Birds aren't real!

When things don't make sense our minds can run to absurd conspiracies. Conspiracy theories are nothing new and, if we lack proper objectivity, it's possible to hang onto these absurdities as an attempt at calming or agitating our minds. Some fall for quite ridiculous theories, despite all evidence showing the belief can't possibly be true. One of the more absurd movements in our current age is the "Birds Aren't Real" movement. Anyone watching these arguments with an open mind can see the satire, but still there are a few who latch onto this theory and actually believe the US government has killed all the birds and replaced them with mechanical drones that recharge on power lines. It's ridiculous. I assure you, if that were true, there are bird hunters everywhere who would be quite upset.

I love this quirky type of satire and humor because  it sometimes gives better commentary on human nature and truth than straight up truth. A visit to the “Birds Aren’t Real” website reveals some very talented writing and acting and I applaud their pluck.  

In an interview with "Sixty Minutes" the man who started this movement, Peter McIndoe, was asked why he created this. He explained briefly he grew up in a fundamentalist Christian organization surrounded constantly by conspiracy theories. He rejected these theories, as a child, then as a teen began to protest against the absurdities foisted on him by his church. This led to satirizing these conspiracy theories in high school and now college and this just happened to be the one that stuck. 


In the early days of my life my father had theories on the date Jesus would return. His "date of return" theories changed throughout his life as the dates, predicted or assumed from others, passed unfulfilled. Most of his theories, perhaps all, were based on the date Israel became a nation, May 14,1948. Using this date, then pairing it with words in Matthew, “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened..., my father believed Jesus would return in his lifetime. This assumes the figurative fig tree is the physical nation of Israel. 


Jesus did not return in my father's lifetime and he died many years ago. Jesus has not, as of yet, returned in my lifetime as well. Given the “tribulation” is to last seven years, three and a half years of peace and three and a half years of utter chaos, and this has not yet occurred, this event is not likely to occur in my lifetime as well.


The key word in that piece of Matthew is "generation". What actually constitutes a generation? Merriam Webster gives one definition as the average span of time between the birth of parents and that of their offspring” Some quote the ninetieth Psalm, “The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away.” I think, in this day and age, where people in developed countries live quite often into their nineties and one-hundreds, we can agree this is poetic language and not an absolute. However, if one uses this Psalm as a mathematical base, or average, this would mean Jesus would return by the year 2028 at the latest. This would then mean the tribulation would have started in 2021 with the three and a half years of peace brought about by a global leader. Given that we are currently on the precipice of World War III, and are not being led by a global dictator, demanding all must worship him, that three and a half years of peace has not yet happened.  

If we are to believe Luke, he speaks of multiple “watches” and “the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect”. That’s a much safer position than to make supposition of his return and disguise our own opinion as prophesy.


I am not in a position to argue when Jesus will, or will not, return. If we believe the account in Matthew, Jesus stated no one actually knows. I have heard it said Matthew only states day or hour, not year or month. OK, whatever. The point is this. If we profess we know when Jesus will return, as so many have done that came before, we are not being truthful.


In 1972 my father was convinced, using a formula, that a generation is 32 years long. Attaching that formula to the date Israel was reborn, this meant the tribulation would start in about one year; 1973. (1948+32=1980-7 years of tribulation=1973) The group was convinced of this date and sent three men, Earl, Tom, and Jim, up into the foothills of the Northern Cascade mountains to find a place we could escape the coming troubles. This did not go well. A blizzard hit, they were quite unprepared, and they almost died. The tribulation never actually began though, so we were all good.


Over the years there were other prophesies and predictions of things that would happen within my dad’s lifetime. California was expected to suffer a large earthquake and part of it would fall into the Pacific Ocean. Pictures were shown at meetings of vast underwater caves and pillars to prove this “prophesy”. There was supposedly a large rock in San Francisco one could run to and be safe if they happened to be there during the quake. I do not know where that rock is located. I looked for it once, but it eluded me.


Another prophesy was the Japanese would rearm and take over the United States through the port of Port Angeles, Washington. This was entirely based on a dream my father had one night. It is understandable he would have such a dream as he fought the Japanese in close combat during World War II and returned with PTSD that lasted a number of years. 


Yet another theory that still has legs today is the US government will, at some point, declare anyone who is a true spirit filled Christian to be an enemy of the people. It is said prison camps have already been built, and all true Christians will be rounded up and put away in these camps so the truth cannot be told.  I sincerely doubt this one.


None of these things ever happened. These were all man-made theories, not prophesies or even facts. Fundamentalism is full of these sorts of paranoid theories and today these types of theories seem  rampant.


In the first letter to John, the author writes.


Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.


If we are to believe there is a spirit of Antichrist in the world today, it is actually those who do not believe Christ came in the flesh as human and suffered all of mankind’s pain and frailty. When I spoke this simple truth, the judgment came down upon me swift and fierce. Curious that.


If someone professes to have the formula or mathematics of when things will happen in Revelation, Isaiah, Matthew, etc., know this;  those alive at the time of Christ’s death also believed he would return within their lifetime. Two thousand years ago! He didn’t. All through history men have stated they “have the formula” for when Jesus will return. Most of those men have now passed on. Also know this, the book of Revelation speaks about things that happened, things that were currently happening, and things that will happen. It's not all about the future.


Write the things which you have seen (past), and the things which are (present), and the things which will take place (future) after this… Past, present, future. Revelation spans the entire expanse of time and is not just a prophecy for the future. Not a popular opinion but true nonetheless.


One person intimated to me the current coronavirus pandemic is evidence of the end times. A similar pandemic happened about one hundred years ago, and it was felt then the end times were upon us in full swing. A Google search will yield hundreds of formulas and theories that have been presented, modified, and died on the vine with Jesus not returning. No one can definitively say when Jesus will return.


There is no doubt the earth is decaying, not evolving into something greater. Isaiah spoke of this, …Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look on the earth beneath. For the heavens will vanish away like smoke, the earth will grow old like a garment, and those who dwell in it will die in like manner…


Scientists speak of evolution when they should really be speaking of morphing and change. But that change is decay, not advancement. It is difficult to argue with the physical evidence of so many creatures that once inhabited the earth and have long ago disappeared. Animals and fish were once much larger, but the earth is in a state of decay. These are all inarguable facts. 


There are multiple ways of interpreting the evidence, but they all lead to the fact the earth is decaying and is not moving forward to a better future. The evidence of this decay, part of which is being grossly accelerated by mankind, should not be confused with evidence of the return of Jesus. When pandemics, wars, famine, etc., strike the earth these things have happened in many watches, many time periods before. If it is occurring in this time period, this watch, it is not definite proof his return is imminent. This same type of “evidence” has been occurring throughout the history of earth and used many times to prove an erroneous theory of Jesus return.


The scriptures say Jesus will come as a thief in the night. No one makes an appointment with a thief as to what month or year they will rob your home. If someone claims to know the year or month or day or hour, that spirit should be tried to see if it is truth. It probably isn't.







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