Have Camping's Followers Set a New 2012 Rapture Date?

Unless you were living underneath a very isolated rock in 2011, you heard about the rise and fall of Harold Camping.  After hosting the Open Forum on Family Radio (Christian broadcasting station) for 50 years, Camping began to claim that he’d uncovered a numerical certainty within the Bible that prophesied the rapture on May 21, 2011.  His followers clamored around the date and spread the gospel according to Harold all around the world.  Billboards could be seen in nearly every city, and the devout wore t-shirts and waved signs proclaiming, “Save the Date! May 21, 2011: The Bible Guarantees It!”

http://planetshinegames.com/Believers and scoffers anxiously awaited the appointed date, and it came and went without so much as a whimper.  Camping addressed the media to explain that what had happened was merely a “silent judgement”, and that the real end was to occur on October 21, 2011.  Many if not most of Camping’s followers had jumped ship by this point, and I think it is safe to say that not many were holding their breath.  Meanwhile, Camping suffered from a stroke that impaired his ability to speak publicly, and soon he retired from the Open Forum, and of course, we’re all still here.

Because I’d reported extensively on the Camping Rapture Date as it was happening (see our coverage https://www.epicerieloco.ca/german-free-dating-site/, http://peaceburgh.com/ovulation-and-clomid/, here, and here) I decided to check out their websites to see if there was any more rapture buzz.  I expected to see a distinct lack of date setting, given the wave of bad press they’d received in 2011.

I first checked out the main Family Radio website, and it looks like they got a nice facelift, but nothing really worth noting was happening there.  Then I headed over to eBible Fellowship.  Now, eBible Fellowship claims to have no relation to Family Radio, but they are followers of Harold Camping, and share links with items on the Family Radio site, as well as providing a feed to Family Radio shows.  In any case, here is what I found:

As you can see, a new date for the End Times is being hinted at right on the front page of the eBible Fellowship website.  My instant thought was…. Really?!?!

Now, before you jump ahead and point out that eBible Fellowship is NOT the same as Family Radio and the Camping camp, hold your horses.  Let’s examine this.

When the May 21 craze was lighting up billboards and bus stops from Indiana to India, most of them pointed to FamilyRadio.com as their source for more information.  BUT, some of them also had the URL ebiblefellowship.com emblazoned across the bottom.  We do know that eBible Fellowship is run by Chris McCann, and that eBible is often referred to as a “support site” for Family Radio.  Chris McCann was a huge Camping apologist, and he was also affiliated Family Radio in a professional sense.   McCann appeared on many talk shows leading up to the May 21 date, including his appearance on Coast to Coast Am, during which he proclaimed that he could not commit to a follow-up interview on May 22, because he’d already have been raptured.

Chris McCann (pictured above) was an outspoken advocate of the May 21 rapture.

McCann also runs a Yahoo Group that is concerned with “Time and Date Discernment”.  He’s still completely obsessed with using Bible genealogy and “clues” or new revelations to figure out when the end will come.  Family Radio in the main has clearly distanced themselves from McCann, but from his own words on Yahoo, McCann states:

“This group continues to support the teaching of the longtime faithful Bible ministry “Family Radio” and its president Mr. Harold Camping. Although EBiblefellowship’s “Discerning Time & Judgment” group has no affiliation with Family Radio we encourage everyone to visit: Familyradio.com or find your local Family Radio station to listen to.”

Thus, it is clear that while we cannot say with certainty that Harold Camping  ascribes to this new date for the End of Days, we can in confidence say that some of the same people involved behind the scenes with Family Radio are involved with this new prediction.

Chris McCann and eBible Fellowship believe as Camping did that the Church Age has ended.  He believes that May 21, 2011 WAS judgement day, but it was a silent judgement, thus no further salvation can occur between now and the actual really real end of the world.  Family Radio has distanced themselves from this belief and maintain now that salvation is ongoing.  Probably why their public affiliation with McCann is now on the down low.

McCann seems to now be hinting that the world will end on Purim (March 7-8, 2012).  He relies on the Biblical timeline as interpreted by Camping as well as his further studies.  His studies are presented in audio form and can be found on the eBible Fellowship website.

It seems that this Purim prediction is being gleaned from the Book of Esther in the Old Testament.  As I scan his logic train, I’m baffled just as I was with Camping’s explanations, but at the heart of McCann’s theory, I find that the Book of Esther ends with the Feast of Purim, and that this feast in particular ties in with the End of the World.

The Book of Esther in the OT tells the story of an orphan named Esther who becomes the Queen of Persia. She is secretly Jewish and does not reveal this to the pagan king. When the lives of her people are threatened with massacre, Queen Esther risks her own life by revealing her Jewish heritage to the king and ultimately saves the Jewish people from slaughter.

Throughout McCann’s lengthy and ongoing examination of the Book of Esther, he repeatedly stops himself short of revealing too much.  He says things like “We do not want to get too far ahead. If we get all of the answers out now, then you are going to be bored when we continue on. But we are going to find that the feast of Purim, as believers have thought for some time, actually relates to the end of the world. ”

Later in his teaching he says, “There is something else that really relates to Daniel 12; but like I said, that is a teaser and I do not want to get too much into this too quickly. But this is something that I think is going to help us to understand some things. There are still a few questions, but this is information that fits in with our Biblical calendar and this is information that we never had before. ”

I find this all so troubling.   Clearly with the statement on the home page of eBible fellowship proclaiming the possibility of the March 2012 rapture date or end times date, McCann is using a provocative means to draw people into the study. He then uses tactics worthy of any good showman to reel his audience in, but keep them nipping at the bait, coming back for more in hopes of a true revelation, as promised by McCann.

I intend to keep an eye on McCann’s revelations as he presents them, and I’ll keep you updated.  When McCann was on Coast to Coast Am in the weeks leading up to May 21, he explained Camping’s initial prediction of a 1994 rapture (as suggested in Camping’s book titled 1994? May 21, 2011:  Judgement Day? Open Discussion) by stating “The book was published with a question mark.  The new date has an exclamation point.”  I believe that McCann has learned from this, and will NOT be relying on any more exclamation points, as evidenced by his eBible question March of 2012—Will it be the End?  But I take no comfort in this.  McCann is a dangerous man playing a dangerous game.  I am a devout Christian myself, and I believe that date setting is not only a huge distraction, it is also a sin.

“[W]hen a prophet speaks in the name of Jehovah, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which Jehovah has not spoken: the prophet has spoken it presumptuously, you need not be afraid of him” (Dt. 18:22).

McCann and the rest of his ilk have mislead their flock time and time again.  The Bible clearly tells us that men like this are false prophets, and we need not heed their words.  Let us hope that those who still follow Chris McCann and Harold Camping can find that truth in their hearts.