Tag Archives: Seers

Well, Charlie Johnston Was Wrong, so Now What?

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I have written of Charlie Johnston here in the past, and you can find those posts here.

I will not rehash everything I’ve previously written, but if you are not familiar with him it would be worth revisiting those posts.

So, Charlie always, first and foremost, said his message was about a broader, greater, and more general message than the simple act of prophecy (in the sense here, of predicting specifics of what is to come).   His message has been pretty simple at the base level:   trust God, don’t get all stressed out about what’s going on around you – just know that we’re in a Storm, and with that sense of awareness take the Next Right Step.   (hence, the acronym TNRS for his followers as a short summation of what it means to live in these times).

All of that is well and good.   But Charlie made a claim along the way that he has been visited by Angels since his youth, and along the way would receive visitations by others as well, including Jesus Himself.   According to his own words, he has had Spiritual Advisors who have not considered him or his messages inauthentic.    A review of his diocese did not fully embrace him, but neither did it pull the plug on him.    Basically, the results of the review showed that Charlie has not stated anything heretical or against Catholic teaching, but since the nature of the claim to supernatural insight was unknown, he was restricted from speaking on Church property.   He was careful to comply in obedience.

From all accounts, Charlie is a good and faithful man who did not profit from his ministry along the way, nor did he seem to indulge in self-aggrandizement.   He was careful to tell people not to make any preparations for the Storm beyond their means.   However prepared we thought we could be, it wouldn’t be enough anyway and may serve as a distraction.

So, anyway, it is clear that Charlie certainly had and has a good sense of where we’re headed, and how we’re trending as a culture, country, and world.    It is clear that his message is sound, and very good.   And it is also clear that he cares very much for the Church and is obedient.

The difficulty at the moment is determining what we should make of the inaccuracy of his one real prediction:   That Obama would not finish his term, and that a peaceful transition of power would not take place with respect to the Presidency.   Further, the specific prediction of a Rescue occurring at the end of 2017 is not yet proven wrong, but certainly seemed to depend upon the former prediction.

What first must be said about this is that Charlie stated before Inauguration Day that if his prediction did not come to pass that he would consider himself unreliable and would withdraw from the public.    Once the day passed, he was good to his word.   He said he was clearly deceived, that for whatever reason the deception was undetected by him and also for whatever reason his error was left uncorrected.    He is taking that as a sign that he is intended now to suffer that embarrassment, withdraw from what he was doing, and pass the torch of the general message on to others.    He has done so.    In my view, this is the proper thing to do and I think it actually bolsters his credibility.    Too many times we have seen people make predictions, and then when it doesn’t come to pass, they act as if it really did come to pass but in some vague way that defines logic.   Charlie said he has no taste for that and made no excuses.

I met Charlie in Green Bay.   He visited for a talk and my wife and I decided to go with some friends.    It was nice to see him and introduce myself.   There was little he said that I didn’t already get from his blog, but sort of like how it’s fun to see a band in concert even though you have their CDs, it’s nice to see someone talk in person what they’ve been writing about.

So, having established that Charlie was wrong and there are no excuses, there are some things worth musing about, that falls under the category of “how wrong was he?”    Think about it for a moment:   Two years ago Charlie started saying that there would be chaos and there wouldn’t be a peaceful Presidential transition.   While that didn’t come to pass, the last two years in politics in the US have been absolutely mind-numbing.   Everything that happened, the devolution of civil discourse, protests, claims of hacking and voting disruptions, calls for Electors to ignore their duty…   I saw article after article by even mainstream publications openly wondering what would happen if Trump were assassinated at the inauguration, or predicting mass chaos in the streets no matter who won…   On all levels, this was bizarre.   Good, reasonable, and not particularly out-there folks were stocking food, and wondering whether or not something really changed, or if there would be some sort of anarchist revolt.   I know I have never lived through an election that came with so many twists, turns, threats of violence, and outright uncertainty.

All of that falls short of Charlie’s prediction.   But the very fact that people were openly wondering what in the world was happening still gives one a sense that Charlie knew something we didn’t, and started seeing it before it was self-evident.

