For the earnest doomsayer; the type with the underground shelter stocked with a 50-year supply of Spam, dried fruit, toilet paper, and bottled water; the events of late have really stoked the sky-is-falling fire beyond the level of its normal ferocity.
The “I told you so,” dying to escape the lips of prepper-nation, has got to practically be choking them. And yet the earth and life abides.
It’s easy to poke a bit of fun at doomsday preppers. This Examiner is amongst the guilty parties for doing so. One must hasten to add however, that preparing for contingencies is not necessarily pointless or unwise in any way. Clearly, with Hurricane Sandy – labeled a “frankenstorm” by forecasters – bearing down upon this office at present, it isn’t.
What heaps the most ridicule upon the end-of-the-world crowd is their reasoning for taking some of the extraordinary measures they do. There is always some rationalization, no matter how logical, or conversely, preposterous it may be, as to why this time the end is imminent.
Those reasons vary from an impending universal financial collapse, to the prospect of global thermonuclear war. Many cite text in the Christian Bible and the “clear and concise signs appearing in our generation” in support of their views. In short every prepper has an idea why Armageddon is at hand.
As this column delves into the arena of Biblical eschatology with some acumen, humbly, a brief look relevant to the topic from that perspective shall now be undertaken.
Blood rain – An unusual, but certainly not unprecedented natural occurrence where the fine reddish colored sand from the Sahara Desert is sucked up into the atmosphere, mixes with precipitation and falls back to earth. The most recent instance of blood rain was forecast for the weekend of October 27, 2012 in the United Kingdom and prior to that in Kannur, India in June of this year.
“Theologian” Paul Begley ridiculously goes to great lengths in this video to explain why “This [blood rain] is significant in what is going on.”
Allegedly God spoke directly to this man while he was driving home from church recently concerning blood rain and directed him to the book of Joel Chapter 2. Begley stresses that Joel’s prophecy regarding the “prophesying of sons and daughters, the dreams of old men, and the visions of young men, and certainly, the ‘wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke’” are all somehow relevant to what is going on in our time and pertains to our near future as the portent of blood rain has indicated.
Sorry Mr. Begley. Without correcting your theological ineptitude in great detail, as this forum doesn’t allow for it, whatever all these signs Joel wrote about actually mean, literal or metaphoric, they clearly came to pass before the New Testament was finished.
Acts chapter 2: “…THIS IS THAT which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: And I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come.” (emphasis added)
Hurricanes and earthquakes – Far less unusual than blood rain to be sure, but do they really portend calamity of Biblical proportions in our future? Both events are believed by many to do just that. The scripture which mentions both (ostensibly, although “hurricane” is really pushing it) is found in Luke chapter 21.
Earthquake is used quite directly and without ambiguity, but the “roaring of the sea and waves,” which can occur under a variety of conditions, assuming in this case it is to be understood in a strict literal sense, is presumptuously interpreted “hurricane.”
In either case, the text doesn’t mean something that has yet to take place in mankind’s future. It cannot mean that if one is to take the Bible seriously. Christ himself says this emphatically in Luke 21:32 “Truly I say to you, THIS generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled” (emphasis added).
The biggest pitfall in this flawed method of interpretation is that whenever a reader comes across a verse such as “this generation,” they automatically suppose it primarily applies to them, instead of the audience to whom Jesus was speaking.
The Son of God uttered a substantial list of happenings his followers were to be on the lookout for prior to the “end,” which in context meant the destruction of the “holy” city of Jerusalem and the Jewish temple therein.
He gave a time frame in which it would happen. And true to His word, THAT generation witnessed all of the prophecies He spoke, which climaxed in A.D. 70 when the Roman army, under the command of Titus, destroyed it so utterly that “not one stone (t)here was left upon another.”
So be safe, batten down the hatches, and be prepared in the event of emergencies. But also remember, that none of this foreshadows an “apocalypse.” At least not one from the Bible’s point of view.
Until next time…
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