Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Babylon the Great

Since September of 2011 I have been blogging about the dinar "investment", exposing frauds, reporting on pumper lies, and debunking guru rubbish.  When I started writing the expectation of a historic windfall to speculators was palpable, and very few seemed willing to jump on board with me, but slowly the sentiments have turned until now I truly believe the trend has reversed itself.  People are getting facts rather than hype, and are waking up to reality by the tens of thousands. 

Among the holdouts though, are the innumerable devotees who are convinced that this big RV will happen despite all of the numbers, facts, and documentation that I (or any other guru-buster) provide.  The reason is usually this ..... Iraq is the location of the ancient city of Babylon, and they have been told that Babylon must be rebuilt in order for bible prophecy to be fulfilled.  In order for that to happen, Iraq needs a valuable currency, so the dinar must revalue.   

With that reasoning in mind, I'd like to approach this subject from a different angle.  Why do people believe that Babylon must be rebuilt?  The answer in most cases is remakably similar to the situation with the dinar - GURUS!  You see, the church world is crawling with self-professed experts on bible prophecy who have proven to be wrong time and time again.

In 1970 Hal Lindsey wrote a book entitled "The Late, Great, Planet Earth" which ignited an incredible interest in bible prophecy by addressing current events and stating that they were somehow linked to bible prophecy.  This was the height of the cold war and the nuclear arms race, and people were on edge about the possibility of mutually assured destruction from a nuclear conflict.  That book went on to sell 30 million copies, and prompted dozens of imitators who attempted to cash in on the popularity of the topic. 


Unfortunately the book was full of misinterpretations, misconceptions, and just plain bad theology.  For example, Lindsey stated that the Soviet Union would be the empire of the antichrist.  Well the Soviet Union collapsed a quarter of a century ago.  He also stated his belief that Jesus would return by 1988 because in Matthew 24:32 Jesus said "Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

Lindsey claimed that a biblical generation was 40 years and the modern nation of Israel was created in 1948, so he concluded that 1988 was the cutoff date.  His subsequent book "Countdown to Armageddon" included his belief that the 1980s would see unprecedented tribulation and international chaos.  In fact the global economy did quite well in the 1980s, and the decade ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union. 

I'm not trying to pick on Hal Lindsey here.  There are plenty of other bible prophecy teachers who have an equally poor track record, but I don't think anybody was more influential in embedding these misconceptions into the minds of evangelicals. Having said that, Hal Lindsey was never one to take the rebuilding of Babylon to mean modern day Iraq.  He always subscribed to the theory that the Babylon of bible prophecy is the revived Roman Empire, which would make the city of Rome the modern Babylon.  In fact many bible prophecy teachers have concluded that the prophetic references to Babylon in the New Testament were referring to Rome, and with good reason.  Peter referred to Rome as Babylon in his first epistle. 

From Wikipedia:

"In 1 Peter 5:13 Babylon is designated as the place from which that Epistle was written, but this has traditionally been interpreted as an example of the figurative sense of "Babylon", as a metaphor for Rome. Peter is believed to have spent the last years of his life in Rome."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babylon_(New_Testament)


Others have taken the view that Babylon is a reference to Jerusalem, and still others consider it to be a reference to New York City or Wall Street to represent the world's financial system.  Some have no concrete view on who Babylon is, but they insist that it will not be the literal city of Babylon.  Others however, insist that these references to Babylon are to be taken literally.   

As you can see there is no consensus on how to interpret the references to Babylon.  But let's just assume for the sake of argument that the references are to be taken literally.  Does that mean that this is being fulfilled today with the GOI and the dinar?  Couldn't things change drastically?  Suppose the recent incursion of ISIS into Iraq is a precursor to a revamping of Iraq and its currency.  Or suppose the GOI recovers and fends off the radicals.  They could still replace the IQD with a new dinar as they have stated they will on numerous occasions.  You see, even a literal interpretation of the references to Babylon doesn't mean that the IQD will go up in value. 

It's a bad idea to invest money based upon the interpretation of bible prophecy by so-called prophecy experts.  Just as with the dinar, there are prophecy teachers who are confusing and misleading people for their own gain. 

Recently noted prophecy authors Perry Stone, Sid Roth, and John Hagee were promoting the "Blood Moon" theory on the lunar eclipse.  This theory is thoroughly debunked in the video below.

