Techniques of Non-Prophets: Arbitrage through Tautology

This is a photo of the final antichrist OR it isn't! So, does that make ma a Prophet? (photo by ross_hawkes)
This is a photo of the final antichrist OR it isn’t! So, does that make me a Prophet? (photo by ross_hawkes)

I have thought for some time that it would be fun to make a tongue-in-cheek series of posts titled “How To Be a Convincing False Prophet 101” in which I list common techniques of Non-Prophets or S.A.P.’s (Self-Appointed Prophets) to appear powerfully predictive and prophetic when, in reality, they are absolutely not in any way.

However, I have been trying to reign in that impulse to be tongue-in-cheek so often. It isn’t an evil impulse in and of itself, but it does risk spraining the tongue and bruising the cheek if done too often. But the information about the techniques such Non-Prophets use is still worthwhile, so today I list one: “Arbitrage through Tautology.”

In my studies as an actuary, arbitrage opportunities in investment were one of the elements we examined, looking at how a perfect theoretical market allows no arbitrage. Arbitrage is essentially a risk-free profit opportunity. It should never exist in a perfect market, because there is supposed to be an inviolable relationship between risk and reward: No risk = no reward; greater risk = greater potential reward (or failure). Wikipedia (“Always right, except when it’s not!”™) describes arbitrage very simply: “the possibility of a risk-free profit at zero cost” In that way, the name fits the technique I am about to mention perfectly: Non-prophet arbitrage is the possibility of risk-free “prophecy” at zero cost. (Except the cost isn’t truly zero, since it destroys your credibility among those who are paying attention…)

Consider the following statement — a mercifully paraphrased version of a statement actually seen in the wild: “The next pope will either be the final antichrist, help pave the way for the final antichrist, or will resist the antichrist.”

Wow! Sounds powerful and prophetic! Except that it is neither powerful nor prophetic. It is actually contains virtually no information whatsoever and is a risk-free pronouncement since it is virtually a tautology — that is, a statement that must be true and cannot be false. In rhetoric, a tautology is a statement that is constructed in such a way that it appears to be saying something when, in the end, it really says nothing. For instance, had someone said last year, “I can tell you one thing, either President Obama will win in 2012 or else he won’t,” he would, in the end, be saying exactly nothing. Of course the President will either win the election or he won’t. In the late 80s, the proper response to such a statement was, “No duh.” (And I note that James Taranto of the WSJ’s “Best of the Web Today” feature consistently mocks such statements in the news under his regular “Out on a Limb” feature.)

This explains why statements about the pope such as that one are neither powerful nor prophetic in any way. They are, instead, what experts call “super-duper wimpy” (a technical theological term).

Let’s look at it: “The next pope will either be the final antichrist, help pave the way for the final antichrist, or will resist the final antichrist.”

Given that the pope is in charge of the Roman Catholic Church, this statement is virtually a tautology — a statement that cannot be false in any way. For instance, consider the universe of possibilities:

1) The next pope is the final antichrist. Done! Non-prophet is “proven” correct.

2) The next pope is not the final antichrist. Is still correct! Look at possibilities:

2A) The next pope continues Catholic teachings as they are. Done! Time moves forward, the stage continues to be set for the final antichrist, and the way continues to be paved! Non-prophet is “proven” correct.

2B) The next pope changes things. Well, if he changes them in a way that would make things more like what one would picture concerning the final antichrist: Done! The way continues to be paved, only faster. But, if he changes them in a way that would seem to resist the sort of arrangement that the future final antichrist would want: Still done! His actions resist the direction of the final antichrist. In both cases, non-prophet is “proven” correct.

Really, how can such a statement be false? It can’t be. No matter what happens, the “statement” is correct. It’s risk-free and completely non-prophetic. It’s a gutless statement that makes a mockery of the biblical office of Prophet.

