Skip to comments.Why Modern-Day Prophecy Theorists are More Dangerous than Harold Camping
Posted on 05/23/2011 7:20:22 AM PDT by topcat54
How is it possible that most evangelical critics of Harold Camping are more dangerous than the failed prognosticator? For the simple reason that its no longer May 21, 2011, and Harold Camping will be relegated to the dust bin of prophetic history, but prophecy prognosticators will continue to abound by claiming that Jesus is still coming soon even if we dont know the day and hour. In nearly every article Ive read by evangelicals denouncing Camping, they still claim that all the signs are in place for Jesus soon return. Here are some examples:
Even though Tim LaHaye denounced Campings prediction as not only wrong but dangerous . . . not only bizarre but 100% wrong!, he still claims that the recent earthquakes and tsunamis in Japan are signs of the apocalypse just as he laid out in in his fiction end-time Left Behind novels.
(Excerpt) Read more at americanvision.org ...
"For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled." (Luke 21:22)
But he does not say what it does mean.
He also gives no clue as to why evangelicals are "dangerous".
The stand-ups will be feasting on this anti-Christian feed-bag for months and months.
I don’t blame an obviously demented 89 year old for delusions of godhood and bizarre proclamations. I can hear those from any homeless guy on a park bench, or from an Alzheimers patient who insists his parents are still alive and it’s WW2.
What I blame is the media that gives this kind of ranting a forum!
First- nobody knows( and not everyone on the planet believes) in the return of Jesus. You are free to guess every year and, eventually , someone will be right; but giving every guess or delusion press is criminal.
Second- in our current media climate- if Jesus returned during football season, He would be ignored or maybe mentioned as a postscript after post-game shows.
Thank you! THAT is the reason all this made the press, IMO.
We should all remember, also, that the world ‘ends’ for tons of people every day. Check the obituaries.
What about Globull Warming predictions?
Emphasizing the inevitability of judgment is not a mistake. But picking a specific day is a fool's errand.
21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elects sake those days shall be shortened.
Joel 3:2 I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.
Zecharia 14:4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.
There are many, many more such prophetic passages which have yet to be fulfilled.
When? In the words of Jesus Himself in Matthew 24:36 ...
“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.”
Attempts to predict these things are not only futile, but reject the authority of God Himself who made it clear through His Son that nobody would know.
DeMar has written several very interesting articles and books on eschatology. If you go to abebooks.com you can get a copy of one of the books for very little.
As Christians it is our job to spread the good news of salvation through the sacrifice of Jesus to anyone who will listen.
It is not to create FUD.
I can’t really imagine why any Christian would want to be “raptured”. When the world is at its worst, who else will stand and proclaim Jesus, to those who still live, if not us?
Christ said he would return. He never said He was going to “rapture out Believers.” That is a dangerous false doctrine that has only been around for about 130 years.
People like LaHaye should be ashamed for spreading these falsehoods and making piles of money from it.
You may remember the folk remedy for a bad LSD trip — take another dose, of 10 times the potency.
Gary DeMar must be a bitter and small minded man if he feels the need to ceaselessly harp on this topic. DeMar has his own bizarre interpretation of the end times that is perhaps even more out of step than Harold Camping.
As for Harold Camping, we shouldn’t be surprised that the adversary would push him and other to unbiblical extremes - for the very purpose of smearing the truth with a “guilt by association” argument. In the 1st century, Paul’s gospel of grace was mimicked as “sin as you please”.
Here’s a little common sense (at least to me) about God speaking to and through people in general, and God does do both.
When God speaks to you, that message is for you, and you alone. It is essentially meaningless to others, however deeply felt it may be to you.
When God speaks through you, the more you think about it, (or add mixed case, mixed font blinking highlights to it), or repeat it, ...the less of the real message gets through.
Just my .02 FWIW
Jesus's message, "repent and reform," applies regardless of when the Second Coming takes place.
These guys are only dangerous if they have an audience. I think those who believed it was the end of the world were only wishful thinkers.
please think about your conclusion. Does the world end when
someone dies, or does someone die to the world? Is reality
external(apart, different) from us, or based only on our internal mind?
