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In New Statement, Harold Camping Admits Family Radio was Wrong to Predict Rapture

Harold Camping at Family Radio HQ in May 2011 (Photo: J. Waits)

Harold Camping at Family Radio HQ in May 2011 (Photo: J. Waits)

I first became obsessed with Harold Camping and Family Radio nearly a year ago when I heard Camping’s bold statements about the impending rapture and end of the world. Part of what made his radio broadcasts so compelling was that he expressed his beliefs with absolute certainty. When callers to his “Open Forum” talk show had questions and critiques about his predicted May 21, 2011 date for the rapture, Camping was steadfast and at times combative, as he held firm to the idea that 6pm “local time” would herald the beginning of the end on May 21 and that the destruction of the world would occur on October 21, 2011. Since neither of those dates panned out, Camping has softened his initial stance on Judgment Day, releasing several statements, including a claim that Judgment Day was spiritual rather than physical. By November his thinking about the rapture had evolved even further and he even offered listeners a vague apology.

Camping’s latest, and strongest, statement was just posted on the Family Radio website this week. It will also be mailed out to Family Radio listeners. In it, Camping admits that he was wrong to have predicted a date for Judgment Day in the first place. He says:

“…Events within the last year have proven that no man can be fully trusted. Even the most sincere and zealous of us can be mistaken. 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.”

As he has stated previously, Camping argues that Family Radio’s pre-May 21 media blitz has led to an increased awareness of the Bible. He says, “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.”

Web Department at Family Radio May 2011 (Photo: J. Waits)

Web Department at Family Radio May 2011 (Photo: J. Waits)

He goes on to say that he does not have a new date in mind for the end of the world and says that “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.”

Considering how certain Camping was of the May 21 date initially, it’s amazing to see that he now admits that nay-sayers, who argued that people cannot know the date of the end of the world, were actually correct. He states, “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 now realize that those people who were calling our attention to the Bible’s statement that ‘of that day and hour knoweth no man’, were right in their
understanding of those verses and Family Radio was wrong.”

Camping also admits that he made “sinful” statements by insisting that “Christ would return on May 21,” but seems to argue that the end justified the means since these bold claims “allowed God to get the attention of a great many people who otherwise would not have paid attention.” Camping then offers an apology, saying, “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.”

It appears that Family Radio will continue with its regular programming from here on out. As we noted recently, they are also in the midst of selling off a few of their radio stations across the country. Just this week the FCC approved Family Radio’s application to assign the license for WKDN in Camden, New Jersey to Merlin Media. The sale price was $22.5 million.


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3 Responses to In New Statement, Harold Camping Admits Family Radio was Wrong to Predict Rapture

  1. Danny Haszard March 13, 2012 at 11:50 am #

    With Harold Camping’s *rapture reloaded* in the news the apocalyptic themes of the Jehovah’s Witnesses is getting attention.

    Watchtower Jehovahs Witnesses have lost credibility with their own *Millerite Math* doctrine of Jesus *invisible* second coming October 1914.

    Watchtower society false prophets declare Armageddon end of world in 1874, 1878, 1881, 1910, 1914, 1918, 1925, 1975, and 1984….

    —Danny Haszard

    Armageddon-aint-a-coming-so-im-a-getting-outta-here…

  2. Ronald Schlager March 13, 2012 at 5:24 pm #

    I have followed what Harold Camping has tauht about many Bible subjects, since the early 1990s. The core of what he teaches, I do agree with. There is very little that I dont agree with, simply because, my own study has proved to myself that he has seen it all clearly from the Bible. I mean to say that what he says that the Bible says concerning the nature of a Christians salvation, is full on correct. No one, who considers themselves to be a true Christian, can truly say, that they made a choice for Jesus or against Him. The reason for this is that we are all born spritually dead, in tresspasses and sins, and cannot respond to the Gospel. Many of you who leave comments, are being unfair to Harold Camping, because you only mention one or two verses from the Bible, that you think supports your false beliefs. You must include all the verses on the subject in view. Rightly divide the Word of Truth, people, before you falsely judge Harold Camping. I personally believe that we should be looking for another date, and I dont believe that Harold Camping has sinned by publising a date in the past. Those in the Church teach that Jesus will come at any time, and you should be ready, but you all better also read the book of I Thel Chapter 5, where it says that while they say peace and safety, then sudden destruction comes upon them. The Church believes that they are ready whenever Jesus comes, but they are not, as they suppose! By the way, Harold Camping is not a false teacher, because he does not say that God told him such and such, if their is not a verse to quote. The falsed pastors, teachers, theologians, and others in the Church will tell you only what you want to hear, and not what you need to hear, which is what Mr. Camping has done for years now. He truly and really loves the lost sheep, unlike those whose god is their belly, in the Church! The Bible says to be ware when all men speak well of you, because they dont want to be disliked for telling the truth. The truth hurts, but it is the only thing that will set you free from the bondage to sin and degradation! You people out there know darn well that your sin is killing you, with your perversions, your drugs, alcolhol, and other things. Come on now, lets all be truthfull, and lets be fair, or is that too much for you reprobate folks! Hosea 9:15, Psalm 5:5 and Psalm 11;5 clearly state that God hates the sinner! How many ministers (angels of light) will have the courage to tell you of these verses that are also found in Gods precious Holy Word, (the Bible). Harold Camping has never lied to anyone over the years, on purpose or otherwise, because he may have spoken too soon before he fully understood all God was saying, but there comes a point when you have to get the message out there to the people, with the best understanding you have at the moment. Ezekiel Chapter 3 and also 33 state to warn the wicked (wich is all of us). Romans 1:16, Luke 7:23 and Mark 8:38 all state not to be ashamed of the Gospel, and I for one am not ashamed!

    • Lori February 20, 2013 at 12:54 am #

      I agree. I have been following Family Radio for some time now. I do not feel ashamed of trying to spread the May 21st message, even though we were wrong. I did what I thought was the best thing at the time. It is NEVER wrong to spread the Word of God.

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