I see that Harold Camping of Family Radio, the man responsible for all those billboards proclaiming "Judgment Day" was upon us last May 21, only to revise his prophecy to October 21, only to have exactly nothing extraordinary happen, has an apology up over at the Family Radio website in which he tells us how sorry he is to have incorrectly predicted the end of the world. Again. (He's done this a few times, I understand.)
Well, it's sort of an apology. Mostly, it seems, he is asking for God's forgiveness for his sin of false prophecy. As for the people he fooled, including many who have donated to his ministry, well...I guess all sales are final. And hey, some great things came out of it! Now, everyone is talking about the Bible! Thanks to his efforts, more people know who Jesus is!
But he does want the world to know he is deeply sorry. It is arguable, however, whether a statement posted at a crappy, amateurish, and infrequently visited website really makes up for all the unnecessary commotion caused by his billboard campaign.
There was a situation some years ago where I used to work in which an employee lost his temper with another employee, out in the middle of the parking lot where everyone could see and hear, and spent a couple of minutes loudly berating that employee at the top of his lungs. After a grievance was filed, he was ordered, as part of his penance, to apologize to his victim, both in person and in writing.
Many of us felt this wasn't enough; really, he should have been required to stand in the parking lot and shriek his apology at the same volume, and for the same duration, as he felt was necessary when he was committing the original transgression. It's only fair, right?
Anyway...you see where I'm going with this. Harold Camping needs a new billboard.
If anyone is interested, Camping's statement is below the fold.
Dear Family Radio Family,
In this time of confusion and turmoil, God’s Word remains the only truth in which we can trust. God has shown us again the truth that He alone is true. In Romans 3:4 God declares: “Let God be true but every man a liar.” Events within the last year have proven that no man can be fully trusted. Even the most sincere and zealous of us can be mistaken.
The May 21 campaign was an astounding event if you think about its impact upon this world. There is no question that millions, if not billions of people heard for the first time the Bible’s warning that Jesus Christ will return. Huge portions of this world that had never read or seen a Bible heard the message the Christ Jesus is coming to rapture His people and destroy this natural world.
Yes, we humbly acknowledge we were wrong about the timing; yet though we were wrong God is still using the May 21 warning in a very mighty way. In the months following May 21 the Bible has, in some ways, come out from under the shadows and is now being discussed by all kinds of people who never before paid any attention to the Bible. We learn about this, for example, by the recent National Geographic articles concerning the King James Bible and the Apostles. Reading about and even discussing about the Bible can never be a bad thing, even if the Bible’s authenticity is questioned or ridiculed. The world’s attention has been called to the Bible…
We were even so bold as to insist that the Bible guaranteed that Christ would return on May 21 and that the true believers would be raptured. Yet this incorrect and sinful statement allowed God to get the attention of a great many people who otherwise would not have paid attention. Even as God used sinful Balaam to accomplish His purposes, so He used our sin to accomplish His purpose of making the whole world acquainted with the Bible. However, even so, that does not excuse us. We tremble before God as we humbly ask Him for forgiveness for making that sinful statement. We are so thankful that God is so loving that He will forgive even this sin.