After Family Radio, what now? Moving forward, embracing Christ and His Church

WFSO used to be a Family Radio affiliate station.

It is natural to ask if we are still associated with Family Radio in any way, and also what are the differences between the two ministries.

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UPDATE: (October 2018) Recently, it appears that Family Radio is taking steps to embrace the visible church. Family Radio's new position is surfacing in interviews with other media outlets and on the web. 

It is important that the gospel is preached in the context of loving Christ's body. The Apostle wrote: "What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice." We wish Family Radio well in this new endeavor of being a Christian ministry. 

Family Radio now has a history of 15 years of being against the church. Under apparent financial duress, they are turning a page in their history, with the number of years of being friendly to the churches as measured in mere months. The "clock" essentially starts now, with less than one year of faithful service to churches. How do we know if they are sincere? After Harold Camping passed, has there been a fundamental change in the leadership? Has the inner circle of spokespersons who supported Harold Camping stepped aside? Should a ministry be given a trial period by donors for the ministry to prove faithfulness before there is sufficient trust to warrant our support? Will they continue selling stations and laying off staff? The most recent layoff was in July; are more to come? Many questions remain.

For a comparison between the new Family Radio and Redeemer, see the end of this page ("How is Redeemer unique from Family Radio?")

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There are several issues why WFSO had to part company with Family Radio, but first of all, be it known that our relationship was cordial.

As a one time affiliate, WFSO's difficulties peaked in 2003, when Family Radio went public with the false idea that God was done with all the churches. They taught that Satan was in all the churches, and thereby effectively, ascribed to Satan the works of the Holy Spirit that were occuring via Word and Sacrament in many faithful churches. To us, the bottom fell out with this move. 

We repeatedly reached out to the Family Radio leadership (some of whom are still in control), pleading with them to reverse their emphasis that was slowly morphing into a church-hating, cult-like following. We appealed to them for a number of years. This included phone calls, conference calls, trips, etc. No one on the Board or in a position of influence was willing to challenge their leader Harold Camping. His "inner circle" supported him, and sometimes became a mouthpiece justifying his far-out heresies. Also, the people involved who disagreed with Harold would not confront him directly for fear of losing their job or perhaps losing participation in some missions trip, etc. They appeased themselves claiming the word was still getting out, despite Harold. They held on hoping for a resolution. At first, we were sympathetic to their feelings, and had hoped for reformation also. Had it been earlier when Scott Smith was alive, things likely would have been different, but since Scott Smith and Richard Vandyk had passed, the Board had absolutely no say. Harold ran things with an iron fist and no one dared challenge him.     

The largest issue and "final straw" that forced us to part ways with Family Radio was their denying the visible church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Harold Camping developed this theory post 1988, and went public with it in 2003. As noted above, Family Radio seems to have repudiated the "end of the church age" heresy late 2018. But the teaching really took hold in the network starting 2003. That is when we realized that our affiliate relation had come to a non-negotiable end.

Once Family Radio started publicly cursing the church, we had a huge problem on our hands. We were not prepared to provide and manage 24x7 programming. What to do?  Should we develop our own? Should we find another network to affiliate with? What about the costs involved? Workers need to feed their families and we had little to no income from the radio ministry, and yet alot of work.  

For a while we looked into other networks and found them to not be a sufficient match. One Florida-based network was so rigid that we would have had to submit our PSAs to them for their approval!  Another was overly Arminian in its approach. Our listeners had grown accustomed to the older Family Radio style and content, especially the theological emphasis that largely had come from an earlier Christian Reformed emphasis. Many in the network embraced the Historic Christian faith - including some east coast managers with whom we had contact. By contrast, it seemed that something strange had happened to Harold pushing him towards fanciful wild-eyed interpretations of scripture. He started to depart from the settled confessions of the church (which reflected scripture). 

