I’ve rediscovered my blog! The time since the beginning of the Fall Holy Days has been crazy, with not only Feast coordination (which went fantastically at the Lake of the Ozarks–thanks to all who pitched in!), but also with Tomorrow’s World Special Presentations (and a hearty thanks to all of you in Iowa, who showed up, helped, and gave me shelter and food that weekend!) and with Tomorrow’s World tapings last week (and more thanks, yet–thanks to the fantastic crew, editorial staff, and everyone else who makes the program a joy to work on!). But things are beginning to feel more normal again–other than the Council of Elders meeting coming up in November, life has calmed down.
OK, no freaking out there, either. What a blessing and comfort it is to know that God is in charge, and even if he appoints the basest of men next week, it will be for the purpose He is working out.
That said, it is high drama, and given that all indications are that the man elected next week will be facing remarkable events over the next four years–and we in America and the world will be facing them with him–one cannot help but wonder who it will be.
Any predictions? I could pretend to be a prophet and say who I think will win, then claim authoritatively “Like I said on Friday…” next week (unless I was wrong, in which case I could either point to the weasel words I sneaked into my prediction or else I not bring it up again). But let me say upfront, I am not a prophet, and the Church of God today has no prophet, though some certainly claim to be so. This is ground I’ve covered before, but it’s worth repeating… No one in the Living Church of God claims to be a prophet, and no one in any other organization I’ve ever seen (and regrettably, I’ve had to see a lot) shows the proper fruit of a prophet. None of us blogging out here in Internetland have any biblical evidence to show that we’re a prophet: myself, Bob Thiel, John Wheeler, various other bloggers I will not name, Facebookers, Tweeters, blog commenters, etc., etc., etc. — none of us have biblical prophet credentials. (Let’s be hip and call it “prophet cred”…) And none of those out there claiming to be one of the Two Witnesses fit the bill beyond the twisted passages and personal arguments they hold up as “evidence.” There simply is no prophet out there at this time.
So when I say this, I don’t speak as a prophet: I think that President Obama has the best chance of winning. (Note, I’m not expressing my preference in the matter, just what I think of the odds.)
I know that there are many people out there parsing the numbers, and they come up with various predictions. Karl Rove, for instance, wrote a very good argument in the Wall Street Journal yesterday (I think it was yesterday) pointing to Governor Romney as the likely victor. I’m not saying it isn’t possible–indeed, it’s a very real possibility. Then there are those who believe that a mysterious shadow government really controls everything and they will simply place their puppet into control regardless of the voting this Tuesday. I won’t address that beyond a quick mention of Isaiah 8:12. Still, others will look at the arc of prophecy and decide that either Mr. Obama or Mr. Romney would best suit the purpose of God in fulfilling that prophecy and claim that their choice will be God’s choice. Some of them, of course, will be right about the conclusion (since one man will win or the other), and wrongly see that as confirmation of their prowess with understanding scripture, breaking their arms as they pat themselves on the back.
My sense is simpler than all of that. Even though so many of the opinion polls seem to be breaking for Governor Romney, I have a hard time getting past what the gamblers are saying, and the gamblers–as of today–still believe that Mr. Obama will win and seem to give him great odds: 67% that he will win, 33% that he will lose (as I write this at 10-ish AM, Friday morning). Check it out for yourself on Intrade. Unlike opinion polls, the prediction market isn’t asking who you like or who you’ll vote for–it’s asking who you think will win AND it’s asking you to put up good money on your belief. If you’ve never heard of prediction markets, the New Yorker had a good, brief article on them in 2007, and it’s essentially gambling structured like stock market futures trading. Now, I don’t gamble (work! Exodus 20:9!), but the success of these markets at predicting presidential election outcomes is pretty impressive.
The history of the gambling markets for presidential elections is fascinating, and apparently before the introduction of Gallup polls and the rest it was the gambling community that major newspapers looked to to forecast coming elections. An article on the Huffington Post describes a bit of history and the success rates such “markets” had seen in elections:
Gamblers’ success in this arena is nothing new. In presidential races beginning in 1896, the New York Times, Sun, and World provided daily betting quotes. The papers’ sources were bookies who had agents at every stump and whistle-stop to gather intel and quantify popular sentiment. Between 1884 and 1940, the bettors erred on just one of sixteen elections, Wilson’s 1916 upset of Hughes.
It’s actually an interesting article for those so inclined. And 15 out of 16 — that’s a pretty good success rate.
Still, sometimes the horse with the best odds doesn’t come in first (or so I assume–I haven’t seen a Kentucky Derby since my mother died), and the gamblers only give low odds for Mr. Romney, not abysmal. Personally, I can see God accomplishing a number of things in the United States under either man’s leadership (or, perhaps, “leadership”). And as for what the reaction might be on election day, itself, given the emotions at play this year–especially if one of the candidates wins the Electoral College but not the popular vote–I will just say that we should pray for peace: Peaceful minds (our own, as well, if need be) and peaceful circumstances.
We’ll find out in just a few days…