- (Photo: The Christian Post/ Hudson Tsuei)
Harold Camping has been dismissed as a false prophet by both Christians and unbelievers, who say the Bible proves that point, yet the California Bible teacher persists in announcing that the world will "probably" end on Oct. 21.
Observers who have been following Camping's predictions, including readers of The Christian Post, do not question his faith in Jesus Christ, only his claims to have unlocked a scriptural timeline that tells of the exact month and day of Jesus Christ's return and end of the world - something that most Christians say the Bible itself proves is impossible.
One CP reader, Andrea Theresa, pointed to Deuteronomy 18:22, writing, "Considering he [Camping] predicted the end in the 80s, 90s and 00s... and nothing happened any of those times... I think we can safely say he's the definition of a false prophet."
The aforementioned Bible verse reads: "If the prophet speaks in the LORD's name but his prediction does not happen or come true, you will know that the LORD did not give that message. That prophet has spoken without my authority and need not be feared."
Another CP reader was quick to note under Theresa's comment that the Old Testament also calls for false prophets to be stoned (Deuteronomy 18:20), which Robert Fort contends "would put an end to all of these soothsayer charismaniacs and end-of-worlders."
Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, also quoted Deuteronomy 18:20-22, as well as Matthew 24:36, when discussing Camping's failed predictions.
"By my count, Harold Camping has predicted the rapture on three different occasions and has been wrong all three times. According to the Old Testament, he ought to be stoned to death."
Jeffress added, "That is a little bit severe, but I think that he ought to at least be muzzled from causing any further problems."
One problem Camping has caused, according to the Baptist minister, is possibly helping to desensitize the public to the gospel.
"I think he is doing Christianity and non-Christians both a great disservice," Jeffress said. "This is like the boy who cried wolf so many times, that the villagers became [immune] and didn't actually prepare for when the wolf came. I think by Harold Camping continually making these ridiculous prophecies, he is making unbelievers immune to the truth of the true message of Christ and helping make them unprepared for when Christ truly does return."
When asked if, by biblical standards, whether Harold Camping is a false prophet, Jeffress replied emphatically, "Absolutely."
He explained that Camping "is violating Matthew 24:36 that clearly says no man knows the day" of Christ's return.
"We all know Christ is returning again...but Jesus said neither the angels nor the son of God knows when... If God hasn't told his own son when the Second Coming will be, I doubt He's told Harold Camping."
Camping, 90, recently issued an audio message to his supporters via his Family Radio website, repeating that his prophecies would be fulfilled on Oct. 21.
Camping, who suffered a stroke weeks after his May 21 doomsday prediction failed to materialize, has been recovering at his Alameda home. In the audio message, the Bible teacher also thanks supporters, saying, "I am particularly grateful when I hear about your prayers and your concerns for my health and well-being and I'm glad that God is answering those prayers."