Longing

I had never heard of Harold Camping six months ago, and I had never heard of FamilyRadio, his empire that is valued at over $120M.

What I had heard of was people predicting the end of the world. Since Christ’s death and resurrection, people have been trying to use the Bible to predict his return, so learning that Mr. Camping was doing so was no big shock to me.

What was a shock was how many people were willing to go along with it. How many people quit jobs, spent life savings, and in some cases, dropped out of High School, in order to help spread the message of Christ’s return.

I think there are 2 reasons why this sensation caught on like it did.

1) We (and by we, I mean Americans) have an insatiable desire for answers. We don’t like not knowing. We hated the finale of LOST because it didnt’ provide closure, we don’t like movies with ambiguous endings, and we want to know the reasons behind everything. I am certainly guilty of that one.

2) We (and by we, I mean Christians) genuinely want Christ to return. If you’re a Christian who doesn’t, seek prayer and help.

I’ll admit it. I didn’t buy it, but i wanted to. I wanted so badly for 6PM to roll around, and for this world to be over with.

I think that, given the state of the world, Christians everywhere are eagerly anticipating the return of Christ. So when someone comes along and seemingly provides an answer to that, though it may be an uneducated, warped reasoning, we long for it, because it signals the reconciliation of humanity to God in a way that existed only in Eden.

Now, all that to say this: I still think Camping is a false prophet. There is no telling how much money he’s collected as a result of this, and how much more his empire has grown. He’s preyed on people who are biblically weak, with near no knowledge of scripture, and asserted his “authority” in such a way as to make them feel stupid for questioning him. So there’s a LOT of damage to be undone in his wake.

But can we (and by we, I mean Christians again) agree on something? Though we may now know the day or hour of Christ’s return (Matt 24:36), and someone claiming to know that ought to be ignored, we long for Christ’s return.

There is an ache within us for his return. There is a longing in our souls that will only be satisfied in Heaven, and one of these days, it’s going to happen. It won’t come with billboards, or flyers, but it will come.

Maranatha.

Advertisements

Unease

Like many of you, I watched the news last night. I watched as people around the world hit the streets in celebration that the U.S. military had rid the world of Osama Bin Laden. And while I was sitting on my couch, watching throngs of people jumping up and down, chanting “USA, USA,” an emotion crept up on me that I was not expecting.

Uneasiness.

Let me be the first to say, I’m glad that Bin Laden is no longer able to murder, torture, spread hate, or spew propaganda. I am truly thankful for all those things. And I understand that the world is much safer without that hate.

What i felt uneasy about was celebrating death. I felt uneasy sitting there watching people jump around like they were at a football game, and their team just came out on top. I felt uneasy being glad that someone (no matter how evil) was dead.

As I’ve had time to process it, I’ve come to the realization of why I felt that way. As soon as I start telling myself, “i’m glad he’s dead” or “he got what he deserved” I am saying that my idea of justice is the right one. That what I view as just is what is truly just.

Does Bin Laden deserve death? Sure. Do I? Absolutely. Was he fashioned by his creator? Most definitely. Was I? You bet. Do I think that God wept every time Bin Laden carried out one of his atrocious acts? That God was sitting in heaven mourning for this creation of his that was so far away from him? That if it wouldn’t have violated free will, that God would’ve reached out, wrapped his arms around him, and claimed Bin Laden’s heart for his own? Absolutely.

“As I live, declares the Lord God, I have no pleaseure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live.” -Ezekiel 33:11

“Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles” – Proverbs 24:17

Apart from Christ, I am no different of a human than Bin Laden. Without Jesus’ shed blood, I’m capable of anything that Bin Laden was capable of.

This is where my unease came from. In putting myself on a pedestal above another human being, when at the end of the day, I’m a wretch that found Jesus, was washed clean, and am no better than any other man.