Predictably, Harold Camping’s judgment day prophesy has now become something of a national joke. But it isn’t funny.
All along I have had a two-fold fear about this: First, that the Christian religion would once again be the subject of scorn, and, second, that at least some of the followers of Harold Camping would be brought to utter despair. The kind of despair that not only makes people jettison Christianity, but worse…
On the first point, I don’t think Camping’s brand of religion is Christian anyway (I’ve taken a lot of heat for saying that, and I will develop that notion more in a forthcoming post at Caffeinated Theology) but it won’t matter. The name of Christ will have scorn heaped upon it because of one wayward flake and his followers. Camping’s May 21st rapture already has been the subject of a couple of cartoon strips.
As to the second point, I think it’s entirely possible that some of Camping’s followers were not all that stable to begin with. What kind of an effect will the colossal disappointment they will experience on May 22nd have on their lives? How about those who have sold or given away their possessions, left their jobs and so on?
And what will Camping say to them? He’ll no doubt have some reason or other for his “miscalculation”. Some people will continue to follow him. Some will say they’ve had enough of him. Some will say they’ve had enough of religion. Some, I’m afraid, may say they’ve had enough of life.
We’re watching a tragedy of sorts unfold here. I’m very saddened to see all this.
To anyone who reads this, I want to reiterate that what you are watching with this whole business is not, repeat not, a true reflection of the Christian faith. You may find it amusing, but please do not let the folly of man convince you that their is no reality to the Christian faith, the Bible, or the person and work of Jesus Christ.
If you are reading this and you are a follower of Harold Camping, I would say this: The sun will come up on Sunday morning, May 22nd. It will be a glorious Lord’s Day with people worshiping God in various churches around the globe. Don’t despair that we’re all still here. Do not despair at all! Forget Harold Camping, forget Family Radio, and come join us as we worship the living God in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, the one who died for the sins of the world and who will return again in his own time.