Person #4 ~Gary North—Leading source behind Y2K
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Person #4–Gary North

Leading source behind Y2K

I fear that many people will be inclined to think that there can be nothing to gain by going back four years into the past and bringing up Y2K. On the contrary:

 “If you have made mistakes, you certainly gain a victory if you see these mistakes and regard them as beacons of warning. Thus you turn defeat into victory, disappointing the enemy and honoring your Redeemer.”  {Christ’s Object Lessons 332}

 I know that it can be a painful and humiliating experience being reminded of our mistakes, especially one so important, and where people were so absolutely certain, and yet so completely wrong. I also know that the person pointing out the mistake can have a wrong spirit and wrong motives. Yet I know that there can be the greatest blessing in doing this if it can be done with the prayer and the desire to have those words fulfilled to us:

 “If you have made mistakes, you certainly gain a victory if you see these mistakes and regard them as beacons of warning.”

 Many Seventh-day Adventists were completely caught up in Y2K. I remember the newsletter from one respected, conservative ministry that regularly has their own camp meetings. The newsletter I received after their 1999 camp meeting said, “Every meeting was based on Y2K.”

 What went wrong? What does God want us to learn from Y2K? Why did so many Seventh-day Adventists get caught up in Y2K? And last, but certainly not least, What, if anything, does Y2K have to do with the New World Order?

The first two questions have pretty much the same answer and I believe are fairly clear and simple. I think the answer can be summed up in the words I quoted earlier:

 “The only thing in our world upon which we can rely is the word of God”  {Desire of Ages 121}

 It was very troubling, as well as disappointing, to see so many Adventists completely caught up in Y2K, when there was absolutely nothing concerning it in either the Bible or the Spirit of Prophecy. Surely, it should teach us to be much more careful as to what (and who) we build our faith on.

The fourth question, What, if anything, does Y2K have to do with the New World Order? may not seem so, but actually is also fairly clear and simple. Here are some of the things they have in common. Both are, or were, almost entirely built on conspiracy theories. Both originate primarily from Sunday-keeping ministries (though the average Seventh-day Adventist probably doesn’t realize that). Both are very much a part of the Biblical understanding of end-time events by these Sunday keeping ministries. Both lead to endless hours of study outside of the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy. Both tend to become all-absorbing.

The third question, Why did so many Seventh-day Adventists get caught up in Y2K, is probably the most important question, as well as the most difficult. I won’t spend much time trying to answer it now. I hope by the end of the book to have at least somewhat answered it. For now let me just say that I believe the answer to this problem, as well as so many other problems, boils down to these words from Jeremiah. I cannot emphasize enough how important they are. Please, as never before, ask God to help you to see exactly what He means and what He wants when He says “all”:

“Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”  {Jeremiah 29:13}

 Now back to Gary North.

In the years leading up to Y2K I was forced to do quite a bit of research on it. (Someone very dear to me was inclined to believe it.) I read from both Seventh-day Adventist and non Seventh-day Adventist sources. It wasn’t long before I discovered that the source for a great share of the information that I was reading originated with a man named Gary North. In my mind, he was constantly taking things out of context to try to build his case for Y2K. There was one thing that I had always believed was certain—it was that neither the Bible nor the Spirit of Prophecy provided any support for Y2K.

Many years have gone by since then, and the memory of Gary North had pretty much faded into the recesses of my mind. The decision to write this book brought him back. So, as with the others, I went looking on the internet to see what I could find. After you read what I’ve discovered concerning Gary North, you should be convinced that God doesn’t want anyone, much less Seventh-day Adventists, going to him for “light”—on anything!

Before looking at his religious beliefs I want to share with you two articles I found on the internet concerning Y2K. The first says very little about Mr. North. The second has quite a bit to say about him. Both are extremely interesting. Both make points that deserve consideration. Interestingly enough, both are from Christian sources.

Article #1:

Y2K DOOMSAYERS REFUSE TO TAKE THE $25,000 CHALLENGE

 (December 14, 1999)—For the last two years many influential Christian ministries have been proclaiming doom and gloom associated with the Year 2000 (Y2K) computer problem. Those who have joined the doomsayers bandwagon to one degree or another have included Gary North, Michael Hyatt, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, James Dobson (who gave much air time to Michael Hyatt), Don McAlvany, D. James Kennedy, R.C. Sproul, Larry Burkett, Grant Jeffrey, Steve Farrar, Chuck Missler, and Hal Lindsey.

Many of the Y2K doomsayers have made a lot of money from the anxiety they have helped to excite. For example Michael Hyatt…markets a “Y2K Prep Food” package for $3,395.

