Wednesday, September 30, 2015

30 September 2015 A.D. 9th of 39 Articles, “Of Original or Birth-sin”—Archbishop Thomas Cranmer

30 September 2015 A.D. 9th of 39 Articles, “Of Original or Birth-sin”—Archbishop Thomas Cranmer 
Article IX—Of Original or Birth-sin.

      Original Sin standeth not in the following of Adam, (as the Pelagians do vainly talk:) but it is the fault and corruption of the Nature of every man, that naturally is ingendered of the offspring of Adam; whereby man is very far gone from original righteousness, and is of his own nature inclined to evil, so that the flesh lusteth always contrary to the spirit; and therefore in every person born into this world, it deserveth God’s wrath and damnation.  And this infection of nature doth remain, yea in them that are regenerated: whereby the lust of the flesh, called in the Greek, phronema sarkos, which some do expound the wisdom, some sensuality, some the affection, some the desire, of the flesh, is not subject to the Law of God.  And although there is no condemnation for them that believe and are baptized, yet the Apostle doth confess, that concupiscence and lust hath of itself the nature of sin. 
Archbishop Thomas Cranmer: “This is a great feebleness, or rather, a horrible sickness, leprosy, corruption, and pestilent contagion of original sin, by means thereof, they that be most holy here in earth, be not perfectly just and righteous, but even they, want many things that belong to their perfection.” – Catechism of 1548

30 September 2015 A.D. Jewel’s “Apology”—why is the bishop of Rome called the “lord of lords” claiming “that all jurisdiction of all kings doth depend upon himself?”, pp.81-83

30 September 2015 A.D. Jewel’s “Apology”—why is the bishop of Rome called the “lord of lords” claiming “that all jurisdiction of all kings doth depend upon himself?”, pp.81-83
Jewel, John. “The Apology of the Church of England.” Project Gutenberg. 5 Aug 2006. Accessed 1 Aug 2015.
But O immortal God! and will the Bishop of Rome accuse us of treason?  Will he teach the people to obey and follow their magistrates? or hath he any regard at all of the majesty of princes?  Why doth he then, as none of the old bishops of Rome heretofore ever did, suffer himself to be called of his flatterers “lord of lords,” as though he would have all kings and princes, who and whatsoever they are, to be his underlings?  Why doth he vaunt himself to be “king of kings,” and to have kingly royalty over his subjects?  Why compelleth he all emperors and princes to swear to him fealty and true obedience?  Why doth he boast that the “emperor’s majesty’s is a thousandfold inferior to him:” and for this reason specially, because God hath made two lights in heaven, and because heaven and earth were created not at two beginnings, but in one?  Why hath he and his complices (like Anabaptists and Libertines, to the end they might run on more licentiously and carelessly) shaken off the yoke, and exempted themselves from being under a civil power?  Why hath he his legates (as much to say as most subtle spies) lying in wait in all kings’ courts, councils, and privy chambers?  Why doth he, when he list, set Christian princes one against another, and at his own pleasure trouble the whole world with debate and discord?  Why doth he excommunicate, and command to be taken as a heathen and a Pagan any Christian prince that renounceth his authority?  And why promiseth he his “indulgences and his pardons” so largely to any that will (what way soever it be) kill any of his enemies?  Doth he maintain empires and kingdoms? or doth he once desire that common quiet should be provided for?  You must pardon us, good reader, though we seem to utter these things more bitterly and bitingly than it becometh divines to do.  For both the shamefulness of the matter, and the desire of rule in the Bishop of Rome is so exceeding and outrageous, that it could not well be uttered with other words, or more mildly.  For he is not ashamed to say in open assembly, “that all jurisdiction of all kings doth depend upon himself.”  And to feed his ambition and greediness of rule, he hath pulled in pieces the “empire of Rome,” and vexed and rent whole Christendom asunder.  Falsely and traitorously also did he release the Romans, the Italians, and himself too, of the oath whereby they and he were straitly bound to be true to the “emperor of Greece,” and stirred up the emperor’s subjects to forsake him: and calling Carolus Martellus out of France into Italy, made him emperor, such a thing as never was seen before.  He put Chilpericus, the French king, being no evil prince, beside his realm, only because he fancied him not, and wrongfully placed Pipin in his room.  Again, after he had cast out King Philip, if he could have brought it to pass, he had determined and appointed the kingdom of France to Albertus King of Romans.  He utterly destroyed the state of the most nourishing city and commonweal of Florence, his own native country, and brought it out of a free and peaceable state, to be governed at the pleasure of one man: he brought to pass by his procurement, that whole Savoy on the one side was miserably spoiled by the Emperor Charles the Fifth, and on the other side by the French king, so as the unfortunate duke had scant one city left him to hide his head in.

30 September 2015 A.D. ENGLISH REFORMATION: Alexander Nowell’s Catechism

30 September 2015 A.D. ENGLISH REFORMATION: Alexander Nowell’s Catechism

A Catechism Written in Latin Together with the Same Catechism Translated into English
Authors: Alexander Nowell  
Translator: Thomas Norton

Editor: George Elwes Corrie
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication Date: 1853
Pages: 244
Languages: Latin and English
Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7
Alexander Nowell was a staunch Calvinist Reformer. This volume, compiled by the evangelical Parker Society, contains both the original Latin, and English translation by Thomas Norton. Nowell’s catechism is a valuable representation of the English Reformation’s evangelical wings.
Alexander Nowell (1507–1602) was an Anglican Calvinist theologian. He served as Dean of St. Paul’s Church during Elizabeth I’s reign.

30 September 2015 A.D. Orombi: Archbishop of Canterbury has “betrayed” Anglicanism

30 September 2015 A.D. Orombi: Archbishop of Canterbury has “betrayed” Anglicanism
Morgan, Timothy C. “Orombi: Archbishop of Canterbury has “betrayed” Anglicanism.” Christianity Today. 31 Jul 2008. Accessed 30 Sept 2015.
Here's the link to the op-ed published in The Times of London
Here's the sound bite:
"St Francis of Assisi said: "Preach the gospel at all times; when necessary use words." We believe that our absence at this Lambeth Conference is the only way that our voice will be heard. For more than ten years we have been speaking and have not been heard. So maybe our absence will speak louder than our words."
HENRY LUKE OROMBI, Archbishop and primate of Uganda, will have a commentary piece published in The Times of London, which will post online at 9 p.m. BST (British Summer Time).
Times religion correspondent Ruth Gledhill leaked word of this piece on her blog this afternoon. Here's what she wrote: tomorrow's Times, the Archbishop of Uganda, Henry Orombi, will accuse the Arcbishop of Canterbury of a betrayal at the very deepest level. He will argue that even the Pope is elected by his peers, but Dr Williams in his office is little better than a remnant of colonialism. 'The spiritual leadership of a global communion of independent and autonomous Provinces should not be reduced to one man appointed by a secular government,' he says. Nor is the absence of Uganda, Nigeria and other Global South churches a sign that they want to leave the Communion. Far from it. It is a sign of how much they care that it endures. Read it all from when it goes online at 2100 BST and in the paper tomorrow, it is strong stuff!
This op-ed, if it holds up to be as strongly worded as Ruth suggests, opens up an additional set of questions, beyond biblical authority, human sexuality, or border crossings:
Should England retain the Church of England as its established church? Could the Anglican Communion itself play a deciding role in selecting the archbishop of Canterbury, who serves as 'first among equals' in the communion?
Lambeth is about to enter its Final Three days and events here on the grounds of the University of Kent and events off-campus seem to be spinning beyond the control of any one person or committee.
As expected, the Lambeth Reflections document has begun to take shape. And, now in its third draft, it is already huge. 18 pages. And, drafters have yet to address these areas:
* Gender and power
* The Scriptures
* Sexuality and Listening
* The Convenant
* The Windsor Process
* Leading in God's mission
* Conclusion
Just this afternoon, there were three press conferences nearly back to back, including one by Quincy Bishop Keith Ackerman. See below for additional updates:
In the last three days, Lambeth has seen several important developments. Here are some of the more important ones:
Wednesday, July 30, unofficial press conference with Bishop Peter Beckwith from Springfield, IL, a well-known conservative.
Click here for Anglican TV's full unedited video of this outdoor press event. And, click here for an unofficial transcript.
Several comments about Bishop Beckwith's remarks:
1. CT asked, "Who speaks for conservatives here at Lambeth?" This seems like a crucial issue since Lambeth has evangelicals like the measles. They are everywhere, but don't seem to be making much strategic difference. Granted much of Lambeth is as clear as mud, so time may prove me wrong.
Whatever one thinks of GAFCON it has added another layer of complexity on conservatives, who are already working their way through women's ordination and related historical difference between evangelicals and Anglo-catholics.
2. Beckwith's comments at times were deeply personal. He admitted that around the time of General Convention 2003 he was convicted that he had put the Episcopal Church ahead of his commitment to Jesus Christ; he confessed this as "idolatrous" and has since then worked to overcome that.
Thursday, July 31.
On Wednesday, the theme of the day at Lambeth was: Power and Abuse. New York suffragan Bishop Catherine Roskam dropped quite a bombshell with these words:
"We have 700 men here [at Lambeth]. Do you think any of them beat their wives? Chances are they do. The most devout Christians beat their wives... many of our bishops come from places where it is culturally acceptable to beat your wife. In that regard, it makes the conversation quite difficult."
These comments were published in Lambeth Witness, a publication associated with the Inclusive Church Network, GLBT advocacy group. It is published daily and available in print on campus.
As news of this near libelous accusation filtered across the Lambeth conference, John Sentamu, archbishop of York, today (Thurs.) issued a public demand for Bishop Roskam to produce evidence proving her point.
This has set the news media here on a great quest. In the past 12 hours, I have lost track of the number of Lambeth bishops who have been asked by a journo: "Do you beat your wife?"
It was only a matter of time. Here's a parody interview with an anonymous wife-beating bishop.
I include one choice question + answer:
Q: Does it trouble you at all that wife-beating is contrary to the tradition of Christian faith and order, the teaching and practice of centuries of Anglicanism, the explicit statements of previous Lambeth meetings, and the consensus of the majority of the Anglican Communion?
A: Not at all. The spirit is clearly doing a "new thing" in helping us value and celebrate wife-beating. The Church has always been called to push the boundaries... so we need to leave behind the comfortable but dated assumptions and practices of the benightened pre-modern past in order to explore the new places to which God is calling us today. Our church is, in that tradition of radical liminality, encountering God by blazing a new way for others in the Communion to follow.  

