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Millennial addiction II

In the first article by the same name, I elucidated some of the psychological factors contributing to millennial addiction.  My goal, then, for this article, is to show how Scripture can re-orient the addict.

As with all addictions, the addict needs to ‘bottom out’.  That is, the addict has to come to an end of themselves.  The mania and fervor that was fueled but anxious prophecies of a world coming to its end have to fizzle out in the mind of the ‘true believer’.  Until this happens, you cannot speak reasonably to such an addict.  In the martial art of Aikido, the defender continues the movement of the attacker while moving out of the way.  They lead the aggressor deeper into their aggression and the aggressor feels the consequences of that aggression.

If you follow and lead the addict deeper into their mania, you might be able to show them the depth of their irrationality.  I am not sure if this course of action will yield the ‘bottoming out’ that loved ones seek for the addict.

Truly, the addict needs an intervention.

That is just why Jesus came.

In every instance where Paul or any of the other apostles write about ‘the End’, it is to encourage congregations who were undergoing the most violent forms of persecution.  To talk about the end is really to talk about the beginning of a new and better life.  Even the terrifying images seen in the book of Revelation are not ‘ends’ in themselves, but they point to the vicious attacks by Satan and his minions which are overcome by Jesus Christ in His victory.

As my friend Rev. Garry Seefeldt once stated, “[in the end] Jesus wins!”  If there is any good news in the millennial madness message, it is that!

Additionally, like ancient Israel who was reminded of the great works of God on their behalf in the escape from Egypt (read the Psalms which refer to this), we are to be reminded not of the future, but of the past.  The past is ground zero for God’s intervention.

That intervention was the cross of Jesus Christ.  The Son of God will come to judge the living and the dead.  That is a sobering truth.  However, that same future judge was judged on the cross of crucifixion for all of your sin.  God the Father was pleased to crush Him.

The judgement you deserve has been given over to another before you were born.  Jesus Christ is your justification before God.

So, when someone attempts to make an emotional appeal calling for your repentance, you can simple point to the cross and say “Jesus is my repentance, He who knew no sin became sin on my behalf”.

Additionally, these emotional appeals are attempts to throw a person off balance.  The disturbed conscience will look to the same person for relief.  Unfortunately, this is rarely a true repentance.  True repentance is the fruit of one hearing God’s word, correctly divided by Law (God’s demands and expectations) and Gospel (God’s free forgiveness given through Jesus Christ), born out of faith.  Emotional appeals are simply efforts at emotional manipulation.  Only God’s Word, rightly proclaimed can set the prisoners free.

Matthew 24:36 states:

‘But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.’

And, Jesus tells us not to worry,

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” – Matt. 6:34

John writes,

28I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30I and the Father are one.” -John 10

Look backward my friends.  Don’t get caught up in the hysteria of the hysterical, the mania of maniacs or the fanaticism of fanatics.  They are ever looking forward to a day of destruction.  We can look back and say that day of destruction came at the cross where Christ DEFEATED sin, death and the devil.

Rest in the total, complete forgiveness given to you through Jesus’ death.  Rest in the true goodness earned for you as a robe which He placed on you in His resurrection.  Rest in these words spoken by Jesus at the cross, IT IS FINISHED!  No one can snatch you out of those nail-pierced hands.  Jesus says to you now, “I got you!”

Now, may the peace of God which transcends all understanding guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord,

Amen

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The millennial addiction

Have you been reading about this prediction that September 23rd will be the end?  So many people have jumped on board this bus that I saw a sign hanging over the freeway this afternoon telling me “Jesus is coming soon”.

Rather than analyze the veracity of the prophetic message, I have become curious about why people so easily fall for end-times date setting.

When I look at the people who fanatically hold to such views, I see the same kind of myopic obsession common to addicts.  The hidden message they received gives them a feeling similar to a ‘high’, since they are the ones who ‘get it’.  They feel that they are a member of a select group who has figured out what no one in human history has gotten right before.

And, they are out to ‘evangelize’ you.

Of course, this is nothing new to Americans.  Since our inception, we have been a nation of ‘outsiders’ who ‘got it’ when no one else did.  Zeal is the hallmark of the American spirit, even if it is without knowledge.

This is why Americans are so susceptible to Revivalism.  They get caught up in the emotional arguments and never think to evaluate them critically.  They behave like lemmings when it comes to apocalyptic prophecy.

The use of hyperbole in these adventures in apocalypse fuels the imagination and generates alarm in the hearers.  The resulting behavior is called ‘alarmism’; it can also be called hysteria.

And, hysteria causes certain processes to ignite in the brain.  The hormones get involved.  The heart starts racing in both panic and excitement.  The stimulative effect acts as a ‘high’ to the participant.

That participant is known as a fanatic.  This type of person will not listen to counter-arguments which may undermine their doctrine.  They are caught up in the fervor and try to catch up other people in the same fervor they are experiencing.

The reptilian brain has been awakened, and they don’t want it to go back to sleep.

So, it doesn’t matter if September 23rd is really ‘The End’.  These followers will simply glide over to the next date-setting event, citing the tragic news in the newspapers and fanatically proclaim that ‘something’ is going to happen.

To the participant, it is good news, no matter how irrational it appears to others.  The last thing they want is for you to burst their bubble.

What they really want is to continue as End-times addicts.  They need to score the next hit, so they can continue to experience the high of being an ‘insider’.

Lord, have mercy.

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