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"When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him." Deuteronomy 18:22

News Flash
Harold Camping Suffers a Silencing Stroke

by James T. Bartsch,

Posted June 23, 2011

Harold Camping, failed predictor of the Rapture and what he termed "Judgment Day" on May 21 of this year, has been afflicted by a mild stroke that hampers his ability to speak. According to a news report, Camping was hospitalized on June 9 after suffering his stroke. He has since been moved to a nursing home, where he has been undergoing rehabilitation therapy.

A "Special Announcement" on Camping's Family Radio new website home page reads as follows:

Harold Camping, the president and general manager of Family Radio, suffered a mild stroke on the evening of June 9, 2011. Mr. Camping is receiving excellent care, and the doctors treating him are encouraged with the progress that he is making. Mr. Camping's family appreciates everyone's thoughts and prayers. Any additional information will be updated on this site. All correspondence should be directed to Family Radio, Oakland, California 94621.

Every weeknight, Camping aired his "Open Forum." on his Family Radio affiliates. Since his stroke, Family Radio has been airing re-runs. Judi Rathbone of  Family Radio announced recently that the month of June will mark the end of Family Forum. There will be other programming airing during that time slot.

I wish evil upon no one, whether he claims to follow Jesus Christ or not. Furthermore, I am not God, so I do not pretend to know why God permits this or that to happen.

But the facts are these. Harold Camping erred when he originally proclaimed that Judgment Day would occur on May 21, 1988. He subsequently stated that judgment did come "upon the churches" on that day, but he has offered no demonstrable proof other than his tortured hermeneutics fraught with numerology.  He claimed that Judgment Day would occur on September 7, 1994. He predicted that the Rapture might well take place on that date. Again, nothing demonstrable happened. Most recently he predicted that Christ would return on May 21, 2011, and that that day would mark "Judgment Day." As 6 pm arrived around the globe, a rolling earthquake would ensue. Again, nothing happened.

On a Monday news conference on May 23, Camping opined that judgment did, indeed, take place on May 21, 2011, but that he had erred in thinking it would be literal. According to him, it was a spiritual event. How convenient.

Harold Camping has lost all credibility with his failed predictions. Yet he insisted that on October 21, 2011, the end of the world would take place. When I heard him offer this opinion, I wanted to ask him if the end of the world would be literal or figurative.

Unflappable, Camping maintained his position in his May 23, 2011 press conference. His only error, he claimed, was that he was mistaken in thinking that judgment day would be literal. Instead, it turned out to be a spiritual event. But it did happen!  (According to him, of course.)

According to Family Radio's own website, in a document entitled, "What Happened on May 21?", Harold Camping or one of his associates has redefined what "earthquake" and "rapture" mean. Earthquake meant not that the ground would quake, but that people around the world would quake with fear. (See his reference to Genesis 2:7 to justify his absurd redefinition of earthquake.) Rapture meant not that Church-Age believers would be caught up to be with the Lord (as 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 affirms), but that God's salvation program was completed. The document pronounces that salvation is over. If someone had not become saved by May 21, 2011, he is forever doomed. (To be saved is to delivered from the wrath of God. But in Camping's world, however, only those who have become converted to his increasingly skewed theology are saved.) The exact words on the webpage are as follows:
"No one who had not become saved by that date can ever become saved."

This is nothing but abject heresy. The closing words of the book of Revelation still hold true:

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost. Revelation 22:17

According to Camping, we are now in a five-month judgment period, the final day of which will be October 21, 2011. According to him, the entire physical world and all those not chosen by God will be annihilated on October 21 and those chosen by God will be raptured.

But now Harold Camping can no longer defend his indefensible position. One wonders if he will regain sufficient ability to speak when the "Annihilation of the World" and the "Rapture" arrive on October 21 ... and nothing happens.

What authority has God given to Harold Camping to shut the door of salvation? That door is God's alone to open and shut.

Which leads to a final question. Did God intervene so that Harold Camping can no longer make his bizarre predictions using highly massaged numbers based on a tortured hermeneutic to persuade the gullible? Did God intentionally give Harold Camping a stroke so he can no longer claim with his own voice that the door of salvation has been shut? We cannot know the answer.

But the question is worth asking.

* See an update on Harold Camping's health and ability to speak.

(Scripture quotation taken from the NASB.)

Updated August 4, 2011
Subsequently updated July 25, 2016
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