30 September 2015 A.D. Proposal to loosen Anglican Communion ties draws mixed responses

30 September 2015 A.D. Proposal to loosen Anglican Communion ties draws mixed responses
Grunday, Trevor and Frederick Nzwili. “Proposal to loosen Anglican Communion ties draws mixed responses.” Religion News Service. 17 Sept 2015. Accessed 30 Sept 2015.
CANTERBURY, England (RNS) A proposal to loosen the ties of the bitterly divided Anglican Communion drew mostly favorable reactions in Britain, while African prelates said they needed time to study the matter.
Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, drew headlines this week after he floated a proposal to invite all 38 national church heads of the  Anglican Communion to explore how Anglicans can stay together while going their separate ways when it comes to dealing with two of the most explosive issues facing the Christian world: inclusion of LGBT people and the ordination of women.
Welby’s proposal would allow the communion to maintain relations with liberal churches of North America that recognize and encourage gay marriage and with the mainly African churches, led by Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria, that strenuously oppose any efforts at gay inclusion.
Both will then be able to call themselves “Anglican” under the proposal.
Asked whether this represented a divorce or a separation, an unnamed source at the archbishop’s office told The Guardian: “It’s more like (a couple) sleeping in separate bedrooms.”

One element of Welby’s proposal is to ask the Anglican Church in North America, a breakaway group from the Episcopal Church, USA, to attend the meeting in January — but not as a full member.

READ: Anglican Church to discuss looser global ties due to internal splits

Welby’s call for a make-or-break summit dominated the pages of several newspapers, radio and TV news bulletins in Britain, where the response was mostly welcoming.

The Rev. Sally Hitchiner, a prominent gay priest in the Church of England, told The Guardian: “This is a positive move for all sort of reasons. We can’t hold together from a place like England where an archbishop of Canterbury could be in a gay marriage possibly in my lifetime, to somewhere like Uganda, where they want to imprison people for gay sex.”
In Africa, responses were more muted.
“We will be seeking to know what he means by a more loose organization,” said Anglican Bishop Joseph Kanuku of Machakos, Kenya. “For us, the Bible should be the compass and the pilot guiding the ideology of any new structure formed.”
Bishop Julius Kalu of Kenya’s Mombasa Diocese said: “I don’t think this will solve the problems of the communion. The Anglican Communion is such an old organization, that may not be easy to replace. We know even before the emergence of the disputes over homosexuality, the communion was a loose union of dioceses and provinces. It is still. We have been united in diversity.”
There is concern that if the African churches decide to withdraw altogether from the Anglican Communion, they will pressure conservative churches within the Church of England to align with GAFCON, the so-called Global Anglican Future Conference, as a kind of rival to the communion. With 80 million members, the Anglican Communion is currently the world’s third-largest Christian body.
Uganda Archbishop Stanley Ntagali said he received the invitation but was still studying its contents.
“I am still consulting with my colleagues in GAFCON,” he said. “I will be giving a response in the due course.”
At the 2008 Lambeth Conference, the Anglican Communion’s 10-year meeting, nearly 250 out of the 800 invitees stayed away.
Welby had previously announced the indefinite postponement of the next Lambeth Conference.

