Robert Belanger (16 May 2011)
"Challenging Denominational Doctrines"

Dear Doves,

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

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 church teachings.

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.

Robert Belanger