Category: Rapture

Some groups think Trump is the Messiah?

So I’m checking out the blog of a fundamentalist who claims that Trump is indeed the Antichrist at the End of the World–not sure whether to believe, but curious how he counters objections and explains his points.  Then I come across this:

But nevertheless, Orthodox Jews do believe their messiah will be Jewish and of the house of David – which is true of the True Messiah, Jesus. But they do not recognize Jesus, and so they still search for their Jewish messiah, a false christ, the Antichrist. Please watch my video.. https://youtu.be/F-UxKCzsURI – This video observes that some Orthodox Jews are searching Donald Trump’s ancestry to find a link to King David. –Brother James, Misconception: Antichrist Will be Jewish and Not a Gentile

The video led me to this article in the Christian Post: Some Rabbis in Israel Believe Trump Could Be Messiah or His Forerunner, End Times Author Says  Lots of crazyness is there; especially note this:

“We would say the second coming is about to happen, but their messiah is going to be a false messiah. He’s going to be the anti-Christ, right? I also don’t believe Donald Trump is the antichrist. So I think the smart ones in Israel are looking at him right now, saying, he is God’s, what we would call, John the Baptist. He is God’s messenger. When he takes over in January there is a 5777 countdown to the appearance of the messiah,” Horn added.

The Jerusalem Post reported last month that Shas Chairman and Minister Aryeh Deri said Trump’s election could herald the coming of the messiah due to the blow he expects the next president will strike against the “non-Orthodox Jewish hold on the U.S. government.”

(So–If Trump is the forerunner, could the messiah be–Putin?)

Some groups think Trump is the Messiah? 1

I checked the Jerusalem Post link and did a little googling, and there is indeed such a person as Deri making such claims about Trump.  Meanwhile, Netanyahu has been doing everything he can to benefit from friendship with Trump, which has been fulfilling his wishlist.  Netanyahu has been playing into Trump’s narcissism, even naming a Golan Heights settlement after him.  ABC News reports an Israeli group is selling a special-edition Trump coin.

From Henry Siegman’s What my escape from Hitler’s Germany taught me about Trump’s America:

Since its founding in 1948, Israel has presented itself to the world as an avatar of democracy and guardian of the moral truths the world needs to learn about the Holocaust. Yet its governmental leaders and a majority of its Jewish citizens—led by its prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu—have fully embraced Trump (as well, in some instances, as the authoritarian leaders embraced by Trump).

Giant posters and photographs of Trump were recently plastered on the streets and public places of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Declaring “Trump is a friend of Zion” and “Trump Make Israel Great,” they expressed adoration of the man who doubled down on his insistence on the moral equivalence of neo-Nazis in Charlottesville and the Americans who took to the streets to express their abhorrence of these racists and anti-Semites.

So I don’t know how pervasive a belief in Trump as the messiah/forerunner actually is in Israel.  But there are certainly groups pushing the idea.  And to see a malignant narcissist such as Trump–one of the worst people this world has ever produced–viewed as a messiah is frightening.  He has a lot in common with, say, Hitler or Nebuchadnezzar.  Many of us see him as far more likely to be the Antichrist at the End of the World.  Or at least one of many antichrists which have popped up throughout history.

Meanwhile, I keep finding various accounts that some Evangelicals don’t bother fighting climate change because they see it as the End of the World rapidly approaching–meaning Christians finally triumph over their enemies.

Whether you believe or not that the Bible truly prophesies the End of the World, complete with plagues and the Beast (Antichrist) and one-world government etc., many people do believe and behave accordingly.  And we have several facts in front of us.

One is that climate change is real and is already leading to catastrophe around the world: erosion, fires, mass extinctions, floods, extreme heat, extreme storms, etc.  People are already losing their homes and being forced to move because of it; animals and other creatures are also on the move.  I’ve seen reports that farmers know very well that climate change is real, because they’re being forced to change their practices.  With or without prophecy, climate change could lead to the End of the World if we do nothing about it.

Another fact is that some groups of people are venerating Trump for various reasons, making him into a god.

No matter what you believe about biblical prophecy, these are very dangerous factors that could turn the End of the World into a self-fulfilling prophecy.  I don’t know about you, but I’d rather fight back, not sit back and allow this to happen because of our own stupidity.

 

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End Times and Christian Zionism

To find a good interpretation of Revelation and other End-Time prophecies, you must look at the Church’s accepted traditions, not newfangled ideas (such as a Rapture before the Tribulation) which popped up in the last few centuries.  One good source is the Orthodox Study Bible.

Challenging Christian Zionism shows how Christian Zionism hampers the peace process in the Middle East.

A review of Left Behind,Fundamentally Unsound” by Michelle Goldberg, has a similar philosophy.

Glenn Scherer argues that “Christian right-views are swaying politicians and threatening the environment.”

This link from the Presbyterian Church (USA) describes Christian Zionism and includes many links on the subject.

