On the Front Lines of the Culture Wars

On the Front Lines of the Culture Wars

Camping says rapture did occur May 21, we just missed it

One of the RVs that traveled the country

The Rapture actually did happen May 21, explains doomsday prophet Harold Camping.

We just missed it.

During a rambling 90-minute broadcast on Monday evening, May 23, Camping explained that while May 21’s Judgment Day had slipped by, nobody will miss the total obliteration of the Earth on October 21.


He seemed to contradict himself a number of times during the broadcast, which included a question-and-answer session with reporters in the studio, saying that it is pointless to preach anymore since nobody else can be saved, then later saying that the delay would allow more people to come to Jesus. At one point, he said that Hindus can be saved without becoming Christians.

What did Jesus say about those who predict the day and time of His return?

After his broadcast, “the end is still near,” reported the San Francisco Chronicle, “the date has just been adjusted to Oct. 21.”


One of the thousands of billboards

“We’ve always said May 21 was the day,” Camping told listeners, “but we didn’t understand altogether the spiritual meaning. The fact is there is only one kind of people who will ascend into heaven. If God has saved them they’re going to be caught up.” 

“Camping, the 89-year-old preacher who gained international fame with his prediction that the rapture would come at 6 p.m. Saturday,” reported the Chronicle, “said that he misinterpreted the Bible and that May 21 was not really the end of the world but the spiritual beginning of the physical end.”


“Were not changing a date at all; we’re just learning that we have to be a little more spiritual about this,” Camping said. “But on Oct. 21, the world will be destroyed. It won’t be five months of destruction. It will come at once.”

25 times in the past when Judgment Day prophecies have proven bogus

Camping apologized for not having the dates “worked out as accurately as I could have.”

Nevertheless, he explained that actually, he had been right all along. He explained that instead of the “rapture” in which the faithful are swept up to the heavens, May 21 had instead been a “spiritual” Judgment Day, which places the entire world under Christ’s judgment.


Harold Camping

He didn’t explain exactly what that means. He did say at one point that since there’s no further point in trying to save anybody, his radio network will now just play Christian music and programs until the final end on Oct. 21.

For months, Camping had “absolutely guaranteed” that 200 million Christians would be taken to heaven as terrible disasters began to strike the planet on May 21.


Camping offered no details about Family Radio’s finances Monday. He said he could not estimate how much had been spent on getting out his prediction nor how much the nonprofit had made on the event. In 2009, the nonprofit reported in IRS filings that it received $18.3 million in donations, and had assets of more than $104 million, including $34 million in stocks or other publicly traded securities.

His rambling broadcast began around 8:30 p.m. Pacific time. Camping started off by telling listeners:

What should we expect from cult leaders such as Camping when their prophecies are proven false?


 “Now this last few days has been a learning program believe you me. Actually there are four days that are very crucial at this point in time. We have talked about all four of these days in the past and we are not making any changes in these four days except for in the emphasis. The first part the end of the world began on May 21, 1988.”

Camping has repeatedly taught that all churches were invaded by Satan on that date as well as by the gay rights movement.

The next important date, he said was September 6, 1994, which he had proclaimed would be Judgment Day with Jesus returning in the sky and the righteous rising to meet Him in the air. Camping proclaimed that he had been right about 1994.

“It is true, there was judgment in a terrible way and there was salvation in a wonderful way. The salvation came because in the previous 2,300 days virtually no one could be saved in the entire world. We didn’t even know how bad it was. Family Radio was broadcasting in those days and we had no idea what was really going.” 


Camping pointed out that this “judgment” in 1994 was “spiritual, not physical.” He admited that Jesus did not arrive on Earth.

So, why did we pay any attention to Camping? CLICK HERE

A camper parked in NYC


The next important date was May 21, he said.

“On May 21 this last weekend, God again brought Judgment on the world. We didn’t feel any difference, but we know that God brought judgment. The whole world is under judgment.”

The fourth important date, he said, is October 21. On that date, the world will end quickly without any build up.

 Then he began to take questions.

“How much has Family Radio spent to publicize May 21?” asked a reporter in the studio.

