The May 21 Fallout…

I believe that May 21, 2011 will prove to have been a watershed day for millions of people, regardless of the fact that Jesus didn’t come back to rapture His flock, and commence the judgment of the earth, as predicted by Harold Camping. Evidently the calculations of the self-confessed life long Bible student, and civil engineer didn’t quite add up.

I hope you don’t think I am being facetious about it, because there is nothing humorous in this at all. In fact, I have no doubt that though things didn’t work out as some anticipated, many lives will never be the same again because of the fallout from this spiritual fiasco. The impact for many will stretch into eternity.

Before I discuss that aspect of this situation, consider the fact that Camping did this before, in 1994, predicting that Jesus would return according to His calculations, in October of that year.

Camping’s 1994 prediction gained some publicity, but nowhere near as much as this one has. The May 21 prediction had adherents all over the world, Billboards and full-page advertisers in major newspapers appeared in  cities around the globe.

Another magnifying factor is the internet, through which news and views both pro and con about Camping’s prediction have proliferated. Everybody knew about it, I would assume most people laughed it off, but it intrigued and hooked a good share of people, I have no doubt.

The other difference between 1994, when Camping first made this kind of false apocalyptic prediction, and now in 2011 , is that in the post 09/11, 2001 world, apocalyptic predictions resonate. People have lost their former sense of insularity, for they now sense that major unsettling events truly are in the works.

This has happened before in history. When a Bible teacher named Miller predicted the return of Christ in October of  1841, he sparked an eschatological fever throughout America and England . Thousands of people were selling farms, leaving families and jobs, and preaching in the streets.

By the predicted date , people were camping on mountain tops dressed in white robes eagerly awaiting the rapture.

The morning after the “great disappointment” as it came to be called, those same people faced hard decisions as they sheepishly headed back down the mountain tops to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives.

One option would have been the way of humility. The disappointed Millerites could have simply admitted that they were wrong, and gone back to God, bearing the shame and reproach, but going on with God, chastened yet forgiven.

Another possible option would be to become offended, cast off the faith that led to such painful embarrassment, and live as either an atheist or a practical atheist, never to allow any religion to so excite their passions again.

A third option would be to devise a religious rational to justify one’s false belief (that Jesus was going to come back in 1841. or 2011).

By elaborate contortions of scripture, One Millerite stated that Jesus really did return in 1841, but not to the earth, but to cleanse the outer court of the heavenly temple, thus seemingly excusing or ameliorating the shame brought upon those who believed Miller.

This third option would eventually lead directly to the founding or development of no less than five cults which have plagued the church to this day, all because people didn’t want to admit that they had been wrong.Seventh Day Adventists and Christadelphians being the chief examples of this fallout.

That is why I am sure that this May 21 will be of consequence, perhaps eternal consequence for many, even including many who never believed Camping.

May 21,2011 will be for many remembered as the day that some people:

* Abandoned any expression of Christianity whatsoever-Because their pride was hurt, and they were made fools of by believing that they were “in on” a special revelation, the date of Christ’s return!  Now they look stupid, but won’t have the humility to admit that it was unscriptural to set a date which Christ himself said that no man could know.

* Unfortunately, others will give up on Eschatology entirely This too is a tragedy, because Jesus did say that the belief in his return is of great import. “But and if that evil servant will say in his heart ‘My Lord delayeth his coming’, he will then beat the menservants and the maid servants and eat and drink with the drunken … “(Matthew 24:48).

A good many christians have already  given up on the belief in the immanent return of Jesus as a result of the Y2K folly which they had bought into, filling their basements with supplies of rice, drinking water and shotgun shells. A classic case of the boy who cried wolf!

* Many who do not believe the gospel at all and for whom this episode has been a rich source of comic relief, will want nothing to do now with evangelicals, whom they will lump together and regard as imbeciles.

Their own mocking of the fiasco becomes a sort of heart hardening process, for though they are mocking Camping’s false prediction, they end up mocking the church , Jesus, the rapture, the Bible and those who believe it, and the very concept of Divine judgment . You can see how Satan is using this to decieve many.

* I have no doubt, that as in 1841, there will be those who contrive elaborate,”scriptural” excuses, designed to justify the folly they have invested in. Such contortions of truth itself will only lead them further away from biblically orthodox, saving faith in Jesus Christ. One cannot truly twist scripture, one can only twist his own heart and conscience.

* God is testing the world as regards to truth – 

…And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:  That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.( 2 Thess 2:10-12)

This whole episode is really about truth. Think about it, Why would anyone who knows the Bible, give the time of day to a preacher claiming to be able to set the date for the Parousia? Can such a one possibly Love the truth?

Furthermore what is it that people have been laughing and joking about openly, when they lampoon the rapture of the church, the second coming of our Lord and Saviour , the last judgment and the belief in Salvation?

What of those who believe in the second coming of Christ? Will they now back off of the Truth out of embarrassment? Will we maintain loyalty to truth in the face of ridicule?

The Truth of the gospel stands regardless of Harold Camping. Jesus is coming, there will be a “Harpazo” of the church,(see I Thess 4:17), the world is truly under a judgment, yet people laugh at Camping as though because he was proven so spectacularly wrong, they have dodged the bullet of Divine judgment.

My only hope is that in spite of the above, somehow or other, God in mercy can use even this for our good and His glory. Perhaps the Spirit can use these events to convict some of these realities and bring them to saving faith. “God is not willing that any perish, but that all come to repentance”.