The hatred for the visible church apparently began to consume Harold. Earlier, he had left the Alameda Christian Reformed church in 1988 and started his own "fellowship." This laid the framework for him becoming his own authority as well as weaving the date 1988 into his made-up end time scenarios. These teachings were supported by the "inner circle." This teaching caused hundreds if not thousands of people to follow Harold like sheep led to the slaughter. The effect on Christ's Bride is felt to this day. 

Harold died December 15, 2013. Since late 2015, there were reports that Family Radio was moving away from their anti-church heresy, and finally in October 2018 their programming reflected that by removing all Harold Camping's recordings from air play. Hopefully they will now assert that Harold was wrong and that the church age is not over, and encourage listeners to find a faithful church to join and support. 

It is difficult to reverse the deep-seated false teachings that have been promulgated since 2003. To be clear, Family Radio taught that all Christians should leave their churches; that all churches are corrupt, and that Satan rules all the churches. In so many words, Family Radio via Harold Camping their President, was ascribing to Satan, the works of the Holy Spirit in faithful churches. Ponder this for a while - is that not a major problem? To assert such, means that you are no longer a professing Christian, nor a Christian network for that matter. Yet many of these so-called "Campingites" exist to this day.  

Of course, we strongly disagreed with this teaching. There are many good churches which uphold the historic Christian faith, and we believe that it is obligatory that faithful Christians find a faithful church and join themselves to it. Preferably one which is both evangelical and confessional. For an example of being confessional see this page, in particular this statement: "We are committed to historic biblical Christianity. We seek to be thoroughly biblical, properly catholic, and true to the faith of the Protestant Reformation. We affirm the historic faith as presented in the Apostles', Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds, and in the great statements of the Reformation such as the Canons of Dordt, the Heidelberg Catechism, and the Belgic Confession and the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms."

We believe that if you won't have the church, then you cannot have Christ.

For a clear, succinct teaching on the church, we refer you to the Westminster Confession of Faith on this subject. If you compare Family Radio's current statement of faith with this historic confession, you will find that Family Radio still does not to this day (August 2017), embrace the visible ChurchContrasted with Family Radio, the Bible teaches that Christ has given to the visible Church the ministry, oracles, and ordinances of God for the gathering and perfecting of the saints. This is why any mere broadcast ministry (including Redeemer) cannot replace the church's unique role in God's world. 

A second issue was that of setting of dates for the return of Christ. This struck us very hard personally, because we had just launched a new Family Radio station in 1993. It came with much toil and personal sacrifice. We had helped promote the venture from 1988 to 1993, and local people gave. Finally, we had a signal on the air with fairly good programming and with a strong signal for Kingston. But imagine the huge embarrassment and disappointment when Harold then predicted (wrongly) that he was 99% sure of Christ's return in 1994. This was a terrible thing to go through, but we tried to weather the storm, hoping that it was a one time "blip" that would never happen again. Fortunately, things did settle down for a while, enough so, that in 1996 we were ready to ask for an affiliate relationship. 

We believe that mankind is not allowed to know the timing of the return of Christ, and that setting of dates is contrary to God's word. It appears that Family Radio has somewhat moved away from this practice now. Although to assert that Jesus is "coming soon," is also an admission of roughly claiming to know the timing of His coming. Redeemer feels that we should always be ready for His return, long for His return, while not setting dates at all. 

Thirdly, Harold Camping set himself up as the "only" voice of truth, and the Family Radio Board allowed this to occur. It took us a while before we saw what was happening on this front. His numerology was so complicated and convoluted, it seems that he was the only one who really could figure it all out. He was treating the Bible as a "wax nose," to shape as he desired. His "deeper spiritual meanings" were often fabricated and he would not entertain serious debate regarding them. He became unaccountable. During the final decade of Harold Camping's life, he and Family Radio eliminated all pastors from teaching on the network. They allowed a couple of dead pastors, but none who were alive. This tradition began to slowy be reversed, after Harold passed.  

Those three factors made it impossible for WFSO to remain as an affiliate.  

