I listened to Harold Camping's "Open Forum" this evening. The boys were amazingly good to occupy themselves playing with their choo choo set while I worked in the kitchen and listened to the Preacher Man explain why the Rapture and great quakes didn't happen on Saturday.
Apparently, according to Camping, Judgment Day did happen. While we were gathered in my back yard with friends, we were judged as to whether or not we are worthy of going to Heaven on October 21st, later this year. I hope we passed!
Camping explained that he wasn't wrong, and he seems to genuinely believe that. He said that he made a mistake in interpreting everything in a physical Earthly sense, whereas God works in the spiritual sense. Judgment Day happened in a spiritual sense, in God's way and not the way Camping thought it would. The world will still end on October 21st and most people will still die a permanent death (as opposed to ascending to a spiritual form).
With all the questions the press posed at Mr. Camping, not one of them was about zombies and how they fit into his plan.
Camping did point out, again, that it's obvious that we are very near the end of times. The clear sign is the acceptance of Gay Pride. How nice. I prefer Christ's teachings of "Judge not, lest ye be judged..."
When asked how he felt about the repercussions of the May 21st "dud," Camping held firm that he wasn't really wrong, that Judgment Day happened, the world will still end, but the big difference is that we all get an extra 5 months to live. He didn't seem to feel much pity for the people who dedicated their entire life savings to his radio station and his cause, or those that gave up homes and other possessions, all because they thought they were going to Heaven on Saturday. He said he was greatly relieved that the woman who attempted to kill herself and her two children didn't succeed, because to kill her children would be murder, which is a sin and would keep her from going to Heaven. He would accept no responsibility for the actions of his followers, who did what they did based on his word. He suggested that those who no longer had homes or the means to get through the next 5 months will likely have a kindly sister or someone else who will probably take them in (keeping in mind that if the kindly sister still has a home and the means, she wasn't a Camping follower and is probably not really "saved").
He is right, though. These people did those things of their own volition. He says he does not have the spiritual rule over anyone, except his wife, who doesn't need much ruling since she's pretty good. These people didn't have to take his word for it, he always encourages his listeners to read the Bible themselves and to find the truth through Biblical reading and prayer. When asked if they'll refund any donations made to Family Radio based on a false prophesy, he explained that the money will be put to good use to continue to spread the Gospel until the end of days, but that there is no point in giving any money or property back to anyone in October, since the world will be ending and it will be of no use to anyone. I hope he reconsiders this stance on October 22nd.
About 10 years ago I used to listen to his "Open Forum" during my commute. He blew my mind with his interpretations and I found it amusing. He was unknown to most in those days, but now everyone seems to know who he is.
I really feel sad for him. I'm sure he's going through a lot of soul searching right now. He wanted so badly to be right. Though I'm very glad he was wrong, and I think there is something perverse about people who wish cataclysmic destruction on the human race, because they look down upon the masses as unrepentant. Perhaps it justifies one's own hatred against people who are different. Perhaps they are overwhelmed by the horrific things we see on the news every day. They say "perception is reality" and they perceive the world to be full of pestilence and evil. It breaks my heart that they seem to be blind to all the good that there still is. While they believe that the world's population is only 3% good, I believe that there is only perhaps <3% bad, but even so, there is still some good in every person.
I feel sad for Mr. Camping and all of his followers. I pray that they may see the good in the world as it is, in abundance. They believe that all good comes from God so they need to open their hearts to God, that He might lift the blinds from their eyes so they might really truly see.