Retired science teacher and co-author of a series of elementary science textbooks (New Leaf Press).
November 2012 – “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” Matthew 24:35-36
People such as Nostradamus, Jean Dixon and Edgar Cayce have intrigued people with their prophecies of the future for many years. Recently the “Survivalists” and the “Preppers” have taken such predictions a step further. Believing that the near future holds economic disasters and natural catastrophes, they are actively preparing for these events by stocking up food, water, guns and other supplies. There seems to be a widespread expectation that something bad may be about to happen.
When people began hearing about the end of the Mayan calendar on December 21, 2012, prophecies of worldwide catastrophes took on a new level of believability. Even some Christians have been wondering whether or not this is a legitimate sign of future events and a source of supernatural knowledge. For that reason, now is a good time to demystify the Mayan calendar.
Clearly, the Mayan ancestors were science-based astronomers and experts in their field. Most of us are used to thinking of people who lived 3,000-4,000 years ago as primitive and unlearned, but that was not the case for many civilizations of that time period. Egyptians used advanced engineering techniques to build the pyramids, Phoenicians were able to navigate the oceans, and Mayan ancestors produced accurate calendars.
Ancient Mayan calendars showed that it takes the earth 365.2420 days to make a complete orbit around the sun. Recent scientific equipment has determined the exact length of a year is 365.2422 days, thus confirming the Mayan calendars’ unbelievable accuracy. Mayan astronomers also recognized that the sun followed a path through the galaxy. It was this knowledge that enabled them to predict a rare event when the sun would intersect another celestial pathway on December 21, 2012. One theory is that their long-count calendar started with this date, and they counted backwards to what they believe was the beginning of the earth.
We know that the Mayans came to Central America and Mexico at an early period in history, established cities and built pyramids, which were used to study the sun, moon, planets and stars. Their obsession with the path of the sun, the appearance of certain planets, and an emphasis on certain dates began to corrupt their science-based knowledge. Soon their superior knowledge of astronomy turned into a study of astrology, attempts to predict the future and worship of the sun. Their religion eventually degraded into the practice of offering human sacrifices to the sun god. Still, Mayan priests preserved their calendars, even though they probably lost the original knowledge they were based upon.
Throughout the Old Testament, God’s people were warned in the strongest terms not to look to the sun, moon or stars for counsel or to worship them in any way. These warnings apply to Christians today. Christians should know for certain that God would not give supernatural knowledge of the future to people who violated some of His most basic laws. Their incredible calendars were based on scientific principles, and in no way are they an indication that the Mayans received secret knowledge about the future from the sun, moon or stars.
Christians would do well to search the Scriptures for godly advice about living in times such as these. All that God has chosen to reveal to His people is readily available in the Bible. Therefore, it would be unnecessary and unwise for a Christian to search for secret knowledge about the future from an ancient pagan religion.
Visit Carolyn Reeves', Ed.D., website: www.undergroundparadigm.com.
The Puzzle of Ancient Man by Donald E. Chittick, Ph.D. (Creation Compass, third edition, 2006).