I made the 19th post in this thread. Essentially, it can be stated that it is not religion that makes on happy, but the relationships one develops when in the presence of like-minded people. Social camaraderie perpetuated by a singularly held belief or ideology. To attend services more often than others indicated a higher trend of happiness in comparison to those that attend fewer services, and the correlation is easy to explain: one that attends more often strengthens the bonds among fellow-minded individuals that also attend regularly, maintaining friendships over a long period of time.

    From the article: "It's not their spirituality, belief in heaven, or even the ritual act of praying or going to a house of worship that leads the pious to happiness. Rather, the study found, it's the close friends people gain through their religions that makes a difference." I submit then, that it is not religion that should be credited, but social bonds. I go further to state that this study supports the view that a community is better off when it comes together to share their viewpoints and foster an increase in communal strength, even in the absence of a metaphysical explanation for the origin of the universe or the 'meaning of life'.

    As for growth, I have a habit of comparing it to the accumulation of knowledge, science therefore satisfies my personal desire to grow as a person.

    Finally, for the record, I don't think James considered himself to be individually divine, I share his viewpoint that one should not have to abide by the dictates of a deity whom we swore no loyalty to(if such a deity exists) and are therefore beyond his jurisdiction. This position does not elevate us to gods, it merely allows us to posses individual liberty within the constraint of communal concern(hey, atheists follow the golden rule too without an appeal to faith). :]

     
  • Manuel Martinez posted at 4:31 pm on Sat, Dec 11, 2010.

    Manuel Martinez Posts: 641

    I can accept your view that the death of an individual is seen as his personal 'last days', but I was referring particularly to the collective destruction that is asserted to occur, noted in 2 Peter 3:5-14 and 1 John 2:17. You may be correct in stating that one does not know when it will occur(I made 4 citations in previous posts that reflect that), but I think your concept of how and why it is asserted to occur is a tad off. The entire point of your faith according to Matthew 24:4-14, Mark 13:4-33, is to evangelize the foretold end while remaining "unblemished", implying that living a good life is indeed part of the project, but only a segment within the bigger picture. Moreover, according to Zephaniah 2:2-3, it is God that intends to initiate the fight between himself and the devil. Not the other way around. Further, I am a tad confused about what you mean to be the end of creation, do you imply that humans will become infertile(Children of Men just popped into my mind), thereby depriving the devil of what you call instruments of war? Finally, it should be noted that Revelation 20:2, 3 and 7-10 state that the devil won't be destroyed at Armageddon, merely imprisoned for a time, after which he would be let loose to convince others to follow him, and after having done so, will then be destroyed....why?

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 3:06 pm on Sat, Dec 11, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1880

    And just for the record, individual divinity doesn't mean "personal well-being and growth". When I think individual divinity I think of how messed up all of us are. It is kind of the whole "the lawyer who defends himself has a fool for a client" thing. In fact most of the people I've talked to who have ascribed to the self is god mentality have admitted that it was the freedom to choose what was acceptable behavior for themselves that attracted them. The freedom to not be feel bound to a final judgement because they now set their own rules. It was even stated on here (James Striplin posted at 2:01 pm on Fri, Dec 10, 2010.)

    As for the personal well being http://news.discovery.com/human/religion-happiness-social-bonds.html. And growth? What better medium for growth is there than seeking to better understand the will of the one that created the universe? It is the constant search for the enigmatic will of God in what happens around me that challenges me to grow daily.

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 2:52 pm on Sat, Dec 11, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1880

    Very close, Manuel. Yes each individual death is basically the end times for that person, then they move on tot he next. Whatever that may be. There will be a collective, preordained end of all, the question is when.

    The more important date that we, as individuals need be concerned about is our own death, or rather the day after.

    Revelations is one of my favorite books, second to Daniel. How much is metaphor, creative imagery, accurate description of a vision, or direct revelation by God is impossible to say, until the day after I die. Here is what I believe: Revelations is both a description of an individual experience and expands out to a larger collective.

    *IF* I am correct (about death being the end times) then at the moment of death we move beyond what we understand as time at some point in the future we will all be dead. This would be the end of creation (something I don't think will happen for a VERY log time). At that time the larger collective part of Revelations will kick in. Why? Because when all creation is gone then Lucifer and all the angels who followed him will no longer have weapons, creation that rejects God, to use against God and there will be no choice but to engage in one last desperate battle to prove superiority.