This page from Cornerstone Magazine explains how Christian Zionism demonizes certain nations and disrupts the peace process in Israel.

This Catholic website explains, in the “Interpretation” section near the end, how the prophecies of the Beast have been fulfilled in the first century, in the persecution of Christians by the Roman Empire.

Catholics, as well as many other Christian denominations, also believe in amillennialism.  Amillennialism would explain why John the Baptist and Christ kept saying, “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”

It was also the traditional interpretation of the Church: Though a few early Church Fathers and writers believed the Millennium was to be a literal thousand years, this was not the dominant belief.  In fact, it was rejected at the Second Ecumenical Council (p. 627-628, The Orthodox Study Bible).

This site describes the various interpretations very well.

Eastern Orthodoxy rejects dispensationalism.  Here is an Orthodox writer’s view of premillennial dispensationalism.

Here is the Orthodox view of Revelations.

Also see Left Behind–What is Rapture? by Dave Elfering.

And The $666 Question: How to Interpret the Omen? by Rev. Dr. Frank Marangos.

And, on page 13 of the June/July 2006 issue of the Orthodox Observer, “Revelation Also Speaks to Contemporary Christians” by Fr. Angelo Artemas.

 

Index to my theology/church opinion pages:

Page 1:

Tithing 
End Times and Christian Zionism 
God’s Purpose/Supremacy of God Doctrine 
Cat and Dog Theology 
Raising One’s Hands in Worship 
Christian Music 
On the “still, small voice” and Charismatic sign gifts
On church buildings 
The Message Bible 
The Purpose-Driven Life 
The Relevance Doctrine, i.e. Marketing Churches to Seekers 
Republican Party 
Abortion Protests 
Creation 
The idea that God has someone in mind for you 
Literalism in Biblical interpretation
Miscellaneous 

Page 2:

Name it and Claim It Doctrine, Prosperity Doctrine, Faith-Formula Theology, Word-Faith Theology,  Positive Confession Theology, Health and Wealth Gospel, and whatever else they call it
More about Pat Robertson
Dr. Richard Eby and others who claim to have been to Heaven
Women in Marriage/the Church
Spiritual Abuse 
Other Resources 

Page 3:

Why do bad things happen?
Should we criticize our brethren’s artistic or evangelistic attempts?  Or, how should we evangelize, then?
Angels: Is “This Present Darkness” by Frank Peretti a divine revelation or fiction?
Halloween: Not the Devil’s Holiday!
Hell and the Nature of God 
Is Christmas/Easter a Pagan Holiday? 
Is everybody going to Hell except Christians?
How could a loving God who prohibits murder, command the genocide of the Canaanite peoples? 
What about predestination?
Musings on Sin, Salvation and Discipleship 
An Ancient View which is in the Bible, yet new to the west–Uncreated Energies of God

Page 4:

Dialogues
The Didache 
Technical Virginity–i.e., how far should a Christian single go? 
Are Spiritual Marriages “real”?  (also in “Life” section, where it’s more likely to be updated) 
Does the Pill cause abortions, or is that just another weird Internet or extremist right-wing rumor?
What about Missional Churches, Simple Churches, Fluid Churches, Organic Churches, House Churches or Neighborhood Churches?
Is Wine from the Devil–or a Gift from God?
What is Worship? 
Evangelistic Trips to Already Christianized Countries
Fraternities, Sororities, Masonic Lodge 
Was Cassie Bernall a Martyr?
Some Awesome Things heard in the Lamentations Service (Good Friday evening) during Holy Week

Conversion Story

Phariseeism in the Church

 

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“Kingdom Come”: Left Behind Review, Part 1–Where the Old Testament Law is Reinstated

by Tim LaHaye & Jerry Jenkins, Tyndale House Publishers, ISBN 0842361901, available practically anywhere Christian books are sold:

A plot summary is here.

FINALLY!  After 5 1/2 years, I’ve made it to the end of this series!  It’s hard to believe it’s been so long–I could swear I just started this–But then, at my age, the years just fly by like the snowy owls we have around here: One moment you see it, the next it’s gone.

Now for my final review:

The Millennial Kingdom is described in the early pages.  Now Jesus is in charge of the whole world, and it seems rather Taliban-like: If you don’t get saved by age 100, you die and spend eternity in Hell.  (This does not apply to Jews.)

If you sin, you can get incinerated–or not.

And it seems that the Old Testament Law, which even the Apostles deemed too oppressive to put over Christians, is now back in effect, even the sacrifices and holidays!  Things which the Apostles and other Early Church leaders scolded their flock not to do, are now being done.

And now the Jews are the Chosen People again, and Gentile Christians are the “foreigners.”  What about everyone being equal?

First we have “The Millennial Kingdom,” a chapter which claims to describe what will happen during the Millennium.  Not what the authors think will happen, but what life will be like.  It’s things like [italics mine],

“Everyone will be assigned temporary housing until Jesus reconstructs the earth.”

An earthquake will have caused a residue that makes the entire planet sea-level.

