After suffering a stroke just days after falsely predicting that judgment day for the world and the rapture of Christians would be on May 21, 2011, Family Radio's Harold Camping has been relatively quite, not offering any new predictions for the end times, even as Oct. 21 approaches - the day the Bible teacher claims the world will come to an end.
In a "special announcement" dated Aug. 8 on its website, California-based Family Radio gave an update on Camping's health condition:
Mr. Camping’s condition following his stroke has improved substantially, and God willing, he will soon return home. He is very thankful for the excellent care he has received during his rehabilitation therapy, and is especially thankful for your prayers, as we give all the glory to God. We cannot say at this time when he will be able to return to the Open Forum, as his full recovery is in God’s hands and according to His timing. Mr. and Mrs. Camping wish to thank you for all the encouraging cards and letters, and for your continued prayers for a full recovery.
The Christian Post called Family Radio, located in Oakland, and was told Wednesday that there were no further updates on Camping's condition and that it was not known when the 90-year-old radio evangelist would be returning to his "Open Forum" program.
Camping suffered a stroke on June 9, with some Christians wondering if his ailment might have been some sort of divine judgment. The stroke reportedly made it a challenge for Camping to speak.
Camping, ridiculed in the mainstream media for his false judgment day and rapture prediction in May, has also been criticized by the Christian community and accused of misleading and abusing people with his erroneous teachings.
Many of Camping's "Open Forum" followers, taking the California man's teachings to heart, quit their jobs, sold their possessions, and dedicated their time, energy, and finances to warning the world about its imminent end.
When May 21, 2011, came and went, Camping stated that he was "flabbergasted" and soon amended his claims, saying that world actually experienced a "silent judgment day" on May 21, and that what actually occurred was as a spiritual judgment rather than a physical one.
In an extensive broadcast on May 23, Camping explained that, based on the biblical timeline he had formulated, the world would still come to an end on Oct. 21, 2011.
"It won't be spiritual on October 21,” Camping said. "The world is going to be destroyed all together, but it will be very quick."
Needless to say, Camping's track record on biblical prophecies has been less than impressive.
Camping previously predicted judgement day would be on May 21, 1988 and then changed his calculations for a Sept. 7, 1994 judgment day.
As October 21 approaches, will Camping, or any of his dedicated followers, re-emerge to warn the world once again of its purported impending doom?
While evangelical Christians believe the world will come to some sort of end, believers do not generally accept that anyone can pinpoint the actual date of Jesus Christ's return.
According to a Pew Research Center survey, 82 percent of Americans believe that Christ will either definitely, probably, or will have returned to earth by 2050.