For followers of Harold Camping and Family Radio – “Take the May 22 Challenge”

Please also see my blog after May 22:

There are thousands of followers of Family Radio who believe that the Lord will return on May 21, 2011. I have read the material of Harold Camping and am thoroughly convinced that his calculations are groundless. He is a man of boundless imagination but he uses it to wiggle out of the clear truth of God’s Word.

Please take it from someone who has loved Bible prophecy his whole life that Harold Camping’s dating system is a house of cards and will not come to pass. Of course, he would use my opinion as “proof” that I am the one who is apostate. That is what is known as circular reasoning.

Mark 13:32 says that “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” (I’m using the KJV, since Camping does). Like many false teachers, Camping has “proven” that that verse does not apply to him. In fact, it does. This means that Camping is claiming that he knows that which the Son of God does not know. This is not a question of an error, or miscalculation, but false teaching. And this is why people cannot be neutral about him, or say, “Well, who knows, it’s interesting, perhaps yes, perhaps no.” By definition Camping and Family Radio have committed sacrilege.

Nor can Camping claim, as he seems to do, that “Well it’s not just me, all kinds of groups have figured this date out.” No, they haven’t. Take a look at the intricate math that backs up the May 21 date: there is just one person behind this, and his name is Harold Camping, engineer, math genius and Bible student.

On May 22, when his prophecy will have failed, what will Camping do? What will they announce on Family Radio? The church has seen 2000 years of failed prophecies, so we can offer a few guesses. Camping might say: “I miscounted, I left out a zero or something, so it’s not 2011 but 2012 or 2013”. Or “Christ was going to come in judgment, but because I announced it enough people repented and he’s given us more time.” Or “My followers weren’t righteous enough.” Or “The Rapture did happen, but invisibly, leaving no evidence.” Or as he did in 1994, “Well, I said Christ might come, but I never said it was a sure thing.” The last thing he will admit is: “I was wrong; I didn’t know what I was talking about; forgive me; I’m going into retirement to ponder the depth of my sins and to ask for God’s forgiveness.”

Are you a follower, whether whole-hearted or partially of Camping? Then on May 22, 2011, you will not simply have to change your opinion. You will need to put your life in order before a holy God who condemns false prophets and their followers.

2 Thess 2:10b-12 – “they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness

I know it is difficult today to believe that Camping could be mistaken.  On the one hand he claims to be a Bible student of unique understanding. On the other hand, he boasts that he does not have have degrees or formal training. He speaks with what seems like great confidence, but like the beast of the End Times he “boasts great things.”

If you have been convinced by him, I probably cannot convince his followers that Camping is wrong, so instead I’ll offer you a challenge. Today is May 9. I plead with you to make a decision right now before May 21 arrives. If you really have confidence in the date, why should you fear to affirm this in your hearts?

“If Christ does not come on May 21, then I will confess before God and human beings that Harold Camping was a false prophet. I will turn to God in repentance for following lies. I will repent of the hatred for Christ’s bride that Camping has taught me and I will go in humility to join a Bible-teaching church.”

The time to make that decision is today, before May 21, 2011. If you wait, he or some other false teacher will grab hold of your thinking. Or the devil will whisper to you that the Bible is unreliable, since Camping’s prophecy didn’t come to pass. Or you will be tempted to justify youself by saying, “Well, Jesus didn’t come, but we gave ’em all a good scare and now they’ll think twice about God.” Don’t give the devil an opportunity; don’t leave yourself open to the next false teacher. Make a date with the Lord to repent fully on May 22.

Addditional thought: I find Camping’s teaching to be so beyond belief that I wasn’t planning on blogging about it. Nevertheless, I believe that the Spirit prompted me to speak, not to condemn, but to offer a pastoral word for the many lambs who have gone astray. I am praying for readers of this blog. I will be more than pleased to speak with anyone about this theme, before or after May 21. See another blog on the topic at  Gary Shogren

For followers of Harold Camping, in light of May 21 – “Take the May 22 Challenge”; Gary Shogren, Seminario ESEPA, San José, Costa Rica

24 thoughts on “For followers of Harold Camping and Family Radio – “Take the May 22 Challenge”

  1. As I suspected, Camping is back on the air and has provided everyone with another date. Camping stated that Jesus did come on 5/21 but it was “spiritual” rather than physical and 10/21/11 will be the end. How sad that the thousands of disillusioned followers will now be hanging on to these deranged words of this false prophet instead of going back to their lives and living by the word of God. So many lost their families, jobs and homes. My prayers are that these poor lost souls will soon see the light. The true light of Jesus Christ. God Bless Everyone

  2. Sadly, Camping still has followers believing that Jesus did come on 5/21/11 (spiritually) and that now the end will come on 10/21/11. Some of these people lost their jobs and families. I am praying for these people that they see the light. The true light of Jesus Christ.

