In the August 1999 issue of Pre-Trib Perspectives I wrote an article entitled “Scary Gary and Y2K.” Speaking of the Y2K computer bug, I said the following: “It won’ t happen. The Y2K problem is being fixed. Western Civilization will continue down the same road next year that it is on today.” Not only did Gary North predict that the Y2K computer glitch would lead to the death of 1.5 billion people, he said this whole ordeal is the judgment of God.
The Y2K crisis is systemic. It cannot possibly be fixed. I think it will wipe out every national government in the West. Not just modify them- destroy them. I honestly think the Federal government will go under. I think the U.S.A. will break up the way the U.S.S.R. did. Call me a dreamer. Call me an optimist. That’ s what I think. This will decentralize the social order. That is what I have wanted all my adult life. In my view, Y2K is our deliverance. Just don’ t be in a city when deliverance occurs.[i]
I wrote my earlier article well before the events of the Y2K computer problems were supposed to unfold because I became convinced that it would amount to nothing more than a whimper. While I know that we are only about a week into the new year and supposedly we could still have real problems ahead, I don’t think it will amount to much more than we have already experienced, which is barely a whimper. Frankly, I did nothing to prepare for Y2K and so far I have not experienced one problem, nor do I know of anyone who has.
Y2K and God’s Judgment
Not only did Scary Gary, as some of his secular critics call him, contribute to ruining many aspects of many people’s lives by promoting irresponsible speculation about Y2K, he said it would undoubtedly be the judgment of God. If the Y2K computer problem was to be the judgment of God, as Dr. North declared, then it is strange that humanity can avoid this judgment without repentance. When God’s judgment truly falls no human action can do anything to avoid it. God is Sovereign and always accomplishes what He intends to do. Gary North claimed that he spoke for God, when in fact he did not. On January 5, 2000 North did write the following in response to an article criticizing him on Y2K:
I am certainly willing to say that my assessment of the threat, as things have played out, was incorrect. I did not think that fix-on-failure would work as well as a $500+ billion expenditure seems to have worked so far. I am indeed perplexed by the fact that those companies, nations, and local governments that spent almost nothing to fix y2k seem to be performing as well as, say, Microsoft. Did I expect this? No. Did Koskinen expect this? No. What mainstream source went into print with this message as recently as a week ago?
There was no 72-hour storm, no brownouts or blackouts. We were told by those in authority that there would be. They were wrong. Now, let me say here, they were closer to the truth than I was. But the perplexing truth, so far, is that the bell-shaped curve did not appear. There have been no big events. But, statistically speaking, there should have been some, somewhere. The governments of the world was planning on at least some. That was why there were no New Years Eve vacations for policemen anywhere in the industrial world. So, the middle of the road position was also wrong. I mean, so far, it was wrong. It sure seems wrong. (www.garynorth.com/y2k/detail_.cfm/7104)
Even though Dr. North admits he was wrong, I have not yet seen him speak to the issue of his linking in no uncertain terms Y2K with the judgment of God. He has yet to repent of his false notion that the Y2K computer roll over was the means of God’s wrath. This was the main point I was making in my article on Dr. North last August.
As indicated in Dr. North’s words noted above, he says that his concern was warranted because of all the experts who believed that Y2K would bring disaster and spent so much money on the problem. However, I have read many who contradicted North’s with facts and information that failed to make its way onto Dr. North’s extensive Y2K internet site (www.garynorth.com). I noted a couple of books in my August article that contained a great amount of information that would lead one to the opposite conclusion than that of Gary North.
A couple of books that I would recommend about Y2K are, Dave Hunt’ sY2K: A Reasoned Response to Mass Hysteria (Harvest House), and Arno and Joel Froese’ s When Y2K Dies (Olive Press). These two books provide solid and recent information that convinced me that the millennium bug is being fixed and will not bite (or should I say byte) too hard, if at all.
Theology is Important
I pointed out that Dr. North’s theological views of postmillennial preterism greatly impacted his analysis of the Y2K computer problem. Since he was looking for the collapse of America and Western civilization, he has grasp at every potential crisis and proclaimed each event as a judgment of God. Who would be foolish enough to continue following his advice? I noted many of his past failures even before his Y2K fiasco. It makes a difference what you believe the Bible teaches. It makes a difference what you believe or don’t believe the Bible teaches about Bible prophecy. Dr. North’s postmillennial preterism is not only unbiblical, it cannot stand the test of practical significance. However, the beliefs of those of us who take Bible prophecy literally are coming into focus with each passing day.
Gary North, and others like him, make fun of those of us who are looking for the Lord’s return at any moment. This is what the New Testament teaches. We are looking for a person, who we love, to return and take us to be with Himself, not for the collapse of Western civilization. That will come one day during the future seven-year tribulation period. Until our Lord returns, we are to be found faithfully preaching the gospel throughout the world and discipling converts in the Word of God.
We can see, with Israel back in her land, that God is setting the stage for the end time drama of the tribulation. Increasingly, Jerusalem in becoming a burdensome stone for the nations. Even now, President Clinton apparently believes that he can build for his failed presidency a positive legacy by trying to solve the Middle East crisis. Indeed, it would be a feather in his cap, but whatever comes out of the current “Peace Process,” will only serve God’s purpose of moving the world toward the tribulation.
Every where we look we see God setting the stage for the next era of history. Globalism in the realms of politics, religion, commerce, and human endeavor is rampant. The current European Union is preparation for Rome’s revival under Antichrist. The church becomes increasingly apostate and ecumenical with each day that passes. Russia and her Arab coalition is being prepared for the God and Magog invasion of Israel. Israel’s ancient enemies are being reconstituted to become her end time rivals. Instead of producing a Y2K glitch, computers and technology as a whole are preparing the world for enforcement of the mark of the beast during the second half of the tribulation. The whole world is in a downward spiral when it comes to the things of God, as is evidenced by the increasing persecution and disdain of any thing Christian in so much of the world. God’s wrath will come, but it will be the tribulation period, not some man made computer programming error.
Peter tells us, ” Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, and regard the patience of our Lord to be salvation” (2 Peter 3:24-15a). If ” these things” have already taken place in the past, then the admonition to ” be found by Him in peace, . . .” would not make sense in the present. But because we do look for these things in the future we are to assume the posture of diligent service to our Lord, till he arrives. What you believe about the future impacts you in the present. I don’ t know about you, but we are looking for the any-moment return of our Lord. Come quickly Lord Jesus! Maranatha!
[i] Quoted by Rob Boston, ” Apocalypse Now?” Church & State (March 1999), p. 8.