by Rev. Austin Miles
Harold Camping of Family Radio, a worldwide network, is a man of unique Christian theology. He advises all his followers to get out of their churches since all of them are apostate. He stated this week that Jesus was NOT God, and on his 'Open Forum' advised a problem alcoholic who wanted to stop drinking to set up a fancy dinner, with her best china and silverware, then put a bottle of fine wine in the center. "Eat the complete meal without touching the wine," he saith, " and THEN you will have conquered alcoholism." (!)
He also implies that he is the only man in the world whom God has given the exact time of His return. May 21, 2011, two months from now, at 6 P.M.
In his ancient 80's (89), Camping, with his monotone boistrously deep voice which strrrrrretches out his words, obviously has thoroughly read and studied The Bible and knows the location of all Scriptures and subjects within its pages which makes his theological interpretations puzzling if not downright frustrating since he preaches the very opposite of what the Scrptures proclaim
Mr.Camping, whose contempt for the church is so barbed that he "SssssSTRONGly advises for everyone to get out of their church before the end dates." That timing would seem strange if indeed his calculations were accurate and the end of the world was upon us.
He pontificated this week that, "When you get to heaven you will be surprised as to who you will see there…and you may be surprised as to who will NOT be there…those who go to the churches and their pastors."
Another caller this week to Open Forum asked if it was OK to be married in a church by a minister. Camping droned that a minister is legally able to perform a wedding ceremony and a church that can be rented provides a good facility for such an occasion, "But.." he cautioned, NnnnnNEVER let yourself come under the influence of that minister or allow yourself to be put under his spiritual authority or control."
This sage brushes off Holy Scriptures that state clearly [that] regarding the coming of Jesus and the end of the world, no man shall know the date and time; See Matthew 24:36-44, Acts 1:7, Mark 13:33, Camping said to a caller on Open Forum, "Those Scriptures were good for that time. We have now entered a new age, the church age has ended and God has revealed the exact dates to me."
"God" also revealed the exact dates to Camping a few years ago, September of 1994. Of course it didn't happen. Camping explains that: "I made a miscalculation. I made a mistake. Now how many preachers or evangelists have you heard say publicly that they were wrong? NnnNONE! But I'm humbly saying that I was wrong." According to the World of Camping, his humility is proof of his greatness.
He said his predicted 1994 End of the World scenario was all a miscalculation but THIS time he has it correctly. That miscalculation…that careless misappropriation of God's Word…caused one man to commit suicide.
Yet those blindly deluded by him are quitting their jobs to 'spread the word.' One Army veteran has organized traveling columns of RVs carrying the message from city to city, pasing out pamphlets on street corners while others plan to take the message overseas. Billboards are being put up on roadways and bus stop benches, an avalanche of post cards are being sent along with postings on websites.
Camping says that it is time for all to get saved now since that last day will be here in two months when the Rapture takes place. Which of course torpedoes the whole idea of keeping your life in order at all times to prove your sincerity toward God.
Probably many will "get saved" on May 20th, the day before. It will be interesting to see how many remain "Christian" when May 21st comes and goes. Family radio may be wise to consider Camping out.
Unfortunately, the whole world is watching this unfold and as it does, millions of people who might have come to God will be turned off by this latest nuttiness, seeing all Christians as mental cases, giving them the perfect excuse to reject God and to live the world's way. And Mr. Camping will have to answer for that.
This writer called Mr. Camping's office in Oakland requesting a lunch date with him on May 22nd to discuss his theology. Nobody there will return my call.