Monday, December 20, 2010

Harold Camping's "Bitter-Sweet" Rapture of 2011

You may or may not know that Harold Camping, a fringe "prophet" found promoting a curious brand of the gospel at 88.9 on your radio dial here on Long Island, has predicted that the Rapture of the Church will take place on May 21, 2011.

They say he has done this before. I would not know because, until I moved to New York four years ago, I had never heard of him. (Just as a matter of trivia, he IS NOT the guy who wrote 88 Reasons Why the Rapture will be in 1988. That was Edgar C. Whisenant who died in 2001 if Wikipedia knows anything.)

Are people taking Camping's prediction seriously? Well, I walked into Kohl's or Target or some place and I saw a big black pick-up truck in the parking lot and on the back window was a huge decal that read: "The Rapture Will Take Place on May 21, 2011" or something like that.

I also notice, by my estimation, that they are talking about it more than usual on their broadcasts. In fact I happened upon one of their programs in which the speaker, not Harold Camping, was explaining in great detail all of the mathmatical calculations that have led them to their claim. Who knew you had to be a math scholar to get to heaven?

So, it dawned on me the other day what a bitter-sweet experience it would be if the Rapture really did take place on May 21, 2011. Normally, as Christians, we declare that we are ready and waiting in great anticipation for the Rapture. I grew up in a church that wholeheartedly sang the old hymn, Our Lord's Return to Earth that said:

I am watching for the coming of the glad millennial day,
When our bless├Ęd Lord shall come and catch His waiting bride away.
Oh! my heart is filled with rapture as I labor, watch, and pray,
For our Lord is coming back to earth again.

But last week it dawned on me that, if the Rapture were to take place on May 21, 2011, the first reality we would have to deal with in heaven would be the truth that Harold Camping was right! Imagine that on your first day in heaven!

Now, just in case you thought Harold was just a regular gospel preacher--think again! His view of salvation is heretical. Paraphrasing his doctrine of salvation:

Believing is a work. Since we cannot save ourselves by our works, belieiving will not help. All we can do then is hope, hope, hope that God, in His mercy, will save us.

So, what will Harold tell us on May 22, 2011 if the Rapture does not take place? I predict that he will claim revelation from God that the time was extended due to His mercy, or maybe the 2nd function button was stuck on their calculator the day they were figuring out their theory.


  1. When Mr. Camoping's prediction of the Rapture did not happen back in the late 80s, I remember how humble he sounded on the radio. He had been wrong and he admitted it. I can only hope and pray that God will use this in his life in an even deeper way - assuming it doesn't happen :).

  2. Mr. Camping's 1994? book relied on the infamous question mark, but only on the front cover. His latest prediction now comes with the claim that "The Bible Guarantees it!". There is no more question mark. It's all over for him after May 22nd *IF* the Lord tarries. His calendar gospel is really just the tip of the iceberg. Not as many people are aware of the various other perversions he has come up with in the past few years.

  3. Yes. I am less sympathetic to his learning curve as I am those who are being mislead, not only by a false prediction based on faulty interpretation, but also an injurious theology.

  4. Would love to hear more from those who have followed and heard him first hand.

  5. Stamping Out Harold Camping

    I don't care a fig for date-setters, especially those who predict when Christ will return. The current champion is 89-year-old, headline-grabbing Harold Camping of Family Radio fame.
    Is Second Coming date-setter Harold Camping worthy of death? He already has a zero batting average after his September 1994 prediction fizzle and, according to the Bible, is a false prophet.
    Nevertheless that California shaman, who should be ashamed, claims he's found out that Christ's return will be on May 21, 2011 even though Matt. 24:36 says that no one knows the "day" or "hour" of it!
    A Google article ("Obama Fulfilling the Bible") points out that "Deut. 18:20-22 in the Old Testament requires the death penalty for false prophets."
    The same article reveals that "Christians are commanded to ask God to send severe judgment on persons who commit and support the worst forms of evil (see I Cor. 5 and note 'taken away')."
    Theologically radioactive Harold Camping and his ga-ga groupies (with their billboards featuring "May 21, 2011") should worry about being "stamped out" if many persons decide to follow the I Cor. 5 command.
    The above article concludes: "False prophets in the OT were stoned to death. Today they are just stoned!"
    PS - For many years Camping was not known as a pretrib rapture teacher. But now, for $ome my$teriou$ rea$on, he seeks support from those who believe in and teach an imminent, pretrib rapture which supposedly will occur SEVERAL YEARS BEFORE the traditional SECOND COMING to earth! For a behind-the-scenes, documented look at the 181-year-old pretrib rapture belief (which was never a part of any official theology or organized church before 1830!), Google "Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty," "Pretrib Rapture Diehards" and "Pretrib Rapture - Hidden Facts."

    [ran into the above on the web - Paris]