I surfed over to http://www.foxnews.com/ to check out the news. I had been busy all day with the kids and cleaning up all the mess from having multiple family visits during the past couple of weeks. There had been a snippet of something about Saddam's execution being shown on YouTube, but before I caught what the jist of the story was, the anchor had moved onto something else.
What caught my attention first was this: Pat Robertson's prediction.
And, so we have yet another inflammatory prediction by a Christian leader. During the year of 2005, after all of the hurricanes of 2004 and Katrina in September, many Christian leaders pontificated about God's judgements against the US. They did the same thing after the September 11th attacks and various other disasters and shocking circumstances.
The problem with most of the interpretations of these events is that they come in hindsight. Throughout the Bible, God always forewarns of disaster before it actually happens; in some cases, hundreds of years before they happen. He does not speak to his children after it is too late to bring about a different outcome.
Predictions of specific disasters always hinge on an if/then prophecy. He proclaims the upcoming wrath, describes why it is coming, and allows plenty of time for repentance and change. That is the whole point of a doomsday prophecy, to motivate people to action. If He simply wanted to wipe people out, He would. Why go about confusing things and wasting time with wrathful proclamations? The story of Jonah is a perfect example of this method. Jonah is sent to Ninevah with a simple, terrifying message:"Forty more days and Ninevah will be overturned."(Jonah 3:4)
This caused a huge panic in the people. They fasted, prayed, turned from their evil ways and escaped God's wrath.
"When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened."(Jonah 3:10)
I would be wary of anyone reading God's specific will into situations after they have occurred. If they possessed such great wisdom and understanding, then we should have heard from them before anything actually happened.
Back to Pat Robertson...
Here we have a prediction of future events. Not being one who wants to taunt what might actually be God speaking to Robertson, I won't out and out deny the possibility. However, I would say to him, "What's your point?" I mean, if you're going to make vague predictions about US terrorist attacks that could easily be lifted from a "24" script, then you'd better have something more to go on then,"Oh, by the way, millions are going to be affected." If God is speaking to you about something, He usually has a greater purpose than letting us know that we might want to pick out our caskets now.
The use of vague fear is repulsive and demeaning to the message of Christ. We know that there are going to be disasters. We know that terrible circumstances will only worsen before His return. He has already warned us and told us to be ready and prepared for such events.
Our preparations are not to consist of underground bunkers and ten years worth of baked beans. There aren't enough generators in the world to provide a peaceful heart. We are not to run from one panicked state to another, living on the adrenaline of imminent danger.
Death is coming for everyone; it might happen in a nuclear attack or falling off a ladder while taking down the Christmas lights. We are not to live in fear, but in faith. Our preparations should consist of a heart for spreading His message of reconciliation to Him, forgiveness for sins, and hope for a glorious future.
If someone is insistent on inciting anxiety and worry, I would avoid them.