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Saturday, May 21, 2011

May 21st 2011, My Response to Harold Camping

Growing up in the 1960’s there were clear defined lines in our American culture.  One of the defined lines was the neighborhood and Parish you lived within.

I was raised in an Irish, Catholic, Democrat home and neighborhood.   I was unaware of anything outside of my very small world which consisted of my Parish and my neighborhood. 
What do I mean by Parish?  A portion of a diocese under the authority of a priest legitimately appointed to secure the helps of religion for the faithful dwelling therein. › Catholic Encyclopedia    My hometown had many Parishes and those Parishes were also defined by particular ethnic group/groups. 

I grew up in the same Parish my Father’s Family grew up in when they settled in my hometown from Ireland.  My little brother even had the same Kindergarten Nun that my Father when he attended Kindergarten just to give you an idea of how deep this Parish mindset was.
I was Catholic; I breathed, ate and slept my Catholicism.  I had many questions that nobody would or could answer.  I was taught that if a Catholic even visited a Protestant Church it was a very bad sin.

Meanwhile my little brother had questions of his own and decided to study Greek, Latin and Spanish.  He studied Greek and Latin so he could further study the scriptures and Spanish to communicate to the friends he made along the way not in our “Parish”.  My little brother quietly discussed his findings with me and continually rocked my Catholic world with his discoveries.

I continued to carry on trying to be the best Catholic I could be.  I had major screw ups along the way and was quite the “regular” at Saturday Confession.  My brother, sister and I would walk to confession on Saturday afternoons discussing all the “bad things” we needed to confess and sometimes chanting curse words just to get them out of our system before we said our confession and did our penance.  We wanted to make sure that we had all our venial and mortal sins tallied up correctly and the cursing was just to make sure we relieved any badness that still might be present since cursing was not really part of our regular vocabulary.

Fear of dying while not in a “State of Grace”  (see  Paragraph 1862  CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH  SECOND EDITION  )  was a recurring nightmare of mine,  The End of the World “Doomsday” that always played out of me running from one locked church door to another to give my last confession to attain  my “State of Grace” so I would be guaranteed a place in heaven .

 My ongoing question to myself was would  I ever be in a ”State of Grace” longer  than the time  it took me to say my Penance and walk home .  Maybe I should just really guarantee my entrance into heaven by becoming a nun and really shore up my eternal home.  Surely the nuns were always in a “State of Grace”.   That was the answer for my recurring Doomsday Nightmare.  I would become a nun and always be a stone’s throw away from the confessional.

My last 30 years have been a journey of discovery and a long way from the little girl who was looking for an Eternal guarantee by becoming a nun.

I have not had the Doomsday nightmare since I became a Christian almost 30 years ago.  I no longer fear that I need to run to a confessional to guarantee my place in heaven.     I simply get on my knees and confess to my Savior.  This is freeing for me and many others that have come from a similar background and have discovered the freedom this presents.  With this freedom comes very serious responsibility to show Christ through our words, actions and our general way of life... 

I am free to ask for forgiveness and be forgiven.  I am not free to do as I please and act recklessly then just say a quick I am sorry.  I have studied the Bible and believe The Holy Bible is the Inspired and Infallible Word of God

Since the Bible is my anchor and my roadmap to life then what Harold Camping is quoted as saying is quite upsetting to me as a practicing Christian.

I am deeply troubled that Christians as a whole are being depicted as they are because of Harold Camping and the noise he is making again.

Yesterday I was commuting to NYC to join my husband for a Met/Yankee Subway Series Game.  I sat on the bus looking around at all the different people immersed in their little iPod, blackberry and iphone worlds seemingly quite unaffected that this could be their last full day on earth.   I likened it to myself as a child and had been immersed in my Irish, Catholic, Democrat Parish years ago unaware of other’s worlds.   I felt sad to myself and asked myself have I done all I can to show Christ’s love to all I have encountered.  Have I been living as “if” this could be my last day on earth?

I walked to the 7 train under Port Authority and heard a thunderous Man’s Voice booming, echoing through the underground tunnel.  No it was not God but a man screaming Bible verses condemning people and shaming them to turn away from their sinful ways quite aggressively with a huge Bible opened.   I was disgusted that this man did not realize that he was turning off so many passerbies to maybe their only encounter with “a Christian”.  I heard the whispers and utterances of the throngs of people muttering “crazy Christian, lunatic Christian, cult like” etc.    Many I was rubbing shoulders with seeming to group all Christians in one crazy group.  This was the result of one chance encounter. 

I have seen the news and the images of the buses, the people who have given up their jobs, sold their possessions to hand out tracks and make sure they spread the word of the end of the world.  My heart goes out to them.  They are earnest in their endeavor and for that they have my respect. 

I do not agree with Harold Camping and his follower’s interpretation of the Bible nor their approach.

  I feel being lukewarm and apathetic is also detrimental hence why I am writing this post.

My faith and walk with Christ is based on my belief that the Bible is the Inspired and Infallible Word of God.    Therefore if what Harold Camping has said came to pass today then my world would have been blown this day spiritually and physically.

I am thrilled to have the opportunity to even write this post today.  I understand that many will continue to group all Christians together as deranged lunatics.   I pray that this Christian can give some insight to a “Christian”.    

I hope that more Christians will come forward and allow people to see them for their Christ like love and character rather than be depicted and sentenced to being negatively labeled and unapproachable.

Please allow me to share some thoughts from a website I came upon just today that has an overview that includes some Bible verses that I have come to learn in my Christian walk.

