MILPITAS, California (Isabelle Zehnder reporting) — Harold Camping – the head of the Family Radio Broadcasting who claimed May 21, 2011, would be the day of the rapture – went missing when it was clear his predictions were incorrect, the International Business Times reports.
Camping estimated 200 million people would Rapture to heaven Saturday, and that those left behind would witness the destruction of the earth which would come on or about October 21, 2011.
Family Radio paid for thousands of billboards across the U.S. and in a number of locations abroad. Because Camping was certain “without a shadow of a doubt” that the rapture would take place Saturday, a number of followers were prompted to quit their jobs and use up their life savings in order to help spread the word about the upcoming apocalypse.
Adrienne Martinez told the IB Times that she is a follower and that she and her husband spent every penny in their bank accounts. “We budgeted everything so that on May 21 we won’t have anything left,” she said.
Camping is a former civil engineer. He used Old Testament writings to come up with an equation by which he predicted that Saturday would the day Christ returned to earth as suggested in some of the Bible’s prophetic books.
Predictions of this sort, in the past, have ended in people committing suicide and in some becoming violent, even leading to murders.
Some local churches have offered support to disappointed followers of Camping. A number of members of Calvary Bible Church in Milpitas, California gathered outside the Family Radio offices today holding signs and promising care and counseling to any who needed assistance.
“We are here to reach out to those people who might have bought the lie (of Camping),” said Denys. He, adding that they are not here to condemn anyone, said, “What we are hoping is that we would be able to invite people who might have been affected to our church in Milpitas and hold a special service that would embrace them and reach out to them.”
The service, Denys said, will be at 10 a.m. on May 22, 2011, the day after the failed Doomsday.
“Churches like ours, he (Camping) says, are of the devil, that the Holy Spirit has left the church and all is left now is a shell. Even though this is what they’ve been believing and they’ve been teaching, we love them and we care about them. We don’t want them to be hurt. Today is a hard day for them,” said James Bynum, a deacon at Calvary Bible Church.
Sources: ThirdAge.com, IB Times