Harold Camping

*Giving one more thing for unbelievers to scoff at, radio broadcaster Harold Camping of Christian Family Radio has done it again. Just like his failed 1994 prediction, Camping’s Judgment Day prediction for May 21, 2011 missed the mark. Apparently the 89-year-old’s worldwide campaign through the radio network and billboard ads struck a chord with many. No official numbers have been released, but there could be thousands who were misled to make drastic preparation for the event.

The New York Post reported that people were selling their homes and other possessions opening the door for opportunists to take advantage. A retired Staten Island man spent $140,000 on the campaign.

While the Biblical account of the Rapture is no laughing matter, some people joked and saw the prediction as a reason to have one last party.

Reports have also surfaced that Camping’s camp (no pun intended) is made up of “yes” men, and that he has steamrolled his “scriptural” calculations unabashedly.

Although the prediction failed, it was cause for self-assessment, and created an opportunity for Christian believers (local churches and televangelists alike) to ask, “What if…are you ready?” In scripture, II Peter 3: 9,10 (KJV) reads, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night…” When asked by the disciples why he spoke to the people in parables, Jesus answered in Matthew 13:11, “Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.” But after his resurrection when the disciples asked about restoring the kingdom to Israel [Acts 1:7], Jesus answered, “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has put in his own power.” The latter is clearly in reference to the end times. In Mark 13:32, 33 Jesus says, “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.” The salvation message is simply “be ready” when the time comes.

While Camping’s prediction has caused many to sell property and take other final measures, it is reported that his organization continued to hold on to hundreds of millions of dollars in assets through May 21st.

Is Camping a false teacher? Has he committed a sin? The origin of the word sin is found in the classical Greek language which meant “to miss the mark” as in an archer’s arrow missing the target. After this latest ruckus he’s created, it would be a sin for Camping to continue to mislead and misinform his followers; and to continue to misrepresent the Bible.

Larry Buford is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer. Author of “Things Are Gettin’ Outta Hand” (Steuben Pub.) www.amazon.com. Visit the author at www.editorialbylarry.com – (213)-220-8101.

Larry Buford