In an interview with the BBC’s Radio Four, David Walker, the bishop of Manchester, said Welby has met most of the world’s national church heads in recent years, so no one should be surprised that he called a meeting to discuss the future of the Anglican Communion.
“I think most will come,” he said. “It isn’t just about sexuality. There will be other issues on the agenda.”
Walker acknowledged that Welby is taking a big risk bringing so many prelates together. But he added: “This is about finding a way forward for the Anglican Communion. I think we can find a good solution.”

30 September 2015 A.D. The Imminent Decline of Contemporary Worship: 8 Reasons

30  September 2015 A.D. The Imminent Decline of Contemporary Worship: 8 Reasons

Gordon, T David. “The Imminent Decline of Contemporary Worship: 8 Reasons.” Second Nature. 27 Oct 2014. Accessed 30 Sept 2015.  
By imminent decline of contemporary worship music, I do not mean imminent disappearance. Commercial forces have too substantial an interest to permit contemporary worship music to disappear entirely; and human beings are creatures of habit who do not adapt to change quickly. I do not predict, therefore, a disappearance of contemporary worship music, sooner or later. Already, however, I observe its decline. Several years ago (2011) Mark Moring interviewed me for Christianity Today, and in our follow-up communications, he indicated that he thought the zenith of contemporary worship music had already happened, and that the movement was already in the direction of traditional hymnody. He did not make any claims about the ratio of contemporary worship music to traditional hymns; he merely observed that whatever the ratio was, the see-saw was now moving, albeit slowly, towards traditional hymnody. If the ratio of contemporary-to-traditional was rising twenty years ago, it is falling now; the ratio is now in decline, and I suspect that decline will continue for the foreseeable future. What follows is a painfully abbreviated list of eight reasons why I think this change is happening.
1. Contemporary worship music hymns not only were/are comparatively poor; they had to be. One generation cannot successfully “compete” with 50 generations of hymn-writers; such a generation would need to be fifty times as talented as all previous generations to do so. If only one-half of one percent (42 out of over 6,500) of Charles Wesley’s hymns made it even into the Methodist hymnal, it would be hubristic/arrogant to think that any contemporary hymnist is substantially better than he. Most hymnals are constituted of hymns written by people with Wesley’s unusual talent; the editors had the “pick of the litter” of almost two thousand years of hymn-writing. In English hymnals, for instance, we rarely find even ten of Paul Gerhardt’s 140 hymns, even though many musicologists regard him as one of Germany’s finest hymnwriters. Good hymnals contain, essentially, “the best of the best,” the best hymns of the best hymnwriters of all time; how could any single generation compete with that?
Just speaking arithmetically, one would expect that, at best, each generation could represent itself as well as other generations, permitting hymnal editors to continue to select “the best of the best” from each generation. Were this the case, then one of every fifty hymns we sing should be from one of the fifty generations since the apostles, and, therefore, one of every fifty should be contemporary, the best of the current generation of hymnwriters. Perhaps this is what John Frame meant when, in the second paragraph of his book on CWM, he indicated that he had two goals for his book: to explain some aspects of CWM and to defend its “limited use” in public worship. Perhaps Prof. Frame thought one out of fifty constituted “limited use,” or perhaps he might have permitted as much as one out of ten, I don’t know. But our generation of hymnwriters, while talented and devout, are not more talented or more devout than all other generations, and are surely not so by a ratio of fifty-to-one.