     
  • Manuel Martinez posted at 12:10 pm on Sat, Dec 11, 2010.

    Manuel Martinez Posts: 641

    Cool your jets Darrell, I shut off the computer after I made my last post.

    Thank you Kevin for at least engaging with me in a calm manner about a topic that I spent a day with Darrell just to address.

    I rather like the distinction made between the monotheist faiths that propose an end of the world that is conducive to their deity's will, and the faiths that posit personal well-being and growth(what you listed as individual divinity).

    What I got from your dissection of the scripture I gave you indicates that you believe the end of times is merely the individual's imminent death as opposed to collective preordained destruction willed by God. Is this summary accurate? Does this therefore render all of Revelation to be metaphor?

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 4:56 am on Sat, Dec 11, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    Kevin, the only thing I can conclude is Manuel died and is now in heaven... After reading your post he must have been in shock that someone would actually engage him in this topic. You made very good points but it was difficult for me to read... ...Im also impressed with your thought process. Ill leave this blogg and let you and Manuel enjoy each other... not my cup of tea..

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 11:15 pm on Fri, Dec 10, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1880

    What all this should have made clear is that the "end time", which is Death, is not irrelevant. It is an invisible target. It is that point for which we don't know where or when but we all will hit eventually. So we should ALWAYS be living like then next moment we could be standing before Jesus. This point was made clear to me in my youth when my Grandpa Slim died (Wasn't my actual grandfather but that old great uncle on my dad's side everyone called Grandpa Slim). He had (and God must have really wanted him) a stroke, heart attack and brain aneurysm all at the same time, no joke that was what the docs said. Indications were he died without ever even knowing he was about to. Probably felt tingling from the heart attack. He was carrying some dishes from the table to the sink one second, the next he's standing in heaven going "I was going to soak those".

    The concept of the end times as a complete erasure of mankind becomes less important since death is a very personal experience, whether you die alone or with every single person on the planet, you still do it alone. What is more important to Christians who have read the Bible is not about how/when you die, but how you live. I believe this is what Darrell is trying to say.

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 10:59 pm on Fri, Dec 10, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1880

    Oh, really should have spell checked those last couple posts.

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 10:59 pm on Fri, Dec 10, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1880

    So if we take it all together what does it mean?

    That life is full of distractions from what is really important, as Darrell says the good things that are done. We run the risk of getting so bogged down in what seems important right now but mean nothing in the next. When death comes, as it does for all, it won't care how many hours you worked. Or how many weeds you pulled in the garden or any of that stuff. The only thing that will matter is how well you lived your life, how you faced everything the Enemy threw at you and withstood it to keep your relationship with Jesus intact.

    All Christians should be prepared for the end times, death, all the time. Tomorrow any of us could die (that is the thief). The questions did we live our life focused on what was important or on what was of this world.

    I'd be happy to go over each and every passage you listed but averaging three postings each, the responses would get very tedious. I've done it in the past and each response I give raises five more questions which yields five more postings and it can get overwhelming. I hope this one helped. If there is another specific one you'd like me to address, I'm up for it. I try to avoid getting preachy.

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 10:42 pm on Fri, Dec 10, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1880

    Just because I hate really long posts, round two:
    35 "For it will come on all those who live on the face of the whole earth."

    To me this says "Death". All who live (with a very sparse few) have died. It has come to all who have lived before us and all who come after us.

    "36 Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man."

    Escape is the tricky word here. I'd love to know what the original word used in this phrase was because it can change the context. To escape can mean avoid, evade or simply to survive or withstand. A few translations actually use "withstand" rather than escape. (that is where having those who spend their lives learning the background, orgins and context of the writings can be useful) So what is there to withstand or escape that is coming? Well, from a Christian perspective there is only one thing to withstand, the tricks and manuverings of the Enemy. If we don't then we risk our (our fault) relationship with Jesus and may not stand before Him in the next.

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 10:35 pm on Fri, Dec 10, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1880

    Manuel, I don't know of any Monotheistic faiths that don't have an end times scenario. But to take it a step farther, there are VERY few polytheistic faiths that don't as well. The ones that don't seem to be the ones that focus individual divinity.

    As for Luke 21: 34-36 (as with all the others) that can be looked in pieces or as a whole. I prefer the whole but with understanding of what each piece brings so here we go. And mind all you readers, I am by no means a scholar of the Bible, just have engaged in MANY conversations with people from all takes.

