Harold Camping | Family Radio — Research Resources

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  • 1994? A Summary Critiqueoffsite [Contra] Stephen C. Meyers, Christian Research Journal, Winter 1994

    The main glue that holds Camping’s book together is numerology: that part of ancient mysticism that endeavors to find hidden truths locked in literal terminology through numbers. Mystical numbers are the keys that allegedly unlock the hidden truths concealed in literal language. The basic theory this system operates on is that God created a perfect world and a perfect word (the Bible) which exhibit precise numerical and symmetrical design.

    Camping’s book is also characterized by inconsistency. According to Camping, the seventy sevens of Daniel 9 are literal years, except for the last three and one-half.

    Ignorance in ecclesiology and eschatology also plagues Camping’s book. He sees the church as being overrun by Satan. Some of the evidence he cites for this is Christians using birth control, divorce, Arminianism, the social gospel with its concern for feeding the hungry, not observing Sunday as God’s holy day, and lack of preaching on hell. When one reads the signs of the end of the age in Matthew 24, none of these things are mentioned. Camping devotes a chapter to how God will destroy the external church by Satan mainly through the charismatic movement. Does the New Testament teach that the church will be destroyed by Satan? Matthew 16:18 states: “I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

  • 1994: The Year of Christ’s Return?offsite by Tremper Longman III, professor of Old Testament at Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia). Published in 1993.
  • Dangerous Airwaves: Harold Camping’s Call to Flee the Churchoffsite by James White. Originally appeared in the Christian Research Journal (see link for word of caution), volume 25, number 1 (2002). Good overview of Camping’s theology, along with a Biblical refutation of his teachings.

    We should learn from Camping’s errors. Camping has always functioned “outside” the church. His teachings force us to clarify our own commitment to the church and our ministry in it. Camping’s attacks may well be used by God to move His people to reaffirm their love for His church.

    We must also learn from Camping’s error to see that our methods of interpretation are not dry subjects best left to theologians to hash out. Each of us is responsible to learn where we received the Bible and how we are to properly understand its message. Only then can we help those who have been misled by Harold Camping and all who, like him, replace the divine message of Scripture with their own thoughts and fancies.

  • Family Radio Alternativeoffsite [Contra] Redeemer Broadcasting. This former Family Radio affiliate now is seen by many as a good alternative to Family Radio. This article includes a helpful FAQ on Camping’s teachings. The station explains:

    WFSO used to be a Family Radio affiliate, and so this subject is near and dear to our hearts. Redeemer Broadcasting came into existence in response to the failure of the voting Board of Family Radio (as led by Harold Camping), to remain true to the Bible and accountable to godly men. The Board is directly responsible for the on-air programming of Family Radio; and if Family Radio had remained faithful to the Scriptures, we would not have felt the need to start a new ministry.

    It is with sadness that we share the following information. We do not wish to show any disrespect to Mr. Camping; and yet we must stand up and document the many points of teaching in which he now errs and has departed from the historic Christian faith. We also note that Mr. Camping has faithfully served Family Radio since its inception, without pay, and has keenly guided the growth of that network to what it now is. We also recognize that the majority (not all) of the fine men and women who still work for Family Radio (ie, non-Board), do not agree with Mr. Camping and we are careful to note their frustration and utter helplessness, as the voting Board simply “rubber stamps” all the false teachings of Mr. Camping as he singularly controls what gets aired.

    Harold Camping – once faithful, but now a false teacher
    The President and General Manager of Family Radio, Mr. Harold Camping was once a faithful, church-attending, servant of the Lord – but now sadly, has suffered a serious departure. His followers are anxiously waiting for May 21, 2011 as the precise date of Christ’s return, as they listen intently to every word he utters with his latest new revelations. Mr. Camping receives these “revelations” as a result of the so-called deeper spiritual meanings which he creatively reads into the Biblical text. What follows are some questions and answers for you to consider.

    See also the station’s updated version.

  • Harold Camping and the End of the Worldoffsite by the Institute For Biblical and Scientific Studies
  • A Response to Harold Camping’s Erroneous Teachingoffsite, by By J. Ligon Duncan and Mark Talbot, authors of the book, Should We Leave Our Churches?: A Biblical Response to Harold Campingoffsite
  • Harold Camping’s Kingdom Halloffsite by Jason Wallace, pastor of Christ OPC in Salt Lake City, Utah.

    Harold Camping may not be the Watchtower Tract and Bible Society, but he builds on the same wrongheaded interpretations of Scripture, the same date-setting, the same recalculations, the same accusations of universal apostasy, and the same claim to be the last true channel of God’s Word. Despite the differences, both are heretical and schismatic, tearing apart Christ’s church. […]

    Like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mr. Camping accuses anyone who disagrees with him of not really believing the Bible. He accuses them of making an idol of their church. The true idol here is Mr. Camping. Will Christians read the Bible for themselves and search the Scriptures to know if these things are true, or will they blindly follow Mr. Camping into yet another false prophecy? And what will be the result for them if they do?