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8 Responses to The May 21 Fallout…

  1. stacey mucci says:

    Hi Bill. I am Mary Lehmans daughter Stacey; has been a long time.
    I just wanted to share what the Lord has shown me about all of this. When I was10 my mother took me to see a movie at First Assembly, Left Behind. It put Fear in my heart that had never been there. Fear is not from God. I learned in the years to follow that these are distractions, tool of the darkness used to keep us from trusting in our Father and walking in love. The darkness has many tools to keep people distracted. For example the whole Creation vs Evolution movement. People were in such hateful heated arguments, just like this rapture business, many christians lost faith, left their place of worship & by outward appearance have turned their backs on God. I believe my Father was not pleased. What is the argument? If we seek to pease God, follow HIS rules for living, have a pure heart & repent when we have failed;

  2. stacey mucci says:

    This tool was designed to scare people into repenting. God has called us to walk in Love. Love cast out all Fears. If we teach people to walk in Gods pure unconditional love, with open arms and live each day setting out to please God we rise above the darkness. I believe this pleases my Father. He loves me and wants only good for me… not evil. 🙂
    I already joined Him, I leave the rest to him… trusting with love and faith, believing he would never lead me where he wouldn’t provide for me.
    May you continue to walk in His love, sharing your faith and teaching how much our Father loves us.
    Stacey (Mary’s daughter)

  3. Jared Christensen says:

    I hope that all of the radio stations that have been carrying this cult leaders heretical teachings will drop his programing now that they have the clearest evidence that can be had that Harold Camping is a false prophet and a liar.

  4. Anthony says:

    It must be noted Camping continued to collect donations all the way through this event..He even threatened his most vocal critics with legal action for calling him a false prophet within 48hrs. of the May21..He begged for donations to spread this warning, yet being worth 56 million before this event, apparently felt no need to spend his own money on this project…ALL THESE ARE THE ACTIONS OF A MAN WHO KNEW HE WOULD BE HERE THE DAY AFTER!!! He wasn’t confused, he was lying to defraud believers out of 80 million bucks! His followers instead of killing themselves should file suit against him and have his assets ceased pending the suit… Do not listen to what people say, watch what they do..This reveals their true intent…

  5. Kathy Blain says:

    I so appreciate your blog on this subject. My husband and I have talked about the fact of how this hurts the cause of CHRIST, but what you said concerning the LORD wanting us to know the TRUTH and to test everything by the WORD, is so right.

  6. Franco Falcone says:

    I agree this is another of Lucifers schemes to drag christians off the narrow road they are so precariously walking along. Most christians have been deluded to such a degree that they are bewildered and confused and the worst thing is they will not admit it due to their massive ego’s. Satan is laughing at us all as he continuously thrusts false prophet after false prophet in our faces. Just fix your faith on Jesus Christ and wait till you see him or one his powerful angels. Nothing else will do. God bless you all and stay strong.

  7. Lafe says:

    People of God:

    If the followers of this false prophet and false teacher would have taken the time to be good
    Bereans (Acts 17:11) and examine what he said alongside the Word of God, they would not have been fleeced by this charlatan. What this shows me, among many other things, is that too many
    professing Christians are Word ignorant and are thus easily duped by anyone who sounds authoritative and can quote scripture.
    Tragically, a lot of people will continue to follow this deceiver and justify his error because they have itching ears to hear what Camping says.
    Study to show thyself approved is even more appropriate since deceivers are flooding the Christian
    market with their flim flam and tomfoolery and yet too many saints of God, gobble it down thinking
    that they are being obedient….yes, obedient to error!
    Saints of God, when you contend for the faith (Jude) you must study the Word of God and not
    accept anything that comes “down the pike” as being of God.
    Harold Camping will go on with his errant lifestyle and will make excuses for what happened and
    his bank account will grow fat as he wallows in this media attention.
    Harold Camping needs to repent and believe the Gospel!

  8. Donna says:

    I read the previous comments & I do agree so there’s no need to repeat…SADDER yet, I think, is that MANY will STILL be waiting to be raptured on OCTOBER 21 !!! All of this is sure proof that the MANY do NOT know the true & Living God! Broad IS the way of destruction. See:

    (Beloved in the Lord. Many years ago the Lord gave this message to me for a particular congregation. It is a timeless message because the words of the Lord are spirit and they are life. Hear the words of the Spirit of God and take heed.)

    I bring you a serious message tonight, a serious message. Though I love all of you with a burning love, yet My love for you is grieved this night. I speak not to all of you, but to the many~ the many. Where is your heart tonight? Is it really centered on Me, the Most High? Remember, yea, zero in on the fact that I do dwell within and see your innermost being, your heart. And I know who is centered on Me and who is not. You run to and fro with your many activities while I wait and wait and wait, for just a moment of your company, just a glimpse of your face to look upon mine, your only Savior, your Redeemer, your Power of all powers.

    Examine yourselves, examine your innermost beings and see and behold what thou hast and cast it all upon Me in communion and fellowship in My Holy and Healing Presence and I will wash away every stain of sin through your repentance and let you feel my comfort and love and heart’s freedom once again. Only hearken unto Me within your heart to do as I ask you to do. Haven’t I called you to know Me and love Me; haven’t I called you to give unto Me good pleasure, yea, even great pleasure?

    The time is near when I shall return, the time is near when all about you shall be raging and confusion. But I say unto you always to remember the Peace that lives within you~ the Calm. It is I. Be in union with Me and you too, shall experience not panic nor confusion, nor a troubled or fearful spirit, but Peace and Calm within. Thus saith the Lord.
    2 Corinthians 13:5–Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

    2 Timothy 2:19–Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

    Isaiah 51:4–Hearken unto me, my people; and give ear unto me, O my nation: for a law shall proceed from me, and I will make my judgment to rest for a light of the people.

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