Thursday, May 26, 2011

October 21?

What does it take for heresy to die?

Most know by now of Harold Camping and his prediction that Judgment Day was coming on May 21
and would continue until October 21. You may be also familiar with his teaching that God has judged the organized church and unless someone comes out of organized churches he cannot be saved. You would think that the fact that Christ did not come back on May 21 (Camping and those who believe his teachings, were not raptured as he predicted with the strongest confidence), Camping would admit his error, be discredited as a false prophet, withdraw from being a teacher on Family Radio, and people would stop listening to him. However, none of this is so. Camping did not admit his error as those of us who listened to his Open Forum on May 22, were to find out. Camping insisted that his dates and proofs were correct and that God just had not given him the full implications of what May 21 meant. Camping now insists that God did judge the world on May 21 but that it was a spiritual coming not a literal one. Camping also stated that the Holy Spirit has been removed from the earth and no one can now be saved that was not already saved. On October 21, he says, God will visit
the earth in final judgment, completely destroying it while rapturing out true believers. The saved will go to heaven while the unsaved will be simply annihilated (Camping does not believe in a literal hell).
As I have thought on these things, the question has arisen, why have I spent so much time thinking about someone whose prophesies have been disproven over and over again by time (Camping has predicted some 7 or 8 dates for the coming of Christ)? October 22 will come and again, Camping will face the embarrassment of having to explain how the end of the world has not occurred. Time will take care of this heresy, right? Perhaps so, in the eyes of most people, but if history repeats itself, Camping will have some explanation. His heretical teaching will continue. People will continue to be deceived.
What really hurts many of us is that a once sound Gospel ministry (Family Radio) has been taken over to propagate false doctrines. How did this happen and what are we to do to keep ourselves from ending up the same?
Indeed, there are many false preachers in the world today. Many are spreading false teaching without falling under the same scrutiny as Camping, whose nationwide billboard campaign declaring the end of the world caught the eye of the media in a big way. However, these other false teachers are just as dangerous. Many started out, as did Camping, in straight mainline Christian churches having orthodox doctrines, yet now make claims as outrageous as  those of Camping.  They function by and large without much public scrutiny. Others soft sell their heretical views pulling people in with
promises of a better life here and now appearing to be in agreement with mainline Conservative Christianity but seldom, if ever do they present a clear Gospel message. Believers in Christ need to be ever on guard to spot false teachings and warn of their dangers.
To spot the counterfeit, we must be thoroughly familiar with the truth. That is why I have made no sustained effort to refute Camping’s teaching here. We need to know the simple Gospel of Jesus Christ and proclaim it. 1 John 4:1-6 tells us to test the spirits to determine the truth in them. In this passage we are warned to consider what teachers say about Jesus, Scripture and the Gospel. Those who have fallen under the spell of false teachers have not considered what they are saying about Jesus Christ. They ignore the fact that false teachers do not proclaim that Jesus is  truly God, the
Son, but rather they call Him a son, or a god. In addition, false teachers water it down the Gospel, adding works to it, or even failing to mention it at all. When they exalt the Scriptures they only give lip service as they put their own interpretations over the truths found in God’s Word alone.
Let the reader search the Scriptures thoroughly considering those to whom he ought to listen.

[ Blogger’s
note: Read the companion blog: Test The Spirits]

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