    To start
    34 “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap."
    What this should be telling all who believe is to not let things of this world become your sole passion. The pursuit of money, career, being right or whatever serves only as a distraction. Looking specifically at the career. I hear it all the time as a youngish parent, "be careful, before you know it the kids will be grown." Well, that is all this verse is saying. "Be careful, before you know it your life will have gone by and what will you have to show for it in the next?"

     
  • Manuel Martinez posted at 7:39 pm on Fri, Dec 10, 2010.

    Manuel Martinez Posts: 641

    Finally, someone to seriously discuss this with. I do see your point Kevin. I would like to make a point here, that the difference between the two scenarios consists of one group stating how the world may end(the list of instances in which our planet or species may face destruction through natural causes) while the other group asserts that a.) the world will end, b.) It will be by the hand of a conscious omnipotent entity they assert created the universe, and c.) the resulting destruction is a positive thing because...well the book says so. My primary question was: "what monotheist faith doesn't have an end-of-the-world story?" for which Darrell blew a gasket over and waged this battle until it ended up here.

    I don't doubt that this planet may face a catastrophe. I however hold the position that whatever is asserted about the longevity of our habitat, it should have foundation to withstand critical scrutiny.

    As a final question, have you read the scriptures I cited earlier before, and if so, how do you reconcile it with your stance that the end times portion of your faith is irrelevant, particularly when examining Luke 21: 34-36?

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 7:28 pm on Fri, Dec 10, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    Manuel stated…Darrell asserted that Christians do not consider the scriptures I cited, which includes an entire book within the bible to be a relevant factor in their lives,

    Manuel, why do you so often misquote me…and misinterpret…
    I did not say they do not consider it… its like Kevin stated, the end times as portrayed in Revelations is irrelevant in the average Christians life… doing for others and issues of love and kindness dominates their lives… they might consider what you say, but it is not important.

    Thanks Kevin for your communication skills, I appreciate your wisdom.

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 7:19 pm on Fri, Dec 10, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1880

    Manuel, it isn't only the religious that think there will be an end times. Scientists from around the world point to MANY end time scenarios, from super viruses to meteor impact, from gamma ray bursts to Coronal mass ejection, Runaway green house or global ice age, even alien invasion or robot rebellion. Point is that there will be an end time somehow, someway. The difference between Scientists and religious leaders is that religious leaders look the what comes next.

    And Darrell is mostly correct, the end times as portrayed in Revelations is irrelevant in the average Christians life. It does, however, revel the extent and zeal at which Heaven, and ultimately God, will pursue every soul. They (Heaven) go to war for those souls. Whether or not we accept that passionate perusal of us is on us, not God.

     
  • Manuel Martinez posted at 6:13 pm on Fri, Dec 10, 2010.

    Manuel Martinez Posts: 641

    I made it clear that the only distinction that can be made between this atypical group of Christians and the more mainstream Christians is the date one assigned to a commonly-held, hoped for event. Namely, Armageddon.

    Rather than give me a straight answer, Darrell asserted that Christians do not consider the scriptures I cited, which includes an entire book within the bible to be a relevant factor in their lives, despite the fact that Pastor Mastro sought to alleviate the concerns of local citizens by pointing out that the particularly unique belief of this small group of Christians is not shared by many. In the course of doing so, he cited Matthew 24: 36-37: "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be" Therefore, his faith has a position regarding the end of days. The only difference between him and this vocal group is that he is capable of pointing to scriptures that diminish their claim; returning to a state of awareness, given that he does not know when the end will be, but nonetheless, believes an end ordained by his God will come to be.

    This central issue is that which Darrell has consistently dodged when faced with the rather direct question: what monotheist faith doesn't have an end-of-the-world story?
    I was a Christian for 16 years, and the issue of the last judgment was a major factor within that belief structure. Do not have the audacity to assert that it is irrelevant to the vast majority.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 5:27 pm on Fri, Dec 10, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    Kevin Paglia posted at 4:38 pm ...Darrell, why do you separate Catholics and Christianity? I've seen you do that a couple times here.

    Good observation Kevin.... Since Catholics are Christians, I shouldn’t make a separation like I did. I did not do it on purpose and was not thinking about it in that way.
    I am not a practicing Christian or consider myself a Christian. But I do have experience in going to Catholic churches as opposed to other kinds of Christian denominations like Methodists, Protestants or Baptists. They are all Christians but I think of Catholics first, so it resulted in my inadvertent separation. Thank you for pointing that out.

