Christian radio broadcaster and end of times prognosticator Harold Camping has seen each of his startling predictions concerning the end of the world proven untrue and has managed to let down many of followers in the process.
Camping’s last prediction for doomsday was May 21 and in a massive effort, the 90-year-old broadcaster managed to garner many followers that dedicated their lives and their money to spreading his word of rapture.
New York Magazine described Camping’s mass effort prior to his May prediction saying, “Over the course of years of herculean effort, Camping and his listeners had spread his-and His-word far and wide: $100 million raised to finance 5,000 billboards across the U.S. and 30 countries; millions of copies of free books and pamphlets distributed; 24-hour Bible instruction translated into 75 languages, available to millions via Family Radio’s network of radio stations and its website.”
Many of those who followed the doomsday preaching Family Radio host truly believed that on May 21 they were going to ascend to heaven while the unsaved remained on earth until its final obliteration on Oct. 21.
When the rapture did not occur Camping told the San Francisco Chronicle that he was “flabbergasted” as to why his prophecy did not materialize.
He later explained that May 21 was just the “spiritual rapture” saying on his Family Radio website, “What really happened is that God accomplished exactly what He wanted to happen. That was to warn the whole world that on May 21 God’s salvation program would be finished on that day.”
However, for many Camping followers that dedicated their lives, gave up their jobs, and spent their life savings in preparation for rapture, Camping’s explanation came a little too late.
One follower called Camping’s radio show the Monday after rapture was predicted to occur to express his distress.
The unnamed caller told Camping that over the 35 years he has been listening to Christian broadcaster, he has followed him through two rapture predictions: one in 1994 and the second on May 21, 2011.
But now that Camping has been wrong twice, the Open Forum caller told the radio host that he is struggling to keep his faith in God.
The caller said, "I thought nothing would shake my faith that I would go through all the tribulations and all that. But now that I see that it didn't happen once again, all I look at is disappointment from our Father."
Another ex-follower was so upset over Camping's failed prediction that he threatened the doomsday speaker with violence and used profanity to address him.
He said, "You're really pathetic, you know? I wasted all my money because of you. I was putting all my money and my hopes on you."
He added, "Do you understand? I wish I could see you face to face, I would smack you."
Camping attempted to explain himself, but the caller did not want to hear it saying, “Mr. Camping, you always say a lot of (expletive). I lost all my money because of you, you (expletive).”
Skeptics also questioned Camping’s commitment to his words, especially because he himself did not sell any of his possessions in preparation for the Second Coming and because his “Family Radio” office filed for an extended tax filing date of Nov. 15 when the world was predicted to end in May.
With Camping's upcoming prediction for doomsday landing this Friday Oct. 21, critics continue to remain skeptical of Camping, especially because he did not take responsibility for those who sold their possessions and savings based on his prediction.
Camping announced, “I don't have any responsibility. I don't have any responsibility of anybody's life. I'm only teaching the Bible. I'm simply saying, ‘This is what the Bible says."
He added, "We at Family Radio never tell anyone what [to] do with their possessions. That's totally between them and God,"
Camping also did not return money donated to his cause because the rapture "did not happen yet."
Regardless of the skeptics some still remain loyal to prognosticator. Some of Camping's followers came to his defense on Facebook, praising the preacher and offering their support.
"We are with you here in NY," Craig Alan said. "We look forward to completing our life's journey with you Friday. God bless you. Forgive the non-believers. You are the TRUE prophet."
Thus, if die-hard Camping followers have their way, the 90-year-old broadcaster will be correct this time around and will be finally vindicated for their losses. If not, it remains to be seen if Camping will have any followers at all.