So, here’s my musings:  Is the miss here because he simply doesn’t get the messages he claims?    That’s entirely possible.   And if true, it either means he was making it up, or that he really believes it and is delusional.   It would seem an odd delusion, since much of what he says went down the directive path that he spoke about.   But, it could be that he is simply a perceptive man with gifts and talents in the area of foreseeing cultural trends, and then conflating a supernatural element on top of it.   In any case, I find it difficult to accept he was just lying about it all.   But really, only he knows.    So, suppose he really does receive these messages.   The question, then, is how was he wrong?   Well, the simple explanation is that Private Revelation does not hold the same guarantee of infallibility as Public Revelation.    The errors here could be one of not understanding that the prophecy was conditional.   This means that if people responded with sacrifice and prayer, then the prophecy could be mitigated, delayed, or reversed.   Normally, the seer would understand the conditional nature of it because a message would be delivered with the conditions required to change it.    Further, Private Revelation is dependent upon the understanding and communication of the seer, so it could simply mean that he misunderstood what was communicated.   Whether the message was meant to be allegorical, for example.

Charlie maintains that he does receive messages, but he was simply deceived by a dark spirit, and that this deception went uncorrected.   If this is true, one might wonder on two questions:  (1) why would the spirit deceive him in the first place, and (2) why would he not be corrected?

Only God truly knows the answers to all these questions, unless Charlie was simply deceiving us, in which case he too knows the answers.    But supposing there was a supernatural deception here, it could well be to drive a wedge between Charlie and his followers and get them thinking all is really well with the world.    Charlie has brought to light the Storm.   We can all see it around us, and Charlie simply articulated what we all saw and helped give meaning to it.    To the extent people became better because of it, the evil spirits would wish to counter that.   One possible explanation is that he was too close to right, so he was deceived on the details exactly for the purpose of destroying his credibility.   Perhaps many who were girding their loins and preparing not just materially, but spiritually, have renewed doubts and will now relax.    Perhaps this  deception was allowed to find out whose faith was dependent on Charlie’s success and accuracy as opposed to simply focusing on the Gospel message.   Perhaps.    It could well be that Charlie will ultimately be right about the greater prediction that the next stable leader will not come from this election, and that there will be a time of chaos for which we need a Rescue.    But now we’re a little less certain about all of that, aren’t we?   And maybe God’s OK with that.

What I will say is that I believe signs and/or prophetic accuracy are important.    Not as important as truth – for deceivers may be able to work signs and give accurate prophecy.   But given truth in the messages, the apparitions that the Church have accepted came with these things.   God knows that we are surrounded by deceivers, and it is important that we do see something to hang our hat on.    We did not get it in this case.

No sense getting down about it.   We can still keep Charlie’s message in mind as something solid to consider, and move on to loving God and neighbor the way we’re supposed to no matter what anyway.

According to Charlie, the Time has Come

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I’ve noted recently that I follow Charlie Johnston.   I won’t rehash his background now, but in a nutshell he claims to have received training/visions/foreshadowing of things to come.   Yes, many others claim the same thing, but Charlie’s a bit different.   He does not focus on many details, but in the overall umbrella of things, which a much stronger focus on our response things than providing details of specific things.

Having said that, he has very clearly stated a couple of things that he says will happen.   He has stated this with certainty, and has as much said he will shut up and go away if it doesn’t happen:

(1) The next stable leader in the United States will not come from the electoral process.   This does not mean the election will not happen (though it could mean that), but that by the time inauguration day comes along, we will be in such a state of disarray that it will not matter.

(2) Obama will not finish out his term.    This is possibly murky as well.   It could be that he extends his term through emergency powers and doesn’t finish that out.   But in any case, whether it is by January or shortly thereafter, something will happen here that Obama is not the next stable leader.

(3) The Rescue occurs somewhere near the end of 2017.   We don’t know exactly when, other than it’s in the latter half of the year.   The Rescue is the “event” that makes everyone come to their senses and realizes that Mary is the Mother of God, that Jesus is King, and that God is really God.   Nearly everyone will be converted, and from there we can start to rebuild society more aligned with the will of God.

