September 23 end times prophecy is 'an embarrassment to Christians,' says church pastor

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Church pastor Ed Stetzer has laid harsh criticism on the rapture and end times theories swirling around September 23.

Numerologist David Meade has stoked murmurs of an apocalypse with his speculation that Luke 21 verses 25 and 26 suggest the recent total solar eclipse across the United States and devastating hurricanes laying into the south-east of the country and the Caribbean are a sign that the end of the world is nigh.

Meade bases his ideas in the belief that 'Planet X' – which has been denounced as a hoax by NASA – is set to pass Earth on September 23, triggering with it a series of volcanic eruptions, tsunamis and earthquakes.

But other Christians have derided his interpretation of Scripture and events.

Christian scientist Jonathan Sarfati said such interpretations were just cherry-picking the evidence.

'As usual with any astrology (or Christian adaptations of it), one cherry-picks the stars that fit the desired conclusion,' Sarfati wrote, according to the Express. 'There is nothing to suggest that 23 September is a momentous date for biblical prophecy, and Christians need to be careful about being drawn into such sensationalist claims.'

Pastor and missiologist Ed Stetzer was even harsher in his criticism, saying theories around September 23 were 'an embarrassment to Christians and the faith convictions we take so seriously' and 'a distortion of God's word.' 

But Meade isn't the only one seeing signs of apocalypse in astrological events. Billy Graham's daughter Anne Graham Lotz warned that the recent total solar eclipse of the sun on August 21 may have marked the start of God's judgment coming down on America.

'While no one can know for sure if judgment is coming on America, it does seem that God is signaling us about something. Time will tell what that something is,' she said.

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