Start the happy music! It’s time for the end of the world!

July 28, 2006 | By | 10 Replies More

Yes, these are giddy and unnerving times, but it’s also time to bring out popcorn and balloons.  It’s time to celebrate the end of the world!

You can hear it 24/7 on evangelical radio, (I’ve been listening to radio station KJSL, based in St. Louis).  Each passing month, the voices of those radio preachers are getting faster and higher-pitched. It’s all intensely festive, in a macabre sort of way.  All the signs are there, the preachers proclaim.  This is really “it.” 

Syndicated talk show host Paul McGuire is among the many radio preachers leading the cheers with their own gnashing teeth.  McGuire just wrote a book entitled ARE YOU READY?  WELCOME TO THE END OF THE WORLD.   What’s his new book about?  Check out McGuire’s website:

A NUCLEAR ATTACK ON AMERICA; THE COMING MEXICO, U.S. & CANADIAN MERGER; ISRAEL & THE PALESTINIAN STATE; GLOBAL GOVERNMENT; TERRORISM; HURRICANES, FREAK WEATHER & EPIDEMICS; PREDICTIONS OF THE ANCIENT HEBREW PROPHETS; SIGNS OF THE TIMES

Any time the radical Christ crowd gets this excited (excited enough to use the Caps Lock key so extensively), it’s worth checking out.  Just because they’ve been wrong about the end of the world so often before doesn’t mean that they aren’t on target this time. 

But there’s this other thing on my mind—why have those evangelicals gotten so enamored about protecting their very very very good friend, Israel?  It turns out that these two things—the end of the world and the existence of Israel–are connected.

Remember Pat Robertson’s “crazy” statement last January? 

Television evangelist Pat Robertson suggested Thursday that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s stroke was divine retribution for the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, which Robertson opposed.”He was dividing God’s land, and I would say, ‘Woe unto any prime minister of Israel who takes a similar course to appease the [European Union], the United Nations or the United States of America,'” Robertson told viewers of his long-running television show, “The 700 Club.”

“God says, ‘This land belongs to me, and you’d better leave it alone,'” he said.

If you read Robertson’s statement carefully, you can see that the evangelicals don’t really care about the Jewish people.  God will eventually toss many of them into the fires of hell; no great loss (more on this in a minute).  What the evangelicals are really concerned about is the land, the political existence of the state of Israel.  Why?  According to many pro-Israel evangelical leaders (including Robertson, Jerry Falwell,  Ralph Reed, Beverly LaHaye, Jack Hayford, and Oral Roberts), we must support Israel because of Bible passages that tie the survival of Israel to the Second Coming of Jesus.  It’s all explained here.

The establishment–and continuation–of the State of Israel is essential to set the stage for the imminent return of Jesus. At the time of the Second Coming, these Christians believe, Jesus will descend from heaven, subdue all of Israel’s enemies and take believers to heaven in what is known as the Rapture–literally, they will ascend to the clouds to be in heaven. This series of events ushers in the end-times. According to conservative Christians’ reading of the Book of Revelation, this won’t happen unless Israel exists in the Holy Land.

According to evangelicals, if there is no Israel, Christians will have to wait a lot longer for their eternal reward (until another Israel is established). The Bible makes all of this crystal clear, according to the evangelicals.  Thus, the current fundamentalist Christian exhortations to drive back the Muslim infidels so that the Christians can “save Israel” and maintain their fast lane to heaven. Their urgent need to get to heaven thus justifies the use of American military force and major collateral damage to anyone who gets in the way.  At a minimum, woe to anyone who DARES to show sympathy for any of those Muslims:

They are convinced that God’s ancient promise that Abraham’s Jewish descendants will, as the Chosen People, return to the Promised Land and prosper there— that this promise began to be fulfilled with the establishment of the modern state of Israel, and that the rest is yet to come. To take the side of Israel’s enemies, then, is to go against God’s announced plan for the Middle East.

Where in the Bible do we find any basis for these upcoming events?  There are many religious sites that tell similar stories (many more sites, it seems, than those that cover all of those evil “secular” topics like evolution).   If you think I’m exaggerating, just Google a combination of rapture, bible and Israel (this results in almost one million distinct web sites).  Or visit Wikipedia for more details.

And don’t just write all of this off as a plethora of prophetic poppycock! After all, how can you argue with evidence that is straight out of the bible?  Here’s how one of the many evangelical sites extrapolates from bible verses, to current events to the imminent end of the world: 

If I whet my glittering sword, and mine hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to mine enemies…my sword shall devour flesh… (Dt 32:41,42). For, behold, the Lord will come…to render his anger with fury…by his sword…  (Is 66:15,16). And the slain of the Lord shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other…they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried…. (Jer 25:33) 

The question is often asked as to whether the United States (or Canada, Australia, et al.) is in Bible prophecy. Of course! Scripture declares that every nation in the world will join together to invade Israel in the last days and be destroyed in the battle of Armageddon: “I will gather all nations [surely all includes America] against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken….Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations…” (Zech 12:9; 14:2-4).

