Saturday, February 21, 2009

Prophecy Conference

Here is an article that the shows the mindset of many Evangelical's thinking about prophecy. In the article, you can see the assumptions and confusions Dispensational thinking has inherent within its system. Although everyone understands on some level that the church is not the government of the United States, notice this statement:

In the book, Hitchcock writes that although America has historically enjoyed the blessings of God, that may not continue to be the case in the future.

"Unless we experience a moral revival and shake off the domination of the secular humanists who control our government, media, and public education, we will be a fifth-grade power in twenty to thirty years," writes Hitchcock, who notes in the book that he believes a revival is soon approaching.

I agree that any nation whose God is the Lord will be blessed in some sense. It is also a blessing to any nation that possesses within its borders a healthy church. Yet there seems to be a subtle assumption that America has been a Christian nation and not a nation that has been filled with Christians and Christian institutions. If we were just not "secular humanists" then God would have to bless us. "We" (we the church?) just need to shake off the secular humanists. Biblically, there is no such thing as a Christian nation unless we are speaking of the church. So is it the church's duty to "shake off" secular humanists? Where is this taught? Since when does the United States government's policies become the primary target of the church?

What is more troubling is the "moral revival" language. Now it is true that we need a moral revival. But we always need a moral revival. If we would just be morally better, then God would bless us. It seems we could even post-pone the Second Coming if we would just be better. So again, a confusion between law and gospel, and church and government is everywhere.

It is not the duty of the church to bring moral revivals to nations. It is not the church's primary duty to offer people their best lives now or save marriages or perform drug rehab clinics. It is the church's duty to preach and teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and make disciples.
He said the purpose of the Feb. 20-22 conference, titled "Finding Hope in the Global Crisis," is not to frighten people but to offer them some hope.
It has been my experience that these kinds of conferences tend to talk about how bad things are going to get. They use newspaper theology in order to get more attendees. They play on the fears and desires of men. Men always want to know about their future. Newspaper theology is simply another form of horoscopes that meets these desires.

This kind of eschatology misses Jesus' teaching in the New Testament. It teaches a form of escape-ism and second chance-ism. It doesn't do exactly what they claim.

Jesus taught us that both good and evil men must grow up together until the harvest. That we must endure and contend with evil men until the end of this age. There is no rapture to escape bad times. Pornography, abortion, sexual immorality, racism and the myriads of perversions of men will never go away. We must learn to be prepared for the rise and fall of evil men. We must learn to endure, stand against and resist them.

Therefore, good men whether Christian or not, must stand for truth and justice. We must work in our secular vocations with our neighbors to promote sound policies. Christians are at a great advantage for being able to articulate the moral law of God in order promote the restraining of society's evils. But none of this is the Gospel and is not the duty of the church.

This conversation is similar to the conversation I had with my friend that spurred me to write the posts Christ is seated on David's throne. Jesus is ruling in His Kingdom now. He is ruling in the hearts of men. Soon His Kingdom will be revealed in all the earth. Until then, Christians must trust that Christ is accomplishing all His purposes in this world and that nothing happens apart from His sovereign rule.

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