 
 
 
Perry Stone claims to have studied the bible for 80,000 hours.  He's 54 years old, so let's assume that he started studying at the tender age of 10.  That's 44 years.  If we divide 80,000 hours by 44 years we come up with 1818 hours a year.  Divide that by 365 and you get about 5 hours a day every day for 44 years.  That include school days, work days, sick days, holidays ... you name it.  And that's assuming that he started at 10.  Does this sound like a guru exagerration to you?
 
 
 
John Hagee is a very controversial figure.  Among other things he claims that terrorists will disable the electric grid in the US with an electromagneticpulse bomb. 
 
 
 
Both of these guys have sold millions of copies of their books that are full of hype, fearmongering, and bad theology.  I could name several others who have capitalized (literally) on the popularity of this topic, but suffice it to say that in my opinion 90% of what you hear from bible prophecy "experts" is bunk. 
 
I've said all along that you should do your own research on the dinar rather than listening to gurus.  Well now I will say the same thing regarding bible prophecy teachers.  I know that bible prophecy seems confusing at first, but I promise you with a little effort you can start to make sense of it.  For that matter all of your spiritual needs are too important to entrust to some spiritual guru.  It's okay to learn what you can from bible teachers, but do your own research to see if their teaching stands up.  After awhile you'll be amazed at all of the religious BS you've uncovered. 
 
 
 
 



13 comments:

  1. I really dig this post Sam because it needed to be said and you my friend did a fine job once again!!

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  2. A lot of this stuff is simple "Affinity Fraud". The people who often wear the largest crosses around their necks aren't those who go to church, they're door to door con-men operating in areas known to be religious, and sadly many religious folk (especially the elderly) fall for it every time. "Prayer calls" & "Bible Study" are simply the Dinar Guru's equivalent of that.

    If you really want to know what Jesus thought about Dinar "RV" speculation, lookup the passage about the money changers at the temple:-

    "And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves." — Matthew 21:12–13

    Well that's exactly what Dinar salesmen & "RV" guru's are - money changers & their supporting cheerleaders. The excuses some RV-addicts make for "scamming for Jesus" is quite astounding...

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  3. Religion is an invention of man as a means and method to manipulate other men. Man is always trying to dominate and control his fellow man. It has nothing to do with a belief in God. It has nothing to do with morality. It has to do with a scarcity of resources. Even prior to the invention of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam man has been scaring his fellow man into compliance, conformity and servitude using the threat of unknown and unseen but powerful forces that, of course, only certain men (usually the egomaniacal and oppressive leaders) had access to. Only those that are righteous, faithful and sufficiently devout are worthy of grace and mercy that this mysterious, omnipotent and ever present power will give them someday (far off in the future, of course). In every way, the dinar RV scam is just another incarnation of religious zealotry intended to manipulate the attitudes, emotions, and behaviors of the faithful for the benefit of a few. Sufficient faith, hope and, as always, money can get you into the exclusive club that is sure to deliver countless blessings, rewards and redemption. Someday. In the future. Way into the future. Way, way into the future.

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    1. I agree that religions are an invention of humans, and I agree that some people have used religion for all sorts of foul purposes. But the evidence does not support that such is how they came into existence. I'm sure there are many excellent works on this subject, I listened to The Evolution of God by Robert Wright.

      Further, our own views on religion are orthogonal to the clear idea that many in the Dinar world have latched onto this New Babylon notion to promote their idiocy. One could be a devote believer, and still see the nonsense behind those claims.

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    2. I don't want to get too far off topic. I agree that one can be devoutly religious and recognize that the dinar RV is a sham and a scam. The dinar scam is remarkably similar to religion (specifically, Christianity). There is a persecution, a crucifixion, and a resurrection. In the absence of evidence or proof, it requires fellowship, faith and hope to survive. It requires a cadre of disciples and priests to "interpret" the gospel in the absence of evidence. Finally, it requires congregants willing to share the gospel. It is a textbook example of how religions start and why they are creations of man. It is all done to control, manipulate and influence man to the exclusive benefit of other men.

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    3. The ingredients you site for what is needed for a religion to grow sound about right, but that does not point to how they get started or why.

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    4. Religions start because man wants to dominate or rule other men. Most of the time it is to acquire new land, resources or servitude. But it can also be just to satisfy an outsized ego. We all have an inherent fear of the unknown. And death is the great unknown. Man exploits that by convincing other men that he knows what lies on the other side of life. He has a special connection to the afterlife. He knows what happens. It could be good or it could be bad. If people do what he wants or what he directs, it will be good. If they don't, it will be bad. Since people are naturally fearful of things they don't understand, they will be very cautious about doing things that will potentially cause their afterlife to be bad. So if giving money or fighting or, in extreme cases, killing other men is the key to eternal salvation, they will do it.

