Pam Dewey has another entry into her series on "Are You Prepared for…the Unthinkable? Part 21: Back to the Future"
With her background in the Church of God she has first hand knowledge of the endless stream of men who trumpeted out one silly prophecy after another. The same thing they were shouting 60 years ago are the same topics today. This is not unique to the Church of God. It is a problem with most conservative, fundamentalist groups.
Yet for the past almost 50 years, religious commentators have endlessly taken whatever the current crisis was … the Viet Nam war, American race riots in the ‘60s, the rise of Chinese power in the world … and insisted that it was cause for “more anxiety than ever in our history.” And reason to believe that the Return of Christ was imminent.
Yes, there are indeed many things that can go wrong in the coming years … and likely will. Maybe we will face conditions in the US as difficult as those of the Dust Bowl years and the depths of the Depression. Maybe we will be embroiled in military actions as horrifying as those faced by our military in Europe and the South Pacific in WW2. But when I look in the faces of the people shopping in the local Walmart right now, I do not see terror or uncontrolled anxiety. I don’t see them particularly fearful as they cart out to their car the box with the big screen hi-def TV, and fill their carts with goodies for the next tail-gate party.
Are they just ignorant and don’t know they should be daily living their lives filled with anxiety and fear about the possibilities of future calamities? Perhaps. But I am fully aware of all of those possibilities, and I’m not filled with anxiety and fear. I am continuing to live as productive a life as I can, and appreciating the blessings of each day. Would I be better off if I were spending more of my time reading anxious, panicky, speculative prophecy newsletters?
I am convinced the answer to that is NO.
But won’t I miss getting biblical advice on how I can “escape” the bad times coming? Don’t I need the wisdom of prophetic speculators on how to “prepare for the doom-filled future”?
I am convinced that the answer to those questions is NO also.
Typical “preparation” advice from such folks includes one, some, or all of these concepts:
Now mind you, I don’t have anything against some of those suggestions as being generally applicable to one’s life. For instance, I’m not ignorant about national and world news. But after almost 50 years of having people tell me that every hiccup in news headlines is “fulfilling Bible prophecy,” I’ve become very skeptical that the purpose of staying up with the news has a whole lot more value than just being “culturally aware” so that I can intelligently discuss things with others.
- Be continually “watching world events”—preferably through the filter of the writings and recordings of the prognosticator
- Continually take in speculation from conservative commentators on what’s going on “behind the scenes” in government and the world of finance
- Study the prophetic passages of the Bible with the guidance of the prognosticator’s recordings and writings so you can pinpoint the Time as closely as possible
- If you don’t believe in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture, purchase survival supplies … sometimes, from the over-priced offerings of the prognosticators themselves
- For the more militant … purchase guns and ammo to hold off the hordes until Jesus gets here
- For the less militant, just “pray, study, and fast” to “get close to God.”
As for those ranting commentators who insist that I need to know the latest hidden activities of the Global Elite or whoever … it isn’t clear to me why I need to spend much time with this. If there really is a shadowy Global Elite running things, I can’t vote them out of office—since they weren’t voted into office. I don’t have super-powers, so I can’t infiltrate their secret meetings in Belgium or wherever and thwart their plans. I don’t have enough money to hire hit-men to assassinate all of them to keep them from carrying out their plans. So it seems to me like my best bet is to just … get on with my life.