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Living In Grace

A Christ inspired work dealing with American Christian Culture in the New Century.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Scripture and Harold Camping

Matthew 24:36
"But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.

Much has been said recently about Harold Camping and his once merry band of followers in the recent days and because of this I have been personally leery of commenting further so as not to prolong the man's infamy. This is not because I have not thought, pondered, and offered the offhand conjecture but rather because both the secular and Christian media have beaten this dead horse again and again and in that saturated market I was not sure I could add anything to the discussion. However, here I am forging ahead and offering one more voice to the sea of madness.

First, I want to say something about Harold Camping that should be patently obvious to anyone who has taken more than a passing interest in the whole affair; He was wrong. He was wrong in 1994, he was wrong in 2011, and if he lives and continues to persist in his errors he will be wrong again. Most secularists have stated he was merely one of many deluded religionists practicing his own version of quackery since there is no god and even if there is Jesus Christ is not him. Everyone who believes such drivel is an intellectual Neanderthal who should be caged and put on exhibit. I will only say this to them; refute the Resurrection and the subsequent shift in the lives of many 1st Century Jews and Greeks then we will talk. On the religious side there have been mixed emotions and responses directed towards the person of Harold Camping which range from sympathy to revulsion. I truly have no sympathy for the man or his closest and most faithful followers. They employed horrendous exegesis with regards to the Holy Scriptures and mislead countless people in false revelations. Mr. Camping and his staff are included in the opening quote, " No one knows, " and as such they have shown to be a poor prophets of doom and gloom.
One Family Radio follower and board member, Tom Evans, told NPR, “I don’t know where we went wrong other than that we obviously don’t understand the Scriptures in the way that we should.” Evans says he does not want Family Radio to recalculate and announce a new date for Judgment Day, and that he hopes the organization will repay people who gave money to the cause.

That is a nice sentiment but does not excuse their culpability in the debacle. Camping himself is a wolf in sheep's clothing who has profited immensely off of the people who foolishly followed him down the broad path. Which leads me directly to my second thought: His followers.

I am willing to be more gracious to some of his followers, those new to the faith or  seeking answers, than those who have lead others in their own ignorance and foolishness. Those who I am willing to be generous to, I am not speaking for God but from my own human perspective, are those who either lack spiritual maturity or who have been lead astray by false converts. Yes, false converts who, having been in the " faith " for years have never heard or read:

Mark 13:32
" But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone

1 Thessalonians 5:2
For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.
Those people, and Camping himself, are deserving of the strongest possible censure from the Church as their pernicious teachings are contrary to the clear guidance of Scripture. While we are to look and expect His return we are not to prognosticate.  While all of creation groans for its final redemption we are to abide in Him while waiting.  No one, and I a adamant on this, who has been converted, has the Spirit of Christ dwelling within them, and who has been in the faith for years can or should be so ignorant of Scripture. This is not the open and honest debate among believers regarding the various eschatological views of the church including Amillennisiam, Pre and Post-Millennianism, and even Dispensationalism. The views held by Camping and his faithful, not Christ's faithful, have brought open ridicule to the Name of Christ and should be denounced at every available opportunity.

I will also say that because of their willful ignorance of Holy Scripture they have caused a great boon in the dialogue of end-times events and the spreading of the Gospel. I will, in my often childish way, defend Christ although He truly does not need me; He can stand on His own two feet as Lord of Lord and King of Kings. I will with humility bare the reproach of Christ that He promised would come, after all if the world hates us we must remember that it first hated Him and that all who live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution, but it pains me to see " believers " heap shame and scorn upon His blessed Name.  We all do at times through our thoughts and deeds and while some doctrines held by true believers are wrong most of that will get sorted out on the other side of Eternity.  While this is in no way to be construed as a free pass for error in doctrine and the continuance in sin there is a time when the numerology, mysticism, and downright bizarre behavior and unscriptural date setting of Camping and his ilk should be exposed for its falsity and the harm it does to the Body of Christ.

Through this and other situations the Church endures there most assuredly is a silver lining.  The Lord orders the steps of the righteous and those steps should be leading us into deeper and fuller conversations about Christ and His very real return.  He is coming back and He will judge the quick and the dead and because of this are we going into the highways and the hedges compelling those outside to come in?  Are we as believers sharing the hope within us, who just happens to be Christ the Lord of Glory, with those God directs us to or puts on our path?  Are we willing to face the ridicule that comes with standing for the Truth as much as they were for a lie?  Are we fulfilling the Great Commission and going into all the world and making disciples?

