2012 & Fantasy-Driven Faith
or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
(2 Cor. 6:15)
is mediated through a person's religious imagination.”
"The invasion of monsters began decades ago, and it quickly transformed the world of entertainment. With little resistance, an army of cute-ugly creatures swept into toy stores, television and movies. They now adorn children's clothes, bedding, wallpaper, lunchboxes and books. And many have pushed their way into children's hearts on the backs of seductive myths that mold their thoughts and manipulate their imagination.
Some of these monsters are crude and cool like Stitch, Shrek and the serpentine aliens of Men in Black. Others appear wise and honorable like Yoda in Star Wars. But the creatures that win the prize for thrills and chills are the dark and deadly ones like Darth Maul, Tolkien's Orcs and the ominous aliens in Signs.
They all serve a set of strategic social and spiritual goals: They entertain. They shift a person's attention from the real world to a more titillating realm created by those who write the myths and steer the imagination. They tempt Christian fans to re-imagine both God and themselves in the new context – thus bending the old realities to fit the new myths. They desensitize their fans to mystical images and symbols of evil. And they stir a craving for more intense excitement of the same kind.
Eventually the real world of nature, families, work and Biblical truth becomes too boring to be enjoyed. Who cares about truth and facts when myths and fantasies seem far more exiting?
'For the time will come,' wrote the apostle Paul almost two millennia ago, 'when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things....' (2 Timothy 4:3-5)" [bold in original]
The Emerging Fantasy-Driven Worldview
With the rise of interest in the Mayan calendar date of Dec. 21, 2012 among Evangelicals, there is a concurrent noticeable shift in perceptions of reality. What is reality? What is fantasy? Are church people mixing the two together in strange new ways? Here are classic definitions:
Fantasy: Fantasy is a genre of fiction that commonly uses magic and other supernatural phenomena as a primary element of plot, theme, or setting. Many works within the genre take place in imaginary worlds where magic is common…. Fantasy has also included wizards, sorcerers, witchcraft, etc.... In its broadest sense, however, fantasy comprises works by many writers, artists, filmmakers, and musicians, from ancient myths and legends to many recent works….
Reality: In philosophy, reality is the state of things as they actually exist, rather than as they may appear or might be imagined…. Reality is often contrasted with what is imaginary, delusional, (only) in the mind, dreams, what is abstract, what is false, or what is fictional. The truth refers to what is real, while falsity refers to what is not. Fictions are considered not real.
We first noticed this perplexing mixture of fantasy and reality in the works of Tom Horn, one of the chief purveyors of the 12-21-12 scenario(s). To bolster his case about the return of the ancient Mayan god Quetzalcoatl, Horn actually relied upon a previous work of fiction that he authored, quoting it as though it were a reliable source of fact. We explained the circumstance:
In his book, Nephilim Stargates, Tom Horn seemed fascinated by this particular pagan god Quetzalcoatl. Excerpting an 8-page passage from his “fictional” book, The Ahriman Gate, Horn envisioned the entity’s return in 2012. Horn derived the name “Ahriman” from the Persian/Zoroastrian mythology that identifies him as the dark “prince over Iraq/Babylon.” [emphasis added]
Horn, along with the many evangelical leaders who are associated with him, has put great stock in the 2012 date. But in order to bolster his case, he and his 2012 prophecy advocates have deviated far from Scripture alone (reality, truth), and have borrowed heavily from fantasy, legends, fables, myths, apocrypha and occult sources. Elsewhere we have documented this point extensively. Here is a current partial list, excerpted from Tom Horn's website http://apollyonrising2012.com/, of what he calls "a short sample of the HUNDREDS of new revelations in [his book] Apollyon Rising 2012."
- Nearly 500 years ago the Maya prophesied about the Colonial date 1776 as the beginning of the last 13 katuns leading to apocalypse in 2012.
- Over 700 years ago Orthodox Jewish priests prophesied in the Zohar that their Messiah would arrive in the year 2012.
- The first degree Masonic Tracing Board contains the same prophecy toward the year 2012.
- This secret is also openly hidden in the most spectacular way in the US Capitol Dome, directly tying the US and Vatican to the Mesoamerican 2012 date.
- A 200 Year Old cipher encoded on the Great Seal of the United States points to the same prophecy concerning the return of the gods in the year 2012.