Now, it isn’t that statements such as that don’t have a function in instruction, such as in clarifying the universe of choices for a person in terms they can understand. I do it all the time with my kids. But when it comes to prophecy, they are pointless. One might as well go to Disneyland, point at the guy wearing the Mickey suit and say, “If he lives long enough, Mickey Mouse either will be the final antichrist, will support the final antichrist, or will be against the final antichrist.” Given that in the context of biblical prophecy, neutrality is not an option, such a statement is going to be true no matter what happens in the future. And when a pronouncement is just as true of Mickey Mouse as it is the pope, you don’t have a Prophet in your midst.

And, importantly, when someone makes such a statement and then points back to it (“See, I said that the next pope might pave the way for the final antichrist!”), they are making no substantive claim whatsoever. Though claiming prophecy-proving fruits, in reality they are making no claim at all. Their previous comment was completely devoid of information, so they were making a risk-free statement: Creating a cost-free, risk-free arbitrage opportunity for themselves. Not exactly the biblical model for prophetic statements. In fact, quite the opposite. It’s neither prophecy nor even carnal “prediction” — it’s just wasted words.

Yet, as I mentioned, it isn’t truly cost-free. When such statements are made, those who are thinking will notice and will understand the spirit that motivates them, and it isn’t a “prophetic” one. And the Non-Prophet will lose credibility. At least, we should hope so.

I’ll consider posting more such deceptive techniques in the future, and regrettably “Arbitrage through Tautology” is only one of many. The Bible says that there would be many false prophets in the end times seeking to deceive God’s people and coming in Christ’s name (e.g., Matt. 7:15-20; 24:4-5, 11; 2 Peter 2:1; et al.), and they may be sincere — not just deceiving, but self-deceived, as well (cf. 2 Tim. 3:13), since Jeremiah 17:9 applies to all of us — but as Mr. Armstrong frequently said, one can be sincere but sincerely wrong. Frankly, such wishy-washy, risk-free tautologies aren’t necessarily crafted by people out to deceive in many cases — often the statement is simply an outgrown of the person’s own inner doubts and the fact that they are not, actually, a prophet. So in expressing all the possibilities they need to express in order to ensure they will be correct, the result is a tautology that never will be — the only kind of guaranteed “prophecy” a plain old, human, carnal mind can come up with.

Making statements and pronouncements that sound impressive but, in reality, are wishy-washy and cannot truly ever be false because they cover every realistic possibility does not a Prophet make. But for a Non-Prophet wanting to look prophetic, they do great.

25 thoughts on “Techniques of Non-Prophets: Arbitrage through Tautology

  1. Don Wheatley

    Now, a man we all know very well said that a particular change in doctrine was actually Christ speaking through him to make that change and he said that this is the final change on this particular doctrine. I believed him — that it was Christ that was speaking through him — yet many today do not believe that to be the case. He said he was not a prophet but yet in this case he claimed Christ was actually using him to make a ruling on a particular doctrine.

    I believe it was from Christ and yet I am told by others that the fault is in me for believing what this man claimed. Yet that is what this man stated in a sermon that I have a transcript for.

    “…But it wasn’t I getting to it [the change in a particular doctrine]. It was CHRIST IN ME. CHRIST IN ME is the hope of glory–not me. I don’t speak to you; it is Christ speaking IN and FROM me. This is the voice of CHRIST speaking to one who has yielded to let Christ take over his speech…”

    So there is no need to hunt for non-prophets if you have practically labeled your very father in the Faith a fake by disregarding his authority in speaking on behalf of the greatest Prophet of all — Jesus Christ. Your spiritual authority is bankrupt by disregarding this man’s claim, don’t you think?

    I would hold fast to his words and not disregard his claim that Christ was speaking through him. Because you are no better than the non-prophets you are trying to expose if you dismiss Jesus Christ speaking through him as being a lie by some misguided and deceived man you once were aligned with.

    But these are just some of my thoughts for what they are worth.

    Sincerely,

    Don W.

