Tuesday, January 20, 2009

2012 The Movie

This coming July Hollywood is going to "bless" us with another version of the coming global apocalypse. This time drawing on the ancient Mayan culture's belief that the world will come to an end in 2012. This causes me to scratch my bald little pate for at least two reasons.

Firstly, why does the world ascribe so much wisdom and foresight to a pagan culture renown for its obsession with bloody rites of human sacrifice?

And secondly, although it is easy to understand the world's fascination with the endless stream of "end of the world" scenarios, why does so much of the Church share the world's preoccupation with apocalypse? The world envisions man destroying the planet and its inhabitants and grows tired of trying to stave off the inevitable. Worldlings muse, "Well, apocalypse is indeed horrible, but at least it will bring peace to our troubled planet."

The world neither understands God's promise to redeem the whole world (Romans 8:20ff) nor does it understand redeemed-Spirit-filled-man-in-Christ as the instrument of that redemption. And lacking promise and means it much prefers the quick and painless suicidal-bullet of apocalypse.

And sadly, much of the modern Church agrees with the substance of this scenario. The earth is "going to hell in a handbasket." Man is the cancer, not the answer. So Jesus is coming back to destroy the world and take his people to heaven to live with him (Question: Where in the Bible does it say that we will spend eternity in heaven?) The Church much prefers this "easy way out" to the hard work of gradual, global and generational redemption. She prefers the apocalyptic destruction of the nations to the demanding labor of discipling of the nations. She prefers the few months required for cosmic apocalypse to the several millennia required for cosmic redemption.

Think about it. If the redemption of the creation described by Paul in Romans 8 means the destruction of the creation. Do you really want to be redeemed?

I partied in Y2K and will party in 2012. Because I share in neither the pessimism of Mayan prophets, the pessimism of modern "earth-firsters", nor the pessimism of Christian "Last Days" doom-mongers. Because, according to Paul, Jesus will not return until all of his enemies have been subdued beneath his feet (1 Cor. 15:25) and I very much doubt that will happen in the next three years. Three millennia maybe. But three years? Me thinkest not.

Hollywood will probably make a bundle on this apocalyptic tale of distress and doom. But it will pale in comparison to the mega-bundles made by their Christian counterparts over at LastDays Inc. And sadly, in 2013, having forgiven the false prophets their pathetic prognostications, most of us will be ready for more of the same. Hey, wait a minute! Aren't false prophets a sign that the End is near??? Sound the rapture alarm!!!!!

No comments: