Thursday, February 17, 2011

Camping: False Prophet Once More?

A man named Harold Camping—a longtime Christian evangelist in his late 80s who has owned the “Family Radio” network originating in Northern California—is at it again. It really wasn’t that long ago when he proclaimed that the return of Jesus would take place in 1994.

I have one of his books titled 1994? where he predicted the “likely end of the world” between September 15-27,  1994. My grandfather, who passed away in the mid-1990s, was a Christian who followed Camping and watched him every night on TV. I know because, in 1993, my wife and I spent a week making our last visit to my grandparents.

“Eric,” I remember him telling me that summer, “Harold Camping is right on this one, just wait and see.”

Later, my grandfather sent me the last letters I ever received from him along with two books that  he had purchased from Camping. In his wring, Grandpa very clearly told me to pack my spiritual bags because the end was nigh. I just read through the letters again and am saddened that Camping misled this very  good man who merely wanted to do the right thing.

Today I picked up Camping’s book and reread some of my highlighted notes from 1994? While he  did couch some of his wording as “probably,” “may very well,” and “might be” the end of time, Camping was pretty straightforward in his book and left little room for being wrong.

For instance, on page 532 in the conclusion, he wrote. “The results of this study indicate that the month of September of the year 1994 is to be the time for the end of history.” (emphasis mine).On page 533, he wrote (and notice the definitive verbs), “By God’s mercy there are a few months left. However, if this study is accurate, and I believe with all my heart that it is, there will be no extensions in time. There will be no time for second guessing. When September 6, 1994, arrives, no one else can be saved. The end has come.” (emphasis mine)

Now Camping has predicted May 21, 2011 (my sister’s birthday will never be forgotten, I suppose) as the date for Christ’s rapture. Apparently there are many people who are condemned to repeat a mistake because they have forgotten history; after all, Deut. 13 and 18 both say that a prophet who’s wrong once before should not be considered authoritative.  We are instructed to reject his teaching!

Today you can go to the Camping web site which reads in part, “This web site serves as an introduction and portal to four faithful ministries which are teaching that WE CAN KNOW from the Bible alone that the date of the rapture of believers will take place on May 21, 2011 and that God will destroy this world on October 21, 2011. Please take your time and browse through the teachings of Harold Camping, President of Family Radio.

I do believe in the Second Coming, don’t misunderstand, But ladies and gentlemen, this man has been wrong once before. He is a deceiver. To teach this unique form of hermeneutic to make Bible prophecy something it was never intended to be is just wrong. My grandfather was severely disappointed when the end didn’t come at a specific time, as Camping had predicted. How many more people are going to be hurt next fall? How many may walk away from the faith due to a foolish and prideful prediction?

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Anonymous Keev Allin said...

Scary stuff. I'll bet there are people making life-changing decisions based on teachings like this.

7:11 PM  

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