We’re (hopefully) agreed on the fact that he’s deluded. The question is, why?
Is it because he claimed to know a date even Jesus says He doesn’t know? There’s that.
Is it because he misled thousands of people and cost them many thousands of dollars? That too.
Is it his taste in novelty ties? (Just checking you’re still with me)
Is it because he made a (pretty big) mistake? Oh yes.
But there’s another bigger problem and it’s this: Camping represents a religion that hates the world. It’s a one-way ticket off a sinking ship. It says to God, “This place is going to hell. Beam me up”.
This is far from what Jesus teaches. The Lord’s prayer asks that, “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Jesus doesn’t teach us to pray “Lord, get me out of here.” Instead we ask, “Will you come down to us?”
There’s an enormous difference. Jesus is committed to this world. So committed that He actually became one of us. As Revelation 21 reveals, He and His Father are planning a divine relocation. They’re moving house to live on earth forever – and they’re bringing heaven with them.
Heaven’s a great place and it’ll be fun for a while. But Jesus is committed to redeeming the earth. He doesn’t throw His creation in the dustbin. This is good news for the rainforests and the tuna, but for also us. Jesus doesn’t chuck us out because we’re weak and broken (though we are). Instead, he takes what we are and He redeems us.
Unlike Camping, we don’t have the timetable for Christ’s return. But we know that he will. With His Spirit at work in us, the process has already begun.