I was talking to an old lady at my work tonight and there was a tv showing a news team discussing the general happenings with Russia and the Ukraine. I said something along the lines of, “Another day, another war.” and she said something that Christians, especially protestants (though my interactions with non-protestants has been few up to this point), have always said to me and that I have never understood.
"Well," says she, "If you believe what the bible says I think some stuff is being fulfilled."
Seriously, people are always saying this. Every time there’s a war in the middle east brewing, every time some faction starts jihad-killing some other faction of Muslim extremist, they say, “Well the bible says these are the end times and if you look at what’s happening over there… well I’ll tell ya… it’s happening.”
Which, at best is so woefully misguided and unthought-out a statement that it boggles the mind, and at worst displays an incredible ignorance about world history, modern politics, and the bible that apparently says all of these things (it doesn’t, really, it absolutely doesn’t).
To me I find it borderline laughable that people constantly just point to something going on in a vaguely Middle Eastern part of the world, the implications of which seem to be only dimly understood, and say, “Look! See! Wars and rumors of wars!”
And I feel like just asking the question, “Why do you think unrest in the Middle East means that Jesus is going to come back soon and the world is going to end?” I don’t think they’d even know how to begin answering that.
Is there prophetic scripture that can point to this specific current conflict that seems to state as much? I mean, news flash here, but the Middle East has never exactly been stable, and people have been pointing to the nutty goings on over there and crying “END TIMES!” since before Jesus was born. So excuse me if I’m extremely unimpressed by people who have skimmed through a couple of Hal Lindsey books and watched three episodes of Jack Van Impe’s show on TBN and suddenly seem convinced they know anything, whatsoever, about the nuances of ancient exile-era Jewish prophetic literature, the Early Christian apocalyptic styles, and what the words of Jesus actually meant.
And lest I go mad, don’t get me started on the idea of the Rapture, which haunted me my entire childhood. To me there’s no more damaging a modern heresy than that of the Rapture, and the entire dispensationalist movement that supports all this bulldink.
Okay wow, I’ve been reading way too many theological study books lately and I’ve gone on a wee bit of a rant because that old lady bugged me. My apologies.