Jesus first expressed this idea that He would return “like a thief in the night” in the Olivet Discourse.  Four of His disciples came to Him on the Mount of Olives and asked, “what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?" (Matthew 24:3). During His response Jesus described the signs that will take place before His return, providing a way for us to determine the general time of His return.

Repeatedly, Jesus told of the increasing deception that will come in the Last Days. He commanded us to watch and stay alert so we would not be deceived and get caught off guard.
Today many people are confused and deceived regarding the meaning of the expression “like a thief in the night.”  They mistakenly believe that Jesus will come “like a thief in the night” to the Church.  Meaning that the Church will not know the general time of Christ’s return.  However, this is totally incorrect. Both Jesus and the apostle Paul clearly tell us that the Church will know the general time of Christ’s return. Jesus said,

Believers will be aware of the general time of Christ’s return but unbelievers will be caught off guard when Jesus Christ returns to earth “like a thief in the night.”   Therefore, don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, many signs will occur before Jesus Christ returns to gather up His Church.

If  the coming of the Lord catches you by surprise, you will be treated as an unbeliever.
Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour (Matthew 25:13)


  1. I don't mean to be rude, but you do realize that to those of us who are not Christians, and who were not brought up in a Christian home (that's most of the people on earth by the way), most of the things you say still seem extremely odd; certainly no less odd than than what Camping has said?

    I've developed a strong tolerance for religion, and it is my habit to try not to form an opinion on the various religious beliefs unless those beliefs directly affect my family or me. (Or, as in this case, when comments are invited by posting a blog link on I suggest that you learn to be tolerant and forgiving of those who don't share the same beliefs as you, be that Catholic or Campingists.

    I also notice that you leave Mark 13:30-31 and Mark 9:1 out of relevant verses. Why? They seem to be the most specific end times (false) prophecies in the Christian bible.

  2. You are making the same mistake that Camping made... assuming that the Bible means anything at all! Until you can demonstrate that there is a god or that the bible is anything other than just another collection of false myths, you are moving forward with a false premise, and no matter how accurately you interpret what the thing says... it wont help if the foundation just isn't there.

  3. Censoring comments eh? Typical.

  4. I have been accused by Anonymous of censoring my comments when in fact my spam censored my incoming comments.

    I am happy to display incoming comments. I posted on my Blog today what I felt I needed to say as a practicing Christian.

    Yes there are many Bible verses that could have been included in my post and thank you for pointing those out to my readers. Hopefully they will look those up also :)

    I do not delude myself in thinking I will not receive all kinds of comments.

    I respect my reader's right to post their opinion.

    Thanks for stopping by,reading and taking the time to post a Comment :)

  5. @al-bickers: I’m not sure what you mean by Mark 9:1 and end time prophecy? Maybe the Mayans didn’t record its fulfillment, but Old Luke did in Acts 2. Also if I was the PR person for Camping, on Monday morning I would keep a straight face and say something like ”Did we say May 21, 2011, sh!t we meant to say May 21, 2111”. Then I would smile and go out for some beers. Now that’s a real prophet.

  6. Please Read--> Harold Camping’s Statement: What Should it Say?

    I agree That Harold Camping should ask forgiveness and vow to do everything in his power to restore those who lost jobs, funds, and relationships with loved ones.

    Perhaps the “Real Story” to be told is how Harold Camping handles this and makes it the example people need to see.

    And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

  7. Kathy, you are absolutely right Thanks for your wisdom and insight. Life is full of dumb-ass mistakes in our relationships with other people and in our relationship with God. The key is in following the lead of the Holy Spirit out of this mess and into healing and restoration for those that have been hurt. A good place to start should be in HC’s next move/statements. But it is also good to think through this event since there is always some dude trying to predict the end time (just wait until 2012). Proper exegesis indicates it is not appropriate to use the Bible as a crystal ball. But I still say a few beers won't hurt either.

  8. Sorry to write again but HC outdid what any of us could even imagine

    Let me paraphrase, they set up a dart board with a bunch of numbers on it, then two guys propped the Camper’s arms (like they did with ol’ Moses back in Exodus) and passed him a few darts. The first couple missed the board and and might have even hit some passers-by in the head, but the last one landed on the edge of the board that said +5 months. Hey, this magic number was also in their original calcs so it must be a sign from God or maybe even from Nostradamus.

    Scoff all you want, but just don’t come crying to me next October if some hairy beast pops out of an abyss and bites you in the ass.

  9. I just read -->

    Harold Camping is holding on with both hands and his heels dug in.

    What I have derived from all of this personally is for me to evaluate my spiritual walk and like in the corporate life form a personal "make it better plan".

    I have been reminded that as a Christian I should always be ready for Christ's return.

    Harold Camping's prediction can be a tool for people to mock, wake up or reevaluate.

  10. I’m writing again mainly because after being such a sarcastic butt on this (and other) blogs, I should probably clarify (repentance?).

    A lot of this end time stuff depends on our perception. Does God view us with love, mercy and compassion, or is He a God of rules and righteous anger? Does God’s holiness allow or prevent fellowship with sinners? Is God totally approachable or unapproachable?

    If we have the view that He is love (some Bible verse somewhere) and that He would/did even die so that relationship with us would not be severed, then it really doesn’t matter if the end is tomorrow, October 21 or 1000 years from now. If on the other hand God is some big angry po’d Thor-like dude with a lot of destructive power, then we’d better kiss our posteriors goodbye and hope like gehenna that the end is later rather than sooner.

    To me what is really wrong is that those who announce end time dates typically reinforce (intentionally or unintentionally) this latter view which may in fact misrepresent God’s true nature.

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