Harold Camping – Is May 21, 2011 Judgment Day?

End of  Days?

Doing anything this Saturday? I’ve actually got a faculty meeting with a number of Religion professors at University of Phoenix. Should be an interesting one, too. Most of us in the greater Sacramento area have seen the Family Radio billboards advertising Harold Camping’s Judgment Day prophecy: Jesus will return on May 21, 2011 and the world will come to an end on October 21, 2011.

And it’s not just a local thing. You can see Camping’s message around Chicago, New York, Washington D.C  and even on the streets of Manila in the Philippines—right where I used to work as a missionary professor.

Save the Date?

Jesus said no one knows when he’s coming back (Matt. 24:36-39). So if anyone tells me to “save the date” for this, I’m pretty skeptical. On top of that, Camping predicted the end of the world in 1994, too. If you’ve set a date for the end of the world before, I’m not gonna be taking you seriously (Deut. 18:21-22). But most people aren’t buying the warnings.

Still, here’s what Christians are worried about: How many of his followers are going to be devastated this weekend? People have sold houses, cars, cashed in their retirement and spent their life savings to get this doomsday prediction out. How many will conclude the Bible is false or even reject Jesus because of what Camping’s been telling them? BTW, Camping also says Jesus is actually Michael the Archangel.

Protecting the Flock

This is just one example of why we need more accessible apologetics training in our churches—to protect the church from false teachers:

  • Jesus warned about false prophets who come in sheep’s clothing (Matt. 7:15-23; 24:23-24).
  • Paul warned about “savage wolves” and those who preach “another gospel” (Acts 20:28-31; 2 Cor. 11:3-5, 13-15; See also Gal. 1:6-9, 2:4, 1 Tim. 1:3-7).
  • Peter warned about false teachers and those who twist Scripture (2 Pet. 2:1-3, 3:16-17).

Could this weekend mark the end of days for Camping’s teachings? I’ll be checking the buzz online… after my Saturday meeting.

Interested in critical reviews of Camping’s claims? Check out these links:

What is a Cult?

How would you define a cult? Ever wonder why people join cults? Discover helpful definitions and learn more about these new religious movements and the cults of Christianity. Check out the updated version of Walter Martin’s classic work, “The Kingdom of the Cults.” This was one of the first books I ever read on cults. Highly recommended.

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Banner photo above taken from www.mastersoftrivia.com/blog/2011/05/may-21st-in-history-it-happened-today

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6 Responses to “Harold Camping – Is May 21, 2011 Judgment Day?”

  1. Jacob Allee May 20, 2011 5:37 PM
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    The more of this guy I hear the more I wonder if he has Jehovah’s Witness in his background .

  2. Judy May 20, 2011 6:38 PM
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    Hi Mikel,

    Great piece! Loved your post and the scripture you use to support your view.

    Blessings,
    Judy

    • Mikel May 20, 2011 7:10 PM
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      Thanks. I appreciate you stopping by, Judy!

  3. Mikel May 20, 2011 7:08 PM
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    He does seem to subscribe to Watchtower theology, doesn’t he? Thanks for the comment, Jacob!

  4. Christiana Szymanski May 21, 2011 11:42 AM
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    It does seem to me that Camping has some ties to Watchtower theology; they are constantly predicting the end of the world, and then changing the date to fit with their false predictions. It is sad that so many are subscribing to Campings false theology. Many people, believing Camping to be correct, are actually afraid. However, Jesus gave us the signs to watch out for before His coming (Matthew 24, the same chapter in which He says that no one knows the day or the hour), and I’m quite sure that not all of it has happened yet (though much of it is happening now). I only pray that this will be a spiritual wakeup call for people who will realize their desperate need of Christ; We may not know the day or the hour, but it is certain that Jesus is coming soon.

    On a funny note, we had some Jehovah’s Witnesses show up at our door this morning- probably trying to make some last minute recruits before the deadline tonight. :)

    Great post, Mikel!

    ~ Christiana

  5. Mikel May 21, 2011 5:58 PM
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    Interesting, huh. Seems to be a theological tie-in there.

    Wonder why the Watchtower would lend credibility to his message by capitalizing on this date—especially since Camping’s called everyone to leave their churches and follow him.

    BTW, it’s 6PM (PST) right now.

    Thanks for the comment, Christiana!