The World Will End Soon! Again! (2 of 2)

The World Will End Soon! Again! (2 of 2) December 7, 2013

world will end; end of the worldWe’re looking at pastor John Hagee’s breathless new book, Four Blood Moons. For the beginning and a summary of the three instances of “blood moons” that Hagee claims have already happened, see Part 1.

What does Hagee see in our future?

The event ahead of us is the focus of Hagee’s book. This will be the four blood moons beginning with Passover 2014 (April 14) and ending with Sukkot 2015 (September 28).

Now that we have Hagee’s argument, let’s see if his frantic warning is worthy of concern.

Problem 1

Hagee’s claim that “a world-shaking event that will happen between April 2014 and October 2015” is a pretty safe bet. The same is true for his ominously nonspecific subtitle, “Something is about to change.” Find any 18-month period in the last century where you couldn’t cobble together some argument for a “world-shaking event” somewhere. The time period is too wide and the claimed event too imprecise for this to be an interesting prophecy. It’s amazing that the omniscient and omnipotent creator of the universe who’s “literally screaming at the world” can’t be more specific.

Maybe instead of his prophet hat, Hagee grabbed a dunce cap.

Given enough vague predictions of unspecified terrible things, eventually something will stick. Another Chernobyl or Fukushima disaster? Another Banda Ache or Haiti earthquake? Another 9/11 attack or influenza pandemic or world war? Sure, those are possible. But applying Christian mysticism obviously doesn’t help show the future if Hagee’s argument is an example.

Problem 2

Wouldn’t the eclipses need to be visible in the Promised Land? The four coming up beginning in 2014 won’t be (though there may be a glimpse of the last one). The same was true for previous instances—few of the “blood moons” were visible in Israel.

What good is a blood moon if God’s chosen can’t see it?

Problem 3

Did anyone notice these celestial fireworks in the past? God was screaming, after all. Did anyone in Israel notice that it was spooky to have had blood moons in other parts of the world (though not Israel) after the Six-Day War was already over? Did they conclude that God was speaking?

If these blood moon events happened without notice, God’s screaming is pretty feeble.

Problem 4

I challenge Hagee to go back further in time. I’ll bet it’s even harder to find any Jewish significance to the dates of previous instances of four blood moons.

Problem 5

What could God possibly be saying with this? What could the message be to the Jews exiled from Spain? “Something bad already happened”? Yeah, I bet that was helpful. How could you possibly get any useful information from such a nonspecific and tardy message? And how does the independence of Israel fit in, since this is clearly a good thing?

Apparently, blood moons mean, “Something bad will happen! Or is happening! Or maybe it’s something good. Or maybe it’s already happened. Or something.”

Tell God I said thanks.

Hagee delights in taking a pre-scientific view of nature, like the Normans who interpreted Halley’s comet to presage the death of English King Harold and the success of William of Normandy (see the relevant bit of the Bayeux tapestry, above). How is Hagee’s thinking useful? How can anyone in the twenty-first century take it seriously?

The world will end!

In Hagee’s brief video introduction, he has yet more nutty stuff to say. He quotes Mark 13:24–6 as somehow relevant to what we’re going to see during the upcoming four blood moons phase:

But in those days, “the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light.” At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.

He wants to say that the world will end and Jesus will return, but not in any measurable way—y’know, just in case. He tap dances away from any accountability by omitting an important part. Actually, the quoted bit in Mark goes like this:

“the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.

Stars falling from the sky? That’s something you wouldn’t miss. I can see why Hagee would delete mention of anything specific that will hang around to embarrass him in 2015.

Hagee finds another verse relevant. Luke 21:28 says, “your redemption draws near.” Of course, four verses later, Jesus says, “This generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.” Oops—that didn’t happen! At least Hagee will be in good company if his own prophecy fails.

Hagee also says, “the sun and the moon will eclipse at the same time.” This isn’t possible in our reality, and Hagee doesn’t say how this is supposed to happen (no, I’m not going to buy the book to try and find out).

