The Prophesy in the News (PITN) folks are going to milk the Shroud of Turin material for all it is worth to help promote their conference. HERE and HERE are examples.
And see my post, How ‘Ya Gonna Keep ‘Em Down on the Farm? After They’ve Seen Paree
FYI: Back in 2008, one of the Rapture websites called “WHY” put out this message to people who thought they would be raptured:
We have made it possible for you to send them a letter of love and a plea to receive Christ one last time [after you have left]. You can also send information based on scripture as to what will happen next. Each fulfilled prophecy will cause your letter and plea to be remembered and a decision to be made.
"WHY" is one last chance to bring them to Christ and snatch them from the flames!
How did the computer know?
Here is the best Rapture idea yet. This book, How to Profit From the Coming Rapture: Getting Ahead When You’re Left Behind should be an immediate success.
For a fairly good write up on the Rapture movement see Rapture in Wikipedia.
Frankly, I’m sorry to see the Shroud of Turin used for what I think, now, is basically a movement to sell books and conventions and promote a non-orthodox, off-beat Christianism.
If, when I was just learning about the shroud, I had seen this connection being promoted, I’d have run for the hills.
I’m sure Barrie Schwortz is only doing it to raise money for STERA.
I am always happy to speak about the Shroud, no matter what the point of view is of the sponsoring organization. Since many Evangelical Christians do not accept the Shroud as authentic, the opportunity to address such a group is a great opportunity to inform them of the facts and perhaps open their minds a bit to the Shroud. I never involve myself in theology in my presentations and simply share the facts and my own personal experience with it over the last 35 years. And yes, they will pay a modest honorarium to STERA, Inc. for my services, but that is not the primary reason for making the presentation.
I watched the video right through, and it was OK, coverage of basic forensics was adequately dealt with, but no mention of the possibility of a naturalistic process, and they clearly attribute the image to the Resurrection event, In view of John Calvin’s rejection of the Shroud image (he considered it unthinkable that it wouldn’t be mentioned in the gospel accounts, if true) it is interesting that many Evangelical Christians are now showing an interest in it. The PITN folks are an off-shoot of the “Church of God” movement, which had very fragmented beginnings, and quickly divided into various assorted sects. Part of the problem was the life-style of a few of the founders, which involved frequent serial adulteries, and mishandling of their finances – check “Church of God” in Wiki and elsewhere. I’d tend to agree with Dan’s comment that the present PITN movement.seems to be profit driven (profits from prophecy) with its emphasis on sale of books and conventions, but they wouldn’t haven’t this fault on their own. I wish Barrie well in his presentation – I’m sure he will come up with a few surprises for his audiience. We have Jesus’ assurance that no-one knows when the end-time will occur, only the Father, But false prophets have been and will be with us forever. If any one of them were true, the world would have dissolved aeons ago.
Actually I am glad to see the Shroud included in a prophecy conference. I have always felt the message of the Shroud is past-present and future. It is past because it speaks to the empty tomb, or more significantly, the vacant shroud which was the first piece of evidence that something extraordinary occurred. It is present in that the Shroud uniquely displays the price that was paid for our salvation. Scripture uses words like “ransom” that we were “bought” and that we were “purchased” and “redeemed”. What was the price? It is clearly displayed on the Shroud. But it is also future and that enters the realm of the prophetic. And why not, nearly one third of the bible is prophetic in nature. How is the Shroud prophetic? It speaks to a future event. Jesus is called, “the firstfruits of the resurrection.” That implies that whatever happened to Jesus in the tomb is what will happen to all who believe at some point in the future. This is what First Corinthians 15 talks about when Paul says, “Behold I show you a mystery, we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye.” The amazing thing is that Paul is not talking about Jesus in this passage but about the ultimate resurrection of all who believe. There are many such prophecy conferences, this is the only one that has embraced the Shroud and I am glad they did. I hope it opens new doors of discussion. I think the Shroud should be included in paranormal conferences too! Why not…if the Shroud is authentic, then it recorded the greatest paranormal event of all time. Perhaps there are other venues where the Shroud can be discussed. I would love to hear about them.
Although skepticism about anything these days is understandable, as someone who has followed Marzulli’s work and guest blogged for him once, I can pretty much guarantee that he’s not addressing the Shroud for money. (For what it’s worth, he rarely mentions it on his broadcasts.) As Mr. Schwortz himself said above, the crowds that will be drawn to the PItN event will be like me — evangelical Christians. Most of us (myself not included) consider the Shroud to be a forgery at worst and a Catholic relic at best. Bringing up the Shroud in such an atmosphere is not going to necessarily endear either speaker to the audience, but, as Mr. Schwortz said, they can let the facts speak to themselves. And that works. It was actually his presentations and defense of the Shroud in radio interviews and debates along with LA’s rare mention of the Shroud which got me back into researching it and brought me to your great blog about a year or so ago.
If Mr. Schwortz sticks to the facts and people willingly donate their own money to maintain them and to explore this most researched and controversial artifact more, I fail to see anything wrong with that.
Anyway, just throwing this out there for everyone’s consideration.
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