After Harold Camping's failed end-of-the-world predictions (every date he set was false), Family Radio sold heritage 94.7 FM Newark, 106.9 Philadelphia, and 107.9 Annapolis stations to secular broadcasters. Broadcast pundits realize that these three FM stations are in large part what kept Family Radio financially viable. WFME-TV (Channel 66 Direct TV) no longer carries any Christian programming and was sold off. The donors who invested in and supported these FM stations and TV station were disappointed, and became somewhat jaded (fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me). The income fell drastically.  

It was Harold Camping's wishes that these three major FM stations be sold so that "no one else would have the platform" (his words) that he did during the time of his leadership. The stations were indeed sold per Harold's wishes, and the money was used in part to pay for the many millions of dollars that were wasted on the May 21, 2011 worldwide billboard campaign. Prior to the sale of WFME, Redeemer inquired into whether Family Radio would be willing to either sell WFME to us or LMA WFME to us. The answer: they were unwilling to sell to another Christian broadcast ministry. They strongly wanted to spin it off to a secular broadcaster! The broker dealings resulted in Family Radio acquiring the Philly and NYC AM stations and a much smaller FM to the north of the city. Since the sales, key people at Family Radio were laid off, and more broadcast assets were sold. The AM stations for the three areas do not sound too good and the effectiveness of coverage doesn't compare to the old days.     

An excellent paper for further reading

An excellent paper that describes the many errors of Harold Camping and his cult is here: Harold Camping's View of the Church  
These recommendations were adopted by the RCUS Western Classis at their 18th annual meeting held on March 6, 2003. 


Options for finding an alternative to Family Radio:

Redeemer Broadcasting for the Mid-Hudson Valley
WHVC 102.5 FM 
This is an affiliate of Redeemer Broadcasting, and was first turned on the air on August 16, 2018. It serves most of Ulster and Dutchess counties, as well as parts of Green, Columbia and Orange counties.

Other outlets:
WFSO 88.3 FM - Olivebridge and surrounds. This signal reaches into the Ellenville area.
        105.3 FM - Kingston translator (provides coverage where there is shadowing of the 102.5 signal)
        101.1 FM - Catskill translator to the north of the main coverage
          90.3 FM - Newburgh translator to the south of the main coverage

 

Redeemer Broadcasting for Northern New Jersey
WNEQ 90.3 FM  Green
Pond and surrounds
In September 2013, Redeemer Broadcasting launched this FM station in Northern NJ. The coverage is small but we intend to keep working on expanding the coverage now that we have a foot hold in the area. There are so many people who contact us who want Redeemer to expand because we support the church and have a conservative sound. Some folks see Redeemer as the "new" Family Radio. WNEQ is just a first step for this area.  

WYNE-LP 95.9 FM  Wayne and surrounds
On September 15, 2016 a low-powered (27 watt) Redeemer Affiliate, WYNE-LP signed on. This station is owned by Preakness Valley URC, and is the latest addition to the Redeemer suite of stations. We are thankful to the Preakness Valley church to partner in this way, and we share their confessional commitment to the word of God.  

Redeemer Broadcasting for Southern Maryland: 
WXMD 89.7 FM  
 St. Mary's County
In February 2014, Redeemer launched a new station serving St. Mary's county, Maryland. It is a 7000-watt signal that covers as far north as St. Charles. The signal reaches across the Potomac River and covers a small part of eastern Virginia. Please consider supporting this wonderful new station. Listenership is building and new donations continue to come in. The station is nearly self-supporting in about four years of operations. 

Smart Phone options
On your Smart phone use the "TuneIn" app to find Redeemer Broadcasting - search for call letters WFSO. We also offer a free Android app available from the Play Store. Just search for Redeemer Broadcasting.  

