THE THEOLOGICAL ENGINEER
My "Lifeboat" Eschatology
By Jeff Laird
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Continued from Page One
Third, obsession over end-times details causes distraction, division, and confusion. It becomes its own form of tribalism, or denominationalism, when believers are divided over apocalyptic trivia. The lost are saved when they accept Christ, not when they memorize all the finer points of premillennial dispensationalism. Barring a radical or irrational view, one's stance on the end times indicates little about that person's faith, faithfulness, or Biblical knowledge. And hysteria over the doomsday du jour is hardly beneficial for evangelism. The Blood Moon craze, for example, is just a Christian flavor of the 2012 Mayan Doomsday phenomenon.
It's good for Christians to mind the signs of the times. If you asked me to put money on it, I'd say we're getting awfully close to "the beginning of the end", so to speak. Much of what's happening in the world today seems to fall along prophetic lines. I think there are excellent reasons to be looking up, and around, as other pieces fall into place. But I'm also aware we may be in no such position, and if you told me that, six hundred years from now, the earth would still be spinning, I wouldn't be shocked, or discouraged. You know why?
As the Titanic went down, the most pressing need was to convince as many people as possible to don lifejackets and get into a life boat. Somebody, I'm sure, correctly read the signs and knew the bow would sink first, the boat would break in half, and then the stern would sink. I'm also sure some people thought it would take an hour longer, or that it would go down in one piece, and were wrong. I'm just as sure that such knowledge — or error — made little difference to those safely in their boats, and even less to those who drowned. Such debates are for those safely rowing away, amongst each other, at best.
I'm not suggesting that we can't read the signs of the times, or that the end times should become a taboo topic. Nor am I a fan of milquetoast agnosticism: grow a spine, take a position that makes sense, and stick with it until you have good reasons to change your mind. I am, however, pleading for sanity and perspective. The call to evangelize, through faith in Christ, is not dependent on correct interpretations of Revelation. Unity and cooperation don't thrive if we aren't free to disagree on the finer points of future-looking prophecy. There are more important things to debate amongst ourselves than the exact itinerary for the Second Coming.
I'm sure some well-meaning people will read this, and attempt to convince me, not only that it's critically, desperately, amazingly important to hold "the right" view of the end times, but that their view is plain, obvious, and the only possible interpretation, down to the minute details. I appreciate the enthusiasm in advance. Just know that, for me, such appeals inspire almost nothing beyond an immediate, two-syllable, response from my internal monologue: Lifeboat!
Image Credit: Mads Henrik; "RS 155 "TBN" pa oppdrag en skikkelig stormnatt"; Creative Commons
Tags: Biblical-Salvation | Biblical-Truth | Christian-Life | Controversial-Issues | End-Times | Theological-Beliefs
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