You Wanna Bet? Pa. Woman Challenges Date-Setting Evangelist

Marylou Barry
"Judgment Day, May 21, 2011. The Bible guarantees it!" proclaims the homepage of evangelist Harold Camping's website FamilyRadio.com.

Is he serious? Yes, according to the website, but that's only half the story, because now:

"Janice Wisner from State College, Pennsylvania, is challenging founder Harold Camping to put his money where his mouth is and deed his home (or homes as may be the case) to her. She promises not to move in until May 22nd this year."

When the above press release leapt across my e-transom last week, it was hard not to take a closer look at Mr. Camping's website. According to his interpretation and calculations, the predicted date is exactly 7,000 years after the beginning of the Flood which, according to Genesis 7:4, God sent to destroy all life on earth. His

His eschatology would be big news to most young-earth creationists, who reckon the planet to be just 6,000 years old in total. Furthermore, according to Camping's prophetic reading, God had more than one fulfillment of the Flood prophecy in mind.

"He was also telling the world there would be exactly 7,000 years (one day is as 1,000 years) to escape the wrath of God that would come when He destroys the world on Judgment Day," Camping explains on his site.

What he does not explain is why he thinks the world was created in 11,013 B.C., how he knows the Flood occurred in 4,990 B.C., and why he allegorizes numbers in the Bible that don't agree with his theory. He also teaches that the Great Tribulation was 23 years long and ended in 1988. But despite my e-mail sent to two separate addresses listed on the Family Radio website, neither Camping nor any representative of his organization has responded to my questions.

Although Harold Camping's earlier prediction for the return of Jesus in 1994 missed, he at least qualified that one by stating that he could be wrong. Not this time, however, at least not that I could find.

But Janice Wisner isn't buying the math.

"The Family Radio website shows some of the calculations used," she says. "They account for the fact that a year has 365.2422 days in it. Actually that's the new and improved Gregorian calendar that we use today which was adopted in the 18th century. Scripture was written before then.

"The Biblical calendar is based, among other things, on the ripening of native barley which determines whether the year is about to end or have an additional month added to it. The people were exiled from Israel. They were unable to maintain the calendar since they were unable to check the ripening of the barley. At that point, all hope of trying to calculate the date of Christ's return or Judgment Day is futile.

"We don't know exactly what year we are in. Since Mr. Camping uses the Gregorian calendar to determine the passing of a year, the calculations are inaccurate.

"It's like using base 16 numbers and performing base 10 math on them. A simpler example: If I asked you to turn a dollar into two dollars, you could add 100 pennies to it, but you cannot use the same math on our clock. Adding 100 minutes to 1:15 p.m. will not bring you to 2:15. You will shoot way past it. Adding 365.2422 days to the Biblical calendar will not bring you to the same month and day in the following year."

She also explains that her reasons for issuing her press release were less crass than simply wanting to pick up a free house.

"I didn't feel compelled to contact him privately with my request because he could easily ignore it," she says. "I felt it was best to publicly challenge him ... Enough pressure would hopefully show the world just how serious or not serious Mr. Camping is.

"There are a lot of people who trust him. They may be making extremely important, life-changing decisions based on his prediction. It's like telling someone they only have a few months to live. People may be quitting their jobs, not paying their bills, giving precious items away, etc. ... This could then stop his followers from following through with actions that could later be harmful for them and their family like quitting their jobs."

Marylou writes a series of children's books available through Amazon. You can read or order them online at HouseWithTheLightBooks.com.
"Judgment Day, May 21, 2011. The Bible guarantees it!" proclaims the homepage of evangelist Harold Camping's website FamilyRadio.com.

Is he serious? Yes, according to the website, but that's only half the story, because now:

"Janice Wisner from State College, Pennsylvania, is challenging founder Harold Camping to put his money where his mouth is and deed his home (or homes as may be the case) to her. She promises not to move in until May 22nd this year."

When the above press release leapt across my e-transom last week, it was hard not to take a closer look at Mr. Camping's website. According to his interpretation and calculations, the predicted date is exactly 7,000 years after the beginning of the Flood which, according to Genesis 7:4, God sent to destroy all life on earth. His

His eschatology would be big news to most young-earth creationists, who reckon the planet to be just 6,000 years old in total. Furthermore, according to Camping's prophetic reading, God had more than one fulfillment of the Flood prophecy in mind.

"He was also telling the world there would be exactly 7,000 years (one day is as 1,000 years) to escape the wrath of God that would come when He destroys the world on Judgment Day," Camping explains on his site.

What he does not explain is why he thinks the world was created in 11,013 B.C., how he knows the Flood occurred in 4,990 B.C., and why he allegorizes numbers in the Bible that don't agree with his theory. He also teaches that the Great Tribulation was 23 years long and ended in 1988. But despite my e-mail sent to two separate addresses listed on the Family Radio website, neither Camping nor any representative of his organization has responded to my questions.

Although Harold Camping's earlier prediction for the return of Jesus in 1994 missed, he at least qualified that one by stating that he could be wrong. Not this time, however, at least not that I could find.

But Janice Wisner isn't buying the math.

"The Family Radio website shows some of the calculations used," she says. "They account for the fact that a year has 365.2422 days in it. Actually that's the new and improved Gregorian calendar that we use today which was adopted in the 18th century. Scripture was written before then.

"The Biblical calendar is based, among other things, on the ripening of native barley which determines whether the year is about to end or have an additional month added to it. The people were exiled from Israel. They were unable to maintain the calendar since they were unable to check the ripening of the barley. At that point, all hope of trying to calculate the date of Christ's return or Judgment Day is futile.

"We don't know exactly what year we are in. Since Mr. Camping uses the Gregorian calendar to determine the passing of a year, the calculations are inaccurate.

"It's like using base 16 numbers and performing base 10 math on them. A simpler example: If I asked you to turn a dollar into two dollars, you could add 100 pennies to it, but you cannot use the same math on our clock. Adding 100 minutes to 1:15 p.m. will not bring you to 2:15. You will shoot way past it. Adding 365.2422 days to the Biblical calendar will not bring you to the same month and day in the following year."

She also explains that her reasons for issuing her press release were less crass than simply wanting to pick up a free house.

"I didn't feel compelled to contact him privately with my request because he could easily ignore it," she says. "I felt it was best to publicly challenge him ... Enough pressure would hopefully show the world just how serious or not serious Mr. Camping is.

"There are a lot of people who trust him. They may be making extremely important, life-changing decisions based on his prediction. It's like telling someone they only have a few months to live. People may be quitting their jobs, not paying their bills, giving precious items away, etc. ... This could then stop his followers from following through with actions that could later be harmful for them and their family like quitting their jobs."

Marylou writes a series of children's books available through Amazon. You can read or order them online at HouseWithTheLightBooks.com.