Over here in the States, Harold Camping’s failed Rapture prediction mostly resulted in joking around at the expense of his followers–and to a lesser extent, at the expense of the Body of Messiah in general. Elsewhere in the world, however, Camping’s campaign had far more dire consequences, as World Net Daily reports:
Prasch routinely travels and meets with members of the Christian body worldwide. A recent trip took him to Vietnam, where a large number of the Hmong tribal peoples of the nation’s Central Highlands are Christian.
They are referred to in the West as Montagnards.
They had heard of Camping’s prophecy and not having sophisticated methods for evaluating its validity, took it literally, he explained.
The result, for many, was death, Prasch reported in an email to supporters:
After listening to a translation of Camping’s prediction 7,000 of these people (known in the West as Montagnards) gathered on a mountain praising God their suffering at the hands of the communist regime was about to end because Jesus was returning that day in May to establish a new kingdom,.The police and military police slaughtered many of them at gunpoint – beheading two pastors. Others were arrested. I am told by Hmong pastors that so many were shot dead that they were buried in mass graves bulldozed over in an episode that I read about in Britain but did not understand the magnitude of until I got here.
Prasch reported that he spoke to a secret meeting of Hmong pastors to explain to them “false prophets and false teachers.”
“Due to a combination of poverty, ignorance and persecution these poor Christians don’t understand much so they believed Camping’s shortwave broadcast which is how most get their teaching,” he said.
We often forget just what a privilaged position Western Christians are when it comes to head-knowledge of the Word of God. We typically have a half-dozen Bibles of various translations lying around. Through the internet, we can access Bible software like e-Sword and the Blue Letter Bible, which make researching the Scriptures a snap. We can walk into a bookstore or order online a commentary or devotional for the wages we get paid in an hour or less.
In other places in the world, they don’t have all of that. I’ve been in contact with Christians in east Africa who are begging for Bibles because they don’t have enough to distribute to all of their teachers, let alone to all of those who are coming to faith in Messiah right now. (If you read this, my friends, I’m not ignoring your emails; I’m just working my way through a large number of emails with very limited time.) Contrast that with America, where we have a few dozen Bibles for every person who actually bothers to read it.
To those whom much has been given, much will be expected, and we have been given the greatest amount of information in the history of the world. How much do we deserve our coming judgment as a nation for having squandered that gift and allowed false teachers like Camping to be the voice of Christianity to the rest of the world?
- Rapture believer shoots coworker for ribbing him on epic Rapture fail (epicblackcar.wordpress.com)
- Rapture teasing fueled shooter, victim’s mom says (cbsnews.com)
- Why Read About the Beheading of Christians? John Piper (rodiagnusdei.wordpress.com)