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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

Vantage Point: 'Do not follow them'

By Ken Horn
Aug. 14, 2011

It was May 22, the day after the supposed Day of Judgment, and things looked suspiciously status quo. Harold Camping was wrong … again (as in 1994). Christian leaders called for him to apologize and repent.

But no apology was forthcoming, just, predictably, a changed date.

You may have seen a billboard or full-page ad that proclaimed, “May 21, Judgment Day.” I saw one on the side of a bus in Manila, Philippines.

Followers sold their possessions to help fund the massive promotional campaign. The ministry’s website trumpeted, “Judgment Day, May 21, 2011. The Bible guarantees it!”

Soon after the failed prophecy, under pressure from the press for a statement, Camping said he realized he’d made a slight error. It was not the Rapture that took place on May 21; it was instead a “spiritual” judgment day. Now, he says, the entire world is under Christ’s judgment, with no hope of anyone else being saved.

When false prophets are proven wrong, they typically spiritualize their prophecies so there is no way to verify the new so-called fulfillment. Oh, and the world will now be destroyed on October 21.

The Camping gaffe mirrors the William Miller incident. Miller predicted the Lord’s return between March 21, 1843, and March 21, 1844. When it didn’t happen, a subsequent date was set, October 22, 1844. When that didn’t pan out, it became known as “The Great Disappointment” and Miller slinked into obscurity.

But the day after the disappointment, a follower had a “revelation.” Christ had come, but He had really just moved into a new heavenly apartment. A sect was born out of this doctrine.

There was shipwreck in the wake of the latest bungled prediction — spiritual and material. A 27-year-old mother of two said,  “We budgeted everything so that on May 21 we won’t have anything left.” She was not alone.

Jesus said that no man can know the date of His coming (Matthew 24:36), and He added a warning,  “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming … ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them” (Luke 21:8, NIV).

Ken Horn



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