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Harold Camping Says May 21 Rapture Prediction Was 'Incorrect And Sinful'

Harold Camping

First Posted: 03/ 8/2012 4:41 pm Updated: 03/ 9/2012 12:19 pm

By Adelle M. Banks
Religion News Service

(RNS) Radio evangelist Harold Camping has called his erroneous prediction that the world would end last May 21 an "incorrect and sinful statement" and said his ministry is out of the prediction business.

"We have learned the very painful lesson that all of creation is in God's hands and he will end time in his time, not ours!" reads the statement signed by Camping and his staff and posted on his ministry's website.

"We humbly recognize that God may not tell his people the date when Christ will return, any more than he tells anyone the date they will die physically."

The "March 2012" letter, which included multiple mea culpas, was released with a note from the board of California-based Family Radio. The group intended to mail it to listeners first, but immediately posted it "to avoid confusion" after it was leaked online.

Camping said people have continued to wish for another prediction, but he is now convinced that critics were correct about the biblical admonition that "of that day and hour knoweth no man."

"We must also openly acknowledge that we have no new evidence pointing to another date for the end of the world," he wrote. "Though many dates are circulating, Family Radio has no interest in even considering another date."

The letter makes no reference to Camping's explanation last year that he had miscalculated by five months and the world would instead end on Oct. 21, 2011.

The dual predictions landed Camping in the No. 7 spot of the Religion Newswriters Association's list of the top 10 religion stories of 2011.

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These photos are from the days before May 21st Of a family that believed Harold Camping.

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  • End of Days

    An 'end of days' bus can be seen by city hall in New York city on May 12, 2011. A religious group who follows the teachings of Harold Camping believes that May 21, 2011 will be Judgement Day, which is the beginning of the end of the world. ( Damon Dahlen, AOL )

  • End of Days

    John Ramsey and Estaban Ramsey preach to Jeanelle Bevans about the end days approaching on May 21, 2011 while handing out pamphlets in New York City on May 16, 2011. A religious group who follows the teachings of Harold Camping believes that May 21, 2011 will be Judgement Day, which is the beginning of the end of the world. ( Damon Dahlen, AOL )

  • End of Days

    Matt Lewis, John Ramsey and Estaban Ramsey, followers of Harold Camping preach to Jeanelle Bevans on May 16, 2011 about the end of the world approaching on May 21, 2011. A religious group who follows the teachings of Harold Camping believes that May 21, 2011 will be Judgement Day, which is the beginning of the end of the world. ( Damon Dahlen, AOL )

  • End of Days

    An End of the World advertisement can be seen in the number 6 subway train in New York City on May 16, 2011. A religious group who follows the teachings of Harold Camping believes that May 21, 2011 will be Judgement Day, which is the beginning of the end of the world. ( Damon Dahlen, AOL )

  • End of Days

    A religious group who follows the teachings of Harold Camping believes that May 21, 2011 will be Judgement Day, which is the beginning of the end of the world. Followers John Ramsey, Marcia Paladines and Estaban Ramsey believe in this prophecy and are purportedly spreading the word of God to the masses in New York City and surround areas while speaking to reporters at their house in Harrison New Jersey on May 15, 2011. ( Damon Dahlen, AOL )

  • End of Days

    Estaban Ramsey speaks to reporters at his brother's apartment in Harrison New Jersery. A religious group who follows the teachings of Harold Camping believes that May 21, 2011 will be Judgement Day, which is the beginning of the end of the world. Followers John Ramsey, Marcia Paladines and Estaban Ramsey believe in this prophecy and are purportedly spreading the word of God to the masses in New York City and surround areas while speaking to reporters at their house in Harrison New Jersey on May 15, 2011. ( Damon Dahlen, AOL )

  • End of Days

    John Ramsey a follower of Harold Camping can be seen checking his "Judgement Day" Facebook page followers on May 15, 2011. A religious group who follows the teachings of Harold Camping believes that May 21, 2011 will be Judgement Day, which is the beginning of the end of the world. Followers John Ramsey, Marcia Paladines and Estaban Ramsey believe in this prophecy and are purportedly spreading the word of God to the masses in New York City and surround areas while speaking to reporters at their house in Harrison New Jersey on May 15, 2011. ( Damon Dahlen, AOL )

  • End of Days

    John Ramsey, Estaban Ramsey (brother) and Marcia Paladines can be seen at their apartment in New Jersey. A religious group who follows the teachings of Harold Camping believes that May 21, 2011 will be Judgement Day, which is the beginning of the end of the world. Followers John Ramsey, Marcia Paladines and Estaban Ramsey believe in this prophecy and are purportedly spreading the word of God to the masses in New York City and surround areas while speaking to reporters at their house in Harrison New Jersey on May 15, 2011, 6 days before the end. ( Damon Dahlen, AOL )

  • End of Days

    John Ramsey, Estaban Ramsey (brother) and Marcia Paladines can be seen at their apartment in New Jersey. A religious group who follows the teachings of Harold Camping believes that May 21, 2011 will be Judgement Day, which is the beginning of the end of the world. Followers John Ramsey, Marcia Paladines and Estaban Ramsey believe in this prophecy and are purportedly spreading the word of God to the masses in New York City and surround areas while speaking to reporters at their house in Harrison New Jersey on May 15, 2011, 6 days before the end. ( Damon Dahlen, AOL )

  • End of Days

    John Ramsey and Marcia Paladines, followers of Harold Camping can be seen in their apartment in Harrison New Jersey. A religious group who follows the teachings of Harold Camping believes that May 21, 2011 will be Judgement Day, which is the beginning of the end of the world. Followers John Ramsey, Marcia Ramsey believe in this prophecy and are purportedly spreading the word of God to the masses in New York City and surround areas while speaking to reporters at their house in Harrison New Jersey on May 15, 2011, 6 days before the end. ( Damon Dahlen, AOL )

  • End of Days

    Matt Lewis a follower of Harold Camping hands out flyers to people in New York city on May 16, 2011 letting them know the end of the world is approaching on May 21, 2011. A religious group who follows the teachings of Harold Camping believes that May 21, 2011 will be Judgement Day, which is the beginning of the end of the world. ( Damon Dahlen, AOL )

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