There’s something truly magical about evangelical prophecies. I love ’em. When they’re even coherent in the first place, they tend to fail utterly at any accuracy. And evangelicals can’t help but make endless specific predictions. Today, I want to show you a whole bunch of evangelical prophecies–and then, let’s see how they actually turned out.
The prophecies of Gene Bailey
Today’s story grew out of an OnlySky piece I wrote not long ago. It concerned a bunch of evangelicals dreaming of “payback” for losing the last presidential election. Well, about a year ago the guy at the center of that story, Gene Bailey, appeared on an evangelical show run by his very good pal and onetime employer, Jim Bakker. During that appearance, Bailey offered a whole bunch of prophecies.
In Christianese, prophecies are predictions about the future. The implication here is that their very god himself dictates those predictions to the prophet. That’s why the Bible, both New and Old Testaments, comes down very hard on prophets who offer prophecies that don’t come true. Those folks are called false prophets. Heck, Deuteronomy 18:20-22 even commands that false prophets be put to death.
Possibly because of the Bible’s clear dislike of false prophets, evangelical prophecies generally tend to be very vague. But Gene Bailey was feeling himself the day he went on Jim Bakker’s show back in March of 2021. Oh, yes, he sure was! That day, he made a whole boatload of specific prophecies. And it’s clear that he meant that these prophecies would come true in the very near future.
So, me being me, and feeling all helpful and all, I thought I’d help this guy out by fact-checking the prophecies he offered over a year ago. After all, it’s very important to check oneself against reality as often as possible, isn’t it? It’s a great way to improve ourselves.
And whoa nelly, does Gene Bailey need to improve himself. Either he’s got a terrible connection to Jesus, or he’s talking to someone else entirely. Surely, he’ll want to know either way. Right?
Prophecies about revival and a “Great Awakening.”
First and foremost, Gene Bailey offered prophecies about imminent revivals. He even said that America was “on the cusp of a Great Awakening.” That’s the title of the show, for goodness’ sake!
Those are some pretty big words, too. Religious experts think America’s had three or four Great Awakenings since Europeans began showing up in force. The first one ran through the 1730s, before America was even officially a country. These were periods of widespread conversions and vastly increased fervor. In particular, Great Awakenings tended to draw people into evangelical groups of various kinds, or inspired them to start such groups.
The Third Great Awakening ran from the 1850s to the early 1900s. As you might guess from those dates, many of the activities taking place around then had to do with America’s Civil War. Some theologians think there’s been a Fourth Great Awakening since then, and that it ran from the late 1960s to the early 1970s. The people who think this say that the Jesus Movement was part of that so-called Fourth Great Awakening. But not everyone thinks that period counts as a real live Great Awakening.
So Gene Bailey, on Jim Bakker’s silly evangelical show, declared that America is totally “on the cusp of a Great Awakening.” At about 35 minutes in, Bailey even predicts that streaming and video-format shows like Bakker’s will be “the vehicle that the Great Awakening will be displayed on.” He said that.
Bailey talked throughout the show, as well, about how all these revivals will start very small, but grow very quickly–you know, just like the Azusa Street Revival of 1906-1915! Or the Welsh Revival of 1904-1905! Or the Great Hebrides Revival of 1949, which was so incredibly amazing that it doesn’t even merit its own Wikipedia page! I’m really surprised he didn’t name-drop the Toronto Blessing, which ran from 1994 throughout the 90s. Maybe it was too recent. Or he doesn’t consider it a revival. I’ve heard evangelicals call it a “blessing” because it didn’t convert very many new recruits.
How these prophecies went: The year came and went without any big revivals or Great Awakenings.
Prophecies about OMG PERSECUTION Y’ALL
Throughout Gene Bailey’s appearance on Jim Bakker’s show, he also griped nonstop about all the persecution he foresaw for TRUE CHRISTIANS™ like himself.
At 22 minutes, Bakker chats with his pal about the Equality Act. At the time, this bill (HR 5) had just passed the House of Representatives. Bakker and his wife griped that it was “anything but equality,” and one can certainly understand their distress, since their entire end of Christianity is all about enjoying unwarranted privileges. Bigots-for-Jesus consider this privilege their divine reward for Jesus-ing just right.
They’re also terrified of being on equal footing with the people they’ve relentlessly persecuted for decades now. After all, they know very well how they’d treat those enemies if they only could, and they’re sure their enemies will be doing that same sickening stuff to them any day now. Taking any of their power away, even as undeserved as it always was, even as poorly and irresponsibly as they’ve abused it up till now, must create deep distress for them.
