Harold Camping has been wrong about very much for very many years, as others have documented. He was wrong about how to interpret the Bible, and wrong to reject at least an attempt at correction. But when his local church tried to step in to deal with some of his harmful teaching, he was wrong not to heed it. He was wrong to teach that the church age had ended. He was wrong to set a first date. He was wrong to set a second date. He was wrong to set a third date. He was wrong not to take any responsibility for what he'd said and done. He was wrong to refuse to take responsibility for what people had done and how they'd ruined (or ended) their lives on the basis of his false teaching.
At each and every point, Harold Camping was wrong not to take and accept responsibility, repent, and make restitution as able.
But what of Family Radio? Are they free from responsibility? Now they're saying in effect "Oopsie, well, that was disappointing, but please keep giving us money." Is that a mischaracterization? You tell me. First:
"I know that many of us are deeply disappointed that Christ did not come. And I said something like this back in May," the host said. "But please try to keep in mind that all of us who are believers, all of us who are Christians, are to live in such a way that we are to pray with the apostle John: 'Come quickly Lord Jesus.' "Then:
"I trust that you too will pray for us often that we can minister in many ways. That God will provide wisdom to those of leadership and that we continue to minister to you, and to teach God's word daily. Please pray for us and pray about continuing to support this totally listener-sponsored Christian radio network. We have a great need for daily operating funds. Without your generous support at this time we might be forced to face some very important decisions. I trust those of you who enjoy some of our programming daily will be able to share generously in the months ahead.""Deeply disappointed that Christ did not come," and pray "that we continue to minister to you, and to teach God's word daily."
And please give us money.
So, "disappointed that Christ did not come" — not "horrified that for years and years we at Family Radio provided an international platform to a dangerous and obvious false teacher who, contrary to Scripture, predicted the date of Christ's return repeatedly, shut up the Gospel, told his followers to leave their local churches, and pronounced as heretics millennia of Christians who affirmed that even Jesus had said He could not predict the date during the days of His flesh."
And pray "that we continue to minister to you, and to teach God's word" — not "that we each of us repent for having brought shame and disgrace on the name of God, and ruination to the lives of many, and that we have wisdom as we seek to produce fruits in keeping with repentance, attach ourselves to local churches, and look for sound Christian leadership to take up the ruins of Family Radio's international apparatus."
If you look around right now, you don't see a lot of Christian comment about Camping. Maybe they're worn out, maybe it's already been said, or maybe they're saving it for Monday.
But you do see a lot of non-Christian comment, mocking Camping, but even more mocking Christianity. Because of Camping.
Christians should not give a dime to Family Radio. Should not have been giving a dime for years.
Family Radio once had wonderful music, wonderful programs, wonderful preachers and teachers — and this unqualified oddball named Camping. Over the years, Camping displaced the rest, and continued his wretched trajectory.
I just can't imagine a scenario under which Family Radio continues as-is with sound Christian support.
If it be responded that "Gee, they couldn't do anything, because Camping owned everything" — it's hard to see that as an argument for supporting Family Radio. In fact, it's an eloquent argument that support should have stopped like the throwing of a light switch years and years ago: there was no machinery for shutting up a dangerous false teacher.
Harold Camping has glorified God, but it has been all unwitting. Too much is more than enough. Pray God he shuts up now. Preferably in broken, redemptive repentance. But if not — just shut up (Titus 1:10-14).