I found on the Family Radio web site an article by Harold Camping entitled, "God's Magnificent Salvation Plan: An In-Depth Biblical Study Of God's Salvation Plan for Mankind." What I am going to do here is read it and comment as I go.
I found this as a heading in Chapter 1:
<<No Man Will Accept God's Offer of Salvation>>
What kind of offer is it? I guess we'll find out in the article.
<<Anyone Can Be Saved>>
Really? ANYone? I guess we'll see what he means in the article.
A heading in Chapter 2:
<<Passages that Apparently Teach Free Will>>
Apparently to whom? Certainly not to regenerate people. Does Camping think that a regenerate person will think that certain passages of Scripture teach free will?
A heading in Chapter 6
<<What about the Verses That Seem to Teach That We Can Lose Our Salvation?>>
Again, there are NO verses that seem to teach that we can lose our salvation to regenerate people. The only people who think it seems to teach that we can lose our salvation are unregenerate people.
<<The Teaching that We Can Lose Our Salvation Is a Dangerous Doctrine>>
Okay. We'll see how dangerous Camping thinks it is.
<<People who are sincere students of the Scriptures struggle with the enigma of divine election.>>
What does Camping mean by "sincere students of the Scriptures"? Does he think that regenerate people struggle with the doctrine of election?
<<The caller was satisfied with his position, which he based on the quotation from John 3:16. Other people extract a quote from II Peter 3:9 and proclaim that He is "not willing that any should perish.">>
Does Camping believe this caller was unregenerate?
<<Since the caller viewed God as a benevolent and loving creator, he thought election was not only grossly unjust but downright unworthy of decent men or God!>>
Okay. So how does Camping judge this man? Now would be the time to let the readers know exactly where he stands, but he doesn't.
<<Bible students who are willing to struggle objectively to see the whole issue from the proper perspective will make two exciting discoveries: (1) this enigma can be resolved; and (2) this resolution will foster new appreciation for the incomprehensible love of God and His magnificent salvation plan.>>
This sounds VERY MUCH like Camping is saying that people who are ALREADY REGENERATE can "discover" that the "election enigma" can be resolved and, along with this discovery, these ALREADY REGENERATE people will have a "new appreciation" for God's love. A "new appreciation"? Sure sounds like he believes that there are some regenerate people who don't believe in election who then come to believe in it. The fact that he uses the phrase "new appreciation" sounds like he's saying that these "Bible students" ALREADY had an appreciation for the love of God and are just go to a "higher plain of appreciation" when they "discover" the doctrine of election. Here again would be a place to say that these "Bible students" who "struggle with the enigma of election" are LOST, and if God regenerates them, they will know the love of God whereas they were ignorant and in unbelief of it before. He doesn't say that they are lost, and he doesn't say that even if they "discover" election, they are still LOST if they believe they were regenerate when they didn't believe in election.
<<True enlightenment and joy are attainable through viewing this issue, and all issues, in the proper perspective - the divine perspective - i.e., from the perspective of the Bible.>>
"True enlightenment and joy"? Is he saying that there are regenerate people who do not have this enlightenment and joy, and if they would only "come into" the doctrines of grace, they would have this enlightenment and joy?
<<The answers to these questions will resolve the apparent paradox of God's gracious offer of salvation (which we will learn is actually a command to believe) to all men and God's elective decree whereby only God's elect will be saved.>>
"Gracious offer of salvation to all men?" I cannot see how this can be interpreted in any way other than that Camping believes that God is gracious to everyone in offering salvation to everyone. This heresy puts forth the lie that God is actually showing grace to everyone, including the reprobate, by the gospel call. Thus, God is showing grace at the expense of His justice. Unless I'm missing something here, Camping believes that when all men without exception are commanded to believe, this is God's showing grace to all men without exception.
