You remember Mr. Camping, right? The preacher who predicted the world would end on May 21st of 2011? If you’ve been paying attention then you know he was wrong. Then he doubled down and said that it was a spiritual rapture and that the real one would occur 5 months later in October. That one, also, failed to happen. It was shortly after that that he announced he was retiring.
He’s not going to leave us hanging without a proper explanation. Seems he just put out a news release wherein he admits that he was wrong and was pretty stupid for trying to predict when Jesus would come knocking in the first place:
We have learned the very painful lesson that all of creation is in God’s hands and He will end time in His time, not ours! We humbly recognize that God may not tell His people the date when Christ will return, any more than He tells anyone the date they will die physically.
We realize that many people are hoping they will know the date of Christ’s return. In fact for a time Family Radio fell into that kind of thinking. But we now realize that those people who were calling our attention to the Bible’s statement that “of that day and hour knoweth no man” (Matthew 24:36 & Mark 13:32), were right in their understanding of those verses and Family Radio was wrong. Whether God will ever give us any indication of the date of His return is hidden in God’s divine plan.
That said, Camping insists that there’s still an upside to his exercise in idiocy:
The May 21 campaign was an astounding event if you think about its impact upon this world. There is no question that millions, if not billions of people heard for the first time the Bible’s warning that Jesus Christ will return. Huge portions of this world that had never read or seen a Bible heard the message the Christ Jesus is coming to rapture His people and destroy this natural world.
Yes, we humbly acknowledge we were wrong about the timing; yet though we were wrong God is still using the May 21 warning in a very mighty way. In the months following May 21 the Bible has, in some ways, come out from under the shadows and is now being discussed by all kinds of people who never before paid any attention to the Bible. We learn about this, for example, by the recent National Geographic articles concerning the King James Bible and the apostles. Reading about and even discussing about the Bible can never be a bad thing, even if the Bible’s authenticity is questioned or ridiculed. The world’s attention has been called to the Bible.
Right, because no one was talking or writing about the Bible before Camping starting making his end-of-the-world predictions.
Truth is, the only thing the world’s attention was brought to was what a bunch of idiots followers of Harold Camping were. More than one of them sold or gave away everything they owned and spent all their savings because they honestly thought there was no tomorrow past May 21st. Lots of others quit their jobs and wasted money on billboards and fliers and generally being obnoxious to everyone they met about the coming End of Days. If you go read the whole statement from Mr. Camping you’ll note that he doesn’t even mention these people in it.
In fact, the only person (of such) that he asks for forgiveness from is God:
We were even so bold as to insist that the Bible guaranteed that Christ would return on May 21 and that the true believers would be raptured. Yet this incorrect and sinful statement allowed God to get the attention of a great many people who otherwise would not have paid attention. Even as God used sinful Balaam to accomplish His purposes, so He used our sin to accomplish His purpose of making the whole world acquainted with the Bible. However, even so, that does not excuse us. We tremble before God as we humbly ask Him for forgiveness for making that sinful statement. We are so thankful that God is so loving that He will forgive even this sin.
What about all those idiots you convinced to voluntarily ruin their lives for your cause? Don’t you think they might like an apology and, perhaps, a bit of contrition from you? You did no harm to God (mainly because he doesn’t exist) but you did a lot of real-world harm to others. Fuck them, right? It’s their own damn fault they were dumb enough to listen to you in the first place. That seems to be the message we should take away from Mr. Camping.
But I suppose we should give him a little credit. At least he’s given up the prediction game. Unlike some others we’ve followed here at SEB that are well into the hundreds of wrong guesses. That’s the real upside to this whole mess.