According to Harold Camping, octogenarian Family Radio station owner and self-taught Bible scholar, the 2nd Coming of the Lord Jesus should have happened by now. If you’re reading this, you’re either not one of the elect, or somehow Jesus overlooked you in the rapture, OR Harold Camping was wrong again!
I believe he was wrong again. And he should do at least three things before the day is out:
1. He should apologize to the Christian family for embarrassing the name of Christ with his arrogant, gnostic, ridiculous calculation that, even though Jesus said we couldn’t know the exact date of His Second Coming, he was sure he knew. Perhaps he needs to read up on failed predictions by our Seventh-Day Adventist friends, Edgar Whisenant in his Eighty-Eight Reasons Why Jesus Will Return in 1988, and one particularly troubling example from South Korea. In 1992, Lee Jang Rim, the head of one of some 200 Protestant churches in that country, announced that the rapture would take place on October 28, 1992. Based on a vision of a sixteen-year-old boy, twenty thousand Korean fundamentalists in South Korea, Los Angeles, and New York City took the prediction seriously. Hundreds quit their jobs, many left their families, some women unfortunately even had abortions (presumably to make their own raptures easier). Rim’s church bought costly ads in the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times. They urged readers to get ready for the rapture and to refuse to have 666 imprinted in bar code on their foreheads or right hands.
On October 28, one researcher says, “Riot police, plainclothes officers, and reporters crowded outside Korean churches, flanked by fire engines, ambulances, and searchlights. Believers took the failure of the prophecy calmly, and there were no reported riots. Only sadness. In December 1992 Rim was arrested and sentenced to two years in prison for having bilked $4.4 million from his flock. He had invested the money in bonds that didn’t mature until the following year!”
2. Camping needs to immediately retire from the ministry and put himself under the spiritual leadership of a local church and their leadership team. This will be extremely difficult for him to do, especially in light of his cultic understanding that God has abandoned all local churches and that all Christians should disassociate themselves from local congregations. But he should repent of his bizarre, unbiblical perspective on the local and universal Body of Christ (which He is presently building). He should step down from radio ministry, turn the microphone and the good work that Family Radio stations do over to others, and humble himself before the family of God worldwide.
3. He needs to do everything in his power to return every cent which believers have contributed to his ministry based on his wayward predictions of Christ’s Second Coming. Here is his response to a caller who suggested he do exactly that on May 22nd, 2011: RETURN MONEY?
Dr. James White HERE accuses Camping of sliding further and further away from orthodoxy (apparently Camping advocates annihilationism as well as a kind of modalism, denying the deity of Jesus).
Discussion Questions: How should we pray for Mr. Camping? Is there any way that the wider Body of Christ can speak the truth in love to him and seek to bring him spiritual health before he leaves this vale of tears by way of death (or Christ’s Second Coming!)?