I made a mistake tonight. I hit the FM button on my car radio and accidentally tuned in Harold Camping. I haven’t listened to him for many months, and my blood pressure and over-all health has benefited greatly. But there he was, and the first call I heard enraged me.
The caller first asked about “fasting.” I was unaware that Camping has some wild view of fasting as well (I should have guessed). Evidently he believes fasting is actually witnessing, not abstaining from food. So the guy asks him about Matthew 6:16-18, where Jesus says,
“Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites [do], for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees [what is done] in secret will reward you.”
So Camping reads it and says something along the lines of, “Well, see, Jesus says to anoint your head and wash your face, and you see, that proves fasting is witnessing, because you have to be anointed by the Holy Spirit, and have been cleansed, before you can fast, that is, witness. And Jesus proved that elsewhere where He said that His disciples cannot fast while the bridegroom is with them, but when he leaves, they will fast, and that means witness. After Jesus left, the apostles witnessed.” So I’m driving down the road shaking my head at this man’s ability to twist anything without the first care about what it meant in its original context, when the caller then shows he’s a good faithful Campingite who has turned off every critical thinking capacity in his mind so as to follow his leader (Camping) in all things. He says he knows he is to leave the church, since God commands him to (steering wheel takes first blow), but his problem is…he works at a church! “What should I do?” (Second blow).
Now, I have been waiting for Family Radio to update its archive so I could pull down the exact statement from Camping, and at the time of this writing, they have not yet posted today’s Open Forum program. But as best as I can recall, Camping’s response was along the lines of, “Well, why would you want to be in a cursed place where the Holy Spirit is no more and there can be no salvation?” It’s not that I have not heard Camping say similar things before, but the casual way in which he attacks Christ’s Church, all based upon his inane, absurd, groundless, cult-like interpretations of God’s Word is maddening (third blow…starting to worry about the air bag).
Well, at that point I had to get out of my car (the gas pump was calling, and I sure am not going to be caught dead listening to Camping through an open window), so I didn’t get to tune back in for a while. When I did a caller was asking him about Revelation 3:10 in the KJV:
Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
It really wasn’t interesting at all until I got close to getting home. For some reason the caller was all excited about the word “temptation” and was asking if this might be something coming up. Camping said it was the second coming (!) and then rendered it “testing.” When the guy asked him why, Camping intoned, “Well, you see, the the Greek word is thlipsis, and it appears two times there, in different forms, and means testing.” Actually, thlipsis means tribulation, and it does not appear in this verse. The term is peirasmos, testing or temptation. Possibly just a “woops,” but given what had come before, more error on his part just seemed to be part of the show.
As I have thought about it, I can’t imagine the sheer torture of listening to that man on a regular basis. Every single time I have listened to him over the past year he has been harping away on the same thing. “The Church Age is ended! The Holy Spirit has left the Church! Flee! No one can get saved in the churches!” You have to wonder how God could allow any one of His true children to embrace such a hatred for the Body of Christ and such a cultic mindset. Beware the Campingites! If you see anyone carrying any of Camping’s material in your churches, focus upon that person immediately. Warn them, if they are but ignorant, but remember, Campingites will come into churches just to cause trouble. Defend the flock! These people are dangerous wolves, seeking to devour the sheep. Give them no quarter.