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Jorvik/Ragnarok: 'Viking Apocalypse' This Saturday

There was a time when I would've been all over this story.

By "all over" I mean to say that I would've taken it to heart as a very real possibility...even though I was a self-professed, God-fearing, Bible-believing Christian.

The story? Forget about the Mayans! It's the Vikings that apparently know a thing or two about the so-called "End of The World" so move over Harold Camping!

Viking Apocalypse: End of The World Predicted To Happen On Saturday

The end of the world is almost upon us if Norse mythology is to be believed, which predicts the Earth will split open and release the inhabitants of the underworld on 22 February.

On Saturday, according to Norse legend at least, the series of events leading up to Ragnarok will culminate in an epic battle, where Norse gods Thor, Loki, Odin, Freyr, Hermóðr, will fight. Odin will be killed by Fenrir and the other creator gods will fall.

The Earth will fall into the sea, and life as we know it will cease to be.

It's not all bad news though, as the world will re-emerge anew and fertile, and two human survivors will be in charge of repopulating the Earth.

Ragnarok is described in the 13th century Prose Edda, written by Snorri Sturluson. The Vikings believe Ragnarok occurs after three freezing winters, with no summers in between.

Experts from the Jorvik Viking Centre predicted the world would end on 22 February to coincide with the grand finale of the 30th JORVIK Viking Festival.

According to the group, the sound of an ancient horn could be heard across the rooftops of York on 15 November last year, as “a portent of doom and the beginning of a countdown to the Norse apocalypse”.

The horn belonged to Norse god Heimdallr, who would blow it to mark 100 days before impending doom and a countdown is now running on the festival website.

Festival director Danielle Daglan said: "Ragnarok is the ultimate landmark in Viking mythology, when the gods fall and die, so this really is an event that should not be underestimated.

“In the last couple of years, we’ve had predictions of […] numerous dates where the end of the world has been pencilled in by seers, fortune tellers and visionaries, but the sound of the horn is possibly the best indicator yet that the Viking version of the end of the world really will happen on 22 February next year.”

'Norsemen' from across the Britain converge on York to celebrate the Jorvik festival, which runs from 15 to 23 February. The festival is even running its own dedicated social media feed where participants will be encouraged to tweet using the hashtag #ragnarok2014.

The festival is even promising to equip visitors "with the tools to survive the apocalypse, from hunting for the mightiest and strongest warriors to training children in combat skills", Ms Daglan added.

Should the apocalypse not occur on Saturday, it will join a string of failed predictions including the Mayan Apocalypse that said the world would be destroyed by an interplanetary object on 21 December 2012.

I can assure you that the world will not end tomorrow due to some "Viking Apocalypse" prediction. However, that won't stop the "fear mongering" YouTubers from creating videos in an attempt to "warn" the world.

The problem is that they'll attempt to use perceived symbolism "hidden" in popular movies like Disney's Frozen to attempt to "prove" that this so-called "Viking Apocalypse" stuff is true.

How absurd is that? And yet, once again, I hate to admit it publicly like this, but I know how one can get sucked in to the apparent (but highly subjective and un-Biblical) "prophetic symbolism" garbage found throughout that story, because I used to be that guy several years ago.

Quite frankly, I'm surprised that many of the "End Times Ministries" that I used to visit regularly haven't picked up this story and ran with it yet. After all, this one has all of the classic "Left Behind" bells-and-whistles that they love...

*- It mentions the release of beings from the Underworld, which eschatologists will equate with the opening of the Bottomless Pit

*- It mentions the blowing of a horn, which eschatologists will equate with the blowing of the Shofar

Shall I continue? But see how EASY it is to make it seem like there's an obvious connection?

Look, I know we haven't spent much time on this subject at all here (that is, much time on American Evangelicalism's penchant for false teachings regarding "Bible prophecy" and the "end times"), but we plan to.

In the meantime, I hope that THIS VIDEO and THIS VIDEO from Worldview Everlasting will be somewhat of a comfort and help to you until then. Yes, there's so much more I could write about this subject, but for now I hope this will suffice.

The truth is, much of Norse/Viking Mythology is largely unknown and historical dates are either unknown or unverifiable too, which is certainly a clear contrast to the events of the historical record of the New Testament.

