Calvinism and Harold Camping

Harold Camping, the fellow who’s teaching that the world will end on May 21, 20011, comes from a staunchly Calvinist background.  This, of course, doesn’t prove that Calvinism is wrong, only that one of its adherents is loopy.  I’m just glad he’s not a loopy Arminian.

In the pamphlet, “God’s Magnificent Salvation Plan” (1), Camping lays out a detailed systematic argument for the TULIP.  Some quotes:

“…It is totally God’s sovereign grace that He saves one and leaves another under His just wrath.”

“As a matter of fact, He [Jesus] did die only for those who were elected of God.”

“Who then can be saved?  All of God’s elect will, without fail, be saved.”

“We are incapable of ever deciding to come to Christ…We are as spiritually dead as Lazarus was physically dead in the tomb before he was raised.”

“If we hold the position that we can resist the will of God absolutely nobody would be saved.”

“Nobody can resist the will of God when it is His desire to save someone.”

“If we believe that man can resist God’s will to save those whom He plans to save, effectively we have arrived at a gospel of grace plus works.”

“There are those who teach that Christ actually paid for the sins of each and every person in the whole world, and it is only our rejection of Christ that sends us into Hell…This supports the erroneous idea that God has done all that He could, and now it’s up to us.”

“Christ’s fully paying for all the sins of the elect means there is no imaginable sin that could be committed that would undo the miracle of salvation.  Any sin the elect would commit was already paid for by Christ during the atonement.”

In addition, Camping’s site has the following quote, which indicates that he currently still holds to Calvinism.

On Family Radio we clearly teach the Biblical truth that all mankind are sinners and, therefore, are subject to God’s righteous wrath. We further teach the sad truth that because man by nature is spiritually dead, he will not and cannot come to God on God’s terms. However, God in His wonderful love has chosen a people for Himself for whom the Lord Jesus Christ did all the work necessary to save them. In God’s own timetable He applies the Word of God to their hearts and saves them. This is the Bible’s grand message of salvation that Family Radio wishes to send to every nation of the world. (2)


(1)God’s Magnificent Salvation Plan, Harold Camping, 1981 – Web version.  See also “God Magnificant Salvation Plan” July 2002, PDF  from Family Radio.

(2)Harold Camping Bio,



Filed under Calvinism

14 responses to “Calvinism and Harold Camping

  1. Thanks. I didn’t know this about Camping.

  2. I wouldn’t even call Harold Camping a Christian, let alone a Calvinist or Arminian.

  3. Matt

    so what r the requirements to be elect and how do u know ur Elect?

  4. PutPut

    From what I’ve read, Camping is a 4-Point ULIP Calvinist and an annihilationist. I guess that makes him somewhat unique compared to usual TULIP, eternal damnation Calvinists.

  5. Gary Bisaga

    Please don’t laser-focus on TULIP. Camping has a Calvinistic background and uses some Calvinistic language, but he is clearly NOT a Calvinist. First, of course, he denies eternal punishment and sounds modalist; and in his denial of Total Depravity he automatically denies all the other ULIP points, since they automatically follow from T.

    But second, he is a hyper-Calvinist, which is at least as different from Calvinism as Open Theism is from Arminianism. For example, read the comments of this follower of his:

    Specifically: “Most churches teach that if you just believe, you will be saved. It is not our choice. It is God’s choice.” This is not Calvinist doctrine. Any Calvinist will tell you that, although God’s choice of us is the effective cause of our salvation, our own personal faith — our own personal choice — is necessary. That faith is granted by God, because God changes our will to want to believe … but we do believe, and salvation comes through our faith. On the other hand, I have listened to Camping plenty and never heard the gospel: people never even hear the gospel, even if God had changed their hearts they have nothing in his preaching to believe in.

    Finally, he preaches that there is no assurance possible. Even he doesn’t say that he’s saved: I heard him just yesterday say that he hopes he’ll be among the saved. Calvinists teach that we have assurance through our faith; the fact that God grants saving faith is our assurance.

    Camping’s “gospel” is to follow him, leave your church, and believe in May 21st. That’s cultism, not Calvinism (no matter how you slice up TULIP).

  6. The quotes above seem to show that he also holds to T, making him a 5 pointer.

    E.g. “We are incapable of ever deciding to come to Christ…We are as spiritually dead as Lazarus was physically dead in the tomb before he was raised.”


    “We further teach the sad truth that because man by nature is spiritually dead, he will not and cannot come to God on God’s terms.”

    • Gary Bisaga

      He does use some of the language of Calvinism, since that’s his background. But again, just because he uses some of the language of Calvinism does not mean that he’s a Calvinist. After all, Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Open Theists, and the Adventists all come from Arminian roots, and it shows in much of the language they use. They would probably all affirm all five articles of the Remonstrants. But that does not make them Arminians. The distinction does not seem very fine to me.

  7. Pingback: Calvinism and Harold Camping | Society of Evangelical Arminians


    Camping, regardless of whether he thinks he is a Calvinist or anything else, is a false prophet and therefore deserves zero attention.

    Since he is a false prophet he has zero credibility on anything else he thinks, writes, advocates, or, ha ha, prophesies.

    He has proven himself a loony tune.

  9. Pingback: Reasons for a Rapture | The Devil's Dilemma

  10. Pingback: Reasons for a Rapture » Team Kenan

  11. Mark Daniels

    Actually Harold Camping USED TO be a Calvinist – He renounced most of these beliefs by the early 2000’s wehn he began the Church Age Is Over belief

  12. Pingback: Society of Evangelical Arminians | Calvinism and Harold Camping

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