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.