Harold Camping, the Christian broadcaster who boldly announced that the world would end on May 21, only to later say that he was "flabbergasted" when the rapture did not occur, is now telling everyone to get ready for the real rapture, which is set to occur on Oct. 21 – probably.
Some time after being released from a nursing home in June after suffering a stroke, Camping, released an audio message on Family Radio's website saying, "We would have not been able to be used [by God] to bring about the tremendous event that occurred on May 21 of this year, which probably [will] be finished out on Oct. 21 that's coming very shortly. That looks like it will be ... the final end of everything."
Camping, not sounding quite as strong in his voice or as confident about his rapture prediction in his audio message, expressed gratitude for prayers from supporters (read a transcript of Camping's audio message).
The California Bible teacher, who confessed that he has "restudied" his predictions, said in the recording that the rapture will be quick and quiet. "Probably there will be no pain suffered by anyone because of their rebellion against God," Camping said.
He added, "This is very comforting to all of us because we all have children, we all have loved ones that are dear to us that we know are not saved and yet we know that they'll quietly die."
As for "the true believers," like those who have been praying for his recovery, Camping said in the message that believers "will quietly receive the new heaven and the new earth."
"I really am beginning to think as I restudied these matters that there's going to be no big display of any kind. The end is going to come very, very quietly probably within the next month. It will happen that is by Oct. 21," he said.
This latest announcement set off quite a firestorm on a Facebook page about Camping and his predictions where people took to mocking the minister, calling him a fake, a false prophet and more.
One Facebook user decided to take Camping to task.
"The more this Camping charactor [sic] opens his mouth the more stupid he sounds," Alice Carey said. "He needs to give up the prophecy business and find something else to worry about like feeding the hungry or working with abused animals."
Jayson Leary took the opportunity to rant against media-savvy ministers who are known for gimmicks and controversy, and to tell people they should instead follow the ways of Jesus.
"Folks the choice is clear," Leary wrote. "Are you gonna follow fundamentalist media twits, or are you going to follow instead the carpenter rabbi from Galillee? I vote for following the carpenter rabbi from Galilee."
Justin Vaught compared Camping to the infamous Westboro Church. "I love this shameless rhetoric from this guy. Always puts a smile on my face, very entertaining," he wrote. "Although I don't find him anywhere near as ignorant as the 'God hates fags' folks."
"Still the world would be a better place without both," he added.
Kevin Lynch was blunt in his reaction to Camping saying, "Harold. I think God is saying stop."
However, not everyone was so quick to ridicule the radio minister. Some were sympathetic toward Camping.
"A coworker hit it on the nose in May," Hoskins wrote. "This is coming from a man that is most likely a devout Christian that is scared of dying in a painful way & has convinced himself this is a more painless way to get to heaven. When I thought about it like that, I got a more sympathetic view of Camping."
Camping, a trained civil engineer who started the Family Radio network in 1958, has been wrong about the end of the world date twice before. In 1992, he predicted that the world would end in 1994 and even wrote a book, aptly titled, 1994?
Although Christians hold conflicting views about how the world will come to an end, the accepted theological view is that the Bible does not offer clues as to the exact day or date of Jesus Christ's return, as Camping continues to purport.
Family Radio released a statement on Sept. 20, informing visitors that Camping had "improved substantially" and was being cared for at home by his wife. This latest audio message was likely published some time afterward, according to RadioSurvivor.com, which first reported on the audio clip.