|Robertson in full rant|
In his latest rant, televangelist-cum-prophet Pat Robertson said the world may end next week with a meteor strike. He said he predicted just such an event in his vastly unread 1995 novel. (note: next week came and went without any meteors to darken the skies.)
Normally, Robertson’s comments should be dismissed with the rolling of the eyes and a shrug at their immense stupidity. This time, however, he may have stumbled over something.
A massive meteor could cause an apocalypse next week.
Robertson, of course, links his comments to the biblical statements about the end of the world, such as:
|End of the world?|
… there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. (Revelation 6:12-14).
And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken.(Luke 21:25-26)
To Robertson, that description can only mean a space rock collides with our planet. "I don't see anything else that fulfills the prophetic words of Jesus Christ other than an asteroid strike,” he said.
Naturally, he doesn’t know the difference between a meteor and an asteroid: an asteroid orbits the sun and becomes a meteor when it enters the Earth’s atmosphere.
However, Robertson is correct about meteors and their dangers. Many of them have struck Earth. One, some 65 million years ago, helped end the reign of dinosaurs. Scientists now estimate that more than two dozen meteors strike the Earth every year. A few have been large enough to cause serious damage, such as the one that exploded over Siberia about 100 years ago.
The last known one – most are too small to have an impact or to trigger equipment – took place over Russia in 2013 and injured about 1,000 residents of Chelyabinsk after the resulting explosion broke glass and created massive shards.
On the other hand, by focusing on meteors, Robertson calmly ignores the rest of the biblical prophecies about the end of the world. For example:
So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind. Now the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million. (Revelation 9:13-16).
The meteor is unlikely to have an army aboard.
For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains. (Matthew 24:5-28)
A meteor will leave little time for wars, but nations have been battling each other since the beginning of human society. Famine is commonplace, too, and sadly has been a part of human condition from earliest times.
And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day. (Acts 2:17-21)
Maybe Robertson’s comments count as prophecy, but, if so, he’s one of the few and definitely not a young man. Robertson was born in 1930.
Just as significantly, anyone looking around can see that meteors have left evidence of their impacts, but only in the distant past. The craters that have been identified are old and, in some cases, barely recognizable. Robertson, however, thinks the world is barely 9,000 years old, which is not enough time for craters to be swallowed up.
As a final blow to his theory, Robertson has been forced to rely on science to support his claim. Normally, as a biblical literalist, he rejects astronomy, geology and other scientific fields that are necessary to understand the existence of meteors and the damage they cause. He doesn’t accept evolution, which has been proven by the same sciences he now relies on to support his meteor theory.
In essence, Robertson has blithely rejected all of his earlier beliefs and all scientific evidence to support this one claim.
That’s enough to make people subjected to yet another ridiculous Robertson statement roll their eyes and shake their heads again.
Long-time religious historian Bill Lazarus regularly writes about religion and religious history. He also speaks at various religious organizations throughout Florida. You can reach him at www.williamplazarus.net. He is the author of the famed Unauthorized Biography of Nostradamus; The Last Testament of Simon Peter; The Gospel Truth: Where Did the Gospel Writers Get Their Information; Noel: The Lore and Tradition of Christmas Carols; and Dummies Guide to Comparative Religion. His books are available on Amazon.com, Kindle, bookstores and via various publishers. He can also be followed on Twitter.
You can enroll in his on-line class, Comparative Religion for Dummies, at http://www.udemy.com/comparative-religion-for-dummies/?promote=1