Thursday, 12 April 2012

Patrick Heron and eschatological errors?

Patrick Heron, the Irish author and not the English artist, has written best sellers on the end times or what is referred to as Christian eschatology. His book Apocalypse Soon was a best seller in the Republic of Ireland and his more recent The Return of the Antichrist and the New World Order is particularly popular in the USA.

There is concern in the Christian community about some of his novel and controversial claims concerning prophecies and the end times.  Some would say that his eschatology is not only novel but bizarre and highly speculative rather than soundly biblical.

In the above mentioned books and in YouTube videos, Patrick Heron claims:

The Antichrist or Beast of the Apocalypse is Apollo, the Greek god, a fallen spirit being who will be incarnated as the leader of the New World Order.

New York City in the United States of America is referred to in Revelation 17 and 18.  New York, according to Patrick Heron, is identified in Revelation 17: 5 as "Babylon the Great, Mother of Prostitutes and of the Abominations of the Earth."

The Beast will operate from the United Nations building in Manhattan.

The apostasy (η αποστασια), rebellion or falling away mentioned in the text of 2 Thessalonians 2:3 refers to the secret rapture and not to any abandoning or falling away from the faith.

In fact Patrick Heron buys into the secret rapture theory doctrine, which means a two stage second coming of Christ.  This theory was made popular in the Left Behind books by Tim LaHaye. 

You can find a sound refutation of Patrick Heron's twisting of the meaning of apostasy, which is eisegesis rather that exegesis, in various websites.  Please see Cris D. Putnam's Logos Apologia   The identification of the word apostasy with "spatial departure" and then the rapture is trying to insert a meaning that is foreign to the text.  Apostasy in this context clearly means a falling away from the faith or sound teaching.  1 Timothy 4:1 helps us understand the meaning of the word apostasy as abandoning or departing from the faith.  It is not a spacial departure or rapture!  The New Testament word here is αποστησονται.

Patrick Heron's interpretation of 2 Thessalonians 2:3 has a very recent historical background.  This verse was not connected with the rapture until the late 19th century.  Before that no Christian writer understood it in this way.  In fact the fully developed doctrine of the two stage second coming cannot be found before the 19th century at all.  Even convinced pretribulationists (those who believe that Christians will be raptured before the great tribulation) do not believe that this verse in any way refers to the rapture.

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