Monday, June 24, 2013

How not to interpret prophecy (or any other biblical passage, for that matter)

While last month's infamous "sermon" in Curacao by the High Priestess of the Church of What's Happening Now continues to provide ample fodder for orthodox critics of her ridiculous exegesis, it is, from time to time, important to be reminded that the "interpretations" of some in the "evangelical," "fundamentalist," or otherwise "conservative" camp can be equally ludicrous and off the orthodox plantation. Gary DeMar never tires of reminding us of this choice tidbit from the works of noted prophecy monger Hal Lindsey.
Hal Lindsey, author of The Late Great Planet Earth (1970), is well known for his claim that the locusts of Revelation 9:1–12 could be Vietnam-era “cobra helicopters.” He writes:

“I have a Christian friend who was a Green Beret in Viet Nam. When he first read this chapter he said, ‘I know what those are. I’ve seen hundreds of them in Viet Nam. They’re Cobra helicopters! That may be conjecture, but it does give you something to think about! A Cobra helicopter does fit the sound of ‘many chariots.’ My friend believes that the means of torment will be a kind of nerve gas sprayed from its tail."
As a friend of mine is fond of pointing out, there are no cobra helicopters in Revelation. Please remember that whenever you encounter "exegesis by current events."