 THE $25,000 Y2K CHALLENGE

Tired of all the hype, the Christian Jew Foundation (this article is taken from a Baptist Ministry site) issued a $25,000 Y2K Challenge to the doomsayers. (I called the Christian Jew Foundation to verify the truthfulness of this challenge). The funds backing the challenge were provided by a Christian businessman who believes many Y2Kers themselves know that no crisis is coming.

The challenge is as follows: If even half of what alarmists like Gary North, Don McAlvany, and Michael Hyatt have predicted actually comes to pass, the Christian Jew Foundation will write a check for $25,000 to the favorite charity of any of them who has signed the contract and formally accepted the Y2K Challenge. If, on the other hand, it turns out to be pretty much business as usual on January 3, 2000, with only scattered (and relatively inconsequential) glitches here and there, anyone who has accepted the challenge must write a check for $25,000 to the Christian Jew Foundation. The funds will be put into a special account to help reimburse elderly folks and others who have been financially victimized by Y2K alarmism over the past several years.

This challenge was faxed and mailed to all authors of negative Y2K scenarios, but NOT ONE OF THEM HAS RESPONDED.  [www.wayoflife.org/fbns/y2k/y2kdoomsayers]

Article #2:

THE Y2K MELTDOWN OF CREDIBILITY

(SCP Newsletter–WINTER, 1999)

 Arguably the loudest voice among the false prognosticators is Dr. Gary North, who made a point of being the first to see the disaster while putting his reputation on the line in a bold proclamation that could do nothing but start a panic among those who believed it: “At 12 midnight on January 1, 2000, most of the world’s mainframe computers will either shut down or begin spewing out bad data…This will create a nightmare for every area of life, in every region of the industrialized world.”—Gary North

North’s trademarked term for this event was “the Y2K meltdown of civilization.” As with his dealings in previous situations, there was a monetary aspect for North…

Stanley Dokupil, a member of the SCP staff fifteen years ago, told me on the phone several years ago, “After North panicked us to buy diamonds, and I lost a fair amount of money, I knew he was bad news. He has been making money off catastrophe at other people’s expenses for years.” One true believer was aware of North’s penchant to stampede the herd, but defended Gary North with an ironic chuckle, “What’s so funny is that Gary North has cried wolf repeatedly over the years, but this time he is right!”

North and others who stampeded the herd in the Y2K panic have done untold damage to countless lives…The “Christians” who screamed the loudest have ensured that the name of Christ be held up to public ridicule once again…The latest rash of false prophets & prognosticators are a public embarrassment, a spectacle. Claiming unique insight, if not revelation from God, they cried wolf on a vast scale. As a result, the world mocks them, their God, and other Christians who had nothing to do with the hype. Predictably, these false prophets and their true believers will soon begin spin doctoring. Blame will be skirted as they eye the horizon for the next “cataclysm”. Don’t be surprised if North and his fellow prophets for profit take credit for having averted the disaster by their warnings. (Note: nations that barely did a thing had no Y2K meltdown!)

This costly diversion—let’s call it Y2K folly—has done harm in another way, apart from scandalizing Christendom. It has provided yet another distraction from the responsibility of living the genuine Christian life.  [SCP Newsletter, WINTER 1999]

 I believe that last paragraph really hits the nail on the head. And, in all too many cases, can be applied with just as much correctness, and just as much force, to the message of the New World Order.

Now I want you to learn something about the religious views of this man that so many Seventh-day Adventists were influenced by. All of these quotes were found on the internet. To the best of my knowledge, they are all from Gary North himself:

 “Let me say right from the beginning that this little book is not a guide for Christians about how to escape responsibilities. He calls us to exercise dominion over every aspect of the earth in His name, to His glory, and by His law.”  [Taken from the introduction to his book—“Liberating Planet Earth”]

 “…it is the moral obligation of Christians to recapture every institution for Jesus Christ…The means by which this task might be accomplished—a few CR’s (Christian Reconstructionists) are not convinced that it can be—is Biblical law. This is the “tool of dominion.” We have been assigned a dominion covenant—a God-given assignment to conquer in His name.”  [Taken from—“Backward Christian Soldiers? An Action Manual For Christian Reconstruction”]

 “The long-term goal of Christians in politics should be to gain exclusive control over the franchise. Those who refuse to submit publicly to the eternal sanctions of God by submitting to His Church’s public marks of the covenant—baptism and Holy Communion—must be denied citizenship, just as they were in ancient Israel.”  [Taken from—“Political Polytheism: The Myth of Pluralism”]

 “So let us be blunt: we must use the doctrine of religious liberty to gain independence for Christian schools until we train up a generation of people who know that there is no religious neutrality, no neutral law, no neutral education, and no neutral civil government. Then they will get busy in constructing a Bible based social, political and religious order which finally denies the religious liberties of the enemies of God.”  [Gary North quoted in Albert J. Menendez, Visions of Reality: What Fundamentalist Schools Teach”]