2. Early on in the contemporary worship music movement, many groups began setting traditional hymn-lyrics to contemporary melodies and/or instrumentation. Sovereign Grace Music, Indelible Grace, Red Mountain Music, Reformed Praise all recognized how difficult/demanding it is to write lyrics that are not only theologically sound, but significant, profound, appropriate, memorable, and edifying (not to mention metrical). If the canonical Psalms are our model, few hymn-writers could hope to write with such remarkable insight (into God and His creatures, who are only dust) and remarkable craftsmanship (e.g. the first three words of the first Psalm begin with the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, aleph (א), each also has a shin (ש), and two of the three also have a resh (ר), even though each is only a 3-letter word. Even those unfamiliar with Hebrew cannot miss the remarkable assonance and alliteration in those opening three words: “ashre ha-ish asher”).
3. As a result, the better contemporary hymns (e.g. “How Deep the Father’s Love,” “In Christ Alone”) have been over-used to the point that we have become weary of them. These two of the better contemporary worship music hymns are sung a half-dozen times or a even a dozen times annually in many contemporary worship music churches; whereas “A Mighty Fortress” may get sung once or twice (if at all); but neither of the two is as good as Luther’s hymn. What is “intrinsically good” (to employ Luther’s expression about music) will always last; what is merely novel will not. Beethoven will outlast 50 Cent, The Black Eyed Peas, and Christina Aguilera. His music will be enjoyed three hundred years from now; theirs will be gone inside of fifty years.
4. It is no longer a competitive advantage to have part or all of a service in a contemporary idiom; probably well over half the churches now do so, so we have reached what Malcolm Gladwell calls the “Tipping Point.” Contemporary worship music no longer marks a church as emerging, hip, edgy, or forward-looking, because many/most churches now do it. Churches that do not do other aspects of church-life well can no longer compensate via contemporary worship music; they must compete with other churches that employ contemporary worship music. Once a thing is commonplace, it is no longer a draw. And contemporary worship music is now so commonplace that it is no longer a competitive advantage; to the contrary, smaller churches with smaller budgets have difficulty competing with the larger-budgeted churches in this area.
5. As with all novelties, once the novelty wears off, what is left often seems somewhat empty. In a culture that celebrates what is new (and commercial culture always does so in order to sell what is new), most people will pine for what is new. But what is new does not remain so forever; and once it is no longer novel, it must compete by the ordinary canons of musical and lyrical art, and very little contemporary worship music can do so (again, because its authors face a fifty-to-one ratio of competition from other generations). Even promoters of contemporary worship music prefer some of it to the rest of it; indicating that they, too, recognize aesthetic criteria beyond mere novelty. Even those who regard novelty as a virtue, in other words, do not regard it as the only virtue. And some, such as myself, regard novelty as a liturgical vice, not a virtue because of its tendency to dis-associate us from the rest of our common race, heritage, and liturgy.
6. Thankfully, my own generation is beginning to die. While ostensibly created “for the young people,” the driving force behind contemporary worship music was always my own Sixties generation of anti-adult, anti-establishment, rebellious Woodstockers and Jesus freaks. Once my generation became elders and deacons (and therefore those who ran the churches), we could not escape our sense of being part of the “My Generation” that The Who’s Pete Townsend had sung about when we were young; so we (not the young people) wanted a brand of Christianity that did not look like our parents’ brand. Fortunately for the human race, we are dying off now, and much of the impetus for contemporary worship music will die with us (though the commercial interests will “not go gentle into that good night,” and fulfill Dylan Thomas’s wish).
7. Contemporary worship music is ordinarily accompanied by Praise Teams, and these have frequently (but by no means always) been problematic. It has been difficult to provide direction to them, due to the inherent confusion between whether they are participants in the congregation or performers for the congregation. In most circumstances, the members of the Praise Team do the kinds of things performers do: they vary the instrumental or harmonious parts between stanzas, they rehearse, etc. In fact, if one were to watch a video of the typical Praise Team without any audio, they ordinarily look like performers; their bodily actions and contrived emotional expressions mimic those of the entertainment industry.
