The Bible says we can’t know the hour of Jesus’ return (Matthew 25:13), a decision arrived at after Paul of Tarsus died following his assurances (1 Thess 4:15) that Jesus was coming in his own lifetime.
But Michel Bachmann, who was named by CREW in 2013 as “one of the most corrupt members of Congress,” knows. Jesus is “coming soon,” she assures us. In fact, “”the prophets,” she said, “longed to see the days that you and I live in.”
And not because of air conditioning.
But what’s this? How can she know when even Paul, who had a vision on the road to Damascus, did not know? So certain was Paul that, as one scholar puts it, the Church itself, which has been a towering presence for 2,000 years now, was to Paul a “temporary form of social existence.”
By the time 2 Thessalonians came to be written by somebody claiming to be Paul, believers had become anxious about the failure of Jesus to return and so the author told his flock that other things had to happen first (2 Thess 2:1-12).
In 1 Thessalonians Paul said the Parousia would arrive “like a thief in the night” (1 Thess 5:2) but 2 Thessalonians allows plenty of advance warning, which is handy for Bachmann.
Overall, the idea of the Parousia – an ancient Greek word for “arrival” – diminishes in the Gospels, being most prominent in Mark, the first gospel to be written, less in both Matthew and Luke, and almost nonexistent in the last gospel written, John. The same progression can be seen in the Epistles of Paul compared to the Acts of the Apostles, composed some decades after Paul wrote and when the expectation no longer burned so bright.
As scholar Geza Vermes says, “A lively eschatological outlook cannot maintain itself in the context of ordinary routine existence.”
Well. So much for scholarship. So much for Paul of Tarsus. And so much for the Bible. Enter Michele Bachmann, the would-be prophet who was told by Jesus to run for president and finished sixth in the Iowa caucuses in 2012.
Bachmann appeared with hate group leader Tony Perkins on his “Washington Watch” radio program live from Israel last Wednesday to preach the good, if rather inexplicable, news.
Listen courtesy of Right Wing Watch:
“Almost every article in the paper” has to do with conflicts in Israel, Bachmann said, “and it ties with so much biblical prophecy. This week really was about biblical prophecy in many ways. And we’re seeing as events are speeding up, events are speeding up so quickly right now, and we see how relevant the Bible is, and we’re reading our newspaper, at the same time we’re learning about these biblical events, and it’s literally day by day by day, we’re seeing the fulfillment of scripture right in front of our eyes, even while we’re on the ground.”
Now if all this is not shocking enough, Bachmann says its time for the Jews to come clean and convert. No more dilly-dallying, no more of this freedom of religion nonsense. Though “the Jewish state of Israel truly is a miracle of the hand of God,” its outlived its usefulness.
“We recognize the shortness of the hour. And that’s why we as a remnant want to be faithful in these days and do what it is that the Holy Spirit is speaking to each one of us, to be faithful in the Kingdom and to help bring in as many as we can — even among the Jews — share Jesus Christ with everyone that we possibly can because, again, he’s coming soon.”
Needless to say, actual Jews are not amused:
“A statement like Ms. Bachmann’s should serve to remind Jews that missionizing is, unfortunately, alive and well, and that we must always be on the lookout for it,” said Agudath Israel of America spokesman Rabbi Avi Shafran. “It also should be a reminder of the importance of Jewish education, since the surest defense against missionizing is authentic Jewish knowledge.”
What is funny is Bachmann’s cry to “bring Jews to Jesus” when Jesus himself was a Jew, as were all his followers, from Peter on down. Jews all. Paul was the guy who ran off to convert Gentiles while Jesus’ brother James led Jesus’ actual followers (Acts 15.1-29, Gal. 2.11-12 and 2.9) in Jerusalem – as Jews – still worshiping at the Temple (Acts 3:1, 5:12) and, not to be needlessly redundant, but living as Jews (Acts 21:20).
Because, like Jesus, they were and remained Jews.
They were still Jews when the Romans came thirty years later and burned the Temple down around them and Jerusalem with it (66-73 CE) and paved the way for a Gentile church.
Bachmann is laying claim to knowledge not even the early Church, after Paul, claimed to have.
The very idea that people would need to be “brought to Jesus” by ceasing to be the same religion as Jesus, is absurd and offensive. Let’s not forget that if the Romans paved the way for a Gentile church, Michele Bachmann’s particular brand of craziness paved the way for Ben Carson.
 Norman R. Peterson, “Pauline Baptism and ‘Secondary Burial,'” HTR 79 (1986), 218.
 Geza Vermes, The Changing Faces of Jesus (NY: Penguin Compass, 2000), 146.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.