- A couple modern "Mayan elders" - who have been getting themselves in the news lately by claiming the year 2012 will not lead to the end of the world - are covering up how their prophecies diametrically contradict the prophecies of their forefathers including the Maya, Aztec, and numerous other ancient peoples who foresaw this time as portending destruction and "judgment from the gods."
- 200 Years ago Cherokee Indians prophesied likewise and set their calendar, like the Maya and Aztec, to end in the year 2012.[emphases added]
It is NOT about the Nephilim!
Arguments about Nephilim serve as a convenient straw man to deflect criticism away from the real issues at hand. The real issue is mixing Scripture with pagan sources.
Because the Scripture is vague on this point about Nephilim, there are plenty of interpretations. Believers have speculated for millennia about the meanings of these words, and many have written their diverse opinions on the subject. A healthy debate about the meaning of this passage is fine. But when believers go beyond the plain truth of Scripture, and start to imagine "new revelations," they veer off into dangerous realms of fantasy. Traditionally, the church taught that where Scripture is silent or not clear believers should “leave well enough alone.” For example, the early Reformers cautioned believers to avoid too much speculating because it would distract from the Gospel message:
But it is no wonder that the Scripture saith so little concerning angels, because it was written for the use of men, not of angels; and God would hereby take us off from curious and impertinent speculations, and teach us to employ our thoughts about necessary and useful things.
Meditating on God’s Word, thinking about what a passage might mean, comparing one verse to other Scripture, studying good old commentaries – all of this used to be the method of Christian Bible study. Note: The classic use of plain imagination in a literary sense is also a valid way of reading Scripture, especially when listening to its wonderful stories. Here is what traditional imagination means:
Imagination: …the ability of forming new images and sensations when they are not perceived through sight, hearing, or other senses. Imagination helps provide meaning to experience and understanding to knowledge; it is a fundamental faculty through which people make sense of the world, and it also plays a key role in the learning process….
There is a caveat about imagination, though. Unrestrained imagination can have a fatal flaw when it goes too far astray from reality, truth and fact:
In various spheres, however, even imagination is in practice limited: thus a person whose imaginations do violence to the elementary laws of thought, or to the necessary principles of practical possibility, or to the reasonable probabilities of a given case is regarded as insane.
The same limitations beset imagination in the field of scientific hypothesis. Progress in scientific research is due largely to provisional explanations which are developed by imagination, but such hypotheses must be framed in relation to previously ascertained facts and in accordance with the principles of the particular science.
A "Sub-Created Cosmos"
To postmodernists, the Bible is viewed as a myth, a narrative. It is no longer seen as Absolute Truth, God's spoken Word, reality or fact. Instead it is viewed as one of many myths and narratives from cultures past and present. In the postmodernist wordview one can add to Scripture with other stories and myths that seem to complement it. Scripture as myth, plus other myths, equals more revelation, according to this worldview.
Tom Horn and his cohorts are postmodernists in the sense that they view the Scripture as just one of many stories that foretell endtime prophecy. In fact, they must view the Canon of Scripture as incomplete because they add to Scriptures with their fantastical ideas of secret hidden codes and mythological prophecies from ancient cultures. As such, they create a new reality. Their new reality is a dialectic synthesis of the Scripture plus fantasy. This then is no longer Biblical Truth, but a mixture. It creates an entirely new worldview, a fantasy world that becomes completely believable to those who are indoctrinated into its "new revelation" tenets. In sum, they create a new cosmic world with a new endtime scenario.
One literary writer has explained how authors create a fantasy world:
Fantasy stands upon a different theory of reality, but one demanding with equal rigor that the fantasist keep always in mind his aesthetic principles: that what happens in his world accord not with his daydreams nor with our own world's laws of common sense, but with the peculiar laws of the sub-created cosmos.[ emphasis added]
This same writer has also observed that in classic fantasy stories there are two necessary ingredients: a hero and an evil reptilian monster. In the fantasy world synthesized by Tom Horn and his associates, the evil reptilian monsters are Nephilim and other scary hybrid creatures gleaned from a huge variety of occult sources. In fact, their unique fantasy world, their own "sub-created cosmos," includes a great battle with the forces of evil unfolding imminently on Dec. 21, 2012. No wonder their narrative is so enticing to so many evangelicals! It has all the elements of a great fantasy adventure! But it is based on fiction and myth, not biblical Truth.