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 4:40 pm on Fri, Dec 10, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1880

    James, you might get a good reaction aswell if, when you walk by, say "sorry, I don't listen to false Prophets." That's my plan.

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 4:38 pm on Fri, Dec 10, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1880

    Darrell, why do you seperate Catholics and Christianity? I've seen you do that a couple times here.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 4:25 pm on Fri, Dec 10, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    Doug Chaney posted at 10:03 am on Fri…Any who can voice their opinion on these blogs without being downgraded, insulted or to avoid any kind of negative criticism from Mr. Baumbach should be applauded

    Doug, was I wrong in taking this position: The Catholic and Christian Religion has many important topics that are worth reviewing. If it is positive, uplifting, has to do with benefiting mankind, love, doing for others, and how to live your life in a way that brings joy to your heart…and others, then its worth the time. You want to talk about topics that bring people down and general misery Your hostility must make you feel bad Manuel.

    Since Manuel is an Atheist and takes every opportunity to support issued and topics that are counter to any church or religious organization. Manuel was using this small group as a pawn in his agenda, which I felt was insignificant to the whole picture of things…

     
  • James Striplin posted at 2:01 pm on Fri, Dec 10, 2010.

    James Striplin Posts: 4 Staff

    So if you're not a Christian, you get to live, right? I mean, that's the rule.
    I would love to walk by while they are handing out a pamphlet so I could reject it and say "Its okay, I'm not a Christian. Your rules don't abide by me."
    Erm...not trying to say all Christians believe in this theory.

     
  • posted at 12:21 pm on Fri, Dec 10, 2010.

    Posts:

    Harold Camping has been spouting this nonsense for decades. I used to catch him on TV in Susanville, Ca in the 80s. His education degree is in civil engineering not theology. Earth-bound prophets, like him, always come out of the woodwork when they realize there are more people looking for miracles to fix the economy, the earth, the war, themselves, than ever before. Any they prey on the poor, the aged, the infirmed and the youth.

     
  • D Morris posted at 11:58 am on Fri, Dec 10, 2010.

    Dan Morris Posts: 1

    Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. (1 Thessalonians 5:21, KJV).

    For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. (1 Thessalonians 5:2, KJV).

    But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. (2 Peter 3:10, KJV).

    Harold Camping is a nut without a shell. Peter and Paul are right. The time of Jesus' coming is unknown--"like a thief". Camping is wrong.

    Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1, KJV).

     
  • Doug Chaney posted at 10:03 am on Fri, Dec 10, 2010.

    Doug Chaney Posts: 1232

    Pastor Bill Mastro, thank you for your always well thought out and accurate words of wisdom spoken from a true Christian standpoint. Any who can voice their opinion on these blogs without being downgraded, insulted or to avoid any kind of negative criticism from Mr. Baumbach should be applauded. God bless you, sir. I miss working with you!

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 8:14 am on Fri, Dec 10, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1880

    Do you think we'd get our money back if we buy their book and the prediction is wrong? Nah, don't think so either. That money would have already been invested in stock futures.

     
  • Mary Henschel posted at 7:14 am on Fri, Dec 10, 2010.

    Mary Henschel Posts: 46

    Back in the 1990s this same group was predicting the world would end. I think they said the world would end in 1998, just over a year before Y2K. They always seem to pop up before a time when people are predicting doom and gloom or the end of the world. Since 2012 is getting so much buzz, they've jumped on the bandwagon again.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 4:16 am on Fri, Dec 10, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    Manuel Martinez posted at 1:49 am ...To correctly refer to this group as a cult is not to deny it's claim of being a Christian group.

    Yawn, double yawn... all I can say is so what... you are completely focused on trivia....you can talk with yourself after this... I will no longer waste my time on your pointlessness.

     
  • Manuel Martinez posted at 1:49 am on Fri, Dec 10, 2010.

    Manuel Martinez Posts: 641

    Darrell...Pastor Mastro "plucked" one... Matthew 24:36-37...To correctly refer to this group as a cult is not to deny it's claim of being a Christian group.

    Furthermore, the sermons at St. Anne's are not indicative of a canonical stance on the last days, for that, you have the catholic church's doctrine, which includes an acknowledgment of the Last Judgment. Here is an idea, why not ask the new pastor about Revelation and what importance it holds for a Christian?