  3. I dont usually post comments but had to thank Jesus for bringing me here.Its May 22 and Ive listened to many worried people over the last month. I was a Family Radio listener back in the early 90s and was convinced of Mr. Campings insight into the bible. I believed him about 1994. Luckily I happened upon Deuteronomy 18:20-22 afterwards and havent listened since. Unfortunately I didnt remember where I had found those verses when trying to let others know that his teachings were of his own mind and not of GOD. Thanks for posting them. I dont usually surf the net and now I know why I was tonight. Thanks be to GOD!

    1. Blessings, Dave! Deut 13:1-5 would also be of help to you. Besides, our Lord also warned about false prophets in Matt 24, and Paul in 2 Thess 2:2-1, plus many other passages. Gary

  4. I liked what you wrote it was very good. loved the prayer at the end. but have a question…what will be the sighns of the end of times? and will it have flooding? like rain and things?

    1. Dear Brianna, thanks for your note. Matt 24 is the passage you should study. Note very precisely what Christ says and does not say. In vv. 4-8 there are wars, earthquakes, famines, also persecution, false prophets (Harold Camping!), false Christs but “Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. All these are the beginning of birth pains.” That is, we shouldn’t imagine the Lord’s coming is near whenever there’s an earthquake.
      The key is 24:14 – “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” There are also cosmic signs, and the coming of the antichrist.
      Jesus says that “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near.” This is popuarly read to mean that when Israel is formed as a nation again, then the end must come within a generation. That’s not what the verse says! It makes no mention of national Israel. The fig tree is not, as is commonly assumed, the symbol of Israel in the Old Testament; it’s used once or twice in that way, but it’s not a special symbol. Rather, Jesus says “Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door.” “All these things”, that is, 100% of the signs mentioned above.
      People get stirred up, saying “well, someone said a comet might hit earth in 20 years or so, therefore the end must be near.” Again, you have to look at what Jesus said. He didn’t say “when people speculate about things in the heavens,” but “when things actually happen.”
      I hope this helps. Gary

  5. Deuteronomy 18:20-22 (King James Version)

    20But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.

    21And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken?

    22When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.

    That pretty much sums everything up, I believe. =^_^=

  6. is someone going to be watching this harold camping guy from morning time saturday May 21, 2011 to Monday May 23, 2011….he’s 90 for crying out loud, i suspect he will go missing or be found dead. He doesnt want to go out a ordinary man.

  7. I was just searching the internet and happened upon your blog and your comments regarding Harold Camping. As someone who listens to him fairly regularly, I find that I must say that his research is usually impeccable and he can back up and cross reference with Scripture everything that he says – that is just a fact. Now, don’t get me wrong, I often disagree with his conclusions and am definitely hoping he is wrong about May 21 (and I think I may have found some problems with his formulations). However, in all honesty, his mistakes, when they occur, are (usually) not because he didn’t dig under every biblical nook and cranny he could find in an honest attempt to get to the truth, but rather because he sometimes tries to force a not so round peg into a round hole. I must say that in looking at his rational for coming to May 21, I was initially very impressed – and am still kind of impressed. Take for example your reference to the “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” Notice that it includes the word “of”. The word “of” could mean that the intent of the verse is to address the happenings of “that day” and not the timing of it; that is, that no one can really know all of the horror of it. Having said that, I will say that in all honesty, nothing would make me happier right now than to find a major flaw in his analysis or calculations, but I am left with the conclusion, at least thus far, that there’s a chance he just might be right. And if he’s not, well, his crime would be that he thought that he’d found something monumental in the Bible and he wanted/tried his best to share it with everyone – as I think the Bible directs all believers to do – not such a terrible crime, really. All of us at one time or another have embraced a wrong doctrine but weren’t as visable or as vocal as he is being.

    1. Thanks for your note! The word “of” simply means “about” the timing. Jesus speaks in very Jewish terms here, “of that day and hour” meaning “no-one knows the time.” Jesus says the same thing in other words in Acts 1:6-7, and Paul as well in his own language in 1 Thess 5:1-2. Harold Camping, by the way, does not dispute that this is what Jesus meant to say. What he argues is that these verses have ceased to be in effect since 1988, for nearly inscrutable reasond of his own calculation.