What kind of Bible do you read that has 1 Thessalonians 4:17 omitted?
Sola Scriptura is what I say it is fails.
You’re right that Jesus said “no one knows the day or the hour,” but he DID say that his coming would be in his generation, did he not (Mt. 24.29,34)?
How do you read “generation”?
Thanks for reading and considering
Nothing I said contradicts this verse. The Lord is coming back. I believe I said that.
What Bible do you read that says there will be a “rapture” where believers will disappear while the world will continue to go on as usual?
> How do you read generation?
I read it that He meant the generation that would experience the Great Tribulation.
I agree with you that it would be the generation that saw the great tribulation.
But he also said THIS generation. Was that not the generation of folks then living?
When Jesus read the riot act to the rebellious Jews in Mt. 23.36 and said, “All these things shall come upon this generation.” Do you think that was the generation that were listening?
What does the word “this” mean to you?
Thanks for your response.
“this” as in, “On this day in history” or “on this day in the future” or “this generation that suffers the Great Tribulation”.
“Generation” can also mean people group or race, and it’s possible that He was referring to the Jews as a people group.
Do you believe that the things described by Jesus as the Great Tribulation have come to pass already?
Without getting into deep existential debates, and ‘certain point of view’ arguments, for the person who dies the ‘world’, physically, as they have known it, ends.
If you believe in spiritual immortality and the afterlife, that is ‘another’ world. Not this one.
How intermingled, and interactive, the two realities are is something with which science and religion wrestle.
Speaking in ‘every day’ language, the ‘world’ is what we physically experience and that reality ends for people every day.
This preacher is just one more deluded nut job. 89!! How rational he is likely to be?
The fundamentalist lust to predict the future is the canary under the carpet, the problem that just won't go away, no matter how many careers are wrecked and lives are short-changed by those who proclaim as absolute truth the notion that God has already decided to take a dive.
[this as in, On this day in history or on this day in the future or this generation that suffers the Great Tribulation.]
You might look at the five times the term “this generation” occurs in Matthew (11.16, 12.41, 12.42, 23.36, 24.34) and see if your assertion fits any of those except your take on 24.34. I doubt that you will.
[Generation can also mean people group or race, and its possible that He was referring to the Jews as a people group.]
So I’ve heard, but see if it fits any of the 10 times the word occurs in Matthew. I doubt that you’ll reach for your supposed meaning in any other passage in Matthew, or the New Testament, for that matter. Can you find a passage anywhere in the New Testament where “generation” refers to a race?
[Do you believe that the things described by Jesus as the Great Tribulation have come to pass already?]
What I believe isn’t important. We ought to be concerned with what Jesus said. Let’s see if we can agree on what the word THIS means first, where Jesus said, “THIS GENERATION” shall not pass away until all these things be fulfilled.”
Thanks again for your response
“The fundamentalist lust to predict the future is the canary under the carpet,”
The fundamentalist desire to see Christ return as he promised is the dynamic of their faith. Much like the early Christians, “They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the deadJesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath. “
“and the certainty of the gospel’s victory within history.”
Sounds like you’ve chosen to take your seat with the Christians-Socialists of last century’s Europe.
Good luck with that Pollyanna!
In Matthew 11:16, “this generation” could easily be referred to as the Jews as a people group, as does “the men of Nineveh shall rise in judgement with this generation”, which likely does denote people groups. I don’t find these things to be a logical squeeze at all. Are they the correct interpretations? Don’t know. What does the Holy Spirit tell you (1st John 2:27)?
Good advice to focus on what the Lord says. Now see if you can determine whether the things he describes in Matthew 24 have alread taken place.
As for me, I don’t go by “systematic theologies”. I only go by what I see.
I remember approaching a preacher with an obscure piece of Scripture and asking him what it meant. He asked me, “Are you going to live that passage today?”
I answered with another question, “How can I live it if I don’t even know what it means?”
He replied with the best answer I’ve ever gotten to such a question. “Well, there’s plenty enough in the Scripture that you can plainly understand. Why don’t you work on living those things. Maybe if you’re successful at that, the Lord will reveal to you what these more difficult passages mean.”