At 27 minutes, Bailey is still ranting about the Equality Act. He asserts that “they’re trying to cancel Christians.” He never says who “they” are, but I guess he never needs to, not with that crowd. Bailey predicts that the “misery index” will rise if “they” get their way.
In reality, economists calculate the misery index by adding an area’s unemployment rate to its inflation rate. I’m not even sure Gene Bailey understands that. I wonder if he actually means other dysfunctionality markers like violent crime, poor education, divorce rates, teen pregnancy rates, domestic abuse, poverty, food insecurity, and other such factors. And, uh, all of those awful factors are almost universally sky-high in evangelical-dominated regions like the Deep South when compared to more liberal areas like the Northeast.
They’re still big mad about the 2020 elections
For this next set of prophecies, Gene Bailey punts to his pal Hank Kunneman. Kunneman also styles himself as a prophet, maybe even more so than Bailey does. This is a nice sidestep of responsibility, since if the prophecies here turn out to be wrong and there’s any blowback for it, Bailey can blame someone else. Hooray Team Jesus!
At 35 minutes, Bailey says that Hank Kunneman asserted that “things are not over” with the 2020 election. Bailey says, “And I believe it,” even if he concedes that he has no idea how anything could change at this point. This is also when he predicts the next Great Awakening.
He also offers prophecies about a “a great revelation” about “the pillars of the assembly” turning out to be “not the ones.” Here’s how he puts it:
Everything is changing. And the church is about to see a great revelation. And the revelation’s gonna be, who you thought were the rocks of the assembly, the pillars of the assembly, they’re not the ones. They’re not. You’re gonna see a great shaking in the church. I truly believe this, where some of these people, there’ll be a great falling away.
Usually that means deconversions, but apparently not this time!
How that really went: Evangelicals had some more scandals, but I can’t think of anything really huge. Not compared to what they’ve already had, like with “Abuse of Faith.” Also, the election’s still settled and Joe Biden’s still President.
Prophecies about falling away, but not from Jesus, just from prophetic political office
I tidied up his grammar a bit, because he gets completely incoherent when he gets going. Here’s what I mean, and it’s the next thing he says:
By falling away, not from Jesus. People that have been in prophetic political office [?!?] in their church [?!?] that weren’t accurate. That were trying to coast.
I lost count of how many times I rewound that bit, and I still have no clue what he means. Then there’s a weird thing about cake and tea:
Maybe it was a great idea. Like what Reinhardt Bonkie said to me about, if you gotta serve cake and tea to get ’em to church, you’re gonna hafta keep serving cake and tea until you run out.
This is where we’re at. We’ve got to do that. We’ve gotta take all the church and be the church. But listen: It’s time to be closer. This is a time to press in like never before. Press in to who Jesus is. And if you don’t know who the Holy Spirit is, and you’re not bab-tized in the spirit, this is the time. You gotta push in. Cuz if you’re not, you’re gonna be led astray. And you’re gonna miss what God’s doing in this day, in this time.
Friends, your guesses are as good as mine here. I have no idea who this Bonkie fella is, and I’m deeply sorry about not being able to figure out how to spell his name. However, I do have a good idea about the last few sentences.
If you aren’t Jesus-ing in the correct way, then you’ll be left out in the huge big spiritual movement that’s about to start up ANY DAY NOW.
How that really went: Again, Yahweh didn’t seem to do much of anything in the past year.
Prophecies about pulling-away and persecution
At 45 minutes, after Jim Bakker finally finishes shilling some new book and lesson plan thing about the Book of Revelation, Gene Bailey develops such a motormouth that he just starts jabbering. I can’t think of any other word for it. His mouth just disengages from his brain and he starts babbling nonstop.
What we’ve seen here, especially when it comes to the prophetic, is we’ve seen a great pulling-back, an unveiling of who really is a strong believer. Now, I’m talking about pastors, I’m talking about just believers, I’m talking about everything.
The remnant, these are the people that are gonna go to what you were just describing in those products. These are the people that are gonna go to the next place, and as we walk down this path, that may not all–and I’m sure it’s not always gonna be always rosy and you’re not gonna get, you know, a lot of applause for what you’re standing up for. I know I’m not. That’s the remnant. The remnant says no. No, I stand with the prophets; no, I know who Jesus is, and this is what we’re gonna do.
What we’re seeing is the curtain pulling back on who that is. The truth of it is, it’s really a question, it’s which side are you on? Which side are you on?