  2. Thanks, Mr. Wheatley. Yes, Jesus Christ is both the greatest Prophet and the greatest Apostle in the Church. And, under Him, we will continue to do as Mr. Armstrong said and prove all things in Scripture. He condemned those who treated him like a pope, making clear that he believed the following: “Any criterion that assumes God’s true Work through humans is absolutely perfect, unable to be wrong or make mistakes or hold to any error, is a false measuring stick and will mislead you.” He also made clear that the true Church of God will always compare itself to the Bible and adjust where it must, however small that adjustment may be. He held none of his own statements to be above that criteria, though you’ve made it clear that you do.

    If you want to rattle on with your Gospel of Make-Up — which, you’ve made clear, is very, very, very important to you — feel free to do it in private conversation with me, but I will dismiss your comments on the blog until you prove your point to me in the Bible, which you refused to do. Again: I’ve asked you to prove to me your points from the Bible, as Mr. Armstrong would require you to be able to do.Shamefully, you have actually refused to do so. And until you are willing and able to do so instead of dishonoring Mr. Armstrong by ironically disregarding him as you do in your spirit of shameful popish idolatry, then I will not allow you to take up space here declaring your personally perceived sense of righteousness.

    Put up or shut up, Mr. Wheatley. Either it’s in the Bible or it’s not. Prove it to me in our offline conversations, and I will happily allow you to come back onto the blog and trumpet how wonderful your personal devotion and faithfulness is like you enjoy doing. But if you can’t do as Mr. Armstrong asked, please step aside for those who are doing so. Thanks.

    P.S. I know you will claim “persecution” for your “faithfulness” at this point, which is what you’ve consistently done in the past. (Even the recent past.) I’m sure I will get an e-mail saying something similar. Yet, I note that when Mr. Armstrong was challenged by someone claiming the Bible disagreed with him, rather than whining and claiming persecution, he actually grabbed his Bible and responded. Perhaps you will rediscover his example and learn to honor with more than your lips.

  3. I always like your stretching of my vocabulary and tautology is certainly an example. While some “prophets” exercise tautology in an attempt to appeal to logic, some “prophets” also remind me of some of my favorite tautonym: Gorilla Gorilla – the archetypical embodiment of brute force. “If you don’t like my prophecy – I will remove you from our presence and make you anathema to your friends and family.” I’m really feeling the Matt 5:4 and Ezk 9:4 as society moves away from civilized behavior in the guise of religion, embracing diversity, or “free lies.”

  4. Don Wheatley

    After reading your public and private put-downs and refusal to submit God’s end-time Apostle. I repeat. You and your church group’s spiritual authority over God’s heritage is bankrupt. You and your group are examples of how NOT to hold fast to what we were taught. Repent. Thank you for posting my response to your public personal attacks.

  5. obeirne

    There are always those who have eyes and cannot see, who have ears and cannot hear! The deceived don’t know that they are deceived just like those who cannot see the forest for the trees. No amount of reasoning will convince them and they will not be persuaded to go to the source of all truth which is the Bible and examine their convictions in the light of that truth. The Living Church of God has been and remains faithful as is evidenced by the power through which it is carrying out the Great Commission of delivering the message of repentance, preaching the Gospel of the soon-coming Kingdom of God and in shouting out the Ezekiel warning to the Israelite descended nations and the world. No self-appointed prophets in the true Church of God.

  6. Perhaps in your follow-up posts you could present an explanation of what a “prophet” is in the context of explaining the techniques of “non-prophets.” I’ve found that most folks have an automatic reaction to any prediction not made by their own group’s ministry. And, all the other groups do the same. To me, this causes a state of non-examination, that is, answering a matter before hearing it. The Proverbs cause this foolishness.

    What I mean by that is this: Mr. Armstrong spoke often of prophetic events. Not all of them came true according to his critics. Those who defend him offer various solutions to any prophetic “miss-hits.”

    So, what is a “prophet” that one should listen to, and what is a “prophet” one should not listen to? To me, a proper definition would eliminate most problems when dealing with this subject.

