you believe about Bible prophecy greatly impacts how you live in the present.
Even though this is true, it does not appear to by widely believed or
understood by the majority of American Christians. Bible prophecy beliefs
today are too often thought to be peripheral matters of personal preference.
Yet, 60% of the New Testament cannot be expounded without making interpretative
decisions about matters relating either directly or indirectly to Bible
prophecy. A current case-in-point is Reconstructionists Gary
North and his predictions about the impending Y2K computer problem.
Scary Gary' s Strange Views
North is a postmillennial preterist, who believes that by January 1, 2000 the
collapse of Modern Civilization will be well under way because of the Y2K
computer problem. Secular critics of Dr. North have nicknamed him " Scary
Gary," because of his overreaction to Y2K. Dr. North has said about Y2K:
The Y2K crisis is
systemic. It cannot possibly be fixed. I think it will wipe out every
national government in the West. Not just modify them- destroy them. I
honestly think the Federal government will go under. I think the U.S.A. will
break up the way the U.S.S.R. did. Call me a dreamer. Call me an optimist. That' s
what I think. This will decentralize the social order. That is what I have
wanted all my adult life. In my view, Y2K is our deliverance. Just don' t be
in a city when deliverance occurs.
has been said of Dr. North that he has predicted 17 of the last 2 recessions.
Why has he made such radical predictions over the last 25 years? As Dr. North
would say of himself, it is because of his core beliefs that lead him to expect
such disaster. What are those core beliefs? As noted above, Dr. North is a
preterist postmillennialist when it comes to Bible prophecy.
believe that most Bible prophecy has already been fulfilled in the past. They
usually teach that our Lord' s teachings about prophecy, prophecy in the
Epistles, and the Book of Revelation were fulfilled in events surrounding the
destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in a.d.
70. This enables him to say that we are past the Tribulation and in both the
millennium and some form of the new heavens and new earth. Thus, he is not
looking for our Lord' s any-moment return.
North' s postmillennialism teaches that before Christ returns a majority of the
world will be converted to Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. Such a reign
of our Lord from heaven, through His church will lead to a social, political,
and economic paradise upon earth before Christ returns. Even though Dr. North
believes we are living in the kingdom now, he divides it into two phases: 1)
the present phase where the church is advancing through evangelism and social
involvement leading to the defeat of Christ' s enemies. 2) The millennial phase
where the church has conquered her enemies and thus enjoys a long reign of
victory before Christ returns to earth to end history.
Cycles of Judgment
North has taught that God periodically judges civilization as a means to
advancing His kingdom toward the millennial phase. A model of this Divine
operation, according to Dr. North, would be the fall of the Roman Empire during
the Early Mediaeval era. He teaches that because of this crisis, the
decentralization of society occurred, being replaced by the rise of feudalism.
Feudal society provides a model for decentralization of governing authority, as
opposed to the centralization of earlier Rome. These periodic judgments, Dr.
North contends, are the application and outworking of the curses of Deuteronomy
28 and Leviticus 26. Never mind that these are specifically stated in their
contexts to be for Israel. Some how he applies them to modern Gentile nations.
Thus, modern society, according to Dr. North, is on the verge of a similar
cycle of God' s judgment. Thus, out of the rubble of the impending collapse of
modern civilization, Dr. North believes that the remnant of Christians will
provide leadership that the world will follow.
are divided into two camps when it comes to how the progress of the millennium
will be realized. Most are probably gradualists, who believe that the kingdom advances slowly,
over thousands of years. Dr. North is one who believes the kingdom advances
through cataclysmic events such as revivals and judgments. Thus, Dr. North
thinks the kingdom will reach the millennial state in a matter of years, by the
year 2000 or 2010 at the latest. Dr. North believes in the " Septa-Millennial
Theory,"  which teaches that the year 2000 will
be the sixth thousandth year of history, thus time for the 1000 year reign of
Christ' s millennium. Dr. North spells out why he expects Christians to be in
control of planet earth by the year 2000, 2010 at the latest in a 1985 article
entitled " The Sabbath Millennium."  It is not too surprising to see why,
with the above set of prophetic beliefs, that Dr. North has jumped upon the Y2K
Scary Gary' s Track Record
about the last 25 years Gary North has been predicting the collapse of Western
Civilization that would be brought on by various contemporary events at the
time of Dr. North' s predictions. Some of the predictions that I can recall Dr.