So have you gotten beyond the Sermon on the Mount? I mean, it’s pretty plain and easily understandable. If you’ve gotten all that right, then you’re a much better Christian than I am.
Thats called solo Scriptura.
Solo Scriptura. LOL
There was only one chronological generation of Nineveh that heard the preaching of Jonah, just as there was only one chronological generation of Israel what was personally preached to by the Lord Jesus Christ. The parallel Jesus was making is unmistakable and renders your alternative interpretation unsupportable.
You have to deny the plain words of the Bible to come to some other conclusion on the meaning of this generation.
The Jews are not an evil people group, which is the way you are forced to interpret Matt. 12:39.
Gentlemen, I don’t argue that generation cannot refer to a “people group,” as I think it does in every case. However, “this generation” refers to the “people group” of the context (the Jews in Matthew) all living at the same time.
The dictionaries say that the adjective “this” refers to something NEAR in time or place, as opposed to something far away.
Jesus didn’t give the day nor hour of his return, but he did say it would occur in his generation.
Let the casual reader notice that we’re not arguing about what the Bible says here. Westbrook and I agree on what Jesus said. We don’t agree on the meaning of the term “this” in Mt. 24.34, tho we do agree on the other four times it’s used in Matthew.
Thanks for your responses, gentlemen.
> The Jews are not an evil people group
Not any more so than we are.
Jesus referred to them, and by extension to all mankind, as evil. A “wicked and perverse generation”, is among the epithets He used, as well as “generation of vipers.”
Are you straight-jacketed by a systematic theology that requires you to believe something happened that plainly has not yet happened?
Or do you have an open enough mind to say, “Well, I don’t really *KNOW* for sure what that means, because the Holy Spirit has not revealed it to me, but here’s what I think.”?
***What Bible do you read that says there will be a rapture where believers will disappear while the world will continue to go on as usual?****
How about the Vulgate.
2Cr 12:2 scio hominem in Christo ante annos quattuordecim sive in corpore nescio sive extra corpus nescio Deus scit RAPTUM eiusmodi usque ad tertium caelum
2Cr 12:3 et scio huiusmodi hominem sive in corpore sive extra corpus nescio Deus scit
2Cr 12:4 quoniam RAPTUS est in paradisum et audivit arcana verba quae non licet homini loqui
1Th 4:17 deinde nos qui vivimus qui relinquimur simul RAPIEMUR cum illis in nubibus obviam Domino in aera et sic semper cum Domino erimus
The socialists of last-century Europe thought that the State was "God marching through history." Frieiderich Ernst Daniel Schleiermacher, "the father of modern protestant theology," started the trend of redefining the faith, and God, in terms of some other something. For Schleiermacher God was "a feeling of unconditioned dependence," a subset of Man's evolving experience. Thomas B. Altice asserted that Christianity was really just Heidegger's existentialism in drag. Liberation theologians asserted that Christianity was really just Marxism in drag. As post-mil scholar J. Gresham Machen pointed out 80 years ago, liberalism and Christianity may use the same vocabulary, but they are actually two different religions. We use our words to mean what we have always meant for them to mean. Liberals eviscerate the Gospel words of their messy entrails of factuality, and pack them with some preferred payload. Like the lady who used a baby's hollowed-out corpse to smuggle cocaine ...
I enjoy sitting with Augustine and Athanasius and Calvin and Luther, all of whom, with varying degrees of faithfulness, believed in and proclaimed the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Unlike you, when I call Jesus "Lord," I do not cross my fingers behind my back and mutter, "Well, by 'Lord' what I really mean is 'Guru,' a domesticated, neutered, ineffectual personal spiritual adviser." The Jesus adored by sane Christians in all ages is the Eternal Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, the One who has overcome death, hell, and Satan, the one in whom we are more than conquerors, the One who makes us competent agents of His will, agents of His Kingdom.
Now, if you view Christianity as a form of emotional masturbation, have at it, whack away at your precious subjective feelings. If, however, the King is at work today, and has something to say about every aspect of life, then come on in, the water's fine, and there's plenty for everyone to do.