“You may be a stellar student or an athlete or even a bit of a techie, but you will not have to be good with your hands.  You may not be a gardener let alone a farmer, and perhaps you always pay to have carpentry, wiring, or plumbing done around the house.  But in that day God will plant within you the desire–and the acumen–to do all those things yourself.”

How the heck do the authors know these things will happen?  Isn’t this all just speculation?

On page xli, we learn that the moon and sun are “supercharged by the Shekinah glory of Christ,” so you can’t go outside without sunglasses, and even at night it’s bright.  (I wear my sunglasses at night….)  It’s hard to adjust to sleeping in the light.

Sounds like the sun is going into supernova; isn’t that a bad thing, meaning the imminent end of the earth?  But then, at the end of the 1000 years, the earth is destroyed by fire from the heavens and from within the earth (p. 350)–Oh, hey, it IS a supernova!

And it sounds too frickin’ bright, not like paradise at all.  You need the night and its cooling for sleep; nocturnal animals need the night, too.

Also, now everyone speaks Hebrew fluently.  The rationale is Zephaniah 3:9, which says, “For then I will restore to the peoples a pure language, that they all may call on the name of the Lord, to serve Him with one accord.”

How does that translate to Hebrew?  Why Hebrew and not some other language that’s actually still being used?  Hebrew is not designed for 21st-century life.  I bet their word for “cellphone” is English, not Hebrew!

What’s wrong with, say, a heavenly language?  How is Hebrew better than any other language?  Is it because the Bible was written in it?  The Bible was also written in Aramaic and ancient Greek–Why not one of those?

This version of the Millennium is also not the only one in Christendom.  It’s called premillennialism.  There is also post-millennialism and amillennialism.

Orthodoxy goes with amillennialism, or that the Millennium is symbolic of the time after Christ.  (More info here.)  Then at the end, Christ comes back, there is the Judgment (not a bunch of little judgments as in the Left Behind books), and then:

Thus, in its faith in resurrection and eternal life, the Orthodox Church looks not to some “other world” for salvation, but to this very world so loved by God, resurrected and glorified by Him, tilled with His own divine presence.

At the end of the ages God will reveal His presence and will fill all creation with Himself. For those who love Him it will be paradise. For those who hate Him it will be hell. And all physical creation, together with the righteous, will rejoice and be glad in His coming.

…When the Kingdom of God fills all creation, all things will be made new. This world will again be that paradise for which it was originally created. This is the Orthodox doctrine of the final fate of man and his universe.

It is sometimes argued, however, that this world will be totally destroyed and that God will create everything new “out of nothing” by the act of a second creation….

Because the Bible never speaks about a “second creation” and because it continually and consistently witnesses that God loves the world which He has made and does everything that He can to save it, the Orthodox Tradition never interprets such scriptural texts as teaching the actual annihilation of creation by God.

It understands such texts as speaking metaphorically of the great catastrophe which creation must endure, including even the righteous, in order for it to be cleansed, purified, made perfect, and saved….See full article at The Symbol of Faith: Eternal Life, OCA website

This also contradicts the LaHaye/Jenkins vision of the final end of everything after the Millennium ends and God’s opponents are incinerated: the earth is incinerated as well, replaced with a new one.

I’ve also noted that the Byzantine Empire, the Eastern part of the Roman Empire which lived on after the Western part fell into the Dark Ages, lasted for about 1000 years–then was laid waste by the Ottomans.

Since the Byzantine Empire was Christian, it works well as a literal Millennium–except for the end, of course.  How could God’s Empire end with the evil side winning Armageddon?

On page 7, Irene is in the middle of reminiscing about Heaven: “She was able to describe the very portals of the house of God, a great, cathedral-like expanse where the redeemed of the ages were arrayed in purest white….”

Hmmmm….Last I recall, from The Rapture, they were all nekkid.

Fans of the Slacktivist‘s Left Behind reviews, have joked about the Millennium’s “steaming piles of fresh produce, drenched in butter.”  Well, here they are on pages 2 and 11!

You see, meat is no longer used for food, despite the sacrifices (which are once again started in the Temple) and the eating of perfect meat after Armageddon (see Glorious Appearing).

So veggies drenched in butter are suddenly feasting food….I’m not quite sure I get the attraction….Where’s the cheese dip? the ranch dressing?

On page 13 is a reference to “new wine,” and we soon learn that people drink wine in the Millennium.  But…I thought “new wine” was actually grape juice, according to Evangelical lore, and that wine is evil, so we’re not supposed to drink it at communion?

(Seriously, that’s how I was raised.  It was a huge adjustment to take actual wine for communion in the Orthodox church, because I’d always taken grape juice.)

The hills and mountains now literally drip with “new wine” and flow with milk instead of water.  But….What if you’re lactose intolerant?  Chaim quotes some passage of the Bible where this image comes from.  Yeah….I’m pretty sure that’s supposed to be a metaphor.

To be continued.

 

 

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