The minute the earthquake in Japan happened, I told several friends that two things were coming: 1) talk of the end of the world 2) talk of God punishing Japan
But I was not prepared for was the quality of the sample that was to come. This article details the prophetic take of Cindy Jacobs [it opens in a new window] . She is an authoritative leader in Intercession Prayer circles and someone that I am very familiar with and had even quoted during my college years (the mid- 90s).
“In the early nineties, the Lord gave me a prophecy for Japan that it was a “sickle in the hand of the Lord” that will be used for great harvest. The physical geography of the islands look like a curved sickle with the handle being the island of Hokkaido in the north. One could also say that it looks like a curved sword. Where Japan has historically been a sword of war across Asia.”
“On the other hand, if you look at it another way, this island, Hokkaido, looks like the head of a dragon with the body being the rest of Japan. The people of Asia have worshipped the dragon for 5,000 years. If one looks at the place where the earthquake took place, it looks like the soft underbelly of most vulnerable part of the dragon.”
Can you believe it? The reasoning is that it ‘looks like a sword’ ? Are you serious? Does that mean as seen from space… or on a map… or… wait – I’m looking at a map right now and I am not seeing a sword, or a dragon for that matter.
Not that it matters. When you are being this imaginative and fantastical, I am not sure that the facts would be all that helpful.
I was making fun of this on Facebook and I referenced the best selling book by Harold Camping’s 1994 or Edgar C. Whisenant “88 reasons the Rapture will be in 1988”. How corny right?
A week later I get a text message from someone listening to NPR that Harold Camping is on the radio saying that the end of the world will be next May 26th. It will happen at 6pm. It will make it’s way around the world time-zone by time-zone.
Wasn’t that how Y2K was suppose to happen? Not that it matters…
Here is what I wish would happen: that we could make a deal as Evangelical-Conservative-Fundamentalist and Charismatic Protestants that IF this happens next May or even in 2012 at all – then those of us who doubt them will volunteer to go to hell.
BUT if it doesn’t happen then we will realize that nothing is going to happen like this – and stop doing this every time a natural disaster occurs.
Here is what I wish we would realize:
- human civilizations (brick and mortar) who live on fault lines and shore lines are impacted when the world does what it has always done – shift, evolve, and create.
- every generation can not imagine things continuing to progress beyond a point that they would find unrecognizable and thus they think ‘this must be the end’
- when we talk about the ‘eschatological hope’ of the resurrection we need to be careful to distinguish it from cooky dispensational “Left-Behind” mumbo-jumbo. We must distinguish because most people can’t tell the difference. In fact, sometimes I can’t tell the difference.
- Most of what Jesus said that gets chalked up to ‘end times’ stuff – like his story about two people in a field or on a road and one is taken, or how women will not want to be pregnant – he is talking about the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 a.d. All that ‘flight to the hills’ and sky/moon turning red and a loaf of bread costing a bag of gold is about something that happened “within that generation” (Matthew 24:33-35). It is not about the end of the world.
- The book of Revelation was a political commentary on Rome of the first centuries CE. It is written in apocalyptic language because of the Roman oppression of the first century. It is not about the end of the world.