Bob Thiel cites something Don Billingsley wrote in the last Journal.
...please know this could very well be the last normal year to observe the Feast of Tabernacles as has been done in the past years. When these ever-increasing disasters are understood in view of end-time prophecies, traveling could be fraught with life-threatening danger as well as lack of funds for many of God's people to even attend the Feast of Tabernacles in 2009 (Leviticus 26:18-22).
Note the weasel words: could very well be... could be fraught...
That's a stock in trade qualification for the fringe Adventists of the Churches of God. You'd think Don would have wised up by now and learned to bite his lip each time his mouth outstrips his brain.
No Don, ain't happenin'. Not next year, nor the year after, and not even in "three to five" years. But then you've covered yourself haven't you: could very well be... could be fraught... Death by a thousand qualifications.
With Wall Street now reaping what it's sowed, the hucksters of the Apocalypse will be working themselves into a lather about the End Times arriving. The chickens may have come home to roost on Fanny Mae's roof, but there are no heavenly armies parked on armored clouds above our heads. German tanks aren't about to roll down the streets of Milwaukee or Nashville either.
The WCG fed off the Apocalypse for decades: 19-year time cycles, Basil Wolverton's lurid art, sermons with carefully intoned quotations from Matthew 24... Flip through 30-year old issues of The Plain Truth and count the articles on impending trade wars, environmental collapse, the rise of Europe...
Crying wolf was our greatest "denominational distinctive." For many it still is.
The surprising thing is that while for some of us the hard-learned lesson is about disconfirmation, for others the Pavlovian conditioning still kicks in when scary things happen out there in "the world." Every unwelcome headline is taken as proof that "prophecy marches on." Too bad it seems to be marching in circles.
Whipping up the anxiety level means, of course, checks in the mail for the peddlers of the Apocalypse. Why give a sucker an even break?