Harold Camping Update: End Times Teacher Inviting Mockery of Christian Beliefs?
Family Radio broadcaster Harold Camping's faulty predictions about the end of times is somewhat of an embarrassment for Christians who blame the California Bible teacher, and other fringe believers, for attracting more mockery of Christians and Bible-based beliefs.
Rocky Mountain, N.C.'s Glenn Lee Hill, a retired pastor of Meadowbrook Christian Church, where he preached for nearly twenty eight years, told The Christian Post, "The late night comics tend to make fun of Christians anyway and when this happens it gives them an opportunity to mock us."
Hill fervently refutes Camping's latest rapture claim that "the end is going to come very very quietly, probably within the next month. It will happen by October 21."
According to the retired minister, "That is an erroneous prophecy, I don't believe the world is about to end. Jesus has provided the choice for people to live forever."
Dr. John Noe, author and theologian, who has appeared on CNN's Larry King with Harold Camping, in an introduction to his book, The Perfect Ending for the World, spoke of the Gloria Patri. The church doxology, or short hymn, which reads: "Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and the Holy Ghost; as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be; world without end."
In his book, Noe recites the Gloria Patri to illustrate the understanding held by some Christians that the world has no end.
He also added in his May 4, 2011: "The God of divine perfection in the creation of the physical earth and cosmos is also the same God of divine perfection in the creation and fulfillment of his plan of redemption. That means the world He created is without end and “the end” the Bible consistently proclaims for the world came right on time; it’s behind us not ahead of us; it’s 'last days' are past not present or future."
Camping also offered a conceptualization of the last days, where he articulated an event in which "there would be no pain suffered by anyone because of their rebellion against God."
According to Hill, "There is death for those who do not believe in Christ. Faith in Jesus is what gives us life after this life."
Although skeptics view Christian beliefs as comic fare, a 2010 survey from the Pew Research Center indicates that most white evangelicals believe Jesus Christ will return in the next 40 years.
Fully 58 percent of white evangelical Christians say Christ will return to earth by the year 2050, by far the highest percentage in any religious group, according to the survey.
By the year 2050, 41 percent of Americans believe that Christ will definitely (23 percent) or probably (18 percent) will have returned to earth.
Among Catholics, 32 percent predict Christ will return to earth by 2050. What's more, one-in-five religiously unaffiliated Americans also see Christ returning during the next four decades.