North making include the following:
á Nixon' s wage and price controls
á The inflation of the late 1970s under the Carter
á Reaganomics in the early 1980s
á Nuclear war during the 1980s
á The AIDS epidemic which would kill tens of
millions by the year 2000
á Now, he predicts that Y2K will result in 1.5
billion death worldwide, starting any day now.
the above is combined with Dr. North' s rhetoric about his functioning as a
biblical prophet and those who refuse to listen to what he is saying will
experience God' s judgment if they refuse to prepare for the Y2K disaster, it is
a message that leaves no room for alternate views. Dr.
North usually equates his pronouncements with God' s will. In other words, not
following Dr. North' s advice is the same as disobeying God' s Word. Yet, unlike
God' s Word which has a 100% fulfillment of its predictions, Gary North is
batting around .000. His Y2K predictions, I predict, will be no different than
his previous swings and misses.
is a saying that those living in glass houses should not throw stones. It is
probably fair to say that there has not been a greater critic of those who
teach the literal and future fulfillment of Bible prophecy, the view of Dr.
LaHaye and myself, than Gary North. Specifically he has on many occasions said
that our views of prophecy are so pessimistic that he labels us
" pessimillennialists." Yet Dr. North claims to be an optimillennialist because
he is postmillennial. However, no one spews out more doom and gloom per square
foot than Dr. North. Because of his extreme Y2K predictions he has received
the nickname of " Scary Gary" from his secular critics. Don' t they know that
Dr. North is an optimist? Apparently they go by what they read and not on the
basis of one' s theoretical beliefs. Shouldn' t an optimist actually exhibit
fact, our premillennialism is extremely optimist in that we believe that one
day Jesus Christ will return to planet earth and will rule personally for a
thousand years from Jerusalem. This will be the apex of history. We hope this
will happen very soon.
within the evangelical community have bought into Gary North' s spin about Y2K,
without having a clue as to where he is coming from. It is clear that Dr.
North' s extreme position on this issue is not based upon responsible
information, instead it is derived from his belief that something big had to
happen in or around a.d. 2000 for
the vindication of his personal views of prophecy. It won' t happen. The Y2K
problem is being fixed. Western Civilization will continue down the same road
next year that it is on today. No doubt we are all deserving of God' s
judgment, but that will not happen until after the rapture of the church,
during the Tribulation. Yet, many Christians have bought into the Gary North
spin on Y2K.
North was the first conservative Christian out there pushing his interpretation
about Y2K. As a result, early on, many evangelicals were influenced by his
misinformation and speculation, not realizing the role being played by Dr.
North' s preterist postmillennialism. Thus, many have adopted much of Dr.
North' s thought, including his postmillennial implications, in their zeal to
try to tie Y2K into Bible prophecy. Frankly, I am more concerned about J2C (Jesus'
Second Coming) than Y2K. The rapture, that Gary North does not believe in,
will cause much more panic than could ever be imagined, even by Dr. North.
couple of books that I would recommend about Y2K are, Dave Hunt' s Y2K: A
Reasoned Response to Mass Hysteria
(Harvest House), and Arno and Joel Froese' s When Y2K Dies (Olive Press). These two books provide solid
and recent information that convinced me that the millennium bug is being fixed
and will not bite (or should I say byte) too hard, if at all. If you have not
read these books, why don' t you read one or both and get something in addition
to much of the Y2K hype that is out there, even from those within our own
have gone on record, well before the arrival of any Y2K implications, pointing
out that Dr. Gary North and his unwarranted position on Y2K is nothing new for
him. He has had a long track record of predicting disaster, with the result
that usually the opposite occurs. Why does he incessantly keep saying that
disaster is just on the horizon? He is motivated by his false views of Bible
prophecy. Those of us who believe in the literal interpretation of Bible
prophecy and look for a future time of fulfillment should learn to examine what
others believe about these things and where they lead. The case of Dr. Gary
North should prove to be instructive in this matter. What Christians believe
about the future and its implications can be extremely important.
tells us, " Therefore, beloved, since you look for
these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless,
and regard the patience of our Lord to be salvation" (2 Peter 3:24-15a). If
" these things" have already taken place in the past, then the admonition to " be
found by Him in peace, . . ." would not make sense in the present. But because
we do look for these things in the future we are to assume the posture of
diligent service to our Lord, till he arrives. What you believe about the
future impacts you in the present. I don' t know about you, but we are looking
for the any-moment return of our Lord. Come quickly Lord Jesus! Maranatha!