My articles on the nonsense of modern-day prophecy writers got a few people upset. Jan Markell wrote a response article to which I responded by pointing out that she never dealt with the substance of the article. You can read my articles here and here.
My articles really got under the skin of one end-time prophecy writer. Like Markell, he would not respond to the detailed factual points I had made. Instead, he said I misrepresented him as a dispensationalist. He also wanted to know how I could possibility know he didn’t like my “Another Bible Prophecy Nonsense Conference” article. Let’s just say that I’m psychic.
He accused me of “demonizing” people I disagree with. He repeatedly charged me with being “angry”:
“As a person within Christian publishing for 20 years and now a full-time researcher and writer, I can tell you plainly that when your name comes up, 90 percent of the time — from a whole range of Christians, from mainline to evangelicals — people are dismayed and ask why you sling angry tirades at others. Your animus and mendacity are showing, Gary. A lot.”
An “angry tirade” is pointing out the errors in prophetic thinking using the writings of the people making the argument for this or that prophetic fulfillment. This type of charge is typical of people who refuse to deal with the interpretive issues that I and others point out in great detail and in context. The best way to diffuse the critique is to slam the messenger and thereby divert attention from the real issue. It’s classic red herring stuff.
I’ve written eight books on prophetic issues (maybe it’s nine). There’s no anger. Read them for yourself. There might be a little well deserved ridicule. There’s a lot of ridiculous prophetic speculation taking place by some very well known prophecy writers. It’s not an “angry tirade” to point out these claims.
I need to be careful, because my detractor will claim that I “protest too much” and I have this inordinate desire “to win arguments.” When you debate a topic, you certainly don’t like to lose. Does anyone think that Tommy Ice didn’t want to win the nine times we debated? (At least he was willing to defend his view and not hurl personal insults.) Liberals love to pull the “I think thou dost protest too much”1 argument. Write a book or article evaluating pro-homosexual arguments and, you guessed it, you’re really a latent homosexual. Your protesting is evidence of trying to hide some hidden insecurity, blah, blah, blah. In reality, the charge is made in order to avoid the content of the critique.
I’ve been studying, writing, teaching, and debating on eschatology for a long time. I’ve been challenged over the years to rethink a lot based on spirited give and take. As a result, I’ve changed some of my views because of those challenges and became more convinced of other views after I was forced to study the issue more thoroughly. Otherwise I wouldn’t have moved from being an advocate for end-time speculation to a partial preterist. The process has taken decades of careful study. The goal is to get things right.
As far as I can remember, I have never described people I’ve debated or those who have written critiques of my work as “angry” or “unhinged.” I’ve certainly never told someone, because of their views and their rigorous defense of them (even when name calling is involved), that they “obviously loathe” the people they are critiquing. But that’s exactly what I received in repeated emails from the above mentioned end-time writer.
By making me the target of his animus, he doesn’t have to deal with the facts. It’s a long practiced strategy. Liberals are notorious for it.
It continues with his charge that I have an “angry, frustrated personality, which, despite [my] denials, is most certainly [my] reputation.” Now the amateur psychologist kicks in. “You are a sick man. Perhaps you can get help. One can hope.”
He says I’m a “narcissist.” Consider this:
“Your approach with those with whom you disagree is wholly evil. Your narcissism demands that you continue to ignore that. It’s fascinating, in a way, the way you accuse an object of your loathing of skirting the issue when, Gary, anyone else reading this would see that you are transferring your personality deficiencies to someone else.
“I repeat: get help before it’s too late.”
I never realized I needed so much psychological help. At one point he wrote that I might be a “danger to others.”
Here’s what’s really going on. The end-time speculators are having a hard time defending their views after decades of failed prophetic promises. So instead of dealing with the detailed critiques, they attack the people who are calling them to account. “You don’t have to listen to that Gary DeMar because he’s just an angry narcissist who needs psychological help.”
OK. I’m an angry narcissist, and I need psychological help. Now deal with the issues brought up by the psychologically stunted angry narcissist. I could be completely nuts, but that doesn’t mean that my assessments of end-time speculation are.
- The line “The lady doth protest too much, methinks” comes from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Act III, scene II.(↩)