Thursday, May 19, 2011

Harold Camping, the true Gospel, and hedged bets

My first point will be very obvious — so stay with me a tad longer, please.

Harold Camping says he and all Campingites (only) will be raptured on Saturday the 21st, and judgement day will come. (Does that make him pre-trib? Brr-r-r-r.)

In response, some of his followers have made radical changes in their lives. Some (like Robert Fitzpatrick, as well as numerous others) will be ruined if Camping is wrong yet again.

The obvious question I have never seen Camping forced to answer is: why hasn't Camping himself put his money where his mouth is?

If he's wrong yet again, he'll be humiliated. But Camping was humiliated before, and more than once — and he just went right on misleading and being misled. So what will this failure cost him?

To my mind, this fact is pretty eloquent. Were he truly convinced, he could show the world by going his followers one better and deeding off every last cent and penny and bit of real estate and business, effective May 22.

But he has not.

Now the Gospelly application.

I preach what I believe is the Biblical Gospel of the urgent need of every last man, woman and child to turn to Jesus Christ in repentant faith, to rest in Him alone for full and complete salvation, and to bury all notions of contributing a penny, a shilling, or a Euro to their own salvation. Jesus is all-sufficient Savior, Jesus plus nothing. That is what I preach, and that is what I believe.

Now, if you found me saying that just in case, I occasionally dropped by Roman Catholic churches to do confession and penance and salvific good works and stock up on some saving wafers; and just in case I bowed to Mecca ever so often and did a hajj or two, and just in case I lubed my karma every so often... what would you conclude about the genuineness, sincerity, integrity and singleness of my professed faith?

Sharp gal or fella that you are, you'd conclude that I was hedging my bets. You'd conclude that I was stocking up a Plan B, a Plan C, and a few other plans... just in case this whole Jesus-business didn't work out for me.

And you'd be right!

Because the truth is, I have no Plan B. If Jesus is not all that the Bible says He is, and if some other religion is right, I'm sunk. I have no backups. Jesus is it. All my eggs are in that basket.

See the tie-in?

Sure you do.


Gregg said...

Camping has answered that question in a recent broadcast. The reason he doesn't sell, give away, or deed his possessions to anyone is that would be tantamount to not believing God.

He believes the world will be destroyed in the 24 hour period beginning at 6:00 PM on May 21. Therefore there will be no one here to take receipt of and use any property on May 22. If he gave it away to "some who would be here" he says that is not believing the full bible. He intends to use all that he has to get the message out right up until the world is destroyed.

In one sense, he has put his money where his mouth is. Even though I don't believe him and think that he is a false teacher deceiving possibly millions of people, his explanation to a caller on that issue made sense and was in line with his teaching. He was consistent.

DJP said...


Robert said...

Did he sell his house and use the money to spread the message? Did he sell all of his clothes as the days passed by so he could use that money to do the same? I don't see how he can be consistant in his message if he isn't giving up everything he doesn't need after the next two days. And that is exactly what some of his followers have done and are doing. Because that follows the logical implication of knowing that the Rapture will happen in two days.

GrammaMack said...

This is confusing. (Duh.) The first article says "Camping believes the rapture will occur May 21 and that God will destroy the earth on October 21," and I've read that elsewhere as well.

The second article quotes one of his followers as saying, "it will be 153 days later [than May 21] that the entire universe and planet Earth will be destroyed forever."

But Gregg reports that Camping said on his radio broadcast that the world will be destroyed in 24 hours starting May 21 at 6 p.m. Maybe Camping can't keep it straight himself.

His followers believe that if they wake up on earth on May 22, they will be in hell. What tragedies will result from that? So sad.

Scooter said...

Good word Dan. Camping says that the Bible says that Judgment Day is May 21st. Yet by his actions he doubts his own predictions.

We have a far surer word for our salvation so let us cast off all our Plan B's and hold fast to our assurance.

WV: patio - where I'll be on Saturday night

Trinian said...

What bugs me the most about these sorts of prophets... sorry, teachers... is that no one holds them accountable after the stuff that they spew out turns out false. Maybe there should be an online resource for false prophesies - a Snopes for religious hypocrites. That way, when someone like Pat Robertson goes back off the deep end next January, we could just look up the 100 other things he's said that were false and have an easy answer.

Sir Aaron said...

A few thoughts come to mind.

1.) Is God using this false teacher to bring about 2 Peter 3:3-4?

2.) He's clearly hedging his bets. We all know that we surely wouldn't be doing the things we are doing now if we thought that we were (a) going to die tomorrow or (b) the Lord was coming tomorrow. I surely wouldn't be at work now. That was also true with the Thessalonians who had to be told to work or they don't eat. As it stands, we have to work because we don't know when Jesus may return.

3.) What good is the message "The world ends on such and such day" or you'll die on such and such day. The point of the message must be to believe in Christ. That seems to be a side point in all of this. Believing that the world will end on the 21st wont save anybody.

4.) Everyone keeps saying where they'll be on the 22nd. I assume they mean God-willing, since none of us is guaranteed another day.

5.) Finally, thank you Lord that despite my sinfulness you elected to save me anyways. May your will be done.

DJP said...

Like Snopes, eh? I like it. We could call it...


Trinian said...

... and perhaps if I want such a thing so badly, I should begin to place my monetary units in the vicinity of my tongue.

Dave Miller said...

Sir Aaron’s #3 hits home to me.

Camping’s sheep should be proclaiming “Repent and believe the gospel” to us today and tomorrow.

We should be proclaiming “Repent and believe the gospel” to them on the 22nd and every day thereafter.

Michael Herrmann said...

There are many many small and medium earthquakes around the world every day. There will certainly be one or more around 6pm on Saturday. Won't that be a surprise for anyone that's heard about this teaching.

Al said...

A couple of thing happened at work today…

1. I have been able to tell people that the world already ended, 2000 years ago, and that Christ died that a new world might come and did come at His resurrection. It is still breaking into the world today. Christ and Him crucified.

2. A woman many of us knew well died when an aneurysm in her brain burst. She was young, had retired from the Navy and just finished her last class for her PhD. It was an opportunity to tell my officemates that it may be good fun to mock this guy and his poor, deluded followers but it IS appointed for men to die and there will be judgment. If they want to escape that then go to the one who died and rose again. Don't wait until tomorrow to repent. Today is the day of Salvation.

Thanks God for Harold Camping.

trogdor said...

I hesitate to do this, because how snide can I be to a comment about pointing people to Christ? But if that is really representative of your eschatology, dude, that's a total trainwreck.

Remember when Peter was addressing the Judgment-Day scoffing of his time? He told his listeners to 'remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, "Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation".'

Much like today, of course. Oh, Jesus isn't returning, the end isn't coming, the world keeps going tomorrow and the day after, blah blah blah. Remember Peter's response? "The world already ended, 30-ish years ago, and that Christ died that a new world might come and did come at His resurrection. It is still breaking into the world today. Christ and Him crucified."

Oh right, it was nothing like that.

So again, bravo on pointing people to Christ. But saying the end of the world already came? Yikes.

Unknown said...

Harold Camping did have a plan B it's just buried in the details of American religous history. His movement is a carbon copy of the Millerite movement of 1844. William Miller believed he could calculate the date of Christ's return. He arrvied on October 1843. When that did not happen several religions were birthed LDS, SDA, Jehovah's Witness with key doctrines to explain why they failed. Chief amoungst these doctrines was the close of probation and that Jesus moved to the most holy place in the heavenly temple to commnence with the judgement of humanity.