Other prophets

Eager followers can be pretty lenient, and many Christians seem determined to avoid learning from past failures.

Other failed prophets have been able to bounce back, from Christians like Harold Camping and Hal Lindsay, to psychics Jeanne Dixon, Edgar Cayce, and Sylvia Browne. Browne was way off even in her prediction about her own age at death.

I wrote my first novel about the Azusa Street Revival in 1906 in Los Angeles. This was in the early years of the Pentecostal movement. A nutty church was creating waves, and a reporter went to check it out. Someone in the church predicted terrible destruction, and that story appeared on the front page of the LA Times on the very day of the Great San Francisco earthquake and fire.

Given enough tries, a few random predictions will stick.

Wait—I’m feeling a prediction coming on myself … it’s getting clearer … ah! I predict that John Hagee’s prediction will fail in 2015 and the end will not come. He will then pick himself up and carry on as if he’s not completely humiliated himself. And his flock will keep comin’ back for more.

Let’s see if I’m right.

There is nothing more telling
of a person’s fundamental lack of perspective and humility
than an insistence that if they cannot reconcile their beliefs with reality,
then reality itself must be wrong.
— Anonymous

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  • RichardSRussell

    Lessee, 2013 – 33 = 1980, so this would be about the 1,980th year since Jesus died in which somebody said he’d be back any minute now. Sane people would’ve given up on a cigaret lighter after only, oh, say, a hundred fruitless flicks of the friction wheel, but these suckers just keep coming back for more, as if it’s the first time they’ve ever heard …… oooooh, shiny!

    • Kodie

      I like how some dismiss it all with a “none may know the hour” attitude, while some spend a lot of time trying to decipher codes that aren’t there.

      Anyway, let’s try to keep track of the amount of times the news makes significance out of the date or an infrequent alignment. Watching the odometer line up seems to fascinate people as much or more than witnessing a cool thing like an eclipse. The news and now the internet keeps us attuned to these special dates, be it Pi Day or Talk Like a Pirate Day or Thanksgivukkah or May 4th, or the last time the year will accommodate a chronological readout, which is in 3 days if you read the date like a European.

      This is also part of the same phenomenon of watching The Wizard of Oz lined up to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. At the end of “Eclipse”, he says, “there’s no dark side of the moon really – matter of fact, it’s all dark.” But when there’s an eclipse, the dark side of the moon is fully lit by the sun. We’re trying to get charged up on the significance of neat-o moments and some people are calling it messages from god. As a culture we just really like alignments.

      • RichardSRussell

        To be clear, it’s when there’s a solar eclipse that the far side of the Moon is fully illuminated. When there’s a lunar eclipse, the whole globe of the Moon is, indeed, dark.

        • Kodie

          That’s a petty difference in the scheme of what I’m talking about. Seriously, it’s like, neat? in an educational scientific way. But it’s also like that time the news told you about the first baby born on New Year’s Day, or the Harmonic Convergence or Y2K. I just remember realizing it, like, whoa.

        • RichardSRussell

          Force of habit. I used to be the copy editor for my college newspaper, and it was my job to tidy up the little details in other people’s writing without affecting the main thrust of what they were trying to say, so picayune fussiness dogs me to this day.

      • I like how some dismiss it all with a “none may know the hour” attitude, while some spend a lot of time trying to decipher codes that aren’t there.

        They also don’t sell everything they have like Jesus said. We pick and choose hmmm?:)

      • wtfwjtd

        Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” is definitely one of the all-time greats in my book! These nonsense “prophesies” by money-grubbing televangelists–not so much…

  • Greg G.

    I predict a weather event will occur on Earth in the future. Mark my words. My predictions always come true.

    • Goin’ out on a limb there, bro.

      • Greg G.

        I predict the stock market… I redacted some of the specifics for fear that the greediest segment of society would profit from the information, use their extreme wealth for political influence, and corrupt the democratic process. That is possible because people will vote against their best interests as well as the best interest of society at large when fed misinformation.

        I have forseen it. We wouldn’t want that to happen, would we?

