By Nathan Jones
My brothers and sisters in Christ, it's time to gather for a family meeting.
Maybe you remember family meetings as a child or even as a parent held some with your own family? If so, you know the purpose of these family meetings is to address some issue or make some decision that affects the whole family in order to discern solutions, achieve peaceful familial accord, and provide direction. And so, let's gather in the living room and talk.
I subscribe to a plethora of e-newsletters covering the range of politics, education, media, technology, Web marketing, news, Israel, and, of course, Bible prophecy. I receive Bible prophecy e-newsletters from Hal Lindsey, Jan Markel, Chuck Missler, Bill Salus, Kade Hawkins and a half-a-dozen others. I love reading as much as I can from each of these great sources, and value all they have to say, whether I personally agree with their conclusions or not.
One of the Bible prophecy e-newsletters I'm always interested in reading is Ray Gano's Prophezine. What a shock it was for me to find the latest (3/30/09) Prophezine e-newsletter was about us here at The Christ in Prophecy Journal. Here's what Ray wrote to all the brethren signed up to receive his e-newsletter:
Special PZ Insider Report & Announcement
"I have one thing to say to Joel and all of his cronies and thugs: Get the hell off of this blog and go back to your little hole in the ground!! Get a life and just admit that you don't know what the heck you are even talking about. You and your damnable eisegesis can go to hell along with all of the other cultists and malcontents who reject what our Lord and savior have to say. Amen!"
I have learned from several people of the absolute trashing of fellow believers on a very popular Bible prophecy teacher’s website. This is being condoned and supported by the webmaster because these prideful (and potty mouthed) individuals agree with "their" position.
What amazes me is that provable errors are being presented as truth, and it seems that these errors no longer matter and in fact are being supported. I was reading some very good posts on this site showing very solid evidence both scriptural and historical and yet the hate and venom coming from these people are mind blowing.
The teachings of man are being elevated higher where reason, logic and properly applied hermeneutics are all being thrown out. Scripture is ignored and the witness for Christ has been destroyed.
Look for a special issue and announcement in the very near future.
In His Service,
Ray & Tracye Gano
Wow! I have to say it again — Wow! Where to begin...
Well, first off, may it be known that I like Ray Gano. I've always enjoyed running into him at conferences and sharing Web ministry ideas. I may have gotten the position at Lamb & Lion that he applied for, but he's never (that I've known of) held a grudge that the Lord wants me serving here and himself serving at Prophezine.
Second, I have to thank Ray for not saying our website or my name directly, and instead using "very popular Bible prophecy teacher’s website" and "webmaster." Although, from the letters that came in from folks flabbergasted that a Bible prophecy ministry like Prophezine would waste pixels lambasting another Bible prophecy ministry's website, folks knew what and who he was referring to.
So let's talk about the comment the Prophezine e-newsletter states was posted on this blog. Because, it was. On Tuesday, March 17, 2009 6:21:00 PM CDT, someone using the default name "Anonymous" posted an angry comment inside the thread discussing the Sunni view of the Mahdi, a sub-topic of the much debated "Antichrist will be a Muslim" theory. It was a rather strange comment, really, not in character with any of the visitors I'm familiar with, and out-of-place in the discussion. But still, the discussion was heated as folks who held either side of the discussion felt frustrated others weren't accepting their point-of-view. So, the comment could have been made by one of our regular visitors, but I personally doubt it.
What I think many of us agree is a perk to this site is the opportunity to have a free discussion of topics without needing approval before one's comment is posted. It generates a lot more discussion and builds good dialogue. For me, I've even made new friends with this format.
I read every comment every person leaves, and per our discussed rules delete comments that swear, are too long-winded (which we all can be), double as spam, or are totally irrelevant. As per our rules, I deleted that comment. In the time delay that it took me to do that, if the comment caused anybody offense, as it did seem to Ray, my deepest apologies if it offended.
As for those who get involved in the blog discussions and the many that just observe without posting, I defend their right to discuss various theories, express their emotions, talk about God's work in their life, share advice, and just generally work out their salvation with fear and trembling. That we're a prideful, potty-mouthed group of Dave Reagan-worshippers who are beyond reason, logic and applied hermeneutics, as Ray put it, I most vehemently disagree. What makes The Christ in Prophecy Journal great for me is the blessing of so many people that add so much richness by adding their various biblical interpretations, well-researched verses, varying theories, and most importantly their devotion to God. Sure we get a few Muslims and atheists join in, but everyone reaches out to them in love, taking the opportunity to share the Gospel with them.
What I have discovered in reading previous Prophezine e-newsletters and from some supporters of the "Beast from the East" Antichrist theory, is that they are dismayed that many of those who support a Roman background for the Antichrist are just not convinced by their arguments. They go on to assume that since we haven't found their arguments have altered ours, that we must be blindly following the teachings of unenlightened men. That we have so much discussion on this site is proof that our readers want to know what both sides believe, and are well read on the subject. I'm sorry, Ray, that me and others are not convinced by your theory, but that does not make us stupid, blind, or ditto-heads.
And here's the real crux of the issue... all this fuss over the origins of the Antichrist really doesn't matter. Sure, some who hold to the Post-Tribulation view feel very strongly that they have to know who the Antichrist is in order to avoid the Mark of the Beast and thereby avoid eternal damnation, and I give them that. But, what the origins of the Antichrist really are is not even secondary doctrine, much less primary.
When it gets down to it, some Bible prophecy teachers have rested their entire teachings, and thereby their entire relevance, on this one "Antichrist origin" non-issue. Because their reputations and even livelihoods are based on this theory, they must make sure it stays in the discussion. It can be the only reason Ray's keeping this going, and even plans yet another special issue to talk about us talking about it.
I've been asked many times what I'd do if I found myself living in the Tribulation and wrong about the timing of the Rapture. Like many other noted Pre-Tribulation Rapture supporters have answered, "write about where we went wrong." Lamb & Lion Ministries will only hang our hat, and our reputation, on the primary, essential doctrines and continue to preach the soon return of Jesus Christ.
Thank you, Family, for your time! Now, let's get back on track and move on united in bringing souls to Christ.