Theologically and liturgically, however, it is the congregation that is to sing God’s praise, and what we call the Praise Team is merely an accompanist. But there is a frequent and ongoing tension in many contemporary worship music churches between the performers feeling as though they are being held back from performing for the congregation, and the liturgists thinking they’ve already gone too far in distinguishing themselves from the congregation. Many pastors have told me privately that they have no principial disagreements with contemporary worship music, but that they wish the whole Praise Team thing “would go away,” because it is a frequent source of tension. I have elsewhere suggested that the Praise Team is not biblical, that it actually obscures or obliterates what the Scriptures command. I won’t repeat any of those concerns here; here I merely acknowledge that many of those who disagree with my understanding of Scripure agree with my observation that the Praise Team is an ongoing source of difficulty in the church.
8. We cannot evade or avoid the “holy catholic church” of the Apostles’ Creed forever. Even people who are untrained theologically have some intuitive sense that a local contemporary church is part of a global and many-generational (indeed eschatological and endless) assembly of followers of Christ; cutting ourselves off from that broader catholic body may appear cool for a while, but we ultimately wish to commune with the rest of the global/catholic church. Indeed, for many mature Christians, this wish grows as we age; we become aware that this particular moment, and our own personal life therein, will pass away soon, and what is timeless will nonetheless continue. Our affection for and interest in the timeless trumps our interest in the recent and fading. We intuitively identify with Henry F. Lyte, whose hymn said, “Change and decay in all around I see; O Thou who changest not, abide with me.” We instinctively wish to “join the everlasting song, and crown Him Lord of all” (to use Edward Perronet’s language). Note, in fact, the opening lines alone of each stanza of Perronet’s hymn, and observe how, as the stanzas move, our worship is connected to both earthly and heavenly worship, past and future worship:
All hail the power of Jesus’ Name! Let angels prostrate fall;…
Let highborn seraphs tune the lyre, and as they tune it, fall…
Crown Him, ye morning stars of light, who fixed this floating ball;…
Crown Him, ye martyrs of your God, who from His altar call;…
Ye seed of Israel’s chosen race, ye ransomed from the fall,…
Hail Him, ye heirs of David’s line, whom David Lord did call,…
Sinners, whose love can ne’er forget the wormwood and the gall,…
Let every tribe and every tongue before Him prostrate fall…
O that, with yonder sacred throng, we at His feet may fall,
Join in the everlasting song, and crown Him Lord of all!
It is not merely that some churches do not sing Perronet’s hymn; they can not do so, without a little dissonance. Everything that they do intentionally cuts themselves off from the past and future; liturgically, if not theologically, they know nothing of martyrs, of Israel’s chosen race, of David’s lineage. Liturgically, if not theologically, everything is here-and-now, without much room for angels or seraphs, nor every tribe and tongue (just those who share our particular cultural moment). To sing Perronet’s hymn in such a setting would fit about as well as reading Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech at a Ku Klux Klan gathering.
“Contemporary worship” to me is an oxymoron. Biblically, worship is what angels and morning stars did before creation; what Abraham, Moses and the Levites, and the many-tongued Jewish diaspora at Pentecost did. It is what the martyrs, now ascended, do, and what all believers since the apostles have done. More importantly, it is what we will do eternally; worship is essentially (not accidentally) eschatological. And nothing could celebrate the eschatological forever less than something that celebrates the contemporary now. So ultimately, I think the Apostles’ Creed will stick its camel’s nose into the liturgical tent, and assert again our celebration of the “holy catholic church, the communion of the saints.” The sooner the better.

