We’ve all had some fun with this “end of the world” prediction… and rightly so. As Mark Driscoll said in his talk “How Sharp the Edge?” … “Some things DESERVE to be mocked.”
I have some vitally important questions about this situation banging around in my head. There’s a lesson here – a lesson about pride & humility that we can’t afford to miss. And no, my questions do not flow out of the fact that I was not raptured on Saturday…
- How was such a long-time believer in Christ, one who has been a student of the word for years, so mistaken and deceived?
- How were so many others deceived along with him? Did nobody think to read the PLAIN teachings of scripture instead of trying to calculate some hidden code?
- How does pride get the upper hand like this… to cause a mere man to ignore a very clear statement from Jesus Himself (Matthew 24:36)?
- Where were those closest to Harold Camping as all this was going down? Did nobody who was his friend or loved one see the contradiction with scripture? Isn’t that part of what the church does for its members… keeping them on the “straight and narrow” theologically? Did nobody care about this dear man’s reputation and the honor of Christ enough to try to dissuade him? (If there was someone who tried, we’ve yet to hear of them)
And here’s the most uncomfortable question of them all…
- Am I just as prone to this kind of deception and pride? Maybe. Probably. Wouldn’t it be just as prideful (or at least heading in the same direction) for me to think that I’m not?
What does it take for us to truly battle pride? How do we make sure we are fighting deception as we should? The answer is evasive in our modern world, but not unclear. I think Hebrews 3:13 tells us what we need to know…
But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
We are to watch out for one another. We are to exhort, admonish, confront, “call out” each other for our own spiritutal and eternal safety and more importantly for the honor and glory of Christ, our Savior. Those are things our culture is extremely hesitant to do. After all, I might be judging someone (gasp!) if I do that!
Christians, there’s a vitally important lesson here! One I hope we will not ignore. Harold Camping’s tragic mistake teaches us that no man, no matter who he is or how well respected, or how wonderfully sincere and convincing, is able to fight the battle of faith alone. We NEED each other to keep us on track… in light of the word of God.
Father… make us THAT sort of church… for Your name’s sake!