The predictions were off, but the excuses abound.
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Now that May 21 has come and gone, why don't they take down their signs and admit that they were wrong?
"They" are the followers of Harold Camping, a pastor in California who proclaimed that 200 million Christians were going to be taken to heaven last Saturday.
Camping now says the mistake was a mathematical error. The real Judgment Day will occur on Oct. 21.
His predictions were the cause of much discussion on our trek to school over the last few weeks. Every morning we'd be reminded of Camping's prophecy, thanks to a large sign that proclaimed May 21 as Judgment Day.
When the sign remained past the dreaded day, it reminded me of campaign posters that litter the landscape weeks after an election. Or Christmas lights still up in July.
It truly is time to move on.
Is it any wonder why people outside the faith view Christians with skepticism? Embarrassing public displays enable a few to taint the image of many.
That's why stereotypes are damaging to any people group.
Yet I think there's an even greater lesson to learn from this story: A belief system with no foundation of learning will soon fall apart.
It is important to know what you believe and why you believe it.
Most children raised in the Christian faith are familiar with Christ's teaching that no one knows when the world will end.
Verses in the Gospel book of Mark dealing with this subject state that not even the angels or God the Son, Jesus Christ, knows when the world will end: "Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father."
These are verses that many children raised in the church can quote from memory.
If children are familiar with those teachings, why isn't Camping? You would think that, as a pastor, he studies the Bible and knows it well.
Herein lies the problem. Many people claim to be Christians but don't study the Bible. They use mathematical formulas to make predictions. They take what other people say at face value and fail to research the law, the literature and the lessons found within the handbook of their faith.
I'd like to put them up against a panel of preteens and teens who have done just the opposite — young people who have "studied to show thyself approved." (II Timothy 2:15)
Perhaps then we might listen to what they have to say.
Lisa Tedrick Prejean writes a weekly column for The Herald-Mail's Family page. Send email to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.