“I don’t know,” responded Camping. He said he had “not kept track of that.”

 Listeners then could hear reporters jostling to ask the next question, attempting to out-shout each other.

Rather than answer them, Camping quoted an unidentified listener who he said had written him that “the great earthquake and the universe melting in fervent heat will all happen on the last day, Oct. 21, 2011.” Camping said Family Radio will investigate that prediction, but admitted “we have been saying it was going to happen on May 21″ and that “the great earthquake didn’t happen on May 21, because no one would be able to survive it for a few days or let alone five months to suffer God’s wrath.”


Camping then began repeating some of his teachings, such that there is “no eternal hell” and that all churches are corrupted.

Camping took a break while organ music played in the background. At 9:01, he was back.  “Harold!” a man in the studio called. There was silence. Camping seemed to have forgotten he was on air. “Okay, I want to go on with this monologue,” Camping responded after a short delay.

“The world has been warned. My, has it been warned!” said Camping, who added that in preparation of the October 21 doomsday, there will be no more billboards or street preaching.

“Our task is done,” explained Camping. “The whole business of Judgment Day and all the terrible things we have been saying in the past will all be gone.”


Because of that, Family Radio will return to gospel music and Bible readings as programming, he said.

An unidentified follower with a flyer

Camping then began referring to Greek and Hebrew texts, mentioning to a 35-volume set that he refers to do his Biblical numerology. He says certain Greek and Hebrew words can have many meanings.


A reporter then asked: “On Oct. 21, will you give away all your worldly possessions?”  

“I still have to live in my house,” responded Camping. “I still have to pay my bills. I still have to live until the end. The end is five months away.” 

Will he give everything away on the day before, the 20th, asked a reporter. Camping replied: “What would be the value of that? If it’s Judgment Day, it’s the end of the world.”

Another reporter asked if Camping will give donors’ money back — or help out those who sold or gave away everything, believing that they would be raptured into heaven on May 21. 

“It is true that a few people,” he responded, “have quit jobs or depleted life savings” to donate to Family Radio or to spread the Judgment Day message. However, Camping said, he never told anybody to do that — they did it on their own.  “There are people who for example that have given up their jobs to work for Family Radio, given their time, and they do because they love the Lord.”


Camping then reiterated that on May 21, Judgment Day actually occurred, but “It was just spiritual.”  

“The timing, the structures, the proofs, none of that has changed at all,” said Camping.  He is sticking to the numerology he used to determine the May 21 and October 21 dates.  “All I am is a humble teacher. I search the Bible. I search the Bible.”

At the Texas State Capitol in Austin


Ordinarily, the questions on his Open Forum program come from telephone callers. However, it sounded as if several reporters were in the studio, all jostling to ask questions. One of them asked whether he erred in his prediction.

“If we found that we make a mistake, immediately we will correct that, of course,” said Camping, but added that he was not incorrect his in math, just in his interpretation about how May 21 would play out.

He repeated that the day was “an invisible Judgment.”

“This business is God’s business. He’s the C.E.O. and I’ve tried to be as faithful as possible,” said Camping in answer to reporters’ questions about public tax statements that say Family Radio is worth somewhere between $73 million and $150 million. Camping responds that any reports that Family Radio has lots of money are inaccurate and says the company uses much of the money to “spread the gospel.” 


He said he is a “full-time volunteer” and that the station is not trying to make money.

A reporter asked him about statements he had made that May 21 would be very physical — and not a “spiritual judgment.”  

“We don’t always hit the nail on the head the first time,” Camping said. He then repeated several points, such as that Judgment Day did happen on May 21 and was “spiritual,” not physical.

Another reporter then asked Camping if he was saying that “we as humans are not capable of understanding the Bible?”  

“You are correct,” says Camping. He started telling a story from the Bible about Saul.

Another reporter, speaking of a disillusioned follower, asked, “How do you feel about this woman who tried to take her life and her own daughters’ life?” 


“She attempted to?” asked Camping. “Oh, my, that makes me feel better because death is terrible. It’s contrary to all that the Bible teaches.” 

“Do you take any responsibility for that?” asked the reporter.

Camping said he does “not take responsibility. I don’t have spiritual rule of anybody, except my wife. Because as head of the household I have spiritual rule over my wife.”

Camping took another break at 9:30 p.m. Ads for Family Radio played as well as trumpet music. A voice said to call a toll-free number to ask Camping questions, but there had yet been no phone calls broadcast, only live questions.

When Camping returned, a reporter asked if he will apologize for being wrong about May 21. 


“I have never said I’m infallible,” responded Camping. He added that God is never wrong, pointing to “the signs He has given such as gay pride that we are on the threshold of judgment or a fantastic increase in wickedness. There isn’t any student of the Bible who can’t say ‘You know, I have made a mistake.'”

After another question about whether he will apologize, Camping answered:

“If people want me to apologize, I will apologize. I did not have all that worked out as accurately as I should have had it. That doesn’t bother me at all.” 

Camping then reiterated that he still believes Judgment Day came — only very quietly.

“I thank God for the media,” Camping said after being asked about all the attention he has gotten. Camping says he is happy that the media has spread his message.


“How much money has Family Radio raised as a result of this campaign and do you intend to return it?” asked a reporter. 

“I do not know,” Camping responded. Listeners have given because of “their desire to propagate the gospel” and have given to Family Radio “because we can do this more efficiently.” 

Will he give it back?  “No, that money is still going out. We are not out of business, we’ve learned that we still have to go another five months.”

Earlier in the broadcast, Camping had said all billboards and new advertising would stop, so it was unclear what donations will be spent on, particularly since Camping has said the donations don’t go directly toward the station’s operations. 


“We are spending it as wisely as possible,” he said. “Maybe by October 21, we will only have $10 left,” he said. 

He then became defensive about his and the radio network’s finances.  

“Not one of us has ever gained a chunk of money out of Family Radio,” he said. “Every nickle has been spent as fairly as possible, as efficiently as possible.

He then said people are concerned about “greed, greed, greed,” but greedy people have been rooted out of his company.

A reporter asked what will become of the “Jews, Hippies and Christians of the World” during the end in October. Camping has used the phrase in the past.

Camping responded “if God has saved them, they will be caught up” to heaven, even “if they are Hinduists.”



“They don’t have to know about the Bible,” said Camping, “they don’t have to know about all the things we learn in the scriptures.”

What about people who depleted their life savings to promote his message of warning.

Camping declined to offer them help.  He says the country has experienced a recession.

“Lots of people lost their homes” and jobs, but “they survived.” 

“People cope. People cope,” said Camping. 

Harold Camping, not looking his best


He added that job, housing and investment loses during the recent economic decline are far worse than what “the average Family Radio listener” has experienced. 

Reporters asked: Has Camping hurt the credibility of Christianity? Why should he keep predicting the end?

“God says again and again he resists the proud and gives grace to the humble,” answered Camping, who added, “I am nothing, I am nothing.” 

He then told the radio audience to “walk humbly before God” and “give all the credit to God.” 

A reporter asked him “then why keep predicting the end?” 

Camping said the radio program had run out of time.  He thanked the crowd for not asking anything “embarrassing.”

Family Radio ads and a pre-recorded sermon by Camping then were broadcast for the rest of the evening.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment tiffany stremp

    He shouldn’t call himself a christian I know god forgives all but he’s giving christians a bad name because it says in the bible no one but the father knows when the end is. So how can he keep predicting the end n be wrong everytime? I don’t know why people still support him when he even says no one else will be saved but yet he’s using money to spread the word. It makes no since…

  • kieth

    i have seen alot of preachers in my time some i could believe and most not but this one all the money that he took from these poor people and they lost their homes’jobs’lives when jugement day does come and only god knows when and maybe not in our life time i hope god socks it to people like him. amen.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Adeleke Adewunmi

