Bad Eschatology, Part 2 – Blindness

It is normal to be blind to our own errors – even when people show them to us. Even when we struggle to find errors and misconceptions, it can take a lot of work to see what should have been obvious.

Unfortunately, most believers are not interested in ferreting out falsehood. Change is painful, and it’s much easier to trust the stories of a professional – their pastor. And, the pastor is the product of seminaries that are paid to produce cookie-cutter Christians.

Then, there are the fabulists that created the fables that we love so much.

So, let’s talk about why we can be so blind.


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I just got thrown out of yet another eschatology group on Facebook. (This one.) I’m getting tired of thin-skinned admins with an axe to grind, so I’m thinking of starting my own.

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Bad Eschatology, Part 2 – Blindness

The Reasons Why We Cannot See

We’re going to get into the scriptural errors of the main theories about the Last Days, but offering simple and direct proof will rarely be enough to persuade anyone to abandon a lie that they like. Doing that will lead to a personal attack, change of subject, false rationalization or deafening silence.

I confess to having done that in the past with my own errors – errors that I have long since repented of. So, I completely understand why someone would act with such lack of logic when faced with proof that they are deeply incorrect. In fact, if you live long enough, you will suffer such moments quite a few times, and we have a term for that.

Cognitive Dissonance – the stress or pain that you feel when what you see conflicts with what you believe. You can find a longer definition and description, here.

One aspect of this is called Cognitive Blindness. That’s the inability to perceive something because you lack the capacity to understand it, whether through ignorance, conflicting belief or insufficient intelligence.

I actually experienced a moment of cognitive blindness on a trip to Israel to visit friends and family in 2015. I had gone to a makolet (מכולת), one of the ubiquitous tiny grocery shops that are everywhere in Israel. I was buying a bottle of Coke, and when the clerk spoke to me in English, I could not understand him. It wasn’t because of his accent. No…

My mind was so caught in Hebrew that – for a moment – I couldn’t understand English.

This happens a lot in discussions over politics, religion, science, morality and whether the tomato is a fruit or a vegetable. When you show proof that a certain thing cannot be true to an ardent follower of that ‘thing’, they often will be unable to see what you are saying. But, there’s something more insidious, something darker:

Willful Blindness

There are those among us who are deliberately closing their eyes to what is true because the consequences would be too severe. And, about 85% of any given group of people are engaged in willful blindness. Eighty. Five. Percent.

That figure comes from a number of studies of companies and institutions. And, I learned quite a bit about that from this TEDx talk by Margaret Heffernan:

Margaret Heffernan: The dangers of “willful blindness”

Eighty five percent of those who follow an error, know that there’s a problem with what they believe. They know that their beliefs just don’t ‘add up’. But, they refuse to acknowledge what they carefully refuse to see.

I once had a pastor tell me that he would lose half of his congregation if he preached what he believed about the Rapture. He was a secret post-tribber, who was too much of a coward to preach the truth.

Such cowardice by a pastor is a sin.

There are a number of other mental problems at work, and I’ve seen a lot of them over the years – especially on Facebook eschatology groups. I have personally seen the following:

Apophenia – the tendency to perceive meaningful connections between unrelated things.

Illusory Correlation – the phenomenon of perceiving a relationship between variables (typically people, events, or behaviors) even when no such relationship exists.

Selective perception – the tendency not to notice and more quickly forget stimuli that cause emotional discomfort and contradict our prior beliefs.

Semmelweis reflex – a metaphor for the reflex-like tendency to reject new evidence or new knowledge because it contradicts established norms, beliefs, or paradigms.

False Consensus Effect – the assumption that personal qualities, characteristics, beliefs, and actions are relatively widespread through a population.

Naive Realism – the human tendency to believe that we see the world around us objectively, and that people who disagree with us must be uninformed, irrational, or biased.

Effort Justification – tendency to attribute a value to an outcome, which they had to put effort into achieving, greater than the objective value of the outcome. (That Th.D., for instance…)

Confirmation Bias – the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms or supports one’s prior beliefs or values. And, I’ve been seeing a lot of one element of ‘confirmation bias’ called the Backfire Effect – which happens when you give evidence contradicting a belief resulting in the rejection of the evidence and an even stronger belief in the error.

Frequency Illusion – after noticing something for the first time, there is a tendency to notice it more often, leading someone to believe that it has an increased frequency of occurrence. (You buy a Honda, and then start seeing Hondas everywhere.)

System Justification – the tendency to defend and bolster the status quo.

Subjective Validation – by which people will consider a statement or another piece of information to be correct if it has any personal meaning or significance to them.

