Family Radio Prophet of:

Judgement Day

   MAY 21, 2011    

And, thank God that in His great mercy He has given you this warning of the destruction that is almost here, and the great hope that you, too, might be one whom God will bring to Heaven to be with God forevermore in the highest happiness and joy and glory. Holy God in the Holy Bible teaches us in Luke 18:10-14:
                                          --Family Radio Website

Fate Wins

Life is like a game of cards. The hand you are dealt is determinism; the way you play it is free will.
                                     --Jawaharlal Nehru

It made the news in 2011 for the week of May 15th through the 21st, with the group, R.E.M.'s "It's the End of the World as We Know It" playing in the background.  The next day, May 22, we now know that the big story of Camping's warning of global events supposedly starting that Saturday night was, well premature.  He changed the date again to October, 21, 2011, but that too, proved inconclusive, unless one counts Aunt Catherine's famous apple fritters burning in the oven that day. Camping had declared the World's End overture would be with a huge earthquake to signal Judgement Day, and be followed by the Rapture (catching away) of the saints. This phenomenon which would have arrived at 6 pm California time, is now another old news version of an age-old story (which we will examine later):  false predictions of the End of the World being expounded.  His system is based on his too literal read of 2 Peter 3:8, "...a day to the Lord is as a thousand years." He then counts years from Noah, as he explains: 

Therefore, with the correct understanding that the seven days referred to in Genesis 7:4 can be understood as 7,000 years, we learn that when God told Noah there were seven days to escape worldwide destruction, He was also telling the world there would be exactly 7,000 years (one day is as 1,000 years) to escape the wrath of God that would come when He destroys the world on Judgment Day
He misunderstood the 'as' in that verse which translates from the Greek, 'hos', being a relative comparison term. He understands Peter correctly concerning talking about the End, but it is for us to be patient. Marty Angelo, who ministers to prisoners, had challenged Camping to a $10,000 bet that the event would not happen. As of May 22, Family Radio's website still has the "Judgment Day" PDF explaining his position. Its homepage shows 00 days left.  (There's a link where you can even still donate to them.) I suppose with no new input, he and his followers will be thought to have been taken away. Like so many Christians, Angelo expresses his disgust:
If what Camping is teaching is true then he will not be here to pay up. However, if Christ does not return and the end of the world does not come on Saturday then I win and he should pay me for spreading his false prophecy. This has been going on way too long. This teaching goes back generations upon generations up to and including the Hal Lindseys, John Hagees and Harold Campings of the world. They make statements and quote dates but when those dates pass they do not even admit they were wrong… yet alone apologizing {sic} for scaring people half to death.


Harold Camping, on Monday May 23, 2011, made the live announcement on Open Forum oat 8:30 AM that May 21st: "God brought Judgment Day to the whole world. The whole world is on Judgment Day. It will continue to Oct. 21, 2011 and at that time the whole world will be destroyed." And the reason is: "The fact is when we look at it more spiritually, then we find that He did come."  In other words he was being too "factual" as he put it,  where he should have been more spiritual.

Michael Horton, professor of theology at Westminster Seminary in Escondido, California, and host of the conservative evangelical White Horse Inn radio broadcast believes, too that the Lord Jesus Christ will come back physically. But confesses: "traditional Christians are on the hot seat, trying to distance ourselves from this lunatic fringe." 

California Dreamin'

Maybe 21 had a special meaning for Harold Egbert Camping, for he was born in 1921, one summer day, July 19th in Boulder, Colorado. His family moved not too long afterwards to California. A lover of math and science, Harold went on to study engineering at the University of California, Berkeley right around World War II. He married his wife, Shirley in 1943, and they eventually had a total of seven offspring. (Six are still living at this writing, and they gave them 28 grandchildren and 38 great-grandchildren). They went to the First Christian Reformed Church of Alameda, where he became quite skilled and accepted as a Bible teacher, though he tutored himself. His original church, where he was an Elder, too, derived from the Dutch Reformed Church tradition, they still exist. (He was asked to stop certain teachings, so he left in 1988); and here is what they say about themselves:


What is the Christian Reformed Church? Our church is one of nearly 1,000 Christian Reformed churches - large and small - scattered across Canada and the United States. With almost 285,000 members, our fellowship of churches is nearly 150 years old.

CHRISTIAN because we are sinners saved by God's grace through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ. In gratitude for what God has done for us, we strive to follow Jesus' teachings in every area of our lives.

REFORMED because the Bible has shaped our teachings and our lifestyle in every generation since the Protestant Reformation. Reformed Christians believe that all creation belongs to God. We seek to transform our culture by promoting goodness and confronting evils like poverty and injustice.

CHURCH because God's Spirit gathers us together and enables us to commit ourselves to each other as a spiritual family. Together we find support and strength to engage in service to our community and the world.

