home
RSS
May 20th, 2011
10:31 AM ET

Harold Camping says the world ends Saturday; he's said that before

By Kayla Webley, Time

In a comfortable office, Bible placed firmly atop his lap, 89-year-old Harold Camping is preaching with utter certainty about the end of the world. "May 21, 2011, is the day of judgment," he says with conviction, in a YouTube video posted last year. "It is the day that ends all gospel salvation activity ... It is the most important day by a billion times than any other day the world has ever known." On that day, Camping estimates roughly 207 million people, or about 3% of the world's population, will be plucked from the earth. What will follow is five months of earthquakes and other calamities until the world officially ends on Oct. 21 of this year.

Like all who proselytize the end the world, Camping has spread his message using a small army of followers; in his case, they're supported by a substantial budget that by some estimates is more than $100 million. There have been stories in the media of families selling their homes, quitting their jobs and budgeting their finances such that by May 21 they will be left with nothing. After all, they won't need it, right? (See photos of the cinematic vision of the apocalypse.)

But Camping has been wrong before.

Read the full story at Time.com

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • End times

soundoff (122 Responses)
  1. Matt

    @John Conner
    Valid Reasons for Atheism?

    Whether they have observed the hypocrisy of religion or not, many atheists simply cannot reconcile belief in God with the suffering in the world. Simone de Beauvoir once said: “It was easier for me to think of a world without a creator than of a creator loaded with all the contradictions of the world.”

    Do the world’s injustices—including those instigated by hypocritical religionists—prove that there is no God? Consider: If a knife is used to threaten, injure, or even murder an innocent person, does this prove that the knife had no designer? Does it not rather show that the object was put to a wrong use? Likewise, much of human grief gives evidence that humans are misusing their God-given abilities as well as the earth itself.

    Some, however, feel that it is illogical to believe in God, since we cannot see him. But what about air, sound waves, and odors? We cannot see any of these things, yet we know they exist. Our lungs, ears, and noses tell us so. Surely, we believe in what cannot be seen if we have evidence.

    After contemplating the physical evidence—including electrons, protons, atoms, amino acids, and the complex brain—natural scientist Irving William Knobloch was moved to say: “I believe in God because to me His Divine existence is the only logical explanation for things as they are.” (Compare Psalm 104:24.) Similarly, physiologist Marlin Books Kreider states: “Both as an ordinary human being, and also as a man devoting his life to scientific study and research, I have no doubt at all about the existence of God.”

    These men are not alone. According to physics professor Henry Margenau, “if you take the top-notch scientists, you find very few atheists among them.” Neither the advances of science nor the failure of religion need force us to abandon belief in a Creator.

    May 27, 2011 at 2:14 am |
  2. Thinkman

    Why is this getting press? It's like the media ultra-mocking Charlie Sheen who is obviously mentally ill. It's media ABUSE to mock an old deluded man to such a degree. I can see a blurb on the back page of the neighborhood paper, but this is insane! The hype hurts the most vulnerable in our society- mentally ill Christians, usually old, young, or retarded. It gives it credence and scares the living ba-jesus outa 'em! Please stop! It's all very unChristian and all of you storymongers should be ashamed of yourselves. Bring on the snake pits and anyone ridiculous enough to speak in tongues. Voodoo looks pretty tame by comparison...

    May 21, 2011 at 6:23 am |
    • jon

      Don't you think you need to be somewhat retarded to actually believe everything in that fairy tale book?

      May 24, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  3. John Conner

    I would really love for someone to explain why Christians are pointing the finger at Camping when they use the same arguments to back up their beliefs? The bible is such a terrible thing to use as a basis for your belief especially when science has proven it wrong so many times already. The only difference between Camping and the rest of the religious world is that he predicts a date but the rest still wait for the rapture with anticipation.

    Crazy breeds crazy – the sooner we forget this bronze aged wisdom the sooner we will advance as a species.

