Monday, May 23, 2011

Are You Serious? Really?

I am grieved in my heart by the reaction of many who claim to be evangelical Christians to the fact that the rapture of believers did not take place as predicted by Harold Camping of Family Radio, Oakland, CA. Much of the reaction included imprecatory wishes of his demise and banishment from earth. People who know the Lord do not react like this.

Hopefully, Harold Camping will be long gone from this Earth by the time the next prediction comes around. Given his age, he probably will. And hopefully soon.

I hope he gets sued or terrible.

This guy man.. he's hiding now and family radio shut down cause they are idiots. we should take people like this and throw them off the earth.

it should be the end of HIS world.

But I Don't Support Him At All I Hope He Gets Sued For Emotional Distress.

Yeah, what happened to the 2011 business. I just found out about this stupid may 21 **** like yesterday. I am still alive and really ******. I vote we form an angry mob and hang this muthaf***.

You have got to be kidding me? Is the way those who claim to know Christ are to think in their heart? Is there no grief for the deception?

First of all, why is anyone surprised? More importantly why is anyone disappointed? I can understand if Camping's followers are disappointed. Some spent their life savings on helping him spread his false teaching. Many changed their life-plans and priorities in order to warn friends, family, and strangers of coming judgement.

Those of you who know the bible should not be disappointed or surprised. The Bible is very clear that no one will know the day that Jesus Christ will appear in the clouds to take his bride to the Father's house. The scripture is clear that we should watch, wait, and work and not be concerned with the timing of the event. If anything we should be disappointed at midnight every day that our home-going didn't take place today.

Paul warned his beloved protege Timothy that many would come and deceive the ignorant. "...evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived." (II Timothy 3:13, ESV) Evil  people, people who are impostors will deceive people because they have been deceived. Harold Camping is an evil man and an impostor. He has proven by his teaching to have been deceived and he has deceived hundreds of thousands of people around the world. His "teachings" did not and do not line up with the bible.

Sincerity, passion, and meaning well are not qualifications of a bible teacher. A bible teacher must work diligently and study intensely to be an accurate teacher of biblical things. Teaching the bible is a very sacred, holy, magnificent, and exacting work. James warns his readers not to become teachers without great thought for they will be judged with a greater judgment than non-teachers.

So, what should we do? What is our proper reaction? Again, Paul told Timothy what to do; "But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work." (II Timothy 3:14-16, ESV)

"...the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths." (II Timothy 4:3-4, ESV)

Do not turn from sound biblical teaching. Do not turn to teachers who tell you what you want to hear. Find teachers who work hard at teaching and then compare their teaching with the Scripture in prayer, meditation, and humility. The word of God is complete. God said what He meant and He meant what He said. Do not add to it, take away from it, or attempt to find hidden codes, secretes, or new information in order to prove a new and novel teaching. There are no bible codes, hidden meanings, or secrets that say one thing but mean another thing.  The scripture must be taken literally (except when obviously figurative), within in its historical and contextual background and in accordance with the grammar and syntax of the Greek, Aramaic, or Hebrew language.

You can certainly have confidence that you can read and understand the bible if: first, you are a true believer and child of God; second, you have not grieved or quenched the Holy Spirit who indwells believers as their comforter, down payment, and teacher; third you prayerfully, diligently, actively, and in accordance with proper hermeneutical rules; and fourth you compare Scripture with scripture. Camping will tell you he did that.

Camping's problem, other than possibly not being a believer, is that he read things into the scripture and spiritualized them rather than taking them literally. He made passages say what they needed to say in order to support his theory. He did not check his hypothesis with scripture, the apostles, the long accepted teaching of the of the church, and with other godly men who have gone on before him to see if his hypothesis was correct.

What will become of Harold Camping? At this moment, I for one do not know. He may be shamed from the radio, public access, and from teaching. His credibility is non-existent. He may cry error, foul, mistake and carry on like a tear-shedding Jimmy Swaggart unscathed. It doesn't matter. If Harold Camping disappears, Satan is locked and loaded with the next deceiver and false teacher. I think at least he needs to resign or be fired from Family Radio and never given a pulpit again. But alas, There will be a proliferation of deceivers and false teachers, especially as the time of judgment approaches.

