The National Geographic, Christians, God,
and the "Doomsday Mentality"
The celestial alignment of Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn lined up with the sun and the moon on May 5, 2000.
One of four examples of “Doomsday Mentality” published by the National Geographic online on the occasion of Harold Camping’s prediction that Jesus Christ’s Second Coming would take place May 21, 2011.
Are planetary alignments Doomsday omens?
The Mature Christian’s World View
versus the Darwinian
The moon and Venus join together in conjunction over the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse in Florida, on February 27, 2009. Photograph by Your Shot user Benjamin Cooper
Following is the text accompanying the photograph in “Photo News,” National Geographic online. www.nationalgeographic.com
Published May 20, 2011.
Our “COMMENTARY” after the text.
“Such planetary alignments have inspired many doomsday forecasts, particularly around the May 5, 2000, conjunction, when Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn lined up with the sun and the moon.
Author Richard Noone predicted ice would overtake the world as a result of the alignment. And ‘psychic archaeologist’ Jeffrey Goodman asserted in his 1977 book We Are the Earthquake Generation that ‘quakes and volcanoes [will be] set off around the world and a rift [will] open up as the Earth splits in several places to relieve the stress produced by the shift,’ New Scientist reported.
But doom and gloom can also spark scientific innovation, as occurred in 1774 in Friesland, the Netherlands. A vicar hoping to boost his congregation circulated a ‘little book of doom’ that said the solar system would be demolished during an upcoming conjunction, according to New Scientist.
As townspeople's panic grew, an amateur astronomer built a planetarium in his living room to allay concerns and explain the true movements of the planets—now the oldest working mechanical planetarium in the world.” National Geographic online. Photo News. May 20, 2011
Dear reader, the Bible is definitely NOT a book of “GLOOM and DOOM,” as National Geographic editors, writers, and backers would like to have us think and believe. That is the agenda driving their “DOOMSDAY” series: That you see the Bible, Christians, and the whole of Christianity as “earthquake, volcano, tsunami, nuclear holocaust obsessed.” For mature Christians, nothing is farther from our world-cosmic view and understanding. Mature Christians are not “DOOMSDAYERS!”
Oh! Yes, we do most certainly believe there will come one day, one particular day when the material universe will come to a cataclysmic end. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 5:1-7; 2 Peter 3:1-14
And we understand that Darwinian astrologers and other atheistic scientists also project more or less the same outcome! The sun diminishing in power and exploding! The material, visible universe expanding to its maximum size and imploding! They, in the context of their fatalistic atheism. We, in the infinitely brighter context of a new and perfect world that replaces this beautiful, fascinating, but very imperfect, even very dangerous one. Who, then, is the greater DOOMSAYER?
Dear reader, the Bible is definitely NOT a book of ASTROLOGY. It does not teach or even imply anything about the supposed consequences of the conjunction of celestial bodies.
Therefore, mature Christians who follow it closely are not alarmed at all when planets, stars such as Venus, and the moon move into aligned positions as they circulate in their respective orbits. When such a convergence is about to happen, mature Christians do not begin to make prophetical, “doomsday” types of announcements.
What immature, fanatical, or presumptuous Christians may or may not say, write, or do are matters for which mature Christians should not, logically, be judged or condemned. Nor should the whole of “Christianity” be either, in unjust, prejudiced, agenda-driven, ridiculing characterizations.
To be sure, mature Christians do not share the same sphere of spiritual communion with Richard Noone, Jeffrey Goodman, Harold Camping, Pat Robertson and others of like "doomsday mentality." If they say they are “Christians,” then they dishonor Jesus Christ with their foolish predictions, making pronouncements about what they do not know and meddling in what they do not understand. What did Jesus or his apostles ever say or write about the alignment of heavenly bodies? NOTHING!
And what did they teach about the exact date for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ? Precisely, that no human being knows that date, nor the angels, and not even the Son of God himself. Only God the Father knows. Acts 1:6-7; 1 Timothy 6:13-16; Matthew 24:36. It is, therefore, really incredible that anyone in his right mind would be so bold as to set an exact date. Yet, not a few have, to their shame and the detriment of Christianity in general.
Dear ladies and gentlemen of the National Geographic, New Scientist and other publications of the same kind, is it just, is it intellectually honest, to lump together in the same category all who invoke Christ, judging the most intelligent, mature and upright by the most unlearned, irrational, infantile, and morally compromised?
