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Have a Nice Doomsday: Why millions of Americans are looking forward to the end of the world by Nicholas Guyatt

May 10, 2017

Why do fifty million Americans believe that the world is about to end? And should the rest of us be worried about this?

It reads like journalise – about meeting people in SUVs in parking lots.

Mercifully, he talks about the ‘Western Wall’ rather than the ‘Wailing Wall.’ But since when as Ezekiel the first major prophet (p. 70) ? What about Isaiah two centuries earlier?

Thankfully, he does accept the scholarly consensus on Daniel.

The search for a red heiffer in on so that temple sacrifices can be restored.

Maranatha (p. 110) is Aramaic, not Greek.

I liked the tem ‘arkeologist’.

There is a lot of ignorance about Islam, e.g. tht muslims worship Muhammad and that the more you know the Qur’an the more radicalised you will become – all the research points to the opposite conclusion.

Quotations:

John Hagee’s relationship with the media seems very differ­ent. CNN has invited him to chat about the end of the world as

if he were discussing the congressional elections. Fox News treats

him like an expert from the Council on Foreign Relations. In spite of his open embrace of doomsday in Jerusalem Countdown,

John Hagee has become an authority on the Middle East even while the region has been gripped by unprecedented instability and violence. He isn’t just offering a bleak commentary on this debate: he’s helping to shape it.

 

Hagee likes to tell a story about a trip he made to Berlin during the 1980s. I-I-e’d been invited to give a speech to American GIs; and he was taken around the western half of the city by a German guide. When they got to Checkpoint Charlie, and looked over at Soviet East Berlin, the guide asked Hagee sadly why God had ‘permitted the communists to build a wall around us’. Hagee, who’d flown to Dachau the day before, instantly replied: ‘Everything your parents did to the Jewish people, son, the communists are doing to you.’ This is a general rule, repeated in Hagee’s books: What a nation or an individ­ual does to the-nation oflsrael-is what God repays to them.’

Hagee hates replacement theology, and condemns it as the root cause of Christian anti-Semitism. But what really gets

under his skin is the idea that prophecy might be figurative rather than literal. If ‘Israel’ doesn’t mean Israel, but instead refers to the Church, then how can you be sure what anything means in Revelation or the Book of Daniel?

Larry is Jewish but is more David Frost than Jeremy Paxman.

‘Radical Muslims attacked America on 9/11,’ Hagee tells us, ‘and they still have their sights set on the destruc­tion of Israel and the United States of America. And yet the

Koran is required reading in many universities and public schools — the same schools and universities that forbid reading of the Bible,- and mock the teachings of the Bible in the classroom.’

Christian children are scolded for using the word ‘Christmas’. (Instead, Hagee spits, they have to celebrate a ‘winter holiday’.) Children are taught that ‘Heather has two mommies’ while the nuclear family and Christian morals are disregarded. ‘Why are we teaching them witchcraft through Harry Potter?’ Hagee enciuires, before insisting that the audience choose between the liberal permissiveness of Dr Spock and the timeless wisdom of Solomon. (`Spare the rod and spoil the child!’) After one partic­ularly withering attack on pornography, which the audience has applauded wildly, Hagee emits a loud, jarring shriek that sounds a lot like a macaw. There’s some nervous laughter among the congregation, and I’m not sure if he’s filled with the Holy Spirit or crowing at the hellfire that awaits those pornographers.

rails against ‘cotton-candy’ preachers who ‘walk along the abortion issue, walk along the same-sex marriage issue’, and who fail to register that abortion is ‘murder’ and homosexuality is an ‘abomination’.

Cotton-candy preachers don’t mind sinners saying, ‘I didn’t ‘get enough cookies when I was in the Boy Scouts, therefore I’ve grown up to become a psychopathic killer. And that’s: my problem.’ But your real problem is that you’ve got the DEVIL in you! THAT’S the problem!!

It happened because the United tates has an open border policy that makes it impossible to tell who is in our country and for what reason.

His insistence on the literal truth of Ezekiel- and his rickety read­ing of Gog and Magog — has led Hagee to see Russia as a natural enemy of Israel and America. The Russians, he insists, will be dragged by God into attacking Israel and igniting `Ezekiel’s War’.

‘Do not be confused into thinking that Allah is just another name for the same God worshipped by Christians and Jews,’

The United States won’t be able to contain the evil unleashed by its preemptive strike on Iran, but at least Christ can be relied upon – to vanquish his enemies at Armageddom –

Palestinian Christians would have a much better time under Israeli rule, since ‘Islam is not a friend to Christianity’.

Dave also differs from John Hagee in his assessment of the Israeli government. ‘My greatest frustration in the world today,’ he declares, ‘is with Israeli leaders. They’ve deceived themselves into believing that they can gain peace through appeasement. If you know anything about history, you cannot gain peace through appeasement.’ Now we’re back on familiar ground — Hagee likes to quote from Winston Churchill, and he spent a good deal of his speech to the CUFI Washington banquet retooling Churchill’s speeches against Nazism for the fight against ‘Islamic fascism’. But Dave has a couple of theories to explain the reluctance of Israel to use its might and to squash the Palestinians once and for all.

