Fundamentalists and crazy end-times prophecies

This entry is cross-posted on Harry’s Place.

World expert on religious fundamentalism Stephen Sizer has a piece on his blog today about the American end-times Christians who aren’t really sure whether or not Barack Obama is the “anti-Christ”. And of course, it all seems rather silly.

Moreover, Rev Sizer explains:

their prophetic declamations have more to do with right wing political positions than actual insights into biblical prophecy. It’s never been about having any kind of informed perspective on God’s purposes and plans. Its about advancing a particular sectarian political agenda under the smoke screen of “the Bible says.”

As Rev Sizer points out, using certain interpretations of a religious text to justify sectarian political agendas isn’t a good idea. Presumably, that’s what he told the good folk of the Voice of Palestine conference back in May 2008.

Yet perhaps not all of the participants were paying attention in Rev Sizer’s talk. Only a few hours later, here’s what South African scholar Sayid Abdillah Hosseini had to say in his lecture:

After analyzing the prophecy about Israel in Al-Qur’an, I came to a conclusion: Declining of Israel will be occurred at 2022!!

So why not read the full text of the prophecy?

Here’s an excerpt:

Year of Conquer

• Word ( وليدخلوا ) (They will enter) is the 76th word from the beginning of the prophesy.

• As each word is representing one year then it means that the year that Masjedul Aqsa will be conquered is 76 years after their establishment at 2022.

1368=1984

• The Word (وعد) (The Promise) is 72th word the prophesy.

• 72 x 19 = 1368= 1948 The year of establishment of Israel.

1387=1967

• The word (الاءخرة the last promise) is 73rd word of prophesy.

• 73 x 19 = 1387 HQ

• In 1387=1967 Israel was 19 years old and has already occupied lands and established herself and completed the transgression.

1444=2022

• The word (وليدخلوا and they will enter) is the 76th word of the prophesy also.

• 76×19=1444=2022

2022 verse

• The total verses from beginning of Chapter Baqara up to beginning of Chapter Israel is:

2022 Verse

This belief even has its own facebook group.

Oh dear!

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Fundamentalists and crazy end-times prophecies

  1. Maccabee

    ha ha ha ha ha ha!

  2. Sue

    The NEWEST Pretrib Calendar

    Hal (serial polygamist) Lindsey and other pretrib-rapture-trafficking and Mayan-Calendar-hugging hucksters deserve the following message: “2012 may be YOUR latest date. It isn’t MAYAN!” Actually, if it weren’t for the 179-year-old, fringe-British-invented, American-merchandised pretribulation rapture bunco scheme, Hal might still be piloting a tugboat on the Mississippi. roly-poly Thomas Ice (Tim LaHaye’s No. 1 strong-arm enforcer) might still be in his tiny folding-chair church which shares its firewall with a Texas saloon, Jack Van Impe might still be a jazz band musician, Tim LaHaye might still be titillating California matrons with his “Christian” sex manual, Grant Jeffrey might still be taking care of figures up in Canada, Chuck Missler might still be in mysterious hush-hush stuff that rocket scientists don’t dare talk about, John Hagee might be making – and eating – world-record pizzas, and Jimmy (“Bye You” Rapture) Swaggart might still be flying on a Ferriday flatbed! To read more details about the eschatological British import that leading British scholarship never adopted – the import that’s created some American multi-millionaires – Google “Pretrib Rapture Diehards” (note LaHaye’s hypocrisy under “1992”), “Hal Lindsey’s Many Divorces,” “Thomas Ice (Bloopers)” and “Thomas Ice (Hired Gun),” “LaHaye’s Temperament,” “Wily Jeffrey,” “Chuck Missler – Copyist,” “Open Letter to Todd Strandberg” and “The Rapture Index (Mad Theology),” “X-Raying Margaret,” “Humbug Huebner,” “Thieves’ Marketing,” “Appendix F: Thou Shalt Not Steal,” “The Unoriginal John Darby,” “Pretrib Hypocrisy,” “The Real Manuel Lacunza,” “Roots of (Warlike) Christian Zionism,” “America’s Pretrib Rapture Traffickers,” “Pretrib Rapture – Hidden Facts,” “Dolcino? Duh!” and “Scholars Weigh My Research.” Most of the above is written by journalist/historian Dave MacPherson who has focused on long-hidden pretrib rapture history for 35+ years. No one else has focused on it for 35 months or even 35 weeks. MacPherson has been a frequent radio talk show guest and he states that all of his royalties have always gone to a nonprofit group and not to any individual. His No. 1 book on all this is “The Rapture Plot” (see Armageddon Books online, etc.). The amazing thing is how long it has taken the mainstream media to finally notice and expose this unbelievably groundless yet extremely lucrative theological hoax!

