On Harold Camping and Family Radio

About twelve or so years ago I began to see the problems with my independent, fundie Baptist ways (not with all of it, just some problems). 

One issue I was challenged on was predestination ("No, you can't believe in that! That's what *Calvinists* believe!" was the sum of my reply, not that I knew what a Calvinist was at the time).  My friend, who was more patient with me than I deserved (no, I did not put the "fun" in fundamentalist) showed me some passages I had somehow never read.  Huh.

Then things got interesting: he directed me to the radio ministry of someone who was helping him understand what the Bible had to say about the election of the saints.

Harold Camping.

I listened for months before suspecting something was wrong.  This was mainly because he was focusing on the doctrine of election at the time (as much as I remember from that deep sound that made the hot, Florida nights a little eerie).  I remember going back to my friend after a while and saying something like, "Is Camping teaching that the church age is over?"  My friend, who had not listened for a month or so at this point due to other obligations, began to listen carefully with me.

Something was off about his teaching.  I was listening to other radio personalities by this point, including those from some watchdog ministries, and there was no doubt.  This man to whom we had given ear was telling us to leave our churches or face the wrath of God.  We didn't need the church.  We had the Holy Spirit.  We had Bibles.  And we had Camping on the radio.

Let me tell you, this kind of message is more appealing to a young believer with few years life experience who is also now attending a seeker-driven church.  I had incidentally realized by this point that our new church was not as sound in its teaching as it could be.

But that doesn't mean Camping was right, does it?
High-risk teaching ahead.

Of course, my wife and I were soon married and we as well as our mutual friend stayed in the church and chose other Bible teachers.

The truth was out: Camping had predicted the end of the world a few years earlier, and was now trying to correct his mistaken eschatology by telling people to leave their places of worship and only listen to him on the radio.  His station dropped every outside teacher.  Camping was the only one left preaching truth.

It just didn't make sense at the time, but I've since learned that successful false prophets preach as much truth as they can while still being consistent with their heresies.  That is about as nice as one can be about this.

Camping predicting the world will end May 21, 2011:

AOMin has put together a resource list for those who want information.  Perhaps you know someone who has been "Harold-ed" over to this cult (bad pun, I know), and you want to help them out.  Of course, pray and be loving: those following a false teacher are deceived and need God's grace and freedom.

For everyone else who just needs a laugh when thinking about this, here is a handy doomsday clock.  It counts down to the apparent rapture and the beginning of the end.  You know, the earthquake so violent that it will open every grave ever dug so God can get to the bodies.  God's teleporter can't reach underground, apparently, but they had that same problem on the Enterprise.

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