Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Race to the Bottom

Why do Christian like to claim 2 Tim 3:1-5 for their age.

There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
In every century, Christians have said these verses are being fulfilled in their time. Every generation seems to believe that they are living in worse times than those that went before. We seem to be on this race to the bottom.

I have noticed that this belief is strongest in times and places when the church is doing badly. This makes me wonder if Christians identify with this passage, because it provides an excuse for failure. If we are living in the last days, then we cannot be expected to be anything more than feeble.

This view is also quite egocentric. We must be special, because the book of Revelation is about us. I have not seen much evidence yet that this generation is special.

I am not interested in being shaped by "last days thinking". I want to be part of the generation that claims Daniel 7:27 for its time.
Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him.

1 comment:

KM said...

This post and your last one, Shutting up Shop: well on target.

Moltmann speaks of the same phenomenon in his book The Crucified God: he says apocalyptic thinking is more often coopted to help people artificially and prematurely divide the Church into "the true" and "the false" than it is used to remind people that they are but mortal and have pressing responsibilities to the people and world around them.