Our stream on this website
Visit www.redeemerbroadcasting.org home page, or just click here: LISTEN LIVE link 

Grace Digital Audio Internet radio - 30% coupon code is redeemer30a  
Acquire a Grace Digital Audio Internet table top radio with 30% discount code: "redeemer30a."  For a limited time: Donate $175 to Redeemer and we will send you a MONDO receiver for FREE.  When you set the receiver up, you must search for the call letters WFSO.
 

Contact:  ministry@redeemerbroadcasting.org or toll free 888-724-4427 


What happened to the old blog on Harold Camping?
Leading up to the May 21, 2011 fiasco, we had written some 41 pages discussing the situation with Harold Camping. The work became an ongoing blog as Harold Camping announced fundamental changes to his beliefs and reinterpreted missed dates. We commented on many of the changes, but never ridiculed Mr. Camping. We always treated him with respect while interacting with his false teachings. He was a personal friend, who had gone astray. That old blog is now archived as we now focus on a plan that is forward-looking. 


More History on our Background 
WFSO used to be a Family Radio affiliate station, and as mentioned above, we could not continue in good conscience as an affiliate once Mr. Camping began denying the church. 
As an affiliate, WFSO covered up Harold Camping's nonsense with our own programming in 2003-2004 until we had an alternative. 
In response, Redeemer Broadcasting, Inc. was founded and incorporated as a 501(c)(3) Christian broadcast ministry in February 2004. We had no network feed in those early days, and so we had to create one from the ground up. The story is nothing less than a small miracle and is a testimony to the faithfulness of the Lord. 

We are indebted to the advice and help of many folks who came along side at just the right time to lend their expertise. Even some former Family Radio folks who grieved the demise of their network were supportive. Those early days entailed taking very small steps and funding the advances mostly through personal sacrifice and funding. We also received some financial support from listening friends in the Hudson Valley who understood our dilemma and wanted a better solution to listen to. Although we were in our infancy and making mistakes, our listeners were happier with Redeemer than what they had to listen to before. 

Redeemer purchased WFSO and also the translator. Our coverage was very small in those days. We also acquired the Catskill translator and then the Newburgh translator. Finally, things started to get on a path of operating in the black. However, we learned that you could not sustain a station with too low a power and not covering enough people.  

We had to make some improvements to the three translators and to WFSO, and then the little Hudson Valley network started to be able to support itself - assuming the workers volunteered their time!  So, that was the next problem - you have to pay the workers. The obstacles to growth have always been financial and the lack of having access to a large signal footprint. 

Redeemer by God's grace, is now being used of the Lord in listener's lives in the Mid-Hudson Valley of New York State, Northern New Jersey, Southern Maryland, as well as on line via internet streaming.  

We give all glory and praise to the Lord for whatever good has come from this effort.  

Listeners in Philadelphia, Annapolis and NYC find us via internet streaming. We have increasingly received positive feedback and support from these old Family Radio areas. Four of our newer stations provide some coverage into areas that Family Radio used cover via FM radio.


What's next?

The Hudson Valley Project - NOW ON THE AIR! - August 16, 2018
WHVC 102.5 FM is a Full-Service signal in the Mid-Hudson Valley of NY state. This area has been sparsely covered by Family Radio using smaller signals since 1983. The new signal engulfs the former signals and provides real coverage for well over 300,000 potential listeners. Actually, nearly 400,000 when you add in our two outlying translators to the North (101.1) and South (90.3). We desperately need your support as we support this new recurring expense. WHVC is an affiliate of the Redeemer Network of stations.  It has the advantage of stabilizing our network, and benefitting all areas. Please help us on this vital new outreach!  If you are line of site from the tower, the signal goes much further than you may expect - for example, we have had good reports from Middletown, NY. 

Improve 90.3 FM signal for Newburgh, Beacon, Cornwall on Hudson  
By replacing our damaged antenna and rounding out its pattern, we can provide better coverage for this whole area. Please contact us if interested in helping. Status: application for improved pattern granted by FCC and antenna is in hand. Just need time to schedule the improvement. Tower climber costs to be incurred and we need your help.