Dunning–Kruger Effect – people with low ability, expertise, or experience regarding a certain type of task or area of knowledge tend to overestimate their ability or knowledge.

And finally, one that probably affects me, and probably you:

Bias Blind Spot – recognizing the impact of biases on the judgment of others, while failing to see the impact of biases on one’s own judgment. (That plank in our own eye, as we seek the splinter in someone else.)

Those are just the cognitive biases that I’ve been able to identify in my interaction with people who believe in a number of different eschatologies. There are a lot more to look at, and I find all this to be absolutely fascinating. We humans are so irrational, that we literally cannot see our errors – even when someone shows us absolute proof.

I’ve come to realize that the best that we can do in such circumstances is acknowledge this weakness in ourselves and others. We are all so very fallible, and can only know the truth by the grace of God.

If we humble ourselves and submit to what the Bible says, we have a chance at learning the truth.


I truly hope that you’ll be ready for this

A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.Proverbs 22:3


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12 thoughts on “Bad Eschatology, Part 2 – Blindness”

  1. Take a look at this website:
    Now, take a look at what it’s really all about:

    “Anglo-Israelism”? Really?!

    Well done on this article. I was blind over a few things for a few years until I repented, and actually submitted to what the Bible says. I try to do that with all God gives me through it each day.
    I still pray to get baptized one day; my mother and I had another convo this week where I mentioned that to her and she said that I would have to find a church to get baptized at that I was comfortable with. I’m fulfilling what Jesus said about “not the peace, but the sword” with my family, at least thus far.
    I seek to help people. I seek to fellowship with true brethren in Christ. The sad part is, like you said to me in a reply to one of my comments, we’re seeing less of it every day. No matter what, though, I will trust God with all my being, even if it means giving up all the things that are in my room where I’m typing this, even if it means giving up my family (I’m still under my parents’ roof and can’t drive at the moment), even if it means giving up this laptop and the other electronics I use (although no brothers have come to me yet, so I’m speaking with you virtually), and even if it means giving up my life, which I have, giving it up for God.
    I know that God will get me through all these trials and tribulations throughout my life; I know that He will lay His Word on my heart so long as I let him – and I will; I love and fear God so much that I don’t want to displease Him. When Jesus talked about the Seven Churches in Revelation, it makes me shudder because of what we’ve done – especially this nation I live in.
    I actually wrote a letter to my pastor, talking about all the unbiblical things (while my church is mostly somewhat Biblical, infant “baptism” and Martin Luther stuff are practiced – you know, that anti-Semite) that he had done and taught (like praying that America would be spared; OF COURSE IT’S NOT GONNA BE SPARED, MAN!). Of course, the reaction he gave afterwards was a short lecture to my brother and sister – they go to a class there weekly like I did – and my mother yelling at me about it. But you know what? I’m fine with that, because at least I did my job (I wrote the letter back in late September, by the way, and I didn’t place it in the pastor’s office until November). I’m not trying to boast of myself by the way; I’m simply saying I did it all for the Lord Who put it on my heart to do so.

    Anyway, with a new guy to talk to at school in tow, and currently reading 1984 by George Orwell for the first time, I will continue to do the best I can to love my Lord and fear Him with every bit of my being, just as you do.
    God Bless you and keep you, make His face shine on you and be gracious to you, and may He lift His countenance upon you and give you peace. Amen, In Jesus’ Name.

    Lastly, just on a general note, did you once say you played an instrument before? Well, my brother plays the trombone, and we’ll be going to see him tonight perform at the band concert, which I know will be good because my brother’s a great trombone player.

    Yours in Christ,
    Charles 🙂

  2. Oh, and there’s a tiny typo in this article: “…it can take a lot of work TOO see…”. That should just be one ‘o’. 🙂

    Love you, brother.

  3. Dear brother John

    I listened toa video from Angela Cummings (also her youtube channel) a female streetpreacher already for more than a decade she does it alone on the street !! she has grown a lot i know her videos from some years ago she said a true prophet or woman or man of God will be thrown tomatoes at, the church will not like you and will throw nasty eyes on you they dont like you because you make them look bad or not right whatever and mistress you at times she was pushen in the stomac put into prison at times wow what a woman a strengh and loyalty !!
    Some people calls themselves prophet while asking money all the time and demand respect admiration or at least no criticisme but praise and even a kind of worship they really think they deserve the money and praise but if they are already awarded they will not receive anymore an award from the Lord the Lord always speak of a remnant who will follow Him and Him alone and even ask if He will find faith when He returns so He sees your loyalty and effort luckily He doesnt ask for succes !
    I know you dont call yourself a prophet but thats not what i discuss here
    See also
    the testimony of rescued christians from Oekraïne just at the beginning of the reign of Stalin God brought an american !! prophet to warn them of coming atrocities and severe persecutions and war and only a few followed Him till they reached China and were still going through testing ! What a awesome God we serve but there are warnings to keep as a lesson it will never be easy for his true children i read it again for the fourth time i think
    there is also a part 2

