Okay, there is a billboard a few miles from my house that essentially promises that Christ will return on May 11, 2011. It offers a URL for further information and today I finally remembered the URL when I was at my computer and could find out who was making this claim.
I poked around a bit and found a few websites all devoted to the May 11 END OF THE WORLD message, including the one promoted on the billboard above in Oklahoma somewhere.
That site offers this (and a whole lot more):
This web site serves as an introduction and portal to four faithful ministries which are teaching that WE CAN KNOW from the Bible alone that the date of the rapture of believers will take place on May 21, 2011 and that God will destroy this world on October 21, 2011. Please take your time and browse through the teachings of Harold Camping, President of Family Radio. Visit EBible Fellowship, Bible Ministries International, and The-Latter-Rain to read and listen to many faithful teachers give scriptural insight on the doctrines that God is teaching His people. Learn about the Biblical Timeline of History, the correct method of Bible interpretation, the End of the Church Age and God’s command to believers that they must depart out of the churches. Study the proofs that God has so graciously given in His Word showing us that these dates are 100% accurate and beyond dispute. Above all, please READ THE BIBLE and prayerfully ask God to open your spiritual eyes to these truths. May it please Him to have mercy on each of our souls.
I am quite confident that Harold and these four ministries are wrong. Harold has been wrong before and attributes that to bad math. I say he’s just wrong.
Beyond that, what should those of us who believe them to be wrong do about this kind of public messaging? My emotional response is to argue. I want to make my own billboards and t-shirt, bumper stickers, websites and automobile wrappers. But really, what would that accomplish?
For one, it would provide more fodder for all those who ignore the Gospel because it has too often been mixed up in crazy people arguing over stuff. That, alone, is reason enough to not fight back.
What do you think? When should we debate and how?
I do think that Harold and all these others are wrong, as I said. Do I worry about those who will believe this? Yes, but I would suggest that the majority who will believe this particular declaration are already listening to these teachers. And the teachings on these websites do point people to read the Bible and in that–for those who are seeking with a genuine desire to know God–there is great hope for coming to know the One who is the Truth.
As for a response? I’m asking God to transform my natural reaction to the particular billboard I pass at least weekly from a shake of my head and things like “crazy people” mumbled under my breath to a prayer for those who are far from Him. I am praying that God will bring glory to Himself through this (in my opinion) erroneous marketing campaign by drawing the lost into a relationship with Himself.
This will be a much better use of my time and energy. Much.