Sunday, May 22, 2011

Portrait of Harold Camping

Harold Camping has just created his second great crime against humanity: his latest "end of days" prediction has proved to be nothing but his vanity about seeing "God's will" and using that to manipulate people around him.

Here is an interesting personal commentary on Harold Camping from a fellow married to one of his granddaughters. Here are some key bits:
He was a sullen and depressive, but volatile man who cast a long, dark shadow over the lives of his two daughters, never forgiving them for not being sons. He drove one into a lifetime of therapy and the other into a lifetime of denial.
And:
He was a lifelong teetotaler, but when these sudden moods struck him he became a sober version of a mawkish drunk, sobbing and proclaiming his deep love for strangers in the bar. The strangers in this case were his own daughters, grandchildren and family who would exchange nervous looks and do their best to comfort him as, one by one, we would each make and repeat the promise he would beg us to make him.

“Don’t worry,” we would say, “you won’t be cremated. I promise. No, no, it’s OK. We won’t let that happen to you.”
Why the fear of cremation? Because he thought you can't be resurrected if you are cremated.

He sounds like a thoroughly disagreeable, manipulative, domineering guy. It is tragic that people fall into his orbit and have their lives disrupted by this crazies theological fantasies.

It is tragic that each one of these manipulative SOBs, there has to be hundreds of decent, hard-working, sensible people putting in solid work every day to keep the glue of society together and the economy rolling. But these hard working salt-of-the-earth types get no fame or attention. They quietly do their thing while these blowhards and manipulators seize the public's imagination. Worse, guys like Camping convince people to quit their jobs, take out their life savings, and go on a "religious" binge of end-of-the-worldism that simply ends in grief and a wrecked life. Camping thinks nothing of the pain and suffering he has caused.

2 comments:

thomas said...

RY;

I have been amazed at the number of times over the years that persons like this have claimed to know the day the world would end.. I wanted to look up some kind of history of this, but haven't been able to focus on it long enough. I was in a church that acknowledged the scripture that says no man knows the day or hour that Christ will return, but over the years claimed to have figured out the year, and they got away with it at least twice.. I guess "fool me once" doesn't apply to people needing something to believe in. That is the way these guys take people in; they know that people want to have certain things in their lives and they supply a hope for those things, I think. Anyway, I was taken by it at a young age and it took a long time to see my folly. Some groups or congregations are more legit and are a support system for their members. They are a place to meet and then people help each other with many different needs especially those down and out or the elderly. Some are just meeting to strut their wealth or to meet what they perceive as requirements to be religious or Christian so they can feel good about themselves.. But, those "ministers" like this Camping are just feeding on the people and like the power of being a religious leader. They don't seem to understand the book they preach from or the words that Jesus spoke in that book.. He doesn't mince words about what they are doing, but they don't seem to believe or apply it to themselves.

I spent a summer believing that I probably wouldn't get to go to the 7th grade.. This kind of bothered me, but I believed that the church leaders were inspired by God and that they were led by the Holy Spirit... I am glad that at least I came to see the "light".. And, life goes on..

RYviewpoint said...

Thomas:

Wikipedia has a list of a few of the predictions of the end of the world. But this list is tiny. The full list would be tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of "predictions" long.

Remember that Jesus early in his preaching followed the line of John the Baptist and talked about "the coming fire" and was very eschatological during his whole ministry, see Luke 21:31-32...

Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near. "I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.

That's why Paul preached that Jesus could return "at any moment" because he had promised to return during the current generation, see 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17...

For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.

So the whole Christian religion is rife with doomsday belief from the very start. Most sensible people ignore that and focus on the parables and the moral teachings.