    Because of personal experience with this subject, I’d like to offer one potential consideration. Why? Because, after declaring certain events would happen on live TV, which then did I’ve personally had this reaction. I have told a few church folks in private about doing that. Their immediate reaction was: “Oh, so you think you are a prophet. According to Dt. you are a false prophet.”

    On the other hand, in talking with a very distraught church member of a certain group, my wife and I told her what we had done on Public Access TV for 20 years, and some of the results we obtained. Why did I tell her? Because she was in despair over splits in her group, and having her own family reject her. What we told her immediately lifted her spirits. She did not say, “Oh, so you think you are a prophet.”

    Now, here is why I believe you need to explain what you mean when you talk about a “prophet” and a “false-prophet.” Mr. Armstrong often said he was not a prophet. What did he mean by that, since he talked about prophecy and claimed certain events should happen?

    If he were a prophet, in the sense most people think when they see or hear the word “prophet” then he was a failure. If, on the other hand, a proper understanding were given of what he was doing, then he would not be, nor could be a failure and a false prophet.

    Here then is one definition that clarifies, at least to me, what I often heard from Mr. Armstrong about prophecy. What people think when they see or hear “prophet” is this. A man that has visions, visits from angels, has dreams, or has a voice talking to him alone giving him information about prophecy. That is, claiming to speak for the Creator when he isn’t. If this is what people think Herbert Armstrong was doing, then they are wrong.

    On the other hand, what he was doing was simply this. He was a man, depending on the Father’s Word, the Bible, as a guide. He read the book, and grew in understanding. As he learned he read the prophecies ALREADY WRITTEN in the Bible. When he felt he understood what a prophecy was about, he explained what he understood at the time. In other words, he just simply said, look, this is what these verses appear to say. When that was a wrong understanding, he admitted it. When he was right or came close, then the Bible and especially the Author of the Bible got all the credit. He didn’t take the credit.

    He did not speak from dreams, visions, angel visits, or voices, etc. False prophets do.

    Perhaps, this doesn’t fit with most who wish to criticize the man, but one should not criticize anyone based on a false understanding of a word. So, how would you define what you mean when you write “prophet” and/or “false-prophet?”

    Bob

  7. Howdy, Mr. Petry, and thanks for your thoughts. Actually, I would direct anyone interested to enroll in our Bible Study Course, either by mail or online, as one of the lessons goes into detail about the different offices God has appointed and used at various times. However, especially given your comments, I think the simplest thing to do is refer to Mr. Armstrong’s own comment, which I think summarizes some key biblical facts about the office of Prophet: “Emphatically I am not a prophet, in the sense of one to whom God speaks specially and directly, revealing personally a future event to happen or new truth, or new and special instruction direct from God—separate from, and apart from what is contained in the Bible. And I never have claimed to be.” There is certainly more that could be said, but that is a good place to start. And a false prophet–again, keeping things simple–would be one who claims to hold the office of prophet but is not, discernable in a number of ways (among them, not fitting that definition).

    I hope that helps. Thanks, again.

  8. Mr. Smith,

    Thanks for the prompt reply. Glad you had a quote of what Mr. Armstrong said about his being a “prophet.” The sad part is, the critics will not accept that, they will only accept the rumors and distortions that ‘support’ their own position.

    I once was with Mr. Armstrong and Stan Rader where Mr. Armstrong had to strongly tell Mr. Rader that he was wrong. He was telling Mr. Armstrong how great he was in building the Work, etc. etc. Mr. Armstrong said to him: “Stan that is not true. All of this is because of the Eternal who is behind this work. He deserves ALL the credit, not me.”

    Those are not his exact words but as best as I can remember them today.

    Interestingly Mr. Armstrong did not have to do that since no one else was around. He could have just thanked him for seeing how “great” Mr. Armstrong was.

    This is the kind of thing the critics NEVER got to see or hear. But, they sure listen to all the hyped up criticisms.