You’ll have to read these bible passages carefully to find what you’re after.  Really really really carefully.  You might also need to get drunk, sleep-deprived and revved up with terrifying thoughts first, maybe over a period of years, so that you can see it clearly.  If you still can’t see it, check out these graphic pictures.  The “Harlot of Babylon,” one of the many attractions of the end of the world, is pictured below [available on Tribulation.com]

harlot - ok.jpg

As far as I know, the Bible is still rated PG (it’s not like the Bible has anything that could hurt your children, such as photos of Janet Jackson’s nipple). So feel free to share the Bible stories with your kids.  Tell your kids that the Earth will soon be destroyed and that blood will flow in rivers, compliments of a vengeful God.  See here so you can share all the violence with your children.

But what happens to our good friends, the Jews?  You know . . .  those valiant people who are holding onto our land for us?  Turns out that as long as they timely admit to God that they were acting stupidly when they failed to worship Jesus, they’ll be fine:

Evangelical Christians support Israel because they believe that biblical prophecy links Israel’s survival with the second coming of Jesus. According to their reading of the Book of Revelation, when their Messiah returns, believers will be “raptured” to heaven, leaving Jews and others to choose between following Christ or eternal damnation. 

What is it like to be raptured?  Check it out (also from Tribulation.com –and listen to the cheerful music on the site)

rapture.jpeg

By the way, how much longer before the end of the world?  If you want to get a handle on that metric, checkout the website of “Rapture Ready.”  These Rapture Ready folks have been really busy counting lots of signs. Activities that indicate the approaching end of the world include “False Christs (currently, there are allegedly 2), Apostasy (currently 4), Drug abuse (currently 2), “Beast government” (3) and of course, “liberalism” (currently ranked 2).   The Rapture Ready folks reading is currently “156.”  What does that mean?  If you check the site, you would find out that

[T]he Rapture index is a Dow Jones Industrial Average of end time activity, but I think it would be better if you viewed it as prophetic speedometer. The higher the number, the faster we’re moving towards the occurrence of pre-tribulation rapture.

Rapture Index of 85 and Below:  Slow prophetic activity
Rapture Index of 85 to 110:    Moderate prophetic activity
Rapture Index of 110 to 145:      Heavy prophetic activity
Rapture Index above 145:           Fasten your seat belts

[Note to grumpypilgrim:  I’m not making any of this up. Worse yet, the writings of Karl Popper convince me that I can’t absolutely disprove any of this. I’ll leave you with this advice, pal: you and I won’t need to pack any heavy coats for where we’re headed]  

Rapture Ready is really a handy site.  I also learned that Daniel 8:23 predicted that “communism” would come to an end.  Bible interpretation is a bit beyond me, frankly, so I’ll have to take these hard-working people at their word. 

Back to the topic, though.  Here’s what you all REALLY want to know:  What do people actually get to DO once they get to heaven?  A radio preacher at KJSL (Anne “Theresa” Garcia ) answered this question on one her shows last week:  Those of us who get to go to heaven will spend all day every day “worshipping God.”   In other words, the lucky ones will occupy themselves for all eternity telling God over and over and over how great He is and how much they love Him.   Over and over, again and again, telling the insecure Big Guy how great he is.  That’s why so many of us are spending such enormous energy preaching, worshipping, converting, resisting life-saving stem cell research and rooting against the Islamic heathens.  If you want to know more about the end of the world, check out Garcia’s new book. Here’s how she promotes it: “The image of the beast and the number “666” defined as never before!”

OK.  Enough of this.  Would someone please wake me up?  I’m having a bad dream that people are being killed and that lives are being ruined because American foreign policy is based on a self-contradictory ancient book written by ignorant unknown authors steeped in superstition . . .

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Category: American Culture, Good and Evil, Politics, Psychology Cognition, Religion

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (10)

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  1. grumpypilgrim says:

    Erich and I will indeed be packing very light for the afterlife. OTOH, some branches of Christianity don't believe that sinners burn in hellfire; some believe sinners merely die; i.e., cease to exist.

    In any case, listening to evangelicals talk about the afterlife is a fascinating experience. They will pull obscure verses from either Revelations or Daniel — the two most opaque books in the Bible — inject a truckload of their own conjecture into them, and then declare that it is all "literally true." They obviously have a very different definition of "truth" than the rest of us, because "truth" for them depends not at all upon facts, but rather upon repetition. Lots and lots and LOTS of repetition. Just like George Bush, they appear to believe that whatever their kooky imagination conjures up will become true if they simply repeat it enough times. Sadly for the rest of us, many of their followers appear to believe this, too. I've finally realized that if you want to know when an evangelical is really and truly wacko, just check to see if he or she is preaching from either Revelations or Daniel. Only the crackpot extremists go for those two books on a regular basis. Rational Bible scholars generally avoid them.