Sounds super-dire, doesn’t it? When evangelicals talk about “the remnant,” they mean people who hold fast to TRUE CHRISTIANITY™ through the hideous persecutions in the Endtimes, the last days. So, here Gene Bailey is describing his fantasies about the Endtimes. Fakey-fake fake Christians will “fall away,” which means they’ll stop being Christian, because that persecution will rattle them hard. They won’t want to suffer too much for Jesus. But not TRUE CHRISTIANS™ like Gene Bailey and his good pal Jim Bakker! Nope, not them! They’ll stand strong forever no matter what!
How this is going: Nothing particularly awful happened to Christians in America last year. Of course, they’re still in decline. They’re getting rightly criticized for helping to cause 1M deaths with their Covid-19 conspiracy theories, and they’re rapidly being recognized as a drag on the entire nation with their election-fraud conspiracy theories. I can’t wait to see what happens if they get their way and Roe v Wade gets overturned. If it happens, I suspect it’ll be disastrous for their churn rate.
And lastly, prophecies about signs and wonders and the days of Noah
At 49 minutes, Gene Bailey starts going off about “signs and wonders,” which are just Christianese terms for miracles. He calls these “the dinner-bell of the world,” because they really get heathens’ attention. Well, maybe they did at one point, I reckon, before we all realized just how untrue miracle claims always turn out to be.
And Bailey thinks there’ll be tons of them, especially at Jim Bakker’s new church, Morningside. He predicts, among other things: amputees’ limbs regrowing, the blind regaining sight, the deaf regaining hearing, Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia being cured. With great emphasis, he declares, “THAT’S COMING, that’s happening. We better get ready!” Then he adds this:
This is the last call. Last call for the Church to get ready to show people who Jesus is. Fire and brimstone, if that’s what it is, then that’s what we need to do.
Bailey also asserts that “these are the days of Noah,” meaning the Noah of the Great Flood. When evangelicals say this, it means they think we’re totally in the days right before their god genocided almost every spark of life on the entire planet. It means that the Endtimes are right around the corner, but the normies don’t suspect a thing.
Interestingly, Bailey also advises the Trumpists in Bakker’s audience to get over their upset feelings about him not being in office. Considering what he said about the election earlier, and his presence on Flashpoint shows later, it’s beyond bizarre for him to say this.
How all of this stuff really went: I’ve heard of no miracles at all out of Morningside Church, much less the first truly verified miracle in all of Christianity’s long history. The Endtimes has not kicked off either.
Why none of this fact-checking will matter in the end
So, Greg Bailey fluffed on every single one of his prophecies from March 2021. Not one of them came true. Neither did Hank Kunneman’s second-hand prophecies about the election. That makes both of these guys false prophets.
But it won’t matter to evangelicals.
Prophecies to evangelicals are what group cheers are for soccer fans in England. They’re a way to generate buzz and hype and big euphoric emotions. Prophecies affirm that they’re still on the winning team, and that they’re cruising right into their biggest victories any day now. Most of all, perhaps, prophecies affirm that Jesus is still talking to them.
That’s why modern evangelicals have never, ever, ever held any false prophets’ feet to the flames. They never will, either. Once a prophecy is set forth, it’s like declaring one’s New Year resolutions to big crowds of friends. It’s already served its purpose. It’s gotten its audience and its creator exactly what they all wanted already. There’s nothing else to be gotten from seeing prophecies through to the end, to see if the events they predicted actually happened.
That’s why evangelicals have been in Any Day Now mode for about a century now. They were in Any Day Now mode when I joined up in the late 1980s, and they remain there now. It is always the Endtimes. When the dates come and go with nothing happening, evangelicals forget all about it–because the next big prophecies are already rolling off the assembly line for them to devour.
(Postscript: There’s more shilling after Gene Bailey’s part, of course.)
As I mentioned, Jim Bakker shilled stuff already on the show. But after Gene Bailey runs out of steam, he and his daughter begin shilling hand sanitizer. They call 8-oz bottles “the nice size bottles.” Eight ounces equals about a cup, if you’re wondering. If you want, you can get a pack of 12 of these 8-oz bottles for $50. However, they never say what the composition of the sanitizer is or even what exactly is doing the sanitizing, just that it’s citrus-scented and contains “vitamin E.” (Jim Bakker hyucks-hyucks in the background, like he’s joking that the citrus is the erstwhile sanitizing agent. I’m betting that’s very close to the truth, however.) And you can get about the same amount of sanitizer, with way more certain facts about it, on Amazon for $20.99.
The Bakker father-daughter duo shill this stuff for two solid minutes. I kid you not. And somehow, the pair managed not to tell us a single definitive thing about the product besides that it’s citrus-scented and claims to contain some unspecified amount of vitamin E.
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