You’ve been warned.
Radio evangelist Harold Camping said in a special broadcast Monday night on his radio program Open Forum that his predicted May 21, 2011 Rapture was “an invisible judgment day“ that he has come to understand as a spiritual, rather than physical event.
“We had all of our dates correct,” Camping insisted, clarifying that he now understands that Christ’s May 21 arrival was “a spiritual coming” ushering in the last five months before the final judgment and destruction.
In an hour and a half broadcast, Camping walked listeners through his numerological timeline, insisting that his teaching has not changed and that the world will still end on October 21, 2011.
“It wont be spiritual on October 21st,” Camping said, adding, “the world is going to be destroyed all together, but it will be very quick.”
Camping had previously pointed to October 21 as the last day on earth for all humanity.
His former assertion was that a faithful three percent would be physically pulled into heaven by God through the Rapture on May 21, to be followed by a five month period of great suffering known as the Tribulation, ending, finally, on October 21. On Monday’s broadcast, Camping speculated that perhaps a merciful God decided to spare humanity five months of “hell on earth.”
Camping’s belief system is one part mainstream Christian teaching and another part pure Camping. While many Christians accept similar teachings on the end times, (Pew has found that 41 percent of Americans think Jesus will “definitely or probably return to Earth before 2050”) most reject the idea that you can either know God’s exact timeline or that the Bible is embedded with secret codes.
See you in October.
More On Faith and May 21, 2011
Photos, video: Scenes from the apocalypse
John Shelby Spong: Camping does not represent Christianity
Richard Dawkins: Science explains the end of the world
Matthew Paul Turner: The harm that ‘Judgment Day’ will do
Panel responds: How do end-times theologies impact real world behaviors?
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