Sunday, September 27, 2015
Pardon my sarcasm.
While I am not as educated about "end times prophecy" as some people are, my understanding of scripture, my now lengthy life experiences, and knowing Jesus and life by the Spirit tells me that this "September Doom" message—perhaps you’ve heard it—is yet another harbinger of what life is like without knowing that the New Covenant in Christ’s death (with far better promises for Jew and Gentile alike) ended the former covenant, ended what life was like without knowing Jesus Himself, and ended what life was like without being led by the Spirit, who gives us trust and rest and a future.
Maybe this angers you, and I’d understand if it did. I’m not saying that people who are caught up in the “September Doom” message are not Christians. I am saying,however, that they are likely dazzled and entranced by information bombardment that has led them to make certain signs-of-the-times conclusions that have many people running for cover.
You probably know what information bombardment can do to us, inducing us to near panic buying of dried foods, batteries and lanterns, guns and toilet paper, water and propane. Does anybody remember the book, “88 Reasons Why Jesus Will Return in 1988”? Or how about the follow up book, “89 Reasons”? Or how about Y2K, the turning of the calendar from 1999 to 2000, when all of the computers would supposedly malfunction and shut off electricity the world over? Many of us in the church were fixated upon these and other dire predictions over decades past of impending doom, because information flooded the bride of Christ. We were attracted to the flood itself, which swamped one of our most prized possessions: intimate communication with God Himself.
Info bombardment makes us crazy, mostly because we become more attracted to it than to what the Spirit Himself is doing with us and telling us. I submit that that’s what’s happening now. It has happened in the past, and it will happen in the future. I might even be able to cause some of it. Have I told you that I’m writing a hot new book called, “Why the Donald is God’s Anti-Christ Trump Card In 2016”? I mean, the book I was going to write, “Why Obama Is The Anti-Christ” is so yesterday. See what I mean? How many of us get flooded-out by this kind of stuff?
It’s not at all because we’re stupid. I think it’s because we were made with passions coming from beliefs that lead us to causes. That’s not a bad thing, but it can become one. I totally want Jesus to return because that’s going to be the best thing, but I’m not looking at the heavens to try to figure out the exact date. He lives in me, and I know Him because He and I talk together. We have a relationship, and His calendar is busy already through the end of the month. At least.
(Please, I do not mean to be critical of those who are harried and worried about this end-times stuff. I have my own memories of similar concerns years ago that influence me now. I wonder, however, what will become of those disillusioned by the “wise” teachers and speakers they’ve been following? How will they recover by and to the truth? Will their despair lead them to doubt Jesus and the Bible? How hurt will they be? Or will there be people who will gently and calmly tell them that error is sadly normal, and that they will recover? That would be good. That would be God.
Additionally, what will we do with the teachers who have been at the forefront of this “September doom”? Do we give them a pass? Do we accept some kind of “Well, because we prayed enough, God decided to forestall the day?” I hope not. Frankly, I hope we mark them as in error and as teaching error, and then kindly assist toward repentance and silence. Maybe they will come to their senses. Perhaps they will accept their own fallibility and become well acquainted with it—even laugh at their weakness and become better at being with people in authenticity and love. That would be good. That would be God.)