NEW YORK – A Christian radio station, formerly affiliated with Family Radio, wrote an open letter to the followers of doomsday preacher Harold Camping Wednesday, imploring them to repent from his "satanic teaching" and turn back to Christ.
"There is hope and forgiveness," Reedemer Broadcasting Network, which owns WFSO in Olivebridge, N.Y., told followers of Camping.
The May 25-dated letter was addressed to those who were "deeply affected by this false date," noting that some have sold their possessions, run into trouble with their marriage because they were a Camping follower, or killed their pets.
"Now is the time to repent and turn to Christ," said Redeemer Broadcasting. "Those words may seem odd to you – 'repent, and turn to Christ.' But this is what must be done with all humility. For a while you have substituted the words of one man for the words of Christ. You have ignored the sound teaching of many men of God. Christ is calling you to repent with your ears."
"From now on, do not lend your ears to anything from Harold Camping."
In the letter, entitled "Now that May 21 has passed – a humble appeal to followers of Harold Camping," Redeemer Broadcasting also pointed out the glaring flaws of Camping's past and newest predictions.
Camping, who is president of Family Radio, responded Monday to his failed May 21 prediction. He said that the May 21 judgment came "spiritually" instead of physically, and that Oct. 21 would mark the End of the World.
Redeemer Broadcasting said his predications are a lie.
"The latest assertion coming out of Oakland via Mr. Camping as of May 23rd, is that there is no possibility of being saved anymore. That's right, Harold Camping has on his own accord, CANCELLED the Great Commission and there is to be no evangelical outreach. This is obviously a lie from the pit of Hell itself," responded the radio ministry.
Redeemer Broadcasting then refuted Camping's claims, stating that May 21 was not Judgment Day and that salvation is still possible.
"The passing of May 21 is a clarion call providentially, that Harold Camping is indeed a false prophet," Redeemer continued.
"May 21, 2011 was NOT judgment day. Salvation IS still possible. There were no massive earthquakes, the graves did not open, and it was pretty much like every other day. Except for one aspect: some people's life savings were now ruined, some families were broken apart, and more people left their churches. "
In addition to asking followers of Camping to repent and stop listening to his teachings, the radio network also asked them to further seek restoration to the Body of Christ by joining a faithful church.
"The church needs to be your place of refuge and healing. It has always been this, but you left it. Please return to church. Seek out a faithful church and come under care of its pastor and elders," the ministry advised.
WFSO started out as a Family Radio affiliate in 1996 but after Camping made a statement in 2002 urging listeners to abandon their local churches, the station made the move to disassociate with the Oakland, Calif.-based Family Radio. Camping is president of Family Radio and his teachings are regularly broadcast on the network.
Redeemer began to decrease its Family Radio programming. In 2004, the ministry that owned WFSO reincorporated as Redeemer Broadcasting and began to carry its own programming.
The listener-supported WFSO now bills itself as the "high quality alternative to Family Radio" that plays melodious music and great church teaching.
On May 21, the day of Camping's predicted Rapture and Judgment Day, WFSO radio host Dan Elmendorf said that many follow Harold Camping because they lack personal assurance of their salvation in Jesus Christ.
Speaking on the station's "Plain Truth" show, he told Camping followers, "My dear listener friend, the Lord Jesus Christ wants to have covenant relationship with you as a child of God and grant to you a knowledge of eternal life that you know Him and that you're going to heaven someday, that your sins are forgiven. Not just some little hope that God will save you but a firm conviction that He already has."
On its website, Redeemer Broadcasting also addressed Family Radio employees, many of whom don't believe in Camping's teachings, and urged them to seek employment elsewhere.
According to Redeemer, over 80-90 percent of staff at Family Radio disagree with Camping.
"We know many of you personally, and empathize with you. You have been forced to produce programming for a man who no longer walks in the precepts of the Historic Christian faith. You are terribly frustrated, your hands are tied, and there is little to do but wait it out. There is a light at the end of the tunnel – please call us, and we can provide some encouragement."