I really need to stop watching 24-hour news channels at 2:45 in the morning. I guess there isn’t enough happening in the world right now to occupy all their time. One of them actually took the time (how thoughtful) to take a jab at the Christian faith and pass it off as news. They just couldn’t wait to get back to us, could they?
Yes, I was wide awake at 2:45 in the morning and came across a 24 hour news channel with a professor of religion (warning light) who was being asked about the war in Iraq and Armageddon. Evidently, the end of the world is big news.
Well, these guys at the news desk don’t read their Bibles. This professor, I don’t think, reads one either. I was impressed that he was a professor. That does take some doing. I was impressed that he chose religion as his field of study. The science department probably laughs at him. What did not impress me was the simplistic and terribly jaded view he espoused concerning Christians, the Bible, and the end battle in the valley of Megiddo.
Let’s examine these statements and see if he got his money’s worth out of his college days. First, according to him, the Bible itself is “largely symbolic.” I would actually agree that the Bible does use some symbolism. I think the parables of Jesus were stories to make a point about his teachings. I believe that part of the book of Revelation does use some symbology to illustrate the end of Earth, as we know it. But that is about where I draw the proverbial line. I believe God created the Earth in six days. I believe that Noah built the ark for more than a summer shower. I believe that Sodom was literally destroyed by fire and brimstone from God Himself. The Red Sea was split by the breath of God to save the children of Israel. Lazarus walked out of his grave after four days for no more reason than because Jesus said to get up. Most importantly, I believe the Son of God was born of a virgin, walked on water, turned water into wine, fed five thousand men plus their families with a boys sack lunch, was slain as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of me and people all over the world, was buried, bodily got up and walked out of the tomb three days later (happy Easter by the way), then bodily ascended to build a house for me and anyone else that wants to go. That’s not symbolic rhetoric, my friend, that is fact.
Anybody who claims that Bible is “largely symbolic” is over generalizing and is disguising the fact that they have never read it other than as homework. If you find such a person, do me this favor. Give him a Bible and ask him to point out the symbolic parts. If he finds Genesis on his own, be impressed. Most of these guys have never had a Bible in their hands, so be gentle. They probably just need to be guided in the right direction.
The good professor was not finished in his dissertation. I was truly astounded that an “expert” on religion would have the gall to offer up this conclusion. I quote. “Christians have gone so far as to hinder the peace process between Israel and the Arab nations so as to expedite Armageddon.” What? Did I miss a meeting? What did I do this time? Christians are hindering the Middle East peace process. Not Hamas, or Hizbellah, or Yassar Arafat. It’s all our fault these two sides have been fighting over the same land since Isaac and Ishmael. Christians are to blame. Around ten percent of all the people in the entire Middle East are Christians. I would be willing to guess that the region has better than twice that many in terrorist. What kind of hindrance could a minority possibly cause when that minority lives in fear of being killed as infidels by the “religion of peace.” Does no one else see the lunacy of that part of the statement?
But wait. There’s more. Part two is equally insane. This action taken by Christians will expedite Armageddon. It will? I want the minutes from the last quarterly church meeting. When did we lose all sense of reality and decide that we have any semblance of control over when our Lord will return? (Notice I said, “will.”) What are we going to do? Send God an email telling Him it’s time for Jesus to return. What’s His web address?
I have no reservations when I say that this statement was made by an arrogant, pompous, tied to the tracks humanist who has dared to suggest that God moves and acts due to our whims and suggestions. How do you control a sovereign being? How do you dare tell the Creator of this world when it should end? And how do you tell the Alpha and the Omega that His book is nothing more than a collection of symbols that tells us nothing, and that He needs to get on your day planner so as to pencil in Armageddon?
You don’t, and only a fool would even suggest such a ridiculous notion. The problem here is that this notion is being believed by so many wandering the globe. The thought that man is in control and decides his own destiny is a comforting lie that is being spawned from Hell itself. This lie is being taught to everyone from the school system to the advertising you see while watching the Super Bowl. Satan is once again concealing himself as the power that is within all of us. “You don’t need God to tell you what to do,” he says. “You are in control. You decide what fate brings you. You are the only god you will ever need.” My friend, if you are reading this and you believe those lies, then Satan is reserving a place for you in the Eternal Lake of Fire.
We need God like we need air. There is no true existence on this planet without Him. He is not someone that you pay the occasional homage on Easter and Christmas. He is the one true, all-powerful, all-mighty God. There is none greater in all that He created. The one true being that rules over the universe, yet still wants to be involved in every aspect of your life. God wants us to honor Him as He deserves to be, but He wants to be there when no one else understands. He will, and better than anyone else. Showing up at His house on Sunday is nice, but he likes a little conversation on your way to work on Monday, too. Being in church for Easter is fine, but living like the sacrifice of His Son on the cross means something everyday is really the least we can do.
Let’s recap. God is the ultimate ruler over all creation. He is in total and complete control, even when our finite minds are incapable of understanding what is going on. The Bible has some symbols, but reading it will tell you where that happens and when it gets literal. Christians are not responsible for some diabolical plan to sabotage the peace process and expedite the end of the world, and public education obviously doesn’t buy you what it used to, especially when the only reading that goes on is for homework. Class dismissed.
Mark Andrew Bradley
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