This year has been one of the most difficult and most miraculous years. We have seen both tragedy and triumph.
Unfortunately, when difficulties arise for many believers, our eyes and hearts are so focused on the events taking place that we can lose our focus. We spend more time reading the news than we do the Bible, which allows an inroad for false prophecy to enter into our minds.
Charlatans of all kinds will use disasters of all kinds to distract our ears from what they are really selling. I call this using "slight of mouth." Snake oil salesmen are nothing new, and religious snake oil salesmen can be found early in the biblical text. Men and women who are opportunistic will never let a crisis go to waste.
This year during the COVID-19 pandemic, (which, by the way, according to CDC guidelines, no longer qualifies as a pandemic, yet everyone is still calling it that) we have seen all kinds of "prophets" arise with varying messages of doom and gloom. One such message being shared through social media is that "the Bible has warned us about a time when the world would become a cashless society."
Now, before you begin to pick up stones to throw at me, I am not saying that it isn't possible or even probable that we will, at some time in the future, become a cashless society. However, if you search your Bible, you will not find a single verse that states anything about a cashless society.
The closest thing you will find is in Revelation 13:16-17 (TLV):
"He also causes all—the small and the great, the rich and the poor, the free and the slave—to receive a mark on their right hand or upon their forehead. And so no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark—either the name of the beast or the number of his name."
The plain text simply says one will have to have the mark to buy or sell. It doesn't say that you will use the mark to buy and sell. Anyone who is familiar with membership stores will understand that in order to buy in those stores, you have to be a member. In order to enter the store and make a purchase, you must show your membership card. However, once you show that you are a member of the store, you still have to use a form of payment to make your purchase.
Once again, I am not saying that we won't ever see a cashless society; I am saying that the Bible does not warn us against a cashless society. For many people, this may seem like a distinction without a difference. I think that it is vital that believers do not say the Bible says something it doesn't.
The claim of a "biblically warned cashless society" is just one of the many unbiblical biblical claims going around now. While this might seem trivial to you, let me explain why it isn't trivial at all.
There are billions of people around the world who are vulnerable right now because of all of the upheaval taking place, between riots, politics, assassinations, international virus epidemic and much more. These people are searching for truth.
The answers they are searching for are in the Bible because the Word of G-D is truth. We want every single one of these people to look to the body of Messiah as the people who have truth and share truth. We want them to be able to have trust in what we are saying.
That trust can be irreparably broken if we tell them something like "the Bible has warned us about a time when the world would become a cashless society," and then they find out we were wrong. These souls searching for G-D can lose faith in G-D because they lost trust in us.
If we simply repeat or share statements that are unbiblical because they seem to fit our understanding of end-time events without actually finding out if they are true, we are guilty of biblical malpractice. The result of this is that many of those we are trying to save will end up injured or lost.
Eric Tokajer is the author of Overcoming Fearlessness, What If Everything You Were Taught About the Ten Commandments Was Wrong?, With Me in Paradise, Transient Singularity, OY! How Did I Get Here?: Thirty-One Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before Entering Ministry, #ManWisdom: With Eric Tokajer, Jesus Is to Christianity As Pasta Is to Italians and Galatians in Context.
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