1) It’s been a little more than 2 weeks since my last post so I figure that I may as well add a little something, especially since:
2) The “end of days” may be on Saturday. Though I sincerely doubt that will happen.
See, way back when God saved me, I was a lapsed Lutheran with no understanding of what this whole “end times” thing was. So I did what I do and I researched. A lot. I heard the arguments on what I thought were both sides of the eschatologogical aisle and found that the dispensational pre-trib, pre-mill view to be pretty satisfying. I started listening to men like Hal Lindsey, and Greg Laurie, and anyone else who seemed to have a good handle on what was to happen in the end. Through their perspective, most of my concerns related to my reading of the end times were resolved. “This HAS to be it!” I thought.
Then a few years ago we had a group of people who swore that they knew when the end was going to be. I bought in (nearly) whole hog. Stopped planning for the future, started looking into ways that I could reach my unconverted loved ones after I was whisked away in the night, and ultimately, thought that the end was not only near, but that I could mark it on the calendar. That night came and went and I was still here.
That happened a few more times before I started understanding that people could not so clearly predict such things. One thing kept coming to me over and over:
But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.
So, if not even Jesus knew when His return would be, how preposterous is it for sinful, wretched man to proclaim that we know what Jesus stated was impossible to know. That would make Him out to be a liar.
From that time on I started following Paul Washer’s example. He stated in a sermon on the holiness of God that it is not important to focus on what might occur tomorrow and to be so wrapped up in it that you ignore the plight of your friends and neighbors around you who, when Jesus does return, are going to burn in Hell for all eternity. My time would be better spent preaching our holy Creator and the salvation that He purchased for us on our behalf, than it would be focused on the inevitable return of our redeemer. If anything, the parables of the talents and the ten virgins point us to the fact there is no higher purpose than working to please our king. When He comes for us, may we be found working for His purposes and to further His kingdom here on earth. Not that our work saves us, but that we are already saved by His work in us (if you are indeed transformed by the power of the Gospel) and because of this transformation we work to elevate His name and His glory in the world while we are able.
So, what about Harry and the Campingities?
My concern is what people will think of Christians come Sunday morning. Granted, we’ve had this happen before. Most notably in 1844 with William Miller, in the 1970’s through many popular Christian writers, and again in ’94 when Camping’s last prediction failed. Funny thing about that – someone who claims to be an oracle of God, biblically, has to live by some pretty strict standards. For instance, every prophecy HAS to come true, exactly as it was prophesied, or they were immediately dragged out of the city and stoned to death. Why? Because, by proclaiming themselves to be the mouthpiece of God, they are assigning themselves, and their character, to that of God – literally saying “as I am, so is God”. So Camping, having proven himself to be a false prophet, is condemned already and no one should take what he says at face value.
Regardless, my main concern is over the view of the universal Church as a whole. I worry that people will use this false prophet as a brush to paint all “christians” and the overall view toward irrelevancy will get a huge boost.
Not that it’s been easy for us lately. Think about it – when was the last time you saw a Christian on television as a strong moral character who was faithful to the end? Christians are often painted as pedophiles, or closet homosexuals, or as being harsh and judgmental of everyone around them while ignoring the obvious (to everyone else) sins in their own lives. Moralism rules the day and the greatest social sin of all is judgment of any kind. Which in itself is funny because those who stand up and point fingers at Christianity as a harsh, judgmental ideology are themselves being intolerant of and abrasive toward, Christians.
Anyway, so that’s my thought on that.