Bible prophecy plus mythology does not equal better Bible prophecy. It equals heresy.
The Christian, more so than other individual, is called upon by Scripture to have a restrained imagination. The Bible calls this being “sober minded.” (Titus 2:6) In fact, being “sober” is directly connected to being on “watch” in the last days, the end times as described in the Bible alone without any fantasy or mythology added to it:
- Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. (1 Thess 5:6)
- But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. (1 Peter 4:7)
- Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; (1 Peter 1:13)
- Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (1 Peter 5:8)
Given these verses, it seems even more important for Christians who have an interest in the last days to be well-grounded in reality, in the truth of Scripture, and to be “sober minded,” and not to live in a fantasy world made up of a mixture of myths. Yet we live in an era when mystical imageries, imaginations and fantasies are coming into the church like a flood. Scripture warns believers:
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; (2 Cor. 10:5)
Restrained imagination does not stray from Scripture.
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation. (1 Peter 1:20)
But what about Nephilim? UFOs? Hybrid creatures and other space aliens? What if someone has an “experience” with these things? Well, the answer is quite factual. Stick to Scripture. If you don’t receive answers from plain Scripture, then stop. Stop in your tracks and don’t go off into speculations that lead to fantasy, mythology, fiction, or worse. The Scripture is sufficient. What Jesus told us about HIS return is sufficient. Anything else leads straight into the occult. If an experience happens to you that you can’t find a basis for in Scripture, set it aside. If it is REAL, and based on the Truth of the Gospel of Salvation message, you will read it in His Word. Sola Scriptura!
I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in My Counsel, and had caused my people to hear My Words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings. Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD. (Jeremiah 23:21-24) [bold added]
The FRAUD of Fantasy
A few months ago we observed the rise of a new evangelical eschatology that is heavily dependent upon powerful fantastical imagery:
In our modern age, with its Hollywoodized process of desensitization, man has become fascinated with the paranormal. What was once off limits, is now outer limits. The border between fact (biblical Truth) and fiction (pagan stories, myths, legends, etc.) has been breached. The result is spiritual fraud (heresy). Furthermore, pan-spiritual and pseudo-scientific teachings are now being concocted into an End-Time Alchemy—a dangerous doctrinal stew.
Christian author Berit Kjos, writing about “Aliens, Monsters & Creepy Creatures” affecting children with excessive imagination, observed:
Today's postmodern world has little tolerance for Biblical watchfulness. Instead, it embraces its mythical heroes with a driving passion that often eclipses both family and reality. The more shocking, crude and ugly, the more cool and captivating the product. Hollywood and toy makers know that well.
She also warned about the New Age “future scenarios” for these occult imaginations:
many UFO enthusiasts and New Age leaders… began to circulate a far-out notion decades ago: A group of benevolent aliens or ascended masters would suddenly appear on the earth and cleanse it from all who resist its spiritual evolution toward global oneness. At the same time, they would prepare humanity to receive the prophesied New Age "Christ."
Why are evangelicals so susceptible to confusing fantasy and reality? Why would we go beyond mere speculation on God’s Word to the point where we feel we must add to Scripture by mixing it with Mayan lore, apocryphal writings, UFO science fiction, mythologies and astrology? Have we all become so desensitized by Hollywood that we can no longer distinguish fantasy from reality? Are we so seduced by fanciful images? When Christians add myths and fables to Scripture they create a potent esoteric concoction, a mixture of theology and the occult. Isn’t this mixture precisely the sin of ancient Israel?
This evil people, which refuse to hear My Words, which walk in the imagination of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing. (Jer. 13:10)[emphasis added]
Mixing Scripture with pagan writings should be a BIG RED FLAG that immediately stops a believer in his tracks so that he doesn’t continue down that evil path. It is the first big clue that something is terribly amiss. Yes, the story might be fascinating, the adventure stimulating, and the pictures conjured up in the mind might be pleasant. But beware of pagan-derived images (also called idols)! The Bible warns,
Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; (Deut. 11:16)
Imagination is intoxicating. It is seductive. It can easily become addictive. It can easily be tied to idolatry. This is one reason why God’s Word warns that there is such a thing as “the imagination of his evil heart” that can lead one astray. (See Jer. 3:17; 7:24; 9:14; 11:8; 16:12; 18:12; 23:17; Luke 1:51.)
