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 ...
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.