In yet another episode of the evangelical parade of Endtimes guesses, a Super Blood Wolf Moon comes our way soon. With it, we can also expect yet another Christian Rapture scare. This time, though, things are different.
Christian Canon = Roach Motels.
Roaches check in, but they don’t check out.
“Roach Motel” pest traps (more info here)
Once any bad idea enters Christian canon, it never leaves. Indeed, it can’t. No mechanism exists for critically and objectively evaluating any ideas in the religion. Likewise, no such mechanism exists to allow for firmly rejecting and throwing out any ideas that turn out to be false.
Instead, Christians quietly turn away from ideas they decide don’t work well anymore and leap forward onto ideas they think work a little better. This process occurs on the individual and small scale for the most part, but not across the religion as a whole–usually. Some of them clearly don’t even remember holding the previous ideas, even if they held those ideas very fervently at one time.
After Harold Camping’s end-of-the-world predictions failed, one journalist learned this truth. A year after one failure, he sought out one of the people he’d interviewed before one predicted date.
I was struck by how some believers edited the past in order to avoid acknowledging that they had been mistaken. The engineer in his mid-twenties, the one who told me this was a prophecy rather than a prediction, maintained that he had never claimed to be certain about May 21. When I read him the transcript of our previous interview, he seemed genuinely surprised that those words had come out of his mouth. It was as if we were discussing a dream he couldn’t quite remember.
Rapture scares usually run along similar lines. When I experienced my first Rapture scare as a teenager, I remember vividly my fear and excitement. I had absolutely no idea in the world that this was just one of a very long line of similar panics. But just a few days later, my older church-mates seemed to forget that this one had ever happened. This failed scare simply jostled alongside all the others, largely forgotten.
Except by me.
The Blood Moon Rapture Scares.
Starting around 2013, some Christian leaders began blathering about the so-called Blood Moons. They felt that these perfectly normal, routine (if gorgeous) lunar eclipses meant the end of the world was near. One of the main leaders talking about it was John Hagee, a bigshot in evangelicalism. He sold a lot of books with this attempt to drum up a fresh panic. After his predictions failed, very few Christians (and none of real note) denounced him as a false prophet, either.
His fearmongering was so childish and simplistic that most Christians dismissed him completely out of hand. Meanwhile, astronomers had a good time destroying his assertions.
But now we’ve got something that’s like a Blood Moon on steroids.
This one’s called a “Super Blood Wolf Moon.” What a dramatic name! It means:
- It’s a supermoon, meaning it’ll look way bigger than usual–and brighter too.
- Being a lunar eclipse, it might turn out to be a Blood Moon (meaning it’ll look very red).
- American folklore calls the first full moon of the year the “Wolf Moon.”
So! What do Christian Endtimes conspiracy theorists think of this ultra-dramatic new Blood Moon winging our way on January 20th?
Paul Begley Wants His Piece of the Panic Pie.
An evangelical pastor, Paul Begley, is out there predicting that the Super Blood Wolf Moon means the end of the world. A Quora blog, Debunking Doomsday, outlined Begley’s nuttiness over a year ago. Its writer, Robert Walker, tells us that even though we might never have heard of Paul Begley, he’s got quite the flourishing YouTube channel. There, Begley dispenses end-of-the-world scares. He also rants about things that bother him as an older white fundagelical man.
So far, Begley has predicted a “gamma ray blast” destroying the Earth, the fictional planet Nibiru crashing into Earth, an attack from North Korea on America, and–yes–Blood Moon nonsense from previous years. Obviously, nothing he predicts ever comes true, but he still enjoys a very lucrative career as a shrieking fearmonger. We shouldn’t feel surprised that Begley leaped on the Super Blood Wolf Moon thing.
Indeed, he shows up on the British news site Express with a coy little quote:
I’m not saying on January 22 all hell’s going to break loose, right after the Blood Moon, and then again I’m not saying it won’t.
HAHAHA! He’s so funny!~~
Express calls the Indiana pastor a “prominent Christian preacher,” which seems like a stretch; dude doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page of his own. In any event, he thinks this particular lunar eclipse is important because it’s not just a Blood Moon. It’s a biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiig Blood Moon. But he’s not ready to go on record to predict exactly what the terrible catastrophe(s) might actually be.
Elsewhere, he reveals that he thinks Donald Trump is involved somehow, which isn’t even close to the weirdest thing he’s ever said.
Remember when I said a while ago that all these false predictions seem to be exhausting people?
It actually wasn’t easy to find Christians freaking out about this lunar eclipse coming up. Oh, one can always find some wackadoodle fundagelicals who hastily rework their “Daniel’s 70 Weeks” diagrams to erase their new failures and point to even-newer predictions. That’s easy. Here’s one. And here’s what that exact same site looked like in 2014. Found ’em both in like 30 seconds.
But mainstream evangelicals don’t seem to be touching this one.
Think about that.
For its part, the Sun didn’t even bother naming anybody in particular when they mocked “loony stargazers” (haha, seewhuttheydidthere?) for thinking the upcoming event will kick-start the end of the world.
BUT BUT BUT YOU GUYS: Where is John Hagee?
Someone just pushed defrost on John Hagee’s cryogenic chamber
—Joseph Phillips, Twitter, December 28, 2018
The wackiest thing about this entire current scare is that John Hagee has been really, really quiet about this new lunar eclipse. That Twitter quote above checks out fully in theory–you’d think Hagee would be right out in front, right? But no. He’s the one who almost single-handedly created the panics over Blood Moons–but he’s sitting this one out.
His Twitter feed, though surprisingly active, mentions nothing whatsoever about this new scare. I went all the way back through his feed to the beginning of November. I saw not one mention of the Endtimes at all really. Instead, he just pumps out the usual TRUE CHRISTIAN™ fundagelical drivel we know and despise from that crowd.
Similarly, Hagee’s lesser co-conspirator Mark Biltz maintains similar radio silence. He lost his boner-for-Israel “ministry” website sometime around April 2018, it seems. He stopped updating it entirely back in November 2017. But his YouTube channel still exists. Nothing on it sounds remotely like a Blood Moons freakout.
This Silence Isn’t a Bad Thing–For Us.
Nobody likes to get mocked, not even belligerent fundagelicals. They have surely seen what awaits false prophets and their followers.
It’s not death. Oh, it’s far worse than that. They can no longer control the narrative.
Back when I was a teen facing the “88 Reasons” Rapture scare, things looked really different. It’s like everybody was just too embarrassed to bring up the fact that millions of evangelicals had been completely wrong. And y’all, I needed to talk about this whole thing. Nobody wanted to talk about it with me, though.
Well, we’ll jolly be talking about it very soon, because this singular change in American society is destroying fundagelicals’ hold on people as well as their credibility as a group. For now, I’ll simply note that nobody feels pressured to ignore a false prophet anymore. And I really wonder if these false prophets counted on that silence to maintain their sleazy operations.
Let me end with this exasperated-sounding nightcap: Gizmodo writes in exasperation,
But “super blood wolf moon” is a name that somehow combines sensationalism, doomsday conspiracies, and botched Native American culture into one unscientific name.
NEXT UP: Remember that bad movie we reviewed a bit ago? One of its central ideas comes under our microscope–along with some medical debunking! Be there–or be square! Or be triangular, or circular, or, ya know, just go all squiggly. You do you. You’re the only one who can. See you soon. <3
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