Now, anyone who remotely
follows news events is aware that Syria is currently an extremely troubled
country and that the US is poised to embark on some sort of military
action. But the UCG must have some
unique, thought-provoking, biblical perspective on it all, right?
Presenter Darris McNeely has
a voice full of gravitas, and begins thusly:
[Darris McNeely] Other news today that probably,
or more current is taking place in Syria in the Middle East as drumbeats begin
to heighten and increase. Will the United States take some type of military
action along with other nations? What will be the impact of that, especially in
the aftermath of revelations that the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has used
chemical weapons against his own people? Graphic scenes and pictures have come
out about that in recent days, and it has created quite an uproar, and it's an
awful atrocity that has taken place. And now seems to be pushing American and
other western involvement into this. And what does that mean? What will happen?
You see what he's done? There's nothing new, just questions that
everybody who cares would have. But
delivered properly, it sounds as if his perspective is unique and
monumental. Sure, what does it all mean
and what will happen? Wow, I'm about to
receive some important insight into all of this! I'd better listen to this guy.
But you're being conned. You're not going to get any insight at
all. In fact, you're not even going to
get any strong opinions one way or the other.
But you're going to *feel* as if you did, if you allow the gravitas to
work its magic on you.
Copresenter Steve Myers
brings in the Old Testament, because there's nothing like the mystique of an
ancient text to create the right atmosphere.
But of course he won't say the scripture is necessarily relevant in any
way, but let's let him qualify that himself:
"Well, those weapons of mass
destruction have gotten the world's attention, and the Bible does focus on
Syria in prophecy. And I can't help but think of some of those prophecies about
Damascus, about Syria. There's one in Isaiah chapter 17 that talks about the
burden against Damascus. And it talks about the fact in verse 1 of chapter 17.
"Behold Damascus will cease from being a city, and it will be a ruinous
heap" (Isaiah 17:1). Now I'm not saying that that's
what's going to happen right at this very instance, but I hope that you'll
notice what's going on in the Mid-East more than just saying, "My gas
prices have gone up." Because so much is going on. And could it be that
we're heading in that direction where end-time Bible prophecy is going to be
fulfilled? It will happen. Where exactly are we?"
The great thing about Middle
Eastern current events is that most of the regions and cities there have
existed for thousands of years and were also around at the time scribes wrote
the books of the Bible. So you can find
a verse that mentions a modern-day city, and it sounds awesome!
Somethings happens in
Damascus, and so Steve says "I can't help but think of some of
those prophecies about Damascus".
And when something happens in Athens I can't help but think of Herodotus
writing about how king Xerxes burnt it to the ground.
But what does that have to do
with any insight into this current event?
Answer: nothing, and in fact Steve clearly realizes this, because after
going out of his way to quote a scripture as if it has some crucial connection,
he quickly adds: " Now I'm not saying that that's what's going to
happen right at this very instance...", so I guess the only point was
to create a wow factor that "I can quote a biblical verse that refers to
the ancient city that was still called Damascus, just like this one!" And let us again state the obvious:
"Because so much is going on."
OMG, talk about ROTFLMAO!
Once you know the method and
style, you could write commentary like this with your eyes closed.
Steve continues, "Could
it be we're heading in that direction?"
Now, naturally he doesn't have the foggiest clue, but he's just asking,
and it sounds so awesome to ask such a profound question. Give it a try, you can do it too! (It must be spoken with gravitas of course,
this is important).
"Is the Australian economy
on the eve of collapsing?"
"Are the prophecies of
Egypt as the king of the south referring to the Muslim Brotherhood?"
"Could it be that Miley
Cyrus' career is over?"
Dunno, maybe so, maybe not,
but let's pretend I have special vision on it, and after all let's just see
Indeed, it's usually best to
just see what happens. Amazingly, you
can do this by reading the news every day.
Darris McNeely actually
endorses this line of action:
"And will it happen? We'll
have to wait and see. It likely, something is going to take place. What will be
the impact of that? We don't know. Everyone is waiting right now to see exactly
what will take place."
The above quote was not
edited, that's what he really said! :-)
So, in summary, it seems that
it would have saved a lot of time and space and trouble, to reduce the
"commentary" to it's essential element, which is this:
"A lot of things are happening in the news these days. Let's keep
reading the news to see how they all turn out!"
But that's what everyone does
anyway, so exactly what did service did this commentary provide?
It's amazing that anyone, in
or out of UCG, or any COG, would watch or read such a commentary with the hope
of gaining any insight or useful information of any kind.
And not to pick on UCG, it's
just not all that different from any other COG discussion of "world news
and its connection to prophecy", past, present or future.
Such a waste of words,
setting the reader up with obvious questions, and leaving them hanging with no
answers of course, because there are none at this time.
Now, there are some things
the presenters could have actually said that might have been useful, but that
would not have supported the atmosphere they wanted to create, which is that by
reading ancient texts with a COG interpretation you somehow get some special
insight into what's going on in the current human drama.
To do this, it's necessary to
always speak generalities, as McNeely does at the end of the presentation which
leaves you with this unbelievably priceless statement:
"It's an important area to
watch, an important event and twist that is taking place even as we speak and
take note of this at this time."
I can't imagine listening to
this presentation and not being left with the gnawing feeling: "Ok,
something's happening somewhere as usual, but what exactly was your point,
Of course, these commentaries
always have to speak in generalities, because there is no choice. Scribes living in the bronze age never
dreamed of what the world would be like in 2013, and couldn't have cared less
anyway. They had their own issues to
deal with. Trying to comment on current
events "in the light of biblical prophecy" is such an empty, useless
exercise, and provides the modern individual no helpful service whatsoever in
trying to understand or even know what's currently going on in the world.
No matter how much serious
gravitas you put on it.