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 1:12 am on Fri, Dec 10, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    • Pastor Bill Mastro posted at 12:16 am…Groups that assign dates and times are generally considered to be cults.

    Thank you Pastor Mastro… this was exactly my thinking and why I questioned Ross Farrow’s decision to refer to this group as a Christian group in the first place. To me, its not a topic germane to what it means to be a Christian… regardless of what quotes one may pluck from the bible.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 12:55 am on Fri, Dec 10, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    • Manuel Martinez posted at 12:28 am…Which Christian faith does not have a stance on the rapture or Armageddon?
    The question is not a sarcastic one, I am very interested in finding a Christian denomination that has parted with the end of days talk …

    For the last time, it is irrelevant and a waste of time. The only one talking about it is you Manuel.

    It’s hard to believe you are serious… I attended Mass for 5 years and went to Wednesday night study group for 3 years… and not once did I hear a hint of this conversation or topic. I went to these sessions just to find out what it was all about… and I experienced nothing but kindness and positive messages. If you are truly looking for something good and positive in nature, I suggest you attend St Annes in Lodi, especially with the new pasture who is very young and positive in nature. No end of life stuff there.

     
  • Manuel Martinez posted at 12:28 am on Fri, Dec 10, 2010.

    Manuel Martinez Posts: 641

    By this logic, the majority of the bible is that which brings down humanity. You do not get to blame me for bringing everyone down when all I have done is cite scripture from the book that you claim to be "all about love" a couple of months ago.

    To assert that something is worth ones time when it is only positive and uplifting is to effectively ignore many aspects of our existence. I instead assert that one must acquire happiness and positive well being through the pursuit of truth amid the sea of ignorance that you evidently praise. Only when we erect a society that is serious about it's problems will we acquire happiness that isn't forced or partitioned off from reason.

    The question is presented one last time(with the fact in mind that only a yes or no response is a direct one): Which Christian faith does not have a stance on the rapture or Armageddon?

    The question is not a sarcastic one, I am very interested in finding a Christian denomination that has parted with the end of days talk and embraced an ideology of ethical principles in the course of ones life without appeal to an eventual end of the earth or horrible afterlife.

     
  • Bill Mastro posted at 12:16 am on Fri, Dec 10, 2010.

    Pastor Bill Mastro Posts: 3

    I would like to reassure the readers that there is no reason to be alarmed over the claims by any group or denomination that they have "discovered" the date or time for the end of the world. This is especially true of groups or organizations that claim to be "Christian". Regarding this, Jesus himself said, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be" (Matthew 24:36-37).

    The Bible teaches that before the end of the world, Jesus will come again. Some day there will be a new heaven and a new earth. However, the Bible does not provide any specific references to the exact time that these events will happen. Groups that assign dates and times are generally considered to be cults.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 12:06 am on Fri, Dec 10, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    Manuel Martinez posted at 11:36… In talking about Darrell stated…You have said that you do not care about the specific topics within Christianity…
    Oh Manuel, please stop making things up. I said that this particular topic is irrelevant and insignificant to the whole. The Catholic and Christian Religion has many important topics that are worth reviewing. If it is positive, uplifting, has to do with benefiting mankind, love, doing for others, and how to live your life in a way that brings joy to your heart…and others, then its worth the time. You want to talk about topics that bring people down and general misery Your hostility must make you feel bad Manuel. Maybe Dr Glassers’ Reality Therapy might bring peace to you. Good luck and smile Manuel

     
  • Manuel Martinez posted at 11:36 pm on Thu, Dec 9, 2010.

    Manuel Martinez Posts: 641

    You have said that you are not a Christian, have never been a Christian, are not an expert on Christianity, and do not care about the specific topics within Christianity. Given this information, it is clear that you know little about Christianity, especially on the end of days prophecies and signs that are laid out in the biblical verses I have cited and have no doubt that you ignored. What annoys me is your insistence that you be taken seriously by anyone on this site who generally come to discuss topics with some level of maturity and concern, qualities that you evidently lack; expressed in their highest forms by your reluctance to consider the opposing viewpoint, wave off counter materials and hold to the same stance for which lacks foundation.