They do not mention the extreme double predestination doctrines that Camping has no problem promoting.  In other words there is an absolute number already determined to either go up or down, if you know what I mean.

Turn Your Radio On

He received his B.S. in Civil Engineering the year before he married, and after the war began his own construction business, and by 1954 he called it Camping Construction. He partnered with Richard Palmquist in 1958, who asked him to pitch in $20,000, and they formed Family Radio, now headquartered in Oakland, California.  The 40 year old Camping began his daily radio broadcasts featuring his live weekend call-in show Open Forum. In the U.S., there are today 140 broadcasts, and they have 66 owned stations, playing a variety Christian music, but mostly very old school tunes.  These entities are in major prime commercial frequencies like New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. In 1973 he sold his first company to go full time as president and general manager and volunteer broadcaster (he takes no salary) with  the radio ministry. They do have a board of directors.  Just before this prediction fiasco they were worth 120 million dollars, (up a $100K from 2002), but they spent millions for a huge nationwide 1,200 posters on billboards campaign.

Cooking the Books

If the sun refuse to shine,
I don't mind, I don't mind,
If the mountains fell in the sea,
let it be, it ain't me.
Alright, 'cos I got my own world to look through,
And I ain't gonna copy you.

--Jimi Hendrix

He has written 30 books; In 1970 he released his Biblical Calendar History, putting 11,013 BC as the start date of Genesis, and 4990 BC was when all but Noah perished in a worldwide flood. In 1988 after Edgar Whisenant wrote 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Could be in 1988, he refuted that date, but started coming up with his own guessing game which precipitated 110 other people joining his family's leaving First Christian Reformed, because they were at odds with the Church elders. In 1992 he came up with his look at the End in his book 1994?, with this introduction: "No book ever written is as audacious or bold as one that claims to predict the timing of the end of the world, and that is precisely what this book presumes to do."   But, in 1994 they did have a waiting meeting in Alameda's Veterans’ Memorial Building, but they turned out to be all dressed up and nowhere to go.  Afterwards, they decided it was more of a dress rehearsal, or as he put it, a "preliminary study". They corrected themselves saying that had to add seven more years to their original calculations. Some of the more bizarre (and erroneous) parts of his teachings are that no one was "saved" from 1988 to 1994.  His reasoning, "... this end of the world judgment has already begun, because judgment must begin with the house of God (I Peter 4:17, Hebrews 10:30)."  Also there was no more Holy Spirit working in the world, and therefore it was the Devil behind every other ministry except his. He wrote also that (Archangel) "Michael is the Lord Jesus."

Time Is On My Side

His 2005 publication, Time Has an End, brings us up to date.  This is the definitive work giving May 21, 2011 as the Big Day. He had started telling people about the end coming soon in 2002.  He suggested that true believers should leave their apostate churches that were no longer going to be blessed since it was the end of the Church Age.  To quote him, " we are heading for the end of this world’s existence, we should not be a part of a local church."  (These Ages of history have to do with dispensationalism, which the scope of this article will not allow too much discussion, but it basically breaks it down, Age of Conscience, Age of Judges, etc. until we are now supposedly in the Church Age (as opposed to being under Mosaic Law.) This lays out the details: two hundred million are going up, up, and away, and the rest will endure until October 21, 2011 (which is an inexplicable 5 years, as opposed to the usually 7) when all will be utterly destroyed. Of all his family members, only his wife has stayed loyal to his idea. Ken Ronning, shill for Camping bleated, "We want people to know that there are a few hours left to cry out to him for mercy." Since Camping recently declared, There's going to be a huge earthquake that's going to make the big earthquake in Japan seem like a Sunday school picnic." He makes his hyper-fundamentalist case warning, "Sadly, you can’t turn to your religion or go to your priest or pastor or spiritual leader for help. They, too, should be begging God for mercy for themselves." When Camping was interrogated to what would he do if he is wrong, he stated:

God has given sooo {sic} much information in the Bible about this, and so many proofs, and so many signs, that we know it is absolutely going to happen without any question at all.There’s nothing in the Bible that God has ever prophesied –there’s many things that he prophesied would happen and they always have happened–but there’s nothing in the Bible that holds a candle to the amount of information to this tremendous truth of the end of the world. I would be absolutely in rebellion against God if I thought anything other than it is absolutely going to happen without any question.

I Can't Wait 2000 Years!

In the First Century, because living was extremely tough for early Christians who dared challenge the normal culture of the time, they were ostracized from family and employment opportunities. The Thessalonian community of believers had heard their Apostle Paul tell them in a letter that after hard times, they would be rewarded when Jesus came back for them. Not too long after the Thessalonians were just about selling all they had and moving to the mountaintop to await the Lord's return, he had to send another letter telling them that certain things had to take place first.