    In the UK we have our own Camping – Daniel Bennett has been scaring the locals with his flood predictions. http://danthebirdman.me and we have only one more day to wait until he looks as stupid as camping. Although this video did make me wet my pants http://www.youtube.com/user/danthebirdmanbennett#p/u/10/hJbxf_wo2Rs

    Anyway – I would love to hear what christians have to say about this....

    May 21, 2011 at 5:33 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      –>"I would really love for someone to explain why Christians are pointing the finger at Camping when they use the same arguments to back up their beliefs?"

      ...................The only difference between Camping and the rest of the religious world is that he predicts a date but the rest still wait for the rapture with anticipation. "

      You just answered your own question. It is about him saying he knows the time and date. As a Athiest you have no holding on the book but Christian vs Christian is different because they both follow the same book.

      Once again, why do Atheist think that Christianity is monolithic? How many denominations, How many have fought each other over scripture? On this one though they are a bit more united because this guy says he knows. It is enough for the rest of the denominations to distance themselves.

      May 21, 2011 at 6:38 am |
    • Matt

      Your comment: "The bible is such a terrible thing to use as a basis for your belief especially when science has proven it wrong so many times already."

      Has it? Has Science disproved the Bible? Many today believe that it has. But has it really? Are the Bible’s laws on health and sanitation out-of-date? What about the Bible’s record of a global Flood? Has science disproved it? Or has the discovery of tens of thousands of quick-frozen carcasses, including those of huge mammoths, supported the Bible record?

      Read the evidence in the book The Bible—God’s Word or Man’s? It not only thoroughly covers all of man’s criticism of the Bible but also gives clear explanations as to why the Bible can be accepted as God’s Word. Consider the evidence yourself.
      Ask for the book yourself the next time you receive a visitor to your home. It is a free book made possible by voluntary donations made by others.

      May 27, 2011 at 1:52 am |
  4. LoneZero

    I'm looking forward to the fall out from this, can't wait to see what excuse Harold Camping will come up with (most likely miscalculation again) or if he will just simply vanish with all those donations he is still collecting. I feel bad for the people he duped though it's a hard lesson to learn from.

    May 21, 2011 at 2:43 am |
    • Adelina

      LoneZero, I agree.

      May 21, 2011 at 5:05 am |
  5. omg!!

    HAROLD CAMPING WRITES A GOODBYE, FAREWELL LETTER. FULL TEXT HERE
    http://losangeles.ibtimes.com/articles/149487/20110520/harold-camping-may-21-2011-doomsday-goodbye-farewell-letter.htm

    May 20, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
  6. It's all about Money and Minds

    "The End" is very lucrative at Oakland's Family Radio – These Scam Artists raised more than $100 Million Tax Free Dollars from the suckers out in La La Land over this latest racket! – Perhaps what is sadder still is when "Dad" doesn't Vaporize the Earth these Zombies will still keep the faith – This is a common Evangelical Technique to raise Dollars and recruit mindless Oafs -Way to Go!!!

    May 20, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      ""The End" is very lucrative at Oakland's Family Radio – These Scam Artists raised more than $100 Million Tax Free Dollars from the suckers out in La La Land over this latest racket!"

      Interesting, these guy got 100 million....Some one "not" using faith and preying on man's pure greed got....

      "Bernard Madoff – The amount missing from client accounts, including fabricated gains, was almost $65 billion.The court-appointed trustee estimated actual losses to investors of $18 billion. On June 29, 2009, he was sentenced to 150 years in prison, the maximum allowed."

      Seems that there are some pretty interesting people all around... a ministry gets 100 million in donations..... a bunch of wall street types get 83 Billion, yep... $83,000,000,000 from folks.

      Wild thing is that folks would probably do it all over again 🙂

      May 21, 2011 at 3:04 am |
  7. Matt

    I feel very bad for the poor sheep following this wolf. They're going to be so upset when nothing happens. I sincerely hope this doesnt end up in suicides.

    May 20, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  8. David Johnson

    Damn, I hope CNN interviews the doomsdayers, as Saturday evening progresses.

