Politichicks ran an article of mine this morning on the subject of having fun. My super short, mini-micro, two paragraph thesis is that conservatives need to combine celebration, romance, music, good food and fine wine with the task of “taking back America.” The Bible is a divine record of knowing there is a time for everything — war and peace, casting away and gathering, fighting and making love; so I advocated a standard I think all true Christians can embrace, that of the “happy warrior.”
Yes, I know there are some fundamentalists out there who believe Jesus turned the water into Welch’s grape juice, but I haven’t heard from them.
I did hear a very succinct summation of the familiar dispensationalist surrender in this comment:
“…If you are true Christians ‘ you need to realize the Signs of the times and accept America will never be won back as Daniel 7-25 says , A man shall arise out of no where and seek to Change laws this man is the Anti Christ and no one but Jesus can or will stop him ..”
The same fellow also made this claim:
“..Start watching true Prophets of God , Jack Van Impe and Hal Lindsey , They both see the signs and what’s really happening …”
Setting aside for a moment the scriptural response to this hokum, imagine a young Christian mother visiting Gettysburg or the beaches of Normandy with her young, toddler son. As the young scraper takes in the monuments, he hears his mother say, “it was all a nice dream, but we’ll never get it back, my little man. We’re true Christian believers and we follow brother Van Impe and brother Lindsey; they read the signs of the times; it’s all coming to an end soon; there’s nothin’ we can do about it.”
That strikes me as more than just spiritual child abuse. It’s a crime against the Good News of the gospel itself. Yes, we all understand the world could end before you finish reading this sentence. (Or this sentence fragment.)
But Counting on the end, and demanding it, and making the preposterous claim that Hal Lindsey and Jack Van Impe have God’s chronology so perfectly settled that “all true Christians” need to get in line or turn in their believer cards — well that is very dangerous territory indeed. “No man knoweth the day or the hour” of Christ’s final return. You can follow the news; you can conjecture; but if you are not found tending His vineyard when He returns, (or you return to Him), then you are going to have more than a few problems with the Master.
The fascinating thing about prophecy empire builders, in America at least, is that their political commentary is usually fairly acute. Both Van Impe and Lindsey have been accurate in their description of the Muslim menace, for example. Lindsey was booted from the Crouch family’s big-hair and jewelry empire (TBN) because he warned Americans, properly, about the threat of Islam. I just took in a little Van Impe video ministry, and to their credit, they sounded a very clear warning about ISIS.
But, as the Van Impe disciple I quoted above illustrates, there is an ugly fatalism to this version of the bad news. “It’s all going to end any minute; it’s getting worse; nothing can save us.” Teachers like this actually use bad news to scare the flock, to encourage the hirelings to abandon the struggle and pray for their neatly folded clothing, left on the sidewalk, “Left Behind” style. Far from “enduring to the end,” these teachers want the Great Umpire to take them out of the race completely.
Jesus tells us He is the authority in charge right now, and that He is with us “until the end of the world.”
So there is only one gospel response to teachers of no hope, no kingdom, no victory. There is only one Christian way of describing what the prophecy addicts teach. It’s the opposite of joy, victory, and triumph. It’s the ugly enemy of purity.
Well, okay, I suppose there are other ways of putting it, but a Christian cowboy, kicking the day’s work off his boots, would know exactly what it is: bull shit.