If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers; Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth; Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: (Deut. 13:6-8)
Author Berit Kjos has documented repeated examples of problems with “imagination” both in the church and the schools. Imagination is a way to gain access into the occult world. Once one leaves reality, fact and truth… then anything goes. Here is one such example she provided to us:
By age ten, Jacqui K. was fascinated with anything supernatural. Since her parents set no limits, she read every fiction and fantasy book she could find on the magical world she craved. In her imagination, she met wizards and witches, power and excitement. "
I continued reading Harry Potter-type books through grade school, high school and into college," she says. "Three to five a week! The older I got, the easier they were to find. The whole time I considered myself a Christian! If someone had pointed out to me what I was doing, I would have laughed. I was a normal teenager and a leader in my church group."
The mystical characters in her fantasy world filled her thoughts during the day and her dreams at night. But when some of them began talking to her, she recognized the power she had pursued:
"I cried out to God to help me, and He did. The voices stopped. I was no Bible scholar, but I recognized that they were from Satan. Some people said that I became delusional because I couldn't separate fantasy from reality. They were wrong. The problem was that I COULD, and had no idea that reading fiction could put me in contact with REAL evil." [emphasis added]
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore will not we fear,
though the earth be removed,
and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.
it is not hidden from thee,
neither is it far off.
It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say,
Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us,
that we may hear it, and do it?...
But the Word is very nigh unto thee,
in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.
(Deut. 30:11,12,14) [emphasis added]
Behold, the heaven
and the heaven of heavens
is the LORD'S thy God.
1. Lancaster Theological Seminary, USA, UMI Order number: AAM9822985 Dissertation Abstracts International Section A: Humanities & Social Sciences. 1998 Jul. 59 (1-A): p.0201, cited by Berit Kjos, “Marketing the occult: Harry [Potter’s] impact on ‘Christian’ values,” http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/05/harry-movie-goblet.htm#2
2. Berit Kjos, “Aliens, Monsters & Creepy Creatures: What do they teach our children?” http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/2002/aliens.htm. This 2002 article has much to say about the current UFO phenomena.
5. http://herescope.blogspot.com/2011/06/doomsday-datesetters-2012.html citing Horn’s books Apollyon Rising 2012, pp. 66-67; Forbidden Gates, pp. 22-23, and Nephilim Stargates, pp. 108-115.
6. One such biblical discussion about the various theological viewpoints on the Nephilim was published 6/22/11 by Pastor Larry DeBruyn on Herescope titlted “Demons, Daughters and DNA: The Sons of God, the Daughters of Men, and the Nephilim in Genesis 6.” http://herescope.blogspot.com/2011/06/demons-daughters-and-dna.html. Also see http://herescope.blogspot.com/2011/06/doomsday-datesetters-2012.html
7. Matthew Poole, Commentary on the Bible, Vol. 1 (Hendrickson), p. 5. Circa 1600 A.D.
10. Randel Helms, Tolkien's World (Houghton Mifflin, 1974), p. 77, describing "Tolkien's World: The Structure and Aesthetic of The Lord of the Rings."
11. Ibid, p. 81.
12. Some of us researching the rise of end-time speculations and fantasies about Nephilim were once engaged in mysticism before we were saved. We know firsthand the treacherous path of wandering off into mystical imageries, imaginations, and perusing occult literature for “truth.” But for the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ whose blood was shed for us on the cross, redeeming us from our sins, we would be lost in that vast morass of pagan spirituality. See: “Altered States: A Different Gate,” http://herescope.blogspot.com/2011/04/altered-states-different-gate.html
14. Ibid., http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/2002/aliens.htm
15. Ibid. This section of her article links to “Star Wars & Theosophy” here: http://www.crossroad.to/text/articles/starwar6-99.html#shirley
16. See a list of verses: http://www.blueletterbible.org/search/translationResults.cfm?Criteria=imagination&t=KJV
17. Berit Kjos, “The Power of Suggestion,” http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/suggestion.htm. See also: http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/2002/victory.htm, http://www.crossroad.to/text/responses/d%26d.htm, http://www.crossroad.to/text/responses/ComputerGames.html, http://www.crossroad.to/text/responses/General%20comments-1.html, http://www.crossroad.to/text/responses/archive/General%20comments-1.html, http://www.crossroad.to/text/responses/archive/Harry8.htm, http://www.crossroad.to/Books/BraveNewSchools/3-NewThinking.htm