    Weren't false prophets stoned, in biblical days?

    There should be some penalty for Camping. Perhaps a well deserved kick to the scrotum, delivered by a fellow dressed up like Mel Gibson's Jesus.

    Cheers!

    May 20, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @DJ

      LOL...!

      Peace...

      May 20, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
    • YaThink

      LOL!

      May 20, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
  9. Derikdeaf

    What A Christian and i was preach said many time –

    "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." Matthew 24:36

    "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." Matthew 24:36

    "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." Matthew 24:36

    "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." Matthew 24:36

    "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." Matthew 24:36

    "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." Matthew 24:36

    "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." Matthew 24:36

    Camping is not reading the Word of God. but I m call A Camping bible. thereof I not fellow Harold Camping

    May 20, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
    • How To Yodel The New Testament In 10 Easy Lessons

      Okay, so Jesus is God, but he's the son of God, so he isn't God, and he does not know when he will return even though he knew it in his teachings, and Jesus doesn't know only God knows even though Jesus is God so he's the father and son all at once but separate because he doesn't know what God knows even though he is God.

      Well that makes perfect sense.

      May 20, 2011 at 9:14 pm |
    • Oh LOL

      You know the book you quoted this from is a work of fiction, right?

      May 21, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  10. David Johnson

    From the article:
    "There have been stories in the media of families selling their homes, quitting their jobs and budgeting their finances such that by May 21 they will be left with nothing. "

    Only god could give them the faith to be this stupid. LOL!

    Cheers!

    May 20, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  11. John Walker

    The Word from Jesus, "The Son of Man and The Son of God" says in Matthew 24:36 – No man knows the day and hour of the end of time, no not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

    It is silly to profess and even try to predict the end of time, but Jesus admonishes us in Matthew 24:44 "Be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man comes." There are countless numbers of people that have died and met this Jesus mentioned in Revelation 1:18 that "has the keys of hell and of death". Jesus is the Light of the World. Often times there is a light that people see in a tunnel when they leave this Earth at death. Jesus is that light that every man will have to give an account for. He has the keys of death and hell, but has given the Keys of "life" to believers of Jesus Christ on this earth. Whoever calls on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved.. call on Him. E-mail me with any questions.. be blessed.

    May 20, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @John Walker

      You said: "The Word from Jesus, "The Son of Man and The Son of God" says in Matthew 24:36 – No man knows the day and hour of the end of time, no not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

      Jesus did not know the day or the hour, but He did predict He would return in the 1st century:

      [Jesus speaking]Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” – Matthew 24:34

      You will want to spin this, but Jesus said what He said. It is what it is.

      Jesus was not the Messiah.

      You said: "It is silly to profess and even try to predict the end of time, but Jesus admonishes us in Matthew 24:44 "Be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man comes." There are countless numbers of people that have died and met this Jesus mentioned in Revelation 1:18 that "has the keys of hell and of death". Jesus is the Light of the World. Often times there is a light that people see in a tunnel when they leave this Earth at death. Jesus is that light that every man will have to give an account for. He has the keys of death and hell, but has given the Keys of "life" to believers of Jesus Christ on this earth. Whoever calls on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved.. call on Him. E-mail me with any questions.. be blessed."

      Believers like to talk as though what they believe is an establish fact. Not so. You don't have any evidence to support your beliefs.

      Believers want desperately, for their faith to equal actual evidence. It does not. Faith without evidence is worthless.

      When you tell people about your beliefs, you should start your every sentence with, "I believe". To not do so, is deceptive.

      Or am I wrong? Do you have proof that a god actually exists? And, this god is the Christian god?

      Cheers!

      May 20, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
    • Thinker

      @David Johnson

      to each man is given a measure of faith. You use yours to have faith in man, others put there faith in GOD. You can't prove there is no GOD! If atheists don’t believe in GOD, then if there were no GOD there would be no atheists, right?

