Balancing Our Prophet Deficit

Over the weekend the Rapture did not happen. I just thought I would fill you in case you were wondering. (For the record: Harold Camping is now saying that everything is happening on October 21. There is no longer a final Tribulation period, just the final act.)

Now we are faced with the question:

What do we do with Harold Camping?

Really, the question is “What do we do with false prophets and teachers, heretics, blasphemers, sinful brothers and sisters, and every other supposed Christian who messes up in some way?”

I have poked some fun at our friend Harold. I even do that for people with whom I agree! It is just the kind of great guy that I am. I must say, however, that I am quite put out by the number of people raking this guy over the coals. Do you not realize that this public display of renunciation in such a manner helps prove right those who want nothing to do with Christianity?

Do not get me wrong. He has done something that should not be condoned, and we should denounce his actions and teaching concerning this past weekend’s non-event. To ignore it or even praise it would send the signal to those outside the Church or those struggling within the Church that we are okay with dissenters and those who misuse Scripture and the name of God, and we are therefore deserving of their ridicule. To publicly call the guy names and attempt to smear his reputation is childish and exactly what we see happening in our culture with people every day. How is that the Church being better than the world?

Instead, we have two biblical models to follow:

  1. Tell the man to stop. If he refuses, simply have nothing to do with him. We should “hand him over to Satan” in hopes he will actually be purged of his sins (read the link). Then we respond to his claims so that the world knows what is going on, but we also make it clear he does not speak for all of us. Done. No name calling. No character assassination (admit it, a false prophecy is enough to do that). No helping the non-Christian masses with defaming our faith and our Lord.
  2. Tell the man to stop. If he refuses, treat him like a sinner. What are we supposed to do with sinners? Love them unconditionally in the hopes that they see their error, but we do not condone what they are doing.

Once again, I am guilty of what I am speaking against. I have joked around at his expense, albeit I kept it between myself and friends. I am not saying it is any better in God’s sight. I might still be guilty of leading others astray. However, we should strive to win over as many as possible through our love and loving actions towards each other.

Any thoughts on how we should treat Harold Camping, and any others who consistently sin? What does it mean to excommunicate a fellow believer in this day? Should we excommunicate him? (Quite honestly, it seems he already was by many Christians)

  1. I would be happy with a punch to the solar plexus delivered by Mike Tyson.

    • That might help him learn something … we can only pray that it is not to stay away from Mike Tyson so much as avoiding misusing the Bible!

      Thanks for commenting!

    • Max
    • May 24th, 2011

    Camping’s mistake is no suprise. Here is a link to a audio from a spiritual group which is getting a lot of attention right now. They explain how Christianity follows a false image of Jesus and is the false religion Jesus warned about. This recording is apparently causing a lot of controversy!

    http://www.merkaba.org/audio/sing144000.htm

    • Wow. That was … … Yeeeeah.

      My wife and I started with “Agent Smith (The Matrix) is telling us about the true religion?”

      I wonder what is with the cadence of his speech? Also …

      WHAT?!

  2. Way to go, danklemitis. Loved this and sent it to FB and twitter.
    I especially liked the part about what we should do with a fellow christian when they sin against us. (Matt 18: 15-17) I spent 3 weeks picking apart those verses as my teaching for @nsideoutyouth group, to help us come up with a game plan, but yours pretty much sums it up when you deal with what Dave Ramsey calls “misbevior.”

  3. Excellent! Thanks!
    I could tear this apart for weeks, too. In fact, I will probably post a lot more on this in the future. A lot of people within the Church seem to really forget this teaching a lot.

    • Lorrie Klem
    • May 24th, 2011

    I was at a wedding reception on Saturday night, we too did a little joking about whether or not the end would come. I believe the bible says that we cannot predict when the end is near, so I wasn’t really worried about his prediction. I am grateful for being able to witness several people looking around wondering if it would happen. It also sparked several interesting conversations. If nothing else, it made people think! That’s a blessing!

    • Yeah. I feel sorry for people who had added grief (like Keitho, who commented earlier! His daughter got worried!) or who were too caught up in it all (especially those who believed Camping). However, it is a blessing that it got people questioning! Clearly it lit up the blogosphere with chatter!

      Thanks for commenting, mi madre!

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