 

Is Charlie for real?    Well, here’s what I can say…   he shows no signs of being a liar.   There is nothing to gain, as afar as I can tell, from such a deception.    He doesn’t ask for money, he doesn’t sell stuff, etc.    He could be delusional along with a particular ability to read the tea leaves of the times around us.    In other words, he may be particularly good at foreseeing trends and may be falsely attributing his own abilities to something supernatural and is imagining his visitations.   Or, he may be entirely authentic in his claims, but despite his certainty he still got something wrong in interpretation as far as timeline and events.    Finally, he may be entirely authentic and entirely correct in his specifics.

To be honest, I have ruled out deception.   It makes no sense.     I’ve mostly ruled out delusion.    Just following and reading his blog, and seeing the straightforward and logical manner in which he addresses other topics, there are no signs of this.   Having said that, he is a smart guy who could well be good at reading trends without supernatural assistance.

If he is authentic, which to me seems highly probable, then whether or not his timeline and specifics are correct still means that  we are either in for a s***storm in the almost immediate future or we’re in for one soon enough.

It’s really kind of remarkable that he has put himself out there with such certainty.   I leave everyone to their own opinions on the matter.   But the state of politics, the powder kegs around us (not just our country, but globally – after all he is U.S. centric because that’s where he and his audience is – but this is to be a global thing), is becoming more and more evident to more and more people.   Folks who have no particular religious or moral agenda are openly wondering what the reaction will be to the elections here, regardless of who wins.   We’ve all seen that a random event that happens in a random community can escalate to mobs and protests and violence.    So far, these flare-ups have been local/regional, have been ultimately contained, and have not caused massive civil unrest.   But is there some trigger event that could cause greater disruption?

And that’s not even getting into ISIS, North Korea, China, Russia, Iran, Libya, Syria, and all the rest.

All I’d say is, pay attention, keep your eyes open, and be ready.    I am not predicting with certainty that Charlie is right.   I am, however, saying that there’s a higher probability than I’d prefer that he’s not wrong.    I can even think back to when I first heard him saying such things about a year ago – regarding the next stable leader and the elections this year.   At the time, it seemed really out there and impossible.   In one year’s time, it has moved into the reasonably possible scenario.

Interesting times.

 

 

Discerning Private Revelation – New and Old

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Those of you who have followed me in the past know that I am very interested in Catholic Prophecy.   It is fascinating to read some of the prophetic messages of past Saints, Marian Apparitions, and the like.    You will also know that I have a somewhat bi-polar relationship with prophecy.   I fully and embrace the reality of prophecy and prophetic messages, but am also pretty skeptical by nature.

In the past I have noted what I believe to be one of the seminal works on the subject, “Trial, Tribulation, and Triumph” by Desmond A. Birch.    The reason I am as fond as I am about this work is that he takes my own preferred approach to the subject.   There is not whimsical adherence to random prophetic utterances.   Instead, he starts with key statements about what private revelation is, rooted in the Catechism.   He then lays the groundwork for what he decided to consider in presenting different statements or writings:   if a Church approved apparition, or if the statement came from a venerable, blessed, or Saint then these statements carry more weight and are the focus of the book.

There is no statement for or against anyone else using this approach, but it is the safest approach to take.

Interestingly, and not surprisingly, there are many common themes that run throughout the book, and across the words of many Saints of many different times.    One might wonder if the writings are really their own revelations or if they were simply instructional teachings, learned from others.   I think it’s a fair question, but for the most part I believe the statements were from personal and private revelations of one type or another.

Perhaps more surprisingly (or not to some) is that there are many degrees of variations provided in prophetic messages that aren’t always easily reconciled.    And this is where things get murky.    First of all, Private Revelation can never rise to the level of Public Revelation.   There is no guarantee of protection from error on any number of fronts:   Did the seer hear or see something incorrectly?   Did the seer misinterpret what they saw?   Did the seer repeat the message properly?    Is there possible translation error into other languages, either explicitly or in a contextual sense?   Was the prophecy conditional (meaning the outcome has since changed based on our response to God’s warning embedded in a message?)      And, there is always the possibility that the person simply did not receive a real message of divine origin at all, or conflated a real message with some confabulation or other assumptions made.

