Monday, February 22, 2010

Preacher tells us Obama is a forebearer of End Times

I first must report, before writing what I'm about to, that a great good majority of the preaching at Union Gospel Mission is fine on many levels and comports to the mainstream of Christianity, as I understand it.

It remains rare that some yahoo with bacon strips in his hair steps up to the cross-shaped lectern and spews a bunch of hate or nonsense.

The latest in the hate / nonsense category comes from a fellow from Epic Bible College [until recently, its name was Trinity Life Bible College] who made the very direct implication, if not the very explicit statement, that Barrack Obama is the Antichrist, that forebodes End Times

While I have doubts about a lot of what even the many many noble and hardy and sane mainstream preachers say, it may not surprise y'all to know that I disagree with Pastor Wallace's assessment of our president. I do not think that he is the Antichrist.

The circumstance of Pastor Wallace's dire assessment came as he was wound up making a claim that the world was entering End Times. One of the indicators of End Times, he told us, was the establishment of a one-world government and the arrival of the Antichrist. Barrack Obama, he immediately then said, was hailed often as the Messiah.

Now it may be that during 2008, as the Presidential election approached, Obama, highly regarded as someone who would save our country from the dire circumstance where George W. Bush had taken us, was a savior, of sorts. There is a meaning of Messiah, spelled in lowercase, that is not referential to the Christian savior. A messiah, in a secular meaning that it has, is someone who delivers us from a bad situation [meaning # 3, below].  Here, the definition of Messiah/messiah from dictionary.com:

Mes·si·ah
   /mɪˈsaɪə/ Show Spelled[mi-sahy-uh] –noun
1. the promised and expected deliverer of the Jewish people.
2. Jesus Christ, regarded by Christians as fulfilling this promise and expectation. John 4:25, 26.
3. (usually lowercase) any expected deliverer.
4. (usually lowercase) a zealous leader of some cause or project.
5. (italics) an oratorio (1742) by George Frideric Handel.

Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote something pithy that speaks to the wisdom that we shouldn't idolotrize words (like messiah/Messiah): "A word is not a crystal, transparent and unchanged; it is the skin of a living thought and may vary greatly in color and content according to the circumstances and time in which it is used."

Pastor Wallace also told us that America was being taken over by China. He seemed, clearly, to be referring to the large number of US Bonds the Asian country holds, and not to the large amount of products made in China available at Dollar Stores in the United States.

Understand that China holds American bonds and as is the case with any common bondholder cannot demand a preemptive payment. The only thing China might do is start selling those bonds on the market in large number.

According to Gary Burness of the think tank Brookings:

[China] currently owns almost 10% of the total [US] Treasury debt held by the public. This is slightly less than the percentage held by Japan and residents of Japan, but substantially more than the percentage held by any other country. I'm inclined to think a Chinese sell-off of U.S. Treasuries would on balance benefit the United States.
China has not been buying much in the way of United States bonds lately. And THAT presents no problems for anybody.

Burtless goes on the write:

If the dollar fell in value compared with other currencies [because of a swift China sell-off] I think we would see a faster U.S. recovery, especially in manufacturing. A precipitous and disorderly fall in the dollar could take a terrible toll on worldwide confidence and hence on the economic recovery, but an orderly decline would spark revival in a number of U.S. industries.
In other words, us owing China a lot of money isn't a scarry problem. China, though growing in economic stature, is still puny compared to the mighty United States.

And if China were to sell out its US Bond holdings, it would do vastly more damage to itself, and likely none to the US.

Maybe End Times are near, but that isn't connected to our President or China.

Note:  Union Gospel Mission allows churches and other missionary groups to speak before the congregation that gathers there so long as they comport to a literal interpretation of the Bible.  Preachers or speakers from Trinity Life [now, Epic] have been excellent in the past.  Ron Smith, an up-and-coming preacher who recently graduated from Epic/Trinity Life is highly, highly, highly favored by the Union Gospel Mission crowd for his excellence.  Smith graduated from the mission's Rehab program approx. five years ago.

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