    Anyway, I’m looking forward to your follow-up articles on, shall I say, “non-prophets.”

    Bob

  9. Mr. Smith and Mr. Petry: I’m just loving this mini-conversation you’re having.

    I remember the first time I met Mr. Armstrong. It was outside the hall where the Tucson, AZ. WCG met, in the summer of 1977 (obviously he gave the sermon that Sabbath). There he was in the bright desert sunlight, white-haired, in a vanilla ice cream suit, not at all tall. I told him I was about to attend AC Pasadena that year and he was pleased by that. But my intuition and value judgment (I see in hindsight) were wide open to who and what he was as a person and as a servant of God in those few moments. He had something far more, or something perhaps far other, than mere personal charisma and warmth, such as I encountered in James Earl Jones when I met him many years later. He had a radiance from within the degree of which I’ve not encountered before or since – although the same kind is found in all of God’s true ministers that I’ve met singly and in groups. He reminded me then of a sentence from the first volume of Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings (Gandalf concerning the possible future of Frodo): he was like a glass filled with a clear light for those to see who can. The outward appearance only accented the effect. And yet, he was humble and meek alike (these two virtues are not the same)! He knew who he was and Who he served and the vast difference between the two, and he had learned from his life’s sufferings as well.

    In later years I got to see him in more human circumstances. I’ve also seen much of our old literature from the Radio and Worldwide days and know where he erred and much of why. Only recently did I realize that he and my late mother, in the ways they perceived the world and decided what to do about what they perceived, were very much alike indeed. Understand how Mr. Armstrong’s mind worked on that level, and you understand the strengths and weaknesses he manifested both humanly and as a Christian. And understanding that, you know he made even his mistakes with an honest heart – and if Christ really is in you, you can forgive him for those lapses as He’s forgiven yours.

    Sometimes Mr. Armstrong made impulsive claims about his authority in reaction to challenges to that authority. Sometimes he could become very “critical-parental” when it came to holding the unity of the Church as a group together. Sometimes his intuition about people badly failed him. Sometimes he came to the right doctrinal or biblical-prophetic conclusions for the wrong factual and logical reasons and we his heirs have had to correct these faults one at a time. So what? Who among us wouldn’t make mistakes as bad or worse, if not necessarily the same ones, were we in his position? The fact is Herbert W. Armstrong was ordained as an apostle of the primitive faith by the Oregon Conference (as none of the Twelve, the Seven and the Seventy of Dugger and Dodd were so far as they documented – these were only called elders in their famous book and they called Mr. Armstrong the 40th of these without his being present). He proved he was an apostle in fact by what he did, particularly in his desire to find the truth and his ability to find it, but also in his preaching and administration. He never showed the fruits of a New Testament Church prophet and he said so (see Mr. Smith’s comment above).

    Mr. Armstrong was also the best self-taught logician I ever knew (that millstone in his mind ground slowly, but it ground exceedingly fine) and I learned a lot about handling my own very similar brand of logical systems thinking from his example. That’s one reason why I’m still here in God’s Church after all it’s been through these past thirty-plus years. From him I learned how to avoid what Paul calls “heresies”, not just “factions” which also concerned Mr. Armstrong greatly.

  10. Robert Petry

    Mr. Wheeler,

    Glad to see your response. 1977 was quite awhile ago now. Mr. Armstrong lived in Tucson during that time as I recall. The first time I ever saw him myself was in 1959, and he was wearing a white suit at that time too. It looked to me like the same kind he wore on the day you are speaking of.

    As for the fruits of Mr. Armstrong, he caused a lot of people to stick their nose in the Bible and study it. The trouble is, he was also facing something he knew about, but probably didn’t grasp the full impact of it until his later years. That is the prophecies he mentioned several times about the breakup that was coming within the WCG. What occurred was inevitable, and as he mentioned in several Bible Studies, we can now see the end results. I don’t think most who heard him on this subject believed him, or understood what was coming. In fact, I have talked with people who say they don’t even remember him preaching on the subject. Well, he did, and here we all are today… looking back on reality that came true.

