There are two things I hate above all. Con men, and Cults, and I think both kind of go hand in hand. Both are out to get your money and both devastate family, friends, and the person's own soul and being. Jesus had plenty to say about these people back when he was on earth. They were called Pharisees. If I could, I'd have em all drawn and quartered right here, right now. Kip McKean and Harold Camping would be at the top of my list.
After hearing about all these people who gave up their jobs, their bank accounts, and left their families to follow Harold, not unlike myself 13 years ago, I had to ask... Are they just gullible? Some, sure, but not all. Some I think are fairly intelligent. I hesitate to think of myself as an idiot as well, after all.
I'm intuitive with computers, I can hack my personal electronic devices, set up a network, build a computer, do banking, plan a vacation, seduce my wife into marrying me, and adopt my first baby, so maybe I'm not entirely mentally handicapped. And maybe, just maybe, they're pretty smart too.
So then, it begs the question - why? Why in God's name, would you follow someone who's giving you a bill of sale for heaven's gates?
I think people really are disillusioned by what present day christianity has to offer. Please understand, I'm not going to make blanket statements here, but I am going to say, a large number of institutions (I refuse to call them churches) I've been to are check in spots.
Check in at 10:45am and checkout at 12:00 after the pastor's sermon has finished. There ya go, your passport has been stamped, another couple hundred of those and you'll get into heaven and God'll be proud o' ya!
And people see right through that. Why in god's name would sitting in a pew, listening to some blowhard talk about something that I can't even relate to, much less CARE about, make a difference in my life, here and in eternity?
What good is being part of this institution? When we care more about voting on the color of pew our group is going to buy than we do about the homeless sitting on the streets a block away?
I have something to say about that too. Those institutions that call themselves Churches. If Jesus was the example, then they're doing a crappy job of following it. Jesus never came to set up an institution. They all met in people's homes. The Church was a bunch of believers hanging out, and having a blast. The institution was the synagogue of self righteous people who thought they had a bill of sale saying they were Abraham's descendants and they'd be going into heaven. God save us from those sinners up the block, drinking wine, eating good and hanging out with that bum they call Jesus.
Yeah, I have a problem with that.
And I think most other people do too.
So when some guy seems genuine, loving, and offers you the most amazing thing; a relationship with Jesus that seems authentic....
It doesn't matter how out of joint he twists the bible. They'll believe him, and like little sheep, they'll docilely follow him into the slaughter.
James 3:1 1 Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.
And since we're on the subject, let's address some of what Camping says;
Matthew 24:36 - 44
36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,[f] but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark;39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.
42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
And in case THAT isn't clear enough;
23 People will tell you, ‘There he is!’ or ‘Here he is!’ Do not go running off after them. 24 For the Son of Man in his day[a] will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other.
There...'nuff said. I think I'm preached out for today. I have much more I could say, but "since brevity is the soul of wit; I shall be brief."