Monday, October 4, 2010

emergents despising Christ's return?

Ever turn on religious television? Most of Christian TV is filled with people excited at the prospect of Jesus' return and the end of the world. How can a religion be so turned around that its adherents would wish, even pray, for the end of the world? And yet this seems to be some religions' focus today--driving the world ever closer to some kind of apocalypse, be it Christian, Muslim, or some other version.
Burke and Tayler, A Heretic's Guide to Eternity, p 125

Yeah, you silly Christians, you should be happy with this world only, then with the good things to come. And never mind such passages as "Looking for the blessed hope, the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ".

In fact, if taken in context, this "blessed hope" has a far different result than the fear-mongering speculations of Burke and Taylor.

"For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say 'No' to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope--the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good" Titus 2:11-14

So, if waiting and longing for Christ's return is "driving the world ever closer to some kind of apocalypse", it's not because waiting and longing for Christ's return is wrong, but because the world is wrong.

"For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day--and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing." II Timothy 4:6-8

Apparently, Jesus will even reward those who "have longed for his appearing" on that day of judgment. Far cry, indeed, from the this-world-only focus of Burke and Taylor.

So, don't let the emergent's rob you of the legitimate hope we can have of Christ's return. It is perfectly legitimate and reasonable to, along with the Spirit, pray "Come". "The Spirit and the bride say 'Come!' And let him who hears say 'Come!' Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life." Revelation 22:17

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