Thursday, May 22, 2008

Apocalypse Soon (1980)

The March 5, 1980 Daily Press (Escanaba, MI) ran a piece about prophecies of the apocalypse. An excerpt appears below.
Billy Graham, since the beginning of his evangelistic ministry, has been telling his followers that the Second Coming is near, although he no longer pinpoints the date as he did in 1950.

"We may have another year, maybe two years, to work for Jesus Christ," he said that year. "And then, ladies and gentlemen, I believe it's going to be all over."

That was 30 years ago.

Today Graham will only say that "Our Lord gave a summary of events that signal his return and the end of the world as we know it. He named conditions that would prevail. Reading them one must be struck by their resemblance to what we see daily on our TV screens and in our newspapers."

Some of the Bible "signs" Graham sees taking place are "wars and rumors of wars, famine, earthquakes, multiplied lawlessness and iniquity, and the return of the Jews to their homeland."

The photograph of Billy Graham was taken April 11, 1966 by Warren K. Leffler and can be found at the Library of Congress website.

See also:
The 1980s: Countdown to Armageddon
Nucelar War to Start September 12, 2006
Nuclear War Revisited (2006)
Headlines of the Near Future (1972)
The Future of Religion (1980)


Anonymous said...

Keep trying, Mr. Graham.

Funny, though, he looks like he's been stabbed and is trying to pull the weapon back out.

Antonio said...

Ohhh. I thought that was Marlon Brando.

Jonathan Badger said...

Why is Billy Graham a free man? It's clear that he (and this "Jesus" fellow that he claims to know -- sounds like an illegal Mexican immigrant to me -- no real Americans are named "Jesus") are a couple of terrorists threatening our great nation with some sort of apocalypse.

Anonymous said...

What if we change a word or two in that quote?

"We may have only a few years to work against global warming/to prepare for peak oil/to fight the fascist takeover of the US/to fight the Christianist domination of the US. Otherwise, ladies and gentlemen, I believe it's going to be all over."

Forward to the past.

. said...

There is indeed an evangelical effort to flood u.s. politics, although it has recently taken a turn for the worse after the critical loss in Dover and Huckabee failing to credibly run against Obama and McCain.

McCain might lend an ear to their machinations, but he would only chuckle and go back to running the country. Huckabee would have listened, taken notes and put it all into effect. He's a true believer, where McCain's faking it for votes.

"American Facists" is a great read on the topic, and "God's next Army" as well as "Jesus Camp" are fantastic documentaries about these types. Both can be found (in full!) on Google Video.

Anonymous said...

For that matter, St. Paul's gospel assumed the Second Coming was right around the corner when it was written. "Wars and rumors of wars, etc...." have another name besides apocalypse: the human condition. Inevitably, it seems, that condition revisits a traditional longing for the vexing ambiguities of history to end so everything can be simple, clear-cut, and resolved. Apocalyptic pronouncements represent a traditional response to cultural turbulence, so if there's one thing about the future we can be sure of, it's that somebody will be saying such things then too. At least till the next asteroid strike or till we foul our own nest beyond survivability.

Anonymous said...

There are so many things to be studied in the book of Apocalypse that naive to mock at it. For example, when Jesus predicted that the temple of Jerusalem was going to be destroyed, they mocked him. 70 years later (even after Apocalypse was written), Rome destroyed Jerusalem. Also the prediction that Israel would exist again as a nation, was around 2000 years old. In 2000 years the Jews could probably be completely changed and mixed with other people, but they still existed and came back to their homeland.
You have to understand that Kairos is different from Kronos.

. said...

Serge Lavie films Billy Graham on:

Spoon Phillips said...

"when Jesus predicted that the temple of Jerusalem was going to be destroyed, they mocked him. 70 years later (even after Apocalypse was written), Rome destroyed Jerusalem"

Not much of a prediction, really, when you consider how often super powers were conquering one another and knocking down temples during that age in history.

And, um, EVERY building from that time has been destroyed. No palace, no temple, no church has survived, no nothing. They are all gone or at best are preserved as ruins.

Your so-called "book of Apocalypse" was written by a hermit who lived on an island in a cave, many years after Jesus lived (if he ever actually existed in any form remotely as imagined today.) People like that are known to come up with some pretty interesting "visions" regardless of their religion.

The book was not even considered part of the Bible for many years after that and was only added at the end during a period of particular dooms day sort thinking.

And every since the Gospels suggested the "end is near" every generation has tried to claim their generation was in the "end of times".

Hitler was supposed to be one of the end of times signs, Napoleon too, the French Revolution and the Englsh Civil War, many different Great Turks, Attila, you name it. The moment some force of nature or politics threatens the status quo (who always consider themselves the chosen ones) it is a "sign".

I just feel sorry for the deluded fools who sold all their possessions before the year 2000, since clearly that arbitrary date in an artifical time-keeping system was a sure "sign."