Where I live, everyone has been running around like crazy, preparing. Kids are off school. People have been buzzing about how it might all go down, and who will be chosen and who will not. Some have been anxious, others elated. What has long been awaited is finally upon us.
In other words, it’s the week of the county fair.
You thought perhaps I was speaking of something else?
Like that blood moon thing. Oh, that’s yesterday’s news. Who’s going to win Best of Show in cattle is more important right now.
As for me, I’m not so much a county fair person. I’m more concerned with the aftermath of this month of September within the
pathetic prophetic community in charismatic and dispensationalist Christianity.
An unhealthy fascination with the Jewish holy days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, which fall within September, is an area of concern. This year is also a Jubilee year in Judaism, which happens every 50 years (7 X 7 Shemitah years plus one) and marks a time of the forgiving of debts and the releasing of those in bondage of any kind. Add in the blood moon tetrad we just experienced, and all manner of End Times craziness afflicted us in 2015.
Over at Charisma magazine online (CharismaMag.com and it’s sister site, CharismaNews.com), it’s business as usual, save for a few rare posts wondering why nothing happened. For the last year or so, these sites have been spewing predictions about this month’s eschatological “certainties.” I know this because my Facebook pages have been strewn with Christians posting End Times articles sourced from these two websites.
What was supposed to happen as prophetically announced through various pricey books, DVDs, teaching seminars, and other big money generators was the end of the world, the Second Coming of Christ, the exposing of the Beast and Antichrist, the Last Battle, all manner of Israel-related stuff, signs in the heavens, and signs on earth.
Oh, and that Catholic leader guy visited America. Surely he had to fit into all that too. Had to. Gotta read all the signs.
Here’s the scorecard:
Blood moon tetrad events – FAIL
Wonders related to Shemitah – FAIL
Attacks on Israel – FAIL
Armageddon – FAIL
The Second Coming of Christ – FAIL
The Rapture of the Church – FAIL
Wow, that’s surprising, isn’t it? Not one of those things either happened or signaled anything.
What gets me is that we’ll go on about our business, get ready for fairs, go to work, cheer or lament our local football teams, and nowhere will there be an admission from all these “prophets” who made a fortune hocking End Times nonsense that they were ultimately dead wrong about everything they predicted. And nowhere will there be an apology from the editiorial staff at Charisma that they rode this nuttiness for all it was worth and that they’re sorry for having done so.
I fully believe that Jesus will return one day. I fully believe it will be during a time of great unrest and turmoil. I fully believe that a war between the forces of God and the forces of Satan will erupt sometime in the future.
But all these End Times predictions by self-anointed prophets in polyester suits seem more like astrology, numerology, divination, and outright witchcraft than anything Christian that proceeds from the throne of God Almighty.
God is not a god of error, confusion, and fear. He is not found in earthquakes and windstorms, but instead speaks in a still, small voice, yet one that carries devastating and lasting authority.
My advice to fellow believers is to stop funding and promoting charlatans who attempt to make money by peddling loud, scary predictions. Just stop. Please. Don’t buy their materials and don’t repeat their silliness in social media and elsewhere.
I also hope you will consider that today will be no different than yesterday, and that no apologies will come from those who spoke wrongly. Consider that sometime in the next year we will get another run-up of predictions heading into next September, and by the same “prophets,” and they will be wrong then too.
Whatever we do, we cannot and should not forget or excuse these failed prophetic words. We cannot go on as if the failure of these predictions does not matter. The only way the Church can be strengthened is if we stop supporting the predictions and predictors. One reason lost people no longer look to the Church for answers is because of this nonsense. It must be dealt with.
If any of us fell for all this, we should not lie to ourselves that we didn’t. Instead, we should get before God and get real with Him about our obsession with all things End Times and our tendency to fall for related nonsense. My fear is, if we don’t deal with it, should the Liar of All Liars arise in our lifetimes, we will believe his or her lies just as readily as we believed all these mistaken “prophets.”