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

Don't say no, it's the end of the world, it ended when you said goodbye.
                   Skeeter Davis

These conditions were also laid out by Jesus Himself in the Gospel records of Luke and Matthew concerning the end of the Last Days. Now, Last Days is actually all the time period between the death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, until His return. It is an indefinite period, also known as the prophet Daniel's 70th week (of years, not days). Key words: "Then the end will come." There was to be a Demonic leader first, beheading all those who takes his mark, if you want to buy and sell under his regime.  Following the seemingly peaceful global candidate, is war, sickness and death, especially the array of armies in Israel.  Also, terrible natural (and kind of unnatural) calamities are testing the earth.  (These things some say is the Wrath, but they are really 'tests.')  Paul had told those Thessalonians that it would be a unique time, and the Book of Revelation makes that clear.  The Wrath is when the believers come with Jesus to accompany Him when he basically zaps the Antichrist's armies, and throw Satan in a pit for a thousand years.  This is the Last Trumpet.  Paul had told the Corinthian church that we would be changed to immortality in the "Twinkling of an eye" and this would happen after that Last Trumpet. The shofar was the goat horn blown for announcements and leading Israel's armies into battle. In further explanation written to the Corinthians, Paul reveals a 'mystery' (something not explained in Scripture before), that even after the dead arise first, that anyone still alive at his return will be transformed and 'caught up' (latin = rapturo - out of Jerome's Latin translation of Greek) to meet the saints and Jesus in the clouds.   It is why Jesus told people that this event would be in this terrible time of that some interpreted as 7 years, or some halfway division of that. The exact words of Jesus in Matthew 24:21 are: "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be." It makes this as the time to be watchful, because the temptation is to harden hearts when times are tough.  It is written by Paul that "We are not appointed to be under wrath."  The whole point of Revelation is to show that though Christians can have it real rough and this is what happens first, before we are taken up to heaven. It will not be unlike another holocaust, but there will be a day of reckoning.  NIV Scripture reference: Revelation 20: "They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years." And John continues: "When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them." The White Throne Judgement is next, that's when true payback happens for those not being in the Book of Life.

Well, Would You Believe...?

Folks got real antsy in the turn of the first millennium, plagues did not help much either, but as we know now, too, it was not the end.  A couple of other denominations are founded on erroneous date setting, the Millerites and Jehovah Witnesses.  And the former probably influenced Joseph Smith and the Latter Day Saints (Mormons), too.  William Miller in 1818, misinterpreting Daniel 8:14 ,  said the Lord was coming back first in 1843 on March 21st, and people sold all they had and waited.  When that was wrong, next year was the day, and when that failed, then most faded into the sunset. But Ellen White, who is deemed the founder of the Seventh Day Adventists, declared that Jesus came back invisibly. (This same adjustment we now see Camping making.)  Jonas Swendahl, of the Second Adventists, went along with the idea that 1844 marked the end of that generation, and his wrong date of 1874 served only the interests of Charles Taze Russell.  He recalculated it to 1914, and then he, too had to come up with some new dates of: 1925, 1941, and 1975 for the Jehovah's Witnesses. Similarly to Camping, they teach that all other churches are of Satan, and only their members will make it to Heaven.  A CBS article said that there have been a hundred such prognostications in the last century alone. The year 2000 coming around caused a stir, but mostly because of that PC bug not able to see '00 as the eve of the 21st Century, instead of the last one.

But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.--Mark 13:31-33

Update: June 9, 2011, Harold Camping was rushed to the hospital on this evening, a Thursday, with a stroke. Several days later (as of June, 13, 2011) he has slurred speech. Anyone with any compassion is praying for the man.

Updated Update

After acknowledging his errors in March 2012, the 92 year-old fell in his Almeda Home after just being returned home from the nursing home because of the stroke in the early weeks of December 2013. He died from ensuing complications on the 15th of that month 2013.
Alameda, California, U.S.

For more on this subject read my, Christian Eschatology. Until then, I'll see you back here in October!

Some Family Radio Publications

In my opinion, it was not a good idea to make fun of this poor misguided zealot, who, after all, is 89 years old. Decades ago even this writer called Open Forum and argued politely with Harold Camping over some issues we disagreed on, probably eschatology or Gifts of the Holy Spirit, however he was not swayed one bit. His opinion on Charismatics or Pentecostals is such: "...we reject the phenomena of tongues, visions, voices, etc., as having any part in the true Gospel since the Scriptures have been completed."

May we all seek, find, and embrace the grace shed upon us all.

If fate means you to lose, give him a good fight anyhow.                              --William McFee

Sources: camping/biography-113455.html is-harold-camping-50368/

The Mad Weeks of May: Fate

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