Bamberger Apokalypse - Book with 7 Seals - The Second BeastA funny thing happened while Tim LaHaye and a cadre of like-minded proponents of cosmic doom ventured to Hawai’i to discuss their predictions of divinely-ordained cataclysm: They were rudely interrupted by the approach of a tsunami produced by the earthquake that rocked Japan a couple days ago. This event fit neatly into the doomsday scenarios that led him to establish the “Left Behind” publishing empire and made him a millionaire. He chose to explain all of this via his media outlet of choice, World Net Daily (locally-cached version):

Tim LaHaye, the best-selling author of the “Left Behind” series of Bible prophecy novels, was one of many visiting the island of Maui who had to be evacuated to upper floors of the Marriott Hotel today.

He said being caught in the crossfire of the fourth largest earthquake in modern history helped prepare him for two prophecy conferences he was scheduled to address in Hawaii.

“The Bible tells us in Matthew 24 that one of the signs of the last days — one of the birth pangs to occur — is an increase in earthquake activity and intensity,” LaHaye told WND. “We’re seeing that happen here. It’s not just earthquakes, but hurricanes and all kinds of natural disasters.”

That earthquakes (and hurricanes and other things) happen all the time, around the world, and have been happening since long before there ever was a “Biblical prophecy” — hence, one earthquake cannot possibly have been “prophesied” in the Bible — appears not to matter much to LaHaye. Like a dutiful literalist-End Timer, he rattles off a number of Bible verses he claims predicted the Japan earthquake … as though that can impress anyone not already part of his dour Christianist doomsday cult.

I love how hyperreligious nutcases are so eager to use human misery as a tool to promote themselves and their agendas, as Marion “Pat” Robertson did 14 months ago in the wake of the earthquake in Haiti. I expect LaHaye will meet any criticism he receives over this, with continued defiance and claims to be “right,” as Robertson did in the wake of the controversy that erupted over his own comments. These guys never back down, they never admit error, and they never concede anything … ever … no matter the facts of the issue at hand.

At any rate, it’s curious that LaHaye used chapter 24 of the gospel according to Matthew in order to support his “Bible prophecy.” It’s in this chapter that Jesus made predictions that have proven demonstrably incorrect. For example:

Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. (Mt 24:34)

By “all these things,” Jesus means the catastrophes LaHaye himself cited. Way to go, Tim, quoting a prophecy that proved false … since all the people Jesus spoke to — members of the “this generation” — have long since died, without “the End” having come while they were still around.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

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