    If you wish to discuss positive mechanisms for improving the ethical standards of mankind, Secular Humanism would be a sufficient topic. However, your desire to appeal to the positive aspects of an ideology or faith cannot be used to fog over their canonical tenets or stances said faith holds; a primary form of which, is shared by all Christians including this "atypical" sect regarding the end of days. The only difference between the two, is that one of them arbitrarily decided on a date for planetary destruction, and the other is content with Matthew 24:42-44.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 11:18 pm on Thu, Dec 9, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    Manuel Martinez posted at 9:20 pm ... Are you kidding me? You are commenting on a news forum for crying out loud. It is the specifics that make this issue a relevant one, and the spate of boredom it imposes on you does not alter that fact.

    Sorry Manuel, I do not mean to upset you to the point you lose it... Its not that your topic bores me so much, it’s that your points are irrelevant and a waste of time, That is what made me yawn... I think it would be more informative and interesting to discuss why the sky is blue on a clear day... or why children say why so often, or better yet, why Manuel insists on trivial nonsense and negativism? Since its almost midnight, a double yawn to discussing such a meaningless topic.

     
  • Manuel Martinez posted at 9:20 pm on Thu, Dec 9, 2010.

    Manuel Martinez Posts: 641

    That makes one yawn? Are you kidding me? You are commenting on a news forum for crying out loud. It is the specifics that make this issue a relevant one, and the spate of boredom it imposes on you does not alter that fact.

    It is even more revolting that you present this as dichotomous. I didn't oppose Derek Waggoner's Deism, in fact I prefer it over theism because at least Derek doesn't claim to know things about the creative force that may have brought about the universe, and as such, does not infer things about our ethical codes from the question of design. Theism on the other hand does, and often to our demise. The story depicted in this article is a prime example of that: claiming to know what has happened, what currently is happening and what will happen without a rational basis to defend the assertion is insufficient, and given the claim itself, grants the skeptic the right to dismiss their claims as ludicrous.

    As a final point, I think your criticism of how Mr. Farrow titled the article as petty. The only atypical characteristics of these Christians is that they claim to know when the end of the world will be, and that they printed out pamphlets to hand out personally on the streets. It is not contested that Christians in general think there is going to be an end of the world scenario. It is you that knows little about the religion you defend by filtering out everything beyond the social camaraderie that can be found, regardless of the collective ideology the social group adheres to.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 8:34 pm on Thu, Dec 9, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    Manuel Martinez posted at 7:46 pm...That is not a direct answer to my question: "Which Christian faith does not have a stance on the rapture or Armageddon...

    Sorry Manuel that you do not think it is a direct answer … it is… I already said, that issue is so minor, it does not matter what the specifics are, it is irrelevant. How religion translates into love, caring and kindness to others is what is important. You are consumed with trivia and things that makes one yawn. If you want to talk about how to be helpful to others and how to apply religious teachings to benefit mankind, Id be with you. But to simply take your time and effort to focus on bringing people down and diminishing the human spirit is in my opinion, destructive and therefore, a waste of time.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 8:25 pm on Thu, Dec 9, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    Ross Farrow posted at 7:46 pm...thanks for clarifying, but then, why not reference the title that this is a small group of Christians... instead of a blanket statement. If this group was Muslim, would you use the same blanket statement for them?

     
  • Manuel Martinez posted at 7:46 pm on Thu, Dec 9, 2010.

    Manuel Martinez Posts: 641

    "To answer your question directly, it is irrelevant to the big picture…"

    That is not a direct answer to my question: "Which Christian faith does not have a stance on the rapture or Armageddon?" It is sidestepping the issue entirely.

    To state that the issue is irrelevant to the vast majority is to assert that Christians haven't read their own book. Matthew 24; Luke 21; Mark 13; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17; 2 Timothy 3:1-7; Hebrews 2:14; 2 Peter 3:10-13; 1 John 1:15-18 and the entire book of Revelation, according to you, are irrelevant, for which should offend your Christian friends if they have any knowledge of Romans 15:4 and 2 Timothy 3:16.

    Having Christians as friends does not entitle you to make claims(such as the irrelevancy of the end of times position within Christianity) without foundation. Neither of us are Christians, but at the very least, I sought to read their books and comprehend their theology. You have not.

     
  • Ross Farrow posted at 7:46 pm on Thu, Dec 9, 2010.