  3. CZ

    Sue,
    I suspect that you imagine that Christians who support Israel on theological grounds do so because of Hal Lindsey’s fiction. Sorry to disappoint you, but this isn’t true.
    Speaking for myself, I’ve never even read Lindsey’s fiction or any other ‘end-times’ writings – frankly they don’t interest me.
    I tend to read proper theological books, actually, as do many Christians who support Israel. Try arguing with that for a challenge.

    Christians who support Israel on theological grounds do so for several reasons, not least the belief that God gave the land to the descendants of Abraham ‘forever’ (which is there in Genesis).
    Also because of belief that prophecy about Israel’s return to the land has been fulfilled. This comes from Isaiah, Jeremiah and Jesus’ own words in the Synoptic Gospels.
    Many of the major figures in protestant history supported Jewish return to Israel.

    Arguing that Christians who support Israel do so because of eschatology is either ignorant or disingenuous.

  4. zkharya

    I think Christian sympathy for a Jewish restoration and return to the land of Israel (what I call Christian “Zionism”) arises from a much simpler reason.

    For most of Christian history, Jews were regarded as a people dispossessed as a punishment for their rejection of Jesus and the prophets. During the Reformation, as Protestant (for want of a better word) Christians became more a acquainted with the Hebrew scriptures in the vernacular, and came to apply them, figuratively, to themselves, they became far more sympathetic to the Jewish communities in their midst. Some went further, and, partly to define themselves against Roman Catholic anti-Judaism, reasoned that, if God can punish his people with dispossession, he can also restore them in his mercy.

    This was a radical turning point in Christian thought, leading to imaginative sympathy with the dispossessed, humiliated and seemingly accursed “other”. Ironically it was a departure from the imperial, triumphalist Christianity that had characterised (many Protestants thought) Roman Catholicism.

    That is not to say that off-shoots of European Protestantism aided European settlers in North America, or Catholic priests could not sympathise and condemn the horrendous abuse of native South Americans by the Conquistadors and their successors.

    Ironically, it also can express itself in sympathy for Palestinian Christian and Muslim dispossession, except when it suddenly dries up for the historical dispossession of Jews.

    And there’s the rub. The only true Christian approach to the Israeli-Palestinian tragedy is to treat and define each disposssession, the Jewish and the Palestinian Christian and Muslim, in terms of each other.

    To say, as Stephen Sizer does, that Zionism, the Jewish desire for justice and restoration, is fundamentally illegitimate, while that of Palestinian Christians and Muslims alone is sympathetic, is, I think, a failure of Christian values. It is applying the Yeshuan precept of imaginative empathy with one party, and one party only. And, because Sizer’s favoured side consists in Christi and Muslims, who both professedly revere Jesus, and have, historically, both regarded Jew as a people dispossessed for their sins, this begins to look a lot like what Ben White calls (but does not recognise as) Christian “tribalism”, or what I would call “nationalism”. To the extent that it is quite hypocritical in its application of the right of restoration and return following dispossession to Palestinian Christians and Muslims alone, when both have historically denies it to Jews, it even looks like a kind of Christian triumphalism or imperialism.

    Sizer is right in that it comprises a form of “evangelism”, but of the worst kind, historically speaking. It is the evangel of the kind of historical Christianity that denies the Jewish other those rights it accords to Christians (and here also to Muslims). What both Christianity and Islam have historically had in common with regard to Jews is an imperious (often literally imperial) assumption of superiority over Jews, that often manifested itself literally in the form of discrimination and occasional persecution, legal and extra-legal.

    It is a shame that Sizer has decided to recapitulate (to use the language of Irenaeus) that discriminatory contempt with regard to Jews in the form of discriminating against Jewish right of restoration and return, in favour of that of Palestinian Christians and Muslims, both of whom, historically, denied that right to Jews, leading to their rejection of partition, and a war of dispossession or elimination against Palestinian and Israeli Jews, in which Muslims were the agents, but in which Palestinian and other Arab Christians acquiesced.

    How did either, in this respect, fulfil the precepts of Jesus Christ?

  5. zkharya

    Correction:

    That is not to say that off-shoots of European Protestantism DID NOT AID European settlers in North America

    t is applying the Yeshuan precept of imaginative empathy TO one party, and one party only. And, because Sizer’s favoured side consists in ChristiANS and Muslims

    and have, historically, both regarded JewS as a people dispossessed for their sins,

    when both have historically denieD it to Jews,

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