  • Harold Camping: Modern Day Cult Leaderoffsite by James White, Director of Alpha & Omega Ministries

    As I have invested the time of late in listening to Camping’s Open Forum program, I have simply been shocked at how far from orthodox Christianity he has drifted. While he maintains his attack upon the church, which he began years ago, he has now added an entire cadre of outlandish beliefs to his repetoire, resulting in a most interesting group of callers and listeners. […]

    As I listened to this I thought to myself, “He sounds like a modalist. He does not sound like he is any longer a Trinitarian. He shows no understanding of the relationship of the Father, Son, and Spirit.” […]

    Camping’s name will be remembered by future generations alongside Joseph Smith, Mary Baker Eddy, Ellen G. White, and Charles Taze Russell: a clear example of an American-born cult leader.

  • One Year Until The End Of The Worldoffsite Links to a series of blog posts on Harold Camping’s theology, by Francis Turretin
  • Is Harold Camping and Family Radio a cult?offsite by Got Questions Ministries

    Harold Camping employs an allegorical method of interpreting Scripture. Because of this method, the meaning of any Scripture passage is purely subjective, subject to the mind and imagination of the person. […]

    Camping’s use of an allegorical method of interpretation for Scripture, and especially for unfulfilled prophecy, is fatally flawed. It undermines the very nature of communication. God gave us His Word to communicate very specific information. Our job when approaching Scripture is to determine what God is communicating. God is the One who gave us the ability to communicate. If we used Harold Camping’s approach for understanding literature, we might read the newspaper and see that the weather is going to be rainy. We would then say that the real meaning of the weather report was that the writer of the newspaper was in a bad mood (because he wrote that it would be rainy). We would miss the real and plain information about the weather for the day. This is what Harold Camping has done concerning unfulfilled prophecy. He has seen it all as an allegory and applies it all to the Church. […]

    We strongly urge people to have nothing to do with Harold Camping and Family Radio. Do not to listen to him—he has forsaken sound doctrine on many issues.

  • Looks Like We’ve Been Left Behind … Againoffsite by Gabe Lyons and Jonathan Merritt.

    It seems this charade provides both Christians and the watching world with a teachable moment. Christians need to recognize that fear-based conversion tactics may work on young children, but they rarely resolve rational thinkers’ long-term concerns about faith. Those who went running for the rapture must now sit to wrestle with the serious questions that plagued them before. We must learn that it’s easy to rile people up with future headlines of destruction, but it’s better to inspire people with God’s will for our lives in the present.

    When Christians succumb to thinking that sees escape as the answer to the world’s brokenness, we know we’ve taken a wrong turn. Jesus didn’t shrink from talking about future realities, but it’s hard to ignore that he spent the majority of his life restoring brokenness, rather than running from it. Christians often become so focused on the afterlife that they stop investing in their current life. Harold Camping will have done us all a favor if this serves as a wake-up call to Christian escapists and fear-peddlers.




  • Depart Outoffsite “Depart Out is an open forum dedicated to discuss the teachings of Harold Camping of Family Radio regarding the end of the world and the end of the church age. It is open to all who are interested in the subject, whether opposed to, in support of, or unsure of the teachings.”


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See Also

  • Four Views of the End Timesoffsite Historically, four views have predominated Christianity’s understanding of the End Times. In this Glossy full-color fold-out booklet those four views are explained and illustrated in simple terms. Each view includes a definition of the position with its main points, supporting Scriptures, the time period for the view’s main popularity, and Christian leaders supporting that view. Positions covered: Dispensational Premillennialism; Amillennialism; Postmillennialism; and Historic Premillennialism. Authored by Timothy Paul Jones and published by Rose Publishing.


  • Family Radiooffsite [Pro] Official website for Family Stations. Not recommended. Included as a research resource only.
  • Family Radio is Wrongoffsite [Contra] No longer online at its original URL, this is the website as archived by the Internet Archive, which also includes an earlier version. Many, though not all, articles are still available.
  • Redeemer Broadcastingoffsite Former Family Radio affiliate, suggested as an alternative to Family Radio

    WFSO used to be a Family Radio affiliate, and so this subject is near and dear to our hearts. Redeemer Broadcasting came into existence in response to the failure of the voting Board of Family Radio (as led by Harold Camping), to remain true to the Bible and accountable to godly men. The Board is directly responsible for the on-air programming of Family Radio; and if Family Radio had remained faithful to the Scriptures, we would not have felt the need to start a new ministry.
    – Source: Family Radio Alternativeoffsite, Redeemer Broadcasting

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This post was last updated: May. 14, 2013