Things I Think…
1. I have long been mystified by the “end times” crowd. I’ve never understood why people would keep swallowing the “prophecy updates” that have been wrong for the fifty years I’ve watched them…wrong over and over again with new players and new villains, new anti-Christs, and new people to hate when the last batch failed to usher in Jesus and the millennium. Then it dawned on me this morning as I read through some of the faithful’s posts that they would rather the world end than lose political power…
2. The story of the Bible is about God’s people in exile who are awaiting a kingdom and a King to give them a new permanent home…this world is not and never will be that place, until heaven and earth become one place…
3. The end of the world is really the beginning of what shall never end…I’m looking forward to it, so stop acting like you can prevent it…
4. The Great Deception will be that some people think their politicians are more righteous than the others and Jesus can stay home because they have it covered…
5. I do think the end of many things is near…when we can no longer discern truth through dialog we can no longer govern anyone or solve anything…there are too many ways to deceive and too many rewards for deception…
6. I am fully vaccinated because after weighing the known risks and understanding that there were potentially unknown risks, it seemed the wisest choice for my circumstances. I have close friends who have weighed the same evidence and chosen not to get the shot. I respect that choice and refuse to engage in another division between those who have and those who haven’t…especially because there was nothing political or religious about either choice…
7. The core message of the New Testament is that Christians triumph through sacrificial love, suffering, and death… because we follow Jesus who did all that first. The real modern heresy is that because Jesus lived a life of sacrificial love, suffering, and death, we don’t have to. That is the lie from the pit of hell that is destroying the witness of the church…because we refuse to love, run from suffering, and won’t die to ourselves for the sake of the Savior…
8. In a time when truth is hard to know, know that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life…and following Him to the cross is the only guarantee of victory…
9. I have never once in my life questioned if some technology was the “mark of the beast”… because taking the mark is a volitional choice to worship someone other than God and that has never crossed my mind…
10. One of the most loving things you can do today is to say thank you to those who have chosen to work everyday during the pandemic to keep things open…all those clerks who chose to stay at their posts have lost a lot of money and acquired a lot of trauma so you could grab some milk or a hamburger…
“because we refuse to love, run from suffering, and won’t die to ourselves for the sake of the Savior…”
I think it is far worse than this… many will no longer even acknowledge that love, suffering and death to self even have anything to do with Christianity. It is not heresy (a twisting of the faith) it is apostasy (an abandoning of the faith). The use of words and symbols associated with Christianity have nothing to do with actually embracing the faith…
Yes… when we leave the foundation behind, it is apostasy…
Michael–thanks again for your thoughtful thoughts. The way forward is the same way it has always been, love through the power of the indwelling Spirit of God. The rest is gibberish and debris. Too many keep looking ahead speculatively instead of reviewing critically.
Truly those who have persevered on the job in front-line circumstances are the unsung heroes of our modern culture. As such, they will largely go unnoticed, underappreciated, and taken for granted. My son, who has not missed a day of heavy manual labor throughout, cannot wrap his head around the mindset of those hesitant or reluctant to reenter the workplace. I suppose he won’t be the wellspring of empathy or patience. I welcome your invitation to thank those front-liners.
Fil…thank you…and thank your son for me as well…
I have thanked those front-line workers and have tipped the servers and clerks at eateries extra (even though I still only get delivery or takeout).
At least in California, teachers were deemed essential, although we were (and some still are) working via Zoom. I didn’t have it too hard as my private school was able to train us well and provide everything we needed. Criticism hasn’t been too bad (except for the people who always want to tell me how to do my job, although they have no idea of my circumstances at my school). But, my public school friends who have toughed it out with parents who believe schools are for daycare, students who never appear for class but expect an A at the end (common in secondary schools), administrators who expected the same kind of results with traumatized children on th other side of the screen-they are the ones who deserve a shout-out and a hearty round of applause.
My son has worked throughout the pandemic. He’s a grocery worker. One thing that bothers him is how bad people can be. It’s hard to hear him say, “the ‘so-called’ Christians are the worst. Why do they have to be so mean?” I’m so proud of my son. He has worked so hard to help make sure people can get what they need.
