by Jack Minor –
Harold Camping, Founder and Chairman of Family Radio Stations, apologized for misleading Christians for decades over his teaching on the rapture.
The term “rapture” is never mentioned in the Bible, however fundamentalist Christians say the word refers to a biblical event where those who have trusted Christ as their Saviour are caught up into the air to meet him.
Following the rapture, some believe that the anti-Christ will rule for seven years, ushering in a one world government.
Many Christian scholars have stated that it is impossible to predict the specific date of the rapture. They point to Jesus’ words in the Bible where he says, “But of that day and hour, knoweth no man, no, not the angels of Heaven, but my Father only.”
Over the years Camping has been predicting specific dates for Christ’s return. The first prediction for the end of the world was Sept. 6, 1994. This year Camping predicted two different dates; May 21 and then Oct. 21.
When the May deadline came and went, several Christian leaders called for Camping’s removal at Family Christian Radio. There were also calls by a group of atheists for a Congressional investigation into his claims.
Bob Seidensticker, with Seattle Atheists, said, “There must be consequences. For this radio network to be financially healthy when they have caused many listeners to be destitute or distraught – that’s wrong. We want a way for those injured by this prediction to come forward so they can be compensated by Family Radio.”
Seidensticker also called on Congress to investigate whether Family Radio received any type of financial benefit for Camping’s claims.
In the days following the May prediction, Camping suffered a stroke, causing some in the Christian community to speculate that the condition may have been a sign of God’s judgment for his false predictions.
After Christ failed to return yet again on Oct. 21, the Family Radio website removed all references to Camping’s predictions. In an interview with the Christian Post on Oct. 24, it was revealed that Camping would no longer lead the ministry.
In a statement regarding his past claims about Christ’s return Camping said, “I have been told that I said back in May that people who did not believe that May 21 should not be the rapture date, probably had not been saved. I should not have said that, and I apologize for that.”