The major events of Jesus' life and work are verifiable for these things did not happen in a vacuum (Acts 26:26). Unlike Norse/Viking Mythology, Christianity is open to empirical investigation and our faith is founded on the most reliable set of historical events in our knowledge of the ancient world: Jesus' death and resurrection.

So, even though we do not know the day or the hour of Christ’s return, Christians can be confident that when He comes again, it will not occur in the sensational manner depicted by Hollywood.

Here's the main point I want you to leave here remembering: For those in Christ there is no need for despair or doubt. Jesus' teaching on the end times is to prepare us for His return and give comfort, not excite fear and confusion.

So, this prediction about tomorrow is just nonsense. We've heard and seen it all before. There really is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9). Ok, so what's our proper response then?

How should Christians react to this, and other end-times predictions?

First of all, we should discern the times we live in. Since Jesus’ death and resurrection, we are living in the Last Days. And in the last days many will turn away from the truth and find false teachers to sooth the Old Adam’s itching ears (2 Timothy 4:2-4), no matter how it’s repackaged. Jesus also predicted that in this world we will have trouble (John 16:33) but to fear not, for he has overcome the world and has promised to always be with His Church (Matthew 28:18-20).

Secondly, anyone who attempts to predict or claim confidence in knowing the date of Jesus’ return is sorely mistaken teaching contrary to Jesus’ own teaching. Based on the Scripture’s lucid witness, we know that 1) Jesus will return (Acts 1:7); 2) neither we, nor the angels nor even the Son of God, but only the Father knows the exact time (Mark 13:32); and that therefore 3) we should be prepared, keep watch and stay awake (Matthew 25, Mark 13), always being prepared to give a reasoned defense (apologia) for the hope that is in us (1 Peter 3:15).

And finally, though man has twisted Jesus’ words causing great folly and error, we do not on that account throw out the doctrine altogether. Rather, we confess this article of doctrine faithfully each week in the Creeds. There is no better preparation for Christ’s second Advent than his ongoing Advent in the Holy Supper and the living voice of the Gospel. In the Divine Service Christ continues to dwell among us preparing us for His return.

Ultimately, this is the chief purpose for Jesus’ teaching on the End Times. Not to cause confusion and despair, but give consolation and hope. In mercy, He delays His return (2 Peter 3:9). And until He does, He keeps our feet from stumbling and presents us as blameless in His presence (Jude 24-25). Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus (Revelation 22:20).

That was Pastor Sam Schuldheisz writing about "Mayan Madness" back in late 2012, but his points are still applicable to today.

In a Lutheran layman's terms, go ahead and make plans to watch the Olympics Men's Hockey Gold Medal Game this Sunday since the world is not going to end tomorrow.

[NOTE: As you know, I am a newly converted Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is not consistent with our Confessions and Lutheran doctrine (in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word) so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray. Finally, you might discover that some of the earlier pieces I wrote on this blog definitely fall into that category since I was a Lutheran-In-Name-Only at the time and was completely oblivious to the fact that a "Book of Concord" containing our Confessions even existed. I decided to leave those published posts up only because we now have this disclaimer and only to demonstrate the continuing work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life. Thank you for stopping by and thank you in advance for your time and help. Grace and peace to you and yours!]


About JKR

Christian. Husband. Father. Friend.

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Thank you for visiting A Lutheran Layman! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question since we do not exercise censorship. We've seen a similar policy with other blogs and it's worth repeating: Please act as if you're a guest in my home, and we'll get along just fine. I think anyone would agree that the kind of back-and-forth that is characteristic of blogs/chat forums and social media is becoming tiresome for all of us. Still, we should confess, edify, and love (and contend and defend when needed). Bottom line? Search the Scriptures! Apply Acts 17:11 to anything and everything you find here and, if you do happen to disagree with something you find here (which is certainly ok), or think I'm "irresponsible" and "wrong" for writing it, then please refute my position by supporting yours with Scripture and/or the Confessions. I don't think that's an unreasonable request, especially for those who identify themselves as "Christians" here, right? Besides, Proverbs 27:17 tells us "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another" and 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness." If you have an opinion that's great, I welcome it, but try to support it using God's Word. I mean, if the goal here is to help us all arrive at the truth of God's Word (myself included), then it should be easy to follow through on this one simple request (I'm talking to all you "Anonymous" visitors out there). Grace and peace to you and yours!

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