Just How Stupid and Dangerous are Billy Graham, the Tea Party/Evangelicals and the Political Leaders Like Benjamin Netanyahu Playing the “End Times” Game?

 

Once in a while I read something that is so blindingly dumb I assume its a parody. But when you dip into the evangelical world of paranoia and end time fantasy that Billy Graham and most evangelicals live in, even the Onion couldn’t outdo the reality of what the broken brains of the religiously deluded churn out. Do they believe this crap?

I don’t know because it’s so mixed up with fundraising. I hope its just a scam. If this many people are really this stupid we’re in serious trouble. In the case of Billy Graham he seems to believe in his own science fiction, or maybe he’s just still afraid of dying — as he told Dad and me he was when we used to meet with him in the 1970s and 1980s back when I was an evangelical operative helping to poison the GOP. Maybe Billy hopes Jesus will pull him out of here to heaven before he dies. Who knows? The point is we’ll all still be stuck here after Billy dies and finds out he was wrong, or maybe just goes blank. Whatever. Meanwhile my grandchildren live here and so goofs threatening the US are threatening to me because I love my grandkids.

I’ve been out of the evangelical loop so long that when I read something like this article (excerpt below) I just can’t quite believe it. And by the way the article is surrounded by other offerings, adds for guns and survivalist equipment and the usual trappings of the Tea Party/evangelical derangement. What is routinely published and here as “serious” political/religious cometary from the right is an illustration of what I write in my new book And God Said, “Billy!exploring the roots of American religious delusion, and offering another way to approach true spirituality. Only I couldn’t make this stuff up.

Here are some of the other titles next to this article that give it the full context– “Astonishing ‘Red Sea Crossing’ video – $4.95 today only! Robotic submarine cameras reveal ‘hundreds of Egyptian chariots strewn across the sea floor’”, “The End Of Obama” , “I Am a Christian, Sign the Pledge,” “The Real Reason for Martial Drills Taking Place All Across America”

and…

Astonishing ‘Red Sea Crossing’ video – $4.95 today only!

Robotic submarine cameras reveal ‘hundreds of Egyptian chariots strewn across the sea floor’

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/10/billy-graham-sounds-alarm-for-2nd-coming/#XceOjHm4GGkXRvK3.99

“Obama’s Private Army–the real reason Obama wants to take away your guns,” and on and on it goes.  My new book And God Said, “Billy!on the anatomy of the religious delusion that threatens us through the Tea Party and the (now far right bat-crazy) Graham marketing empire, simply can’t be as far fetched as the reality of the hollow shell that is the evangelical/Tea Party/gun-collecting “mind.” And remember these people now have their own political party — the GOP — and new heroes like Ted Cruz to lead them up to the moment Jesus snatches them all up to heaven, or to a celestial insane asylum more likely.

The Reason for My Hope: Salvation

Here’s how some of this article goes:

Just as Noah did in ancient times, world-renowned evangelist Billy Graham is sounding the alarm that the Second Coming is “near” and signs of the end of the age are “converging now for the first time since Jesus made those predictions.”

Earlier this month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the United Nations General Assembly “biblical prophecies are being realized.”

And last week, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., claimed the world has entered the last days.

“When you see up is down and right is wrong, when this is happening, we were told this: that these days would be as the days of Noah,” Bachmann said.

The remarks by Graham, Netanyahu and Bachmann come amid a steadily rising wave of public interest in the end times, [and] bestselling books such as “The Harbinger: The Ancient Mystery That Holds the Secret of America’s Future,” by Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, and “Four Blood Moons: Something is About to Change,” by Pastor John Hagee.

In September, a poll by the Ventura, Calif.-based Barna Group found 4 in 10 Americans – and 77 percent of evangelical Christians – believe the “world is now living in the biblical end times.”

Now, a new wave of end-times predictions for 2014 and 2015 involving blood moons on Jewish holy days and prophetically significant events on the Shemitah – the ancient biblical year of the Sabbath – are igniting even more interest in humanity’s ultimate fate… Jonathan Cahn’s “The Harbinger” reveals an astonishing prophetic mystery unfolding today

“I think we’re on the verge of a global awakening in interest in apocalyptic events,” said Paul McGuire, an internationally recognized prophecy expert who is a regular commentator on Fox News and CNN and appeared on two highly rated History Channel specials, including “7 Signs of the Apocalypse.”

