(16 May 2011)
"Challenging Denominational Doctrines"
We are hearing about the May 21, 2011, announcement from Mr. Harold
Camping that this day will be the beginning of Judgment, earthquake and
rapture of true believers. I wanted to know more about this prediction
and what was it's basis and give myself the data needed to form an
opinion concerning the truthfulness of it.
To obtain firsthand information, I have been reading Mr. Campings books
and brochures and listening to the Open Forum on the radio program
called Family Radio. Access to these materials, which are free of
charge, can be had at the web site www.familyradio.com.
My conclusions, so far, are that Mr. Camping is a very sincere believer
in the Bible and in the salvation purchased for mankind by Christ's
death and resurrection. The text materials are very carefully written
and well thought out. The conclusions presented there are quite
different from the traditional denominational teachings on many
doctrinal matters, however. The first reaction can be to reject these
new conclusions, simply because they are at variance with existing
However, to be fair, and to be open to new knowledge, especially as new
knowledge is being released by God in these last days, it is incumbent
on us to reserve our judgment until we truly understand the new
information and have moved beyond shock and anger.
I am in the process of reaching such an understanding. I am listening
to the questions and answers on the Open Forum radio program that is
easily available on the web site. Mr. Camping is patient, polite and
persistent as he answers the listener's questions. After hearing him
speak, and reading his printed material available on the web site, I am
slowly forming my own opinion concerning the teachings he espouses,
based strictly on the Bible.
I will not attempt to summarize his positions here. To do so would go
against what I am trying to communicate, i.e., that each of us needs to
personally evaluate his teachings by coming into first hand contact
with the material and the voice and personality of this teacher.
While I personally find myself agreeing with much of what he has to
say. I am not yet completely comfortable with the analysis that led him
to the timeline of history that he promotes, including the May 21 and
October 21, 2011,dates for the rapture and annihilation of the
universe, I do enjoy listening to him and can report that he deserves
serious attention by anyone interested in understanding the teachings
in the Bible, since his views are based on extensive research into
Biblical teachings from a comprehensive viewpoint.
However, if you are comfortable with your church teachings and are not
at all open to challenging views on many doctrinal issues, you may not
find his teachings appealing at all. On the other hand, if you have
found denominational teachings questionable, or incomplete in some way,
you may find his teachings helpful in reaching your own conclusions
regarding your Christian beliefs. In the final analysis, each person
must decide for themselves what satisfies there personal criteria for
truth, rather than accepting the conclusions of others.