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Harold Camping Explains that Judgment Day was Spiritual

Harold Camping in His Office at Family Radio on May 12, 2011 (Photo: J. Waits)

When Harold Camping concluded his call-in talk show “Open Forum” on Thursday, May 19, 2011, he said goodbye to his listeners as he anticipated that he would be whisked away in the Rapture on Saturday, May 21.

On the program he said that he planned to spend Friday and Saturday with his family as he awaited Judgment Day. He said that he would be doing a lot of praying and pointed out, “I cannot make anybody become a true believer.” As he wrapped up the broadcast, he said, “I’m going to bid you goodnight…[and] thank you for your patience with me…may God truly bless you with eternal life. Good night.”

Camping obviously had no idea that he would soon be back on Open Forum, addressing not only his followers, but also legions of curious on-lookers who have been eagerly anticipating how he would explain away the non-events of May 21.

As recently as May 17, Camping spoke with assurance about May 21, stating on Open Forum that, “it is absolutely…going to be May 21…the Bible guarantees it.” On May 18 he said that he knew “without a shadow of a doubt” that Judgment Day would be on May 21.

So, it was amazing to hear Camping this evening expressing his thoughts about the Judgment Day that didn’t happen on Saturday, May 21, 2011.

In his opening statements on Open Forum tonight, he told listeners that it would be a different type of show. He had invited the media to Family Radio headquarters in order to ask questions about the failed Rapture. Instead of doing a normal call-in show (which he plans to resume tomorrow night), he spoke to the media, then opened the floor for questions.

As he spoke to the assembled reporters and listeners on his Open Forum show tonight, he stated that it had been a “very interesting weekend” since “May 21…came [and]…all the dire predictions..did not come to pass.” He joked that he’d been asked what his response was to May 21, mentioned that he’d had questions as to whether or not he was going to “shoot yourself” or had gone on a “booze trip.” He then shared that, “When May 21 came and went it was a very difficult time for me. I was truly wondering, what is going on.” He stated that he looked back through the “proofs” and “signs” and prayed. He also acknowledged that the pressure got to him and that he and his wife spent a night in a motel this weekend to escape all of the media calls.

He said that during that time he came to the realization that Judgment Day on May 21 was actually spiritual, rather than physical. He said, “The fact is, when we look at it spiritually, we find that he did come.”

As he has previously stated, Camping again said that the end of the world will come on October 21, 2011. Although Camping all along has said that he is taking the Bible literally, he acknowledged that a letter from a listener caused him to realize that God may be sparing humankind by not causing 5 months of pain and suffering between May 21 and October 21. Instead, he’s now guessing that the large rolling earthquake will take place on October 21, 2011.

He argued that on May 21, 2011 “God again brought Judgment on the world” and although “We didn’t see any difference in the world,” it happened and “It will continue right up until October 21, 2011 and at that time the whole world will be destroyed.”

Camping said that from this point on, Family Radio will no longer be advertising Judgment Day. He said that they will take down the Judgment Day billboards and will stop distributing Judgment Day literature. He said, “The world has been warned. We did our little share.” Camping added that Family Radio will be airing music and educational programming emphasizing, “how to live a life that is faithful to the word.”

When probed by a reporter about Camping’s mistake in predicting the events of May 21, Camping stated, “I’m not infallible.” He added that “if people want me to apologize, I can apologize yes” and said, “I’m not a genius.” Yet the only mistake that he acknowledged is that Judgment Day on May 21, 2011 was ” to be understood spiritually, not physically.”

As the 90 minute session drew to a close, Camping also emphasized the important role that the media has played in communicating Judgment Day, saying, “I thank God for the media.”

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36 Responses to Harold Camping Explains that Judgment Day was Spiritual

  1. Jeff May 24, 2011 at 6:53 pm #

    Some crank caller on Tuesday 05/25 called Harold Camping and asked him what will be the color of the arsenic Kool Aid served at his house party on October 21st. Camping had the crank repeat the question one more time before someone cut him off. Earlier, some guy called in with a question about the bible. Sounded like an educated person performing a sanity test on him. I can’t figure out what the employees of Family Radio really think about Camping.

