Friday, November 19, 2010

Review of "Escape All These Things"

Some evangelical Christians present the end times as if we are going to have a rendezvous with death, others preach of doom and gloom. Conversely, many of us identify with Walt Whitman as he described his fate to be one clouded in confusion:
1
“DAREST thou now, O Soul,
Walk out with me toward the Unknown Region,
Where neither ground is for the feet, nor any path to follow?

2
No map, there, nor guide,
Nor voice sounding, nor touch of human hand,
Nor face with blooming flesh, nor lips, nor eyes, are in that land.

3
I know it not, O Soul;
Nor dost thou—all is a blank before us;
All waits, undream’d of, in that region—that inaccessible land…”

With the confusion surrounding Revelation and the events that have recently transpired (e.g. September 11th) people are on a quest to gain understanding about the end times and what the future holds for them. Tim McHyde’s site http://www.escapeallthesethings.com boasts of making the “end times Bible prophecy plain.”

Upon first glance, readers would believe that this author’s site is a poignant account of prophecy made easy. In fact, McHyhde encourages readers to think of his work as a “Cliff’s Notes for the Book of Revelation”
McHyde goes on to say:

“I summarize Revelation's roadmap and make plain the meaning just like Cliff's Notes did for you in high school with Shakespeare's plays. The modest price of my book is a bargain when you consider that it can literally save you years of study.”

If one is confused about the site or a particular statement McHyde makes in one of his articles, he or she can ask McHyde direct questions and receive quick feedback via instant message. In a conversation with McHyde via an instant message provider that was linked onto his site, he stated, “You can find lots of otherwise good Bible commentaries at [sic] the stories that will go chapter by chapter for you...and you’ll learn nothing towards your goal of unlocking the puzzle of what it all means together. If your goal is to understand what the list of events is that's coming and what the plan is to escape them. Everything is scattered like a puzzle and you have to put things together by topic from multiple chapters.

Me: So, your book ”saves time” by actually putting the pieces of the puzzle together , so that we can see the big picture and ideas presented in Revelation?

Tim McHyde: Remember, Dan 12 said it would take wise men in the end times to unlock what Daniel did not even understand himself. This is what I'm sharing with you, the wise approach that worked for me with my goal that is the same goal you had.

Tim McHyde: Yes, and you don’t have to trust my opinion, but you can verify everythign [sic] I say by looking up the verses, reading them literally, and see they say what I teach, in context. 11/10 8:52A cst

Rattled revelation readers who desire to know the upcoming perilous events and how to escape them are guided to a particular section on McHyde’s site (http://www.escapeallthesethings.com/planet-x-nibiru-wormwood.htm), which merely stays on the shallow end of the pool when addressing future earthquakes, upcoming terrorist attacks and other significant events on the Biblical calendar. The equipping material needed in order to gain a true understanding of these times and how to escape them are promised to be answered and help you feel prepared when you order McHyde’s book, “Know the future” (http://www.escapeallthesethings.com/planet-x-nibiru-wormwood.htm#order).

I tried to keep a positive frame of mind as I went through this site, but skepticism and faith were constantly contesting in their efforts to tug me into their respective directions. I figured knowing the author’s educational background and/or affiliations would bring credence to his words. Under the FAQ tab, I learned that McHyde had “the same church affiliation as Abraham and Jesus” as they were the “called out ones” he went onto say that “No organization has ever been needed to serve God, to grow spiritually, to be safe spiritually or even to encourage each other to good works (Heb 10:25).” Simply put, he had no church affiliation. I also learned that he had “no credentials by any institution,” “was not ordained as a pastor,” and had not been to a “theological cemetery,” as he put it (http://www.escapeallthesethings.com/faq.htm). I questioned whether or not his book would actually save the “time and research” that he claimed, if one would still have to look up verses to ensure the validity in his interpretation.

Nevertheless, I must say McHyde’s glossary (http://www.escapeallthesethings.com/bible-prophecy-glossary.htm) gives readers a pretty clear understanding of Biblical terms used in Revelation (e.g. the mark of the beast, Mystery Babylon, and the lake of fire). Although his site is hard to navigate and is pretty overwhelming, his articles allow for deeper understanding of the End Times and what Revelation has to say. I do not agree that he makes things easy for the confused reader searching for answers, nor will I claim that this is a “doomsday for dummies” site, but perhaps his book really does tie events and allusions in previous scriptural passages together. In addressing possible “Antichrist” candidates, McHyde does not make an assertive claim, but links an article written by another author who proposes that Prince Charles could be a candidate for the Antichrist (http://www.escapeallthesethings.com/prince-charles-antichrist.htm). McHyde ultimately desires for his readers to gain understanding in Biblical prophecy by themselves and wants his site to serve as a Revelatory tour guide. McHyde provides certain guidelines for understanding Biblical prophecy, something that has now become a daunting task accompanied by drudgery. He states,
“Without a doubt there is a lot of confusion on Bible prophecy. There seem to be as many interpretations as there are would-be interpreters. You can listen to one and it sounds good until you hear the next one that contradicts it yet also is appealing. Which one is right? How can you know for sure? It’s enough to turn anyone off from studying prophecy.”

McHyde is a proponent of taking the verses in Revelation at face value, as Jesus instructed in John 10:35 “the plain meaning of Scripture could not be broken,” but in order to do so one must really study the Bible and know the context. There are certain passages that may have multiple meanings for a word, but ensuring that one is Biblically versed can help one gain true revelation without contradiction ( http://timmchyde.com/how-understand-bible-prophecy/). Upon reading this article, my understanding was that McHyde wanted his readers to not blindly accept the interpretation of their leaders, but to dive deep into Scripture themselves and with enough practice and time, one could dodge doomsday darts and deflate deceptive devices. The Bible states in Hosea 4:6 (KJV), “My people perish from a lack of knowledge” and it may very well be said that through Tim McHyde’s site: www.escapeallthesethings.com one can become unshackled from the prison of ignorance, hold the key to the understanding of Biblical prophecy and unlock the vault of mystery surrounding the end times.

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