Obsessing over the end
A new show came out last night on TLC last night called Livin’ for the Apocalypse. I tuned in to watch what kind of crazy things people do to get ready for the end. But, instead of being funny, it was actually quite sad to see the extent to which people have devoted their lives to a “maybe”.
On an unrelated program, I learned that Mormons are kind of obsessed with preparing for the end, too. They buy food that can last for 25 years, and are always “beefing up” their supplies.
So many people believe that the end is near. They believe that civilization will go into a state of demise, and we will have to fend for ourselves. But, it is more than a belief. It is an obsession. Much of it seems rooted in the notion that we haven’t entered into the Millennium yet.
Worse yet, if you are an honest Christian who does not hold to the view that there is a literal 1,000 year reign of Christ which is to come, you are considered an “unbeliever”. It is the litmus test among modern American evangelicals.
I’m all for litmus tests in Christian teaching (doctrine). It helps us to filter through what is true Christianity (also called orthodoxy) and false religion (heresy). Jesus is both God and man. God is triune. Jesus was born of a virgin. That kind of stuff is important. This is why I’m not a Mormon or Jehovah’s Witness.
And, there can be differences between various expressions of Christianity within this framework. Not on key things (like the nature of Christ and God), but there can be differences on who should take communion, or when is a child old enough to receive it. And these are not unimportant. But we could still call a person a Christian who holds to minor differences.
We don’t make a big deal about the end. My church does have a position. We’re just not obsessed with it. And, we believe that we are in the middle of the Millennium, instead of looking forward to its beginning (Some, including Riddlebarger, call this “realized millenium”, or “Amillenial”). The real question is; are you willing to call me a heretic because I don’t agree to a future Millennial reign of Christ?