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Image of wildfire near Lilooet, BC from Regina Leader PostMeditation 1233
The dangerous inaction of believing prophecy

by: John Tyrrell

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The following letter appeared in my local paper on Tuesday this week.

Wildfires predicted in scripture

To the Editor,

We are seeing increasing environmental disasters occurring in quick succession. The fires that have sparked across B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan are a preview of what the world will experience during the last seven years of history predicted by the Prophet Daniel.

Bible prophecy is all converging at this point of time written in the Old and New Testament. One world government, one world economy and one word religion are predicted to form. We see this today. Christ also made predictions of what the world would be like before He would set up His Earthly kingdom.

As a Christian I’m not fearful because I know that I’m not appointed for wrath, but for the lost this is not the case. I’d recommend people dust off their bibles and read the scriptures pertaining to the second coming. You’d be amazed how it matches today’s news.

Glenn Stevens

Now if someone takes the trouble to follow Stevens' advice and dust off the old bible and read it, they will not find one mention of British Columbia, Alberta or Saskatchewan in the book, let alone a specific reference to a spate of wildfires occurring in July of 2015. Mr. Stevens claims the reader will be amazed how well scriptures relating to the second coming match today's news. In reality,  there is no match at all. None!

Of course the bible, like the apocalyptic writing of other religions, says "Bad things are going to happen." It does not say when. It does not say where. This allows those who think biblical prophecy is meaningful to take any bad occurrence and proclaim to the world: "See! The Bible predicted this exactly. Jesus is coming! Jesus is coming!" They've been doing this for 2,000 years, and still Jesus has not returned. They have been wrong every single time, over and over again.

Being wrong does not matter to them. They just wait for another bad thing to happen and once again scream to the world: "See! The Bible predicted this exactly. Jesus is coming! Jesus is coming!"

I think that the number of people who believe this sort of thing is dangerous, largely because it can lead to inaction rather than solving problems. Take the wildfire situation in Western Canada this year. To a certain degree, it is due to normal weather variations and the incidence of lightning strikes over which we have no control currently. To a larger degree, the wildfires are the result of years of human driven climate change, poor forest management, and direct action by people in setting the fires, mostly accidental, but some deliberate.

Quite simply, human activity is the main driver in the thousands of wildfires experienced in Western Canada this year; just as human activity is the main driver in many of the disasters and tragedies seized upon by bible thumpers to yell at the top of their lungs: "It's a sign from God - The end is nigh!"

For those who buy into biblical prophecy and who see all disasters and tragedy as signs of the end, the response is simply wait to be raptured while loudly condemning the lifestyle of their neighbours for bringing End Times upon us.

This attitude does nothing to address the true root causes of those disasters and tragedies. They feel they don't have to address those causes because their god has a plan.

As long as the fundamentalist bible punchers remain wilfully blind to the fact that a carelessly discarded cigarette butt is somewhat more than twenty-seven trillion times more likely to start a wildfire than is two consenting adults pleasuring each other in the privacy of their own bedroom, it is difficult to get agreement to actually do something about those potential disasters which we have the power to ameliorate.

Those who look for End Times messages in every disaster, in every tragedy, stand in the way of taking necessary action - and through their votes elect those who consistently vote against devoting resources to preventing such disasters and tragedies.

The answer to a preventing recurrence of this year's wildfires in my province is, contrary to Glenn Stevens' advice, not to be found in opening the bible and finding a spurious prophecy. Rather it involves addressing those root causes we can attack - forest management, human carelessness, and human driven climate change. The same is true of many of the other disasters people such as Stevens point to as a message from God - address the underlying direct human causes.

The recommendations from Stevens and his ilk just leads to a dangerous and tragic inaction.


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