“I see a fuse being lit here, between what Billy Graham, Michele Bachman and Benjamin Netanyahu said, and I think there is going to be an explosion of interest in the end times like nothing we’ve ever seen before,” McGuire said.

Watching the signs

In an exclusive email interview with WND, Graham, 94, who is giving what may be his last message to the world as part of the My Hope America with Billy Graham evangelistic outreach in early November, said the world is “coming toward the end of the age.”

“There’s a great deal to say in the Bible about the signs we’re to watch for and when these signs all converge at one place we can be sure that we’re close to the end of the age,” Graham wrote. “And those signs, in my judgment, are converging now for the first time since Jesus made those predictions.”

In his new book, “The Reason for My Hope: Salvation,” the famed preacher who has delivered the gospel message to more people face-to-face than anyone in history wrote the great hope of the Christian faith rests in the promised return of Christ… The evangelistic outreach and book come as a number of major evangelists – Graham, his son Franklin Graham, Reinhard Bonnke, Greg Laurie, Luis Palau, Banning Liebscher and others – are turning their attention toward America in the hope of helping ignite what Graham calls an end-times “great spiritual awakening.”

…“I believe that the heavens are God’s billboard – that he has been sending signals to planet Earth and we just haven’t been picking them up,” Hagee told his San Antonio, Texas, congregation. “Today, with the help of God’s word and some very astute scientists, I’m going to walk you through 500 years (of four blood moons on Jewish feast days) and show you how God is literally screaming at the world: ‘I am coming soon.’”

The phenomenon, a rare combination of lunar and solar eclipses, has only occurred a few times in the last 500 years – 1492, 1948 and 1967. It will happen again in 2014-15…. And while Sept. 11, 2001, and Sept. 29, 2008, are not exactly seven years apart on the Western calendar, they are on the biblical Hebrew calendar, Cahn pointed out.

“On the biblical Hebrew calendar, it was Elul 29, the Day of the Shemitah, to strike a nation’s financial realm,” Cahn said. “So the greatest crashes in American history, up to those days, each happened on the exact same biblical day, the day that just happened to be appointed to strike a nation’s financial realm, and exactly seven biblical years apart to the very day and the very hours.”

…Today, Franklin Graham, the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, said there is an urgency and sense “that the Lord Jesus could be returning soon.”

These are the Tea Party folks, this is the bedrock of the Republican Party. This is what evangelicals believe is true, but not in global warming. And you ask “How could they be so crazy as to shut down the government, and risk default? It makes no sense.”

Wrong: It makes perfect sense. The bedrock evangelical base of the Republican Party is crazy. Period. They are suffering from mass psychosis. They are led by simpletons like Graham, con-artists like Franklin, and sincere egomaniac loons like Cruz. And they vote.

They have to be stopped. It’s one thing to be nice to the village idiot, it’s another to let him run the village.

On the same site where the article above appeared, is this statement by Larry Klayman (of “Obama put the Koran down!” Sarah Palin rally fame): 

“Consider these Facts requiring immediate action: Obama is not a natural born citizen as required by the Constitution eligible to run for and be elected president of the United States. Having lied about his place of birth, which was likely Kenya and not within the borders of territories of the United States, and not having two parents who were American citizens at the time of his birth, he later, after years of demands by concerned citizens, produced on the White House website a fraudulent birth certificate to try to subterfuge his deceit.”

Sure Billy and Franklin and Larry Klayman are only using the “end times” as a marketing tool for the latest book product Billy will sell before his own actual end time. And sure the editors of Christianity Today magazine and the rest of the “sane” evangelical establishment are pumping every bit of last Billy magic out of the old man they can grab before he goes, as they market his book and mortgage their futures by throwing in with this sort of Jesus-is-coming madness for profit. But there are millions who have mentally left planet earth because of the evangelicals. They have turned into a deluded fifth column of Tea Party/religious right insanity that risks the future of our country. From future shutdowns, defaults, Middle East wars to “defend Israel” and “fulfill prophecy,” not to mention the religious hysteria that fuels so many home-grown mass shootings, you know who to blame.

Frank Schaeffer is a writer. His latest book — And God Said, “Billy!exploring the roots of American religious delusion, and offering another way to approach true spirituality, is on Kindle, iBook and NOOK for $3.99, and in paperback.

