When I first started writing this, I resolved that it would be a good deal less knee-jerk reactionary than my first effort. Less bitching and moaning about current events, less topical ruminations, more general usefulness. Topical is alright, in its place, but it’s ephemeral. The issue that I’d been so fired up about six months (or six weeks) ago, I could barely remember the specifics of or why I cared when I went back and re-read some of those old posts. So I thought that in this new effort, I would either post stuff that’s funny, because it’s always going to be funny, or I would post stuff that has a general relevant usefulness. Stuff that elaborates or elucidates on a general life principle so it will always be useful whenever I or anyone else goes back and reads these old posts.
I say all that right up front because my original opening sentence was ‘So the Left Behind movie opens this weekend…’ and I’m fairly certain every movie blogger, every Christian blogger and every ‘cultural’ blogger has already covered it ad infinitum. So to assuage the niggling feeling of hypocrisy that says even Charles Foster Kane stuck to his Statement of Principles longer than three weeks, I’m going to try to develop this into that general sort of usefulness.
Whenever I get all riled about something or other, one of the things Kate tends to say to me once I get done venting my spleen about whatever has drawn my ire(past subjects have included the color commentator on Fox Sports, obnoxious commercials, and the attitude of that one girl on ‘Project Runway’ which I should point out I only watch because I love my wife.) is ‘Does it matter?’ At first, this really aggravated me, because it seemed kind of self-righteously dismissive. And then I actually thought about it, and put it together with what I know of Kate and her character(on the whole, sterling) and I realized that she was right. She wasn’t coming from from a place of self-righteous dismissal, but of perspective. She wasn’t saying ‘You’re an idiot and I’m judging you for wasting your time thinking about/feeling these things’ she was saying ‘There may be better ways in which you could use your resources.’
And here is where I bring this back around and zoom off in the direction of the End of Days like I was doing a perfectly executed bootlegger turn. I’m not any kind of theologian, but I’ve always figured if you believe that God has an ultimate endgame in mind for His creation (which I do) that belief should imply, in turn, the faith that an omniscient and omnipotent God knows what he is doing vis-a-vis that endgame. I’ve also always figured it’s that omniscience and omnipotence which makes the belief that anybody can figure out the specifics of the endgame with any kind of certainty somewhat arrogant. I think the book of ‘Revelations’ was given to us less as a riddle to be decoded so that we can smugly have the inside track on what is going to happen, and more as a sort of celestial movie trailer so we have a general idea that it’s coming and don’t get left behind when everyone else goes to the theater, so to speak.
I also think that this is one of those ‘grey areas’ of Christianity that Paul talks about in 1 Corinthians. What someone believes about the Rapture is not a hill anyone needs to die on and does not make them any more or less a Christian. Personally, it’s all I can do to live out the teachings of the Bible in my day-to-day life. I fight my own Battle of Armageddon every day in my own heart. I don’t need to worry about whether or not at some undefined point in the future I’m going to be teleported to Heaven vs. living in some sort of underground resistance movement when it’s all I can do some days to even remember, much less practice, the Great Commandment.
So what I’m saying about Rapture debates, the general ‘end-times’ fever that grips Western Christianity every so often and the ‘grey areas’ of Christianity in general is, I guess, ‘Does it matter?’