    As regards Israel, I sometimes wonder if the (Christian) nations that won WWII put Israel in Palestine so that the Bible's story of Armageddon might someday become a self-fulfilling prophesy. The motive clearly wasn't to give Jews a safe and secure homeland (not unless there was a lot of wishful thinking back then, too, combined with LOTS of repetition that it was a good idea).

    Finally, it amazes me how many different branches of Christianity preach that Jesus is "coming soon," despite the fact that the many predictions of this event throughout history have so far proven to have been premature. One good example is the Great Disappointment of 1844, when some Christians got so revved up that Christ was going to reappear that they gave away all their possessions and stood on a big cliff that had a nice view of the sky and horizon, so they would have a good view of the event. Needless to say, they had a Great Disappointment when they found themselves both destitute and public laughingstocks. Good thing for them the Bible says the poor will have riches in heaven, or else many of them might have jumped off that cliff.

  2. Bruce Norman says:

    The "Rapture Index" is a delusion resting on a delusion. Its "precursors" point to only the final down-to-earth coming (and not to a "pretribulation" coming) and should be labeled the "Second Coming Index" or "Second Advent Index." One "precursor" is the "Antichrist." How can he be a signpost pointing ahead to a "pretrib" rapture if he isn't revealed until SEVERAL YEARS AFTER the same rapture? And a "pretrib" rapture was never taught or even believed by any organized church before 1830! What's more, the Index's author admits that his rapture is "signless" and doesn't require any preceding event, so why does he try to "see" preceding signs that supposedly herald it? Because he knows his emotional followers are ripe for exploitation and his conscience has already been "left behind"! Bruce

    !

  3. Erich Vieth says:

    If you really think that the end of the world is near, feel free to cash in, courtesy of Pixwit! Click here.  It's this cashing in given the Divine stamp of approval by Matthew 25:14-30.

  4. Erich Vieth says:

    Here is what Jimmy Carter (an Evangelical Christian) had to say on this topic: "Some Christians who I know very well, very devout people, believe a certain interpretation of Revelations, that in my opinion are quite weird, in that in the coming of Christ that the holy land has to be occupied by the Jews and not by anyone else and then in the end that all Jews will have to be killed or either converted to Christianity. This is a very seriously distorted interpretation of the Scriptures that I am very familiar with." For the full interview, click here.

  5. Rush says:

    Well, before I click the link, my impression of Carter is very good. I expect the interview may be quite "revealing" though. In terms of Christian Radio, just listen to Rush Limbaugh for a few minutes if you want an example of some ripe ignorance.

    -S

  6. Limbaugh says:

    Well that interview confused me a bit, can you (resident geniouses) explain a bit more about the implications please? I was under the impression that everything Israel does IS right. In the meantime I will try and figure out what the heck is going on over there.

    -S

  7. Monique says:

    According to the number code sequence as laid out in his Prophecy Code Book, it seems that the rapture if you want to call it that (I prefer the word resurrection), can't happen for at least another 27 years. May I suggest you check out the website http://www.prophecycodebook.com which shows the Menorah's pictogram. In his book Prophecy Code, Jeff Manty decodes the rapture using the number (2520) from the prophecy of the seventy 'sevens.'

    He says the secret to understanding the return of Christ is to know that this number 2520 is a number of years as well as days. As proof he connects this number to the years of Israel's reestablishment or the years 1897, 1948, and 1967 to the years 587, 536, and 517.

    Manty uses the prophecy's commencement as the key to unlocking the rapture. May I suggest you get a copy of his book you'll love it…

  8. Christine Barnard says:

    Well, I hope when Jesus comes back you will be ready.. After the Rapture comes the Tribulation, and it is going to be terrible for those left behind. I pray that each person will cry out to Jesus and ask Him to forgive you and to come into your heart.. The time is growing short dont wait too long..

    blessings

  9. Erich Vieth says:

    Christine Barnard: Your scary story doesn't concern me. Please take a deep breath and ask yourself whether there is any credible evidence for believing that supernatural beings are planning on attacking earth (though, conveniently, sparing you and other people you care about).

    Why is it that you don't go to bed worried about offending Zeus or the God of Islam? No credible evidence, right?

    Again, take a deep breath . . .

  10. grumpypilgrim says:

    I spoke at length yesterday with a Christian evangelist who attempted to convince me that since the Bible accurately reports *some* historical facts (e.g., the names of kings of various nations, the names of some of their relatives, the names and locations of various groups of people, the dates when various groups of people fought against each other, etc.), we should therefore believe that *everything* in the Bible is a historical fact. Of course, historical fiction also will accurately report some historical facts, but we do not leap to the conclusion that the fictional portion is true. Indeed, the DaVinci Code should have taught that lesson. Yet, such invalid arguments persist. Herein lies the problem with so many arguments for religions: the arguments always seems to rely on obviously defective reasoning that the proponents of the religion asks us to ignore.

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