Harold Camping made headlines throughout 2011. First, the famed radio broadcaster promised that the world would come to a chaotic end on May 21. When it didn't, he then switched the date to October 21 (after all, miscalculations happen). Again -- nothing.
According to CNN, when his latest prediction failed to come to fruition, Camping's followers gathered for a Sunday fellowship meeting in Oakland, California. They questioned whether they had been left behind, according to Brandon Tauszik, a documentarian who has been attending meetings out of interest (he never believed the world was poised to end, though). Now his adherents know: They weren't left behind; their leader was simply wrong once again.
"Numbers were a bit down, for the first time I had ever seen, but people showed up much like they did after May 21," Tauszik said. "People were coming together, speaking outside, asking where we went wrong."
It has become painfully clear that Camping's advice, at least when it comes to end times scenarios, isn't reliable in the least. The 90-year-old, who suffered a stroke last year, took to the Family Radio web site to make a statement about his most recent doomsday failure.
"When it comes to trying to recognize the truth of prophecy, we're finding that it is very, very difficult," he said. "We're ready to cry out and weep before God: `Oh Lord, you have the truth, we don't have it."'
The Christian Post has the entire transcript. Here's a portion of it:
We're living in a day when one problem follows another. And when it comes to trying to recognize the truth of prophecy, we're finding that it is very very difficult.
Why didn't Christ return on Oct. 21? It seems embarrassing for Family Radio. But God was in charge of everything. We came to that conclusion after quite careful study of the Bible. He allowed everything to happen the way it did without correction. He could have stopped everything if He had wanted to.
I am very encouraged by letters that I have received and [am] receiving at this time concerning this matter. Amongst other things I have been checking my notes more carefully than ever. And I do find that there is other language in the Bible that we still have to look at very carefully and will impinge upon this question very definitely. And we should be very patient about this matter. At least in a minimal way we are learning to walk more and more humble before God. [...]
How wonderful to know that God is still on the throne, that He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords and that He hears every one of our prayers. And let's not hesitate, let's be, if anything, let's pray more than ever for God's mercy, and keep praying and God will provide. But God is in charge, and we must always keep that in mind.
It should be noted that this is his third failed attempt at predicting the end of the world. Camping first promised that God's wrath would strike on September 6, 1994, then waited nearly two decades to launch this year's failed pledges.
Luckily, Family Radio has removed end times content and explanations of Camping's predictions from its web site. Perhaps the now infamous preacher is done making predictions about the world's end.