    Bob

  11. Thanks for replying, Mr. Petry. I can think of several things Mr. Armstrong, Dr. Hoeh, Mr. Waterhouse and others said and wrote which might qualify as what you’re thinking of. We knew that the Laodicean Work would arise out of our preaching – that much everyone agreed on so far as I recall. But I recall nothing even in the old literature I’ve searched before my time in which anyone ever suggested the WCG would break up in the process. If you can find such a reference in print, I’d be glad to look it up as it would shed light on questions I’m researching.

    It is so tempting to describe the other thoughts now en route in my mind thanks to you (if Mr. Smith will pardon the pun), and I just tried – but I decided to forebear. They’re more appropriately sent to our senior ministry and I do have oversight by our pastor in the Personal Correspondence Dept. which allows and enables me to do that.

  12. A pleasant discussion, fellows, but I’d rather cut off the side discussion here and encourage you to continue it, if you’d like, on John’s personal blog. I’m sure Mr. Wheeler would enjoy that. Thanks for the comments!

  13. Myra McQueen

    Herbert Armstrong was an advertising man. He knew how to sell himself to others. If Loma’s dream about the angel’s prophecy that Christ was coming soon, and that she and Herbert needed to forget about the world, and preach the gospel, why was it not fulfilled? He not only failed to preach the gospel to the world, but he changed his doctrines several times. BTW, the angel was a false prophet if that dream was supposed to be fulfilled in the near future. If Herbert Armstrong was not a false prophet, then whose was he preaching, that he can say they were not his? As I recall, he also claimed that he did not get the truth from other men, but like Paul, he got his revelations from Christ. So are you saying that Christ gave his Aposte the wrong information?
    If his 72 prophecy was going to fail, did he get it from Christ? and if so why did Christ say in Mark 13:32 that no one would know but the Father? not even Him?

    Why did HWA claim to be the only one who preached the true gospel in 1800 years if there have been 7 church eras, as he also claimed? Did they not have the truth? If so, how could they have been identified by him as part of the true church?

  14. Thanks, Ms. McQueen. I’m happy to respond, though I should make two things clear from the outset. First, this post (and others on the same topic that may follow) is about those who falsely take the title of “Prophet” on to themselves — something that Mr. Armstrong did not do. In fact, he emphatically denied being such. Secondly, if you’d like to publish additional similarly off-base criticisms, I invite yo to do so elsewhere. In my experience, even after inaccurate statements such as yours are answered, it doesn’t stop them from coming, and I’m not interested in giving you a forum for such accusations, regardless of how sincerely you may believe them (and I do believe you are sincere). So future such comments from you will not be posted. Feel free to check my comment policy if you would like.

    Indeed, Mr. Armstrong was an advertising man, for which I am thankful — it was a gift and a blessing! Concerning Mr. Armstrong getting “the truth” from other men, you are mistaken. He speaks of a very specific time in his life when Christ brought him to the truth, not to everything he came to understand over the time after that. In fact, Mr. Roderick C. Meredith frequently speaks of how Mr. Armstrong and those who worked under him would study God’s Word together as they were learning truth, and Mr. Armstrong, himself, spoke of how helpful the works of those men (e.g., Mr. Raymond McNair) were in helping the Church to grow to greater understanding. You overgeneralize a comment Mr. Armstrong made to turn it into something he did not actually say and something he said quite the opposite of. As for the dream you mention being unfulfilled, making the “angel” to which you refer a false prophet, I would caution you: By your own logic you make a “false prophet” out of Jesus Christ, Himself, who was the first to declare, “I am coming quickly” (Rev. 22:20). Also, Christ’s words in Mark 13:32 are clearly in the present tense. There is no reason we have to assume that the glorified Christ does not now know the timing of his impending return, is there? Certainly there seems to be no such requirement in Scripture; in fact, there is much to commend the idea that the Church will be very aware of the day once the last prophetic events occur a handful of years before Christ’s return. And, finally, as for the condition of the seven church era and how they relate to their identity and the amount of the truth they possessed, the best thing to do would be to refer you to our excellent booklet on the matter, “God’s Church Through the Ages” by Mr. John Ogwyn. It addresses exactly those questions much better than I ever could.

