Monday, 28 September 2015

An open letter to those who were left behind.

If you are reading this then you are one of the many who was not raptured today after the much anticipated blood moon which was seen all over the world. Even John Hagee himself is still around so I am drawn to one of two possible conclusions as I try to make sense of all of this. The first option available to us is that Jesus did in fact return as predicted but never found faith on earth (Luke 18:8). The second and more probable thing which we might want to consider is that perhaps we need to rethink our theology and the teachers we are following a little bit. Because while I personally was not among those who expected something big to happen today; I realize now that I was wrong as well because September 28th has indeed left some major debris in its wake.

It may not be the carnage of planes falling from the skies and vehicles without drivers suddenly smashing into other cars and people when the drivers were being caught up into the clouds. Rather, lives have been spiritually damaged. Those who scoff at Christianity are laughing and mocking something that should never have been associated with Christ in the first place. Those young believers who lack wisdom and maturity may be disillusioned and their faith might even be in jeopardy as a result of our irresponsible handling of the scriptures. Even worse than the first two groups, I suspect that those who are always posting conspiracy related religiously based articles will be only be more hardened and stubborn after today’s events or lack thereof than ever. While I am highly suspicious of psychology I am a firm believer that what is known as the ‘backfire effect’ is 100% real. If you are unfamiliar with it, it refers to people who, when given clear evidence against something which they strongly affirm to be true, will usually end up rejecting the evidence and actually persist in holding to their beliefs more vehemently than ever. I suspect that John Hagee will be back and that his next end time book will be a best seller as well.

So here is my message to everyone who has been left behind. To those who have dabbled in doomsday scenarios, I pray that you will consider the ramifications of doing so in the future. We represent the One who called Himself ‘The Truth’, don’t we owe it to Him to proclaim only what is true? Avoid conspiracies and people who say, “Look, he is in the desert” or “Look, he is in the inner rooms!”, do not believe them (Matthew 24:26). I don’t know how many pictures of the blood moon I saw today with Joel 2:31 written under it. The fact that Peter quotes this passage in Acts 2:20 and then tells the listening crowd that this was being fulfilled (on Pentecost 2000 years ago) before their very eyes (Acts 2:16) seems to be completely lost on everyone. Please, please, please, let us be more responsible with how we handle scripture, if a proof text leads into error, it is not pointing people to Christ but in the very opposite direction!

Then to those who think these types of prophecies are silly and I am speaking to myself now as well, I ask that we be equally careful. Instead of mocking people, try praying for them. It was not that long ago that I too was reading the “Left Behind” series and other books with similar eschatological leanings. If I had been ridiculed for holding those beliefs, I probably would have resorted to the ‘backfire effect’ and dug my heels in myself, putting the mockery down to ‘persecution’. Instead, I was shown Christ, grace and love and when our eyes are fixed on Jesus we tend to be less interested in the doctrines and opinions of men. This can be a starting point for people in a positive sense if we can correct in humility and gentleness.

At the end of the day, not much has changed and we still have a gospel to proclaim. The gospel is not, “the moon is red” or “the pope is in America” or “Israel has a right to exist”, these are just things, current events and topics of interest at the moment. We have a King to tell people of and a Kingdom to invite them into and the date is incredibly flexible for those who want to enter in.

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