Andy, I discovered a mathematical code in the Bible that reveals when Judgment Day will occur. First you take the one bullet I have in my pocket and add that to the number of potholes down on Old Gopher Gulch Road then you multiply that by the number of Apostles divided by the 30 pieces of silver and there you have it… Next Tuesday!
All over the news you will see headlines claiming that Harold Camping was wrong again. Yes, he was indeed wrong. However, so is the news media and rabidly reformed people all over the ‘net.
I admit up-front that I am not a Harold Camping fan nor have I read very much of his claims. The little bit that I did read didn’t mention anything about the Rapture occurring on May 21. It said Judgement Day or End of Days or End of Time. I do not believe Camping mentioned the Rapture at all (at least in what I read). As a matter of fact, Camping spent a good number of years in reformed churches!
The rabidly reformed people are claiming this to be proof of the falseness of the belief in a rapture of the Church. Camping’s teachings do not lend themselves to what the Bible teaches in Revelation, Daniel, Matthew, or anyplace else in the Bible that I recognize.
Camping claimed that the end would come on May 21 and total destruction of everything would happen 5 months later. This is taught nowhere in the Bible. Even the reformed wing-nuts (and you know who you are) will admit this.
Dispensationalists believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible except where obvious hyperbole and symbolism are used. The Tribulation period of 7 years will be preceded by a Rapture of the Church. Christ will come back after the Tribulation and establish His Kingdom from an earthly perspective that will last 1000 years. Then there will be a final rebellion followed by the ultimate end of time as anyone on earth knows it.
Dispensationalists do not believe what I have read of Harold Camping’s teachings. Don’t fall for the rabidly reformed blogger’s claims that Camping’s failure destroys Dispensationalism. They need to get out of their parent’s basement and read their Bibles a little more closely.
Camping is a nut. Case closed. The media and many reformed basement bloggers need to do their homework. The Rapture does not equal Judgement Day or the End of Times.
Another good rule of thumb is to stay away from those who set dates. No one has ever been correct at attaching a date to any part of future things…
Dean: John, I’m gonna slug that gunslinger over there. He associated me with those nuts that say Obama was born in Kenya.
John: Relax Dean. He didn’t call you a “birther”, he called you a “Barther”… someone associated with the teachings of Karl Barth, the swiss Theologian, who emphasized the importance of revelation in its focus upon Christ.
John: But now that you mention it, didn’t Obama attend college as a foreign student who claimed Indonesian citizenship?
You hear it said all around you these days. “We have to broaden our appeal if we are to reach our culture.” ” We have to be relevant if we are to reach our community.” Ok, so far so good. However, the devil is in the details (so to speak). How far can you go in broadening your appeal or being relevant without going too far?
I studied for and received an MBA degree several years ago. I had been studying the seeker and emergent programs for about 8 years prior. I was surprised to find that the methods used in marketing & advertising of consumer goods are the EXACT SAME ONES being used by many of the new-fangled church growth programs.
Let me count the problems with this.
1) God and His word is not a consumer good that can be judged on the basis of the presumed merit in the mind of a shopper. The church attenders assume the posture of consumers and they demand to be entertained or they will simply move on to the next supplier.
2) People cannot be influenced to ‘accept’ God or to ‘make a decision’ for God. Examples where people were manipulated into joining a church instead of being saved show that simply joining a church results in a falling away very soon afterwards. Often, the people are disillusioned and bitter for having been ‘sold a bill of goods’ by a religious system. Contrast this to people who hear God’s word and cry out to Jesus for salvation. They persevere in the faith.
3) Worldly people who are lured into a church because of world-mimicking gimmicks do not last very long in that church. Statistics tell us this fact. The reason for this is that the church is a poor substitute for the flesh-satisfying lies of the world. A flesh-lite substitute will soon be replaced by a fully flesh-satisfying vice provided by the world.
There are more items but this should suffice for this discussion.
So, when the church promotes gimmicks in order to increase their attendance, exactly whom is being fooled? I am afraid the church is the one being fooled. God builds His Church. His sovereign gift of salvation by grace through faith in His Son Jesus is the only “process” that is valid. God directs, we respond. God transforms, we conform to the image of Christ (slowly over time).
So how much cultural contextualization is too much? The amount that confuses the issue of sovereignty.
Never give people the wrong impression of who is God and who is not. Expound upon the greatness of God. Tell God’s WHOLE story. Some people’s lives will be changed. We were never called by God to sharpen His brand. He needs no spiffing up to be marketable in 2011. God is as Relevant now as when He created everything.