Harold Camping appears to have lost credibility with a great deal of Christians due to his string of erroneous prophetic predictions, and some critics say the California radio broadcaster is harming Christians and non-believers with his teachings.
In 1992, Camping predicted that the world would end in September of 1994, announcing the event in a published book with the ominous title 1994?
When the event failed to occur, Camping said reportedly said, "Obviously this has not happened, so that was inaccurate."
The Family Radio general manager and board chairman would explain that he misunderstood an element in his theory which centered around the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles. He insisted that the end times would still occur before the conclusion of 1994, misleading thousands of devoted listeners of his radio program in the process.
Earlier this year, Camping predicted that the rapture would occur on May 21 of 2011, with the California Bible teacher's prediction drawing a great deal of national and international attention. The day following the scheduled event, Camping told the San Francisco Chronicle that he was "flabbergasted" as to why his prediction did not materialize. He also added, "It has been a really tough weekend."
October 21 is the latest scheduled date for Judgment Day. Camping has explained that it will "come very very quietly," but not only will it be the end of the world, the Bible teacher has predicted that "there would be no pain suffered by anyone because of their rebellion against God."
Has Camping’s predictions been proven false too many times for him to ever again be taken seriously? In other words, has the evangelical radio host simply become the boy who cried wolf?
Deuteronomy 18:22 reads: "If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him."
Based on public reaction to Camping's latest claims about the Oct. 21, 2011 rapture, the 90-year-old broadcaster seems to have evoked ridicule and scorn instead of dread.
Robert Jeffress, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, has told The Christian Post that he believes Camping 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."