Monday, May 23, 2011

An Open Letter to Family Radio Worldwide

I felt I wanted to write and open letter to Family Radio Worldwide in light of this weekend's events. I was prompted by visiting their website and seeing the fruit of this fear campaign - the false declaration that the Bible somehow guarantees a May 21st rapture. You don't have to read far into my blog to know what I think of such proclamations, but it struck me that this just might be a redemptive moment for this ministry. Perhaps they will turn their faces to God and leave behind their fears and join with God's redemptive work in this world. I can hope can I not?


Family Radio,

So sorry that you had to experience the pain of failed expectations this past weekend. I can’t imagine how disturbing that could be. Unfortunately the rest of us Christians have had to put up with your scare mongering for a while now, so in a sense there is a sigh of relief that this is finally over and maybe we can get on with what is really important about the life God has given us. Maybe this could be a moment when you not only re-think your website but your whole ministry. It will be a time when I will lend my prayers to seeing your ministry return to the heart of the gospel – which has nothing to do with escaping the world God so loved. Maybe with this behind you God will inspire you to put your hands to the plough and participate in God’s redemptive work amongst the nations – starting with your own communities. This could be just such a redemptive moment for family radio. I would encourage you to take your considerable passion and turn it to praying, reaching out, feeding the poor, loving your enemies, healing the sick and even binding up the broken hearted. Wouldn’t that be awesome? I find that focusing on those things means I don’t have time to get carried away by speculative scenarios and that I’m sure that whenever Jesus does return I will be found labouring in God’s Kingdom work. Isn’t that what you really wanted in the first place?

I would also encourage you to hire Biblical scholars who actually know how to work with the original languages and are not prone to Gnosticism. That might have saved you from this tragedy. It is obvious that your organization has the ear of a decent and readily motivated group of Christians. How about treating them like the worthy daughters and sons of the Kingdom they are and giving them the best you can? How about bringing in a balance of voices into the conversation as well? Let them challenge you from the Word of God so that you might put your hands to tasks that are worthy and not programmes of fear or hate.

I pray that God will surround you as you decide the next steps for your ministry. Much as I was disturbed by the events of this weekend, I wish no ill for any of you. I hope you will find the courage to use the discovery that you were wrong to craft a humble, God-focused new path for your ministry. I pray that God will be glorified as you embrace the plan of redemption that even rescues ministries from the mire and clay.

in Christ,
Frank Emanuel


Teresa F said...

Anyone who has listened to Harold Camping over time, knows that his warnings of Judgemen Day were not "fear mongering" as you characterized it.

This man is trying to be the best servant to the Lord as he can be. He honesly felt that he had determined the day of the rapture and the Bible commands true Chrstians to "be disciples and spread the Word".

He felt commanded to tell the world dispite how much flack he would recieve. Only a caring human being would go thru so much trouble to try to make sure that the world was ready to meet its maker.

One of Freedom said...

Teresa the whole idea of rapture is based on poorly conceived overly futurist eschatology. It was intended to control a group by fear - fear that if you don't measure up then you will be left behind. It is the very definition of fear mongering.

Now Camping might not realize that - but frankly I was trying to give the man some benefit of the doubt that he has a couple clues to rub together. Perhaps he just doesn't and feels, in some misguided way, that this is a caring response. It really doesn't square with historical orthodox Christianity nor with Scripture. So regardless of his intentions - the man is espousing heresy. He would do well to put away his Strongs and go learn to actually read Greek. There are much better ways to go about helping the world than stirring up fear and misrepresenting God.

Cindy Callahan said...

Sadly, he has not seen the error of his ways or re-evaluated anything. He has basically said, I was wrong but not really. It was only a slight misunderstanding. Judgement day did happen May 21 but it was an invisible "spiritual" event. The world has completely changed though we can see no evidence of it in the natural. The world will still end on October 21. So, those gullible enough to continue to follow him (and sadly, I'm sure they will be many) will continue their tortured existence and futile loyalism for another 5 months. At which point I fully expect to hear Harold Camping say, "I wasn't wrong. The world has ended. It was just an invisible spiritual end that we can't see with our natural eyes. The rapture did happen. We're not really here anymore, we just appear to be by those of you not spiritual enough to see the truth."

Very sad...

Anonymous said...

The "Rapture" seems to me to be some kind of sad fantasy of revenge. All those people who rejected the faith and our preaching will finally get the biggest cosmic "in your face" as those raptured watch with perhaps some kind of delight the suffering of the so-called lost...

Thanks Frank, I really appreciate this post. :-)

One of Freedom said...

Thanks Mike. I was informed today that there are even progressive dispensationalists who are questioning the negative role rapture has had on their ability to develop an ethic. I've not found progressive dispensationalism compelling - but I am heartened that there is such thinking going on. Guess who they are reading (the dispensationalists that is)? Russell Moore!

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