Harold Camping – Are Adventists Looking In The Mirror?

Harold Camping has predicted the end of the world in late May of 2011. This is not the first time he has made such a prediction. Many have gone on before.

Well guess what, the time came and the time passed, and Harold Camping changed the date again. Now the date is October 2011. I see many folks laughing at him. Others stand with a critical eye on his work. But just like others before (especially the Second Advent Movement that moved the date to October after a missed date) he changed the date.

Doug Bachelor said, “Reckless predictions of the second coming of Christ create an artificial excitement among believers followed by a corresponding depression.” You can find it here: http://www.cnbc.com/id/43054329

Some of these same folks either act like they don’t know, or they don’t know that the Advent Movment was born in this type of thing. And all of the arguments that they are using now could have been used against their origins.

Camping is not the first gentleman that I know who has predicted the end…I have a few friends who send me material predicting the end ALL THE TIME. I have a particular elderly friend who is always predicting the end, only he has no radio program to publicize his predictions.

I sometimes wonder if my elderly friend is allowing his great desires for the end of time to cloud his judgement. I wonder if we have the heart longings of an older man who probably does not wish to die, but wishes to be translated…mixing in with the apocalyptic prophecy that he has made the foundation of his thought…and old age with its struggles on 80 year old people…all mixed together to create a climate where predicting the end is almost unavoidable…perhaps those who are close around him should be more deligent about protecting him…

Be that as it may, I still look forward to the time when the coming kingdom is fully realized. I cut Camping some slack. I know it looks bad on christinaity. I know there will be a lot of disapointed believers. But for some reason I got an image in my head of my friend, Harold Camping, my elderly friend, William Miller, and Jesus when the kingdom is fully realized. Like all of these men, I long for that day…

The Information Is Getting Out!

I have been blogging from January 2006 to now, a little over 5 years. when I began there was a small but vibrant group of bloggers. Some of them still blog. Some of them have been swallowed up by the big sites Spectrum and Atoday, and some of them have just stopped blogging.

Independent Sites Providing News

while some have gone, others have come into the place. as noted above the fiercely independent Spectrum and Adventist Today both speak from a place that is not beholden to the church.

Interestingly enough there are other websites like Educate Truth. Educate Truth brought a story out and would not let it go away. In the past the story might have died, but the internet kept it around.

And then there is Facebook and Twitter. We find out things almost immediately now.

Official Channels Monopoly On News

You see when I was growing up, there was little information except through the official channels. Well, those days are long over. Some may not like it, but whether you like it or not, those days are over.

You are right now reading someone that you probably would not have been able to hear 20 years ago without. the Advent makes my work possible both here and in my other internet work. (Like SoulPreaching.Com)

You probably go on Facebook and read individual’s thoughts on every subject from President Obama to President Ted Wilson. You listen to sermons from various locations, not just your pastor and/or the media preachers. The Sabbath afternoon discussion is now on a global scale as you interact with people from Africa, Australia, Europe, and all over North America.

Local Conference Work Affected

Now the workings of Conferences are even being commented on. I saw another website seeking to be a place where laypeople and concerned workers can come to discuss church work and business The Forgotten Shepherdess. We discuss politics. We discuss sports. We even discuss other churches, well now it is time to discuss this church…

I just found the site not too long ago and what hit me about the site is that it appears to be exposing to the general public that which was usually and often only for privileged ears. The site has caused a stir at the Southwest Region Conference for they are now about to “formulate a policy regarding the proper behavior of an employee relative to Internet conduct via soical media sites and other online activities such as blogs…” You can find that here.

I guess they should have a policy, but if they think that restricting information will continue to work, I think there is a problem.

The answer is not to keep information from the people. That answer will not work. With Social Media sites like Facebook and Twitter turning everyone into publishers and free websites like blogger.com and wordpress.com providing free websites to anyone, the day of the conference controlling the people by controlling information has come to an end.

And I say with Edwin Hawkins “Oh Happy Day.”

Osama Is Dead…Should I Be Happy?

Photo by André Karwath

Spectrum Magazine put up a post on reflections on the death of Osama bin Laden. I decided to post mine here. When the news flashed that President Obama was to make a speech, Then President Obama announced that Osama bin Laden, the one who was behind the 9-11 attacks on the American twin towers, had been killed.

I see my jubilant sisters and brothers sing the praises of our President for his work that ended in the death of this wanted man.

Celebrations of Defeating the Symbol of Evil

The collective exhale of relief soon gave way to Christians looking at jubilation. and some questioned whether it was a valid response to celebrate the death of this one that many saw as the epitome of evil.

These individuals quickly got uncomfortable at the celebrations and soon we saw the biblical record referred to as many quoted Proverbs 24:17 telling us not to gloat over an enemy. Another Ezekiel 18:32 where god takes no pleasure in death of anyone. And of course Ezekiel 33:11 where God takes not pleasure in the death in the death of the wicked.

Bible Does Have Celebrations of Evil Defeated

Certainly there was a stark contrast between the jubilation we saw among some and these texts that call for a different response. Well then a counter attack came from other Christians with other texts. 2 Chronicles 20:27 seems to demonstrate that God’s people did just that int he old Testament. I am sure that the “rejoicing over their enemas” looked a lot like what we see happening in the United States.

But at the end of the day, I just don’t feel right celebrating the death of anyone. I don’t feel right declaring “welcome to hell” as the Baptist minister former presidential candidate Huckabee did. I had a sense of sadness come over me after the other feelings left.

Seeing The Great Day

Is this all there is? Is this all we have to look forward to? Will we simply celebrate “payback?” After seeing the towers go down and the 3K die there. After seeing the deaths caused by the attempts to find him and the wars started in the name of finding him. After all of this, we can say “we did it.” But we still find ourselves in a world where “might is right.” We still find ourselves in a world where pain reins. We still have fear for our children to live in a world like we have.

I don’t begrudge our sisters and brothers for celebrating the death of one who we have expended so much energy in finding. But I just hold on to that promise of a Great Day that the slaves used to sing about. I hold on to the promise of a new heaven and a new earth that the Bible writer wrote about. I hold on to the promise that my father preaches about. I hold on to the promise of a never ending peace where we won’t celebrate the death of anyone…but instead will be able to celebrate the death of death itself…