Reading Time: 13 minutes Competition. ("The Fortune Teller," Caravaggio, 1594. First version. Rodney, CC.)
Reading Time: 13 minutes

Last month I wrote a post about Christianity’s changing morality. In a lot of ways, their morality–supposedly timeless, changeless, and ageless–is a product of their times, so it changes and ages accordingly. Now that the religion’s starting to circle the drain, many Christians are getting quite desperate to regain their onetime dominance–and to feel once more like they still have some measure of control over their culture. I was surprised to see one of the outgrowths of that desperation: strangely overly-specific predictions of the future. In Christians’ prophecies, we can see the shape of the future Christians want–and hopefully, hopefully, hopefully, will never ever get.

Competition. ("The Fortune Teller," Caravaggio, 1594. First version. Rodney, CC.)
Competition. (“The Fortune Teller,” Caravaggio, 1594. First version. Rodney , CC.)

Fortune Telling is Totally Sinful, Unless You’re Christian.

It still amazes me that Christians can even try to claim to have “objective morality” and then contort themselves to declare an activity or idea totally off-limits unless this and until that and except for this other. Nothing sounds less objective to me than that approach to morality.

Granted, the critics of Christianity have long known about the group’s uneven response to magic. The same exact Christians who decry Jeanne Dixon and other occult prognosticators are the first to breathlessly consume and parrot predictions from their own leaders. It’s hard not to think that their main objection to the “occult,” as they understand it, is that it’s competition with their own Jesus-flavored sorcery.

So not long ago I examined Charisma Magazine’s 2016 prophecies–and discovered that of the few that were actually testable, they hadn’t come true in the least. Most, however, were so indistinct and fuzzy that they could have applied at any point, to any group in any country at any time–so, in other words, were perfect for Christian leaders’ purposes. They know quite well that their followers won’t ever critically examine these lofty predictions, and that non-Christians are usually so weirded out by or disinterested in the whole charade that we won’t generally even know or care that a prophecy was issued at all. Unless it becomes a media circus, like Harold Camping’s 2012 prediction of Rapture, we don’t even usually notice.

And I think that’s a misstep on our part. I think it’s a good idea to be at least marginally aware of what Christians totally for sure think a real live god told them would happen in the near future, so we can bring it up afterward when they start trying to claim that a real live god tells them anything–and more importantly, so we can be aware of what battles are coming our way.

So What’s Up for 2017?

Charisma is pretty sure they know.

Not ones for lounging about mourning over how cataclysmically poorly, how galactically horribly their 2016 prophecies went, they’ve moved right into 2017’s prophecies. Now they’re consulting a new sorcerer, Cindy Jacobs. She’s apparently an author and operates some kind of “prophetic ministry” that appears to exist purely to fleece Christian sheep.

The magazine’s 2016 prophecies called for a huge “West coast rumble,” with “apostolic motion gaining momentum.” Their sorcerer that year said that in 2016, we’d be seeing tons of new totally verified and I assume credible miracles and magic healings as well as a huge “new men’s movement” that I assume is not MRA-related at least in theory.

Indeed, I’m sure we all remember the tons of totally verified and credible miracles and magic healings, as well as the massive revival and “rumble” resulting in tons of converts and reconverts, and the YUUUUUGE Christian men’s movement that was totally not MRA-related.


Oh, wait.

No, none of that actually happened.

Inara is right to look smug right about here guys

Undeterred, Ms. Jacobs has declared that “God” totally told her that 2017 is “the Year of the Breakthrough” because the number 17 is a magic number that signifies “overcoming the enemy” and “complete victory.” So in 2017, there will be tons of totally verified and credible miracles and magic healings, as well as a massive revival. If Christians obey their masters, then they will “put out hands” and “begin to prosper” and “break significant and long-standing strongholds that have plagued people’s lives.” (One commenter there notes that in the original Roman calendar, 2017 came and went some years ago. Oops? Well, of course “God” would use an American’s calendar.)

She’s predicting, just as the (failed) prophet did in 2015, that “mantles” will be passing to a new generation of leaders and that OMG new alliances in governments will form–and that OMG THERE WILL BE CORRUPTION EXPOSED DOWN IN THIS SHIT.

