23 Jul Prophets and Skeptics
The latest issue of Popular Science has an article about the continuing drought in California. It contains quotes from climatologists predicting a gruesome future for the Golden State. According to the authorities quoted, the drought will possibly last for many years to come. This morning on CBS news a climatologist was talking about the El Nino Pacific current and explained how it will possibly be a record breaking winter for huge amounts of rain for California. I’m sure both climatologists were well qualified as authorities in their field. While contradicting each other they both spoke of possibilities. That’s something a good scientist would do.
Within the last month I listened to two preachers making dire predictions for the future of the world. Both claimed to be a Biblical scholar to bolster themselves as authorities on the future. Like the climatologists they did not agree with each other regarding the future in the Middle East and its implications for the United States. They were not as wise as the scientists because neither used the “possibility” word. But they both claimed that God’s Word was saying what they said it was saying.
As I listened to them I thought of Jesus’ comments in Matthew 24, “At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” These predictors of the future were using the Bible as if it were a crystal ball. Being skeptical about sermons is wise. It doesn’t make us skeptics regarding God’s love and care and our future eternal life. Being skeptical about men’s predictions only makes us wise.