WNEQ - Northern NJ - expansion east and south
Our goal is to expand WNEQ to the east and south by acquiring another Redeemer-owned station and/or translator. We will not rest until we cover this entire region with excellent programming. If you live in Northern NJ and have the means and are interested in a better Redeemer presence in your area, please contact us to discuss what can be done. We may entertain moving our signal, or adding a booster, and even acquiring a new signal. There are many options - we just need the funding. Maybe you own a translator signal and would consider leasing or selling it to Redeemer. If so, please contact us. Perhaps you own a full-service signal and would entertain Redeemer doing an LMA of your signal. If so, we would love to hear from you. 

Annapolis area
We want to expand north into Washington DC and Baltimore, but first the most reasonable goal is Annapolis. Because of the station sales which occurred in the key Family Radio areas of Philadelphia, Annapolis, and Newark/NYC, we believe that Redeemer will become a faithful gospel witness and soothing balm of programming for former Family Radio listeners. Folks are looking for something on their FM radios like Redeemer. Help us acquire a signal that covers Annapolis. 

Eastern Philadelphia / South Camden
We can acquire a signal in this area for the cost of a modest home. If you want to fund Redeemer acquiring a station to the east of Philly (within part of the old WKDN area), please contact us immediately. We have an unprecedented opportunity to acquire a full-service FM station and just simply need the funding to make it happen. This station will cover some of the area lost by Family Radio selling WKDN (to a secular broadcaster). It would take about $250K to acquire and build out this signal. We can do this incrementally - so all donations count.  If you would like to donate, you will help assure that conservative Christian radio returns to this area. Our direct number if you are seriously interested in helping is: 888-724-4427.   If you want to email us with your intentions to donate, please use this email address: ministry@redeemerbroadcasting.org , and include in the subject line: "South Camden project."

   
How is Redeemer unique from Family Radio?

GENESIS
First and foremost, Redeemer grew out of the church. Our Board of Directors and our Advisory Team are all churchmen. We grieved over the “end of the church age” false teaching, and we have vowed to support the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ since our incorporation in February 2004.  

DEMONSTRATED LONG TERM COMMITMENT TO CHURCHES
By God's grace, Redeemer Broadcasting has demonstrated about 15 years of faithful service to churches

FINANCIAL INVESTMENTS GUARDED
Redeemer grows very slowly over time. The "assets" the Lord places into our stewardship are important because listeners paid for the radio stations. We do not sell these assets - especially the larger stations - to the highest bidder. Your investment in this ministry is taken seriously and is guarded for the long haul. We will entertain selling a station, ONLY if the sale will result in even better coverage and better audio fidelity for our listeners. Further, our leaders live frugally and the main studio at Redeemer is extremely humble. Every dollar you invest in Redeemer is carefully used. 

PROGRAMMING
Another difference is our programming. Our music is a major, refreshing uplift while remaining calm and melodious. Stations include a local preaching service for each area of the country in which a station is situated. Christian worldview content is extremely important to us.

NAPARC
Our evening preaching program (Proclamation) consists exclusively of pastors whose churches are members of NAPARC.

COMPREHENSIVE LORDSHIP OF CHRIST
We do not spiritualize everything. All of the Bible applies to all of life - Jesus is Lord over all. As Abraham Kuyper said: “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!” This is an important distinction in the Redeemer programming. We are not of a so-called "Two Kingdom" view. Jesus is Lord over the arts, education, government, medicine, economics, the sciences, engineering, etc. Because of this, part of our programming deals with these areas of life. We feel that all thinking must be brought captive to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 

LOCALISM
We practice localism in the communities in which we serve. Redeemer practices engaging the community by airing local public service announcements (PSAs), weekly local public affairs, re-broadcasting local churches, and providing up-to-date local weather reports for both morning and evening for each station and affiliate. In Southern Maryland we have a regular presence at the county fair, and enjoy meeting our friends. We've added Bill Shishko's
A Visit to the Pastor's Study
to our Saturday line up. This live program originates on Long Island at WLIE-AM, and is now heard over the Redeemer network of stations. This is another way of increasing our localism and interacting with our listeners. 

