Harold Camping Apologises

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On 22 May 2011, the world still existed. This was (in)significant, because of the furore caused by Harold Camping, who predicted the end of the world on 21 May 2011. He also claimed that no churches, except his, were still preaching the truth of the Christian faith. After 21 May, Camping claimed a misinterpretation and moved the predicted date to 21 October 2011. After this date, when the world still had not ended, Camping was reportedly distraught.

Recently, Camping apologised for his false predictions. He has also stepped down from his ministry and retired.

It seems like Camping is sincerely repentant of what he did. Let us remember that we are all sinners and that our sins can also be damaging: both to our cause, and to people and individuals. And people certainly were harmed: some gave up their life savings to support Camping's cause. Rather than being hoarded treasures which they could not take with them into heaven, this was money which was responsibly saved for retirement: something which they now likely will not be able to easily do, as Camping has done.

We all have a responsibility to learn from the past. This episode was by no means the first, and sadly it will not be the last. But what I want people to take away from this, is to not be so fixated on the future that you lose sight of the present. Prepare for the future, yes, please: that is the responsible thing to do. But no-one knows the future. Nevermind the rapture, none of us can even say with absolute certainty whether we shall safely return to our homes at the end of this day. Or, whether that friend, family member or colleague with whom you wanted to share the gospel will be around tomorrow.

Prepare for the future. Live as if it will not come (at least not as you expect it).