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May 23, 2011 at 12:45pm

CARV’S WEEKLY BLOG: Endless Saturday

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WHEN THE WORLD DOESN'T END >>>

Having written a novel about the end of the world (Lightfall, available at bookstores and libraries near you) I've spent a fair amount of time talking to people about the Apocalypse. Actually, having been one of Jehovah's Witnesses until adulthood, I've spent a lot of time talking to people about the Apocalypse, so forgive me if I have a few thoughts on the Harold Camping debacle last Saturday. I know it's beating a dead horse, but at least the horse died of natural causes rather than fire and brimstone.

My erstwhile religion was pretty much founded on the notion that the Lord would return in October 1914. The Witnesses were so wedded to this belief that when he didn't come, they accepted World War I as a sign that he had in fact come, we just couldn't see him. Then they spent the next 80-plus years telling the world that "by no means" would the generation alive in 1914 pass away before the visible advent of global Armageddon. I was born in 1968, and that was about the time the Witnesses' Governing Body decided October 1975 would bring the Big One. I knew folks who took their kids out of school, stopped paying their credit cards, and gave all their money to the cause of international evangelism. That was 36 years ago. Then the Witnesses told me, in a sermon written by the Governing Body for a district convention in the mid-'80s, that there was "no way" human governments would endure to the next millennium. But here we are, 11 years later...and here we are.

Now the Witnesses say that what the Bible MEANT to say when it said "generation" was rather vague. In fact, I can't seem to follow what they believe it does mean anymore. The whole prediction has lost its guts. I guess it's rather like when Jesus's buddies asked him when the world would end, and he said (in Matthew 24:34) that their own generation would witness the Apocalypse. He was right about the Temple falling. Everything else? Not so much. Jesus was everything he's cracked up to be, sure; but as a prophet, even he was no great shakes.

The Bible says no man knows the day or the hour, and that's the smartest prediction ever made. Besides, the fact is, the End of the World comes on different dates for everyone. The End of my stepfather's world was a few years ago. He lived his life, and it ended, and now he exists only as a widely divergent set of memories. And that's OK. It's how things work. You may not like it, but the universe isn't obliged to behave exactly the way you or I want.

Some Armageddons, I'm happy to say, are survivable. My soon-to-be sister-in-law (have I mentioned I'm getting married next Saturday?) and her husband thought it was the End of the World when their baby boy developed a life-threatening cardiac defect. That was two years ago, and he's fine, and he'll probably outlive us all. Yesterday I taught him "knucks."

My point is, even the best prophets get it wrong. Harold Camping might be a liar and a cheat, but more likely, he's just a sad old man who thought he'd found inside information. That's the quickest path to the worst Apocalypse a human can suffer, which is mockery at the hands of a secular nation. His life is Hell right now. Among the only people whose world ended Saturday were those suckers who gave away their lives to be ready for Rapture. My prediction? There are some truths the mind cannot handle, and among them is the realization of absolute foolishness--so the Camping camp will be back out on the streets by the time you read this, insisting they simply forgot to carry the 1--math is hard!--and the Lord will be back before you know it. I hope they're right...but assume they're not. You should, too.

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Comments for "CARV’S WEEKLY BLOG: Endless Saturday" (9)

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Danny Haszard said on May. 23, 2011 at 1:43pm

Armageddon-aint-a-coming-so-im-a-getting-outta-here...

