Harold Camping is not someone who heartily owns up to his mistakes.
On his first public address after his failed Rapture prediction, he deflected responsibility – giving critics no satisfaction and offering disillusioned followers no solace.
Camping admitted to just one mistake – getting the nature of the judgment wrong. He said May 21st proved to be a spiritual judgment rather than a physical judgment.
He spent far more time, however, on what he got right (the date of the judgment and that it took place).
Moreover, Camping largely deflected responsibility for inducing many of his listeners to abandon their entire lives to spread his Rapture message.
He claimed three things to deflect responsibility:
- He never told anyone to sell their material possessions. Whenever his listener asked him about the subject, he always told them to pray about it.
- He never claimed spiritual authority over any of his listeners, but only over his wife.
- All he ever did was point people to the Bible and what passages they should check out for themselves.
- He, as a student of the Bible, continues to learn from it everyday. His interpretations aren’t infallible.
When pressed by reporters on his mistake in interpreting the nature of the judgment, Camping conceded that “if people want me to apologize, I can apologize. I did not have all of that worked out as accurately as I should have.”
Camping set the new date for the physical End Times and Rapture to be October 21, 2011. Then, he predicts, the world will be totally destroyed by devastating earthquakes.