Harold Camping and the End of the World

If you are even the slightest bit worried about Harold Camping’s prediction that the world will end on May 21, 2011, please be calm and get back to work for God’s kingdom. He does not know what he is talking about.

Could Jesus return on May 21st? Of course! He could come before I finish this post, but no one in this world knows. For the biblical viewpoint, consult Darryl Bock’s comments. Roger Olson also has some interesting remarks about how Camping has pulled this stunt before.

I am amazed at how things that are not true can so easily capture the attention of so many Americans. For some, fantasy is overwhelming both facts and faith.

Copyright © 2011 by Barry Applewhite. All rights reserved worldwide.

Are Evangelical Churches Neglecting the Cross of Christ?

Roger E. Olson, a well-known Arminian theologian, has written a blog post that has me wondering. The post is titled “Whatever Became of the Cross?” and may be found here.

Olson gets lots of opportunities to attend evangelical church services throughout the United States (and elsewhere). He says (1) the cross of Christ — as a physical symbol — is disappearing from evangelical churches, (2) the cross of Christ and the atonement of Christ for our sins are disappearing from “Worship and Praise” music, and (3) the cross of Christ is disappearing from evangelical preaching and is being replaced by practical solutions to life problems and an emphasis on the love of God. If true, this situation is serious!

Hey, I lead a sheltered life! I attend one church (Christ Fellowship in McKinney, Texas) and have not been in another church in three years. We have a large cross that hangs over the general area where our pastor stands to preach. Our pastor, Bruce B. Miller, presents the gospel in some form during every sermon. Our worship and praise music may or may not mention the cross, but we have the other areas covered so well that I have not noticed. Also, I really like our music and singing; it neatly bypasses my analytical tendencies.

So, tell me — are other evangelical churches trying so hard to blend in with the culture that the cross is getting lesser emphasis? What about Olson’s observation about “worship and praise” music failing to mention the cross or the death of Christ for our sins? I would like to hear some opinions about whether the cross of Christ is getting less emphasis over time.

One thing is sure: just mentioning “Jesus” in song or sermon is not enough. The Jesus Seminar mentions Jesus all the time, but they certainly do not believe in him or his atonement for our sins on the cross! If the trend Olson sees is real, then I condemn any decreased focus on the cross. The cross of Christ and his substitutionary atonement for our sins are central to Christian faith (1 Cor. 1:18–24 and 15:3–4).

Copyright © 2011 by Barry Applewhite. All rights reserved worldwide.