My last words: What if He had come back Saturday?  Or Sunday morning?  Or in the next instant?  Would you have been ready?  Would you have been found in Christ at His return?

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Anonymous Mark@3-foldCord said...

Great post Luther!

I think we as Christians should invariably defend the gospel and expose false teachers like Camping. And while I do agree that predictions by false teachers can cause a "boon" for the gospel and end times prophecy, I also think it opens opportunity for dialog with non-believers about what we as Christians really believe. Camping was just one of many in a long list of false prophets and deceivers.  I remember when a NASA engineer named Edgar C. Whisenant predicted the rapture would occur in Sept. 1988. His predictions garnered a lot of attention within the evangelical community as well as being promoted by the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN). Of course 1988 came and went without incident and Whisenant eventually was raptured out of the world via his death on May 16, 2001.  There is really nothing new under the sun.

"Most secularists have stated he was merely one of many deluded
religionists practicing his own version of quackery since there is no
god and even if there is Jesus Christ is not him. Everyone who believes such drivel is an intellectual Neanderthal who should be caged and put on exhibit."

Now this is funny stuff! True...but funny!



May 23, 2011 at 6:29 PM  
Anonymous theoldadamlives said...

I was actually raptured on the 21st at 8:15 pm.

The Lord took one look at me and threw me back...around 8:16pm.

I'm hoping to have a better time of it next time...

May 23, 2011 at 7:43 PM  
Anonymous Amanda Daubenmeyer said...

I still don't understand how he could read the Bible and think He could know when Christ is going to return. It amazes me how deceived people can be. He was so bewildered that it didn't happen which shows that he really believed it. What's sad is the mother who killed her child because of what he said. She didn't want her child to go through the tribulation. It's so crazy.

May 23, 2011 at 9:14 PM  
Anonymous Luther@Living In Grace said...

People are willing to believe anything and someone with the longevity of Camping have lead many people astray.  It is sad what people will do for false beliefs.

May 23, 2011 at 9:24 PM  
Anonymous Luther@Living In Grace said...

I hope we all have a great time when the Lord returns in His glory.  If we are in Him I am sure we are.

May 23, 2011 at 9:25 PM  
Anonymous Luther@Living In Grace said...

The opportunities to share the Gospel and as Donald put it on his blog, " our Jesus, the real Jesus. " should multiply with such tomfoolery.  will we be able to take advantage of it?

May 23, 2011 at 9:27 PM  
Anonymous Mark@3-foldCord said...

Through the Grace of God we have already had several opportunities. It is one thing to curse the darkness (for darkness sake) but it is another thing to construct a lighthouse to dispel the darkness and expose the truth. I pray we will be the latter.

May 23, 2011 at 10:46 PM  
Anonymous Luther@Living In Grace said...

I pray we all are Lights that will shine forth in this present darkness.
The only way for darkness to exist is for there to be an absence of Light
and no believer should be without Light.

May 23, 2011 at 10:53 PM  
Anonymous Donald Borsch Jr said...


Camping should be tried on murder charges as Manson was.

May 24, 2011 at 2:52 PM  
Anonymous Luther@Living In Grace said...

I agree in part Donald, I really do.  There is something in me that shies away from holding people like Camping responsible for what others do.  I didn't see Camping's name mentioned in the link. though it probably  should have been, so is there a direct tie-in to him?  There are millions who believe in the Rapture so does that necessarily mean they are all going to kill someone?  If I stand up in church and teach against any sin and someone goes and harms someone am I responsible?

May 24, 2011 at 4:08 PM  
Anonymous Donald Borsch Jr said...

Manson was not convicted of killing anyone himself.  But his followers did the murders based on his influence.

Camping said the world was going to end and used The Scriptures to "back it up".  Because of this, children were harmed and almost killed.

What separates Camping from Manson?

True, true, you could mention the weak-mindedness of this woman and also the weak-mindedness of Manson's followers, but if I tell you (just as an example) that your wife is cheating on you and you then go and beat her senseless, who is really responsible?  If I had not lied to you, you would not have beaten her.  I gave the motivation, the incentive.

I can always shrug my shoulders and say, "Hey, I didn't beat her.  Luther did.  I simply made a mistake because I really coulda sworn his wife was cheating on him.  Oops.  My bad."

(Please forgive me using your marriage as an example.  It is not intended to cast any dispersions.  It is simply the first example I could come up with.)
My three cents.

May 25, 2011 at 12:08 AM  

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