Doomsday? End of the world? Well, that was embarrassing, admits Harold Camping
Humiliated by his many false forecasts of impending doom, 90-year-old Harold Camping of the Family Radio network says that he’s trying to figure out why May 21st’s Judgment Day was a bust and how the universe failed to collapse on Oct. 21.
“We are living in a day when one problem follows another,” he says in a five-minute audio message on Family Radio’s website, “When it comes to trying to recognize the truth of prophesy, we are finding that it is very, very difficult. Why didn’t Christ return on October 21? It seems embarrassing for Family Radio, but God was in charge of everything — we came to that conclusion after quite careful study of the Bible.”
Of course, it does not take much study of the Scriptures to conclude that after spending millions of dollars of the faithful’s donations on billboards, placards, bus bench signs, newspaper ads and flyers declaring Jesus would return on May 21, nothing happened.
Camping “guaranteed” that the skies would part, the trumpet would sound, the dead in Christ would rise from their graves — and that the living and the dead would be judged. When it didn’t happen, he then explained that it actually had. We were just unable to realize it with our human senses, he explained.
But, he warned, on Oct. 21 the universe would be destroyed — and Earth with it. On October 22, the universe, Earth and Camping were still here. His explanation?
“I am very encouraged by letters that I have received concerning this matter,” he says, “Amongst other things, I have been checking my own notes more carefully than ever. And I do find that there is other language in the Bible that we still have to look at very carefully.”
Indeed, he advises his followers, “We should be very patient about this matter.”
“He is very fortunate that he is not living in Old Testament times,” notes journalist Jay Tower of Christian Crusade Newspaper. “They were a sterner lot than we are today. They took false prophets out behind the city gates and stoned them.”
“There is one thing that we must remember,” says Camping in a halting, strained voice — as he seems to fumble for words. There have been reports he suffered a stroke after the May 21 predictions failed. ”God is in control of this whole business and we are not. What God wants to tell us is His business. When he wants to tell us is His business.”
In the recording, he apologizes for stating that anyone who did not believe his May 21 prediction is not a Christian. “I should not have said that,” Camping says quietly.
However, he does not apologize for his failed forecasts. According to ABC News, Camping has predicted the end of the world 12 times. His first doomsday prediction dates back to 1978.
His audio message and leaves the door open to the possibility that, as he has done in the past, that through his complex numerology-based mathematical system of evaluating the Bible, he will discover another doomsday date.
“In the meanwhile, God is continuing to allow us to cry to Him for mercy – O my, how we need His mercy — and continue to wait on Him,” says Camping. “God has not left us. God is still God. We have to be very careful that we do not dictate to God what He should do.”