Well, here we are exactly two Gregorian years (thanks BL!) away from the date that many think will be the end of the world in one way or another: December 21, 2012.
Seeing that we may be at the beginning of a couple of years’ worth of steadily increasing 2012-related lunacy, I thought I would take the opportunity today to highlight some major points for those feeling the seductive pull of the hysteria:
- There is no solid evidence whatsoever that the Mayans said anything truly unusual about 2012. Period. End of story. Those who call December 21, 2012 a “Mayan Apocalypse” or some other such foolishness are wither sincere-but-confused, zealous-but-self-deceived, or false-prophets-seeking-profit.For those who would like a much more detailed discussion about this fact, including “red herrings” such as the Dresden Codex, the Chilam Balam, or the monument at Tortuguero, see my post “What the Maya did & didn’t say about 2012.”
- The Mayan Long Count Calendar does not truly “end” on December 21, 2012. It is merely the end of a large unit in the cycle (the baktun). Just like one of our months, years, centuries ends and rolls into a new one, so does theirs. Actually, not only do their calendars employ much larger units of time (which, alone, would imply that they expected time to go on) but also many of their records show anticipation of events that happen long after December 21, 2012, as if civilization does not come to an end at that time (go figure).
- Real scholars that are experts on the subject of the Maya are generally in agreement with this these conclusions (including some I have personally talked to: see “2012, Maya experts, Tomorrow’s World, and three bowls of chili”).
- Part of the reason (not the only reason, though) that 2012 is such an over-hyped phenomenon is our culture’s pathological desire to over glorify and romanticize primitive cultures, as if they had some sort of special insights we need–though we don’t seem to apply that sentiment to, for instance, the Mayans’ beliefs about sacrificing children in incredibly horrific ways (well, we don’t outside of abortion clinics, at least). I discuss this pathology in my post “‘Avatar’ and, believe it or not, 2012.”
- Most amusing (to me, at least) is the idea that the December 21, 2012 date is showing signs of being completely wrong, anyway. The date is years, even possibly decades off. The Mayan calendar’s synchronization with our own calendar is far from being certain, and, as a result, we really aren’t sure what date on our calendar actually represents the end of their baktun. This was discussed with me in person by the scholar I spoke with in the “three bowls of chili” post I referenced earlier, but also in an article linked to here: “2012: Is this any way to run an apocalypse?”
- Astronomically, there is nothing spectacular about 2012, contrary to the claims of many. The “Galactic Alignment” many gush over is a myth (anything that could be truly called this is not really related to 2012); there is no special planetary alignment; the solstice stuff is misunderstood, misapplied, and misconstrued; etc. I corresponded personally with a Milwaukee astronomer about these things to be sure and was assured that the only thing astronomically significant about December 21, 2012, was that many people are significantly confused about astronomy.
- So what is driving the 2012 hysteria? Well, mainly a lot of New Agers and drug users. Really. If you want prophetic insights from someone who gets their ideas by taking hallucinogens and speaking with “jewel-encrusted, self-dribbling basketballs” and “machine elves,” then be my guest. Just don’t expect me to pay much attention to you. I covered this in more detail in our free, hour-long DVD “2012: Mystery and Truth” as well as in the Tomorrow’s World television program “2012, Bible Prophecy and You!” and the magazine article “2012: Hollywood vs. Humanity.”
- Finally, the ultimate point to be made is that God does not want us delving into the “prophecies” of pagans for insight about the future! He is the source of prophecy to which we should turn, and the only source to which we should turn. We should turn away from others and teach others to do so, as well! True, Paul twice quotes from pagan writings in the New Testament, comprising two small quotes from one paragraph of Epimenides and one small quote apparently from Aratus. And while one or both of these may or may not have truly been considered “prophets,” he is most emphatically not using any “prophetic” knowledge they had recorded. Rather, he uses their poetry not their prophecy! He is merely using turns of phrase each had written. In fact, in the only instance we have recorded of Paul speaking to a true, pagan prophet (in this case, a demon-inspired prophetess), his actions are clear: He commands the demon to come out of the girl, and her prophesying is brought to an end. Whether it is demon-inspired or delusion-inspired, like Paul we should have no use for such.I discuss the problem with looking to false or demonic sources of prophecy in the Tomorrow’s World telecast we aired this past week, “Prophets and Pretenders.” Hopefully you had a chance to see it — if not, click on through and see it online. (I discuss it, as well, in the free DVD I mentioned.)God calls such activity, seeking prophetic and spiritual insight from such sources, prostitution (Leviticus 20:6). It is not for those who consider themselves followers of Jesus Christ.
In the end, all of this 2012 stuff is, to use a technical term, hooey. Those who spend money on it are wasting that money when there are free resources like our free 2012 DVD available on the Tomorrow’s World website. Certainly something dramatic could happen in 2012 — in fact, as the end comes nearer, the odds of something “dramatic” happening continues to increase. But it would not be because of anything the Mayans ever said, nor will it be due to any drug-assisted “visions.” So, skip the bong and grab your Bible. 🙂