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Friday, November 23, 2012

The Sky Is Falling!

There seems to be a trend, at least in certain corners of the Christian world, not to be thankful. Some preachers are pulling news items together to make the world seem like a place that's far worse than it really is.

The explanation given by most of these people is that we're in the Last Days, and we should be aware of the signposts that indicate the "soon return of Christ".

Well, yes. It would be useful to know when everything we know is going to end, but much of what's being used to "prove" the thesis is either inaccurate, or taken completely out of context. The end result isn't a service to God; it's something that ul;timately is designed to show the cleverness of the presenter. And, in the most unfortunate cases, to frighten the viewer into sending money, in the hope that it will increase the chances of being 'saved'.

The end result is that the world we live in made "blacker than black", and that makes it more than a bit difficult to be grateful for the good things that are in our lives now. These exhortations focus minds on the negative, and that comes suspiciously close to "leading the little ones astray". I mean, we're supposed to enter Heaven as children, and according to Jesus the penalties for hurting kids are pretty severe. A millstone isn't a very good swimming accessory.

To be specific, here are three examples:
  1. A very prominent television evangelist recently stated that the situation for Christians in the United States in 2012 is exactly like that of the Jews in Hitler's Germany. Oh, really? Are Christians being barred from certain professions? Are their money and property being confiscated, and are government-sponsored thugs roaming our cities, wrecking Crhistian homes, burninjg churches, and murdering the odd Christian? The answer is no. Nothing like that exists now, or is on the horizon. While the gentleman responsible for these remarks might say he's realloy relating a "word of prophetic knoiwledge", even this is far-fetched, because the constitutional safeguards with which this nation was formed still exist.
  2. Several prominent preachers have pointed to recent natural disasters, and have claimed that the Earth is suffering the birth pangs that will send forth the Kingdom. Again...no. Any recent increase in, say, earthquakes is balanced by years in which the "big ones" were not happening. Add to that the fact that the keeping of accurate seismic records is far less than a century old, and the only rational conclusion to which we can come is that any recent variation in the number and severity of earthquakes is not statistically significant.
  3. Greece has joined the European Union, and the Holy Roman Emprie is thereby reconstituted...which is a precondition for the Second Coming. Nice try, but Ireland was not a part of the original Holy Roman Empire
I can certainly understand a desire to see the Second Coming. But trying to predict it by putting out flawed and inaccurate data will simply
  • Diminish the ability of believers to enjoy life today
  • Give the humanists ammunition that they will most assuredly use to make Christians look but silly and irrelevant
The first is a disservice to fellow Christians.

The second is a disservice to God


  1. There are few creatures I loathe more than TV evangelists. There are some Christians on TV that do good work and help alot of people, who have very simple shows that don't use alot of glitz and PT Barnum-esque crap.
    But, those who tend to wear toupees and have 4000$ suits and preach the end of life as we know it, but if you send $$$, God will extend that time!!???
    How to make the rest of ius look idiotic.

  2. I think there are signs of the last days. Wars and rumors of wars [via news media] and imminent massive famines [thanks to GM crops--c.f. the current disaster with wheat in India.]
    But we don't know how long the last days will last! We may have a long wait before other signs happen. Or we may not.
    The apostles believed they were in the last days. They wrote about that. But they wrote a lot more about other things which we need to focus on. The last days can be a distraction.