 

About Frank Schaeffer

Frank Schaeffer is an American author, film director, screenwriter and public speaker. He is the son of the late theologian and author Francis Schaeffer. He became a Hollywood film director and author, writing several internationally acclaimed novels including And God Said, "Billy!" as well as the Calvin Becker Trilogy depicting life in a fundamentalist mission home-- Portofino, Zermatt, and Saving Grandma.

  • Steve Lee, Sr.

    Even the Mormons are pushing the “Jesus will return VERY soon” conversation. And it’s reached us all the way down here in South America. I imagine that it has reached other places as well. It is a weird hysteria… and so unreasonable.

    • frankschaeffer

      Hi Steve, and expect more when Obama is remembered as a good president, Hillary is elected and the world doesn’t end. The American far right is literally going nuts.

  • Alex Harman

    I wonder how many of the birther morons would be willing to vote for Ted Cruz? He was born in Canada to an American mother and a Cuban father, making him exactly as eligible as Obama would be if their fantasies about his birthplace were true.

    • frankschaeffer

      Nice point Alex! F

    • arguethefacts

      Many teabaggers believe that Canada is part of the United States, so it’s okay.

      BTW Cruz is a Canadian citizen and says he will renounce his Canadian citizenship. However, no one seems to have pointed out that he is also a Cuban citizen via his father’s Cuban birth. He hasn’t said anything about renouncing his Cuban citizenship.

      His father now goes around giving speeches (for lots of pieces of silver) saying how much he loves the United States. However, he lived in this country for over three decades without becoming a US citizen. In fact in only became a US citizen when his son went into politics. If his son hadn’t gone into politics it is doubtful he would have given up his Cuban citizenship.

      Oh, and giving up his Cuban citizenship does not take away Ted Cruz’s Cuban citizenship.

  • James M

    That the Second Coming is just around the corner has been held by a lot of Evangelicals for a very long time – what makes this belief newsworthy now ? There are plenty of other things that Dispensationalist Evangelicals in particular come up with, that are or could be of political importance.

    What is much more interesting is that the older Protestant near-consensus that the Antichrist would be the Pope seems to have broken down. The idea is alive and well in many parts of Evangelicalism, but (in the US) it seems to have given way to “naming & shaming” politicians as the Antichrist. Trouble is, that today’s Antichrist always becomes tomorrow’s little antichrist, if he is not forgotten entirely by those who make the “prophetic charts” of end-times events. BTW – watch out for 2016. It’s an alternative to 1866 as the date for the 1,260-year universal reign of the Papal Antichrist to end. 1866 was “off” in some ways – but only 4 years out as a date for the fall of the Papal States.

    It doesn’t make sense for Dispy Evos to court Netanyahu – he’s not a DE, for a start. Maybe he will be one of the 144,000 ? And he is much better placed to be the great Antichrist than some who have been fingered for the part. How do DEs know he is not the “Man of Sin” of 2 Thessalonians 2, or the “wilful king” of Daniel 11 ? Their intellectual outlook has no equipment that can show that he is not. For the matter of that, BG himself has plenty of critics – like Bob Jones. DEs seem never to realise that the “obvious” candidate for AC-hood might not be the AC at all. The AC could perfectly well be some nice person presently studying in a Fundamentalist university or Bible college. The Bible itself could tell them that God became man not as a Roman Emperor, but as an insignificant Jewish peasant. The AC could be equally obscure – there is even a Biblical basis (sort of) for that idea, in (of course) Daniel.

    My impression is that DEs are being exploited by politicians for their own ends – that they are being used, and will be left in the lurch when they have served their purpose. Maybe that’s unfair/ignorant/cynical of me :(

    • frankschaeffer

      Why trot this out now? Good question, because the evangelicals ARE the Tea Party and with every loss they will see the “End Times” since they are losing… and so this must be the end, right? Economy up, crime down, America bouncing back, all bad signs for doom sayers.

      • Lee

        Exactly! If they would stay in their little caves and leave the rest of us and the country alone then I for one would not care one whit what they believe! But they are unwittingly trying to destroy this country and rejoice everytime something goes wrong in this country. Maybe not entirely with a bad motive as many of these people actually believe what they are saying, but none the less they would lead this country to total destruction and rejoice the whole way, since it is “God’s Will”

        I knew we were doomed when Pat Robertson got a lifetime achievement award from the Republican party. While many claim it is just the TPs that are the problem, the mainstream party has gone along with it until fairly recently and I still don’t trust them to not go back to that if the political winds become favorable again to the TP.

