A US evangelical Christian has predicted the apocalypse will take place tomorrow – but who is Harold Camping?
The Telegraph reports:
For the last 50 years, the deep and sonorous voice of Harold Camping has reached millions of listeners of Christian gospel radio in the United States.
The 89-year-old is the president of Family Radio, a California-based religious network which broadcasts to more than 150 stations across America.
Born in Colorado, Mr Camping studied at Berkeley in the 1940s and became a member of the Christian Reformed Church, a Protestant denomination that has its roots in the Dutch Reformed churches and is theologically Calvinist.
In 1958, Mr Camping and some other members of the church jointly purchased an FM radio station in San Francisco and began broadcasting conservative Christian gospel. In the following decade, as the West coast of America embraced counter-culture and the hippy movement, Mr Camping’s radio network expanded, adding another 13 stations.
One of Mr Camping’s most popular shows was the Open Forum programme, a live weeknight call-in where listeners would ask Mr Camping about the meaning of certain Biblical passages.
In 1970, Mr Camping published the Biblical Calendar of History, in which he dated the creation of the world to 11,013BC and the flood which Noah survived to 4990BC. His timeframe was based on the idea that the word “begat” in the Old Testament does not necessarily imply an immediate father-son relationship, but could refer to a patriarch and a distant descendent.
He also argues that a calendar exists in the text of the Bible which details the imminent end of the church age, implying that churches are no longer used by God for salvation, and the Rapture, when Christians will gather to meet Christ, and finally the end of the world. The current date for the Rapture is May 21, 2011, and Mr Camping believes, according to Thessalonians 4:15-17, that this is when “the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord”.
Five months later, on October 21, God will completely destory the earth, according to Mr Camping’s prediction. He had previously predicted the Rapture would occur in September 1994.
The man’s a fruitcake! Sorry… Someone has to say it.
This is the stuff cults are made of…
Wikipedia has more on the man here.