Entries in Family Radio (5)


Harold Camping Admits Rapture Prediction ‘A Mistake’

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Ninety-year-old Harold Camping predicted that the world would come to an end on May 21, 2011.  And then again on October 21, 2011. And while it has been clear for months that the world, in fact, did not end on either date, Camping has finally issued a statement admitting the mistake.

According to “When is the Rapture?,” an article written by Camping, the Rapture is the end of the world and happens when “our Lord comes to judge the world.”

On the day of the Rapture, “the believers in Christ who have not experienced physical death will be changed into their glorified bodies,” Camping wrote. “At that time, they will be caught up in the air to be with Christ.”

At the time of the first prediction, Camping was the president of Family Radio, a non-profit radio network that, according to its website, acts “with the express purpose of sending the Christian Gospel into the world.”

When May 21, 2011 came and went with no sign of the Apocalypse, Camping still said he was not entirely wrong about the prediction. Speaking to the media outside the headquarters of Family Radio on May 23, Camping said that while the world had not ended, the spiritual Rapture had begun.

“We have to be looking at all of this a little bit more spiritual, but it won’t be spiritual on Oct. 21,” he said. “Because the Bible clearly teaches that then the world is going to be destroyed altogether.”

Shortly after he said that, Camping suffered a stroke on June 13, 2011, and retired from Family Radio.

When Oct. 21 also came and went with no sign of the Rapture, Camping was publicly silent until now.

“We humbly acknowledge we were wrong about the timing,” his statement reads. “We tremble before God as we humbly ask Him for forgiveness for making that sinful statement.”

But Camping and Family Radio say they believe that while the prediction was a mistake, it was all in God’s plan.

“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,” Camping wrote. “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.”

And, the statement reads, Family Radio will not announce a new prediction for the end of the world.

“We also openly acknowledge that we have no new evidence pointing to another date for the end of the world. Though many dates are circulating, Family Radio has no interest in even considering another date. God has humbled us through the events of May 21, to continue to even more fervently search the Scriptures (the Bible), not to find dates, but to be more faithful in our understanding.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Harold Camping Says World Will End Today... Again

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) -- Plans for Friday’s Armageddon aren’t nearly as organized as the doomsday that never happened five months ago on May 21.

This time around, for Harold Camping’s renewed prediction of doom, there are few signs that the great rapture is near.

In an update on its end of the world website, the non-profit group posted: “On May 21 Christ did come spiritually to put all of the unsaved throughout the world into judgment. But that universal judgment will not be physically seen until the last day of the five month judgment period, on October 21, 2011."

The Website continued, “…we can be sure that the whole world, with the exception of those who are presently saved (the elect), are under the judgment of God, and will be annihilated together with the whole physical world on October 21, 2011, on the last day of the present five months period.”

Camping, who suffered a stroke about 20 days after his May 21 prediction, is out of the hospital and recuperating with his wife, according to an announcement posted on the Family Radio Website.

Family Radio did not return calls or emails seeking comment. Calls to numbers associated with Harold Camping went unanswered. Calls to lawyers associated with the group weren’t returned.

Using his platform, Camping has predicted the end of the world 12 times. His first prediction of the end of times dates back to 1978, according to a source familiar with Camping.

His May 21st End of the World website stated: “…the Bible has given us absolute proof that the year 2011 is the end of the world during the Day of Judgment… Amazingly, May 21, 2011 is the 17th day of the 2nd month of the Biblical calendar of our day…”

Camping, who stated he pinpointed the date for the end of the world, placed the time of the rapture at 5:59 p.m.  But the day came and went without a big bang. Later he said his math was off.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Preacher Says Rapture Prediction Was Wrong but It's Still Coming

EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images(OAKLAND, Calif.) -- Harold Camping, the radio evangelist who predicted the apocalypse would begin Saturday, May 21, said on Monday that his understanding of God's plan was just a little off.

Speaking to reporters outside his Family Radio International office near the Oakland, California airport, Camping said his prediction that the Biblical Rapture would occur Saturday might have been wrong, but he stands by his prophecy that the world will come to an end as forecast on Oct. 21.

God did "bring judgment on the world" on Saturday, Camping said, but there will not be any terrible buildup to the end.  When it comes, it will happen quickly, he said.