    Ross Farrow Posts: 104

    This article is not about all Christians or what many Christians believe. This is a small group of Christians. Nothing in the article or headline is to imply that all Christians share these beliefs.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 6:47 pm on Thu, Dec 9, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    Kevin stated…And to be fairer to Ross, he did end it with more later. I have found him to be fairly balanced, not the anti-christian you paint

    Kevin, I appreciate your thought, but I was not painting Ross as an anti-Christian… I was questioning why he chose words that mischaracterized a large group with such a small insignificant group. One conclusion is that he might be against Christians… but he may not… I do not know. He is the professional writer and he chooses his words carefully I assume. I offered several more accurate headlines he could have used… but I am sure he could have, with his professional skill, communicated what ever image he wanted. I was questioning why he did what he did , and wrote what he wrote, more than accuse him of being anything…

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 6:39 pm on Thu, Dec 9, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403


    • Joanne Bobin posted at 4:34 pm…"casting dispersions?" Mr. Baumbach must be competing with Sarah Palin for an entry in the Oxford Dictionary!

    I do not know how Ms Bobin does it… she discovered my secret activity where no one else did. I have for months petitioned the administrative department at the Oxford Dictionary company for a special entry… Now that the cat is out of the bag, I might as well announce my great success that will soon be published. What I did was categorize Ms Bobins blogs, by topic… I asked Oxford to consider redefining “bigot “, to reflect Ms Bobins perception… that behind every corner in Lodi, is a bigot… Oxford sent a team of researchers out to Lodi to observe, and drew a conclusion that Ms Bobin is incorrect, that there is not a bigot around every corner in Lodi. So now, indirectly, and accidentally, I succeeded in an Oxford entry… because Oxford Dictionary in their wisdom redefined the word “schizophrenic” as the Bobin syndrome… Oxford was very pleased with such an obvious definition that everyone will easily understand. So thank you Joanne for all your help.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 6:18 pm on Thu, Dec 9, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    • Manuel stated…The amount of good any organization does is a separate issue from the ideology they operate on. Take off the blinders already.

    Manuel, please feel free to focus on the irrelevant and minor part of the Christian faith if you wish, it is your time to waste… you seem fixated on many issues that have importance to a select few. To answer your question directly, it is irrelevant to the big picture… so few people ascribe to what you focus on and perceive as relevant, that it is a complete waste of time to the vast majority. I find it more valuable to focus my attention on positive attributed which are plentiful in the Christian faith. Not being a Christian myself, I think I have an objective view as it is my experience from the hundreds of Christians I have personally observed, that your point in completely and absolutely of no value… I wish I had a CBO report on this so you could relate… but unfortunately, I am without evidence you respect.

     
  • Derek Waggoner posted at 5:42 pm on Thu, Dec 9, 2010.

    Derek Waggoner Posts: 4

    Amusing really. My loved ones suffer from the same religious dilemma. I found peace and understanding when I saw the light. Deism answered the questions.

     
  • Manuel Martinez posted at 5:15 pm on Thu, Dec 9, 2010.

    Manuel Martinez Posts: 641

    In what manner is the question irrelevant? The primary reason for this organization's existence is to "spread the word" about the end of the world according to their interpretation of the same religious documents that other Christian faith's have access to, and interpret in their own manner. One thing that unites them however, is the nearly uniform stance that the world will end according to "God's" will and that it is a positive thing. Your opposition to my statement shows a clear lack of information on this issue, and the mere fact that you admit that you do not know, much less care, indicates that you decided to oppose it for the simple sake of doing so.

    The amount of good any organization does is a separate issue from the ideology they operate on. Take off the blinders already.

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 5:06 pm on Thu, Dec 9, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1880

    Must be to hopped up on Green tea.

    That is wheel, not whell

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 5:00 pm on Thu, Dec 9, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1880

    Darrell, to defend the Journalistic trade here it is the squeaky whell that gets the headlines. It is true for just about every group. When was the last time you read about the politician that was faithful to his wife for 50 years? No, we hear about the ones that cheate. When was the last time a football player made the headlines for working a charity gig? No, we hear about their drugs and other illegal behavior. Chruches make the headlines when someone does something illegal or less than normal.

    And to be fairer to Ross, he did end it with more later. I have found him to be fairly balanced, not the anti-christian you paint.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 4:38 pm on Thu, Dec 9, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    Manuel Martinez posted at 4:10 pm ...So Darrell, please answer with a straight face, which Christian faith does not have a stance on the rapture or Armageddon?

