Yet another false 'rapture' prediction has failed the test of time, with nothing more to show for it but the emptied pockets and disappointed demeanor of those who had placed their hopes, if not money in the promises and predictions of Harold Camping of 'Family Radio'.
With millions of people tuning into his radio ministry from all over the world, Camping had predicted the end of the world beginning with the rapture on Saturday, May 21st and culminating sometime in October with a fiery destruction of planet earth. This latest charlatan builds his view of the future on the same foundation as does much of modern Christianity and her more respected preachers.
Covenant Community Church, of Whitehall, Montana, held a 'Mock the False Prophet' party, on the grounds of their meeting house yesterday. As the cliche goes, 'a good time was had by all', but it was not just a time of gleefully debasing and ridiculing false prophets like Harold Camping, but also a time for reflection. The conversation turned to discussing the task that God has set before His wife, the Church. How can we and other local congregations demonstrate to those around us the reality of the present and glorious Kingdom of God? Our words and our preaching play a part, but by living our Kingdom lives before a watching world we demonstrate that God has fulfilled His promise of creating the ‘new heavens and new earth’, by making His people the ‘new creation.’ ( II Corinthians 5:17 )
Many enjoyed the beautiful sunny day with an iced tea or liquid barley, barbequing hot dogs, and eating a huge cake decorated with popular Rapture themes. A few celebrants were indeed en-'raptured' with this delightful desert, especially the many children. The center-piece of the celebration was a good old-fashioned book-burning, in which books by well known authors such as Hal Lindsey, John Hagee, and others, were consigned to the eternal fires of hell! Even a nearly new copy of 'Left Behind', by Tim LaHaye went up in smoke. Our party was not just an opportunity to poke fun at these well known authors and false prophets, but also was utilized to instruct the next generation on the beauties of God’s covenant promises to them and their children after them.
In the midst of our joyous celebration we also couldn't help being reminded of the sobering, but still hopeful fact that it's charlatans like Harold Camping that have given the Church and Christianity itself, a rotten odor in the nostrils of the world around us! Yes; even the glorious name of God and His Christ have suffered ridicule through the scurrilous and greedy actions of men like Harold Camping. We at Covenant Community Church are hopeful that through the errors and deceptions of these men, those that have been duped will be forced to realize the truth of the glorious fulfilled Gospel of Jesus Christ. We pray that even those who do not recognize Jesus as Lord and King, will, through our faithful Kingdom living, be drawn to Him, and the Good News he proclaims!
It is the solemn duty of Christians to expose and openly mock false teaching and those that profit from it. While there are many good and well meaning Christian ministers who hold and teach doctrines similar to those of Mr. Camping’s, it is none the less true that much of the blame for the sad condition of our society can be attributed to the work of these men.
Once again, Christianity has provided the non-Christians with one more opportunity to think and speak contemptuously of our holy faith and the truth of Jesus Christ. Of course most Christians understand that Camping and his kind do not represent them. The enemies of the Gospel, however, will include all of Christendom in their mockery and sadly be strengthened in their unbelief.
Only a recovery of the Bible’s meta-narrative can correct the modern errors, dispel the "end is near" delusions and usher in a reformation of life, culture such as the world has never known.