First, he tells me, the Israeli leaders are secular humanists. `They believe in the essential goodness of man,’ he says, some­what implausibly, ‘which is directly contrary to what the Bible teaches.’ (As an example, he mentions that the Israeli soldiers who seized East Jerusalem in the Six Day War didn’t destroy the Dome of the Rock.) Because Israeli politicians haven’t accepted the dark view of human nature outlined in scripture, they’re still clinging to ideas of universal brotherhood that their Islamic enemy can only see as a form of weakness.

Dave is_building up a head of steam here. ……Then, abruptly; he offers another example_ ‘Fiddler on the Roof ….He says, “God, why couldn’t you have chosen someone else? Why do we have to-wear this funny clothing? Why do we have to be different?” The Jews desperately want to be accepted, and they believe with all their heart that if  they do what the world tells them to do, they’ll be accepted”

I ask Dave to tell me what’s wrong with organizations like the United Nations or with high-minded concepts like international law. He pauses for a few seconds, before letting out a big laugh and saying, ‘I don’t think we have enough time for that!’ Then he elaborates just a little: `I think the Bible makes it very clear that it is not God’s will for nations to give up their nationhood, their sovereignty. The one time they tried to do that, and came together into one great empire, God poured out his wrath upon them.’ (He’s talking here about the Tower of Babel.) Dave tells me that, although he doesn’t have a problem with international dialogue over issues that affect us all, he’s suspicious of the ‘arrogance’ that under­writes any effort at global government. ‘God sets the boundaries of nations, and when we start crossing those- bound­aries and unifying into organizations like the UN or whatever, we’re going to start challenging God.’

Dave is genuinely perplexed at why British people have been willing to get involved with the European Union, but when he holds forth on this he sounds more like Jimmy Goldsmith than Jimmy Swaggart: ‘I would think the British would be having their eyes opened today to the nonsense of getting into cross-national organizations like the European Union, which says, get rid of your weights system that you’ve had for hundreds of years and we’re gonna put a little grocer in`jail here because he wants to- sell in weights that people understand.’ Dave remembers being in Britain in 2000 and watching bemused motorists -at petrol stations trying to convert litres into gallons. ‘They have a chart on each pump to try to convert, and people are trying to figure out how much they’re buying. Next thing you know they’re telling you how high your hedges-can be. Have the British woken up to the fact that they’ve surrendered their sovereignty?’

‘It is. I believe most Muslims don’t read the Koran very much. That’s why most Muslims are not radical, but when someone begins to really study the- Koran and they begin to read the 109 verses that call for violence and war, they become very, very different. They become radical, they feel that they need to convert people by force.’

`It wasn’t a voice, it was an understanding.’ Jack leans over, as if he’s about to tell me a big secret. ‘You know, my voice and God’s sound an awful lot alike. Sometimes I have an awful lot of trouble telling who’s saying what. But generally speaking, if you pay a little attention, you can tell. Because, generally speak­ing, when it’s God it’s not really something you want to do.’

of church-and state, a concept which other evangelicals seem eager to discard. ‘It’s absolutely indispensable,’ he says. While he’d love to see Bush-govern according to his own version of Christianity;- he doesn’t-want to live- in a country in which a different president-might bring a different religious agenda into the White House.- (He mentions the Republican governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney, a Mormon who has been touted as a candidate for the 2008 presidential race.) But when I push him on this,–he suggests that the separation of church- and state can go too far. He Mentions the recent brouhaha in Alabama, -where a Christian judge was instructed to remove a sculpture of the Ten Commandments from the lobby of his courthouse. Jack insists that the great British jurist, William Blackstone, based his legal system-on Christianity; and that Magna Carta rests on the same- foundations. –

When you convert men, they transform into identical-preppy kids wearing -V-necks. Women suddenly sport an orange- jumper, like Velma from &achy Doo. If you only convert men, you can do everything you -need to do in the game. But if you bring women to Christ; the game starts giving you polite reminders that your options are limited. ‘For the next operation,’ says the cheerful- voice in the tutorial, ‘you vvill need a man.

Tyndale House decided that the Christian community needs a penetrating book on homosexuality’ and asked Tim if he’d write one. He agreed, basing his work on his own experience counselling gay church members

At the San Diego Zoo, acts of-sodomy are said to be unknown among- primates!)

Daniel 11:37 contains an interesting prediction about the anti-Christ, who is destined to rule the world just prior to our Lord’s return to set up his Kingdom. ‘Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women …’ This suggests that the anti-Christ may be a homosexual. If he is, that would explain the significance of the influential group of international homosexuals who are rumored to be gaining worldwide political influence.

if American society learns to accept homosexuality, a host of bad things will follow Gay teachers will try to- turn their students into homosexuals (hence Tim’s peiplexing insis­tence that it would be=better to hire a straight rapist in a girls’ school than a gay man); there’ll be an increase in ‘crimes and sadistic murders’ because  gays have a ‘much higher crime potential and tendency toward sadistic-violence’ than straights; and, most worrying of all, God may take revenge on the entire  nation if America accepts homosexuality as a ‘normal way of life’. America-may-meet the same fate as Sodorn, razed utterly from the earth for its embrace of ‘human depravity’.

While the political situation in Iraq or Israel seems to cry out for nuance and expertise — the kind of thing that the boffins at the State Department used to provide, with the benefit of their many years of training and local knowledge none of that seems necessary when you train the ‘third lens’ of Bible prophecy onto the world’s hotspots.

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