Evangelicals believe this is the end, say papers. Oh really?
A Saturday article in the San Francisco Chronicle really is a classic. "War in Babylon has evangelicals seeing Earth's final days," says the headline. Religion writer Don Lattin begins, "America is embarked on a battle of biblical proportions—and in the eyes of a growing number of evangelical Christians, this long-awaited fight could actually bring about the fulfillment of ancient prophecies about the war of Armageddon and the Second Coming of Christ."
Only one problem: Lattin couldn't actually find any evangelicals who actually believe it.
Oh yeah, there's the book The Rise of Babylon by ArmageddonBooks.com, which has Saddam Hussein on the cover. Too bad it's a reprint.
Yes, the newest Left Behind book is titled Armageddon. But the series has been around for a decade and doesn't focus on Iraq. (If Lattin really wanted to hit the book beat, he could have also mentioned From Iraq to Armageddon, from charismatic publishing house Destiny Image.)
Yes, Prophecy Watch is holding its International Prophecy Conference with sessions on Babylon, but the group says its view of the End Times emphasizes the rise of Babylon, not its destruction.
Lattin even suggests that Bush's calling Hussein an evildoer is evidence that evangelicals think we're at the end. He goes to such crazy lengths because no one he talks to is willing to say the war is a sign of the end.
He probably thought he had a sure thing in Dick Bernal, pastor of Jubilee Christian Center in San Jose. His Pentecostal church is "always looking for signs that line up with Matthew 24," Bernal admits. But no luck. "Some of what's going on today does look interesting," he says. "But some people in my camp get a little too ...1