Common sense would surely instruct you, though you had no Bible knowledge at all, that in the vast worldwide spiritual kingdom known as “the Kingdom of Christ and God,” made up as it is of imperfect human beings, there would be different categories of Christians. Indeed, some are like “gold, silver, precious stones,” while others are like “wood, hay, stubble.” And some are "wise," while others are, lamentably, "ignorant," as the apostle Peter noted. 2 Peter 3:15-16; Colossians 1:9
With what fairness or logic would you judge the first by the latter? Or arbitrarily classify all their hundreds of millions as identical copies from the very same hardened, inflexible mold, maligning all as
“ignorant, superstitious doomsayers.” Not fair! Not rational! And, therefore, not noble, right, or sane on your part! By the way, learned, mature Christians know the Kingdom, and the categories of Christians referred to are set forth in Bible texts such as Ephesians 5:5 and 1 Corinthians 3:11-13. Do you dare judge and condemn what and whom you do not know?
The mature Christian does not belong to that lineage of ancient astrologers who assiduously studied the planets and stars with the purpose of making decisions or giving advice –political, military, financial, social, even on love, religious, spiritual- based on the relative positions of celestial bodies.
He does not lift up his hands before the spectacle of the heavens, believing the sun, the moon, the planets, and the stars to be gods or goddesses.
When compared to Darwinian evolutionists, there is one thing he does do, I am rather sure, with more intelligence than they do, with more appreciation, and comprehension of parameters that delineate differing spheres of knowledge and consciousness, as well as purposeful design, to wit:
He profoundly admires all his eyes behold in all of Earth itself, the Milky Way, the billions of galaxies beyond, even into Deep Space, holding it all to be the magnificent work of a Supremely Intelligent, Powerful Creator Being able not only to conceive it but also to make it a reality.
He fully identifies with the eloquent poetic affirmation of the Israelite King David. “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows his handywork.” Psalms 19:1
And with the humbling astonish-ment of the Mesopotamian patriarch Job when the Creator God challenges his wavering, complaining, and lamentations with mind-boggling facts about
the origin of the universe, of the Earth, and the prodigious manifestations of the Divine Power in the features and creatures thereof. Job, chapters 38 through 42.
Above. Flying away from Earth and through a part of our galaxy the Milky Way, traveling, by means of the Hubble and Spitzer telescopes, to the Orion Nebula, then around and through that massive formation of stars and gases 2,000 times larger than the sun. It is approximately 1,344 light-years away and is visible to the naked eye in the night sky. www.wikipedia.org/Orion_Nebula
The mature Christian is not all wrought up, trying to decide if the Creator Being made the material Universe employing the dynamics of a “big bang” or some other mechanism. For him, the heart of the matter is that the Universe exists, Earth exists, human beings exist, life and time are precious and need to be spent wisely by being upright, noble, and productive in all that is healthy and good on every level.
To postulate the material Universe’s existence from the eternity of eternities, whatever its form might have been, not having produced or ordered it any intelligent being whatsoever, appears to him to be, by nature, an unsustainable thesis, since no human being could possibly prove it by empirical evidence, that is, through personal observation or absolutely verifiable facts, for no human being was alive in those eons past to make any empiric observations whatsoever. It is due to this self-evident fact that the “laws of evolution” must be taken as “hypotheses” and not true, verifiable, absolute laws.
You will be wise, then, I think, not to dismiss so quickly, nonchalantly, or disdainfully the world view of the mature Christian, for it would seem to be quite as meritorious of serious study as that of avowed evolutionists and atheists.
The original source of the mature Christian’s world view is the Bible, particularly the New Testament, properly understood. He sees that particular world view supported by the real, material-physical world about him. For the Good versus Evil Conflict of the Bible scenario, with specifically defined consequences, has its exact parallel in the real-world constant War between Good and Evil, where those same consequences are obvious. Since the cosmic, spiritual view of the Bible is that Good shall be rewarded eternally and Bad will be banished forever, the properly informed, objective, rational mind is persuaded that the future will surely see it happen. A prospect that fills the faithful Christian with joy, hope, and positivism. The very opposite of melancholy, sadness, pessimism, and fatalism.
What is the original source of your own worldview, and how reliable is it? Studying that of Darwinian evolutionists and atheists in general, it seems to be more or less one seen through the distorting prisms of infinite hypotheses and unfounded conclusions driven, at least in not a few people, by the fervent desire to prove eternal the material and physical, while proving the “god-spirit-spiritual paradigm” a superstitious hoax. Personally, because of such considerations and many additional, weighty reasons for me, I reject that worldview.
Respectfully, I share with the public my analysis of these subjects with the purpose of imparting information and highlighting the contrast between the pros and cons of different positions, proclamations and propaganda on subjects that impact crucial concepts and beliefs for our lives in this material-physical dimension, as well as, according to my personal conviction, life in the dimension that comes after this one.
Cordially, Homer Dewayne Shappley