Christian church expresses concern for followers of Harold Camping
Calvary Bible Church in Milpitas, Calif. has expressed concern about the followers of Harold Camping, 89, owner of Family Radio Network, which is based in Oakland, Calif. according to PR Newswire.
The Network is heard in over 150 stations globally and Camping has used this to voice his beliefs, which incorporate some numerology with the bible to justify his strange predictions.
Calvary Bible Church is asking followers who may sincerely believe in Camping not to respond rashly to the prediction, noting that the bible says that no one knows the day when Jesus will return, PR Newswire said.
Calvary is concerned about followers who may act rashly, cashing out retirement funds, selling possessions or emptying bank accounts to fund Camping’s message, according to PR Newswire.
The idea is not far-fetched. The Daily Mail told of a retired MTA employee in New York who used his life savings of $140,000 to fund an ad campaign for the prophecy.
Robert Fitzpatrick shelled out all of his money to put placards on 1,000 subway cars and at bus stops in the city that say, “Global Earthquake! The Greatest Ever – Judgment Day: May 21,” over a photo of the Jerusalem skyline and the image of a ticking clock, Daily Mail said.
Fitzpatrick, 60, said, “I’m trying to warn people about what’s coming. People who have an understanding [of end times] have an obligation to warn everyone,” the Daily Mail reported.
Fitzpatrick said he would like to bring as many people as he can with him during the rapture (when Christians are to meet with Jesus), and this is why he funded the New York ad campaign with his money, Daily Mail said.
The followers of “Project Caravan,” as the campaign is called, have actually left their families and given up everything they own and left their jobs for this purpose, according to Daily Mail.
However, Calvary Bible Church is concerned that devotees may become depressed when they realize that they were deceived, more so if they have let go of a large amount of their finances. The prospect of financial ruin could lead to reckless action, including suicide, PR Newswire said.
Pastor Jacob Denys of Calvary Bible Church told PR Newswire that he would like to tell Camping’s followers, “Do not despair. You are not alone. We offer you help and biblical counsel.”
Calvary is leaving its doors open for followers of Camping and inviting them to hear Sunday service on May 22, the day after the “predicted” return of Jesus. Service will be held at 10 a.m., according to PR Newswire.
Denys told PR Newswire, “We realize our offer of assistance may not be well-received right now, but we hope on May 22nd they will see it is an offer made in Christian love. We know that you will be hurting when you realize that you have been deceived, and we will be here for you.”