Judgment Day Predictor Harold Camping Speaks Out (Live Blog)

05/23/2011 08:31 pm ET | Updated Jul 23, 2011
  • Jaweed Kaleem National Race and Justice Correspondent, Los Angeles Times

Harold Camping, the California preacher who via his multimillion-dollar Christian Family Radio stations had convinced a few thousand followers that the Rapture would happen on May 21, spoke at length for the first time Monday evening since his failed prediction. He spoke on his Open Forum call-in show. It's the same show through which he predicated May 21 Rapture and a later Oct. 21 "end of the world" for the last two years. Read The Huffington Post's updates on his appearance.

05/23/2011 10:04 PM EDT

It's Over

Family Radio ads and pre-recorded preaching by Camping is playing.

"Every delay means that more will be brought to salvation," says Camping in one recording, apparently a new one. Old recordings and music had been playing throughout the weekend before today. "Let's hope he comes," he says, referring to Jesus Christ.

"God bless you," he signs off.

05/23/2011 9:59 PM EDT

Has Camping Hurt the Credibility of Religion? And Why Keep Predicting 'The End'?

Absolutely not, says Camping.

"God says again and again he resists the proud and gives grace to the humble," says Camping, who adds "I am nothing, I am nothing."

He tells the audience to "walk humbly before God" and "give all the credit to God."

A reporter asks him "then why keep predicting the end?"

Camping stops the questions and says he has run out of time.

He thanks the crowd for not asking anything "embarrassing."

05/23/2011 9:53 PM EDT

What About People Who Depleted Life Savings to Promote Camping's Message?

Camping declines to offer them help.

He says the country experienced a recession. "Lots of people lost their homes" and jobs. But he says "they survived."

"People cope. People cope," says Camping.

He says job, housing and investment loses during the recent economic decline are far worse than what "the average Family Radio listener" has experienced.

On Saturday, Family Radio spokesman Tom Evans had vaguely indicated the station might give aid to donors who are now without jobs and money.

05/23/2011 9:49 PM EDT

What Will Become of the "Jews, Hippies and Christians of the World" During 'The End,' Asks a Reporter.

Camping says "if God has saved them, they will be caught up" to heaven, even "if they are Hinduists [sic]." Camping doesn't believe one has to be a Christian to be saved. "They don't have to know about the Bible, they don't have to know about all the things we learn in the scriptures."

Camping has more to say about this in The Huffington Post's profile of him from last week.

Camping is speaking out against various Christian denominations again, which he believes are corrupted. Mormons are one group that he mentions. He says "what the churches call their Christian religion isn't necessarily from the Bible. Maybe they started, but theologians have twisted it."

05/23/2011 9:44 PM EDT

Camping Gets Defensive About His and Station's Finances

"Not one of us has ever gained a chunk of money out of Family Radio. Every nickle has been spent as fairly as possible, as efficiently as possible," says Camping.

He says people are concerned about "greed, greed, greed," but greedy people have been rooted out of his company.

05/23/2011 9:42 PM EDT

Will Camping Give Donations Back?

"How much money has Family Radio raised as a result of this campaign and do you intend to return it?" asks a reporter.

"I do not know," says Camping.

Camping says listeners have given because of "their desire to propagate the gospel" and have given to Family Radio "because we can do this more efficiently."

Will he give it back?

"No, that money is still going out...We are not out of business, we've learned that we still have to go another five months," he says.

Earlier, Camping says all billboards and new advertising would stop. It's unclear what donations will be spent on, as Camping has said the donations don't go directly toward the station's operations.

"We are spending it as wisely as possible. Maybe by Oct. 21, we will only have $10 left," he says.

05/23/2011 9:37 PM EDT

"I thank God for the media," Camping says after being asked about all the attention he has gotten. Camping says he is happy that the media has spread his message.

05/23/2011 9:35 PM EDT

Camping Finally Apologizes

After being asked again and again if he will apologize for being wrong about May 21, Camping finally does.

"If people want me to apologize, I will apologize...I did not have all that worked out as accurately as I should have had it. That doesn't bother me at all."

Camping reiterates that he still believes Judgment Day came -- just quietly.

05/23/2011 9:33 PM EDT

Reporter asks Camping: Will He Apologize for Being Wrong?

"I have never said I'm infallible," says Camping. He says God is never wrong, pointing to "the signs he has given such as gay pride that we are on the threshold of judgment or a fantastic increase in wickedness."

"There isn't any student of the Bible who can't say 'You know, I have made a mistake.'

05/23/2011 9:31 PM EDT

Another Break...

Ads for Family Radio play as well as trumpet music. A voice says to call 1-800-322-5385 to ask Camping questions, but there have been no phone calls yet, only live questions.