Archive for the ‘May 22’ tag
That’s great it starts with an earthquake… (R.E.M. — 1987)
MSNBC reports on Camping’s failed doomsday prediction:
No word from Harold Camping. Family Radio is airing pre-recorded programing. Their website has not been updated. To note, May 21 is not yet over, though it’s passing quickly. IBTimes (I’m not sure who they are) offers photos of followers outside Family Radio’s station; they look dejected (see here).
- Disappear. He’s 89; maybe it’s time to retire.
- Apologize. “To everyone who gave up that last couple years of their lives, who broke fellowship with family members, who spent thousands to advertise May 21 on billboards, I’m sorry… I don’t know what the heck I’m doing.”
- Claim it happened, but everyone missed it.
- Argue that God is being patient. “Now, won’t you be patient with me?”
- Claim people can know, but that no one does.
- Claim no one can really know the day or hour, and that was the whole point.
- Release a feature-length film starring Tom Cruise and Charlie Sheen called “Judgment Day, 2011.” (It was all a complex “viral” marketing ploy.)
- Pull an “Orwell.” It was really Satan making people believe May 21 was Judgment Day. People were never supposed to believe the date.
- Argue that the date is May 21, 2011, but that our calendars are out of sync.
- “Oh, did I say May 21…?”
Initially, I regarded Harold Camping’s May 21 prediction as eccentric — bad theology to be sure, but merely bad theology. Today, I’m convinced it’s not just bad theology. It’s something much worse.
Fox News reports that a New York man has spent his entire savings ($140,000) on billboards. The New York Times offers a story about a family that is divided over Camping’s prediction:
The Haddad children of Middletown, Md., have a lot on their minds: school projects, SATs, weekend parties. And parents who believe the earth will begin to self-destruct on Saturday.
The three teenagers have been struggling to make sense of their shifting world, which started changing nearly two years ago when their mother, Abby Haddad Carson, left her job as a nurse to “sound the trumpet” on mission trips with her husband, Robert, handing out tracts. They stopped working on their house and saving for college.
Last weekend, the family traveled to New York, the parents dragging their reluctant children through a Manhattan street fair in a final effort to spread the word.
“My mom has told me directly that I’m not going to get into heaven,” Grace Haddad, 16, said. “At first it was really upsetting, but it’s what she honestly believes.” — see the rest of the story
In the end (May 22, to be exact), it will be settled that Camping has perpetrated a great evil upon the church, not simply his end-of-the-world prediction, but also his claim that the Holy Spirit left the church in 1988 (see source). Camping has systematically attacked the church, leaving human wreckage in his wake.
No one, not even Camping, knows the day or hour
There is considerable interest in Camping’s May 21 prediction, but it’s all rather meaningless. Camping is but one more prognosticator. Even if the Lord should descend May 21 at 6 p.m. — Jesus can come at any moment — Camping does not know that; he is only guessing.
There are no texts suggesting people can know the day or hour of Christ’s second coming. There simply are no texts.
Here are the facts:
1. Jesus said, “But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” — Mark 13:32, ESV
2. Jesus never taught that people will at some point in history know the day or hour.
3. The idea that people can know comes from Camping, not God.
Why will no one know?
Consider that not even the Son of Man (Jesus himself) knows the day or hour. Why? This is one of the inscrutable mysteries of the Lord our God. We know that the end will come, we sense its closeness, but we do not know the day or hour, i.e. the specifics. Why? Because we are to be awake at all times, morally prepared. A Christian studies the End Times to know the mind of God, and God’s mind is set on things of righteousness.
Christians who pursue studies of the Last Things humbly will themselves be humbled. They will feel the closeness of God, an intense intimacy, and will be awed.
When Jesus spoke of the End Times, he spoke of being prepared. “You also must be ready,” he taught, “for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Mat. 24:44). The world is not prepared, it does not know the righteousness of God, nor does it believe in his righteousness. The world says, “The Lord does not see; the God of Jacob does not perceive,” (Ps. 94:7) and, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die” (Is. 22:13). God’s children are unlike the world: they know.
To focus on knowing the day or hour is to be like Adam and Eve partaking of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil; to “know” the day or hour is to become a “god” like God. That is why not even the Son of Man knows the hour, because the Son of Man does not glorify himself, but to God (cf. John 8:54). We are to be like Christ, submitting ourselves and our lives to God. We are not to become God’s judge; we are to glorify Him.
The one who does not submit attacks. He is the accuser. And that man in this hour is Harold Camping. His condemnation of the church is wretched — it is evil. I do not know what Camping will do or say May 22, but I do not believe it matters. What matters is that people today awake to Christ and remove the evil from before them.
Bad theology with an expiration date
The shame of it all is that Family Radio had the potential to be a meaningful and faithful witness of Christ. I recall listening to Family Radio programing shortly before becoming a Christian in 1988, and I was encouraged (generally) by the ministry. Today, I want to vomit Family Radio out of my system. I am disgusted.
Fact: People’s faith is being damaged by Camping’s hallow pontifications.
This is the real issue. People are so misguided that they have sacrificed — not merely their life savings or their relationships — but their friendship with God. Yes, blow the trumpet, the people must be warned: they must be warned against Camping.
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