by Dan Phillips
NOTE: this is a companion-piece to Harold Camping is not a false prophet.
It is tempting to write “Inadvertently, unintentionally, and by means of contrast” — and let that suffice. However…
First, Harold Camping glorifies God because all things are God’s servants (Psalm 119:91). Camping can’t not glorify God. You can’t not glorify God. You will either glorify Him as His servant, or as His tool; but you will glorify him (cf. Isaiah 10:5-16).
Second, Harold Camping glorifies God because, by his refusal to repent for past false guesses and his insistence on “doubling down” and putting all his weight on yet another guess, he illustrates God’s wisdom in warning us: “Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly” (Proverbs 26:11).
Third, Harold Camping glorifies God, because his arrogant false claim to knowledge he does not and cannot possess spotlights the humble truthfulness of Jesus, who confessed that “concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father,” and then admonished us “Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come” (Mark 13:32-22).
Fourth, Harold Camping glorifies God because his repeated false guesses about the future throw God’s exhaustive knowledge of the future — and inerrant declaration of the same through His genuine prophets — into stark and splendorous relief (Isaiah 41:22-23; 44:7; 46:10; Deuteronomy 18:21-22).
Fifth, Harold Camping glorifies God because, by his repeated predictions despite past humiliation and exposure, he bears out God’s wisdom in warning that you can “Crush a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain, yet his folly will not depart from him” (Proverbs 27:22).
Sixth, Harold Camping glorifies God because he bears out the critical importance of James’ God-breathed warning, “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness” (James 3:1).
Seventh, Harold Camping glorifies God because he spotlights God’s wisdom in structuring the local church as an organization led by men who first had to show and prove themselves as being capable of humbly receiving instruction from other men (2 Timothy 1:13; 2:1-2; 3:10-17; Titus 1:9), and as not being self-willed and schismatic (Titus 1:7).
Eighth, Harold Camping glorifies God because he highlights the wisdom of God in warning church leaders to be on the lookout for self-absorbed schismatics, and to give them the boot if they won’t accept correction (Romans 16:17-18; Titus 3:10-11).
Ninth, Harold Camping glorifies God because, by ignoring God’s Word and thus falling into atrocious folly, he commends the wisdom of God in repeatedly warning us to hear and heed counsel, rebuke and instruction from others (Proverbs 5:12-13; 10:17; 11:4; 12:1; 15:10, 22; 24:6).
Eleventh, Harold Camping glorifies God by providing a living illustration of the horrendous result of an arrogant isolationism (Proverbs 18:1).
Twelfth, Harold Camping glorifies God by providing a living illustration of the horrendous result of forsaking a primary focus on preaching Christ and His Gospel (1 Corinthians 2:2; 15:1-11; Colossians 1:27:29).
Thirteenth, Harold Camping glorifies God by providing a living illustration of the horrendous result of ignoring Paul’s God breathed warning that each of us should not “think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned” (Romans 12:3).
Fourteenth, Harold Camping glorifies God by providing a living illustration of the horrendous result of ignoring Paul’s God breathed warning against those who “have wandered away into vain discussion, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions” (1 Timothy 1:6-7), and why God moved him to say it was necessary to shut the mouths (epistomizein) of such men (Titus 1:11).
Fifteenth, Harold Camping glorifies God by providing a living illustration of the horrendous result of ignoring Paul’s God breathed warning against those who have a sick obsession with divisive trivia (1 Timothy 6:3-4)
Sixteenth, Harold Camping glorifies God by showcasing the wisdom of God in directing local churches to shut down schismatics who obsessively major on minors and promote speculation rather than edification (1 Timothy 1:3-4).
Seventeenth, Harold Camping glorifies God by how his hopelessly (and oft-rebuked) muddled hermeneutics highlights the perspicuity of Scripture and the validity of a normal, grammatical historical theological approach — so much so that Christians of all traditions are publicly affirming the clarity of the dominical word, “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. …Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming” (Matthew 24:36, 42).
In this ways, for a starter, Harold Camping does glorify God. Unintentionally, unconsciously, and in spite of himself.