Amusingly, she mentions that countries that are corrupt and that keep “their people in bondage” will “see massive shakings” as their corruption is exposed and their leaders fall from power. But she never mentions that a lot of these very corrupt governments are, um, dominated by religious zealots and that the bondage is generally theocratic in nature. I’m guessing “God” didn’t mention that or give her cautions about America’s government getting too cozy with religion.

Time to Build?

She gets down to business in the middle of the post, saying that it’s “time to build.” She thinks 2017 will be the year of the “love revolution” where Christians will finally be known by their love and everyone will be totally awed by the Jesus Auras of these TRUE CHRISTIANS™.

How, you ask, will her tribe show their love?

Firefly Our Mrs Reynolds Is Unimpressed

Wealthy people will give their vast YouTube fortunes to churches. Really. I’m not exaggerating. That money will be used to fund missionaries. She spends a little time lauding “the creation of wealth,” which sounds a lot like a dogwhistle for Republican policies–which we know don’t work and won’t ever work, a situation that’s only gotten worse with the Carrot-in-Chief’s election. The love she thinks they’ll be showing is, of course, the modified kind that toxic Christians have been working on for a while.

Their prophet, Ms. Jacobs, thinks that there’ll be “major reconciliations between denominations, nations, and peoples.” I’m curious as to how that’s gonna work, personally. Fundagelicals in particular have no use for unity; they are belligerent and bellicose to the end, and they view compromise as the dirtiest word there is after consent. She also claims that her god totally told her that families will heal their various breaches. Considering that her religion caused many of those breaches, one wonders idly how that’d happen either. Of course, I don’t believe in magic and she does.

What really concerns me is that she thinks that the Midwest is going to be the center of this amazing reunification. Considering the damage that exact part of the country has done to people’s civil rights, and how hard way too many of their denizens have been fighting to roll back what little advancement we’d made on that front, I really don’t see any way for that to happen. She sees the big problem here as being the totally divisive coasts, a division exemplified by the election. It’s all your fault, liberals, she might as well be saying, and I doubt her audience would fail to hear her dogwhistle there.

Harvest Season. (Barf.)

Like last year’s failed prophet, this year’s about-to-fail prophet thinks there’ll be a totally undeniable revival that will involve tons of totally dramatic and credibly-demonstrated miracles. In fact, there’ll be “hundreds of thousands” converting! And and and and you guize, totally the Middle East will be part of that revival! And and and Egypt will totally be a leader in the revival! OMG!

And also like last year’s failed prophet, she’s totally sure that her god told her that the West Coast would be a big part of 2017’s revival. Here’s where her prediction gets downright hilarious. It’s like she’s a medium on a TV show calling out “Does anybody have a relative with a name starting with M? How about B? How about T?”

The glory of God is going to be poured out across the United States, and these areas were specifically given as revival centers: Los Angeles, California; Silicon Valley and Redding, California; Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; Phoenix, Arizona; a new spring coming out of Colorado Springs, Colorado; Oklahoma; Austin, Texas; Kansas City, Missouri; Madison, Wisconsin; Indianapolis, Indiana; Nashville, Tennessee; Orlando, Florida; Fort Mills, South Carolina; Virginia; Annapolis, Maryland; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; New York City; Boston, Massachusetts; as well as other cities and regions.

The inner cities of America and the areas in which Satan has built his greatest strongholds will begin to rebuild, and the revivals in such cities as Detroit and Chicago will astound the news. God says, “I will not forget the inner cities.”

I’m betting those are pretty much every single town name Ms. Jacobs actually knows. And did you catch the racist dogwhistle about Detroit and Chicago? Yeah, the problem is that Satan built strongholds there. No way it could be anything else.

She’s sure that “God” totally told her that various “high-profile leaders in the media, government, and education spheres of society” would become saved in 2017. I’m simply wondering who they might be. There are only a vanishing few non-Christians at any level of our governments, and though there are some non-religious and non-Christian folks in media they’re still rare enough that they still regularly turn up in Top 10 lists. I’m guessing that this, too, is a dogwhistle meant to make her tribe look forward to seeing high-profile people convert to the correct flavor of religion, which is to say their own flavor of it. Of course, she doesn’t name a single one. “God” isn’t very specific that way. He’ll give her an entire list of city names, but not one single actor or government figure’s name.

