Family Radio evangelist Harold Camping has insisted for months that Judgment Day would occur today, Friday, Oct. 21. Since the world has yet to change, was Camping's Day of Judgment meant to be a call for self-assessment?
There will undoubtedly be many who rightly criticize Camping for once again providing fodder for the ridicule of Christians. Still, it appears through recent statements from Camping as well as representatives of Family Radio, that the bible teacher has adapted his theories of the Day of Judgment.
In September, Camping surprised many of his followers when he described the last day by saying, "The end is going to come very, very quietly, probably within the next month. It will happen by Oct. 21."
His statement shows that even weeks prior to today's deadline date, he had already transitioned from a Judgment Day of violence and destruction, to one that was calmer and considerably more quiet. At the same time, he added this:
"We must believe that probably there will be no pain suffered by anyone because of their rebellion against God. This is very comforting to all of us, because we all have children, and have loved ones that are dear to us that we know are not saved, and yet we know that they'll quietly die. We can be more and more sure that they will quietly die and that will be the end of their story."
Recently, Tom Evans, a liaison between Camping and the media, posted a biblical guide on Family Radio's website, concerning Camping's end-time predictions. It is clear that even Evans sought to transition from a Judgment Day of violent cataclysm to one of a calmer more understated Day of Judgment.
"We have learned since May 21 that we cannot look at things literally necessarily. May 21 was a very good teacher. And it taught us some very painful, but important lessons. And that is, we can never presume anything," Evans said. He then went on to discuss interpretation of Scripture:
"We must be very careful with how we interpret scripture, especially when it comes to the character of the end. On the other hand, though our understanding of truth is faulty at times, we must never be ashamed of the truth."
It seems that both Camping and Evans are loudly confessing to the fact that they are unable to describe or predict the Day of Judgment.
Therefore, while ridicule and criticism at another failed prediction of Camping might be in order, it might be more beneficial to consider Oct. 21 as a personal Day of Judgment, if you will, a day of self-assessment, through which a better relationship with God can be attained.