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Just Abandon It or Bring Heaven to Earth

April 25, 2008

I had been kicking around an idea for a series called “The Way I See” which was going to be my attempt to articulate my position as it comes to Christian involvement in our world today. I’m not sure there is any need after the past discussion.

Thanks to everyone who shared their views. I hope you know I respect them because I know they come from hearts that want to honor God. I hope you know I’m just trying to do my best to bring glory to God and in the end I have a few hot button issues in my world that I can get passionate about. In the end this is just me talking through my view with some help from my friends. Thanks everyone. You bless me with your thoughts even when we disagree. Now if you could just all agree with me we could move on. 🙂

I wanted to lay out the different views that I see and I suppose my goal was to articulate mine. One of the views that exist in Christianity is the lifeboat point of view. It is the view that says this world is a mess, it is broken and our job as Christians is to get everyone we can into the lifeboat. The by product of this view is that the world is abandoned and people are not helped because in the end all that matters is getting your ticket punched to heaven.

Trust me I see the danger of this view. I see what it leads to, a total focus on bottoms in pews with no concern for problems in the community and world around us. I understand that it probably influences out of whack budgets and a focus on an anything to get people in the door mentality. All of which I dislike.

Do we invest in a Johnny jumper or do we support the soup kitchen, well we might be able to get people in the lifeboat with a Johnny jumper but who from that soup kitchen is coming our way. I understand that it probably leads to lives that don’t really hurt anyone but who don’t really help anyone either.

I know that but my struggle is that I believe theologically they are at least half right. The world is broken and destined to be destroyed and replaced with a new heaven and new earth. I do believe it is groaning with anticipation that it will one day be restored.

So what do I do when I agree with that theology but I disagree with how it at times is played out? I believe strongly that Jesus said love your neighbor and showed that neighbor is everyone. I believe that God shows his passion for widows, orphans, the poor and the alien throughout the Bible.

I think the church must be engaged with those in need but I still think theologically that the world is destined for demolition and any effort to fix everything is like trying to decorate a building scheduled for destruction. Do I love the people in the rooms? Yes. Do I help them and care for them and make sure they are taken care of? Yes but I don’t in the end spend my time trying to make their room the nicest it can be because the room isn’t their permanent home, Jesus went to prepare that and it is going to be greater than anything.

Help me out. Show me the problem with my thinking. Show me what I don’t understand. Also, what are other problems that I might be unaware of that need to be understood? Do I have a total understanding of the issue or is there more? I would love some feedback on this.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. April 25, 2008 3:03 pm

    Hello, complex subject and I don’t pretend to fully understand.

    But I believe that heaven is right here, all around us. Our life is a brief opportunity to experience the tangle of energies that surround us and see if we can make sense of it all. Ultimately our energy comes and goes, but like a thundershower we can leave the grass wet for a while and make the new crops and flowers grow.

    Steven

  2. Nick Gill permalink
    April 25, 2008 3:07 pm

    I’m currently reading NT Wright’s “Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church,” and I would guess that he offers his answer to your question far more clearly and eloquently than I’ll be able to.

    I think that a seedling of my understanding of how the fire will work is in 1 Cor 3:10-17. I don’t believe the idea of REPLACEMENT fits the story we’re living in. I think Revelation 22 might even be the link between this story and the sequel.

    I believe that the restorative work that we do today in harmony with God’s plan to restore the cosmos will be the kind of building that Paul describes when he says, “if the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward.” The very idea that some of our work now CAN survive the fire of 2 Peter 3 is amazing to me!

  3. April 28, 2008 1:02 pm

    Great post.
    I hope you had a great earth day!
    I think we should do what we can to take care of the earth that God has given us. I see it as part of our call as he tells Adam to tend and care for the earth and creaters.
    If heaven is going to come down and the earth is going to renewed then we can say we strived to do will in ALL things.
    I think if God comes down and it is going the curse will be broken. It will be like the Garden of eden. Bliss. Total Bliss!
    Either way I am going to do what I can to care for it.
    Great post brother.
    Member of P.E.T.A. (People Eating Tastey Animals) 🙂

  4. April 28, 2008 2:11 pm

    Preacherman,

    Thanks for the response. I think the area that you are bringing up is a very good one.

    We have our recycle bins for plastic and paper. We try to be good stewards of God’s creation and yet I think a better hope to offer is not that we can make this earth right but that we understand the hope of those who want to see the planet saved and restored.

    I believe a day will come when that truly happens and so I model God’s love for creation while I tell people that in Christ they can see the day when all is restored.

    I think God is just as passionate about creation as any environmentalist but I think their hope and mine is when all things are restored.

    Thanks for the comments.

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