  2. Ed May 24, 2011 at 7:33 pm #

    Rapture Hiding Places

    Saturday, October 1 at 12:00am

  3. Sha' Boy May 24, 2011 at 7:40 pm #

    Harold Camping was almost right about 21 May 2011. This exclusive footage shows why he was wrong and what happened. Unfortunately Camping didn’t account for “A Friend” saving Earth in his math.

    Now realizing he was wrong, Camping issues this response, and admittance of being wrong.

  4. sammyjo May 24, 2011 at 7:46 pm #

    Just a comment to Jeff, Jim Jones was nothing like camping. And it was flavor- aid and cyanide. Not arsenic and kool-aid. The mass murder that day at Jonestown wasn’t over religion. It was over paranoia of government officials. It wasn’t even actually suicide. They either drank the poison or where forced it or shot. Camping is senile not psychotic.

  5. Pastor CM Hanks, ThD, DD May 24, 2011 at 8:26 pm #

    H. Camping,

    With all sincerety, we implore you: Do the cause of Christ a favor, keep your predictions to yourself. You were wrong before, you are wrong now, you will be wrong again. Add no offense to the gospel. No amount of rationalization is a spiritual gift. “A fool returns to his folly like a dog returns to its vomit.” – Solomon, c. 1ooo b.c.

  6. Joseph May 24, 2011 at 8:35 pm #

    I listened to Camping tonight (Tuesday, May 24) and was disturbingly shocked to hear caller after caller praising and commending their leader. This is clearly a cult as is Family Radio itself. They misrepresent Christianity and have missed the boat entirely regarding the responsibility to help the helpless, including materially. In fact, Camping actually stated tonight that it is not the Christian’s responsibility to reach out to the poor because there are other organizations doing that. He referenced the Red Cross as one. Meanwhile, Family Radio just squandered $120 million on Camping’s false prophecy – money that could and should have been spent to help alleviate human suffering. And what an example that would be for others to follow. Harold Camping is a disgraceful man beneath contempt.

  7. HonesToGod May 24, 2011 at 8:39 pm #

    How sad! You all should have some compassion for Harold. He’s been made a laughing-stalk, he’s been made fun of and ridiculed to no end. The man is 89 years old. As wrong as he may have been, and probably will continue to be, let him keep at least a small piece of his dignity! Though I wholeheartedly disagree with the way Harold went about spreading his “doomsday” prophecy, I’m sure his heart was in the right place. He wants us to all be saved and for us to live our lives for Jesus. It shouldn’t matter when “doomsday” is. YOUR last day could be tomorrow.


  8. Dave m May 24, 2011 at 8:42 pm #

    I read over the weekend that a Lot of his staff did not believe what he was teaching including board members. Is there no accountability within Family Radio. That CAmping can go on and say whatever comes into his head!!

  9. Sheep May 24, 2011 at 8:45 pm #

    It’s a shame that stupidity can’t be converted into a usable energy source.

  10. Ben May 24, 2011 at 8:57 pm #

    In Mark 13:32 – Jesus said to his disciples, ‘No man knows the Day or Hour, not the angels, not the son of man, but only the Father.’ Harold Camping should very well know that Jesus speaks from the Father and not of himself; so what Jesus said, comes from God the Father. Harold relies on his own interpretation going from verse to verse calculating times and dates, instead of relying on what God said through Jesus. Plus, the world has different time zones, so this rules out the attempt to predict dates. How can this man, over rule Jesus?! What Jesus says, comes from God the Father and if anyone isn’t following this instruction and relies on his or her own interpretation, is living in falsehood and Jesus warns about these people. Harold Camping is an example.

    Here is a parable: A king sends a messenger to a nearby village to tell them he is going on a journey and when he returns he will invite everyone to a feast. The king tells his top servant he will return when he is ready. Time goes by. The top servant announces a day the king will return, day comes, there is no king. The top servant announces another day, village shows up, day comes and goes, but still no king. He announces another day, still no king, and now the village is angry and now hates the king.

    What do you think the king will do to that servant when he returns?

