Bad eschatology, COVID-19, and all the talk of the "mark of the beast"

One of my sane and thoughtful Facebook friends just shared this article which has some really nice Bible scholar thoughts on all the people making connections between vaccines or stay at home orders and end times.

My favorite quote:

So you don’t need to fear getting the beast’s mark by taking a vaccine—unless, of course, you plan to treat the vaccine as a sort of symbolic expression or “unholy sacrament” (sorry for the oxymoron!) of your willful and public rejection of the Christian faith that you despise. If that’s you and if that’s your plan, then it’s not the vaccine that’s the problem.

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Good article, thanks for sharing. I agree very much with the concern that our fears turn the beast into the star of the show, as he says, and also the politicization of that fear.

I’ll be interested to read the follow-up post, as the questions in the comments about the physical nature of the mark of the beast.are ones I would ask as well.

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I’ve had one friend on Facebook going on saying that the mark of the beast was wearing a face mask. (he called it the “mask” of the beast) Yea I’m not kidding. Seeing all these people try and relate all this stuff to supposed end times prophecy is silly and makes our Lord’s statement on eschatology a joke. We have put our political desires and fears into Bible prophecy which in turn makes us unfaithful to Scripture and prophecy. I can sleep easy at night knowing that a vaccine won’t be the mark of the beast due to various reasons and I feel sorry for people who are living in fear because of this. My hope is people drop all the fear and worry and turn and trust God in this great event in our lives and our God will help us. If we Christians do truly belive and as Paul says in Titus 2:13

looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.

Then we Christians have no reason to fear of such things.

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I’ve got a few of these here today, from house resolution 6666!

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Snopes wrote up a really nice article on the Bill Gates vaccine microchip stuff:

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And the fearmongering still abounds I see. Wish I was still apart of a conspiracy theory group I was in for long ago on Facebook back in the days of my fundamentalist’s days. It would probably be a gold mine of goodies to look at. But yea, seeing certain people share this saying its the mark of the beast.

And all this time I thought that mark on my arm was from my polio vax! btw, my dogs were vaccinated against rabies and now they can’t speak.

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But don’t you know that Snopes’ founders are shady people and everything they write is unreliable?

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I had heard that, yes. :wink:

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I guess as a partial preterist I never get caught up in gears about them end times. Nonetheless I want to read the article once home.

But I have heard various people who always brings up the mark for everything from vaccines, chips to locate you, to credit card type chips. The scriptures only mentions the temple being destroyed while Jesus was looking at it and that one was destroyed. It’s a fun subject though.

Thanks pevaquark…I have heard a bit about this bill in recent days…appreciate it

Thanks for the info, Christy. I did hear some negative talk about Gates the other day from someone. I wondered where they were getting their thoughts and this explains it, although some people are suspicious of Snopes, too.

Yes, at some point you have to decide who you trust. I certainly do not trust Alex Jones and company.

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I actually have never listened to him but always wonder where people hear things. I went online and read the text of Hr 6666 the other day…in case anyone has heard that story too. www.congress.gov

I keep telling myself that we all need to stop sheltering, wash our hands, and go get a job so that we will have other things to think about!!

Spiritual illiteracy and lack of discernment has been a problem for a long time. In the gospels, Jesus frequently has to correct his disciples and others when they misunderstand his figurative statements (Mark 8:14-21; Jn 3:3-4; etc.).

The beast’s mark on hand or forehead (Rev 13:16) goes all the way back to the Law of Moses, which commands Israel to bind God’s commands on their hands and “between their eyes,” that is, on their foreheads. This meant that God’s law should effect everything they thought and did. That did not prevent many observant Jews from later trying to perform the command literally and tie phylacteries (containers with some bit of Scripture inside) on their hands or foreheads.

The mark of the beast, therefore, is a blasphemous devotion to worldy power in place of devotion to God.

One of the problems with Evangelical Dispensationalism is its encouragement to take things written in a highly spiritual and symbolic context as literally as possible. It even makes an implicit equation between the genuineness of a person’s fatih and the person’s willingness to take every passage as literally as possible, whether it makes sense that way or not.

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How are you coming to these conclusions now?

Pevaquark …You have a problem with people washing their hands? (Joke) I think I have been listening to a whole lot of conspiracy theories the last few weeks. I am not talking about what is on this site, but I am hearing a bit too much of it out of a lot of people. Hopefully we can turn a page soon enough. and get on with our lives.

I think the compounding myths are that George Soros owns Snopes and Soros was a Nazi.

Some evangelicals fear the ‘mark of the beast’ from a coronavirus vaccine

A chilling article–the fusion of Evangelicalism, anti-vaccine conspracy theories, and general right-wing thought. Religious freedumb!

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Although I tend to be rather sceptical about understanding the likes of Revelation in a literal way, Ive always found it intriguing that one of the judgments was a star called ‘Wormwood’ that would poison many people. Then Chernobyl happened. Chernobyl is Ukranian for wormwood, and the disaster spewed out a vast cloud of radiation which travelled the globe. And of course a star is basically a nuclear bomb (using fusion rather than fission processes). Im not saying Chernobyl does equate to that Biblical judgment, but perhaps it was a foretaste of what is to come.

I also find it interesting that the ‘mark of the beast’ relates to commerce, and specifically the buying and selling of goods. For basically the whole of human civilisation, money in some form has been the means by which people have indeed bought and sold goods or services. Yet it is only now that technology has advanced so that physical money is now unnecessary for those functions, and instead people typically use plastic cards (Denmark for example no longer recognises cheques). Microchips under the skin have now already been trialed:

Note Martin Lewin’s words in that article.

Just a century ago noone would have thought of such a possibility, never mind 2000 years a go. But not now.

I understand Revelation and other prophetic writings in the Bible can be full of symbolism, but then that symbolism reflects something real. That is the point of symbolism. When i look at the likes of Daniel and see how his symbolic words came to pass in historical reality (beasts representing kingdoms which came and went, a specific timeline detailing the arrival of the Jewish Messiah etc) then logically there is no reason why some of the prophetic writings from both Testaments cannot relate to realities which were due to happen in the 20th century and beyond.

I wonder…

Peter

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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