THOUGHTFUL CONTENT
For our original productions, we try and offer real content, not just a "Hallmark" greeting card style with little remarks thrown in. For an example, visit these links: A PLAIN ANSWER or HOLDING ALL THINGS TOGETHER. Additionally, each Saturday we offer a live call-in program as we partner with Reformation Metro NY: A VISIT TO THE PASTOR'S STUDY.  We don't keep these to ourselves - Holding All Things Together is available on AMB-OS for other Christian stations to use (yes, even Family Radio!). A Plain Answer can be made available to your station if you are interested. Just contact us.

OPTIMISTIC VIEW
You will find that we are optimistic1 regarding the spread of the gospel of Christ.  

ACCOUNTABILITY
Finally, we are truly accountable to an Advisory Team and to churches.    

If you are interested in learning more about this thoughtful alternative to Family Radio and would like to contact us, please email us at: ministry@redeemerbroadcasting.org.  We would love to begin a correspondence with you and answer any questions that you may have.



Want to hear what we sound like?   Here are the listen LIVE links, so that you may find our more:

TuneIn: 
http://tunein.com/radio/WFSO-883-s28875/ 

Windows Media Player:
http://www.redeemerbroadcasting.org/listenwmp.as

Listen Live page (without music info):
http://www.redeemerbroadcasting.org/pages/listen_live.php

Android phone App
Just visit the Play Store and look for Redeemer Broadcasting.

Please let us know what you think, we value your input!  

  

By God's grace:
We are committed to historic biblical Christianity. We seek to be thoroughly biblical, properly catholic, and true to the faith of the Protestant Reformation. We affirm the historic faith as presented in the Apostles', Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds, and in the great statements of the Reformation such as the Canons of Dordt, the Heidelberg Catechism, and the Belgic Confession and the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms.

If you wish to support this effort or simply write to us, our mailing address is:

Redeemer Broadcasting
P.O. Box 1520
Olivebridge, NY 12461

Need to contact us quickly?  Here is our Toll-Free number: (888)724-4427

We would love to hear from you. You may also use this email address: ministry@redeemerbroadcasting.org
We try and respond within several hours of your note.

Redeemer Broadcasting is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation and all gifts are tax deductible. Would you prayerfully consider supporting this effort with either a single one-time gift or perhaps one or two dollars a day?  Your gift would truly help us out. To donate, please visit this link: DONATE NOW

 

1. By this we mean all that the second petition in the Lord’s Prayer implies, namely: 
“Thy Kingdom come; that is, rule us so by Thy word and spirit, that we may submit ourselves more and more to Thee; preserve and increase Thy church, destroy the works of the devil, and all violence which would exalt itself against Thee; and also, all wicked counsels, devised against Thy holy word; till the full perfection of Thy kingdom takes place, wherein Thou shalt be all in all.” – Heidelberg Catechism Q/A 123
 

"In the second petition (which is, Thy kingdom come), acknowledging ourselves and all mankind to be by nature under the dominion of sin and Satan, we pray, that the kingdom of sin and Satan may be destroyed, the gospel propagated throughout the world, the Jews called, the fullness of the Gentiles brought in; the church furnished with all gospel officers and ordinances, purged from corruption, countenanced and maintained by the civil magistrate: that the ordinances of Christ may be purely dispensed, and made effectual to the converting of those that are yet in their sins, and the confirming, comforting, and building up of those that are already converted: that Christ would rule in our hearts here, and hasten the time of his second coming, and our reigning with him forever: and that he would be pleased so to exercise the kingdom of his power in all the world, as may best conduce to these ends." - Westminster Larger Catechism Q/A 191