Del fin del mundo y sus malos entendidos

Lamento que  se cometan errores por desconocimiento y lamento aún más las burlas incesantes de quienes creen tener la verdad en sus manos.

16 May, 2011

Why Harold Camping Will Likely Be Wrong about May 21, 2011

Sometime last summer, I learned that Harold Camping had written another book predicting the time when Jesus would rapture the church to heaven. I wanted to write about this prediction, but have always found more productive subjects to cover. A few days ago, I suddenly realized that this week’s update would be my last opportunity to comment ahead of the May 21, 2011 date.

I am extremely pessimistic that Camping will be proven correct. In 1992, he published a book titled 1994? in which he claimed have figured out that September 6, 1994, would be the time of the Lord’s return. Once that date failed, he reset his countdown calendar six more times:

(1) September 15, 1994, the Jewish Day of Atonement
(2) September 25, 1994, the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles
(3) October 4, 1994, the actual birthday of Jesus that Mr. Camping calculated
(4) December 25, 1994, our traditional celebration of Christmas
(5) February 25, 1995, the Jewish Feast of Purim
(6) May 3, 1996, the result of (Mark 13:35) extended the September 6, 1994, date

In one of Camping’s radio broadcasts, he was asked how he arrived at the new date. His answer was a crazy quilt of biblical events and numerology. He started with the year Noah loaded animals into the ark in 4990 B.C.–a number he was based on carbon dating and tree-rings evidence. Paging forward to 2 Peter, he read aloud, “One day is with the Lord as a thousand years and a thousand years is one day.” Camping then said that the seven days Noah spent loading the ark was really 7,000 years. He then added 7,000 to 4990 B.C to arrive at 2010. He added one more year, he said, because there is no year one in the Bible. (http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2011-03-23-prophet_22_ST_N.htm?csp=34news)

Camping has a lot of influence because of Family Radio Network, which broadcasts his messages over 150 radio stations within the United States. He comes across as a man who has a deep understanding of the Bible. He said in one broadcast, “I bought a Bible with a good leather cover. This is the sixth one. When you use them all the time, they wear out.” Unfortunately, years of study does not guarantee the truth. Camping holds to many end-time views that are unique to him. For example, he believes:

The Bible is one long parable and can only be decoded by God’s true prophet.
The end of the Church Age was on May 21, 1988.
The Tribulation began in 1994, and it is 23 years long.
The folks left behind on May 21, 2011, will suffer God’s wrath for five months.

Camping’s website spends a large amount of time dealing with Scriptures that bar us from knowing the time of the Rapture. In Matthew 24:36, Jesus very plainly said, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.”

He counters with verses like Amos 3:7, “Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” Another passage, 1 Thessalonians 5:4, is another one he claims gives him a license to date-set: “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.”

The Lord has given us plenty of general warnings about the Rapture, and we won’t be in darkness if we remain watchful. Because Jesus told His disciples that He would come as a thief, I can only conclude that the Rapture will be a surprise event.

I used to be ambiguous about date-setting. I quickly learned that false prophets do a huge amount of damage to the end-time message when they make predictions that fail to come to pass. They damage the faith of believer, and they harden the hearts of the unsaved.

One of the most fundamental rules that every Christian organization should follow is: “Don’t do anything that brings discredit to God’s Holy Name.” You can make yourself look like a fool, but don’t make the Lord look like one, too.

The Family Radio website has the words, “The Bible Guarantees,” posted right below the May 21 “Day of Judgment” date. Chris McCann is part of a Philadelphia group of Camping followers. He said on one FR program that “God has put His stamp of approval that this is the day.”

In a dubious way, Camping is helping to set the stage for the Rapture. His failed predictions are helping to create the element of apathy that Jesus warned about. I read a report this week that said America is on track to have its most costly year ever for natural disasters. If people knew the Bible, they would understand the likely root cause of these disasters.

— Todd

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