I will add that perhaps we should examine the truthfulness of our eschatology. Is falling for this again and again a sign that perhaps what we believe about the End Times is flat-out wrong? Christians have held many differing views of the End. Perhaps the one we currently hold is incorrect.
In conclusion, I offer this.
The smartest religious people of Jesus’ day completely blew both the prediction of His first coming and its means. They got everything so hopelessly wrong that even when the anticipated Messiah stood before them, they could not see.
I believe Christ’s Second Coming will be just as surprising and confounding. It won’t occur the way we think or at the time we believe is most perfect. Yes, we are in the Last Days, but God has not stated to us the exact number of those days.
Until that Final Day of these Last Days, keep doing the work of the Kingdom and relax in letting God choose when and how He will bring it all to its conclusion.
12 thoughts on “Blood Moons, Shemitah, CharismaMag.com, and Last Days Nonsense”
It’s like we just skip right past Matthew 24:36-42. Astonishing!
It’s safe to say Charisma’s credibility has taken a serious self-inflicted hit. Last month they celebrated their 40th anniversary; I frankly wonder how they got that far.
However, it’s possible judgment could be underway. I Peter 4:17 reminds us that judgment begins with the household of God. I’ve lost count of how many pastors and ministry leaders have resigned or been fired the last several years due to sexual misconduct. Another well-known pastor resigned a year ago amidst allegations of plagiarism, spiritual abuse and mistreatment of staff. Numerous watch blogs, some Christian and some not, have sprung up in recent years to counter legalism, spiritual control, spiritual abuse and mishandling of sexual abuse in the evangelical church, particularly in the Reformed community. Even the Southern Baptist Convention now admits it’s losing members, albeit at a slower pace than liberal mainline denominations such as the Episcopal Church.
This certainly bears watching. Meanwhile, I’m waiting for Charisma’s mea culpa. I suspect I’ll be waiting a long, long time.
There won’t be a mea culpa from anyone because the default response is to say that all the things that were predicted instead happened in the “heavenly copies” of the earthly counterparts. This is the same dodge the JW’s used to explain the failed 1914 prophecies. Since only the prophets can see into the heavenlies, we must take their word for it.
At least that’s one way of getting around failed prohecies. Sadly, most of us just forget until next year.
What strikes me is the fact that relationship is at the heart of most of the end times scriptures.
Most ‘prophetic’ books about the end times focus on fear, financial collapse and judgement—not on faithfulness, a close relationship with God and righteousness.
The wise and foolish virgins were all wrong about the time he’d return. It was those who knew him that were taken in to the wedding feast. Also; they weren’t gathered to escape the coming judgement—they were supposedly going out to meet the one they loved.
Again those who knew God were the sheep that were declared righteous and separated from the goats. The goats were those who were self willed and lacked relationship with God—this was demonstrated in their lack of love and concerned action for those in prison, sick etc.
It strikes me that many Christians WANT judgement to fall on the world, but are desperate to escape it at the same time. As for deception . . . it is those who have a love the truth who will not be deceived. Perhaps because we don’t have a love for the truth we are now vulnerable to every deception that the christian media promotes.
No one wants to suffer. Who can blame anyone who wants to avoid it if he can?
The Bible says that “unless those days were cut short, no life would have been saved.” That’s pretty scary to ponder.
That said, I agree that there is a certain level of revenge present in the way some Christians view judgment of the wicked. Much of it is truly warranted, but there should be no glee–ever. It’s that smugness and vindictiveness I see in some Christians that bothers me. I also do not like the “well, it’s all going to burn anyway” philosophy some Christians use to justify wastefulness, plundering the earth, and ignoring good stewardship.