    I appreciate your comment, however unrelated it was to this post, in that it has given me a chance to address such errors. But, again, my blog is not intended as one of those back-and-forth food fight sorts of places on the Internet, nor as a forum for folks to throw out a variety of accusations that would simply take up my time constantly answering. There are places for that on the Internet, to be sure, but this isn’t one of them. At the same time, if you see a post you disagree with and wish to say so without simultaneously being disagreeable, please feel free, a long as the comment policy is kept in mind.

    Thanks, again.

  15. Myra McQueen

    Sorry Mr.Smith. Obviously this is an apologetic forum that doesn’t think outside the Armstrong box. My apologies. I did not know that Christ did not mean what He said in Mk.13:32, that only His Father knows the timing. And you know that he was wrong because He knew when He would come? Strange that He would say that even the Son did not know when He actually did? Isn’t that the same thing as not telling the truth?

  16. And I am sorry, as well, that the English language is such a challenge for you. I recommend getting a book of grammar and studying what is meant by the present tense. Christ said “I thirst” in John 19:28. Is He eternally in a state of thirst? In Matthew 26:38, Jesus said, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.” Is He eternally in a state of agony and sorrow? Is He now, in heaven, in a state where He is overwhelmed to the point of death? Sorry, but your comments are nonsensical; you seem to have let your bias against prophecy overrule common sense. Jesus understands the difference between present tense and future tense, and between what was then His current state and the state He would have upon His glorification (John 7:33, 17:5).

    In fact, you are apparently ignorant of even mainstream and “orthodox” Christianity, which states that such statements by Jesus as Mark 13:32 reflect His state on earth, not His state after His ascension to heaven. Apparently, you aren’t even a good mainstream Christian, let alone someone knowledgable about the Bible.

    Now there’s a twist: I have to educate you about even what the world’s Christianity says and not simply the truth. If you are actually that ignorant about Mark 13:32, you don’t have to ask me about it. Even your bargain basement Baptist or Methodist minister could explain it to you — in this case, you are the one out of step with common biblical understanding, not me. How funny that you would characterize that as being trapped in some sort of box. The rest of Christianity, even that vast part I disagree with, is looking with me at your statement and wondering how in the world you justify it, and yet I’m the one trapped in a box? Interesting.

    Focus on learning and not fighting, and you might be surprised what you’ll learn. You might even rediscover the joy available to those who read the Bible with a good dose of common sense.

  17. Ms. McQueen, speaking of thinking outside the box, one should ask a few questions about the verse your are talking about, i.e. Mk. 13:32.
    1. Are you 100% positive it is talking about what you claim?
    2. Considering the flow of the 3 chapters in the NT that mention this subject, do all three have something in common you have overlooked?
    3. Are you just quoting what you have been told about what the verse “means,” or did you figure that out yourself?

    There are more questions. But, let me mention a very interesting thing that most who make this complaint overlook. Without trying to explain it now, let me say this: At the time the Messiah did not know the day or the hour, nor His disciples, nor the people of that day. Today, all of us know the day and the hour, or can look it up. It is no longer hidden from us, and it is in the past.

    Again, speaking of thinking outside the box, try reading Mt. 24, Mk 13, and Lk. 21, with a different outlook and see what you find.

    If no one can find what I’m talking about, I’ll be glad to explain. But, look closer, what you will find is, to me, quite exciting. And, if you find it, you will no longer be confused. Finally, ask yourself “day and hour of WHAT.” It’s there in all the three chapters.

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