Harold Camping resurfaced at his home and said the weekend was “tough” after his prediction of global rapture failed to materialize on Saturday.
“It has been a really tough weekend,” Camping, 89, said in front of his Alameda, Calif., home to The San Francisco Chronicle Sunday afternoon.
“I’m looking for answers,” he said, admitting that he was “flabbergasted.”
The Family Radio president had proclaimed that May 21 (at 6 p.m. in each time zone) would be the start of Judgment day and the rapture. Camping further predicted that as Christians were being gathered up, earthquakes would break out across the world. Then on Oct. 21, he said, the whole world would be destroyed.
After making those brief comments to the Chronicle, Camping said he had nothing else to say and that he would be back to work on Monday, when he will have more to say about his failed end of the world prediction.
This is not the first time that the Christian radio broadcaster has made a wrong Judgment Day prediction. Nearly two decades ago, he predicted that Judgment Day would take place in September 1994.
Some people affected by Camping’s false teachings shared on the website Patheos' evangelical portal this weekend how their family relationships have suffered as a result.
One commenter identified as TL posted under the blog post, “A Letter to Harold Camping and Those Who Expected Judgment Day,” that his mother had believed in Camping’s teachings for some 20 years, including his 1994 prediction.
“The faith she gave me as a young child (and my sisters) became the subject of much ridicule,” wrote TL. “This has been so hurtful on so many levels. Today, on May 22, I am strengthened by your words and pray for compassion.”
“Lara” wrote: “As the daughter of a man who completely bought into Harold Camping’s false teachings this is the most comforting thing that I’ve read so far. Our lives have been wrecked for the past 2-3 years. My father apologized to our family today. We are thanking Jesus for the miracle. We have hope that God will use evil for good.”
But people who know Camping personally say he is nice and sincere.
Gabriel Otero, who was fired by Camping as dean of Family Radio School of the Bible after 34 years for wanting to remove organized religion from the nonprofit, said of Camping: “He’s a nice man. A wonderful fellow. Simple, clean as can be and very trustworthy,” according to The Associated Press.
Otero, however, expressed disagreement with his former boss’s rapture date prediction.
And Charlene Key, who now lives near Houston but has known Camping since the 1950s, said, “He’s extremely sincere in his beliefs, but he’s not one of those Tammy Faye Bakker types,” as reported by AP. She stressed that Camping has never asked her for donations.
“He gives every nickel he collects to charity,” Key said.
Although Camping is being accused of scamming people and being a cult leader, people who know him well say that he is nice, albeit confused about what the Bible says about the end times.