    Manuel, it is an irrelevant point. I am not a religious expert or even care if all , some or none hold this stance... I classify it as ... who cares? I also classify it as, so tiny and insignificant to the whole picture, that only a person who nitpicks and enjoys trivia as if it means something would ask the question you did.
    My point is that most Christian organizations spend a vast majority of time, energy and resources on helping the poor and people who need help, that to focus on the negative is an exercise in futility and pointlessness.
    To me, its just about as meaningless as your CBO reports and studies.

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 4:34 pm on Thu, Dec 9, 2010.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4306

    "casting dispersions?" Mr. Baumbach must be competing with Sarah Palin for an entry in the Oxford Dictionary!

    While complaining that others are "casting dispersions" on religious people, Mr. Baumbach, in a very un-(fill in the religion)-like manner, suggests that Mr. Martinez could "cast stones on small children and the elderly," too. What is wrong with you, really??

    My only problem with Mr. Farrow's otherwise factual and accurate article is the many grammatical errors he has made. Maybe he'll fix those up in the final version!

     
  • Manuel Martinez posted at 4:10 pm on Thu, Dec 9, 2010.

    Manuel Martinez Posts: 641

    Let's present the quote: "what monotheist faith doesn't have an end-of-the-world story?"

    I asked the above question, and instead of answering in all honesty, Darrell sought to play the apologist and defend the other faiths that don't take it as far as this group of "Doom!" screamers. While I can concede that not every faith compels their members to stand on the streets with pamphlets depicting the end of the world(btw, have you met a Jehovah's Witness?) it is disingenuous to imply or defend faiths that obviously do have an end-of-the-world story. To you, the nonsense is only tolerable if it is held in private.

    So Darrell, please answer with a straight face, which Christian faith does not have a stance on the rapture or Armageddon?

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 4:02 pm on Thu, Dec 9, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    Also, it is surprising that Ross Farrow titles the article...Christian group visits Lodi with end-of-the-world message... to me, he must hate Christians to state it in that manner.

    To me, had he titled it” Small Atypical Christian group visits Lodi with end-of-the-world message”, it would have been more accurate and not cast a negative light on all Christians… I cannot read Mr. Farrow’s heart, but I am curious why he selected words that painted a false picture… even though technically, it was a Christian group (maybe)…
    Or maybe the article could have been titled,” A small group, claiming to be Christians, visited Lodi… I am not a good writer, but I think Ross, who is a professional, could have been more accurate.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 3:31 pm on Thu, Dec 9, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    Manuel Martinez posted at 3:00 pm ...Delusion at it's worst. Then again, what monotheist faith doesn't have an end-of-the-world story...

    It just amazes me that so many Atheists, like Manuel, use these crazy examples of rare situations like this where these people predict doomsday coming soon, with no shred of verifiable evidence, yet seem to take great pleasure insulting religion using the same argument. I think it better to give praise to the church and its members who so consistently give their time, energy and money to people who need help and are disadvantaged.... that is real... this story is an exception... shame on Manuel for using this situation for his negative goal of casting dispersions of all religious people and organizations… maybe you could also cast stones on small children and the elderly, they say crazy things sometimes as well… low blow Manuel.

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 3:19 pm on Thu, Dec 9, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1880

    For those who need to laugh at the monumental arrogance of people
    http://www.familyradio.com/graphical/literature/proof/proof.html

    Boy, so many comments, so little time. I agree with Manuel, the date they picked fails both strict biblical interpretations (almost everything I read preparing the rebuttal here places the flood 2300BCE, not their 4990BCE) and it fails the geologic understandings. The nearest flood shown in Geologic proofs was 700 years BEFORE their date, next was 1600 years after. So either we don't really exist because the world already ended or we still have 1600 more years to straighten up.

     
  • Manuel Martinez posted at 3:00 pm on Thu, Dec 9, 2010.

    Manuel Martinez Posts: 641

    "A group of traveling people living in vans"

    I thought my heavy laughter over the pamphlets themselves would be difficult to surpass, but I guess the article helped it along. XD

    The gist of the pamphlet is that a.) God is awesome b.) God is merciful c.) God wants to take his "rightful vengeance" on the sinners d.) we arbitrarily determined the date of Noah's flood(for which there is no geological record of ever occurring) and from there "calculated" the date of the end of the world.

    Delusion at it's worst. Then again, what monotheist faith doesn't have an end-of-the-world story?

     

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