Watch out! Be sober-minded, exercise discernment, study diligently and seek the help of well-tested pastor/teachers who have the gift of teaching who can help you with difficult passages or doctrines. Encourage one another, edify one another and do not forsake the gathering of yourselves together as you see the day approaching!

I love of all you who read this blog - my love for you is shown in its greatest manner by seeking to accurately interpret and teach Gods' Word for His glory and your good.


Ma said...

I've read some nasty comments hurled at Camping, too.

The Lord will judge, not us;)

Seams Inspired said...

Camping's prediction (I refuse to call it prophecy) was just that...a prediction. I was truly surprised at all the media attention, though I suppose it was because of the number of followers attesting to the end-of-times date. As for the comment cruelty, I was just as surprised by it. Have people become nastier, or is it only that the nastiest is more apparent because of instant access to proclaim it?

EISEGESIS...I call that Verse-Jacking. ;o) Pulling a specific verse and using it to suit your needs or support an argument, though it shouldn't be used/interpreted in that manner.

Excellent post, Gregg! Happy Monday! :o)

Persis said...

Great post, Gregg. Especially the paragraph about not forsaking the assembling together, which happened to be the text for my pastor's sermon yesterday. Camping's insistence on isolation from the rest of the Body of Christ made it a lot easier for his deception to be spread.

May God grant him repentance and restore his followers to the true gospel.

Scott said...

Good post. It is indeed sad on so many levels. But unfortunately, the hyper-prophecy culture bred in many of our churches leads to this sort of thing, and leads to many being taken in by these false predictions. We ought to spend less time "un-veiling" portions of prophecy and more time proclaiming the clearly revealed Gospel so that when Christ does return, He finds us faithful.

Michael Wright said...

That is probably the most well-balanced response I've read to the Harold Camping controversy yet. Thank you very much, Bro. Gregg, amen.

Michelle said...

I hate that this has stirred the scoffers.

On the way to church yesterday, dear hubby pointed out to me his burden for the folks who were deceived. As I stated, "It's all so crazy..." He made sure to point out, "How is it more crazy than Catholicism?" So, I guess we ended the conversation with our burden for all people that have been deceived, not just the Mr. Camping's followers.

inkslingerblog said...

You nailed it once again, Gregg. Well done and amen!

asoldierforjesus said...

One thing that drove me away from the church and my faith (recommitted my life to Christ last year after about 15 years) was judgmental Christians. Or should I say, "church people"? It takes hard-heartedness and lack of understanding of the Scriptures to say such harsh things.

Another commenter mentioned that Camping was making predictions, not prophesies. I agree. I don't think he ever set himself up to be an "apostle" or leader of the One True Church, but I'm not sure.

This should be a lesson to all of us to check what we're told against the Word of God. Church people and uninformed Christians fall for the lies of the cultist at their door because they're told things that feel good and that they want to hear. Bible-believing (and knowing) Christians should never become complacent.

RonJoeWhite said...

Great Post! Excellent biblical reminders and advice. I have Family Radio tuned in right now as I'm writing this comment. So far I have not heard a response from HC. I was gone this weekend and wasn't able to keep up with what's happening on this subject, other than HC is once again branded a false prophet.

Keena said...

good post....

Penned Pebbles said...

"Sincerity, passion, and meaning well are not qualifications of a bible teacher." Amen!

"If Harold Camping disappears, Satan is locked and loaded with the next deceiver and false teacher." So true! We're not fighting flesh and blood!

I hope and pray that this humiliation will bring Camping to the truth, and that his followers will now seek the truth, realizing that wishful thinking, no matter how sincere, will not produce truth! God is truth!

Great post!! Blessings

Elizabeth Mahlou said...

I sat on a plane to Europe a few months ago beside one of Camping's missionaries. He would not consider anything in the Scriptures that gave the lie to Camping's prediction. One can only feel sorry for those so deceived. You are right: we should be feeling forgiveness for the man who made the terrible mistake and compassion for those who followed him.