    At 89, his own end is probably near. If Jesus Christ the son of God said the hour of his coming knows no man so who he is to claim a specific date and time when the end will come. I think he should concentrate on preaching the gospel to people rather than play ‘god’ by mentioning specific day and time that the end would come. Does he know that 6 pm in the US is a different time in Nigeria where I live? If he has nothing important to do with his life he should just hand over his ministry to a younger and more vibrant person and stop playing this useless game with the end of the world

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Ann

    For the sake of those people led astray and could be in future,Camping should be stopped.
    He better reinburse the losses incurred on people.The government of America must interfere.This is theft in a different form.
    The government must interfere and form laws against such mass scale deception.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment K.S. Philip

    Dear all,
    2011 May, 21st gone and we do not know how many more 21st May’s will come and go because no where in the Bible it is given the date and time for the 2nd coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Except the father nobody in the universe do not know when Jesus Christ will descend from heaven.

    So Mr. Camping prediction went wrong…. do not judge the God almighty but request to “Get prepared to meet thy God”.

    But I thank Mr. Camping for his proclamation of 21st May, 2011 and this message given the whole humanity to have fear of rapture. Some of them made determination to be a good Christian to rearrange the life to meet Jesus Christ when he comes in Glory (sure not on 21st October, 2011) because the date and time is not all given no where in the scripture….. so only preparation to be made…. and said except the father nobody else do not know the date and time.

    Nothing much to say…. I too is preparing myself to be seen when he comes in Glory (may be and may not be before 21st October, 2011).

    May almighty bless and all…..
    K.S. Philip – Abu Dhabi

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Christiana

    Thank God the bible stands and God is not man that He should lie..
    If the rapture had taken place and he(Camping) is still here it means he had been left behind and had completely missed it and no grace for him except he is a Jew (so says the bible). The bible is an open book which could be picked up by anybody from the shop, read and understand, let not any such as (bro) Camping deceive you by erronus doctrine, pray after reading and God will interpret His Word to you.
    The rapture will happen, the end will come but no one knows the time, let us all ” be ready for the Son of man shall come as a thief in the night” May God help us to be ready when He comes.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment StormeeATL

    OK, this guy GUARANTEED that the believers would be TAKEN to Heaven on May 21st and there would be massive earthquakes, and he covers that misguided prophecy by claiming we missed it?! While I agree with freedom of speech, this guy is defrauding his sheeple and needs to be stopped. I pray that God shows mercy on him and his followers, especially his followers, and just like Camping told everyone to run from their churches, his followers need to run from him. If you are truly Christian and live as good a life as you can and are repentant for your sins you will spend eternity with Jesus. You need to follow the teachings of God and Jesus, not potential false prophets. And those of you with the arrogance that you are the only “enlightened” few, do you think that is a Christian attitude? We all fall short of the glory of God, and Jesus’ salvation is the pnly way, not Harold Camping’s.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Jonathan N Gardiner

    Like the man said himself.”I am nothing,I am nothing”that is the God’s truth.Had I not read and believed the scripture where God says where the false prophets and Satan would go,I would have encourage the government to lock this man up for the rest of his life on earth;let him enjoy some freedom on earth before he goes to the place that is reserved for the Devil his angles,false prophets,liars and etc.

    As for us true Christian;We are God’s peculiar treasures.And ,we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

    As it is written,For thy sake we are killed all the day long;we are accounted as sheep for the slaugther.Nay,in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.(Roman.8:36-37.KJV).

    If this man have any love for God he would stop calling God a liar and show some love and compassion towards his faithful and unfaithful followers.
    People should know by now that this man is of the Devil and will perhaps go down like Judas Iscariot.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment tucker

    Camping. . . seriously? When I read this, I wish for the wisdom of Deuteronomy 18 concerning prophets. I think Camping is in it for profit. Shame. . .

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Cathy LS

    This minister appears to be misguided and has misrepresented the Word of God by setting his own agenda for personal gain. I pray that his use of careless, inapropriate (scripture) words be forgiven by God the Father. He himself needs to repent and ask God to help him abstain from his false teachings; strengthen him with a Christ-like tongue so that his speech will never dishonor our Heavenly Father again. Repent, be delivered and let your teaching be in accordance with the holy word of God.

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