Credit scores and the Mark of the Beast

Enthusiasm for a national ID card shows that fear of the Mark of the Beast is no longer the factor that it used to be in American politics. That’s a shame, because I was hoping to channel that fear to rally public opposition to credit-scoring. Using the creative exegesis favored by “Bible prophecy” scholars, credit scoring seems to be exactly what Revelation 13 was talking about. [Read more…]

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The national ID card and the Mark of the Beast

For a big chunk of those voters, Orwell’s language of “Big Brother” isn’t the preferred literary metaphor for the totalitarian nightmare they fear. They’re not worried about Big Brother, but about the Antichrist. This is why it’s so startling and jarring to see demand for a national ID card as one of the top issues on the agenda of these Trump-loving voters. Because everybody knows that a national ID card is the Mark of the Beast. [Read more…]

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Donald Trump as Cyrus the Great

White evangelicals are looking to Donald Trump as a kind of modern-day Cyrus the Great. Cyrus was the ungodly king who restored the people of Israel and gave them back their country after the exile. Trump, these Christians believe, is the ungodly king who will end their long exile of life under a black president, giving white folks back “their” land. [Read more…]

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Driscoll and Trump: A tale of two bullies

What we’re seeing here is a failure of, as Gushee says, “moral formation.” When one student fails the final exam, the fault may lie with that student. When the entire class fails the final exam, the fault lies with the professor. And when we see a massive failure of moral formation on the scale of what we’re seeing with white evangelical support for Trump, the fault lies with the entire faculty, the entire curriculum, and the culture of the entire school. [Read more…]

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The dominionist is also a goldbug

A return to the gold standard would be disastrous, but it clearly would also produce a massive “end-time transfer of wealth.” And the weirdest thing is that I’m not accusing Ted Cruz of planning that, I’m just pointing out that he’s telling us that’s what he has planned. [Read more…]

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The ongoing Great Disappointment

If you read the 10,000 study notes in Ryrie’s popular Bible back in 1978, and if you believed what they taught, it would have seemed utterly impossible to imagine that you would one day read an obituary, in 2016, reporting that Ryrie had died at the age of 90. There was simply no way, if all those notes were true, that the world would still be around in 2016 — no way that Ryrie himself would live another 38 years without getting raptured first. [Read more…]

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Always Submit to the Church Administration

The cult-like Church of Christ (the other one) has produced a video that manages the tricky feat of being simultaneously charming and creepy as hell. The kids are adorable, the message is ghastly. It’s not hard to find this kind of theology in places like, say, Charismanews, but I’ll never understand why such bonkers heresies continue to be described as theologically “conservative.” Anyway, I’d really like someone to do a punk version of this song. Please. [Read more…]

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Pray that you will be among those ‘left behind’

To promote their Rapture mythology, “Bible prophecy” enthusiasts turn to Matthew 24, as read through the filter of the Scofield Bible and the lyrics of a Larry Norman song. But Larry and Scofield very clearly get that passage wrong. They’re reading it backwards. In Matthew 24, getting “left behind” is a Good Thing. [Read more…]

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