30 September 2015 A.D. Dr. Joel McDurmond on John Hagee, a False Prophet

30 September 2015 A.D. Dr. Joel McDurmond on John Hagee, a False Prophet
        McDurmond, John. “John Hagee: False Prophet (and the antidote).” American Vision. 29 Sept 2015. Accessed 30 Sept 2015.

John Hagee: False Prophet (and the antidote) 

John Hagee made predictions (oh yes he did!—see below). John Hagee set dates. John Hagee’s predictions and dates have failed. He is now to be regarded as a false prophet on the same order as Harold Camping.
[NOTE: If you are among those who have now seen the light due to this latest sham and scam of Hagee’s false predictions and date setting built on Blood Moons, I invite you to learn the truth about Last Days Madness.]
I have previously written about this here and here. I have demonstrated first that Hagee did indeed make predictions and set dates, even though he tried to cover himself with disclaimers.
Second, I have demonstrated from Scripture how his interpretation of Joel 2 and Acts 2 cannot possibly be true. (Hint: Peter makes it clear that Acts 2 was the fulfillment then of Joel 2. There is nothing about it left to be fulfilled.)
Let’s rehearse from the previous article just exactly how Hagee set dates and exactly what he predicted:
Once the Russian alliance invades, however, as Hagee interprets, “God loses His cool. His anger and His wrath explode.” He jumps over to Ezekiel 39:2 to proclaim that God will destroy these armies Himself, leaving only one sixth of them alive. God is saying, “I am going to kill 84 percent of the Russian and Islamic military force that invades the nation of Israel.”
God will accomplish this via 1) a great earthquake that swallows “a significant part of that army,” 2) friendly fire between the armies of these nine nations, and 3) fifty-pound hailstones.
Not since God destroyed pharaoh and his army has God ever wiped an army out likes he’s going to wipe out Russia and Iran. It will take Israel seven months to bury the dead, and seven years to burn the weapons of war.
Again, he is saying this will occur sometime between April 2014 and September 2015. You think I’m stretching the truth? Just recall Hagee’s outstretched hand, pointing to that chart of four blood moons, saying:
When is this going to happen? . . . Jewish scholars say Joel 2:30–31, the text, is where the four blood moons appear with the sun, is the Gog-Magog War. NASA says sometime between April 2014 and September 2015 . . .
Now that is a specific as anyone needs to be. Joel 2:30–31 does not refer to just some obscure eclipse some day in the future, but to “the four blood moons” that “appear with the sun.” This is nonsense of course—Joel 2:30–31 says nothing about four blood moons—but Hagee’s point is that it does indeed, and that the four blood moons are the ones coming beginning year. He has tied the prophecy of Joel 2, and thus the Gog-Magog War, to the four blood moons, specifically, between April 2014 and September 2015.
This means, inescapably, that Israel must attack Iran, and that Russian and Company must invade Israel, and that Russian and Iran must be, per Hagee, “wiped off the map” sometime between 2014 and September 2015.
What do I think of that? I think Harold Camping was a lightweight.
But, Hagee will dissent, “I am not setting dates!”
Disclaimers and Waffles
In a couple places, Hagee stops to put in a very stern disclaimer. He wants to preempt guys like me. But pay close attention to what he says. His disclaimers are very craftily worded so as not really to be disclaimers.
The strongest disavowal he makes is this: “This is God’s prediction and NASA’s prediction. John Hagee is making no predictions. Are we clear?”
This is only to cover his rear, and will only persuade the most dedicated of his followers who uncritically accept his words without examining the substance of what he says. Such people are already raptured—intellectually.
What is he really saying? He is only trying to leave a trapdoor to evade responsibility for the clear predictions he made above. But you can’t have your bombs and explode them, too. And Hagee is actually exploding them. Yes, the dates are NASA’s, and yes, Ezekiel 38 is God’s Word. But Hagee is the one who has tied NASA’a dates together with God’s Word, interpreted the concoction to be an attack by modern day Russia and Iran, etc., and then published it. These are in fact Hagee’s predictions, and he cannot evade responsibility for them.
Elsewhere, he is just as clever: “This does not mean the rapture is going to happen between here [pointing to April 2014] and here [September 2015]. Why?”
Why? Because Hagee doesn’t set dates? Nope. “Because the rapture could happen before we get out of this building. This does say, ‘You’re running out of time.’”
Ahh, cute. But then he’s right back to bold predictions:
Here’s what we know for sure. . . . When it’s only happened three times in over 500 years, this is a massive demonstration from the heavens. All of the dates given by NASA—1492, 1948, 1967—deal with the Jewish people and Israel. We are about to receive a sign from God. . . . I am telling you this. Based on all I know about this book, and I have studied it every day for 54 years, there’s not one thing that has to happen before [the rapture] . . . we’re out of here. When you see these signs [pointing once again to the four blood moons] lift up your heads and rejoice! Your redemption draweth night!”
And so we’re back to the four blood moons being Mark 13 again, as well as Matthew 24 and Luke 21—Jesus’ Olivet prophecies of a return.
Hagee is not done. We are, he says, already seeing the unfolding of what he argues is about to take place between April of 2014 and September 2015:
Consider the scenario for the future. Iran is going to become nuclear sooner or later. When Israel hits Iran’s nuclear centers, this action is going to unite Russia, Iran, Syria, Libya, Egypt, etc., to retaliate and to invade the land of Israel according to Ezekiel. You see that happening right now on the television each night. . . . We are seeing the first stages of the Gog-Magog War in the media.
Need more?