    Like the top servant, Harold Camping has been announcing Judgement Day and the return of Jesus in 1994 and now 2011, and people are following him. Jesus the King will return at a day and hour only the Father knows.

    What do you think God is going to do to Harold when He does return at a day and hour we don’t know?

    Does not God’s Word say it will be like a thief in the night?

    Harold Camping relies on his own interpretation and disregards Jesus’ teaching about no man knows the day or hour, that means he doesn’t believe in Jesus at all.

  11. Joseph May 24, 2011 at 9:08 pm #

    Correction: It was reported to be $102 million, not $120 million, that was spent on all the worldwide billboards, flyers, caravans, etc. Still, what a disgrace! Camping and Family Radio are a fulfillment of Matthew 24:11 where Jesus said that “many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.” An accompanying verse is Matthew 23:15 – “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, you make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.”

  12. Ken Biegen May 24, 2011 at 9:22 pm #

    Harold Camping is definitely senile. Also, he is definitely a false prophet.

    He has no sense of integrity; and he needs to repent for his egomania and false prophecies.

    He has also ripped off many of his followers who have made Camping one of the wealthiest preachers in the world; and his followers have lavished Camping with a net worth in the $100 million + range. Meanwhile, his followers

    still shower Camping with more and more of their money to Camping.

  13. SDH May 24, 2011 at 9:28 pm #

    no need to fear, folks. we got this one figured out. no bible necessary:

  14. Joseph May 24, 2011 at 9:52 pm #

    I don’t think any of this is funny. There’s a worldwide radio network out there with enormous potential for good and yet they’re all about Campingism. This is an historic tragedy of grand proportion. It breaks the hearts of Christians. There are Satanic strongholds in there at Family Radio working to discredit the true gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. I pray that Harold Camping will repent of his horrible sin and error, and will forgive the Alameda Reformed Church and end his 23-year grudge against them and by extension, against the organized churches.

  15. TessTy May 24, 2011 at 11:26 pm #

    Mr. Camping, all I have to say is that if you are a true Christian, you would realize those that left you their life savings will still need that money to survive now that the world and their lives are still left before them. You should, and I dare say will be judged if you cannot see your way into giving them their money back. I cannot believe you would use the Christian religion in this way to take in money anyway. What were you going to do with that money when the world ended? Aside from that, what excuse did you use to get around the fact that Jesus said we would not know the day or hour of his return? We were given signs to know it is near, BECAUSE HE LOVES US AND WANTS US TO WORK ON OUR FAITH AND OURSELVES. You just led all these people away from his word, and I believe it was for their money. Prove it otherwise, GIVE IT BACK!

  16. TessTy May 24, 2011 at 11:38 pm #

    I will also offer Mr. Camping, I am a Christian. I walk with him every day, all day, and talk with him and as I do, I listen with all my heart, and HE DIDN’T TELL ME THE WORLD WAS ENDING, but the words he left behind let me know what to expect first as well. All your followers need to open their hearts to HIM and let him in, rather than you… A MERE MAN who swindles them of their money to keep as your own while they suffer through needlessly. Judgment day is real Mr. Camping. I know you preach it, but you CLEARLY DON’T BELIEVE IT. Let me guess, Republican?

  17. TessTy May 24, 2011 at 11:45 pm #

    Joseph, Camping is sitting on over 72 million dollars (that is known about right now). He didn’t spend it all, just enough to make it look like he did, while he had his followers spending what they had as well to print off fliers, etc.

  18. TessTy May 24, 2011 at 11:55 pm #

    America, Christians do not fear the end of the world, they welcome it. They are tired and wore, and ready for the promise land. Remember: Matthew 10:39 If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.

    and John 12:25 25 Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

    When people believe and follow righteousness, or God’s word, they learn love, care, compassion, yet, when so much of the world is cold, calculating, and selfish, they suffer heartache over this. Christians are tired and wore with it, we welcome the final hour.