      Religion is an invention of man. As long as man exists, it will exist. It is not necessarily a bad thing. But at it's core, it is a tool to manipulate, control and influence other men. If modern day religions cease to exist (just as ancient Roman, Greek, Mayan and Egyptian religions eventually fell out of favor), they will surely be replaced with something else because man will always be compelled to control and rule other men. And one of the easiest ways to do it is by claiming special knowledge of the unknown. As much as we know and understand, there is much more that we don't know or understand. Our fear of the unknown will compel us to latch onto and support people and institutions that claim they can protect us from the unknown. The real motivation will be to expand or enhance their own power and influence. But, we don't care. There is a placebo effect on us. Even if we are receiving no protection, we think we are so we are comforted and serene. Ironically, in that regard, religion actually serves an important and valuable role in life. We take great comfort feeling like we're living our lives in acceptable conformity and compliance to ensure a good afterlife. I think it's as simple as that.

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    5. This is nothing new. This kind of practice has been going on ever since the church began watching for the return of Christ. The apostolic Fathers had to deal with the corrupted gnostic writings which were an attempt to corrupt the gospel. About the time 1,000 years had pass people expected to see the return of Christ. The perception was that the church would replace Israel and that the church needed to be in possession of Jerusalem in order for Christ to return.

      As a result of this wrong belief the crusades came. There are a lot of wrong beliefs that attached itself to the bible over the years and different self-serving motives were the reason. And so it continues today. Bad theology is all around us.

      The problem as I see it is there are a lot of con-artist out there and everyone has an agenda. I can tell you that even though I am a Christian I don’t agree with the religious teachings of Hal Lyndsey and John Hagee. These guys make a lot of money spreading things that are not true. They take scripture out of context and interpret the bible in ways that it was never meant to be interpreted. They are really no different from people such as Joseph Smith, Harold Camping, or Charles Taze Russell.

      These guys I just mentioned not only take the bible out of context but they elevate their own writings above that of scripture. This is the same thing the Gnostics did. The problem is people look at these guys and lump all Christians in the same category. It is the stereo types that make people overly critical of Christianity. If we are talking about religion as an invention then we must also include evolution into the mix of religions. This was the religion that influenced Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Pol Pot, Mao and many others. The invention of this particular religion was devastating to the 20th century. I agree that religion can be used to both control man and even kill man.

      The dinar has absolutely nothing to do with biblical prophecy. But there are those that are easily influenced do to a lack of knowledge about scripture. I even encounter those that still believe things that were taught in the cold war era concerning bible prophecy. Hal Lyndsey has left his mark. Fear mongering and bad theology kind of go hand in hand.

      Hosea 4:6 my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. "Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children. (NIV)

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    6. Networth: Modern religion did not just spring into being complete with televangelist hucksters. It has a very long history. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_religion

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    7. jrg: sorry about the delay responding to you. I was out of town for a few days. I agree. In fact, I thought I said that same thing. Religion has been around since the dawn of man. It will survive as long as man survives. The religions change. The doctrine and covenants change. The beliefs change. But religion persists. It will survive as long as man.

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  4. It's interesting.....I'm a person with a deep Christian faith, and also one who thinks the Dinar is a total scam. I think one of the aspects of "faith" is believing in something or someone "no matter what". It's a fundamental. Unfortunately, many put aside their mind...reasoning...and intellect when becoming believers. I think that the gurus recognize this dynamic, and play directly into it, thus we have a large group of Dinar believers who don't need "proof", and who use that aspect of faith much to their detriment.

    So sad.....

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  5. It looks like I pompted a discussion about the existence of God or the relevance of religion and the bible. That's wasn't my intent when I posted this. I'm a Christian myself, and I believe in the bible even if I don't always interpret it like the majority of Christians do. My purpose in posting this is to show that you can believe in the bible without believing in the dinar investment. You can have faith without being gullible, and falling for every religious con artist that comes along. Being a Christian doesn't mean that you can't engage in critical thinking. In fact the bible instructs believers to test everything. (1 Thessalonians 5:21; 2 Timothy 3:16; 1 John 4:1) If you test the teachings of prophecy teachers you'll find that most of them are posers, just like dinar gurus. That's all I was trying to say.

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    1. I concur. Sorry if I got it off track. That wasn't my intent.

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