On apology, again

Will Harold Camping apologize for his antics? What would you like him to say if he did?

One of the hardest things for us to do is to make a clear, direct, no-blinking apology when we have erred. Consider how many times you’ve heard such an apology, especially if the error was intentional (e.g., lying, deception, stealing, and other trust-breaking activities). Mistakes (the real ones) are quite easy to apologize for. For example, I broke the arm of one of my son’s friend by accident. I felt terrible and apologized many times over. I made no excuses for it.

Funny thing: the more guilt we actually own for an error, the less likely we will be willing to own it. We’ve all heard and even made some of these “apologies.” Mistakes were made, I did but you did worse, I’m sorry IF I might have hurt you, I was tired…

So, here’s the apology I’d like Camping to make:

I was wrong to try to guess the date of the return of Christ because the Bible clearly states that “no man knoweth the day or the hour.” Not only did I choose to ignore that verse but I also abandoned the plain teaching of Scripture and the common interpretations of passages down through the ages. Instead, I sought to convince people that I was someone smarter than everyone else. It is not surprising I rejected the good teachings of others since, in my arrogance, I left the church back in the 80s. While some might not know the teaching of the bible, I do. Failing to submit myself to a local community is forbidden by the Scriptures. A teacher is held to a higher standard and so I am responsible for encouraging foolish decisions of others who sit under me. I also apologize for encouraging cynicism and disbelief in the Bible all because I taught that there is a secret code in the Bible. In light of God’s mercy to me I ask for your forgiveness. As a sign of my repentance I promise to cease preaching and teaching. I promise to submit myself to those who can disciple me. Further, I will sell my assets and search to pay back all those who listened to me and spent their hard-earned monies to support my delusions.

Likely, however, he will do what most of us do with our apologies: excuse, blameshift, try to use other lies to make ourselves seem like truth-tellers or victims, etc.

Interested in reading other posts on the art and act of apology? See my first one here. You can also search the word “apology” in the search engine to the right of this post. There you will find several other posts on the topic, especially why it is so hard for us to apologize.


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10 responses to “On apology, again

  1. Barb Boswell

    Oh that we wold hear such an apology from Camping! It would be very healing for his ‘followers’, I think. My friend’s mother is at this time making her way home from Japan, with an airplane ticket her children had to buy her b/c she spent all her money on Harold’s big delusion. This dear, senior citizen (whose faith mightily exceeds my own, apparently), went to visit her extended family in Japan the week before doomsday to encourage them to repent. Her children are not certain if she has any money left at all to live on now.

    Will Harold do the right, godly thing and come clean? I hope so. But I doubt it, based upon his track record.

  2. Barb Boswell

    PS. Can I repost your ‘apology’ if I give you credit for it? It is very well-written.

  3. A hearty amen. No one knows the day or the hour. How this man could, once again, claim to have figured it all out and still name the name of Christ is beyond me.

    Meanwhile, people celebrated this foolishness with drunken end-of-the-world parties, comedians had a field day, news anchors and commentators shook their heads as they yucked it up, and true believers were made to look ridiculous.

    The only winner in this fiasco was the enemy of our souls.

    Apology? Excuses? Hemming and hawing? Silence? I guess we’ll find out …

    Here’s a resource on Apologizing Well that might add to the conversation. Maybe I’ll send it to Camping …

  4. Will H

    Sadly, I don’t think we will see such an apology; cognitive dissonance is such a powerful motivator for trying to rationalize our mistakes. But if he were able to humble himself in that way, how amazing powerful would it be?

  5. Amy

    Either we’ll never hear from Camping again (since the website and Twitter accounts are both gone) or he’ll make some new calculations (and say that God is delaying His wrath), but I don’t think he’ll apologize. Why? Because he thinks he’s right! I truly feel that this man sees himself as a modern-day prophet.

  6. Well, not exactly an apology… just a recalculation!


    This story came across my news feed and I thought of this entry. 🙂

  7. Sad to see such a vivid example of being stiff necked and proud. Apart from the work of the Spirit, he’ll never see who he really is.
    Sadly, any of us can fall into such a state since it begins in the little things and snowballs. Let us be warned of the deceitfulness of sin- so often it seems like righteousness.

  8. So well said. Big round of applause from this little Aussie. Bravo and keep it up…we are called to keep fellow believers accountable!

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