I got to thank Trey’s teachers yesterday via Zoom…it was an honor to do so…
You should be proud…and give yourself some kudos for raising him well…
1- for me the quandry is the Scriptural admonition to watch…. doesn’t mean i swallow the end times broohaw
2-someone observed almost the exact same thing to me yesterday – kind of a surprise
3-AMEN ! ! !
4-“some people ” … sigh
5-sure looks that way … sigh again
6- think i had covid Feb 2020, but my daughter has found a source for a medication that “cures” it, if taken promptly (US is only country not using it)
7-yes, when you stand firm, you risk getting run over…
8-AMEN ! ! ! again. 😇
9-GOOD POINT! ! !
10-just did that… 😄
See, i read them all. LOL
I’ve been reading a few books by Crawford Gribben in the last few months and with respect to 1):
a) a lot of the groups that shifted to premillenial futurism were denominations that were robustly postmillenial historicist in earlier United States history but
b) the South bailed on postmil historicism after the Civil War and the North embraced postmillenialism alongside Manifest Destiny
c) when World War I happened even the New Englanders began to balk at postmillenialism so
d) it can seem that preferred eschatologies in Anglo-American evangelicalism and its mainline and neo-evangelical and fundamentalist spin-offs tend to reflect the entitlements and paranoias of time and place.
So going back a century Rapture novels were anticipating “civilization” being ruined by Jews and Slavs and immigrants and Papists on the one hand or on a cabal of globalist financiers or communists or the threat varied depending on the moment of WASP anxiety.
What’s striking to me about the postmil and premil positions (being amil myself) is how consistently the two poles reflect the entitlements or panics of WASP societies. Crawford Gribben’s books are not necessarily cheap but his new one about survivalists and theonomists in the Pacific Northwest was well worth reading. It does feature a lot more Doug Wilson than people who may not like him would be willing to read through. It amazes me that kinists have been drawn to the PNW as though they don’t know that inter-racial marriages are a custom among the Native groups here going back centuries.
“Why do they ( Christians) have to be so mean?” asks the poor worked in the front lines. I heard this same sentiment from a former pastor speaking of his congregation. This man was a police officer for a while, hurt his back on the job, and then went into the ministry . He quit parroting because he told me ” The congregation was so judgemental and unkind”. He became the manager of our Oceanside Community Center where I taught ceramics after he left the ministry. Perhaps Fox News is influencing Christians more than their pastors are, and hardening Christian’s hearts to the point that even their pastors lose heart and cannot lead them.
Bride of Christ,
It’s called righteous indignation. 🙂
There will always be another apocalypse brooding on the horizon and some clown to conjure up the details surrounding its impending arrival.
WTH (regarding your comment @ 6:05 pm),
Regarding eschatology, I Left Dispensationalism Behind (pun intended).
Your comment (d) is on the money. It is amazing how much the Rapture chatter among the dispies (and books, conferences, movies, etc.) ebbs and flows throughout the decades depending on the various geopolitics (especially what team is in the White House), economic, social, and cultural issues of the day.
In fact, I will make a “prophecy” that now that Biden is POTUS, a whole new wave of End-Times books and hysteria will come out this year and next. Hal Lindsey may even publish the 6th (or is it 7th?) edition of his Late Great Planet Earth (the man has more editions of that book than he has ex-wives). Same with John Hagee and all the rest.
I think real Christian eschatology is based in hope, not fear. As Brian Daley wrote,
“…the real basis of Christian hope for the future is the experience of Christians now: the sense that as disciples of Jesus, who is risen, they are already sharers in a larger, richer stream of life, whose full dimensions lie hidden from their minds. Living within history and affirming its lasting value because it has become, in Christ, God’s history, the Christian conceives of this history as capable of finally revealing God’s ‘plan for the fullness of time’. … From the vantage point of faith in the risen Lord, human time is wrapped in eternal love…”
Christians who want to maintain an eschatology based on fear of future events have missed the point.
I was reading the 69th Psalm this morning….
Think I’ll leave judgement (not discernment) in the hands of our Creator……
God be merciful – salvation comes to the humble and honest
Hmmm, “” humble and honest? ”
Where does that leave our politicians!
