275px-Harold_Camping_2011 Harold E. Camping, an 89-year old Christian radio broadcaster and the president of Family Radio, a religious broadcasting network based in Oakland, California, is one of the more arrogant and misled teachers on radio. His network now spans more than 150 outlets in the United States. On his network and website Camping says Christ is coming back this Saturday, May 21st. Here is how USA Today reported the Camping prediction in a recent edition. Watch this video. It might move you to tears if you see how much damage this man has actually done to earnest people who follow him.

If you are not in an area of the country where you’ve heard Camping speak you haven’t missed a great deal. Wikipedia notes that his “trademarks include a deep, sonorous voice coupled with a slow cadence. He has also used mathematical predictions applied to the Bible to predict dates for the end of the world.Camping is a very extreme Calvinist who at one time was actually a member of the Christian Reformed Church. (He long ago left his local church and pronounced judgment on this church and ever other church in existence! For some years his message has been centered on telling people to leave their church and support his radio broadcasts since he alone knows the truth.) His current end times prediction is that Christ will come for true believers, of which there are very, very few left it must be noted, this Saturday, May 21, 2011.

114147128SP006_JUDGMENT_DAY I heard Camping recently, for five minutes or so, on my car radio. He was going on and on about the fact that all of the remaining churches are apostate and all those who remain in them will be damned! Camping believes that we are already in the Great Tribulation and that when the few believers that remain are taken away this week then God will begin to completely destroy the Earth and the universe ending five months later on October 21. Nearly seven billion people will be destroyed in a series of “natural” disasters. He bases all of this upon calculations he has made with numbers and dates, ostensibly from the Bible. (It must be remembered that countless teachers have done the same for centuries, opposing the very teaching of Jesus about the end of this age not being known to anyone but the Father alone!) You would think Harold Camping would have learned something from his past mistakes about Christ’s return but such is not the case. He previously predicted that the Rapture would occur in September 1994 but now says he miscalculated the numbers. This time he will be right.

Several questions occur to me?

1. What will happen to Family Radio after May 21? (I hope it shuts down!)

2. What will these people who follow Camping so devotedly do after this Saturday? (I hope they wake up and confess their sinful foolishness, which is morally dangerous, disown the man as a false teacher and get involved in a confessional church.)

3. When will people stop this craziness? (You know the answer to this one already.)

4. How much damage will this teaching do to the missional witness of Christ? (Probably, very little.)

5. Who will be the next Harold Camping? (I have no idea but there will be others.)

6. What should true believers do this week? (Live for the glory of God and be faithful to Christ. Forget this unless you know someone caught in this deception to whom you can show mercy and grace after this Saturday.)

I plan to be doing my work all week. I doubt that I will think twice about Camping come Saturday, May 21st. I hope, honestly, that once and for all he goes away and is totally discredited once and for all.

A dear friend has said to me, “John, the only problem with all these foolish predictions is that someone might accidentally get it right sometime!” That is actually unlikely since “no one knows the day or the hour.” It would take more fools than we actually have in the global church to accidentally hit the right day somehow, someway. “At such a time as you think not” comes to mind.

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  1. Chris Criminger May 16, 2011 at 7:33 am

    Well John,
    You must think very highly of the man since he is predicting the rapture for this Saturday, only a few will make it and you hope he goes away :–)
    Wouldn’t it be the greatest irony if a bunch of us folks went away this Saturday and Harold Camping was ‘left behind’ with just a few people? :–)
    But I would rather see left behind theology left behind than Harld Camping. And I believe it was no other than N. T. Wright who said something like in light of the new heaven and new earth, that the ones left behind were the chosen ones and the ones who left were the ones under judgement. Now maybe that would be the greatest irony and greatest reversal of all!

  2. Craig Hardinger May 16, 2011 at 9:48 am

    Well said John. Blessings!

