Premillenial dispensationalism and superheroes

I have this idea for a superhero novel kicking around in my head… maybe I’ll do it for this year’s NaNoWriMo, who knows. Anyway, because I’m annoyed by the fact that it’s impossible to give an explanation of superpowers that makes any sense, part of the premise is that nobody knows why people suddenly started getting superpowers in 1999.

Of course, just because nobody knows who people are getting superpowers doesn’t stop people from claiming to know. People end up trying to explain things in terms of every kind of late-90s looniness imaginable. So, for example, there would be people going in to hypnotherapists to help them “remember” being given their powers while being abducted by aliens (not all of these people would actually have powers).

The one thing I can’t figure out: what do the premillennial dispensationalists think of all this? Obviously the powers are demonic and mark the beginning of the ends times, sure, but how exactly do they go about twisting Bible passages to claim the Bible predicted superheroes?

Given the convoluted interpretations premillennial dispensationalists have come up with in real life, I’m sure they can do it, but I’m not sure how. My brain isn’t up to quite the necessary level of insane troll logic. Can anyone, particularly ex-premillennial dispensationalists, help me out here?

(Obviously, the last three digits of 1999 are 666 upside down, and 666 x 3 = 1998, which could be interpreted as significant if you assume we were one year off in calculating Jesus’ birth or people really started getting powers in 1998 but we didn’t notice for a year. Other than that, I got nothing.)

  • http://wordsideasandthings.blogspot.com Garren

    “For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if
    possible, even the elect. Behold, I have told you in advance. So if they say to you, ‘Behold, He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out, or, ‘Behold, He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe them. For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be.” Matt 24:24-27

    • Darren

      “For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead…”

      Nailed that in one!

  • Rain

    How about this one: “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.”

    “The day is at hand” could be 1999, give or take the 2000 years ago when Paul wrote that. Obviously a couple of thousand years, give or take a couple of thousand years, is close enough for Paul the bestest Christian ever. Pretty much right on the mark as usual.

    The “armour of light” could be a super-duper laser suit, and the “cast off the works of darkness” could be the superheroes changing their clothes in a phone booth and putting on their armours of light.

    • Rain

      “let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.”

      Yeah! Good job! I’m congratulating myself while you guys go and congratulate y’all selves. I’ll be damned if I’m going to let my post go uncongratulated, even if I have to do it myself.

  • http://counterapologist.blogspot.com/ Counter Apologist

    I was raised a Premillenial, which had some pretty fucked up effects on me as a kid.

    There are a million ways that this sort of thing could go. Garren has probably the best way. There are some views (including the one from my last church) that there isn’t just one anti-christ, but many. The whole issue of “false prophets” showing signs and wonders fits the mold of your story almost perfectly.

    The hard part is that the Premillenial’s believe that they’ll be raptured before any of the bad stuff goes down, so the anti-christ won’t be revealed until after the rapture.

    Given that the rapture debate has so many sides internal to christianity, you could go with the Premillenial’s going through shock or depression as they turn to become mid or post tribulationists.

    Still, they could hold that they will witness a build up to the last days, which is consistent with their beliefs, but will be raptured before the anti-christ reveals himself. One of the main themes in that kind of literature is that there will be a major turning against god in the leadup and during the tribulation itself.

    Rather than go with the demon explanation, you could work it so that the leading explanations of why we have superpowers is some natural phenomenon, and then have “leading atheists” at the time state that while we don’t know exactly what caused the super powers, it shows that this could have happened before, which would explain a lot of world religions and miracle claims; leading to an uptick in atheism/blasphemy against god.

    The premillienials could be on the constant lookout for a supremely powerful superhero that would rise above all the others and “bring peace” through strength, having different major superhero’s rise up in different countries fighting proxy battles for dominance could work out. If no one single person rose to dominance, then they could be justified in thinking that’s why they haven’t been raptured yet. Maybe have someone go on a rise then defeat, or a series of that would build tension and give relief to the Premillenials.

    • Darren

      Very nice!

  • http://theotherweirdo.wordpress.com The Other Weirdo

    Great. Thanks for that particular nightmare. Religious people with superpowers. Didn’t we get enough of that in “Stake Land” where a bunch of Christian freaks managed to weaponize vampires and would drop them from helicopters on random towns?

  • Peter

    (Obviously, the last three digits of 1999 are 666 upside down, and 666 x 3 = 1998, which could be interpreted as significant if you assume we were one year off in calculating Jesus’ birth or people really started getting powers in 1998 but we didn’t notice for a year. Other than that, I got nothing.)

    There was no year zero, which throws the math of, meaning that if you calculate 1998, you have to add one to account for a lack of year zero.