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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Outlandish (05/19/11)

TITLE: Outlandish Claims
By Edmond Ng
05/22/11


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    "For you are bringing some strange things to our ears; so we want to know what these things mean." (Acts 17:20 NAS)
Recently I read an article posted by various people on Facebook about what would happen to the pets of owners who were poised to be raptured or caught up to be with Jesus on May 21, 2011. This was the date touted by California evangelical broadcaster Harold Camping, head of Family Radio network, as the day of Rapture—the end of the world. Comments received for the post at Facebook were not at all pleasant, with many ridiculing the absurdity of such prediction and the Christian faith.

The article which was penned by dog news examiner Penny Eims for Examiner.com mentioned that many evangelical Christians believe they would be swept up in the "Rapture ... leaving Earth and all of its problems far behind” on that day. Eims wrote in her article that “if you are among the last group of people [who believe Rapture is only for people and not pets], have no fear—there is a man … who has a safety net in place for the pets that have been left behind. From his website, Eternal Earthbound Pets, is the following promotion, ‘You've committed your life to Jesus. You know you're saved. But when the Rapture comes what's to become of your loving pets that are left behind? Eternal Earth-Bound Pets takes that burden off your mind.’ The group promises to have pet-loving atheists on hand to care for the pets that are left behind when their owners are raptured.”

As laughable as the article by Eims may seem, it is sad to know how much damage such predictions by professed Christians can harm the spread of the gospel. Imagine the proposition of having atheists to help take care of pets for the raptured, and we will understand how Christianity is represented to the world. Pastor Glenn Lee Hill, retired pastor from Rocky Mount, N.C., speaking about Camping’s prediction, told The Christian Post (ChristianPost.com) that false prophecy is harmful and saddening for the Christian body “because when it fails, all of us who believe in Jesus will become fodder for the comics, the late-night talk show hosts, and others who are always looking for a new excuse to mock our faith. Christianity, the name of Jesus, and all of us who love Him will bear the embarrassment of this false prophecy.”

Unlike the unfounded predictions made by false prophets, our Lord Jesus who so often has been ridiculed by unbelievers to have made outlandish claims, always back up His claims with proof. While many religious leaders make claims to be able to show their followers how to find the truth, Jesus said of Himself, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6 NAS). Jesus followed up His claim by dying on the cross and rising from the dead. This is proof enough that He is the Son of the living God.

As followers of the Lord, therefore, let us not make false claims, for such will not only create damage, but also hinder the spread of the gospel. We ought not to take the name of the LORD our God in vain, for the LORD will not leave unpunished anyone who misuses His name (Exodus 20:7). False prophets and false teachers will always be among us to secretly introduce destructive heresies and put the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed, they will exploit us with stories they have made up (2 Peter 2:1-3). Let us therefore be wise and not be misled by unfounded predictions or help proclaim such heresies, for the day of the Lord will come like a thief (2 Peter 3:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:2). Let us instead with one heart, boldly, clarify the strange things people are hearing, that they may know the truth (Acts 17:20).

Forgive us dear Lord for sometimes getting carried away by false prophesies, and for making claims not based on Bible truth. Help us to discern Lord what is false and what is true, that we may not mislead others or put the truth into disrepute. Preserve O God those who are yet unsaved that they may not be influenced by false teachings to no longer desire You, the one and only way to the Father. Lead us Lord as we defend Your word in setting right what has been wrongly proclaimed.


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Member Comments
Member Date
Theresa Santy 05/27/11
Lovely, well written, well thought out piece. And I love the prayer at the end.

One comment, though. The second to last paragraph is full of 'tell', where as the rest of the piece is 'show'. It's a little jarring to be interrupted by so many scripture references in parentheses. It sounds awful for me to say that scripture references are an interruption, when scripture is actually the whole point, of truth, of our lives, however, the rest of your piece is so beautiful, so relevant, and so relatable that you have already made your case. I even think you could omit the second to last paragraph and have a very powerful, nicely flowing piece, and perhaps list a string of scripture references at the bottom of the page.
Linda Goergen05/27/11
Very relevant story article about false prophet Harold Camping and any others making claims that deviate from biblical truth!

I could not understand how so many could have gotten caught up in this when the Bible clearly tells us, only God the Father knows the day and hour, not even Jesus or the angels know! People just plain need to STUDY their bibles and never rely on any man’s word!

Also, such predictions from these false prophets harm real Christianity, giving unbelievers more reason to try and discount the Bible! So sad. But warned in the Bible these false prophets would be here!

Good reminder we need to be on our knees and in the Word more than ever!
Danielle King 05/30/11
My thoughts on this piece match the previous comment,and the prayer at the end is one we should all be praying in these troubled times that Jesus spoke about. A timely piece. Thankyou for writing this.
Michael Throne05/30/11
I enjoyed your piece; you said much of what I’d been thinking for the last several weeks concerning Harold Camping. This article was well written.

On the other hand, here we are, writing primarily fiction. I sincerely hope that nobody mistakes one of our pieces of fiction as a literal claim or prophesy! And I wonder, who exactly is using the Lord’s name in vain or introducing destructive heresies? You make it sound widespread and common, but it seems fairly isolated to me.

Still, it’s your article and you make good points. Thanks for writing.
Noel Mitaxa 05/31/11
Your case is strong, yet the tragedy is that gullible people will be deceived by unbiblical teaching and they may be exploited by the pet carers. Yet we have the opportunity to invite people to a relationship, that rests on intimacy with God rather than on information that creates distractions from him.
Margaret Kearley 05/31/11
Amen and amen. Wonderful truth, well written and expressed. Right on topic.
diana kay06/01/11
this is so topical both to the theme of the challenge and to the current events. I could really see this as an editorial in a magazine.
I to had heard about this 'pet insurance' and thought it ludicrous and must say i thought 'it could only happen in America' however UK also is a nation of pet lovers but sadly there are only a few people who really believe the rapture will come and there was scoffing.
As christians we believe that we will not know the exact time but need to be ready. I dont think that pet insurance was necessarily part of the message :-) great story hope it wins!! would make a great topic for a fictional piece as
well!
Theresa Santy 06/02/11
Congratulations on your placing!
sandra hoolihan06/02/11
Congratulations on your placing. I wrote about the same topic, but more as a satire. Everyday should be preparation for Judgement Day. Great prayer for discernment of HIS truth.
Tracy Nunes 06/02/11
Congratulations Edmond! Well done!
Beth LaBuff 06/03/11
First, I'm so happy to see this recognized with a ribbon. Congrats! Yes, those were my concerns, that the predictions would play right into the hands of the scoffers, "Where is his coming?" and at the same time, I think many were made aware of this event, and while I hate it when they make a mockery of Christianity, perhaps some of this could fall into the "whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice." Philippians 1:18 ...again, super message here, Edmond!