  19. Transiscius E. Nyirenda May 24, 2011 at 11:58 pm #

    Jesus is the enternal Lord. He is annointed (Messeiah) and walks with the annointing. Many christians fail to prove things theya say they believe. To stand on a better position they just spirirualise such things. The main reason is that they know that a large percentage of world population does not understand spiritual things. By doing so, they know that people will choose to believe that to dig deeper into realities. This is how the devil kills many. It is impossible to understand spiritual things without the spirit of God. Mr. Camping used much of his intelligence to calculate the dates and now that the total answer to his mathematics proved wrong, he has just decieded to spiritualise the rapture and the end of the world. God have mercy.

  20. stillherethanks May 25, 2011 at 12:27 am #

    Life has it’s ups and downs, but at the end of the day, we’re stillHere…thanks! Be part of the movement:

  21. John May 25, 2011 at 12:45 am #

    As Homer said, “I’m too stupid to think for myself” which explains why Mr Camping still has followers even after two totally failed predictions. I really love the excuse for the 21 May failure, “it was spiritual” which nicely explains away the lack of any evidence to support Camping’s claim that spiritual judgement actually occurred – it was judgement Jim, but not as we know it. For simple folk like me the total lack of evidence tells me Camping’s prediction was wrong but somehow he still has followers who are obviously more simple than me and while they are out and about spouting nonsense they are depriving villages of their idiots. But hey, a old man who wants Jesus to return in his lifetime got confused and misled gullible people; that’s no big deal because, as has been observed, being wrong is not the end of the world.

  22. rajesh May 25, 2011 at 1:04 am #

    I am a hindu person,and i have got saved,i am not worthy to judge anybody since i see many commits i just speak,let us not use hard words on that old person,if any body wants to belive let him belive what he says,

    or just keep your faith and run the race which is kept for you,just think if the rapucture had happen what would our state be,let us prepre to meet the most high god,creatour of heave and the earth, come lord jesus,amen.

  23. Nobi May 25, 2011 at 3:14 am #

    Jesus is the saviour and Lord, Gods first born and of the church. Him akso dont know when the world will end only the FATHER our Most high GOD. Seeing and Hearing that Camping’s theory scared a lot simply means as Christians we have a lot in our plate to win back the lost souls to God, so they wont stumble by a simple old man theory who would love to see the word ends.

    And plz mhaan camping 21 October is my sister’s birthday and we will be celebrating and shower here with gifts that she will need after the failed END OF THE WORLD fina episode

    Repent GOD will forgive you

  24. gase May 25, 2011 at 4:37 am #

    I wonder why Harold Camping is under pressure to predict the coming of Jesus, to know the exact dates when the Son of God will return.

    When He [Yeshua] does not know, and he was NOT ashamed to state the fact that ONLY the FATHER knows.

    Mr Camping, there is some CLASSIFIED DATA to God. That makes Him to be GOD. He knows all, and he surely has given us enough to be saved…thats important TO YOU, receive him and live your life for reconciled to GOD [ 1 COR 5; 18-21]..

    JUST KNOW JESUS IS COMING SOON…BUT NO ONE [that include you] knows the hour, day or time when.


    WHEN CHRIST COME..we shall ALL SEE him…THE WORLD SHALL SEE HIM..the coming of the LORD is not going to be spiritual…by this time we should be reporting missing persons if we who are here did not make it heaven…


  25. Word Only May 25, 2011 at 8:26 am #

    If Only we would read the Word of God and stick to the SCRIPT! No need for giving dates……just living ready for the imminent RETURN of the KING!

  26. godismyshadow May 25, 2011 at 2:39 pm #

    This is no “world.”

    It’s an obsolete concept.

    We’re on a planet.

    The Earth is a planet.

  27. SNF May 25, 2011 at 4:21 pm #

    Mr. Harold Camping predicts that the world will be destroyed on October 21, 2011. I suppose that he will claim on October 24, 2011 that it was a “spiritual” destruction of the world. The man has no shame and is a disgrace to Christianity. I wish Family Radio’s Board of Directors would fire him and restore the wonderful music that used to occupy Camping’s current segments of venomous anti-church raving and false predictions. I remember when Family Radio played beautiful hymns and choral pieces during the 3pm-3:30pm EST segment on Monday to Friday, 7pm-7:30pm EST segment on Monday to Friday, 3am-4:30am EST (and 3pm-4:30pm EST) segment on Saturday, and 2:30am-4am EST (and 2:30pm-4pm EST) segment on Sunday. Family Radio, please restore the wonderful music to Camping’s awful segments! Thank you!

