The upcoming eradication of your backyard garden and the local vegetable stand. I’m just waiting for the “violators will be napalmed” amendment to that one; at this point nothing would surprise me.
The North Korean and Iranian nuclear juggernauts carry on while our state department continues to make amateur mistakes for which the Bush administration would have been excoriated. How’s that “we’ll talk to anyone!” policy working out for you, Mr. President? Please define “moderate” Taliban. Give us an example. Show me just one.
Not to mention the upcoming Obama-engineered health care shortage. (Massachusetts? Where’s that? Is it relevant?)
The decline of the west continues apace, from that loon the ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY!1!!eleventy calling for acceptance of sharia law and thanking Muslims!!! for their “significant contribution to getting a debate about religion into public life.” No word on his opinion of the fact that the UN is busily outlawing dissent against Islam, thereby making this the fastest debate evar. We’re often advised how to not offend Muslims. I’ve yet to see an article published in the national/international press advising Muslims how to not offend people of other faiths. And here in the U.S. it’s Allah, yes; Jesus, no.
The media is shamelessly spiking stories which harm their Dear Leader, and whatever variant of the Fairness Doctrine the Democrats eventually pass will put another nail (thanks, McCain-Feingold!) into the free speech coffin.
Not only are we killing our own babies, we’re paying to kill them in other countries.
The end is nigh!!
Given those examples and quite a few others I didn’t bother to list, I can understand the apocalyptic way people are feeling. And to some extent I feel the same way, though I’m a good deal less interested in it all than I used to be. Things are about to really suck in this country, and in the entire western world. But I’m not buying into the idea that these things are proof that these are the “end times.”
It’s a variant of the (much despised) prosperity gospel, which more or less proclaims that God wants us to be perfectly healthy and drive a Mercedes. The lack of a particular material lifestyle is in no way “proof” that Jesus is coming back soon. Read Matthew 24 to learn what Jesus himself declared “the signs of the times.”
I don’t care whether you take it literally or allegorically and I’m not prepared to even get into that; that’s a serious bible study, and one which has been conducted by serious scholars over the centuries. I wouldn’t touch it with a ten meter cattle prod. What I would like to point out is that when people point to social unrest, chaos, anarchy, government oppression, extreme poverty, famine, Christian persecution and martyrdom, and the like to “prove” that these are the end times…. these things have never once stopped occurring in the world since Jesus ascended back into heaven.
To declare that “the end is nigh!” now that America may finally face some of these problems is perfectly ridiculous, and frankly, offensive. It’s the ultimate prosperity gospel. We’re not getting what we’re used to so that must mean that God is about to pick up his ball and go home. Do you see the arrogance in that theory? Imagine explaining it to a 1st century Christian citizen of Rome. Or a Christian in, say, 1914. Imagine explaining it to a Christian living in Darfur, China, or North Korea NOW. Oh, now that it’s starting to happen to US, that must mean it’s the end!! Because we’re just so darned special.
What we should do
Before the election I got a lot of search engine traffic from people trying to figure out if Obama is the Antichrist. I still don’t think that he is. But let’s assume for the sake of argument that it’s true. IF you are a Christian who genuinely believes he is or really may be, that these are truly the end times, then let’s explore the logical actions that stem from that belief. I’m not trying to set up a straw man here. I’m being serious. If you believe that
a) our earthly lives are “a vapor” – that life is eternal and those who are saved will spend it in heaven
b) the end of the world as we know it is imminent because God is about to draw it all to a close according to His plan which is plainly stated in the bible
then wouldn’t NOW be the time to sort out your priorities? In fact, NOW would be your last chance to do so. So shouldn’t you get busy assessing every aspect of your life, and consider what will actually make it through the fire?
According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw– each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.
(1 Corinthians 3:10-15)
You’ve seen your last episode of Dancing With The Stars. NOW is your last chance to follow Jesus’ commands to witness, to serve the poor, to preach the good news. If these are the end times then literally every day could be the last day; Jesus could come back at any moment. Here comes the fire to test your works! Are you ready? Are you at least getting ready?
Mind you, as Christians that’s our default setting; we’re supposed to live that way all the time. But we get bogged down in everyday life and the fact is we don’t live that way to the degree that we could. That’s the process of sanctification, in fact. But if you really believe these are the end times, how could you not completely change your life? If you truly believe your house is on fire, you don’t sit around and blog about it; you act accordingly: you leave the house.
That’s how I assess whether or not you’re full of crap. If you tell me you believe these are the end times and/or Obama is the Antichrist, then I start watching you. And if you’re not selling what you own, cleaning your house of things that offend Jesus, stopping all the extraneous garbage we all waste our time on like junk TV, if you’re not serving the poor and preaching the gospel as if you really believe This Is It… then I’m forced to conclude that you do not, in fact, really believe what you said and you’re just talking trash politically.
So… am I wrong?