I quote: "It's 8:45 a.m. on a Monday morning in 2024. On your way into work, you drop in at your favourite cafÃ©, order a $6.00 coffee and pay for your morning fix by swiping a chip embedded in your forearm across a screen. (thenewdaily.com.au)
There you have it. But it doesn't take much to realise that people can lose an arm so where else could it be put – The Revelation says its the forehead.
No, no, not another hyperbole lecture on the End Times with images from The Revelation of modern helicopters and tanks made of timber that is stronger than the hardiest steel, and a dozen or more other such scenarios I have heard over the past forty years.
I grew up on the Hal Lindsay series of books not least was The Late Great Planet Earth where this and much else was announced as Gospel so I'm aware of the genre and all its predictions and allegories and such like.
But what The NewDaily is talking about is something different. There is a reality to it in terms of how the credit system is moving and this article by Melissa Mac features this aspect in the new society.
Melissa Mac says that it's hard to predict exactly what the world of money will look like in 10 years' time, but that doesn't mean it's not worth trying. When it comes to matters money-related, there's nothing quite as evocative than a fist full of bank notes – but this iconic image soon could be a thing of the past.
Will beach pleasures all end? (beach)
There you have it, the secular world is well and truly getting to grips with this brave new world on credit.
Quoting Peter Ellyard a futurist with the United Nations for 30 years claims that hard currency will be on the way out within 10 years. We in Australia can see this happening now. Debit cards means that you do not see your money paying for the goods your purchasing but when you check your account you notice that amount of money was withdrawn. But you didn't see it. It was all electronic.
But not everyone agrees, and Melissa Mac puts the other case from Economist Saul Eslake, director of the Productivity Growth program at the Grattan Institute. He argues that cash will retain its relevance because of its convenience and may even enjoy a resurgence as more consumers seek to safeguard their privacy.
The Biblical Announcement
There you have it – the secular world is divided but we see the reality on the ground in our every day lives. We're carrying less and less cash money as we make good and proper use (on the most part) of our electronic systems.
The number of our faith financial supporters who now use direct banking or credit card giftings has jumped exponentially over the past 18 months. There might now only be at most five cheques in the mail each month.
However one might interpret the End Times from The Revelation (there is not space here to quote endlessly the various chapters, sections and passages) what we can say is that those who reject any literal understanding of that which is obvious, clearly do not associate what they see everyday in their own lives to the Biblical text.
Recently listening to a sermon, the preacher speaking about The Angel of the Lord said that these words are not used whatever in the New Testament and therefore this leads to the obvious conclusion (and using many other Old Testament texts) is because Jesus is the one and the same.
The argument went that because the words The Angelo the Lord was not used in the New Testament it led to a particular conclusion. There would not be an objective Bible scholar in evangelical orthodox Christianity who would not draw a similar conclusion.
Reformation - understanding the Scriptures and helps to discuss it (small group of 3)
But many of the same theologians would with fervent disagreement with the same tenant, that because The Church is not written in The Revelation from Chapters 5-18 does not draw a similar type conclusion. Those who have studied End Times see a direct correlation between the words The Church not being written in that section of The Revelation as an obvious reference to the Church not being there.
Those who are theologically literate will understand the Dispensational position and the A-Millennial position whose understanding this very specific discussion. But there you have it. The very same people who say the lack of any mention of one set of words refers to this, whereas the same is not tenable for another set of words.
The Biblical announcement is a Reformation announcement, the Word of God printed in written form in the languages of the nations so ordinary men and women could understand the Scripture. The End Times texts certainly poses some issues but not so much that it is unintelligible unless you know Greek and Hebrew. That argument fails the Reformation test.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html