I’ve lived for 54 years now, and I’ve seen a lot of craziness in the realm of predictions about the so-called “end of the world.” Since I’ve been on a more mystical path, I don’t encounter this nearly as much as I did in my younger days, I actually thought that the wild predictions of doom, God’s wrath, and the Rapture had settled down… at least after the 2012 fiasco subsided. Surely people would be tired of doomsaying for a while, right?
Alas, “a while” turns out not to be very long. And the prophecies are getting quite a bit weirder. While I consider the whole Rapture–Tribulation–Second Coming idea to be erroneous, it has a kind of internal consistency. But some of the top-selling “Christian” books now are bizarre to the extreme, such as Four Blood Moons, by perennial doomsayer John Hagee, or The Mystery of the Shemitah, and The Harbinger both by Messianic rabbi Jonathan Cahn.
How weird do these get? Blood Moons alleges that what’s really significant about “the moon shall turn to blood” in the book of Joel isn’t its fulfillment at Pentecost (Acts 2), but that particular sequences of four lunar eclipses occurring on certain Jewish holy days have sometimes corresponded with significant events in Jewish history. At least twice in the last 500 years, in fact. (And poor St. Peter thought it was fulfilled at Pentecost. Boy was he wrong! Should’ve hung around a couple thousand years for Hagee to ‘splain it to him.)
Hagee, at least, hedges well after decades of experience of peddling doom. The tagline of his book is “Something is About to Change” and I can’t argue with that!
Rabbi Cahn, on the other hand, is very explicit in Shemita that the American economy will suffer a devastating blow on Elul 29, 5775, which is September 13, 2015 to you and me. That will be a nice trick, since it’s a Sunday and markets will be closed, but we’ll see. The Harbinger is even more creative. One single verse—Isaiah 9:10 to be specific, portends America’s doom. What’s the verse? Glad you asked!
“The bricks have fallen down,
but we will rebuild with dressed stone;
the fig trees have been felled,
but we will replace them with cedars.” (NIV)
If that doesn’t make you sh*t your pants, I don’t know what will. I thought Alien was scary when I first saw it, but that’s nothing compared to planting cedars (shudder).
I’m tired of this nonsense. I’m tired of watching prophecy teacher after prophecy teacher make failed predictions with impunity. I’m tired of the lies that deceived me in my youth and continue to deceive the more trusting souls of today. I’m tired of repetitive recycling of bullshit that lets them stuff their pockets after selling fear and condemnation. I’m tired of seeing the Good News being perverted.
Last night, I wrote a open challenge to Rabbi Cahn on his Facebook page. It has already rolled off, but I have preserved a record: