Kato Mivule | June 1st, 2010
May 21st came and passed by with no Rapture Event taking place as was publicized by Harold Camping. Christians and Christianity again became a mockery and a joke on late night comedy. Furthermore, Bible Prophecy was reduced to ridicule and derision.
However, is the world to blame for the mockery and ridicule that many Christians had to go through, especially Evangelicals of the 'Left Behind' persuasion? One Pastor claimed the following Sunday that this mass media mockery of Christians concerning the Harold Camping predictions was what the bible had predicted would happen; that in the last days people would make mockery about the second coming of Jesus Christ. Could we as Christians respond with such rebuttals? Are we simply justifying what Harold Camping did by 'using' scripture quoted out of context as cover?
The issue here is that this type of mockery came about not because of the conspiracy working of the world and mass media but because of our own errors as Christians in both how we responded to this situation and how we respond to Christian leaders in the pulpit today. Some Christians hoped for a rapture out of sincerity and were just duped at that but with clear intentions that some sold their homes hoping to escape the pains of this earth on May 21st 2011.
But again it shows how far we have became as Christians, especially in the Evangelical settings. We have cast off any reason, intellect, critical thinking, and basically become sycophants who follow Christian leaders without any questions asked while disregarding the whole counsel of God's Word and throwing away the whole scriptural context. We choose to follow leaders who promise some sort of escape from the reality of pain and suffering. The quest to escape pain and suffering has left us with no reason and intellect to discern basic falsehood. Such leaders have become superstars in Christendom and Christians find their delight in offering such leaders their financial support. One would think that we Christians have lost our minds, and believe me, some preachers like such a status quo and don't entertain the idea of Christians being in their right minds; stamping out rationality is used as a means of mind control by such false preachers.
We always claim that The Lord created all things but we seem to ignore the fact that The same Lord created the mind and brain to think rationally. Always, rational thinking is equated with compromise and walking in the flesh among some Christian Evangelicals and Pentecostals. Yet this ought not to be the case. Paul and the early Church fathers were people of reason, it is one reason why they left behind a written record and pattern we call the New Testament to follow. They employed their mind to thinking and not disengage rationally when it comes to spiritual matters.
2 Timothy 1:7 KJV For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Here is an interesting look at sound mind from the Greek language:
G4993, so-fron-eh'-o, From G4998; to be of sound mind, that is, sane, (figuratively) moderate: - be in right mind, be sober (minded), soberly.
G4994, so-fron-id'-zo, From G4998; to make of sound mind, that is, (figuratively) to discipline or correct: - teach to be sober.
G4995, so-fron-is-mos', From G4994; discipline, that is, self control: - sound mind.
We see that the following meanings are derived: Sane (sanity), rational, in their right minds, lucid, of sound mind, logical, coherent, moderate, be in right mind, sober, discipline, and self control; of which the opposite is basically irrationality and insanity.
A look at Harold Camping and stories that followed from Christendom that week on May 21st 2011, for example the Eddie Long sexual abuse story, shows that some Christians have simply chosen to disregard any reason, and blindly follow these Christian leaders regardless, and continue supporting them financially.
It is time that perhaps many Bible Prophecy bloggers take caution with their obsession with Prophecy Time-lines and date settings. It is important to note that always, these purportedly bible prophecy experts begin by claiming that they have the 'exact' historical dates of when certain Bible events happened, they then move on to make future projections. But the Bible is very clear that no one knows the day or the hour. While it is important to note that Jesus Christ did give us an abstract 'time-line', in Matthew 24, Luke 21, and Mark 13, He did not at anyone time state the exact date of when any of these events would happen.
Jesus Christ simply stated that when you see these things, know that the time is near and His coming would be soon. No one knows the “soon”, and how long that “soon” would be. Many Bible Prophecy teachers have claimed that they know these exact projected dates because of historical dates that they quote from secular historians who generally disagree as to the historical dates of Jesus Christ walking on earth, and laugh at the supposedly Bible Prophecy experts who claim to know the future Bible Prophecy Time-lines based on erroneous historical dates.
Yet all these efforts of date setting, show the desire to escape pain on earth to a better place. The reality is that we must deal with the pain on this earth and learn how to overcome the pain and suffering. Even our own Lord Jesus Christ did not see it fit to simply escape pain, suffering, and death on earth for some good peaceful place. He endured and overcame. Our perceptive must change otherwise we shall continue to become a source mockery for late night comedians. It would totally be another thing for the world and mass media to mock Christians for telling them that “Judgment is coming and no one knows the day or hour ...”, I think that would have been more powerful and not a waste of the 100 million dollars used in the Harold Camping campaigns.
Rather than set our focus on escaping suffering and pains, it would be better that we set focus on helping the suffering, sharing, caring, and ministering to those who are in suffering, loss, and pain, from Japan to Joplin, the opportunities are great and open for every Christian to minister without regard to financial status, at least give a cup of water to those in need in Jesus Christ's Name.
Lastly, let us employ our God created sound mind and brains, and use them to think. Thinking critically to discern is not sin, especially in these last days in which a lot of falsehood is going. For God has not given us a spirit of fear but love, power, and a sound mind.