So, we’re now at the 30 day mark from Harold Camping’s prediction of the date of the rapture. I discussed a flaw in his timeline a while back (click here to read that post) and now, since we’re so close I’d like to discuss a few other issues with his theology that I see.
First he says, all the time, that we should beg God to be one of the “true believers” constantly. We should strive constantly saying “Please Please Please.” I have no issue with someone coming before the Lord in a broken state, for a person to have God’s will in mind and turn from their former ways like Harold says we should. The problem is, in Harold’s theology, it doesn’t make sense. In his view, God has picked certain people to be saved and the rest to be lost. So if God chose you to be saved and me to be lost then no repentance on my part can help, no excepting Christ as Lord, no believing in the Lord Jesus will result in Christ giving his righteousness to me. On the other side, he will drag you to heaven, kicking and screaming if he did choose you. It doesn’t matter if you want His gift of salvation you will take it. So what good does crying out to God do in Harold’s mind? Why should a person do it? If God is going to save them it doesn’t help, if He’s not, it doesn’t hurt to not do it. If God is going to change you as I’ve heard Harold say from time to time, then why not wait until He does? His beliefs don’t match what he does, and that’s always an indication of a lack of true belief.
Then there is his whole ignoring of the verse in Mark 13 (32 to be specific) where at the end it says “you do not know when the time is.” Jesus here is speaking specifically to his disciples not to the unsaved. Camping tries to mediate this with a later verse in 1 Thessalonians where Paul says when people say peace and safety then sudden destruction will come upon them. He tries to tie the two verses together but fails utterly. First of all, there is a complete change in subject. In Mark (and Matthew) Jesus is speaking to His disciples using the term “you” meaning them (and all His disciples) specifically. Paul is speaking about a group of people as “them” not “us” drawing a distinction between the two groups. Paul then goes on to tell his readers that the day doesn’t have to come upon them like a thief in the night, which is true. However when you’re watching for a thief it just means you’re prepared, not that you know exactly when the thief will show up, you watch consistently and vigilantly. If you knew exactly when the thief would show, you wouldn’t have to watch at all. Again in this point Mr. Camping fails completely.
Lastly (for today at least) is Harold’s obsession with knowing the date of Christ’s return. I’m not sure why he’s obsessed with it (perhaps he feels if he knows the date he is in more control) but it’s not a logical obsession. If Mr. Camping were right about his date and I get hit by a bus tomorrow, does it do me any good to know about May 21, 2011? No it doesn’t. That’s the big thing. Regardless of what specific day Christ returns, He returns for each of us within our lifetime. Death is the end of the line. If we haven’t repented and turned from our sin by then, knowing the date won’t matter. And, if Mr. Camping is correct about the date, again, the date doesn’t matter in his theology because the saved will be saved and the lost will be lost regardless. Again the exact date is irrelevant.
What will Family Radio be like on May 22? I don’t know. What sort of back peddling will Camping do on Open Forum on the 23? I’m not sure, but I will be listening to find out.