Chillingly, she also thinks “God” told her that First Nations people would be part of this great revival of 2017. Considering the really nasty way that Christians colonized various nations around the world and continue to prey upon them even today, I find this prediction to be in extremely poor taste. She mentions that the First Nations peoples will “forgive the terrible atrocities committed against them.” You know, the atrocities committed against them by Christians just like her, specifically in the name of her god. But she never says that, and neither does her god.

It’s just so weird.

Blah, Blah, Blah.

There’ll be tons of new Christian music. Hooray! I bet it’ll suck as bad as anything else they put out.

LOLOh, and tons of young people will totally convert and reform their culture, especially through universities–those evil bastions of “progressivism and Marxism!”

Did you snerk? I snerked.

I snerked even harder when she said that her god had totally told her that “social media will be the Gutenberg press in this reformation.” Social media is what is fucking destroying her religion and tearing down her tribe’s leaders, but sure, okay, whatever, she can see it as the instrument of revival if she wants.

Donald Trump = King Cyrus version 2.0. Really.

She said that “God” had totally told “several of our prophets” (they have a sweatshop of them, I think; it sounds like they’re kept on a steady caffeine feed and their eyes propped open with toothpicks as they stare at a cave wall and scream whatever comes to mind before their overseer walks past with his whip in hand) that Donald Trump would “become a 21st-century Cyrus.”

Cyrus the Great is a Bible figure who is considered the deliverer of the Jews and a patron of their religion. He apparently authorized work on the big Jewish temple in Jerusalem and released Jewish captives in his country so they could return to Israel–though he wasn’t Jewish himself but Zoroastrian.

Yes, she thinks that “grab ’em by the pussy” Donald Trump is totally going to be the deliverer-king and patron of TRUE CHRISTIANITY™ that her religion needs. Her god totally told her so. He also told her to “pray for him,” so he could heal the nation rather than divide it (further and worse). Magical thinking for the win!

She’s also totally certain that medical advances WILL SO make everyone convinced that fetuses are really totally the same as people. I guess nobody’s told her that “personhood” is a red herring and that the real issue is consent and bodily ownership, not whether or not the entity using another person’s body without consent is a person or not. (Of course, one could argue that the fetus itself isn’t making the demand; TRUE CHRISTIANS™ and other like-minded misogynists are doing so in the fetus’ name, because they’re just awesome that way and haven’t thought this one through to wonder why they’re telling everyone that why yes, they’d totally forcefully violate another human being’s body if they think it’s for a good cause. Of course, one might also remember that Christians’ real goal here is to roll back women’s rights, not saaaaave pweshus baybeeez.) She’s also sure that this is the year that “personhood” laws will finally get passed and that tons of forced-birthers will come out of the woodwork to declare their allegiance to these laws. Yes, because forced-birthers are so very quiet and shy about their views. It’s totally not pro-choice Christians who hesitate to announce themselves. Her god totally told her so.

Her god also totally told her that there’ll be “a conservative revolt” (whatever happened to healing rifts and uniting people?) and that journalistic critics of her religion will be “crippled.” Liberals will be crying when they see those media giants collapse and go under, all thanks to “God.” Mean ole liberals will of course “accuse God’s people of lying” (because of course they never do!) but her god totally told her that they’ll lose. Yay Team Jesus! Sounds totally healing and uniting, doesn’t it?

More dogwhistles come after this–her god totally told her that all kinds of judges will be exposed as corrupt (because they keep deciding against TRUE CHRISTIANS™, I suppose). The FDA will get in trouble. Trade deals will be “rewritten.” There’ll be “compassionate immigration reform.” Blah, blah, blah, it’s like the Republican party platform with extra Jesus in it. I wasn’t even sure that was possible.

wait just a moment okayMost troubling of all in this section, she claims that churches will be the reason that poverty will be eliminated. I wonder how her god told her this would happen, considering how piss-poor they’ve always been at helping eliminate poverty up till now. They’ve been losing members like whoa this past few years, and it’ll take more than a few YouTube celebrities going fundie to reverse that trend. I know that toxic Christians are very fond of trying to put churches into the equation of relieving poverty and alleviating misery, but the rest of us are well aware of how little churches actually do to help with either. (In fact, very little of our Christian-dominated past looks anything like what toxic Christians imagine it does.)

You’d think that “God” really has a hard-on for the lower-48 America, but oh no, don’t worry! “God” totally told Cindy Jacobs and her team of sweatshop prophets all about the world. From a new pipeline in Alaska and “hidden riches of gold and rare minerals” found there to economic crisis in Italy, Spain, and Portugal, her god totally has this covered.