  • Aspieguy

    I have seen a blood colored moon. When the moon is even visible in Tokyo, it appears red because of the smog. However, it could mean that Tokyo will be leveled by an earthquake or Mount Fuji will erupt.

    • Castilliano

      Definitely Godzilla.
      I’ve seen it in a vision.
      Several actually.
      Since 1954.
      Which is 59 (!) years ago.
      Which, I don’t really need to tell you because it’s so obvious, is 5 & 9, like the inner part of the date, and if you add 5 & 9 you get 1 & 4, like the outer part of the date…of our great master’s first coming!

      Obviously that “smog” is red, as it’s nuclear residue of our lord, Gojira!

      Repent, Tokyo, Repent! Your hour of doom looms!

      Cheers, JMK

    • Total lunar eclipses are sometimes red because the sunlight is refracted around the earth, through the atmosphere. It’s like the moon is illuminated with just dusk light (or dawn light).

  • busterggi

    If the moon turns to blood but its too overcast to see it does it count?

    • I’m visualizing God rubbing his Machiavellian hands together at how his cunning plan is coming together. And then, just as the eclipse starts–doh! Clouds.

      Who could’ve guessed that the omnipotent creator of the universe could be defeated so easily?

  • MNb

    OK, let me try to make a prophecy, one that matches at least seven of your eight conditions.
    Tomorrow at 13:00 I’ll lift a small stone and let it go. Here is the prophecy: it will fall downward.
    Oh wait – that’s called science.

    • JohnH2

      So did you do it?

  • texcee

    Dogs and cats living together! Mass hysteria!

  • Howard McNeill

    Like Dodie Osteen said recently when asked about her son Joel’s “A Better Life Now” preaching…… she replied………”It Sells”.

    • Derrik Pates

      Yeah, I suspect this guy, if someone in his inner circle asked him if he believed any of that, the answer would be “Of course I don’t”. It’s not about whether it’s true or not; it’s about having his name out there among the faithful. And of course, if one of the vague prophecies turns out to be maybe-sorta-kinda right, good old confirmation bias will make all the people he cares about forget about the more obviously wrong ones.

  • Irv Spielberg

    [Great piece, Bob. You might enjoy this nugget I discovered on the web.]

    Blood Moons, Pretrib Rapture, Etc.

    Heard of the coming blood moons? Is the pretrib rapture symbolized by anything in the heavens?

    Hal Lindsey, influenced by occultic astrology, asserts on p. 124 in
    “The Late Great Planet Earth” that the famous Sphinx in Egypt has the
    head of a “woman” – even though encyclopedias say it’s the head of a
    “man”! Hal’s plagiarism on that page of a 19th century British
    theologian is his acceptance of the occultic Virgo-to-Leo theory – a
    “Christian” zodiac arbitrarily starting with Virgo (Virgin Mary) and
    ending with Leo (Christ returning as “Lion,” Rev. 5:5).
    who swallow this guesswork often see Ursa Minor (part of Cancer which
    precedes Leo) as a heavenly “symbol” of a pretrib rapture!

    Pretribs also insist on separating the “church” from “Israel” – but when
    you aren’t looking (or thinking) they blithely “prove” pretrib by the
    Jewish feasts in Leviticus, the stages of a Hebrew wedding (Google
    “Pretrib Rapture: A Staged Event”), and the one “taken” and the other
    “left” in “Jewish” Matthew 24.
    Amazingly, Jewishness (and even
    anti-Jewishness) has been uncovered even in pretrib dispensationalism’s
    19th century foundation (Google “Roots of Warlike Christian Zionism”)!

    The current “blood moons” craze (promoted by lunar persons including
    rock musician Scottie Clarke and John Hagee) is tied to – you guessed
    it – the same old Jewish feast days.
    Yes, there’s something
    colored red in the future of the church, but I don’t have moons in
    mind. What will really turn red will be the collective faces of many
    when it finally dawns on them that their any-moment fly-away was nothing
    more than an end time hoax!

  • Greg G.

