Sunday, March 08, 2009

Leave God out of it

This is why pastors should not aspire to be prophets:

"An earth-shattering calamity is about to happen," [David Wilkerson] writes. "It is going to be so frightening, we are all going to tremble – even the godliest among us."

Wilkerson's vision is of fires raging through New York City.

"It will engulf the whole megaplex, including areas of New Jersey and Connecticut. Major cities all across America will experience riots and blazing fires – such as we saw in Watts, Los Angeles, years ago," he explains. "There will be riots and fires in cities worldwide. There will be looting – including Times Square, New York City. What we are experiencing now is not a recession, not even a depression. We are under God’s wrath.
I've actually read a couple of David Wilkerson's books*, most recently "America's Last Call," which I reviewed a few years ago - unfortunately, it fell in the 2003-5 period when this blog was at another host, and is therefore lost for eternity. Written during the Asian financial crisis of the late 90s, "America's Last Call" makes a number of false economic forecasts**, as it basically extrapolates that crisis to America and states that the US will "imminently" face a similar crisis. Obviously, it didn't happen. None of the specifics happened. America went on into the fattest decade and more we have ever had***. If I recall - and it has been a few years since I read it - Wilkerson suffered the same problems in a book called "The Vision."

"So what?" you rightly ask. "El B is wrong about stuff all the time." I am. I'm probably wrong about most things, and I fully expect that when all is revealed I will be shown to have known less about fewer things than I could have ever imagined.

But I'm not speaking for God.

You see, when a person claims to have a vision from God, and when the things they say don't come to pass, they do not get the kind of breaks that El B gets for being human. They don't get do-overs. God does not make stock market predictions or lay odds or say "maybe even in the next few years." The fact that "America's Last Call" was filled with statistics and interviews makes me believe it less to be an actual vision than a hysterical reaction to CNBC. Malachi and friends did not carry stock charts with them: they spoke for God, or not, and you took their words alone, or not.

My memory may be faulty, and everything Wilkerson has written, all his visions put to paper, may have all come to pass. Or he may have been early. Because I don't have the books in front of me, I am not calling him a false prophet, though if I recall, I did when I reviewed "America's Last Call." This is not really even about Wilkerson.

What it is about is whether God even needs to warn us that what we are doing will bring economic calamity. I don't think he does. Because economic calamity is the natural and unavoidable result of creating millions of dollars from nothing, of spending more than we make, of borrowing trillions and trillions from the future. Disaster is written into those actions because justice is written into the universe.

It does not take God to bring economic calamity upon us. We are perfectly capable of doing that ourselves.

UPDATE: Is Karl Denninger also among the prophets?
Civil unrest will break out before the end of the year. The Military and Guard will be called up to try to stop it. They won't be able to. Big cities are at risk of becoming a free-fire death zone. If you live in one, figure out how you can get out and live somewhere else if you detect signs that yours is starting to go "feral"...
Bleak reading (too bleak, imo). But it's amazing how close his specifics are to Wilkerson's...

* though never The Cross and the Switchblade, the one that made him famous.

** If anyone seriously wants the specifics, I'll be happy to re-read the book. Yes, I still have it - I keep all my old econ books.

*** That those things may be - are - happening now does not help his case, I'm afraid.

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