By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
The topics are gentler this time around, but the fatalism remains. "Time is getting short, and behold He will come!" Andy Day yells to start Day 2. He launches into "Days of Elijah":
"And though these are days of great trial,
Of famine and darkness and sword,
Still, we are the voice in the desert crying
'Prepare ye the way of the Lord!'"
Day ends with a plug for his CD.
An even larger crowd comes today. People share notes. They carry new material—lectures, books and DVDs of last night's speakers.
First today is Texas pastor Mike Gendron.
"Good morning, saints, cleansed by the blood of our glorious savior!" Gendron shouts. "How many of you know we're involved in spiritual warfare? What a privilege it is to be called saints!"
Gendron's topic is "Satan's Big Six" attacks against Christians. "We know there is a battle between God's troops and Satan's," he says. God's side: the saints, the faithful, the Christians who believe. Satan's troops: evolutionists, humanists, Catholics, Darwinians, sodomites who are "redefining the God-ordained marriage," psychology, science, philosophy and televangelist Benny Hinn.
"If we're going to stand firm, we need to know [the devil's] past schemes," Gendron says. "He wages war against the saints." Gendron urges everyone to wear "a full armor of God": loins girded with truth, a breastplate of righteousness, a shield of faith and a helmet of salvation.
"Anything that does not conform with Scripture must be purged away," he thunders.
Gendron, a former Catholic, then addresses his former faith.
"Maybe the most fatal lie of the devil is that you can get to heaven through good works," he snickers. "Every religion follows Satan's plans—good works."
The audience laughs.
Gendron rails against Satan's "legions of liars," the "demonic infiltrators." But he isn't talking about Catholicism—he now directs his attacks toward Hinn.
Hinn, a broadcaster with the Costa Mesa-based Trinity Broadcasting Network, is controversial amongst Christians for his belief in faith healing and the prosperity gospel, which asks believers to contribute money in the hope God will one day return it 10-fold. But Gendron doesn't mention any specific problems with Hinn; all he says is, "If we were living in the Old Testament, he wouldn't have his head anymore."
Gendron ends with a DVD plug.
Gary Frazier follows. He runs Discovery Ministries, which organizes evangelical trips to Israel.
"We are the generation that will see the second coming of Jesus Christ," he begins. "How many of you believe Jesus is coming soon?"
"Amen!" the audience shouts.
Frazier plans to examine the Book of Daniel. But he begins with an anecdote—seems he was driving the other day and saw a bumper sticker that read, "Visualize World Peace." Knowing snickers echo across the audience.
"The truth is, we're never going to have world peace," Frazier says to the nods of the audience. "The truth is, God will bring war and desolation until the End."
Frazier spends the next 45 minutes describing equation after equation he says proves biblical prophecy—April 16, A.D. 32, for instance, was the day Christ was laid on the cross. If you add it with Israel's "sin debt" and go forward on the Gregorian calendar, you end up with May 1948, the month Israel came into creation.
"The truth is that the nation of Israel is the key," Frazier says. "The truth is Jesus is coming again soon. While we don't know the day and the hour, what we do know is that it'll be soon and He'll be right on time."
Perkins alleviates fears for anyone interested in visiting Israel with Frazier. "It's just like Los Angeles, with people shooting each other." Laughs.
After another clunker of a speaker and a brief lunch break, the day's two main speakers arrive. First is Dave Reagan, a Dick Cheney look-alike who will join Frazier in the 2006 Biblelands cruise. After Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, Reagan reprimanded evangelicals who blamed the city's sinful ways for incurring God's wrath. "I do not believe the storm was meant primarily as a judgment upon the city of New Orleans," he wrote. "Rather, I see it as a judgment on our entire nation for our mistreatment of Israel."
"There is going to be an entire generation that will not die," Reagan shouts to the audience. "This is enough for anyone to shout 'Hallelujah!'"
"Hallelujah!" responds the audience.
Reagan begins describing the End, when Jesus will "pour his wrath on pipsqueaks like Castro and Qadhafi, who strut around like bantam roosters." Reagan talks so fast that people scribble notes like doctors. But the same words pop up during his speech. Blood. Red. Triumph. Blood of the enemies of God. General.
"This is no namby-pamby Savior," Reagan proclaims of Jesus. This would be the man who would lead the saints to victory. "You and I are going to be there!
"How God loves the Jewish people," Reagan suddenly marvels. "They are his chosen people. Satan hates the Jews with a passion. Satan hates the Bible. Satan hates the Messiah. Satan hates the chosen people. That was the purpose of the Holocaust—so God could not fulfill his promise to the Jews.