        I thank God everyday that I am a liberal. And the Tea Publicans are responsible for that bitter piece of luck. I may never vote Republican again. Not until the crazies are gone!

      • Lee

        I also wonder if the Tea Publicans reluctance to help the poor comes from this end times theology. If they are going to be raptured soon then they don’t have to worry about the poor (who are evil and deserve to suffer anyway).

    • Whitesnake Jackson

      Did anyone of that sound crazy to you as you wrote it?

    • Alex Harman

      I think the Premillenial Dispensationalists like Netanyahu and the Israeli Right generally because their interpretation of the Bible’s supposed “end-times prophecies” requires Israel to expand to the point of ruling all the territory it supposedly controlled during the reign of King Solomon. No Israeli party actually imagines that they can conquer and annex Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, and the Arabian Peninsula, of course, but the Likudniks and Shas are at least expansionist, which makes them preferable from the PMD point of view to anyone that’s ever made any gestures toward giving up all claim to the West Bank and Gaza.

  • SteveSherwood

    Is Billy’s health such that he’s saying much of anything these days, or is the statement above more likely from one of his children, or an employee using his name for a “voice of authority?”

    • frankschaeffer

      Hi I knew one of Billy’s ghost writers years ago, I don’t think Billy has written a word for 30 years-plus. Franklin trots him out for photo ops with the likes of Sarah Palin then puts him away until the next time they need to boost income.

      • SteveSherwood

        That is what I have assumed. The son is not the equal of the father, in my opinion. I still consider myself loosely evangelical, very loosely. I appreciate your critique of the movement. I have a brother that has run in to you a few times as he lives in Amesbury, MA, near you, I believe.

      • Lee

        I don’t remember Billy Graham ever being involved in politics until very recently. This is a big red flag to me that it is his son who is holding the reigns.

        I used to respect him and was actually converted by him when I was a child at one of his crusades. He scared me silly. Actually now the threat of hell seems to me to be child abuse. Why would God want anyone to come to Him out of fear? Thanks Billy for the years of self-loathing that I experienced (reinforced by my mother) when I was told that I was an “evil sinner” instead of a fallible human being who makes mistakes.
        .

  • covered

    Do these people even read their own bibles? From Christ himself:

    “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”
    Franklin Graham sullied his already wavering reputation when he sold out his father for 30 pieces of newly welcomed Mormon Mitt. I really think that kept a few evangelical grannies at home on election day.

    • Lee

      And they also miss this little gem, which is repeated in several of the gospels saying that Jesus was going to come WITHIN THE LIFETIME of his disciples:

      “For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds. Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.“ (Matthew 16: 27, 28)

  • Joseph Haynes

    Love the way you guys reduce arguments to name calling and ridicule. If this is an example of secular reasoning, I’ll go with the ‘crazy’ evangelicals every time.

  • http://triangulations.wordpress.com/ Sabio Lantz

    Like so many “beliefs” of Christians, fortunately they only believe those beliefs half-ass. Fortunately they don’t really act on them. They mainly use them as banners, as rally calls to “Our Kind, Unite!”. But then, that is exactly their danger too. Where does that need come from? How can we offer them something better?

    BTW, it was your Dad at L’Abri who actually helped me realize it was time to leave Christianity.

  • Owen Vine

    All you need in the US of A is for a Mark Driscoll led resurgence… http://theresurgence.com/ (That’s when he’s not fighting with John MacArthur). I bet your father would have loved Mark Driscoll.

  • timpaul

    I’m postmill preterist of the recon type. It’s fun watching your ilk squirm. Like Franklin, Frankie isn’t worthy of tying his late father’s shoe. Billy has watered down the gospel for years, pathetic Arminianism.

  • Ron Bean

    I love it when people quote the Bible completely out of context, and demonstrate with their own words, that they’ve never even read it, but instead believe some prater they got from an atheist website. Amazing how much time they spend fighting against something they don’t even believe in. I don’t believe in UFOs, but I don’t spend my life trying to dig up every possible thing that I can find to prove to anyone who will listen that they don’t exist. And yet, atheists like yourself do exactly that. Could it be that you’re afraid that perhaps you’re wrong?? Could it be that you’re afraid to even think of the consequences of being wrong?

