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We thought Harold Camping was a liberal


Every once in a while something happens to remind me of just how strange my religious childhood was.

We didn’t have a television.  We listened to Yankee games on the radio.  I remember at least one year in the 80’s we listened to the Super Bowl on the radio.  And we listened to Family Radio.  Every Saturday morning we tuned in for Big Jon and Sparkie.  The dramatic stories on Unshackled were another favorite.

The president of Family Radio is Harold Camping.  That Harold Camping.  The one predicting the end of the world as we know it, the Rapture, on May 21.

But here’s the thing.  We thought Harold Camping was a liberal.  We (a sub-group of the Plymouth Brethren) were the faithful remnant.  Harold Camping was part of “Christendom,” which had sold its soul.  Camping’s salvation was questionable.

I’m a long way from home.


8 thoughts on “We thought Harold Camping was a liberal

  1. Amazing how many “faithful remnants” there were that saw the others as apostate Christendom!

    I was raised without TV too, our radio listening tending toward Public Radio, except for sports once my younger brother developed his sports fetish. Religious broadcast programming consisted of Christian music on the car radio on the way home from church on Sunday evening, and once a month TV on Saturday evening at my grandmother’s we’d watch Vestal Goodman and the Happy Goodman Family sing gospel music – some traditional, some of the Bill Gaither sort. Anything more than that was dangerous because you never know what the apostate on the radio is going to say…

    My parents and the church I was raised in were confident in those days that “extra (their) ecclesiam nulla salus,” unless God inexplicably chose to exercise his divine prerogative (granted to him by my parents and their religious cohorts) on Judgment Day and allow people in that had no legitimate reason to expect salvation to apply to them, because of their theological error. But they would never have expressed it in the language of the papacy!

    So we sang our own, carefully selected hymns, spirituals, and gospel songs, making sure that the theology of the words matched The (One) Truth.

    In more recent decades, my parents appear to have gotten liberal. It appears they now think their Baptist (gasp!) granddaughters will make it through the Pearly Gates after all. But they’re still praying for their two gay sons, their MCC/Methodist son, their UU son, and their churchless (naturalist/ humanist) son. Of their four children (all sons), only one remains Christian by their definition (MCC definitely doesn’t count, and Methodists aren’t much better). With that track record, they had to change their definition if they didn’t want their line wiped off the face of the earth, so to speak. So Baptists are “in” now. At least provisionally.

    Yep! A loooong way from home.

    I wonder how many UU ministers or worship leaders will mention Camping’s Rapture this Sunday…

    • I’m so glad we had a chance to meet at Meadville. So nice to have a friend who is also very, very far from home. And one who is also committed to working through that religious history so it’s an asset, not an obstacle.

      Of course, those who have not travelled far from home have their own history to work through, too. 🙂

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