  28. ismael May 25, 2011 at 5:42 pm #

    Hey mr camping,

    Since when do thieves announce the night and time of a home invasion? You can add, divide and multiply for 10 more years and you will always have the same outcome. Game over buddy…

  29. TessTy May 25, 2011 at 6:58 pm #

    Camping followers please read your good book: Matt 7:15-20

    15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 BY THEIR FRUIT YOU WILL RECOGNISE THEM. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

    What has Camping done for anyone aside from fool them out of their money which they need to survive. Money is the root of all evil, while we need it to survive, doe Camping need to keep it now that the world has not ended?

  30. Cicely Carroll May 25, 2011 at 10:49 pm #

    I am annoyed with Harold, and am wondering what bible he was reading because the bible that I read specifically states that no man would know the day or the hour, not even the angels in heaven, so thanks to Harold, we Christians are now all categorized under the “crazy Christian’s” when in reality he is the crazy loon!

  31. Ed Goss May 28, 2011 at 12:00 pm #

    Isn’t it nice that an all powerful & loving god could let this happen? Oh wait, it was just another test of his follower’s faith. Nevermind.

  32. Susan June 20, 2011 at 2:05 pm #

    Most of the comments toward Camping are UNchristian and heartless.

    If Harold Camping is a False Prophet, then so are Jack Van Impe , Hal Lindsey , Tim La Haye ….and all the Millenialists who keep predicting a Jewish Temple and Russia and China attacking Israel. They’ve been teaching that for over 50 yrs. They’re predictions were supposed to happen in the generation of the Fig Tree.

    False Prophets are NOT necesarily those who set dates… False Prophets are those who Speak in Tongues (TONGUES WILL CEASE). False prophets will make merchandise of you… they are fake faith healers and money grubbers. Priests and Preachers who have sexual scandals are also False Prophets. False Prophets give people false security by telling them if they do something they can get themselves saved. The Bible clearly states Salvation is not by works and that it’s not YOUR faith, not by YOUR WILL that a person is saved. IT IS CHRIST’S FAITH and by GOD’s WILL.

    Harold Camping always referred to the Bible for all his teachings. He also never took a dime from Family Radio and told every listener to “not trust him. but to check him out and trust the Bible alone”.

    For you Church Goers out there….. Your precious preachers take your money… they live off you by scaring you with the threat of an eternal burning Hell fire, but do your preachers really believed in a burning Hell? Most don’t. In the pulpit they talk more about family relationships and prosperity. They rarely do any ” soulwinning”, instead they just “invite others to attend the church”. Once they get an attendee through the doors , they will test them to see if the person understands salvation… but anyone can “repeat after me the sinners prayer” that doesn’t mean that person is truly saved.

    Your preachers should be more like Harold Camping and be willing to live modestly on money they earned from a real job. Their goal should not be to have Megachurches and big choirs and Sunday entertainment. They should be reaching souls with the true Gospel. But no….. Instead they drive big cars and wear fancy clothes.

    Modern day churches are no more than Social Clubs that make people feel good.

    Sadlly you Bible quoters are hypocrites because you REALLY DON’t believe in Christ’s Return. As long as you keep putting it off into the future , you don’t have to really have to think much about it. You just care about material things and prosperity and use all the flowery language about being Blessed. Ask yourselves this…. when was the last time you SUFFERED for Christ? When is the last time you shared the Gospel and got yelled at or called names? Harold has done that on the air for over 50 yrs.

    For those in the Congregations who really do care about souls and Street Preach, Pass Tracts, Go to Foreign lands or into prisons hospitals and nursing homes to spread God’s Word….I really respect you. You truly do love Christ. You are truly trying to Feed Christ’s Sheep. Feeding a persons belly is a good deed , but it is not the same thing.