    You think that Christians live in a fantasy world of Unicorns and fairies. However, if you took the time to actually read the book – yes, the Bible itself, with an open mind, the kind you would have if you were trying to learn a new skill, and without taking someone’s word for what it says, you’d be amazed to find how much Biblical prophesy has come true over thousands of years – prophecy that predicted the time and place of Christ’s birth, how he would die, Israel becoming a nation, etc. And you with your limited, baseless, “opinions” which have no basis in any real fact, think that you have something new to add to the discussion?? That’s laughable. Scholars with far more education and book knowledge than you have have debated the Bible and its precepts for 1000s of years, and yet it still stands. Every argument you could possibly make has been shot down. Why do Christians believe?? Let me ask you this, and I’ll use a metaphor that I am only using for the purpose of illustration. Don’t misconstrue the purpose of the metaphor – it’s only an illustration, and nothing more.

    Let’s say that you think that UFOs are pure fiction. Just a bunch of bunk. Pure fantasy. But one evening you are driving down a dark country road when you are confronted, right there in the road ahead of you with exactly that – an undeniable, and very real UFO – you can see it, you can feel the heat it gives off, you can practically touch it. You just had a very real, personal experience with something that you were absolutely sure didn’t exist.

    THAT is why Christians believe, because we have had a very up-front and personal, very real, completely undeniable, life-changing experience with the living God. YOU can deny His existence all you want, however, that doesn’t change the fact that I know, beyond any shadow of doubt that he not only exists, but that He wants a personal relationship with each and every one of us. I’ve experienced Him first-hand. You can call me crazy, a nutjob, whatever you want, but that doesn’t change the truth. The FACT is that he does exist, and you can deny that fact until the day you go to your grave, but that won’t change the truth.

    So, you just keep on running from something that you obviously are afraid actually exists. You’re afraid that you possibly, just might be wrong. You just can’t bring yourself to admit it. You’re afraid that if you are wrong, that it will have deadly consequences, so you run, you fight, you protest, you argue all the harder. I have news for you – you are in fact WRONG.

    So, you can continue living in that fantasy world that you’ve created for yourself, that bubble of protection you’ve created to protect yourself from the truth. Or, and pardon the expression – you can go straight to hell, because that is exactly where you are headed my friend. I know where I’m going; I know where my salvation lies, because I have had a very real, very personal, undeniable first-hand experience with the living God.

    Now, before you go off on me and telling me all the reasons I’m wrong, I’ll add one thing. Have all Christians had a personal experience with God? No, you can’t make sweeping generalizations about a group of people by saying things like “well all Christians…” or “all atheists…”. The fact of the matter is that some Christians are just “Sunday Christians” – they show up on Sundays, and go through the motions, but they are Christians in name only – they do not take their faith seriously, and as a result, don’t know what having a personal relationship with God means, Many are hypocrites – the Bible speaks about this kind of person.

    So, go ahead, judge, name-call, have at it……then keep on running away from the thing you fear most – the truth.

    • arguethefacts

      I’ve read the Bible many times. So, I’m going to ask you some questions. Here are things you can be put to death for in the Bible:

      Wearing blended fabrics. So, are you wearing a cotton polyester blend? Maybe rayon and silk? Those blue jeans you’re wearing are blended fabrics. According to the Bible you are to be put to death.

      A woman whose husband has died must marry his brother and produce children. Doesn’t matter if she doesn’t want to.

      A woman who has been raped is to marry her rapist. (Where do you think the Muslim’s got that. Much of Sharia law is based on old Hebraic law in the Old Testament).

      Do you eat shellfish. Well, then, stoned to death.

      Were you unkind to strangers. Well, then, you have to give them your virgin daughters to be raped by them to make up for offending them.

      Did you shave this morning? No, no. Men are not supposed to shave. If you don’t have a beard and are clean-shaven then you are to be put to death.

      There is no where in the Bible that it says marriage is between one man and one woman. However it is between a father and the husband and the dowry. She’s just property.

      And marriage can also be Solomon and his hundreds of Concubines. That’s one form of marriage for you.

      So, I’m assuming you are wearing plain cotton, have a long beard, don’t eat shellfish, and are ready to give your virgin daughters to be gang raped by strangers.

      All of the above is in the Bible and is the Law.

  • Tony R.

    The real question is just how stupid and dangerous are leftist militant atheists who believe they’re a law unto themselves and don’t need to answer to a higher power. Many civilizations have gone asunder from such false assumptions, yet “progressive” folks seem incapable of learning from history. We have a name for that: It’s called “foolish”.


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