Watchtower Jehovahs Witnesses have lost credibility with their own *Millerite Math* doctrine of Jesus *invisible* second coming October 1914.
Watchtower society false prophets declare Armageddon end of world in 1874, 1878, 1881, 1910, 1914, 1918, 1925, 1975, and 1984....
---Danny Haszard been there!
We Jehovah Witnesses had a slogan back in the early 1970's -*Will you be alive in 1975?*

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Gayle said on May. 23, 2011 at 2:06pm

I was taught 55 years ago when my parents became JWs that the world was ending soon, any day, just around the corner, etc. with many such phrases. It was constant: man would never walk on the moon, Cuban crisis would bring on the end soon, the cold war between U.S.S.R. and the U.S. would bring the end so soon. I came to discern that some fear extremely for their life in this world so much they can become so scared that they create a need for God to step in and fix/destroy all things or follow someone's scare tactic to follow for fear God is going the destroy most all, even children soon, as JWs say.
Now, a grandma of many, I have learned to survive 'this' life with positive messages, positive people, and positive events even though there are challenges. I appreciate the wisdom in Proverbs 31:25 that a wise woman, laughs at a future day, does her best and sings "Whatever will be, will be."

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vikki said on May. 23, 2011 at 4:53pm

Your right, they did say the end would come due to the math, that was very accurate, and the end of the world as we knew it did end then, but as to how it was to happen they were wrong, just as the apostals in Jesus's day they knew it was going to happen but did not know how. The point is the bible says to keep in expectation of it. False labor doesn't mean your not pregnant. You fault the JW"S for trying to guess when armagedon is but lets leave the other churches alone when they have turned their backs on almost everything Jesus stood for. Take the rafter out of your eye before you take the straw out of others,

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Bob said on May. 23, 2011 at 8:06pm

Vikki, I am sorry, but what on earth did you just say? I really tried to make good sense of it, but It was effectively word salad.
By the by, it is commonly translated as Plank and speck and the verse starts with "Hypocrite." I am trying to understand what this has to do with the blog post.

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Steph DeRosa said on May. 24, 2011 at 9:14am

Don't worry Bob, I speak Womanese.

Roughly translated, Vikki is saying: " You're right, if my math is accurate, the apostles will cook Jesus for dinner and he will have no idea what happened. Afterwards, we will all go into labor and have massive food babies. It will not be false labor, and not even the JWs can predict the sex of said food baby. The baby will be born in a church and will have something in it's eye, most likely a piece of straw."

Hope that helps.

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VinHapster said on May. 24, 2011 at 7:02pm

I believe what Vikki was trying to say was simply that the apostles of Christ believed that the end was coming in their lifetimes, it didn't happen.Catholics, huegenots, Cathars, Calvinist's, ad infinitum have anticipated the end times. Anybody remember Hal Lindsey? All of Christendom is waiting for those prophecies to be fulfilled and an awful lot of serious Christians expect it to be any day now based on whats going on around us! What is sad to me are folks like DH and G above who spam out their vitriol about JW's tens of thousands of times and hijack serious discussions about people like Camping just to spew their hate for ONE religious organization. Not ONE comment has referenced the topic of your article (Camping) at all! If it wasn't so sad it'd be funny!

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JWLifer said on May. 24, 2011 at 7:42pm

Harold Camping is following the same damage control route as the apocalyptic Watchtower and there are many independent objective news articles up as I type connecting Camping with the Jehovah's Witnesses and end times..

Let the facts and history speak....

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Job Gerand said on May. 24, 2011 at 11:28pm

This article IS relevant to Jehovah's Witnesses
--

Weekly Volcano (blog) - Christian-
"
...Actually, having been one of Jehovah's Witnesses until adulthood, I've spent a lot of time talking to people about the Apocalypse, so forgive me if I have a ...."
(Quote from this page above.)

If JW defenders don't like a million disgruntled followers then the Watchtower corporation needs to pay back money to followers thay have defrauded like first poster Danny Haszard.

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Carv said on May. 25, 2011 at 8:09am

Is it fraud if they genuinely believe it? Because that's always been my question: What does the Governing Body REALLY think, behind the closed doors of their conference room?

If you were one of Jehovah's Witnesses in 1975 and still are, more power to you. I can't comprehend why you would be, but then again, I don't know why anyone in the 21st century would be in ANY fundamentalist religion. We have this thing now called provable facts. It's pretty cool. You should check it out.

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