Mr Camping is wrong, and if you keep it up, you will be too!

By jreighley - Last updated: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 - Save & Share - 2 Comments

Of course the buzz of the world is Harold Camping’s failed rapture prophecy about last weekend.

I think that Mr Camping did sincerely believe what he believed.  I don’t think he made all of this hullabaloo to make a name for himself or anything of that sort.  He had a theory, he searched the bible for evidence in support of that theory.  He found so much evidence of what his itching ears wanted to hear, that he believed it was irrefutable and “Guaranteed”

That is the danger of eisegesis.  This is the practice of reading your own idea into the scripture.  You search for what you want to hear and ignore all the evidence to the contrary, and you get exactly what you want to hear.

On my trips down to California, I hear it on the Calvary Chapel radio stations all of the time.  A preacher will be preaching through Revelation, and he will say something like this:  ” Do you see what it doesn’t mention here?  It doesn’t mention the Church.  You know why?  Well, this shows that  by this point, the Church has been raptured, and is no longer on the earth”

Really?  Perhaps it doesn’t mention the Church because it doesn’t mention the Church?

Yes, a skilled orator can make an argument for his viewpoint out of absolutely nothing.   And to the undiscerning ear that shares the viewpoint doesn’t even see what is happening..  They just have their faith magnified, despite the absolute lack of evidence.

The critics of Mr. Camping annoy me  because they do the same thing in rebuttal.   Everyone goes to Matthew 24:36 Where Jesus says “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only”   Yes it is nice to have a verse in support of your case..  But it is dangerous to take Jesus’ warning that “no one knows” (now) and turn it into “No one knows” (ever).   Especially when a few verses back in verse 33 says “So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates.”

Prooftexting will always be a sure-fire method of strengthening your faith in whatever you want to believe.

If you want to challenge Mr. Camping you must go deeper than that.   Is Mr. Camping’s argument based on scripture?  Yes.  Did Christ have the same scripture?  Yes.  (For the most part)    Did Christ know the date?  No.  (Now we can use Matt 24:36)  Is Mr. Camping a better biblical scholar than Christ?  No.  So that leaves us with the New Testement verses that Mr. Camping cites.  Do they really say what he is saying they are saying?  Or is he making them say what he wants them to say?    Well that is up to discussion.  I tend to think that if the flood was a seven day warning and 7 days was 7000 years, Christ would have known.

Mr Camping was wrong.  Sincerely wrong.  If the rest of the Christian church uses his same methods, they too will be sincerely wrong.


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  • Jason Anspach

    The faulty rapture dates and horrible hermeneutic used to arrive at them are only part of his false teaching. 

    I don’t disagree that he believed what he was saying, but I think it falls in the 1 Timothy 4:1-2 territory of liars spreading false teaching through seared consciences. Like any apostasy that’s ever gotten traction, it uses just enough of the truth to allow for some plausibility.  The deceptive tactics of Satan are spread like a virus through men such as this.

  • Josh Reighley

    From what I understand he got quite a ways out there on the “If you don’t believe me you wont be saved” angle..    I didn’t hear it for myself (Nor did I care to) but I agree..  

    I do think most false teachers who gain traction do it by prooftexting and Eisogeses.  It is scary how prevalent those two habits are in the rest of Christianity. 

    We need to teach what the bible says, not what we want it to say.  It is hard to be transformed by texts that we are molding into our own image.