May 21st has come and gone, and the biblical Rapture event did not come. For tens of thousands, if not millions of followers of Harold Campings timeline for the coming of Jesus to get his bride, the aftermath of economic choices made leading up to the prophetic date now stands squarely in front of them.
For many people who accepted and chose to be a part of Harold Camping and Family Radio’s call to warn the world of impending doomsday, their actions stemmed from simple spoken warnings to friends, colleagues, and work associates, to others selling all they had, including retirement funds, and using the money to purchase such things as billboards and radio spots.
Because Camping was certain “without any shadow of a doubt it (Doomsday) is going to happen,” many of his followers sold their possessions and quit their jobs.
Adrienne Martinez, a follower of Camping, and her husband have reportedly quit their jobs and spent the last penny in their bank account towards a rented house in Orlando. “We budgeted everything so that, on May 21, we won’t have anything left,” said Adrienne. – Zambian Watchdog
But the false prediction might not be so easily effaced from the lives of Camping’s followers. The L.A. Times writes that Keith Bauer, a 38-year-old tractor trailer driver, took a road trip with his family to see the Grand Canyon before the world ended.
“With maxed-out credit cards and a growing mountain of bills, he said, the rapture would have been a relief,” the paper writes.
But Bauer is not angry at Camping for his false prediction. “Worst-case scenario for me, I got to see the country,” he told the paper. “If I should be angry at anybody, it should be me.”
Robert Fitzpatrick, who spent $140,000 of his life savings to advertise the rapture in New York, said he was dumbfounded when life went on as usual Saturday. – Yahoo News
What is very poignant are the reactions throughout history by people who have been deceived into believing a Rapture event was ready to take place. In the 19th century, followers of a church minister named William Miller sold all their goods and land, and followed the preacher up to a mountain where they truly believed Jesus was returning for them. Over 50,000 Christians succumbed to Miller’s doctrine and prophetic interpretations, and this was during a time when mass communications weren’t what they are today.
For many followers of Harold Camping’s belief in May 21st, having to start over in a working career will be very difficult, since those who quit their jobs did so of their own accord. Subsequently, they and their familes will not be eligible for unemployment insurance, and only time will tell if their previous employers will find compassion in re-hiring them to prior positions.
Harold Camping responded on Sunday in a brief statement that he has no answers, and doesn’t understand why the rapture did not occur on May 21st. There was no contrition for the tens, if not hundreds of thousands of believers who followed the man, and his interpretations blindly, and chose to make economic choices that wouldn’t even stand up to scriptural confirmation.
It is now two days after the missed Rapture date of May 21st, and in the aftermath for the followers of Harold Camping they must now deal with the realization of their economic choices, and overcome the disappointment to begin again building their financial futures, and employment careers.