      Sorry, I can’t agree with you that this is “not such a terrible crime.” Jesus and the rest of the Bible condemn false prophets and false teachers to eternal condemnation, and warn all of us to stay away from them. He has misled I don’t know how many thousands of people with his teaching, and multitudes of these will abandon the Christian faith altogether after this weekend. I can’t imagine a crime I’d less like to have on my conscience, come Judgment Day.

      Let me add this this is not the sort of doctrinal difference that we can see, for example, between a Presbyterian and a person of the Assemblies of God. Camping offers his own version of the gospel (it’s on his website), a “different gospel”, the kind of thing Paul warns about in Gal 1.

  8. An additional thought.

    Is it a sin in itself to follow a false teacher? The Scriptures say yes. Although false teachers will have a great deal to answer for, because of the way they have led people astray, every believer is responsible to know and follow the truth.

    Luke 21:8 – Jesus said “Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name and say, ‘I am he!’ and, ‘The time is near!’ Do not go after them.

    If we disobey what Jesus commanded, it is a sin.

    2 Thess 2:9-10 – Satan uses all power, signs, lying wonders, 10 and every kind of wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved

    2 Tim 4:3-4 – For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to myths.

    Deception is not simply a mental decision, but is wrapped up with sin.

    Rev 19:20 – And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who had performed in its presence the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image.

    That is, the false prophet is guilty and so are his followers.

  9. Someone very close to me is a follower of Harold Camping and in fact, it was he that sparked my interest in bible study. However, I chose to listen to the word of God and live my life to please him rather than Harold Camping. The followers are not working and spend all of there time and money on spreading Campings word. I’m very concerned about how my friend will react to Camping being exposed as a false prophet and a quack. I’m praying to our blessed Lord to guide all that have fallen under Campings spell.

    1. Prayer is key, isn’t it, and also a heart ready to minister grace and compassion to those who stray.

  10. I have recently learned of this false prophecy by Mr. Camping and as a young man who grew up listening to Family Radio and a personal fan of Mr. Camping’s I am greatly displeased and saddened at this foolishness. Perhaps he is a false prophet and his own false prophecy is even a sign of the times, but by no way should he or Family Radio be supporting these claims. No one, not even the Son will know! I am terribly upset by this and I hope it will not give human beings a reason to further hate God when it is all proven wrong May 22nd! Great blog I am a fan!

    1. Dear Matt, A pleasure to meet you, tell your friends about the blog! I too liked various aspects of FR, especially the fact that they simply read aloud from the Bible and other Christian texts. They hymns as well, of which I am still a fan. Jesus said false prophecy would a sign through “these last days”, which phrase means between his first and second coming. Ironic, that the false teacher Mr. Camping, like earthquakes, like famines, is one of the signs of evil the church will see throughout its history.

    1. Yes, but, my main concern is that they won’t just feel silly, they will be forever damaged, because of the sins they have committed in following a false teacher, by losing confidence in the Bible, by rejecting Jesus’ bride. Yes, Harold Camping is a straight line waiting for a punch line, but I can’t bring myself to chuckle.

  11. Harold Camping’s teaching about May 21 is totally absurd, but is doing great damage to his followers. But having said that, he teaches error about the Redemption, and about so many other subjects that they cannot be numbered. The man is truly a heretic. One would hope that when May 22 comes that his error would convict him.

    1. For example, I would suppose: “Any time we obey any command of the Bible, including the command to believe in Christ, it is a work that we do.”

      I would be surprised if he did repent, but God grant him – and all of us – mercy. Merely being proven wrong is not enough to convince a person to turn truly to God. Cain did not repent, despite finding out that he was wrong. Saul did not. Nor Judas nor Simon Magus. Even Satan “knows” that he is wrong. But it takes a miracle of the Holy Spirit to bring anyone to a place where they “glorify the Word of the Lord” through repentance and belief (2 Thess 3:1), which is why Paul asked the Thessalonians to pray that that might come about with Paul’s hearers.

  12. Good stuff Gary! Camping is a false prophet and his false predictions bring shame and scorn to the Name. I am praying that this time he will repent and confess his sins to Almighty God. I am also praying for all of those who listen to Family Radio to take Gary’s May 22 challenge. God bless.

  13. Strange that he’s at it again…there were people so ‘into’ his last prediction that they took special trips to India and the like; to hand out tracks about the possible end.
    It seems like every week I see something strange, and have to change what I was thinking, as in, I THOUGHT I had seen it all, now I really have. Only to revise it next week. A lot of that revision stuff going around, must be something in the water.

    Oh, and that last post about prayer, really good, thanks.

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