Don’t Mock the Second Coming of Jesus Christ…
…or you may get mauled by a she-bear..!!
Since my recent comment about irrelevant and forgotten old radio Bible teachers, I thought I would re-publish this rant from my old website. It is several months old, and I am beating up on a dead guy, but hopefully some of the younger folks out there can relate. Dig?
It was darker than usual this morning due to turning the clock ahead an hour, so I was able to pick up a distant AM station on my drive into work. It was broadcasting a rerun of one of those ancient J Vernon McGee Thru The Bible programs. He was working his way through 2 Kings when he hit this troublesome passage concerning the prophet Elisha:
Then he (Elisha) went up from there (the River Jordan) to Bethel; and as he was going up by the way, young lads came out from the city and mocked him and said to him, “Go up, you baldhead; go up, you baldhead!” When he looked behind him and saw them, he cursed them in the name of the LORD. Then two female bears came out of the woods and tore up forty-two lads of their number. He went from there to Mount Carmel, and from there he returned to Samaria. – 2 Kings 2:23-25 (NASB)
I have never heard a sermon from this portion of Holy Scripture, but there it is in black and white, right there in our Bibles. Face it Christians – this is embarrassing. As a Fundamentalist, I found it very troubling, and I prayed that nobody would bring it up when I evangelized to my buddies. But it is not the scripture that bothers me so much, as McGee’s rationalization for it. Let me summarize what he said.
McGee said that scoffers just love this passage of Scripture, and try to mock God because of it. Mankind has an innate streak of rebellion against God. We desire not to believe in God, so any opportunity that the Scripture affords will be used by the heathen to ridicule God. No, God will not be mocked.
He continued by saying that the news of Elijah’s ascension into heaven on a fiery chariot preceded Elisha on his trip from the River Jordan to Bethel which literally means “House of God” in the Hebrew language. We also jump to the conclusion that the youngsters were precious and innocent children. But this assumption is wrong! No no, see they were in fact young men from an ungodly parentage and students of the false prophets!! (WOW, talk about a huge leap of logic!) Much like young heathen in the “House of God”, they were like the hippies of today in Los Angeles “The City of Angels” (here the program really dates itself).
Then McGee just tells a bald faced lie. See, the Hebrew word for little children is everywhere else translated in the Bible as young men, and should not be translated as little children at all. In fact the same word is used in 1 Kings 12:8 to speak of young men. So these innocent and precious youngsters were in fact no better than a gang of thugs..!! I guess McGee could get away with this back in pre-internet times. But it took me about 10 seconds on the online Hebrew concordance to see that McGee was lying. No, I am not giving him the benefit of the doubt here. According to Strong’s Concordance of the Hebrew Bible (blueletterbible.org), little and children are almost always translated as, guess what?, little and children, despite what McGee, our radio evangelist and Bible expert, claimed. McGee went from little children to a gang of thugs (or hippies, take your pick) for one reason – because he wanted it to. He lied, and I don’t make those kinds of accusations lightly. As a pastor and Bible teacher he should have known better. Look it up for yourself. In these days of instant information, Evangelists just cannot get away with this stuff. McGee may have passed away years ago, but this is true concerning modern Bible teachers too. Trust me, I have been burned enough times by faulty logic from authoritative figures behind the pulpit. Look it up for yourself and see whether these things be so.
We are not done yet – it gets worse. What was Elisha taunted with? “Go up you Bald Head, go up!” What were they saying? They were mocking Elisha and challenging him to ascend to heaven the same way Elijah just did down at the River Jordan!! You see, they were ridiculing the truth in Scripture, that God can take people out of this world. This passage is placed here by God to let us know that God intends to judge those who dare to ridicule the second coming of Jesus Christ!!!
HUH?? WHAT??? So God is making an example of the thugs to warn us not to ridicule the Second Coming of Jesus?? That will teach those punks, considering that Jesus does not come onto the scene for another 750 years or so! Does J Vernon McGee really believe this ridiculous leap of logic? Does he really expect the unbeliever to be convinced by this?
He continues. Elisha cursed the mockers in the name of the Lord. God shall smite thee, you whitened sepulchers. Elisha is not responsible for the young men’s deaths, God is – so find fault with him if you dare do so. We live in a day of lawlessness. The minds of the people of this country have been brainwashed. We need judgment, just as in the early days of this country, we need to take the young lawbreakers and whip them in public! We can be assured that nobody in Bethel ever scoffed Elisha again.
I don’t know what to say about this. It is easy enough to find fault with this portion of Scripture, in fact I avoid it because it is too easy to ridicule. That our Holy God of moral perfection, the God whom Jesus is equated with, would send a couple of bears to maul anybody, be they children, thugs, hippies, whoever, just for taunting a prophet just cannot be harmonized with our God of Love and Mercy. And if that is God’s idea of justice, then Falwell, Robertson and Hagee are absolutely correct when they say that God punished New Orleans via Katrina for its sin. But that is not what upsets me. What upsets me is the lengths that Fundamentalists will go through to rationalize the Bible, to excuse God for his killing, and the outright laziness, sloppiness and deception that is used in doing so. This is what I am supposed to believe in? Fine, but if you find passages from your own Scripture so embarrassing and so difficult that you cannot be honest in dealing with it, or honest in explaining it to us, the laity or the unbeliever, then it is not my fault when I say I cannot believe it.
Entry filed under: HeIsSailing. Tags: agnostic, apologetics, apostasy, atheism, Bible, charismatic, christianity, Church, faith, heretic, inerrancy, Jesus, pentecostal, rapture, religion, science, skepticism.