Unlike the prognosticators, sane (ortho-dox, right-thinking) Christians have better things to do with their time than creating imaginary maps of futures that never happen.
BTW, this book was written in 1881; you wouldn't believe how accurate it is!
In the late nineteenth century, Father Charles Arminjon, a priest from the mountains of southeastern France, assembled his flock in the town cathedral to preach a series of conferences to help them turn their thoughts away from this lifes mean material affairsand toward the next lifes glorious spiritual reward. His wise and uncompromising words deepened in them the spirit of recollection that all Christians must have: the abiding conviction that heavenly aims, not temporal enthusiasms, must guide everything we think, say, and do.
When Father Arminjons conferences were later published in a book, many others were able to reap the same benefitincluding fourteen-year-old Thérèse Martin, then on the cusp of entering the Carmelite convent in Lisieux. Reading it, she says, plunged my soul into a happiness not of this earth. Young Thérèse, filled with a sense of what God reserves for those who love him, and seeing that the eternal rewards had no proportion to the light sacrifices of life, copied out numerous passages and memorized them, repeating unceasingly the words of love burning in my heart.
Now the very book that so inspired the Little Flower is available for the first time in English.
Let the pages of The End of the Present World and the Mysteries of the Future Life fill you with the same burning words of love, with the same ardent desire to know God above all created things, that St. Thérèse gained from them. Let them also enrich your understanding of certain teachings of the Faith that can often seem so mysterious, even frightening:
Jesus commands us to be ever-watchful for his return, and ever-mindful that we have no lasting city on earth. The End of the Present World and the Mysteries of the Future Life is an invaluable aid to inculcating in your spirit that heavenly orientation, without which true human happiness cannot be foundin this world or the next.
I'm sorry, you are the one twisting the words of the Bible and making the entire race of Jewish people wicked and evil because you refuse to accept what happened in that day was the fulfillment of Matt. 24:4-34.
Jesus was addressing those Jews who conspired with the Romans and nailed Him to the cross. Not modern Jewish people. Your views are what led to persecution, pogroms, and the Holocaust.
> I’m sorry, you are the one twisting the words of the
> Bible and making the entire race of Jewish people wicked
Yada, yada, yada ...
This is not even worthy of a reply.
> and evil because you refuse to accept what happened in
> that day was the fulfillment of Matt. 24:4-34.
Yes, of course. There were great earthquakes in diverse places, the sun and the moon were darkened, the seas turned to blood, one third of all the vegetation in the Earth was destroyed, one third of all human life was destroyed, all the nations of the earth came up against Israel, the water became undrinkable, and if God hadn’t intervened all flesh would have been destroyed, all this happened before the people standing in front of Jesus passed away.
Ok, if you say so.
The phrase this generation (and its related uses) in the gospels always refers to the generation of Jews then living at the time of Jesus. That's the plain sense use.
We find a similar language which was surely the model for Christ's words in Deuteronomy:
'Surely not one of these men of this evil generation shall see that good land of which I swore to give to your fathers, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him and his children I am giving the land on which he walked, because he wholly followed the Lord.' (Deut. 1:35,36)This was spoken of the generation who disobeyed the Lord and wandered in Sinai for 40 years till the guilty died off. They did not receive the blessing.
The LORDs anger burned against Israel and he made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until the whole generation of those who had done evil in his sight was gone. (Numbers 32:13)It is not speaking of the entire race of Jewish people.
The parallel is obvious to what happened in AD70, when the generation who killed the son of the landowner were punished in the sack of Jerusalem and destruction of the temple. As we read:
Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation. (Matt. 23:36)
For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. (Luke 21:22)
Yes, if you read the Bible Biblically, and simply evaluate the prophetic vocabulary the same way you do everywhere else in the Bible where it is used.
Post-mil folks tend to home-school their kids, and arrange their lives so that their grandchildren will be better off. One mother influenced by Camping took a knife to her throat -- after doing thus to her small daughters. A less spectacular, but even more devastating, crisis is upon us now -- and we have our heads so far up our prophetic fundaments that we can't read the writing on the wall. 80 to 90% of evangelical young people jump ship soon after leaving home. There is a remnant that stays the course -- home-schooling Calvinist families see 95% of their kids grow up to walk with God -- but the evangelical subculture is in a Gadarene nose-dive. And doesn't seem to care.
