Tuesday, June 06, 2006

6-6-6 or Why This Day's Like Any Other Day No Matter What The Wackos Say?

seis seis seis
hexa hexa hexa
sita sita sita
sei sei sei
sexta sexta sexta
sechs sechs sechs

The above is Spanish, Greek, Swahili, Italian, Latin and German for:


[cue horror music theme] bwahhahahaha!

You saw that coming, huh?

Yeah, that's today's date, but it's also a trio of numbers that makes for all sorts of cultural, theological, and looney-fringe associations. The evidence:

1. Oodles of books and seminars over the past few decades speculating on who the Beast is and what the Mark will be and when it will all come to pass, mebbe. Think Hal Lindsey or Grant Jeffrey or Salem Kirban and on and on and on. I think the wackiness really got nuclear fission hot when I was a pre-teen with the phenomenon of Lindsey's LATE GREAT PLANET EARTH, and it all just took off like fuel-overloaded rockets right through the early 90's. It was fun, a sort of puzzle, but it was hardly sound teaching oftentimes.

2. A superfluous remake of a not-so-good 1976 flick into a not-so-good 2006 flick that exploits the concept of the Beast and his mark in the creation of a gore-fest.

3. A new apocalyptic fictive offering by the super-mega-duper-selling Christian duo of LEFT BEHIND fame. It releases today, 6-6-6, and is entitled, well. . . THE RAPTURE.
(I am so not going there. I'm sick to death of the pre-trib rapture discussion/concept/idea/notion/delusion.)

So, casting aside illogic-riddled speculations (they don't do any good) and panic (it never helps), I offer the straight dope from la boca del caballo*:

He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name. This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man's number. His number is 666.
Revelation 13:16-18

And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
Revelation 14:11

And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth . . . there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshiped his image
Revelation 16:1, 2

We might all profit from an extended Bible study on various and sundry marks placed on people by God and historical context for the meaning of markings in the New Testament world to get some true insight. (Plus, come on, concordances rule!). I leave that to you and your Bible and favorite reference works. And google.

But I'm pretty sure we can get

Do not, under any circumstance, worship the image of the beast.
Not ever.
Really, don't do it.
See a beast image? STAY AWAY.
In fact, a good idea all around to not worship images of all sorts.
Beast Image = NO WORSHIP!!!
Oh, wait, is that a beast image? Not gonna bow or pray or burn incense or in any way seem to really, really dig it. In fact, gonnna walk that way, far away from said image.

All righty? Clear on this?

Much, much, MUCH better idea to worship God. That tends to work out well and put a smile on your face and keep you out of a good deal of trouble of the image-worshipping/beastie sort. Yes, yes. Worship God.

Now, please, go out and enjoy this Tuesday, the day the Lord has made. Rejoice and be of very good cheer in it and share a smile and the love of God with someone, especially those who least expect it of you. Mikey-D would approve.

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
John 16:33

Now, that's really good news for a 6-6-6 sort of day.

*the horse's mouth


Anonymous said...

Wow, what a breath of fresh Christian air you are! Many today are getting their eyes open about the pretrib rapture - and much has to do with the 176-year-old history of that notion which was born in Britain and made for American merchandisers. To see some web pieces by the leading historian focusing on it, visit Google and type in "Pretrib Rapture Diehards," "Thomas Ice (Bloopers)" (the "researcher" that LaHaye, Falwell etc. lean on), and "Famous Rapture Watchers." I believe that you are the wave of the future. Lord bless you much! J. E.

Mirtika said...

Nah, I'm in the "old wave", the one that included the Church Fathers, who didn't assume we'd be swept out of here and not have to suffer (including martyrdom) as did the early church.

Seems to me there is a great symmetry there: The Church began in scorn and suffering for believers. has progressed with much scorn and suffering for believers (as is the case today), and the church age will end in scorn and suffering for believers. I fear that adherence to a pre-trib scenario will mentally weaken folks who will be around when AntiChrist shows up. That would be sad, indeed.

And yet, I believe that Mr. LaHaye and Walvoord and MacArthur love Jesus and have the best of intentions. But a wonky interpretation can crop up anywhere, even amongst fine men and great teachers.

And hey, me. I'm sure I'm wrong A LOT. I used to be pre-trib, but reading the texts from before my time (ie, not merely the last two centuries), convinced me otherwise. As did some niggling texts in the writings of Paul and Matthew and John the Revelator.

In the end, we just have to have our hearts right and depend on God, cause all of us have holes in our theology. The important thing is the core of the faith. The rest--when the rapture is--is a secondary or tertiary preoccupation.

Here's the primary:

Christ has died (for our sins); Christ is risen (for our justification); Christ will come again (for our glorification and to judge and rule).



Beth Goddard said...

It's quite interesting to think that the book of Revelation is meant to be the Revelation of Jesus Christ, and yet, all the focus is on the "beast" or the anti-Christ. . .doesn't make sense, does it?


Bonnie Calhoun said...

I gave the 666, the ol' Bronx Cheer. For non-New Yorkers, it's one big long raspberry!

Mirtika said...

Bonnie, I lived in the Bronx for 12 years. So, let's raspberry in harmony....ready....set...



Elliot said...

I like your attitude, Mir. Good on ya.

Louise said...

Do I agree with you? Bless you, I certainly do! If you never have, you should do some Googling and type in "Pretrib Rapture Diehards," "Thomas Ice (Bloopers)" (the "great" researcher LaHaye and Falwell lean on!), "Famous Rapture Watchers," and "Pretrib Hypocrisy." I don't see how anyone can read these and continue to put faith in the pretrib view. Lord bless you much! Louise