|I have previously looked this over several
times, and I really fail to see that the scriptures offered support his
final conclusion(s), namely:
- The church, as an institution, no longer is being used of God,
because it's authority is over
I see far too many obvious problems with the conclusions:
2. I think there is some confusion also with the term "church". Sometimes he uses it to refer to the "corporate church". The Bible doesn't use the term "corporate church". But what is the corporate church? Is it not the visible body of believers and unbelievers? Where "two or more are gathered together in my name", I think you've got a visible, external manifestation of the body of believers, ie. a church. If by "corporate" he means "denominations", there might be a tad bit more weight to his argument - and then, on a case-by-case basis, and not a wholesale application to the entire institution.
3. Mr. C. has essentially changed his end-time position from amil to dispensational. The dispensationalist says that there will be an end of the church era when Christ rules on the throne in national Israel. Mr. C is saying the church era is over, and now the true spiritual Jews worship Christ who is on the throne in the heavenly Jerusalem.
4. The guidance given as a remedy is alarmingly cultic: "Gather together around your radio at home with fellow believers and listen to Family Radio." It seems that no other ministry is worthy of listening to.
5. Whoever it is that dies in Rev. 11 is well-spoken of by God. When the 2 witnesses are killed, their enemies will behold their resurrection when Christ calls them up hither. Doesn't sound like those 2 fellows were apostate as Mr. C claims has happened to the corporate church in Rev. 11:7.
6. If baptism is closed off, then so is evangelism, per Mt 28:18-20 -- and then on what basis does FR continue to exist?
7. And if elders and deacons and pastors are no longer supposed to "feed the flock" or to "take the oversight thereof, not for filthy lucre, but willingly" -- then who does? And what are his (or her!) qualifications? Who's to say your opinions on who is qualified are better than mine? We really begin to see that somehow we'd have to just ignore certain portions of the NT because "that no longer applies to us today, because the church era is over". This is a recipe for anarchy for those who follow it, and who knows what kind of damage that will produce.
These are just the obvious problems I see with the conclusions.
The problems I have with the so-called scriptural evidence is as follows:
8. The idea that the final great trib. period is divided into 2 because of Mt 24:24 is a real reach. "Those days" are clearly a reference to the final trib period. "Those days" are to be shortened. To interpret "shortened" as "divided" is an incredible feat of hermeneutic gymnastics at best.
9. I don't have the foggiest idea how 2Cor 10:4-6 provide any support to the idea that "the work of the church is finished when its obedience has been fulfilled." You read that passage, the whole chapter, and I find the Apostle plainly exhorting individuals to do warfare with the enemy within, namely the sin in our minds. I would never in a million years come up with the idea that it teaches that there will come a time when the church will end. It just doesn't fit. I could try to hammer a square peg in a round hole, but this is trying to fit an Oldsmobile in a thimble.
While not mentioned in the paper you forwarded, he also taught this "truth" from John 21 at Mission Springs '01 (MC attended and reported back), and from Act 27 at Tuscarora '01 (Angela and I attended). I do know of the following facts, while he taught from Acts 27:
- He admitted that this was "new evidence", just came to
him "fresh", "3 days ago".
In addition, he now claims that the book "1994?" was essentially still correct. It didn't point to the end of the world, you see. It pointed to the end of the church age. But wait. I read the book. The book outlined a formula based on the hypothesis that, if we can identify a pattern from the OT that could have been used to identify Christ's first advent, then we can apply that same formula to predict His second. But now, with one slap of a new sticky label, it points to the end of the church age. Sorry, Mr. C, you've changed the premise. Totally illogical conclusion, complete violation of reason, toss that supporting argument out the window. The conclusion and methods to arrive at "1994?" were wrong. Period. You were more fascinated about the return of Christ than the returning Christ.
And what of those who don't actually follow his advice and leave? According to Mr. C., they will come under God's judgment. Wait, even Lot was dragged out of Sodom. Is he saying that all of God's sheep can be identified because they are not in the church? I thought the wheat & tares would grow together until the end.
In all sincerity, it hurts my heart to hear him say this. He is very conservative. He has been used of God mightily to stand up an exemplary, first-class evangelical organization, and now he's tearing it down with his own hands. (The stones in Mt 24:1-3 were thrown down by another, not throwing themselves down. He also taught, in 1993/4, to "let Christ shut it off -- we don't shut it off".)
I really think somebody in his family close to him needs to take him to a doctor and run a full blood test. Something is missing in his system that is affecting his mind. This is not a normal Camping. This teaching is not nearly as thorough as in times past, nor does it click and fit as tightly as many of his previous studies. He has hastily thrown this out - by his own admission at Tuscarora. There is still a lot of good at Family Radio. I think I was a bit hasty to say "don't support FR", because there is still a lot of good in there. I just pray that God would leave a faithful witness there, and that we don't lose our local station.
Lord bless. God's sheep cannot be plucked out of His hand, and that's my hope.