      May 20, 2011 at 9:13 pm |
    • Jesus Abandons Religion and Learns the Banjo

      Easily the most senseless thing said here all day: "If atheists don’t believe in GOD, then if there were no GOD there would be no atheists, right?" Did that actually make sense to you?!?!?! What contorted logic did you use to come to that conclusion? Of course there would be atheists if there is no God. What a bizarre and stupid thing to say.

      You are not much of a thinker, so maybe another handle might be in order.

      May 20, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
    • Jesus Abandons Religion and Learns the Banjo

      Forget it, Banjo Jesus. Trying to talk reason to a religious person is like trying to teach math to a chicken: the words just don't get in there. They will cluck away like they are responding, but they just don't have the equipment to understand.

      May 20, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Thinker

      Hi -Thinker...

      You said to -@David Johnson: "If atheists don’t believe in GOD, then if there were no GOD there would be no atheists, right?"

      Help me out here, as your If/then logic propositi-tion makes absolutely -0- sense...(to me).

      Sincerely curious as to how you will explain this one...?

      Respectfully,

      Peace...

      May 21, 2011 at 2:38 am |
  12. Alex Gorman

    I'm agnostic (one that believes their is a higher power but are not religous), I believe The Rapture may occur tomorrow, I'm not sure how things may go down but I hope it does not. Humanity is flawed, we were created flawed. Please do not judge me on how I think. Human beings are far from perfect, and in all likely hood, we won't be one for quite some time.

    May 20, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Alex: I am also an agnostic, and I am not convinced. I would sincerely like to know your point of view.Why do you believe it? What has convinced you that the world will end on Saturday?

      May 20, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Frogist

      You asked Alex: "Why do you believe it? What has convinced you that the world will end on Saturday?"

      Playing sports without a helmet, bad nutrition as a child, poor genetics, etc.

      Cheers!

      May 20, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
    • Alex Gorman

      Nothing can survive for ever is all I can really say, I didn't say it will occur, I only said it may. It's a 50/50 shot. It can happen, it won'e happen yet. We'll see when it happens. Honestly though, I think something will happen, but it won't be quite the Second Coming

      May 20, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Alex Gorman

      Hey -Alex...

      I did see that you said 'may.' However, i'm curious as to how you got to..."It's a 50/50 shot." How did you come up with those odds exactly...?

      Also, you said: "Honestly though, I think something will happen, but it won't be quite the Second Coming."

      And... what specifically do you think 'will' happen that is not (quite) the Second Coming...?

      Respectfully,

      Peace...

      May 20, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
    • Alex Gorman

      I simply figured that it was 50/50 shot do to the fact it either will or won't happen. As for what may happen, I believe (and please, do not judge) something will contact. Something that has more knowledge. Something that maybe, just maybe may have some influence over Earth's religions.

      May 20, 2011 at 7:06 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Alex Gorman

      Hey Alex... not here to 'judge'...I'm here to learn about people and their thoughts/beliefs, and share some of my own.

      As for your posting, no comment on your 'odds making.' As for the rest of it, so you just -believe- (which is certainly 'not' fact), that something 'will' "make contact" as you say...?

      Hmmmm.... O.K... well, if so, I certainly have my thoughts of how 'I' would like to see this nebulous "something" 'influence Earth's religions.

      I guess we'll check back in tomorrow and re-visit this conversation...'possibly'...yes, ?

      Respectfully,

      Peace...

      May 20, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
    • Alex Gorman

      No, not something that WILL influnce religion, something that MAY have influnced it, as in a time before Christianity. Or even the Egyptians.

