THE TRAGEDY OF RELIGIOUS PRIDE

‘He who willfully separates and estranges himself [from God and man] seeks his own desire and pretext to break out against all wise and sound judgment’
‘Therefore let anyone who thinks he stands [who feels sure that he has a steadfast mind and is standing firm], take heed lest he fall [into sin].’ (1Cor 10:12; PV 18:1; AMP)

A proud man thinks too much of himself. A Christian becomes proud thru success in ministry, spiritual gifts, money or fame. Pride and rebellion were the original sins in this universe. Lucifer, the chief angel became proud and wanted to be like God (Ez 28:11-19). So, the author of all pride is the devil. We are warned against the hidden sin of pride!
Religious pride often manifests in breaking away from the body of Christ. In Hebrew, the word ‘separates’ in the scripture above (PV 18:1) means to be isolated, lonely, divided, to divorced, to be out of joint or to be scattered abroad. We are commanded to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Eph 4:3). Proud people ignore and hate this command.

THE TRAGEDY OF HAROLD CAMPING
Harold Camping was born in 1921. His parents came to America from the Netherlands. They attended a good Bible believing church in the US. Harold was a very intelligent, humble, hardworking Christian man. He graduated from the University of California as a civil engineer. He had his own company and made a lot of money. He was also known as a serious Bible student.
In 1958 he bought a radio station and named it Family Radio from where he started preaching daily messages. He became infatuated with a particular doctrine: the second coming of Christ. He said that he received revelations that Jesus will come back in his life time. He used mathematical calculations and predicted that the rapture shall happen on the 6th of September 1994. When he failed with that prediction, he later adjusted and said that the church era was finished spiritually. He advised people to leave their churches that all the pastors of organized churches are agents of the devil. Many people believed him and abandoned their congregations, just like himself. Later he said he has received another revelation that Jesus is coming on the 21st of May, 2011. He sponsored hundreds of billboards all over America warning the people. Many serious men of God wrote him letters that he is in error; that he is making a fool of himself and of his profession of Christ. He never answered any of these letters of rebuke.
After 21st of May, 2011, he was disappointed and he said that he is still looking mathematically for the correct date of rapture. Then he had a stroke and could not talk fluently anymore.
Because Camping failed in his two predictions, the organization of atheists in the US is now spreading the message that Jesus will never come again. The devil has succeeded in confusing even more people.
This year he sold its prominent stations and laid off veteran staffers, with net assets dropping from $135 million in 2007 to $29.2 million by the end of 2011. Since the incorrect prediction, donations have dropped 70 percent, ministry insiders told the newspaper. Records indicate the network took out a loan to keep going. What a tragedy…

Why did Harold Camping fail so badly? What can we learn from his mistakes?
The most important lesson is the warning against pride. He was a Christian believer attending a good church for many years. He made money with his business and invested it in his ministry as a radio preacher. After he bought his radio station, he stopped going to church and he stopped identifying with any other pastor. He isolated himself spiritually. He never quoted any book he read, he never gave credit to any mentor, teacher, book or commentary of the Bible. He became like a spiritual island without any covering, without any desire for accountability or counsel from others. Spiritually exposed and vulnerable, little by little, he fell into more doctrinal errors. For example he said that salvation if not by faith in Christ but by works. He said that the Cross of Christ was not a real event, only a spiritual revelation from God…
He is now an old man of 91. He was never involved in adultery. He is still married to his wife of many years. He did not start his radio for the sake of wealth, for he had money before he entered the ministry. He did not preach the false gospel of prosperity just to make money. A man like him is difficult to find fault with, humanly speaking.
But the devil deceived him. He called himself a great Bible teacher, forgetting that those are judged by God by a higher standard (Jam 3:1). He did not submit to any other Christian man or pastor at least for the past 30 years. He became proud and so, he fell!
Lastly, let’s pray for him, that he may come back to the Cross of Christ, truly repent and make peace with God! He is now an old man of 92 still alive. God has not finished with him!

Let’s pray for ourselves that God will search our hearts for the hidden sin of pride and help us to repent of it! No man is an island. Our words and actions influence people for better or for worst. We direct them to Heaven or to Hell!
This scripture below has helped me a lot all these years! I keep short accounts with God about my behavior and the doctrines I preach. I am also very careful and sensitive about the unity of the Spirit, praying always about my submission to my pastor and husband. I do not trust myself, my wisdom or my gifts. I trust only God, Jesus Christ, who died to save me. I humbly give thanks to God who has called me to ministry! I fear and honor God! I recognize the unity of the Body of Christ to where I belong!
Jesus Christ is Lord!
‘Look well to yourself [to your own personality] and to [your] teaching; persevere in these things [hold to them], for by so doing you will save both yourself and those who hear you’ (1Tim 4:16; AMP)!!!
In Jesus name,
Amen!

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