Really? Another seminar on Revelation? God spare us. Normally, that’s how I would feel about this topic. The fixation on the Revelation in Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism is a manic money-making machine. However, this live-stream will be unlike anything I experienced growing up in Evangelicalism: we will not be trying to predict the future! Rather, we will endeavor to look at the Revelation through the lens of first century, Second Temple era metaphors and cosmology. What would a Mediterranean-basin, Jew/Gentile audience understand from the imagery in a letter full of Jewish apocalyptic themes?
Taking obscure OT passages, spinning them according to some system of symbolic interpretation, linking them to current events, and promoting the endeavor with a salesman’s charm, and an evangelist’s passion, is no more “prophetic” than reading tea leaves and palmistry, but it sells books. Cultists and psychic prognisticators have been doing it for centuries. A monkey can do it. You can make a scripture mean anything you want and link it to a headline.
Let me demonstrate how easy this is, meaning no disrespect to those for whom the following events elicit pain. I just want to demonstrate how easy it is to generate prophetic nonsense.
There have been two horrific tragedies in Colorado: Columbine, and now Aurora. Columbine means dove-like. Aurora means dawn, dawning, goddess of the dawn. Colorado means ruddy, reddish, blood like.
If I was inclined, here’s how I could spin it to sound all mystical and “prophetic:”
God is saying that the days of gentle dove-like dealings are over. Columbine was the first warning, that the days of innocence are past, and now we are dawning into the divine season of blood, the dawning of increasing judgments. God is saying that a line has been crossed. These two events were warnings to the state and the nation. You have despised my gentle dealings. I tell you, those days are over. Your cities of peace and quiet shall be turned to blood, and this is just the beginning, just the dawn. It shall increase.
Oh, if I wanted to, I could back fill this nonsense with all kinds of proof texts from scripture about blood, dawn, doves, judgment, the color red, etc. and generate internet buzz about the “latest word from heaven.”
The internet and the so-called “prophetic” community of believers is full of rubbish just like this. Naive people swallow it like an addict looking for crack. Millions of dollars are spent on books and seminars and media supporting this kind of tripe. It is a preoccupation about the mystic future, while ignoring the needs and the suffering of those around us today. This type of thing appeals to a carnal elitism: a sense that we are “on the ins” with the Almighty, that we have “secret knowledge,” that is unavailable to the masses, unless of course, you buy my book which will let you in on the secrets of the future!
We should be ashamed of ourselves.
Maybe I should write a book about God’s secret end time agenda for America. I could get rich writing books of this kind of headline-driven, end-time nonsense.
But I have a problem. I have a conscience.
Don’t be duped by eschatological salesmen and their media hacks.
Copyright 2012, Dr. Stephen R. Crosby, www.swordofthekingdom.com. Permission is granted to copy, forward, or distribute this article for non-commercial use only, as long as this copyright byline, in totality, is maintained in all duplications, copies, and link references. For reprint permission for any commercial use, in any form of media, please contact email@example.com.