    As you can probably figure out… I am one who awaited May 21 and continue to believe the teaching. I do not believe it because Camping said it. I read it in the Bible. Maybe you should check out WHY we were/ are proclaiming this message. The Bible has a timeline that leads us to May 21. It is a fact.

    “If the goodman of the house had KNOWN WHAT HOUR the thief would come, he would have watched …”

    For those of you who use “No Man knows…not the son….therefore Jesus doesn’t even know” as a response to Camping … It’s sad , but you need to know…. You are ANtichrist because you DENY THE SON. The Son (capital S) is God himself. “I and the Father are one” Christ said. When the Bible says the son does not know the hour it is referring to The SON of PERDITION. Christ is the eternal father , he is the alpha and the omega. He knows the hour of His Return and so can we.

    “Judgment must begin at the house of God.” If there is no spiritual judgment then what does this mean? Will the house of God be able to see this judgment begin?

  33. Justsayin July 27, 2011 at 4:56 pm #

    Harold Camping was wrong about May 21, 2011 and the rapture but he might be right about October 21, 2011. Right around this time and early November, Earth will encounter the tail of the comet Elenin…and the tail of this dragon might just be slinging out poison…like cyanide. In 2010, comet Hartley’s tail increased its cyanide output by five times as it neared the Sun and began to melt. I don’t know if Elenin is made of cyanide like Hartley was but if it is and we’re going through the tail in late October to early November, ELEnin might really turn out to be an Extinction Level Event. (nin[e]ELE[ven])

  34. joshua February 23, 2012 at 1:46 am #

    most of you folks are extremely delusional. i love how you christains say that harold camping makes christains looks crazy and gives a bad reputation for them. news flash: ALL of you christains are crazy! how can you believe in a bible that is more of myth than empirical truth?

    the bible contradicts itself, it contradics science, its sexist, it condones slavery, it advocates murdering of non-believers, it has mythlogical and super natural events that has never been proven outside of the bible; its pure hog wash!

    i used to be a devout christain myself and actually believed in what harold camping taught for years, but ive grown up and learned how fallacious the bible is.

    most of you people believe in christianity simply because your brain washed from yours parents or other believers.

    you guys quote feel-good passages to reassure yourself of phsychological well-being, but its all in your head. where is your proof that jesus did the miracles mentioned in the bible?

  35. joshua February 23, 2012 at 2:03 am #

    the answer is you dont have any proof for jesus’ “miracles” except for the bible, which was biased and subject to scribal corruption. have you ever wondered why it wasnt until 90 AD – 120 AD when the New Testament was completed despite Jesus dying allegedly approx 30 AD?

    Jesus wasnt murdered because he was the messiah or god in the flesh. he was killed because he had an occult following in the Roman empire. government officials were afraid of the anarchy that jesus was creating.

    any one who claims to be god in the flesh is clearly lying or mentally insane. his followers, however, were just as stupid and delusional to believe in him; just like you modern christians.

    one last thing, have you people ever considered the other 30-or-so established religions? what makes christianty right but hinduism pagan? oh wait a minute i forgot, the bible has the monopoly on truth. any that opposes it are simply heretic.

    how about you guys do some research about religion?

  36. joshua February 23, 2012 at 2:19 am #

    have you guys heard of the Epic of Giglamesh? its a folklore story that talks about a worldwide flood and a construction of a boat to preserve the species. guess what? the Epic of Giglamesh pre-dates the Noachian flood by thousands of years.

    you want to know something else interesting? Zorastrainism (the oldest known eschatology in history) has almost exactly the same religious beliefs as the Abrahamic religions (ie, Judaism, Christianity, Muslim)?

    Zorastrainism teaches that mankind will continually grow more evil and sinful as time goes on, and when human degradation reaches its climax there will be a judgement day and end of the world. those who had good deeds are promised eternal bliss in the afterlife, but those are sinful are condemned,

    those who are condemned, however, will only be punished for 3 days in hell/purgatory but eventually go to heaven. sounds awfully familiar doesnt it?

    it seems the bible is also subject to plagiarism huh? if you dont believe me, research it yourself.

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