<<God repeatedly teaches in the Bible that man must answer for his sins. For example, consider the words of Jesus in Luke 13:34:
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! [see also Matthew 21:34-41 and 23:29-30]
In these passages, Christ speaks to responsible people who are created in the image of God; He does not demean them by suggesting that they are not accountable. His declaration is that they are fully answerable for their rejection of God's overtures of grace.>>
This is blatant heresy. And this is the exact verse that all the common grace/well-meant offer heretics use as a proof-text for their heresy. This passage is NOT talking about the people's "rejection of God's overtures of grace." This is pure Marrowist/Spurgeonist hogwash. This is the lie of conditionalism. "Overtures of grace"? God makes no "overtures of grace" to the reprobate. The reprobate do not reject God's "overtures of grace," because he does not give them "overtures of grace" to reject. This is just another form of the heresy of salvation conditioned on the sinner. See www.outsidethecamp.org/freeoffer.htm . It is obvious here that Camping believes that God is showing grace to the reprobate who reject his "overtures of grace" to them. Jeremy, you're right -- he's a Spurgeonist.
<<While every human being is in the terrible predicament of being accountable for his sins, God comes with His gracious offer of salvation. First of all, He gives man plenty of evidence that God exists. By placing man in a creation that is filled with incomprehensible wonders, man cannot escape the knowledge that only an infinite being could have brought it all to pass. The stars, the newborn baby, the fragrant rose - from the minute creature to the universe - all testify to the power of God (Psalm 19:1, Romans 1:18-23). Furthermore, God shows man that he is a merciful and loving God who provides the benevolent sunshine and fruitful seasons (Acts 14:17, Romans 2:4).>>
More common grace hogwash. This is starting to read like a common grace textbook. We go from the "gracious overtures" by Jesus to those who reject him in Luke 13:34 to the "gracious offer of salvation" to the view that God shows grace to everyone without exception by giving man evidence that he exists through creation to the view that God is showing mercy and loving everyone without exception by giving them sunshine and fruitful seasons. If you live by common grace, you die by common grace. If God is showing grace to the reprobate by giving them sunshine and fruitful seasons, then what about when He gives the elect hurricanes and drought? Is God then showing wrath toward them?
<<Moreover, because man was created in the image of God, there is a witness within him. Intuitively man knows that murder, adultery, and stealing are sins because to some degree God's law is written on his heart (Romans 2:14-15). Intuitively he knows that judgment is coming and he must account for his sins (Romans 1:32).>>
Another mainstay of the common-gracers: God shows grace to everyone without exception by putting the law into the heart of everyone without exception.
<<Finally, God comes with His supreme offer of love.>>
Gag. Wayne, you say you know this man through and through; thus, you must know that he has written this stuff. Yet you consider him a brother in Christ?
<<He covenants with man that if he will throw himself on God's mercies, if he will repent of his sins and entrust his will to Christ as Lord, if he will trust in Christ as Savior for God's forgiveness for his sins, God will make him His child and give him eternal life.>>
There we go, as plain as the nose on your face - a CONDITIONAL COVENANT. According to Camping, God's covenant with man is that IF man will do this, God will do this. There is not even an inkling of the true nature of God's covenant with man, which is wholly UNCONDITIONAL. And the Christian Confession of Faith says this plainly and clearly. Wayne, since you say you hold to the CCF, do you consider Camping to be an unregenerate man because he holds to a conditional covenant?
<<To make the offer of everlasting life possible, God had to make an enormous sacrifice.>>
Check this out. Here is a universalizing of the work of Christ in a very subtle form. God had to make the sacrifice IN ORDER TO MAKE THE OFFER POSSIBLE. Thus, God's sacrifice FORMS THE BASIS of the "gracious offer of salvation" to everyone without exception. This is nothing more than Marrowism revisited. It sure sounds like Camping is steeped in the Marrow men, Spurgeon, and Murray and Stonehouse.
<<No Man Will Accept God's Offer of Salvation
Man in his perverseness - in the corruption of sin that envelopes his whole being - will not accept God's wonderful offer. He will not be obedient to God's command to repent of his sins and believe in Christ. His natural enmity towards God, his unconscious allegiance to Satan, and his pleasure in his sins, all work together to encourage him to ignore, spurn, or ridicule the offer.>>
Here is the poor god's offer spurned.