      May 20, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
    • Ohio Mike

      @Alex Gorman
      There obviously is a creator or higher power or whatever you want to call it. Science has shown that there is no way we could have happened by random chance + time. All religions can be good or bad, teaching morals, or killing non believers. All religions teach that you have to do good to get to heaven or at least do more good than bad, so the good is enough to cancel out the bad. Christianity, or one that follows Christ, was never meant to be a religion, but man made it that way. If you follow Christ and His teaching, it is Jesus who gets you to heaven by His sacrifice for man. You can’t be good enough on your own so God made a way and that is what makes true Christianity different than all religions. God gets you to heaven, not you or any other man. Read the words of Jesus in the New Testament and not what any man might teach you. Blessings, mike

      May 20, 2011 at 9:30 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Alex Gorman

      Ahhhh... I think i'm gettin' your drift here. Are we talking... 'extraterrestrials' ...?

      Well... I hope if your right that they're the 'cool' ones. I hear the not so cool ones aren't real nice....yikes...!!!

      Peace...

      May 20, 2011 at 10:15 pm |
    • Alex Gorman

      Maybe, it doesn't seem right for human beings to be alone in this world. If they aren't so nice, well I suppose we'll see what their intentions are.

      May 21, 2011 at 8:22 am |
  13. Kiplimo chemirmir

    These guys are sick!

    May 20, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  14. Philsfew

    The truth is each of us will have an 'end time' on earth. Whether it's tomorrow or some other day, be ready in the way you believe is truth in your heart.

    May 20, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • Adelina

      @Phil, Amen. Everyone needs to believe in Jesus for salvation.

      May 21, 2011 at 5:05 am |
    • Oh LOL

      Salvation from what? Jesus can't do anything about someone's bad karma. How about we believe in ourselves and be accountable for our own actions?

      May 21, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  15. omg!!

    IS HAROLD CAMPING A FREAK? http://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/articles/149270/20110520/may-21-2011-doomsday-harold-camping-christian-leaders-evangelicals-end-of-the-world-false-prophet-fr.htm

    May 20, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
  16. omg!!

    HAROLD CAMPING'S MINISTRY HAS $100 MILLION DOLLARSSS.S. OMMGGGGGG
    http://losangeles.ibtimes.com/articles/148239/20110519/may-21st-doomsday-does-harold-camping-s-ministry-have-money.htm

    May 20, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • Free

      Can they sue him for breach of contract when his claims eventually turn out to be bogus? After all, other victims can sue their swindlers, so why can't these folks?

      May 20, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  17. joe

    cnn is obviously not Christian. there making fun of them. this is funny

    May 20, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
  18. Simon

    I will feel no sympathy for these fools on the 22nd when they are broke and homeless.

    May 20, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
    • Free

      I have sympathy for them too, but I think that if we all drop the campaign of ridicule against this belief then the whole pattern will just repeat itself soon with another crop of poor victims. Actually, being too kind now may encourage more people to join the next wave, and that sure won't be helpful, will it?

      May 20, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Simon

      Amen, brother Simon!

      Cheers!

      May 20, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  19. Teri

    You know if this guy was truly a believer of Christ he would also know the truth. Jesus doesn't even know when he will return, only God knows, so how is this guy suppose to know.

    May 20, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • Juggling Squirrel-Jesus

      But Jesus is god. Does that mean that god has a multiple personality disorder and he keeps secrets from himself? Or are Christians really polytheistic?

      May 20, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • Chris

      Juggling Squirrel – It's simple: God, one day, impregnated a chick, who then gave birth to his son, which was really just him again. So, being his own father God/Jesus decided it would be cool to posses people, so he turned himself into a ghost that supposedly lives inside every person.
      Duh.

      May 20, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • Free

      Teri-
      How do you suppose God, the Father, managed to keep the date hidden from omniscient God, the Son?

      May 20, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • Juggling Squirrel-Jesus

      @Chris, thanks for clearing that up. We rodent deities try not too make things nearly so complicated.

      May 20, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
    • Wipe0ut

      When all believers simultaneously will pee, it would END OF DAYS for all Atheists.

      But they don't need to worry much because they don't need no Noah's Ark to save them from the flood of pee, a regular-size canoe would be big enough to accomodate them all including their puppies.

      May 21, 2011 at 4:58 am |
1 2
Advertisement
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.