"We have to be looking at all of this a little bit more spiritual, but it won't be spiritual on Oct. 21," he said.  "Because the Bible clearly teaches that then the world is going to be destroyed altogether."

His radio station will no longer preach about the end of the world, he said, because God's judgment has already come.

The 89-year-old retired civil engineer had pinpointed May 21 at 5:59 p.m. as the exact time the Rapture would occur, when those chosen by God would ascend to Heaven, while sinners suffered through five months of disasters until the Earth was consumed in a fireball on the End of Days, according to the Christian Bible.

On Sunday, after the Rapture failed to occur Saturday as he had predicted, Camping was "mystified" and "a little bewildered," an associate of the California preacher told ABC News.

Tom Evans, a board member of Family Radio International, said on Sunday that Camping's wife told him her husband was at their home and had no intention to speak or issue any statement for at least two days.

However, the evangelist did speak on Monday, saying he had been disappointed by the apparent failure of his prophecy, so he and his wife had gone to a hotel room so that he could sort out what had happened without distraction.

"When May 21 came and went, it was a very difficult time for me, a very difficult time," he said.  "I really, really was praying and praying and praying, 'Oh Lord, what happened?'"

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Doomsday Prophet 'Bewildered' by Failure of Rapture

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Harold Camping is "mystified" and "a little bewildered" that the Rapture did not go as he predicted, an associate of the California preacher told ABC News.

Tom Evans, a board member of Camping's Family Radio International, said that Camping's wife told him her husband is at their home in Oakland and has no intention to speak or issue any statement on Sunday or Monday.

Camping's wife described him as being "somewhat bewildered" and "mystified" that events did not unfold on May 21 as Camping had predicted, Evans said.

Evans said his personal position is that the public is owed an apology and he wants the board -- and Camping -- to meet on Tuesday to figure out what to say and do next.

Camping, 89, had pinpointed May 21, at 5:59 p.m. as the exact time the Rapture would occur, when those chosen by God would ascend to heaven while cataclysmic earthquakes would begin to rock earth.  He spread the word on billboards, posters, fliers and digital bus displays across the country.

Robert Fitzpatrick of New York had put his money where his faith is: The 60-year-old retiree spent $140,000 -- almost everything he had -- on hundreds of billboards proclaiming the Armagedon that Camping predicted.

When it didn't come, he was standing in New York's Times Square, surrounded by jeering tourists in a drizzling rain.

"I can't tell you what I feel right now," he said.  "Obviously, I haven't understood it correctly because we're still here."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


As May 21 Doomsday Looms, What's Behind Armageddon Appeal?

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- This Saturday in Times Square, amidst bewildered tourists and hot dog vendors, Robert Fitzpatrick will be waiting for the world to end.

The 60-year-old MTA retiree from Staten Island joins the hordes who follow the Biblical calculation of Family Radio preacher Harold Camping.  Camping predicts that the end of days is near -- in fact, it's May 21, at about 5:59 p.m. ET.

"Judgment day will begin very shortly before midnight Jerusalem standard time.  I think it's going to be instantaneous.  Everything will be destroyed and God is going to create a new heaven and a new earth," says Fitzpatrick, who spent his $140,000 life savings to have 3,000 posters put up in New York City's subway and bus system, warning of this impending End of Days.

Though many are chalking up this May 21 hysteria to religious zeal, leaders among mainstream Christian denominations have largely condemned date-setting, citing Bible verses that say no man can know the time of The Rapture.

Why are Fitzpatrick and those on Family Radio's recent proselytizing tour convinced that the end is upon us, despite centuries of failed predictions?

That's hard to answer, but psychologists and religious scholars say it derives from a number of very human urges: from the fear of death to the desire for justice to the fatalistic despair that this world is too broken to ever be fixed.

Although there's no way to gauge how many people actually think the world will end with a bang (or a whimper) on Saturday, doomsday is big in the U.S.

"Thirty to forty percent of Americans report believing that the end times are coming eventually, so while most reject the teachings of Camping, there is a strong strain of this kind of thinking in this country," says Christian Lane, author of The Age of Doubt: Tracing the Roots of Our Religious Uncertainty.

So for some, anxiety spurred by the recent natural and economic disasters makes apocalyptic thinking more appealing, he says.

"It becomes easier to convince people that things are getting worse and that the answer will come through divine dispensation, rather than have them face the fact that humanity must fix its own problems."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio