A total lunar eclipse predicted to occur in 10 days has been the subject of religious conversations in recent weeks.
The fact that the April 15 eclipse is to happen during the Jewish holiday of Passover and is one of four total lunar eclipses predicted to coincide with Jewish feast days in 2014 and 2015 has several Christian religious leaders, including a local pastor, discussing its possible connection to biblical prophecy.
The Rev. Mark Hitchcock, an Edmond preacher and biblical prophecy expert, said he doesn’t believe the eclipses are related to Bible prophecy.
Hitchcock said while celestial signs and wonders are often part of biblical prophecy, the coming quartet of lunar eclipses is not among them.
Hitchcock, senior pastor of Faith Bible Church, 600 N Coltrane in Edmond, said he explains his reasoning in his book “Blood Moons Rising: Bible Prophecy, Israel and the Four Blood Moons,” which was released in March.
Hitchcock’s book counters one written by the Rev. John Hagee, an internationally known preacher, televangelist and author, whose book about the four lunar eclipses has become a best-seller.
In “Four Blood Moons: Something Is About to Change,” Hagee, senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, asserts that something significant is about to happen regarding Israel because the blood moons — lunar eclipses — occur during the Jewish holidays of Passover and Sukkot in 2014 and 2015.
The Rev. Mark Blitz, of El Shaddai Ministries, based in Bonney Lake, Wash., also has spoken of his belief in the ties between the lunar eclipses and Bible prophecy for Israel.
Hitchcock said he decided to write his book because numerous people began to ask him questions about the blood moons prophecy and many of his colleagues said they also were inundated with questions about the eclipses.
He said the amount of conjecture and interest in the prophecy reminded him of the Mayan calendar prophecy that predicted the world would end on Dec. 21, 2012.
“The difference in the Mayan calendar idea in 2012 was that it really was kind of outside the Christian world. This is a prediction being made by Christian pastors and Christian teachers,” Hitchcock said. “I examine the historical and scriptural information that they use and basically come to the conclusion that the conclusions they draw on this blood moon prophecy of 2014 and 2015 are not valid.”
Science says ...
Wayne Harris-Wyrick, director of the Kirkpatrick Museum at Science Museum Oklahoma, said he can’t “second-guess religious prophecy.”
However, he said it is rare to have so many total lunar eclipses visible from the same place, the United States, and back to back.