  3. Darren Gruett May 16, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Ironically, I was just reading about Camping this morning after the Chicago Tribune posted a small blurb about this nonsense. Until that point, I had completely forgotten about this latest, bizarre prediction of his. I hope this brings an end to so-called “Family Radio” and that his followers come to their senses.

  4. Jack Wellman May 17, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    I think this is his 2nd, 3rd or 4th time of predicting this? I lost count actually. Anyway, he said the last time he predicted this and failed that he didn’t do enough research. Perhaps he should have researched the Bible: Matthew 24:36 which says ““But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” I might add that “nor the Son” are missing from many of the manuscripts so Jesus Himself may have actually known but it was not in mankind’s best interests to know.
    Paul warned about such men in I Thessalonians 5:2-4 saying, “For you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.” No one knows when a thief is going to break into their home or they would be prepared. Camping is no exception. He can not know since this is not revealed in the Bible. Jesus said that He will come when none expect it.

  5. Jon May 17, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    According to his Wikipedia article, he is no longer a Calvinist.

  6. Blanche May 18, 2011 at 10:47 am

    Harold Camping
    Is so full of crap it is,nt even funny.The only one who knows when the world will end is GOD himself .Yoy can Keep beliving this old fool. He should be ashamed of his self. People Believe in GOD the Father Almighy GOD BLess & Amen

  7. George C May 18, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    This in particular is sad, but I find the attitude of many christians that insist that we are now in the last hour to be born from the same arrogance and ignorance.
    Sadly it is usually based more on the nightly new cycle than on any decent hermenutic and motivated by a need to pressure people into repentence of some sort.
    Even a half hearted attempt to study christian history will show how many other christian and psuedo christian groups have been wrong in their predictions. Are we somehow smarter than them? Better informed? I doubt it.
    As far as the new cycle aspect goes, most people just don’t do the math to ralize that we cannot compare the number or severity of wars, disasters, and such with other time periods simply due to the lack of records. Whole continents could have been swallowed by tsunamis 2000 years ago, whole races could have annihilated each other, ect., but we would never have the records to know if they were illiterate or remote enough from those who were literate.
    The fact is we are all living in our “last days” and if that is not enough motivation, then who cares when Christ returns? At the end of the day, I believe the church needs way less of this franticness (is that even a word) and more sober and measured thinking.

  8. David Dressler May 21, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    It is now 1:25 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time. To my knowledge from the news on television, and in my experience from my apartment window, I have witnessed no evidence of any “Rapture” or anybody disappearing into the sky or heaven.
    It is cloudy out, where I live, to be sure. And there is lighter traffic on my street because it is a Canadian holiday here. But I don’t think the absence of people and traffic is significant.
    Now, I do have a concern. If you are in a motor vehicle and the person driving is a true believer and you, the passenger are not, please beware and ready to seize the wheel at any moment when your true-believer driver vanishes from the seat next to you! And please tell the police what happened if your car crashes before you can gain control of it. Just say “It was the Rapture, Officer. My driver was taken up to heaven!”…when your breath is tested.

  9. John Armstrong May 21, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Not sure what that means. He still teaches extreme Calvinism in terms of how he teaches both salvation and predestination. He is not in the Christian Reformed Church any longer, for which they are I’m sure grateful today more than ever.

  10. John Armstrong May 21, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    What truly amazes me is the hype the media has given to all of this. Even Sports Center was talking about it last night. All in jest and all as a spoof. The only one who rejoices in this case has to be the Evil One who would just as soon no one takes the Second Coming, and the problem of divine judgment, seriously at all.

  11. Laura May 22, 2011 at 8:58 am

    What should true believers do this week? (Live for the glory of God and be faithful to Christ. Forget this unless you know someone caught in this deception to whom you can show mercy and grace after this Saturday.)
    We should also lift up Harold Camping and his followers in our prayers. I will pray for an increase of Knowledge, a Gift of the Holy Spirit, and Charity,the summit of all virtues, for them.
    In Christ

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