Since nothing based in reality really hinders her, Ms. Jacobs feels free to predict that ISIS will finally be defeated, North Korea will finally “be put in check,” and the UN will be stripped of power so it can’t force BORSHUNS on brown people. She actually uses the word “eugenics” here–she’s upset about LGBTQ acceptance too, of course–or should I say her “god” totally is?

The Boner for Israel Hits Full Chub in 2017.

The weird fundagelical hatefuck with Israel continues unabated, I see from this list of prophecies; she devotes quite a lot of space to outlining how much like Left Behind that part of the world will look in 2017. Incidentally, her god totally told her that tons of Jews would convert to Christianity this year, so be watching out for that, okay?

Amusingly, Ms. Jacobs declares that her god totally told her that he’d totally be “liberating” Christians from Iran’s “radical ideologies.” Remember, y’all: theocracy is okay if it’s Christians doing it. It’s not okay if it’s Muslims doing it.

We then go down the list of another half-dozen nations ranging from France to Australia. The Caribbean is left out, incidentally (as one disgruntled commenter noted!), as is Canada, and Africa gets exactly one line of rah-rah. Sorry, folks living there. You might comprise over a billion people out of the 7 billion on this planet, but you ain’t worth more than one sentence between y’all. “God” had to tell us about Madison, Wisconsin instead.)

The Ringing Bell.

A lot of this “prophecy” is stuff any idiot with a CNN feed could figure out. (Gee, ya don’t say, “God,” that corruption in government will be exposed in 2017? You sure there?)

Weirdly, Cindy Jacobs’ god seems concerned with exactly the same things that her tribe of fundagelical toxic Christians cares about. The countries that don’t blip their radar don’t appear to blip their god’s radar either. And their god tells them exactly and precisely what they want to hear: they’re winning, their slump will totally reverse soon, and they will get their vengeance on everyone who has defied them up till now.

It’d be easy to view this lady’s predictions with nothing but contempt and disdain, and I hope I’ve conveyed adequately just how much of both resides in my blackened heart for what she’s written. (Oh, believe me.)

But look between the lines she wrote, and you see a Christian tribe that is emboldened by their election win and eager to reach out to try to regain the dominance they once held. This list is like their Christmas letter to Santa-Jesus. It tells us exactly what their agenda is, and what they are working toward.

You might not have heard of Cindy Jacobs, but she’s about as toxic as it gets. She’s got her own tag on Right Wing Watch, and a quick perusal of it ought to tell you a few things right off the bat–namely that she’s never heard a fundagelical talking point that she didn’t like. She’s all about anti-gay bigotry-for-Jesus and destroying women’s rights, her tribe’s two main culture wars at the moment, and she seems to buy fully into every single other squabble they’ve ever concocted (like hating the United Nations, being terrified of immigrants, being convinced that the mean ole librul media has it out for Christians, thinking that “separation of church and state” isn’t a thing that exists, etc).

So when I look at her huge, exhaustive list of prophecies for 2017, I see them not as the isolated babblings of a garden-variety, rank-and-file right-wing nutjob (RWNJ), but as the distillation of her tribe’s worst impulses. She’s writing for her tribe–and telling them that all those dark desires they have are totally their god talking.

We’re going to come back to her post in 2018 and see how much of it turned out. I can’t wait to see all the miracle healings and mass conversions among Russian Jews–can you?

That’s why it is more important than ever to speak out against Christian overreach. Vote, by all that’s holy vote, yes, but also speak up if you see hypocrisy among your peers. Make sure your politicians know you’re watching them and don’t at all approve of their pandering to the Christian Right. If you’re losing your faith or have lost it or can’t hang around toxic Christians anymore, say so if you can, if it’s safe, so the Christians around you know that they aren’t in a bubble and that their cultural control is toppling. If you can march do so. If you can volunteer do so. Find a way. We need you.

This list of prophecies is what Cindy Jacobs and her pals think “God” totally promised them for 2017, and I think it’d be awesome if we could come back next January or February to laugh about how fuck-all none of it actually came true.


ROLL TO DISBELIEVE "Captain Cassidy" is Cassidy McGillicuddy, a Gen Xer and ex-Pentecostal. (The title is metaphorical.) She writes about the intersection of psychology, belief, popular culture, science,...