In my opinion fear and hate mongers are toxic individuals. When in our presence, or sometimes it just takes reading their articles, they can poison the very atmosphere and air we breathe, on many occasions to such a degree we can become emotionally and physically ill. Believe me, I know this personally. Anyway, I’ve come to realize dooms-day prophecy-mongers can do the same thing. In today’s America fear and hate-mongering has almost reached the point in which it should be listed as a ‘career choice’, for many individuals have most certainly made a lucrative career from either hate or fear mongering…or both. Take the example of say, a Glenn Beck. Remove all the fear-mongering he spouts and what are you left with? Just some average Joe with an average talk-radio program. Face it folks, mongering is profitable.
Which leads to the topic at hand: Prophecy-mongering. As this recent message at Herescope points out, these toxic individuals and/or groups are also greatly profiting from their own type of mongering.
Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. (Jeremiah 10:2)
The evangelical world has been feasting on a constant diet of crisis for several decades now. Despite the relative peace and prosperity that Americans currently enjoy, fear is being marketed in every outlet. Fear of the future. It is big money for evangelical professional marketeers, many of whom act like false prophets continually prophesying doom and destruction. In fact, so much so, that many Christians now seem addicted to the adrenalin rush that comes via these dire predictions of disaster. It is a Pavlovian thing – spout the CRISIS, and fear-laden followers will respond by pushing the button to buy pre-packaged SOLUTIONS! This phenomena can best be described as prophecy-mongering, a term that has connotations of profiteering from promoting endtime crises.
Crisis-mongering is not a new thing. Chicken Little in the children’s folk tale went around crying, “The sky is falling!” This message has now become “a common idiom indicating a hysterical or mistaken belief that disaster is imminent.” Despite the moral of the Chicken Little story, dire predictions are becoming a way of life for many evangelicals. The more exotic, the more titillating, the more dramatic – the more people will get all worked up. It isn’t just fear. Many of these catastrophic endtime scenarios are also extremely evocative, even licentious. It is tough to remain sober-minded when constantly assaulted by horrifying and/or Hollywoodized images of the future. But being sober is exactly what a believer is supposed to do in these last days – “the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer” (1 Peter 4:7).
Christian Right groups eagerly engage in their cries of “Woe is America!” on a daily basis and, quite frankly, each new dreadful episode of our country in crisis creates an opportunity to raise more support for their particular issue. Evangelicals love solutions that impose some new housecleaning campaign for America. It is easier to point out the sins of America than deal with the sins within the Church (Matthew 7:3). The solution to America’s crises is inevitably some type of Dominionism – trying to “save” our nation, transform the culture, and gain power and ascendancy over others in the process. But notice it is not by the transformation of the inner man as a result of receiving the Gospel of Salvation. In fact, many evangelical leaders believe that they can invent the future, envision the future, and actually change the future! Some even wanted to develop “alternative future scenarios” because they didn’t like what Bible prophecy really has to say.
Create the Crisis, Propose the Pre-determined Solution
Professionally trained change agents have learned how to create crises and then propose a pre-planned solution. Ironically, some evangelical leaders have warned believers about these very tactics, particularly because it has been a common modus operandi of the political Left for a long time. Creating the crisis is done by things such as fomenting discord, agitating about issues, harping continually on what’s wrong, and even going so far as to create the actual problem. Often this is done via the media, which is a “partner” or “stakeholder” in the issue that is being drummed up. Once people accept that there is a problem/crisis, then the change agents come in with their pre-fabricated solution. This solution is usually onerous and intrusive, and in the political realm it usually means more government oversight and control with less personal freedom.
So, given the fact that many evangelicals already know about this clever and deceptive strategy – create the crisis, propose the solution – why are so many so gullible to crisis-mongering when it comes to believing horrific prophecy scenarios? The answer is two-fold.
First, evangelicals all want to trust their “experts” – those leaders who appear in the public eye and state things authoritatively. But many trusted leaders are engaging in this very crisis-solution strategy! They claim to have elite information, intelligence secrets, hidden knowledge, scientific-sounding secrets, or even the ability to be able to decode supernatural things. Some are deemed to have such superior spiritual insights that they are called modern-day prophets! If these leaders were outsiders, or strangers to the evangelical world, wouldn’t skeptical questions be raised about their extravagant claims? People might request tangible proof, biblical documentation, and solid evidence before they believed their purported crisis. But because these prophecy-mongers are “in house,” hyped and marketed by other trusted leaders, they are assumed to hold superior information about whatever crisis they are promulgating. Even known cynics, critics who understand the whole crisis-solution manipulation strategy, don’t seem to raise an eyebrow when someone uses the same strategy wrapped up in endtime crisis guise.