Apocalypse no

Posted May 23, 2011, at 5:10 p.m.
Last modified May 23, 2011, at 6:39 p.m.

ALAMEDA, Calif. — The Christian radio host who predicted the world would end over the weekend said Monday he’s ready to talk about why the apocalypse didn’t arrive.

Harold Camping declined to immediately comment to The Associated Press but said he’ll make a full statement in a broadcast through his Oakland-based Family Radio International.

“I will have more to say tonight,” said Camping, an 89-year-old retired civil engineer who previously said there was no possibility the Rapture would not occur at 6 p.m. Saturday. “I will be putting out a message in our broadcast.”

Camping had preached that some 200 million people would be saved, and that those left behind would die in a series of scourges visiting Earth until the globe is consumed by a fireball on Oct. 21.

His earlier apocalyptic prediction in 1994 also was a bust, but he said it didn’t happen because of a mathematical error.

He told the San Francisco Chronicle on Sunday he was “flabbergasted” his latest doomsday prophecy did not come true.

Gunther Von Harringa, who heads a religious organization that produces content for Camping’s media enterprise, said he was “very surprised” the Rapture did not happen as predicted, but he and other believers were in good spirits.

“It hasn’t shaken my faith, and we’re still searching the Scriptures to understand why it did not happen,” said Von Harringa, president of EBible Fellowship, which he operates from his home in Delaware, Ohio. “It’s just a matter of OK, Lord, where do we go from here?”

Family Radio’s special projects coordinator, Michael Garcia, said he believed the delay was God’s way of separating true believers from those willing to doubt what he said were clear biblical warnings.

“Maybe this had to happen for there to be a separation between those who have faith and those who don’t,” he said. “It’s highly possible that our Lord is delaying his coming.”

 

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