Doomsday preacher Harold Camping apologizes

Religious broadcaster Harold Camping says he and his Family Radio network are embarrassed that the world didn’t end on Oct. 21 as he predicted, the Associated Press reports:

Camping also apologizes for saying last May that people who didn’t believe his prophecy that Christians would be taken up to heaven in the rapture on May 21 probably were not saved.

CNN says

The Christian radio broadcasting network that touted Harold Camping’s failed doomsday predictions may be getting out of the prophecy business, adopting what appears to be a vaguer vision of the end times.

“We are to live so that we are ready for the return of Christ, and even pray for it,” according to a Family Radio statement obtained by The Christian Post. “But we also rejoice in every new day, that we’ve been given another day to occupy and serve our Lord.”

CNN also says its calls to Harold Camping and Family Radio went unanswered. It then notes

When the world didn’t end last week, Camping followers who gathered for a regular Sunday fellowship meeting questioned if they had been left behind, according to Brandon Tauszik, a documentarian who began attending the meetings this year.

“Numbers were a bit down, for the first time I had ever seen, but people showed up much like they did after May 21,” said Tauszik, who attends the Oakland, California fellowship meetings out of interest and who never believed the world would end. “People were coming together, speaking outside, asking where we went wrong.”

The faith of Camping’s most ardent followers was not swayed by the recent news.

According to Fred Store, a longtime Family Radio listener, the general belief is “Judgment Day did in fact occur on May 21.”

Family Radio’s website no longer carries explanations as to why the rapture did not occur on May 21st.

Our View
The publishers of Apologetics Index, the parent site of Religion News Blog, consider Family Radio to be, theologically, a cult of Christianity.

It will be interesting to watch developments now that Mr. Camping has issued his apology. However, the lack of spiritual discernment on behalf of the station’s owner and staff continues to give cause for concern.

Preacher’s doomsday forecast fizzles out … again

Once again, the world failed to end, despite a high-profile prediction from a radio preacher in California.

MSNBC reports

Harold Camping, the 90-year-old leader of Family Radio International, stirred a global frenzy when he predicted that the Rapture would take 200 million Christians to heaven on May 21.

When the Rapture didn’t occur, Camping said he got his Bible-based calculations wrong and revised his prophecy to set the world’s end on Friday, Oct. 21.

But as the day wore on around the world, there was no sign that doomsday had dawned.

Millions of dollars had been spent by Family Radio and its followers to get the world out about May’s date with doomsday. Some quit their jobs, or donated retirement savings or college funds for the more than 5,000 billboards and 20 RVs that were plastered with Judgment Day messages.

This time around, Camping took a lower profile — perhaps because he was chastened by the mockery he suffered in May, or perhaps because of his health.
Camping suffered a mild stroke in June. […]

Reuters says

He has largely dropped out of sight since then, and his daily radio program, “Open Forum,” broadcast on more than 60 U.S. stations, has been canceled.

Moreover, there is little evidence that swarms of believers who once fanned out in cities nationwide with placards advertising Camping’s message — some giving up life savings in anticipation of being swept into heaven — were following a new doomsday countdown.

Gone, too, are the billboards posted around the country by Camping’s Family Radio network declaring that Judgment Day was at hand. […]

Municipal records show that a Sunday prayer group led by Camping, the Alameda Bible Fellowship, has continued to meet on a weekly basis in a large ground-floor room of the Veterans Memorial Building leased by the city Recreation and Parks Department. […]

Local American Legion officer Ron Parshall, 70, part of a veterans group that meets at the same building in an adjacent room one Sunday a month, said he sees Camping leading his Bible services there regularly.

He said the number of Camping’s followers at the prayer meetings seems to have dwindled since the failed May 21 prophecy — down to about 25 congregants on a typical Sunday — plus about 20 youngsters who attend Sunday school classes in conjunction with the prayer group.

The Associated Press notes

God’s judgment and salvation were completed on May 21, Camping says in a message explaining the mix-up in his biblical math.

“Thus we can be sure that the whole world, with the exception of those who are presently saved (the elect), are under the judgment of God, and will be annihilated together with the whole physical world on Oct. 21,” he says on the website.

Cult of Christianity

Camping has previously predicted that the rapture would take place on Sept. 6, 1994. When the rapture did not occur, Camping also came up with several alternative dates — none of which were correct.

Given Harold Camping’s unbiblical theology — including his call for Christians to leave the church, as well as his attempts to portray Family Radio as the sole source of religious authority — leaves Christians no choice but to consider him to be a false prophet and a heretic — and to view Family Radio as, theologically, a cult of Christianity.

Family radio doomsday cult finds followers in Africa

Family Radio Harold Camping cult Family Radio, the doomsday cult led by false prophet Harold Camping, is reportedly finding lots of followers in Africa.

South Africa’s The Daily Maverick has published photos of buildings, T-Shirts and cars advertising the cult leader’s nutty ‘End of the World’ prophecy.

As he has done before, Camping has used a self-developed ‘mathematical system’ to torture the Bible into revealing to him that the world will end on May 21, 2011.

A previous date, Sept. 6, 1994, came and went without the Judgement Day Camping had announced. Camping’s Family Radio station reaches listeners around the world. [Read more...]