howard camping 2

For the sake of persons who speak English and have written Howard Camping at Google and that way came to this blog I have made an english tranlation of my last post howard camping 1. Google did the hard work, I modified the text. In the process some swedish expressions and puns disappeared, of course, but I still think that the text can give the English-speaking reader an idea of how I perceive "prophets" like Camping.

Actually, I had no plans writing something about the American pastor Howard Camping and his idea that Jesus should have come back yesterday. At least that the so-called rapture would have taken place May 21. That kind of predictions about the future does not interest me at all, especially when it turns out that he more than fifteen years ago was firmly knowing that the rapture would take place then.

I am not presenting his arguments and the manner in which he made his mistakes. You can find such things on other sites on the web*. I only noted that he was wrong. Jesus did not come back. If Jesus had come back yesterday, it would not have meant that Howard Camping counted correctly, only that his confused Biblical Interpretation purely randomly dotted the same day. It is a confused Biblical Interpretation
. Nothing else!

The idea that Jesus will return is biblical - indisputable! In about 1 ½ weeks, we celebrate the Ascension Day and in the Bible text we always read that day, Jesus' disciples learn to know that just as Jesus disappeared from their eyes, he must come back **. We also affirm this fact in the Apostolic creed where Jesus is said to be ...
on the third day risen again from the dead, ascended into heaven and seated at God Father's right hand, and from there He will come again to judge the living and dead.
That is true! His return will take place! This is not the problem!

But it is indeed möttot – a local dialectal word for stupid – when gnomes like Howard Camping by what he says to be a thoroughly life-long study of the Bible turn to speculate about what the Bible says is pointless to speculate about –
when this will happen.* ** What he does is senseless and totally unscriptural.

That people then let themselfes be impressed by Howard Camping is truly odd. Allthogh I haven´t seen a single preacher or congregation-practicing Christian in Sweden taking his 21 May-thoughts seriously, but in the U.S. he has supporters – though he is shown to be a false prophet.**** And by the Internet, media and other things, his strange idea has reach the world. The believers don´t believe it, nor the non-believers, but one effect of his rampage is thet the Bible and the pastors and the thought of Jesus' return become a laughing-stock. Some laughers scoring points – sort of. Or at least think they have scoring points.*****

Another effect is that Jesus's return and the verdict – one day a reality – get wrong connotations ehen it is thougt to be the disaster of all disasters. It is not that way according to the Bible and the Christian faith, where instead Jesus's return is the last decisive effort in salvation and God's liberation of humanity.

The italicized words above from the Creed got this addition in the Nicene Creed:
... whose kingdom shall have no end. Jesus's return means that the Kingdom of God is fully established – the Kingdom Jesus introduced by his birth, his life, his death and resurrection and his ascension. Then the match is over and good and evil that are mixed today will be separated completely. That day the poor receive good news, captives will be free, blind see and the oppressed become free.******

Suffering and oppressed people throughout the Christian history have taken solace from the fact that Jesus is going to fully establish his kingdom. They have recived strength to work for the Kingdom of God which stands for: freedom, forgiveness, restitution, community, peace, etc. They have been perseverance in the fight against the anti-forces to the Kingdom of God: poverty, falsehood, violence, oppression, exploitation, discrimination, discord, hate and everything else wicked.

Confident middle- and upperclass people on the other side – those who can live as they live on the grounds that others are not allowed to live that way – has throughout history instead fallen into manners of speculation about
how and when the return will take place. They have been haphazardly combined fragmentary Bibel-passages, invented numerical symbolism, made schedules and believed that they interpret the evidence as to what should happen - and always been wrong. Howard Camp is just the latest in the line.

*  The link kamrat lestander – down to the right – connects to a blog about many different things, and among them an abstract of Campings "mathematics" – in swedish..
**  Mark's Gospel chapter 13 verse 26-27, Acts chapter 1 verse 11.
***  Mark's Gospel chapter 13 verse 32, Acts chapter 1 verse 7.
****  Deuteronomy chapter 18 verse 21-22.
*****  I do not know how his supporters feel now. I am just sorry that they allowed themselves to be fooled by his rampage and I sincerely hope that they after the hangover from the loss of doom can find a healthier and more biblical spirituality to live in.
******  Luke chapter 4 verses 16-21.


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