I’m probably like most people in regards to Harold Camping and his prediction of the rapture happening on May 21st. Up until a couple weeks ago, I had never heard of him and it was only because of all the mocking media coverage that I was introduced to Mr. Camping and his followers.
This whole thing intrigued me and so over the days leading up to May 21st I read lots of articles about people who were followers of Camping’s teachings who had sold all of their possessions or stopped making payments on their mortgage and things like that. Basically making decisions that will ruin them come May 22nd.
I also watched a lot of videos made by Harold Camping in the last few days leading up to the day he predicted the rapture. What I saw was a feeble 89 year old man. A man who had spent most of his adult life believing that through a series of mathematical equations that he could find the exact date of Christ’s return. I didn’t get a sense from him that he was willingly trying to deceive anyone but that he genuinely believes it too.
From watching these videos I felt sorry for him and his followers. May 21st had to be quite a let down for all of those people. What do they do now? What does Harold Camping do now? I think there is only one honorable thing for him to do. He needs to go on his radio program on Monday and humbly apologize. He needs to admit that he was wrong and furthermore he ought to sell off his network of radio stations and give the money back to all those who donated it to him. What other approach could he take and still retain some shred of integrity?
Admittedly I don’t know enough about Harold Camping to know a whole lot of his character. What I do know though is that most of his followers will be crushed by the Rapture not happening on May 21st. If Mr. Camping is a man of integrity he needs to own up to his mistake, and do his best to make sure that people only lose faith in his teachings, and not in God as a result of this. The Bible isn’t wrong, Harold Camping is.
Another thing to consider is this: The world reacted to Harold Camping with scoffing and mocking. Most laughed, some attended end of the world parties. If that is the reaction of the world to the news of Christ’s return (even if it was incorrect) then what will the world do as the 2012 predictions of the end of the world approach? Predictions that are not based in Christianity and not based upon Christ coming back to reclaim the Earth from darkness. I think what we just saw yesterday in people’s reactions is just a tiny preview of what it might be like as 2012 unfolds.