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08 May 2019

Has Bible Prophecy Failed?

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Peter Confront Simon Magus
Has Bible Prophecy or its interpreters failed?  It is one or the other. Based on successes and failures, either the Bible is an unreliable source about the future or the end-time prognosticators have missed the mark, and then some.

In light of the dismal track record of the End-Time Prophecy Industry, the question is legitimate. One can easily assemble a list of the Industry’s failed predictions going back decades. But try to find one it got right. Now that is a challenge!

I am talking about specifics.  Today’s shrewder interpreters have learned to employ three tactics:  ambiguity, the subjunctive mood, and fancy footwork. News headlines do not go as expected? Start dancing! Distract your audience with new and frightening predictions. Start swimming fast or your “prophetic ministry” will sink!

It is all well and good to “predict” that Mount Rainier will erupt one day. Any geologist worth his or her salt can tell us that. It is another matter to say exactly when.  How many times have they redefined a “biblical generation” since 1988? Remember: the Soviet Union, Rosh, was expected to lead the forces of “Gog and Magog” against Israel from the north. Well, that is, at least until the (FORMER) Soviet Union collapsed under its own weight. How many of the “prophecy experts” saw that one coming? But the lessons were learned. Specific predictions are validated or invalidated by events, which makes detailed explanations dangerous. Ambiguity is your friend.

There is something wrong fundamentally with how the Prophecy Industry interprets Bible prophecies. It has missed hitting the nail on the head time and again. It is high time to reexamine scriptural passages to see what they really say, to take their words at face value. When Jesus said that "no one knows the day or the hour," do we really believe he intended to say, "Ah, but you can know the general season!" Take about 'special pleading'!

When events deviate from the party line, inserting a “time gap” where the numbers do not add up or shoehorning a loophole into the inconvenient words of Jesus is not a solution. Whether the “experts” are dishonest, ignorant, deceived, or just plain incompetent, the record demonstrates beyond that, at best, they are guessing about the future.

Peter warned of future “scoffers” who will scoff, saying, “Where is the promise of his coming?” Well, in all fairness to the "scoffers," have we have not provided them with more than an adequate supply of ammunition over the last hundred years or so?

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