    I just realized that I will be on a flight when the eclipse happens in September. I hope I am on the proper side of the plane.

    • What part of Armageddon do you not understand?? Let’s hope that your plane is piloted by Nicholas Cage and not a good Christian, otherwise your plane will likely be pilotless.

      • Greg G.

        The planes for flights over the Pacific usually have monitors that show the progress of the flight on a world map. When we pass Hong Kong and keep on going until it runs out of fuel, I expect I will have enough time to devote the rest of my life to Christ. So, no worries.

  • Moo juice

    So well we will be fine then nothing is gonna happen right

  • Moo juice

    Please tell me I’m scared are we gonna be alright please help me

    • The Blood Moons hoax is like a Christian fairy tale. Or scary story.

      • Cam L

        A fairy tale to be sure, but by no means Christian. The majority of Christians, including myself, don’t take John Hagee’s premillennial dispensationalist “eschatology” even the least bit seriously. It is a very recent development within certain sects of the Protestant evangelical movement and finds no precedent in the Christian Church before John Darby (and friends) cooked it up in the fin de siècle of 19th century America, which, truth be told, was a fertile time for the outbreak of many bizarre and superstitious theological cults (see, Mormonism, JW’s, Adventists) and other supernaturalist philosophies (spiritualism, theosophy, wicca, etc.).

        • You say it’s not Christian; they say it is. Your holy book is ambiguous, and lots of interpretations are possible. Dismiss the nuts if you want (I do!), but I don’t see how your position is any more logically tenable.

        • Cam L

          You say,”lots of interpretations are possible” as if something follows from that observation, but nothing does. You say “your position” isn’t “any more logically tenable” but you don’t even know what my “position” is!

          I’m not trying to start an argument (or a debate) with you, Bob. I loved your blog! It was hilarious and insightful and I hope it reaches a wide audience – particularly among those evangelical Christians prone to sympathizing with end-times-conspiracy-theorist nonsense of this kind.

          All I’m saying is that it would be a mistake to characterize this apocalyptic tomfoolery as “the Christian view” of things just because certain Christians hold to this view.

        • MNb

          Don’t worry – we understand that there is no such thing as “the Christian view”. It’s one of the arguments we hold against every single god …..

        • Kodie

          Let’s fill you in – most Christians come here to tell us “most Christians” or “not all Christians” are like Bob argued in his article. I would tend to agree, based on my experience living among Christians, that not all Christians are the kind who pore over the bible for codes and clues, or rather, websites that have compiled these vague “prophesies” for them. I don’t even think most Christians have heard about this blood moon crapola as some kind of warning from god about the end times. I don’t even experience many (any) Christians having any thoughts about end times. I’m pretty sure most people heard about the eclipse happening within the last couple of days and didn’t know any sooner that this was happening or what it means in certain Christian circles.

          That said, Bob has written a lot of articles and I’m sure something there in the archive is bound to set your beliefs up to spectacle, and how they don’t measure up. You’re some kind of Christian, so nobody needs to know the particular kind of Christian you think you are or present yourself to be to find some article Bob has written in which your position is logically untenable.

          Are we all caught up now?

        • You say,”lots of interpretations are possible” as if something follows from that observation, but nothing does.

          What follows is just what I said: you say Christianity is one thing, and Pastor Hagee says something quite different. That’s a problem, in particular because it imagines an omniscient deity who can’t get his story straight.

          You say “your position” isn’t “any more logically tenable” but you don’t even know what my “position” is!

          You said you were a Christian.

          I loved your blog!

          Much appreciated.

          All I’m saying is that it would be a mistake to characterize this apocalyptic tomfoolery as “the Christian view” of things just because certain Christians hold to this view.


        • MNb

          “It is a very recent development within certain sects of the Protestant evangelical movement.”
          So it’s by no means christian because it’s a very recent development? Then every single version of protestantism isn’t christian by any means either. Just 500 years out of 2000 years – that’s very recent. Nor is catholicism – papal infallacy is also a very recent development.

  • Donnie J.

    So nothing is gonna happen