Frank Schaeffer, “Why Is Christianity Today Ignoring Billy Graham’s End Times Prophecy?”
I’m inclined to attribute Billy Graham’s “prophecy” to his son, Franklin Graham, who is desperate to ascend to the sort of influence that his father once had. Billy Graham just celebrated his 95th birthday with an obvious photo-op that included—in addition to son Franklin—Donald Trump, Sarah Palin and Rupert Murdoch of FOX News (News Corp.). It’s all about the right-wing politics here.
However, it’s entirely possible that he really does think the End Times are here. After all, he’s approaching his own death. His time is in fact at an end, as it will be for all of us. That might incline him toward thinking that the end is near for the entire world.
A brief history of American apocalyptic religion
Bruce Chilton, a professor of religion at Baird College, has this handy-dandy short-form guide to American apocalyptic religion up at HuffPo: “America’s Apocalypse: Armageddon in Jerusalem.”
He ties together some of the uniquely American strands of contemporary evangelical End Times belief, including the fixation on Israel as the literal site of Armageddon—and makes clear that we can thank good ol’ Cyrus Scofield and his reference Bible for this fixation on the Middle East — and for the belief that the “Gog” of prophecy will be Russia.
It’s definitely worth reading if you’re at all interested in the mess that is contemporary fundamentalist evangelical thought on the End Times.
Next apocalyptic prediction date: September 28, 2015
This comes courtesy of Pastor John Hagee, who’s got a long history of End Times-predicting—all of them wrong, but when has that ever stopped anyone?
His new prophetic date is explained in a video called “Four Blood Moons,” released recently.
For more—and the video—see “Pastor John Hagee sets new date for the apocalypse, based on ‘blood moons’ and Jewish holidays” at Death and Taxes: http://www.deathandtaxesmag.com/207403/pastor-john-hagee-sets-new-date-for-apocalypse-based-on-blood-moons-and-jewish-holidays/
Bachmann said that the Al Qaeda funding (which isn’t happening) is a sign of the End Times:
“This happened and as of today the United States is willingly, knowingly, intentionally sending arms to terrorists, now what this says to me, I’m a believer in Jesus Christ, as I look at the End Times scripture, this says to me that the leaf is on the fig tree and we are to understand the signs of the times, which is your ministry, we are to understand where we are in God’s end times history.”
“Rather than seeing this as a negative, we need to rejoice, Maranatha Come Lord Jesus, His day is at hand,” Bachmann continued. “When we see up is down and right is called wrong, when this is happening, we were told this; these days would be as the days of Noah.”—
Via Right Wing Watch, which has audio from the radio program, Understanding the Times, a production of Olive Tree Ministries.
This is why Armageddonists are so dangerous: Because their world-view actually welcomes death and destruction for most of us—secure in the belief that, as true believers, they will be spared—they have no incentive to work at solving problems in the world. Instead, they spread chaos.
Not only does this belief system foster a false sense of superiority—“I have the answers and you don’t”—it also leads to poor public policy (as in the current U.S. government shutdown and foreign policy gaffes like Bachmann and fellow Tea Partiers’ thoroughly tone-deaf broadcast in Egypt last month).