<<The fact that willfully disobedient man has become a totally corrupt slave of Satan does not diminish or in any sense invalidate the gracious and marvelous intention of God's salvation offer.>>
And what is that "gracious and marvelous intention" in this "offer"?
<<Therefore, while in principle the atonement is available for each and every individual in the world, in actuality the atonement covers only the sins of the elect, for only the elect will believe in Him.>>
Here it is! I was wondering if he was going to say it! This is Thomas Boston and the Marrow Men all over again! "In principle the atonement is available for each and every individual in the world"! This is damnable heresy! And you, Wayne Reed, knew that he beleived this, didn't you? After all, you studied under him and are very close to him. Yet you do not see this as a false gospel.
<<The fact that the Father decided to save some people and let the rest of them go to hell for their sins is God's business (Romans 9:14-23, Ephesians 1:4-5).>>
God did not merely "let" the rest go to hell. He decided to damn some people. Here's a hint of what you were talking about, Jeremy.
<<Man's total depravity is an ugly concept that divides the church as no other doctrinal teaching in regards to salvation. Many people in the church agree that God draws us to Him and that once we are saved we are always saved, but they have difficulty crossing the line to acknowledge that man is depraved, spiritually dead, and incapable of taking the first step toward God. They insist on the possibility of man's free choice or free will to choose Christ. They conclude that God has done all that He can do, and now it is up to man to take action.>>
This doctrine DOES NOT divide the true church. There is NO DIVISION in the church about this doctrine.
<<I am afraid that some people cling tenaciously to the idea of free will because it affords them a little bit of credit for their salvation. Oh, we might know and admit that it is by grace that we are saved. But, oh, how we want to receive at least a little credit. Can't we have a little recognition for what we have contributed toward our salvation? This is our nature.>>
It is NOT the Christian's nature! A Christian will NOT want to receive at least a little credit! And who are these people who "cling tenaciously to the idea of free will"? Does Camping believe that some of them are regenerate?
<<This is how we are designed; we want to receive a commendation for what we do, and we want some kind of commendation with regard to our salvation.>>
This is NOT how the new creature is designed!
<<Some passages seem to indicate that we have free will>>
No they don't - not to Christians.
<<for example, God declares in Revelation 22:17:
And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
This verse does not indicate that anyone of his own free will can turn to the Gospel, which is the water of life. This verse simply says that God's gracious offer of salvation is available to the entire human race.>>
Here it is again. Camping is saying that Revelation 22:7 is saying that "God's gracious offer of salvation is available to the entire human race."
<<A Gospel program that promotes the idea that anyone has a free will to choose God is contrary to the Bible.>>
Contrary to the Bible, okay, but what about a DAMNABLE FALSE GOSPEL that only the UNREGENERATE believe?
<<We must never add statements to the Gospel presentation to the effect that the final choice is man's rather than God's. Too many preachers add such statements as, "God has done His part and now it's up to you.">>
Yet this is EXACTLY what a conditional covenant does.
And what about those "too many preachers"? Are they all unregenerate? Camping won't go so far as to say that.
<<Those who do come to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ will afterwards begin to wonder, "Why did I believe? Why did I turn to the Lord Jesus Christ when many others around me did not?" Then, when they examine the Scriptures to find out why, they will discover that they became believers because God had elected them and drawn them to Himself.>>
Sounds like Camping doesn't believe that election is part of the gospel.
<<God commands men everywhere to repent of their sins (Acts 17:30). It is easy to assume, therefore, that even though salvation is by grace, at least the fact that I have repented and turned away from my sins is a result of my independent will. I might conclude that because I have turned away from my sins, God will save me. Somehow I want to believe that repentance has something to do with my will and that it is apart from God's action.>>
NO CHRISTIAN will assume this, NO CHRISTIAN will conclude this, NO CHRISTIAN will believe this.
<<Some people teach that Christ paid for the sins of everyone and that it is only our rejection of Christ that sends us to hell.>>
And ...? Are these people unregenerate?
