- “Do you believe in a literal hell, yes or no?”
- “Is that a Brian McLaren book on your shelf?”
- “Why did you quote Nouwen and Merton last Sunday without telling the church they are dangerous?”
- The word ‘missional’ was in the church newsletter this week; don’t you check for things like that?”
- “Why don’t you preach against evolution?”
- “Are you aware of Rick Warren’s universalist leanings?”
Indeed, among the signs of the endtimes are not only things like Pokemon and rock music, but also completely imaginary and made-up stuff. In 2014, for instance, Barger (on a show with Jan Markell – Barger is a regular and sometimes co-host there – and Larry Kutzler) accused then-president for Obama for decision to hand over oversight of the Internet to the UN, a decision that of course exists only in Barger’s deranged imagination, warning that it will lead to the arrival of the Antichrist and censorship of Christian radio outlets. (He followed up the accusation with promoting the debunked conspiracy theory that Obama allowed INTERPOL to “kidnap” US citizens.) It probably goes without saying that one of the clearest proofs that the Antichrist is coming, as Barger sees it, is the non-existent rise of Sharia law in the U.S.
Before the 2016 election, Barger issued a dire warning to Christians not to elect an “admitted practicing occultist” like Hillary Clinton to the White House.
Though Barger is a staunch enemy of science and anything that resembles science, he is particularly known for his distaste for psychiatry, which he characterizes as attempting to “deal with spiritual issues by using completely worldly means,” something that is ostensibly bad. In particular, Barger is shocked that “secular psychiatry” has become “the first remedy the world around us employs when someone exhibits signs of demon possession,” unlike in medieval times. Psychiatric medications, according to Barger, do not fix spiritual/demonic problems; rather, they “disguise the symptoms but [do] absolutely nothing to alleviate the cause.” As Barger sees it, “secular psychiatry cannot cure the demon possessed and can at best only rearrange a person’s emotional and mental problems. Doctor Jesus can cure them completely, set them free, and make the broken soul whole!”
Among the targets for Barger’s charges of occultism and demonic influence, you’ll find some expected ones: according to Barger, Harry Potter, Twilight and The Walking Dead are all reasons that the Antichrist may soon materialize and attain global power, for instance. However, Barger also denounces Lord of the Rings and the Narnia stories, which is atleast somewhat more novel given that the Narnia stories are commonly endorsed by Christian leaders. According to Barger, however, these books desensitize people to the occult, deploy “unbiblical themes” and portray ideas of God that are not sufficiently in line with how Barger thinks of Him.
He has received some attention for his criticsm of Pokémon: “the original Pokémon franchise was developed by Wizards of the Coast, who gave the world the occult games, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS and MAGIC THE GATHERING. Pokémon comes from a long line of anti-Christian, occult, and evolutionary development. For example, did you know that the very word Pokémon means ‘pocket monster’ - i.e. ‘demon’?” But of course.
Diagnosis: Oh, yes, there’s still plenty of these around, though they tend not to have the sort of influence they had 35 years or so ago. However, there are surely people who tune in to his incoherent and rabid screeching; this colorful horror clown still has sharp enough fangs to annoy you.