The disasters Jesus described, and those described in His Revelation, are to be world wide, not local.
Do you believe the flood of Noah was local, too?
The Olivet Discourse (Matt 24, Mark 13) makes it clear, at least to me, that these things are world-wide, and that they occur over a long, but undefined, period of time. “And the gospel must first be published among all nations” (Mark 13:10) clearly had not happened yet when the temple was destroyed in 70 AD. What does “all” mean?
We homeschool our children, nine of whom are still at home with us, and we are hoping to make better lives for our grandchildren, of which we already have ten, so far.
I have no idea when the Lord is returning. Could be today. Could be hundreds of years from now. Jesus said, “No man knows.” Jesus said, “As a thief in the night.” That’s good enough for me.
We believe that, at the end of the World, the Lord will provide for His Church, either leading them into safety or pulling them out before things get really bad. I don’t pretend to know which, nor when.
But I’m not about to sell everything God has given me and give it to some huckster. If a man does not provide for his own family, he is worse than an infidel (1st Timothy 5:8).
I am impressed, and very glad, that our teams are on the same side. All of our kids came by short cut (C-section), so we had to be content with four. The world will be a better place because of the children God has entrusted to us, and the grace He lavished upon us to raise them in His fear.
I think you will enjoy THIS SUMMARY of my MS thesis, which refuted the socialization myth 19 years ago.
I believe that the time claims of our Lord's prophecies make better sense if he ge is translated "The Land" (i.e. -- Israel) rather than "The Earth" (i.e. -- the whole globe). I take the first three verses of Revelation literally. If by "soon" and "at hand" and "quickly" Jesus meant 2,000+ years, I'd not send Him out for pizza!
Seriously, though, you are already operating in terms of a longer time horizon than the Camping folks. Give some thought to the possibility that God's Kingdom, Grace, and power are indeed able to progressively transform all of life as the Gospel is preached and lived -- and godly folks who take the Bible literally can rejoice in bigger hopes than Satan wants us to have.
Regardless of our differences in eschatology, we are definitely on the same side.
There’s an old saying. “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.”
There is also, “The meek shall inherit the earth.”
Thanks for the thesis on socialization.
When people ask us the inevitable, “What about socialization?”, I respond, “It depends on what kind of socialization you’re talking about.”
My kids are clearly socialized, but not with the same socialization practiced by the kids in the government school collectives.
This is a stupid article. As I understand this, everyone who teaches grace is guilty of causing sin...because there are those who abuse the teaching of grace.
TC, if you’re gonna post anti-premillenial material can you at least try to post something from someone with a brain?
Don’t tell me: without looking, I’m guessing it’s another lame attempt to link amill solipsist Harold Camping to folks with an actual, consistent, Biblical hermeneutic?
Not just a linking, but they say that the consistent bible hermeneutic is WORSE than Camping. Somehow, you and I are at fault for his idiocy. Sort of like banks are at fault for bank robbers.
Listen to Camping’s debate with Walvoord, available online. He was just a garden-variety amill at the time; but you can draw a straight line from Camping’s handling of the Bible then to his handling of the Bible now.
Walvoord, though perhaps not the sharpest scalpel on the tray, comes off pretty good so far (I’ve listened to around 3.5 hours ot of around 6).
You clearly misread the article if you got that from it. Only those who abuse something, whether it be the doctrines of grace or eschatology, are responsible for their own sins.
TC, if youre gonna post anti-premillenial material can you at least try to post something from someone with a brain?
Given the quality of the responses, or lack thereof, nothing more is really needed.
Besides, (speaking of using your brain) the issue is not premillennialism per se, it the highly aberrant form of dispensational premillennialism that teaches two separate Second Comings, one secret and one visible. In the dispensational scheme, anyone with a calendar who can count to seven can figure out the timing of the Second Coming part deux. Its a date-setters delight.