Harold Camping, the founder of Family Radio, who used a high-profile media campaign to predict the end of the world last May – and, later, in October – has apologized for his “incorrect and sinful” warnings. He recognizes that his billboards and pamphlets last year convinced many people to quit their jobs, spend their life’s savings, and even leave their families to spread the word – and, apparently, feels bad about it (or at least embarrassed).
He’s announced that he will no longer attempt to predict the date and time of Judgment Day. On his website, he posted a letter stating:
[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.
We must 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.
I’m a little skeptical that the campaign actually reached anyone who’d never heard or thought about the Bible before (it’s more or less ubiquitous in America, and many other parts of the world), but it’s good that Camping realizes it might be a good idea to quit while he’s ahead. Or, at least, to avoid making a further spectacle of himself and his followers.
Photo credit: John Taylor