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From Christian Fundamentalism to a new realization.

I had been going over my old files and I had come across this interview of an ex-Christian called Mark. I think you might find interesting reading. Those of you who are most familiar with my articles and web-content on the People of the Holy Testament web site, which has been on "The Web" since 1998. Over the course of that time, I have presented many arguments in exposing the truth about the Christian Bible and of Christianity as a religion. However my perspectives on Biblical inerrancy does not rest well with Christians. I asked Mark, who is an ex-Christian, how he can still believein GOD, in light of his own viewpoints. This is going to be the focus of this interview, what Mark believes about the Bible, if and how his beliefs have changed during the past few years, and what his belief is at the present time.

So let me begin here with some questions to you, Mark... Back in 1999 when you were involved and worked with Harold Camping and his Family Radio ministry, you considered youself to be a reasonably conservative evangelical Christian, right?

Mark: Yes.

Jean: Regarding Biblical inerrancy, you felt that the Bible was totally reliable and authoritative?

Mark: Yes.

Jean: Looking back now, is there any scholar/teacher that you could identify as having changed your views on this matter and how would you describe your views on the Bible now?

Mark: As far back as I can remember, I had always believed that the Bible was without error and without question, reliable on all matters it covers. Since I viewed the Bible in this light, as literally the "Word of God", it was not unusual for me to stay clear of situations where that belief may have been compromised. Looking back, I remember being completely immersing in the Bible where I felt safe and secure. Speaking on inerrancy, Iíd have to say that Harold Camping was probably my biggest influence at that time. As you may remember, Harold Camping predicted the end of the world for Sept. 6th, 1994, and that of Jesus Christís second coming. Needless to say, the world did not come to an end and Jesus Christ did not return. But I continued on as a believer and carried the basic Christian tenet of Bible inerrancy that Camping insisted on into my Christian walk.

Jean: What do you think about Camping's latest prediction that the end of the world will come on October 20, 2011?

Mark: Camping is full of crock. I feel sorry for those people who believe him.

Jean: Are your views different now than they were then?

Mark: My views are considerably different now. However, this change did not come about overnight but thru a long and developed progression. After the Harold Camping folly, I began to venture out of my safe zone into other more open or objective circles. I got caught up with reading material from that "Bible Answer Man" on the People of the Holy Testament web site, and from there I became aware of a whole community of apologetic writers through your writings and those I had found on the Recomended Reading links on the People of the Holy Testament Archive page that focused on dealing with skepticism. At that time, I remember thinking: "finally, some solid answers." Iíd say, from the end of 1999, to about 2002, is where most of my progression took place regarding Bible inerrancy. At the height of this progression, my mind reflected back on those Christian apologetic writings that always seemed to say the same thing, I began to realize that those Christian books were for the most part, quite shallow. There really never seemed to be much substance behind those books. As my mind began to hunger for more explorative examinations, I began to venture outside of my safe and secure zones I had been accustom to. By the end of 2002, 80% of my reading encompassed books written by mainline academic scholars and legitimate biblical scholars of an atheistic persuasion. The more I learned, the more I realized I really didnít know much. As I began to re-look at my Christian books, and some of my own essays, I realized that I was no longer a Christian and was no longer an issue.

Jean: In what way are your views different?

Mark: While my views on elements or within the Bible are subject to being quite different than before, my view on the Bibleís basic message of an existing creative God who has an invested interest in humankind, is very much intact. I believe the books that make up the Christian Bible (in its different versions) to be various human reflections of Godís dealings with mankind and I believe these reflections are captured in theological thoughts through Jewish historiography.

Jean: Who has influenced you to change your views?

Mark: You have greatly changed my views through your People of the Holy Testament web site, as well as other known Biblical scholars on inspirational matters. Basically, your boldness of not being afraid to speak the truth which is not a popular thing to do within the greater Christian community that has influence me.

Jean: Based upon your knowladge of having been a Christian, what did Christians at Fanily Radio think of my views on the Christian bible?

Mark: Oh; They criticize you for your views on the Bible. They do not appreciated your critical thinking, your critical comments and observations and have wondered if you have gone a little too far on occasion. Most think you are of Satan.

Jean: Do you believe that this Satan really exist?

Mark: No; You have made it perfectly clear where that whole Satan myth had originally come from. Christians are not comfortable with your views because you make sense in what you say. Recently, a Christian had written to me out of concern for having left the fold and said: "You are on your way to Hell for not believing that Jesus Christ is God and that the Bible is not the Infallable Word of God!" My response to that individual was to ask a couple of questions. Like: "Did you know that Muslims also believe everything they read in the Koran? Did you know that Mormons also believe everything they read in the Book of Mormon?" Just because something is readable, does not make it true. God gave us critical minds and surely He would not penalize a believer for being overly cautious.

Jean: In your opinion, what is the value and reliability of the Christian Bible? How reliable is it in providing valuable information?

Mark: Those ancient recordings found in the biblical text, comes to light when reading stories the reader can identify with and gain some insight from them. In this respect, I probably differ little from the typical Christian perspective. The difference is that I donít view all these stories as being literally "The Word of God" as Christians clain but rather as human reflections. Hence, in my view, the reliability of the Bible has its limitations.

Note from Jean: People who had been working for Camping claim that their is a lot of contention among Camping's ministry, and his board is undermining the entire ministry. "Everyone is in turmoil about his end of the world on October 20, 2011 stand, says an ex-staff member. Harold's position on his end-time events is his own business, and he is using Family Radio as his own personal forum to promote his book, Time has an End. He uses Open Forum so he can talk about 2011 and has even gone so far as to counsel people who call in not to make any long-term plans because his phony god, Je-Zeus Christ is coming back very soon. Camping has no formal theological education, and feels that rather than worrying about sowing deception or erroneous predictions, he's getting out the message that the world will come to an end in the year of 2011. "If I am correct in this, and there is every indication that I am, we have a very short time left to get right with God." This he says very deliberately. He warns people that when October 20, 2011 arrives, no one else can become saved because the end has come. Camping had made a previous prediction that the world was coming to an end in his controversial 562-page book, 1994? which we know that the world had not come to an end and that his phony god had not shown up. Yet; Camping uses the very same arguments to give credibility to his latest prediction. I will not hesitate to bring Harold Camping and all those Christians ministries who had proclaimed that their fictitious god, Je-Zeus Christ is comming real soon, I am going to bring them to task and go all out to expose those deceivers and charlatans after October 20, 2011 have well gone by and the world had not come to an end nor had their phantom god come to claim this world. I have up to now, not really begun the real battle for GOD, truth, honor, integrity and a hope which is real.

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