The nations of Gog and Magog are uniting right now. The message of the four blood moons is this: God is going to defend Israel in His time. He is going to destroy the nations that invade Israel, and Jesus Christ the Son of God could come at any second, right now.
This is getting a little squishier. But then come the waffles:
I want to ask you just a simple question, because the Bible says, “No man knows the day or the hour that Jesus Christ could come.”
That’s right. No man knows. We’re not date setting here! But. . . .
When you have very credible science agreeing with a very credible prophet Joel, and Saint Peter in the book of Acts—I don’t think that in my lifetime I’ve seen a more obvious demonstration of the unity of those two ingredients—something big is about to happen. We may not be here to see that. The church may be gone. The church may see this and be taken after. But it’s for sure, the best scientific minds in the world are saying this is going to happen, and the best prophetic voices in the Word have said this is what it looks like when it happens.
If these are not predictions, I don’t know what is. Yet he says he’s making no predictions! Nonsense. Barack Obama could not prevaricate and tell bald-faced lies any better than this. “If you like your country, you can keep your country (if it’s still there after we blow it up).” At least conservative Christians don’t believe what Obama says. They shouldn’t believe Hagee, either.
Finally, I summarized the events Hagee predicted:
There is no way this man can deny he is making clear predictions. The whole blood moon hype would be little more than a curiosity were it left a generality. But someone of tremendous profile has gotten specific—very specific. Hagee has connected the four blood moons, April 2014–September 2015, by both clearly spoken claims and multiple, clear hand gestures to a chart bearing these dates, with the fulfillment of the prophecies of Joel 2 and Mark 13, the Battle of Gog-Magog (Ezek. 38–39), the return of Christ (Luke 21Matthew 24Revelation 19), and onset of the one-world government of “The Antichrist.”
In doing so, let’s be clear, he has interpreted those events within that time frame to include:
1. Israel attacking the nuclear sites in Iran
2. Russia leading an alliance of Arab springs states and others to invade Israel
3. America standing by watching, due to weakness
4. God destroying these invaders by divine power
5. Russia and Iran being “wiped off the map”
[6. I now see I should have added also the redemption of God’s people mentioned in Mark 13, Matthew 24, and Luke 21.]
This is to happen, according to NASA, the Bible, and John Hagee’s concatenation of the two, sometime between April 2014 and September 2015.
And he has repeatedly said that when we see the four blood moons, we should look up because our redemption draweth nigh. Again, this must take place between April 2014 and September 2015.
Folks, this is a false teacher. Period. Worse. He is a false teacher whose false teachings could help provoke warfare and the deaths of millions of people unnecessarily—and will persuade millions of Christians to sit by gleefully, consenting to those deaths.
Hagee should retract his statements and repent now. If he turns out wrong, he is under absolute moral obligation at least to confess his sin. He should also apologize publicly and then resign his pulpit. I hope he at least rethinks the seriousness of what he has actually claimed here, and that his claims clearly amount to very serious and dire predictions—even while denying making predictions.
If Hagee does none of this, his congregation should push to hold him accountable. If he persists, they should abandon him as a false and unrepentant teacher. All of his followers should.
Those were my comments made originally December 18, 2013, almost two years ago—before even the first blood moon had occurred.
Just to be sure, Hagee did not budge an inch even on the eve of his failure, September 27, 2015. In fact, he got even more candid. Calling the blood moon tetrad God’s “final, celestial, evangelistic effort” that Jesus is about to return for the Rapture, he admitted that he was setting dates:
Generally prophetic texts deal with something that might happen or could happen, but this was a situation where we could say “On this date, you can go out on your back porch, look up, and see a blood moon.” And when that happened, and people found it in the Bible, and saw it in the sky, and knew that it had been predicted by NASA, word spread across the earth like lightning, that this was a revelation from God.
It is now official. Hagee made predictions. Hagee set dates. Hagee’s predictions and dates did not come to pass. They failed. All of them. Not a single word of his prediction came to pass. Not one single word.
What will it take to break the bondage premillennial angst holds over so many American Christians? How many hypes have to fail? How many predictions have to fail? How many overt, outright, date-setting predictions like Hagee’s have to fail in absolutely every detail before Christians abandon these shysters and con men?
As I don’t see streams of disgruntled former members quitting Hagee’s church, or even asking questions, the outlook for this does not look good. To modify the pseudo-P.T. Barnum quotation, “There’s a prophecy book buyer born every minute.” There have been hundreds of dates set and predictions made throughout church history—literally hundreds. They all have one thing in common: they have all been wrong. And yet Christians, especially American Christians these days, keep giving them their full faith and credit, and their money.
If you are among those who have now seen the light due to this latest sham and scam of Hagee’s false predictions and date setting built on Blood Moons, I invite you to learn the truth about Last Days Madness. The vast majority of Bible prophecy was fulfilled in the year AD 70. What lies ahead of us is not a rapture or a great cataclysm. What lies ahead of us is a lot of Kingdom work to do by God’s Spirit. It’s time to leave the false prophets behind. Make the paradigm shift and get to it.