Because of this, we need to both take seriously the prophetic, but also be very careful and discerning.

In the past, I’ve openly mused about Medjugorje.   I have never understood why it would be necessary for messages to be given/received over and over and over with very little differentiation in the message from day to day, week to week…   Having said that, I simply don’t know, and one can’t deny the stories about experiences at Medjugorje.    I’m completely open and uncommitted on that.    It simply doesn’t make sense to me, but I also know I’m a simple man and God doesn’t always make “sense” to me.   So I choose to await the Church on this one.

There are numerous other cases around the world of interest.   I am generally both interested, but skeptical, of most of them.    I choose not to spend too much of my time on them.

Every now and then you start to hear a lot about this person or that person.   Usually, in my opinion, as you look more closely at them you can’t help but be somewhat disappointed, at least in regards to the reliability of the people and their messages.    I don’t want to judge, but part of me thinks that some people receive very strong feelings or promptings that lead them to develop a message that seems divine or prophetic.   Perhaps it even is.   My sense is people have to guard against an almost addictive desire for this to continue, and move from a valid (or at least not invalid) experience to something they are forcing.   I think many of those who “receive messages” are really not, but honestly think they are.   The problem with this is that their overall message may be edifying, but the extraneous content – the more predictive elements – is nothing more than their own conjecture.

There was a series of messages that could be followed from a site called “Words From Jesus” some time ago.    It started off as somewhat intriguing, but as I checked in and tracked the messages and followed them, I personally felt strongly that this was not authentic.   Again, it was a case of message after message with not dissimilar warnings of a general nature, which may well have been something authentic.   But any time the visionary ventured into specifics about upcoming events or outcomes, or even some specific prophecies of the Pope, they never really happened.    One must be willing to walk away from something and not get too involved to the point that you can’t recognize error, whether in teaching or in more specific prophecy.   You can’t get too emotionally involved or you risk being misled.   Focus on the message and the character of the person and the rest wil take care of itself.

Another more pronounced example is a supposed seer in Brazil, named Pedro Regis.   A big deal was made some time ago because he accurately predicted some devastating circumstance in this place or that place.  It was compelling to me until I studied him further.    I went back to the beginning of his documented messages, and interestingly I found that his early messages were all very vague and unspecific.   There was very little actual “prophecy” in terms of forecasting future events.   As time went on, there seemed to me to be a distinct shift in message to more of a constant declaration of some bad thing happening somewhere at some point.    The issue I have is that he’s bound to get some right, and people made a big deal out of it when he did, but there are endless messages regarding different regions or countries or cities that nothing of the sort has happened.    Now, there’s usually not timeline, so I suppose it could all come to pass, but the next question is “what’s the point?”    OK, on a daily basis we’re told that some specific area of the world is going to suffer catastrophe.    Theoretically, I suppose it could all happen at the same time.   So why not just say “look, you’re all hosed unless you pray more.”

Now, again, I admit to being simple.   God has a plan.    He may be trying to reach others and this may all make perfect sense in the spiritual realm and doing what it’s supposed to do.   I have no authority whatever in making a judgment of authenticity one way or another.   I have my opinions, and will always state that opinion with the caveat that I will accept the truth whether that comes as a judgment from the Church or God someday whacking me upside the head and saying “How could you not figure out that good ol’ Pedro was my servant?”   I will have no good reply other than I’m human and thick-headed.

To end this post, I’ll start with this:   Be careful out there.   Take it slow, don’t get caught up in a single message or “direct hit,” but take your time to read up on anyone you might start to get interested in following (I use that term a bit loosely – I mean “follow” in the sense of keeping tabs on or learning more about, or even getting to know.   But never follow someone to the detriment of following Christ and His Church).

Now, having said all that, I plan on presenting my thoughts on a man named Charlie Johnston in some upcoming posts.    I have taken a number of months to read over his entire blog history, and try to figure out what he’s saying, where he’s coming from, and whether anything he says makes me uncomfortable in the context of Public Revelation, the Catechism, and what I would consider to be the more authentic messages of the Saints.   I can’t promise when I’ll be able to present my thoughts, but I’ll start putting those together.