    How many problems the apostle Paul had with the believers !!
    There are still readers who believe the revelations you have more then the number of people who listens and or believe what i say ha ha
    I really admire your loyalty and perseverence in it and hope with you you can work with the Holy Spirit to open the eyes of more people
    Love from sister Nadine

    Praying for you too i made some good progess but need prayers and the Lord

    • I’ve had a lot of bad experience ‘prophets’, so I shy away from such things. But, I am glad that you are making good progress. May God continue this work in your life, Nadine! – JL

  4. Hey John.
    Could you give me some Bible verses correctly translated from Hebrew and Greek, besides the ones you’ve already pointed out?
    I would love to see the John Little Version in print someday, but I don’t wanna lay any more burdens on you then what God has already given you throughout your life.
    Please continue to pray for my family, who I give up for the Lord.
    Also, I forgive you for all your sins. I know you’re nearly the same age as my (sports-obsessed, Lutheran-thinking, Sweden-obsessed, blind Democrat with only certain things against them) dad, but I, even 18, still forgive you.
    I think I’ve written how burdened enough my life was already. Like I always believed in Jesus Christ; I always believed He was True and Lord; I still go to the same church I always do. The problem was that I was an easy believer, and I wasn’t dedicated, as I am now, to serving the Lord with every beat of my heart.
    Forgive me.
    Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our King!
    God Bless you, brother, as He always does.
    Your Brother in Christ,
    Charles 🙂

    • The most important thing of all, is that God loves you so much that He sent His Son to die for you and pay for all of your sins – past, present AND FUTURE. He loves you THAT MUCH, so you will be fine. You might suffer in this life, but a crown is set aside for you in heaven. As for the JLV… just thinking about that gives me the shivers! Keep up the good, brother. – JL

  5. John, I’ve confessed this before God, and now I must confess before my brethren.
    It is currently 5:16 AM right now, but last night, I did something disgusting, and I am ashamed of it. It’s the habitual thing I talked about before, and it came back to haunt me. I KNEW that it was not a good idea, but the thoughts were, at least at the moment, too much to bear.
    I repented beforehand, which was not a good idea, and after hand, knowing God would forgive me regardless, which I know He has.
    I want to say to you that I am sorry for what I’ve done, and I repent of what I did. It was a speed bump in the marathon, and I wish I could have said no to the temptation. I just don’t wanna be one of those people who goes back to a sin over and over again and weeps sorry every time. It’s not a habit anymore; it just haunted me so much that I could not control myself in the moment.
    I know the Lord has overcome the world; I know He will not lead me into temptation; the only way that that can be true, of course, is if I do not do what I did again, for my body is my temple, and by my faith, the Holy Spirit controls it.
    I pray that I am not tempted into doing this again.
    The Lord is merciful, and hears His children.
    Yours in Christ,

      • Hi Charles,

        Okay, I think that it’s time to look at what wrong with the Seventh Day Adventists:

        Is Ellen White a false prophet? Investigate for yourself

        Discover: Is SDA Truth the same as Bible Truth?

        The Seventh Day Adventists are a particularly bad heresy that claims that Jesus is Michael the Archangel, and places their followers in bondage to Torah.

        Jesus came to free us from the bondage of the Law.

        Furthermore, Sabbath observance is a sacrament of the Old Testament. Under Christ all Old Testament sacraments are covered. We no longer need to make sacrifices, wear special clothing, eat special food, observe times and seasons.

        We are only obliged to follow the moral laws of Torah – honesty, integrity, fidelity, love and truth. And when we fail at those, we have a Redeemer.

        Keep rereading Galatians. It’s a powerful indictment against Torah observance.

        Oh, and don’t read anything from the Seventh Day Adventists. They aren’t Christian, and will lead you astray.

        I hope that helps, Charles.

        Yours in Christ,

        John Little
        Revelation Six

    • This is truly difficult, and you are one of the few to acknowledge this sinful problem that young men have. Of course, that’s not an excuse, but the fact that you are willing to admit it, is a good thing. So, pray for a way of escape. God will provide. My own struggle with this ended when I got married. I’m glad to see you doing your best, Charles. Keep that up. – JL


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