Remember how Sodom could have been saved if there were even 10 righteous individuals. Or how a renowned prophet named Jonah gave a prophetic doomsday scenario to a city which repented and averted the supposedly unavoidable destruction. Perhaps many of these recent doomsdays have just been averted by enough righteous prayer for forgiveness. This scenario would serve a few different purposes. Firstly, to help many grow in their prayer lives. Secondly, to cause others to search for God and meaning before the possible calamity. Thirdly, To cause even more to question whether their faith is pointed in the right direction to begin with. And lastly, to continue hardening the hearts of those who have already set themselves in rebellion. Of course there are false prophets out there but even Jonah could have been viewed as a false prophet by his contemporaries. We shouldn’t mock others and pooh pooh these missed events or messages, rather we should direct ourselves and others closer to God in kindness and patience.
People who prophesy on a national scale and do so falsely should be called out. Heck, in the OT, God commanded such people to be stoned. We cannot use falsehoods as a means to call others to repentance or to a deeper prayer life or improved discipleship. Honestly, that’s ridiculous.
I will add that it is not the lost who were addressed through this nonsense but the Church. That makes it all the more grievous.
It may not be as ridiculous as you believe.
Jonah’s message could have been seen clearly as a falsehood by his contemporaries, yet for God’s purposes it was absolutely to be used as a call to repentance.
Improved discipleship and growth in our prayer life are key aspects of repentance.
Biblically speaking, stoning a prophet who was deemed false was required when he actively called Israel to abandon Torah and the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to seek out other gods. This was the case for prophets that accurately provided a prophecy as well as those who didn’t.
I agree that there will be many who will use these situations to make a quick buck. Those Christians who make financially beneficial calls should be called on to search themselves and repent of any error that may be present, not mocked as false prophets in the public forum where everyone can look on.
I don’t equate Jonah’s call to repentance to be the same as what happened in this situation. Or Isaiah’s with Hezekiah.
The position you are promoting is to allow some grace to those who spoke these false prophetic words because they had built into their speaking a desire to see people return to God. I would ask that you consider that this actually failed because everything about these prophecies was built on an understanding of a god that does not align with the God of the Bible. Therefore, these so-called prophets were NOT calling people to repent before the God who has revealed Himself in the Scriptures but a god of their own imaginings. That is how false prophets work; in their false speaking, they create or build upon a false god or upon a false gospel.
Again, I would ask that you at least consider this. The Bible clearly states that no one knows the day nor hour but God. If we do conjecture, and as brazenly as the examples we see, how is that not blatant disregard for the Word of God and for God’s nature? We have in the Bible what we have to know of the End. We need to stop with the numerology, astrology, and flat-out divination.
I am not one who typically names names in public forums. That said, I would like to see the written statements posted in public of those who spoke wrongly and were later corrected in private. I fear I will be waiting a long time.
Dan, you’re spot on here. Whenever I hear a ‘Christian’ proclaiming a time or a day for such things, my heart sinks for the same reason yours does. Anyone who does this, necessarily lacks wisdom, a close relationship with God and/or is under delusion. When they are well known leaders this is very disturbing. We’re told that even the very elect risk falling to delusions such as this.
The only defense is to know God, know His Word and walk in humility and the fear of the Lord. Humility is usually the missing item in the lives of those who proclaim such knowledge…
I do want to add that I still fully believe that there is a NT prophetic gift and that it still exists for today.
But, as I understand it, it does NOT look like what we so often see passed off blithely as “prophecy” within charismatic or Pentecostal churches. Honestly, the entirety of the Church needs to do a better job of not only patrolling but also properly nurturing the charismata.
I used to work in the Christian bookstore biz, and if you wanted to heat the home of every Christian in the U.S. for a year, just gather up all the wrong Christian bestsellers containing End Times conjecture and burn them in the furnace. Seriously, how whack is that? And yet it goes on and on. If we had taken all that cash spent on such books and invested it in missions, maybe the whole world would know the Lord by now and Christ would have come back already because the work was done. 😉
Thanks for posting this interesting post.