21 May, 2011—Beware of Camping's Date-Setting!
Rev. Angus Stewart
Recently, date-setting literature has been distributed by followers
of Californian end times prophet, Harold Camping, and his
organization, Family Radio, in many parts of the world .... and now
even in Ballymena!
Camping declares that he knows the day of the return of the Lord
Jesus Christ: 21 May, 2011! He even reckons he knows the hour: about
This is not the first time that Camping has uttered such a prophecy.
Previously, he claimed that 6 September, 1994 would be the day of
Christ's return. After this date came and went, Camping did not
repent and most of his followers failed to see through him, as is
typical with lying prophets and those taken in by them. Instead,
Camping fudged the issue, claiming that he simply needed to do more
Moreover, Camping claims that ALL instituted churches have come
under the control of Satan since—another
of Camping's "dates"—21 May, 1988 (around the time that
Camping was censured for his erroneous teaching in an adult Sunday
school class and soon before his departure from that church!). Thus
for over 22 years, according to Camping, there have be no true
churches on earth and no faithful pastors, elders or deacons serving
in any congregation anywhere in the world and no proper preaching,
sacraments (baptism and the Lord's Supper) or discipline in even a
single church! Christ affirms that He will build His church and the
gates of Hell will not prevail against it (Matt. 16:18) and to it He
gives authority to preach and baptize to the end of the age (Matt.
28:18-20) but Camping teaches that everybody should leave their
churches to be saved and listen to him on Family Radio as the
countdown to judgment day at around 6PM on 21 May, 2011!
Camping's end times error goes against the clear words of Jesus
Christ concerning His glorious second coming: "But of that day and
hour knoweth no man [not even Harold Camping!], no, not the angels
in heaven, but my Father only" (Matt. 24:36). Camping’s answer is
that the time has been kept hidden throughout the ages, but now God
has revealed this to "true believers" (by which he means himself and
those who follow him). Camping’s method is highly allegorical,
especially as regards numbers. For example, five (he says) is the
number of the atonement and seventeen (he says) is the number of
heaven. Then by multiplying 5 by 10 (the number of completeness) by
17 and then by squaring the product, Camping gets 722,500. He
reckons that 722,500 days after Christ's crucifixion is 21 May,
2011. This is Scripture twisting at its worst (II Peter 3:16)!
When Camping is proved wrong and we reach 22 May—just a few weeks
away—some of his followers will be disillusioned and some
will foolishly doubt the Bible itself. In these last days, when
"false prophets" abound, as Christ predicted (Matt. 24:4, 11), it is
vital that believers belong to biblical and Reformed churches where
the the Word of God is soberly interpreted, according to its
grammar, and in its context and historical setting, with Scripture
interpreting Scripture; where the gospel of sovereign grace is
preached; where the two sacraments are rightly administered; and
where church discipline is exercised faithfully by lawfully ordained
Check out this on-line article for a more thorough treatment of
Harold Camping’s main errors: "Harold
Camping Refuted: The Necessity of Membership in the Church
(Institute)." See also this off-site article "A.D.
1993: The Lord is Coming" by
Prof. David J. Engelsma.