Monday, September 22, 2008

True prophets

Nora Roberts’ Three Sisters Island trilogy is about a speck of land off the Massachusetts coast. The island is under a curse that, if not averted, will cause it to simply sink beneath the sea. In the second book, Heaven and Earth, an expert in the paranormal has come to the island. He is discussing the curse with a woman who lives on the island. She asks:

Do you believe, in that detail-filing brain of yours, that this island is doomed to fall into the sea? How can you buy some centuries-old curse? Islands don’t just sink like swamped boats?

He replies:

...let me just say there’s always room for less-than-literal interpretations. A force five hurricane, an earthquake...

There’s been some discussion of the apocalyptic prophecies of Larry Kroon who is the current pastor at the Wasilla Bible Church, Sarah Palin’s current home church, and of Ed Kalnins who is the current pastor at the Wasilla Assembly of God church, Sarah Palin’s former home church. Max Blumenthal, in a post I discussed earlier says of Pastor Kroon:

While Kroon has cautioned his parishioners against the mass marketed End Times prophecies of Hal Lindsey and Tim LaHaye, he has nonetheless invoked doomsday scenarios that mirror those on the pages of Lindsey and LaHaye’s bestselling tracts.

“It’s so very possible that God, instead of responding by granting spiritual renewal and sustained prosperity,” Kroon said in a sermon on July 13, 2008, “could just as easily…it’s conceivable that He could just as easily, for example, raise up a revived, prosperous and powerful Communist Russia with a web of alliances across the Middle East. And our gas pumps would go dry. The dollar would collapse. And the markets would crash. The kayak could go upside down. And it could happen in a matter of weeks. That could happen. It could happen by this fall.”

Certainly Pastor Kroon has gotten some details wrong but somehow the idea that Russia would revive seems less preposterous after the invasion of South Ossetia and the collapse of the Ukrainian government. And the idea that the dollar could collapse and the markets could crash doesn’t seem far-fetched at all as we celebrate the autumnal equinox.

Similarly, an article in the Huffington Post says of Pastor Kalnins:

In his sermons, Pastor Kalnins has also expressed beliefs that, while not directly political, lie outside of mainstream Christian thought.

He preaches repeatedly about the "end times" or "last days," an apocalyptic prophesy held by a small but vocal group of Christian leaders. During his appearance with Palin in June, he declared, "I believe Alaska is one of the refuge states in the last days, and hundreds of thousands of people are going to come to the state to seek refuge and the church has to be ready to minister to them."

Outside of mainstream Christian thought perhaps but directly in line with mainstream global warming thought. Somehow I doubt anyone at the Huffington Post would dismiss these comments from James Lovelock, the environmentalist who originated the Gaia theory (emphasis mine):

Climate change is more serious than we can possibly imagine, but neither the Earth nor the human race is doomed, said Lovelock. The good news is that the Earth itself is in no danger, with world climate likely to stabilize some 5 degrees C warmer than current temperatures - such stable 'hot' states have existed in the past, including some 55 million years ago when the world's own feedback mechanisms took 200,000 years to recover. During that phase no great extinction occurred, but life moved to cooler climes to survive.

Climate-induced migrations could, for example, see Europe's population concentrated in cooler regions such as the British Isles, Scandinavia and western France - and this could happen within the next century.

I have no use for apocalyptic prophecies no matter where they originate. But if prophecies prove accurate then the prophet should get credit. And if you honor your own prophets, how can you dishonor prophets of another God when they predict the same future?

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