There are still humble and honest politicians. They’re the ones at work for their constituents, behind the scenes, grinding it out, day by day. They don’t have time to waste on primping in front of the media.
Don’t let cynicism make you make it worse.
I want to see wise, smart, good-hearted politicians.
Don’t give a rat’s patootie which party they belong to…
Point aken, bob1, point taken….
Duane, I agree with the statement that eschatology should be about hope rather than fear provided that “hope” doesn’t mean postmillenialism. 🙂
American Christians wielding eschatology for fear probably still, whether they know it or not, have switched to the flipside of eschatology as Manifest Destiny. A postmil eschatology of “hope” was not so great for Native Americans. I’ll admit my dislike of postmillenialism is informed by having half Native American ancestry. I don’t mean postmillenialism is bad across the board. Roger Williams was postmil, as I recall, and I’m okay with his version. In an era of “ideas have consequences” there can be too little room to consider that people wield ideas in different ways. My distrust of postmillenialism is based on a combination of objecting to their handling of scripture and their historic track record influencing policies within the United States. Premil Americans are, in a few ways, a legacy of postmillenialism utopianism crashing into geopolitical realities and flipping the switch. A “hope” that is based on a this worldly sense of entitlement can transform easily into a this worldly panic at a loss of empire, which is what I think has probably happened in American Christendom.
Wasn’t Jonathan Edwards and others of the First Great Awakening postmillenial (in a non-Manifest Destiny way)? Interestingly, Edwards was a missionary to the Housatonic Native Americans. He preached through an interpreter, and their interests he boldly and successfully defended by attacking the whites who were using their official positions among them to increase their private fortunes.
” A “hope” that is based on a this worldly sense of entitlement can transform easily into a this worldly panic at a loss of empire, which is what I think has probably happened in American Christendom.”
FWIW…. again. 😇
What makes sense to this old lady
The Church is removed mid-trib, before God pours out His wrath on mankind
Our Lord returns to reign over the earth for 1,000 years – giving the human race a chance to experiemce an absolute rule of a perfect monarch…
Satan is released to gather the rebels from the four corners of the earth to make war against the King (Jesus Christ). Satan and followers are wiped off the face of the earth….
A new heaven and a new earth
Am i right? Dunno, but i like the logic…. 😉
At any rate, the end of this play WILL be fascinating. IMHO.
Above all else the Church agrees, God’s will be done. Yes?
Being the dispy that you are it makes perfect sense to you. But some of us have Left Dispensationalism Behind (pun intended). We took the Red Pill and woke up. 😀
When Christ returns to reign on earth for 1000 years, what are the poor Christians to do who were raptured away? Do we hang out in heaven Lord-less for 1000 years? Do we go down and hang out with the mortals on earth, but unable to marry anymore and living for the entire 1000 years in our resurrection bodies never growing old, which will look strange to the mortals, while generation after generation is born and dies? Sounds horrible either way, not to mention an abuse of Scripture.
Heaven and earth become one place.
Christ reigns forever.
Any further questions? 🙂
Short and sweet. KISS.
The specifics and timetable are secondary and tertiary issues and is rather like arguing over college football teams.
‘The Hope of the Early Church. A Handbook of Patristic Eschatology’ by Brian E. Daley, currently the Catherine F. Huisking Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame…
We Christians are the Body and the Bride – it is doubtful that we are shelved for a thousand years…..
That said, time WILL tell, won’t it?
We seem to see different interpretations of Rev. 19, so…..
God knows and someday we will see
God’s will be done – i don’t have to be correct in what i interpret, but i could be…. Dunno
Michael @ 12:54
Yes! That is the end of this play! ! !
I always appreciate your book recommendations.
I note that this latest book is published by an evangelical publisher (Baker Academic).
Someone ought to choose the most prominent few writers of predictive prophecy and go over all their public statements and judge their accuracy and therefore whether they ought to hold any platform going forward.
I’m a few days late on this one (don’t get to read as much as I’d like), but I’d like to thank you,Michael, for #7.
Many of us keep returning here because it’s one of the very few places left where the plain truth of the Gospel is still spoken.
So just keep putting it out there……..