(Photo: Reuters/Reuters TV)
The senior pastor of Dallas First Baptist Church, Robert Jeffress, has confirmed his opinion from May – church authorities need to continue to criticize Harold Camping, the end-of-the-world prophet from California.
Camping, the founder of a Bible-focused California radio station, Family Radio, famously foretold that the end of the world would begin on May 21. Before the date, Camping's followers launched an advertising campaign informing the public about the forthcoming Rapture. The campaign unfolded on an unprecedented scale – using billboards, bus and subway posters, flyers and other media – and cost millions of dollars.
After May 21, Camping seemed baffled for a while that the Rapture did not take place. However, he assumed that he simply made a mistake in calculations, and that the Rapture must finally happen on Oct. 21, which is this Friday.
The radio broadcaster has been condemned by most Christian leaders, including Jeffress, who has recently attracted a lot of media attention himself, because of his controversial statement that Mormonism is a cult.
Jeffress confirmed with The Christian Post on Thursday that he is still condemning Camping.
"The Bible says that if someone makes a prophecy that doesn't come true he is to be considered a false prophet and stoned to death," he told CP. "Harold Camping has made at least three false prophecies about the day of the Rapture. And so, if he's not going to be stoned to death, he at least needs to be muzzled."
Jeffress referred to Camping's prophecy dating back to 1994. In a broadcasted statement in 2011, Camping said on his show that Christ indeed did come in 1994 in order to judge the churches, but humans were not able to detect his presence. Similarly, after May 21, Camping declared that the May date was the "spiritual rapture" and the beginning of Judgment that will conclude on Oct. 21.
"I think Christian leaders ought to continue to speak out against making predictions about the return of Christ," Jeffress told CP. "In Matthew 24:36, Jesus said that no one, including the Son of God, can know when the Rapture is going to occur."
Jefress added that Camping is like the boy who kept crying woIf. If Camping and those who want to forecast a date for Christ's return continue, the pastor asserted, people will not be prepared when the real Rapture occurs.