Harold Camping Rapture: How Many Followers After Doomsday Letdown?
In wake of his new Oct. 21 judgment day prediction, skeptics wonder if American Christian broadcaster Harold Camping will garner as many supporters as before.
Camping has previously predicted three doomsdays, the most recent one being May 21. As a result of Camping's prophecy, many followers sold all their material possessions and quit their jobs in preparation for judgment.
When May 21 arrived and the world did not end, Camping created public controversy. Many followers were left with depleted savings accounts.
Skeptics question Camping’s commitment to his words, especially because he himself did not sell any of his possessions in preparation for the Second Coming.
“Wasn’t he as invested as his followers were?” asked The International Business Times of San Francisco.
“Did Camping take everyone along for a ride?” added the online newspaper.
The newspaper also questioned why Harold Camping’s “Family Radio” Minnesota office filed for an extended tax filing date of November 15 when the world was predicted to end in May?
Now, having survived a stroke, Camping is back again to predict the “real” doomsday – happening Oct. 21.
He argued that May 21 was God’s spiritual judgment and that October would mark the physical end of the world.
"God brought Judgment Day to the whole world. The whole world is on Judgment Day. It will continue to Oct. 21, 2011 and at that time the whole world will be destroyed," Camping said in a public address after the May 21 disappointment.
Although officially announcing his prediction, he is not publicly pushing his claim as much as he did back in May.
“Family Radio,” Camping’s $70 million national radio show, told The Christian Post that they are not commenting on the predicted Rapture date.
Critics remain skeptical of Camping, especially because he did not take responsibility for those who sold their possessions and savings based on his prediction.
“I don't have any responsibility. I don't have any responsibility of anybody's life. I'm only teaching the Bible. I'm simply saying, ‘This is what the Bible says,'" he announced.
"We at Family Radio never tell anyone what [to] do with their possessions. That's totally between them and God," he added.
Camping originally predicted the end of the world will include a Rapture of 200 million and natural disasters for multiple days, including fires, earthquakes, and plagues, before God destroys the world.
He has now changed his tune, predicting that the Oct. 21 Rapture will be quick and there will be “no pain” for non-believers.