Posted by: conservativecritic | May 22, 2011

From William Miller to Harold Camping…a continuing pattern of biblical misinterpretation and subsequent disappointments…

WELCOME TO ANOTHER OF OUR MORE POPULAR BLOG ENTRIES

MARCH 2012 UPDATE:  Camping has come forward and admitted that his date setting was an improper thing to do in the first place – and that he plans to go back and read the bible once again to help him better understand God’s plan for the future.  This after squandering millions of dollars from listeners…

IMPORTANT NOVEMBER 1 UPDATE ON HAROLD CAMPING

Three proposed Rapture dates have come and gone, and the world has not ended.

Controversial Christian broadcaster Harold Camping has acknowledged his faulty projections, and issued an apology to his followers. The Christian Postreports that the longtime radio evangelist has retired.

Brandon Tauszik, documentarian, told the Postexclusively that he had spoken to Camping, who seemed “disappointed” by his failed predictions and said he “is no longer able to lead Family Radio Stations, Inc., or his ministry.”

In an audio message posted on Camping’s Family Radio website, the 90-year-old broadcaster told his listeners that the Rapture did not occur October 21 because it was ultimately God’s will. “He could have stopped everything if He had wanted to,” he said.

In addition, he admits that his calculations were wrong and tells his followers that “we should be very patient about this matter. At least in a minimal way we are learning to walk more and more humble before God.”

Camping also apologized for a controversial comment saying that God had stopped saving people who did not believe in his May 21 spiritual judgment day predictions. Camping points out that believers must continue studying the Bible, praying, and remembering that God is in charge.

The evangelist claimed to have cracked a code in the Bible that allowed him to calculate the date of the Rapture. He predicted the world would end in 1994, May 2011, and then in October 2011, theChristian Post reports.

God is not mocked

False prophet Harold Camping’s grace period with God came to a stunning and climatic end when he suffered a debilitating stroke that took away the main weapon he has used to deceive people for nearly half a century – his voice. And with the end of his ability to speak, that also signaled the inglorious end of his radio program, “Open Forum”, which Camping used to spew his twisted version of the bible. Our prayers are now that Mr. Camping would see events for what they truly are, that he would repent, and become truly saved.

The Christian radio station belonging to Harold Camping, who twice incorrectly predicted the world would end, plans to replace his weekday segment Open Forum with new programming after rebroadcasting the last show he recorded before suffering a stroke on June 9.

Family Radio on Hegenberger Road began playing repeats of Open Forum after a stroke hospitalized the 89-year-old Camping. On Monday, staff again started airing 20 segments recorded by Camping from May 23 — two days after he most recently predicted Judgment Day would arrive — through June 9.

“When those are completed, we will have other programming that is scheduled to run in that time slot,” Program Department Secretary Judi Rathbone wrote in an email.

“Mr. Camping,” Rathbone also wrote, “is still in the hospital and continues to recover.” Camping, an Alameda resident, first predicted Judgment Day would descend in September 1994. For his 2011 prediction, he invested in a billboard campaign declaring the second coming of Jesus Christ on May 21 and the end of the world on Oct. 21.

He used Open Forum and Family Radio to broadcast his prediction. Broadcasts are available nationwide and reach followers as far as sub-Saharan Africa. The nationwide network, registered as a nonprofit organization with Camping as president, is worth an estimated $72 million, Fortune Magazine reported in May.

Nearly all of the money comes from donations, including more than $18 million in 2009 — up from $15 million the year before, IRS tax documents show. The nonprofit organization received $81 million in donations since 2005, records show. More recent statements have not been filed. Camping took no salary in 2009 but loaned himself $175,516. Family Radio’s board of directors approved the loan, whose purpose was not stated in the tax documents. Board members include Family Radio Secretary-Treasurer William Thornton and Camping’s daughter, Susan Espinoza.”

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SEVENTH DAY ADVENTISTS/MILLERITES

On October 22nd 1844, thousands of the religious followers of Reverend William Miller climbed to the tops of mountains all over New England, expecting to be lifted up into the sky at the stroke of midnight in a great heavenly Rapture.  Reverend William Miller’s failed Rapture of 1844 made him the laughing stock of all New England, and resulted in the breakup of his church.

And so on October 22, 1844, many loyal Millerites sold all their worldly goods and trekked to the tops of mountains all over New England.  Some were dressed in white Ascension Robes and others sat in metal washtubs, all patiently waiting to be Raptured up to Heaven at the stroke of midnight.

When midnight passed with no Rapture occurring, the Millerites were forced to return to their homes in great humiliation, as townsfolk all over New England laughed and jeered at the many  who’d fallen for Miller’s great folly.

After what eventually came to be known as “The Great Disappointment,” Miller’s church rapidly fell apart.  But the church eventually reformed under a new name with a new leader named Ellen Gould White.  The original Millerites (Saturday Sabbath Keepers) went down in history as just another example of the silly fanaticism of religion.

JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES

One of the splinter groups from the Millerite movement was the Second Adventists. The Second Adventists moved Samuel Snow’s date of October 22, 1844 to 1874. This was the group from which the Jehovah’s Witnesses arose. The first leader of the Jehovah’s Witnesses was Charles Taze Russell. In the early years the Jehovah’s Witnesses were known as the Russellites. After some period of vacillation between 1874 and 1914 the Russellites finally settled for 1914 as the date of Christ’s return, after the outbreak of the First World War in 1914. They saw the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 as confirmation of Russell’s setting of that year as the year of Jesus’ Second Coming. They, however, and after the fact, they thought that Jesus’ coming was invisible.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses (as they later came to be known) believed that the generation which saw the onset of the First World War in 1914 would live to see Armageddon in which God would destroy all non-Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Watchtower Jehovah’s Witnesses have little credibility following their own fairy tale primary doctrine of Jesus ‘invisible’ second coming October 1914.
Watchtower society false prophets declared the end of world in 1874, 1878, 1881,
1910, 1914, 1918, 1925, 1975, and most recently in 1984….

1988(WISENANT) – taken from Wikopedia

Edgar C. Whisenant (September 25, 1932 – May 16, 2001), was a former NASA engineer and Bible student who predicted the Rapture would occur in 1988, sometime between Sept. 11 and Sept. 13. He published two books about this: 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988 and On Borrowed Time. Eventually, 300,000 copies of 88 Reasons were mailed free of charge to ministers across America, and 4.5 million copies were sold in bookstores and elsewhere. Whisenant was quoted as saying “Only if the Bible is in error am I wrong; and I say that to every preacher in town,” and “[I]f there were a king in this country and I could gamble with my life, I would stake my life on Rosh Hashana 88.” [1][2]

Whisenant’s predictions were taken seriously in some parts of the evangelical Christian community. As the great day approached, regular programming on the Christian Trinity Broadcast Network (TBN) was interrupted to provide special instructions on preparing for the Rapture.

When the predicted Rapture failed to occur, Whisenant followed up with later books with predictions for various dates in 1989, 1993, and 1994. These books did not sell in quantity. Whisenant continued to issue various Rapture predictions through 1997, but gathered little attention.

HAROLD CAMPING/FAMILY RADIO

While Family Radio provides an  good assortment of Christian programs and music, its founder and owner, Harold Camping, comes with some extra baggage obtained from a variety of sources(Hyper Calvinism, Predestination, Reconstructionism, etc.).  As of late(prior to his latest predictions) he was even advocating that Christians not attend church because all churches were backsliders and hypocrites.

Driving home from work some years ago, I happened to tune to Camping taking calls from listeners.  A lady  was on the phone with Camping, crying and begging him to tell her how to get saved…and give her bible verses for  encouragement.  Camping stated outright that she had no way to know that she was saved – only God would “select” those whom he wanted to be saved.  The conversation ended with Camping not sharing the saving  gospel with this woman who was begging for answers.

Camping’s response at that time was pure and simple Hyper Calvinism – a selection or predestination process by God as to who would be saved and who would be sent to hell…Thus, in this strange theology, man cannot know or influence this process in any way.  Of course this is pure poppycock since the scriptures clearly outline how by way of man’s free will he or she can choose the path of salvation or reject it.

What Camping seemed not to understand then(or even now) is that God foreknew who would choose to be saved and who would reject Christ…and as 2 Peter 3:9 states: “..the Lord…was not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentence”.

Again, the gospel becomes a stumbling block to those such as Camping who have bizzillions of dollars in earthly resources that could be directed toward messages that would call millions around the world to come to repentance – but he instead diverts his resources(estimated at $100 million expended on the May 21 debacle) toward activities that God says man has no knowledge of the date thereof – the rapture of the church.

A PERSONAL OBSERVATION

I had a good friend and business associate who had a firm bible foundation and was known to excel in street preaching with personal salvation as his primary theme.  His attraction to and conviction concerning the Whisenaut predictions was so intensive that at the predicted time, he left his family, dressed in a white robe and went up and sat on the top of a mountain outside of South San Jose, Ca and waited three days for Christ’s return.

The story has another unfortunate ending however – before leaving his family, he ran his credit cards to their limit – and upon returning after his three day wait, found himself and his family in a bankrupt condition which took years to overcome.

His disappointment was so great that he turned from his street preaching and joined forces with Harold Camping’s new “predictions”, eschewing all of his prior convictions and his ardent desire for soul winning.

I saw him a couple times after that – once at a local restaurant with his wife where he told me he had “another prediction” of the Lord’s return – and “…this one was rock solid”.   On a later meeting at one of my Bay Area offices, he told me that his sons, who had joined him initially in his fervent evangelistic activities, had abandoned the faith entirely and engaged in a wide range of drug and alcoholic and philandering activities.

Truly a sad end to what might have been a joyful life of soul winning with his sons to this day and into the future.

Now disappointed and disillusioned, he has still another “failed prediction” from his new leader, Harold Camping – and who knows where his road will now lead.

The lesson from all of these “failed” predictions should be clear, even to fervent Bible scholars – when God says that man will not know the hour or the day, many fail to believe that and instead attempt to “outsmart” the scripture’s admonition in this regard and proceed to use a variety of numerological processes to find the prospective date of the rapture.

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