I couldn’t believe CNN actually did a full length article on the end of the world from a group called Family Radio (see Road Trip to the End of the World) who are using “biblical prophecy” to show the end of the world, or the Tribulation and second coming of Christ, is coming to a city near us on May 21st, 2011. Just last week I thought CNN was turning the corner when they actually “allowed” an article called “The Bible Really Does Condemn Homosexuality“, but maybe I jumped the gun. At the time of this writing “Road Trip” had over 30,000 “likes” on Facebook and on the opposite side, secular hate mongers who see anything religious as wrong, controlled the comments. Where are the people out there who know, have, and teach sound biblical doctrine about the end times?
What bothers me about this is not a teaching about the end times, which is certainly covered in scripture, but how the news covers it with the most radical groups they can find and then likens all people of faith to the Branch Davidians or Heavens Gate (see screenshots of both below). I understand I’m talking about a secular news organization, but if they wanted to do a serious journalistic article could they not have found someone, anyone, who would represent sound biblical principles? How about Charles H. Spurgeon and Eschatology: Did He Have a Discernible Millennial Position?, Spurgeon seemed to study a lot, but they probably couldn’t have interviewed him.
Even a surface reading of scripture shows that we are (1) not to become obsessed with the dates of the end times, and (2) we, not being God the Father, do NOT know the exact date of the Second Coming of Christ and all that goes along with the end times. Only God the Father does (Matthew 24:36, Mark 13:32 and many more). If Jesus Himself tells us that he doesn’t even know the timing, only the Father, why in the world would “Family Radio” know the exact date. Of course they address that themselves in a 6 page explanation, explaining away those verses (full pdf download here). Unfortunately after reading some of their literature they remind me of another group in the news lately, the idiots over at Westboro Baptist Church (though I understand they are two totally different groups).
Mark 13:32-33 But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come.
Everyone knows that the only person who really knows the actual timing of the end of the world is Tim Lahaye (and possibly Thomas Ice), and CNN never asked about their book “Charting the End Times” (which is actually very well laid out and useful, though it doesn’t always following a good reformed theological argument). Looking at the chart below you can see that the Family Radio people do drop May 21st 2011 right at the beginning of that orange square, at the Rapture and the beginning of the Tribulation, Lahaye just forgot to put in the actual date of May 21, 2011 (I’ll have to ask him why). Of course one of them did think the end was September 6, 1994, and offers infallible proof of the end of the world date here (see also full pdf download in case you want to put it on your iPad).
Not sure if I have a point here other than to show the absurdity of conclusions and predictions made without a deep long knowledgeable study of scripture. Sound doctrine and understanding comes from prayerful study and contemplation and we run the risk of becoming false prophets and teachers, actually working against the Holy Spirit. When we try to make scripture fit into pre-made conclusions it never seems to work in God’s favor, but does work for the praise of man in the way of attention from the news.