<<Do some Bible versus say something different from what we have learned? We read in II Peter 3:9, "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." Does this verse imply that Christ paid for the sins of everyone? What about I Timothy 2:3-4, where we read that Christ would have all men to be saved? How can He desire this if He has not already paid for their sins? In I Timothy 2:6 doesn't the Lord declare that He gave His life a ransom for all? In I Timothy 4:10 doesn't God declare that He is the Savior of all?
These verses certainly seem to indicate that Christ paid for the sins of every individual,>>
No they do not -- not to Christians.
<<Moreover, when we conclude that Christ paid for the sins of the whole world with the exception of not believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, then we have a gospel that borders on grace plus works.>>
"BORDERS ON"?????? He won't come out and say it's a false gospel, will he? He just won't go that far.
<<We must keep in mind when we study Bible verses that relate to salvation that salvation is all of grace!>>
ALL Christians WILL ALWAYS keep this in mind!
<<It is true that when many people are first bought face to face with the Gospel, they are offended. However, every once in a while, one of them will give in and admit that he is a sinner who needs salvation. What has happened to this person? God drew him.>>
Really? Camping knows that when someone admits that he is a sinner who needs salvation, it is because God drew him? Where is belief of the gospel of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ alone?
<<We have come to the end of our study of the magnificent salvation program God has provided. We have seen that God indeed has a well-meant offer of salvation that goes to the whole world>>
Hey! He even used the term! I didn't think he would use the term, but here it is, right in front of me: a "WELL-MEANT OFFER." This is heresy. This is conditionalism.
Enough. There's more than enough evidence here to show that Camping is a lost man.
To God alone be the glory,
Well, I've done some more checking into the Family Radio web site. I found that one of the regulars on Family Radio is Dr. Henry
Morris. Morris, in his article "Christ Our Life" (which can be found on his web site), says this: "The eternal, only begotten Son of
God had to become the one perfect, sinless, man--man as God had intended man to be--and thus qualified Himself to be man's
substitute in the suffering of death for the sins of the whole world." But couldn't Morris mean something other than "everyone
without exception" when he says, "whole world"? After all, the Bible says, "whole world." Well, Morris answers this question a
little further down: "The solution to this divine paradox seems to be that God in Christ must die 'infinitely' but not 'eternally.' He
must bear the infinite weight of all the fleshly sins of all the men of all times and places in His own sinless body, and all the mental
sins of all men everywhere in His own sinless soul, and all the spiritual sins of all humanity in His own perfect Spirit, thereby
suffering the infinite pains of hell itself as He was separated completely from God the Father for three awful hours on the cross."
Morris believes that Jesus bore the weight of ALL the fleshly sins of ALL the men of ALL times, ALL the mental sins of ALL MEN
EVERYWHERE, and ALL the spiritual sins of ALL HUMANITY. He is a universal atonement heretic. And he is on Family Radio.
I then looked at the list of books that are and have been read over Family Radio's regularly aired feature "Radio Reading Circle." They include books by Erroll Hulse, D. James Kennedy, Walter Chantry, John Piper, Ernest Reisinger, and J.C. Ryle, who are the heretics I recognize. And I do not doubt that there are heretics among the authors I don't recognize.
The following is a quote from Harold Camping that I found on the Family Radio web site:
<<When God foreknew us, the whole human race, and He foreknew every human being who would ever come into existence, did He know anyone who would turn to the Lord Jesus? No. The Bible says He saw that not one individual would turn to Him; "there is none that seeketh after God." That is God's statement about the human race. Thus, "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate," means that God, in His sovereign good pleasure, as He looked down the avenues of time, saw the miserable mass of humanity, and said He would save this one and that one, and He named each one whom He planned to save, and He put them in the Lamb's Book of Life. He wrote them in His will so that they would become inheritors of the kingdom of God. The rest, He simply bypassed; He did not name them.>>
> Following Camping's doctrine I joined and was baptized in an
> Arminian church
> because being in an Arminian church, he said, was better than having no
> church at all. And I am certain that he believes that Arminians
> can be saved
> while remaining Arminian.
> He believes that the whole Bible is the Gospel because the gospel in shown
> in figures throughout the Bible, but a hearing of the facts of Christ's
> death and resurrection and what was accomplished was not necessary, any
> scripture at all could save.
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