Sunday Sermonizing: Navigating Eschatological Ditches
There are two ditches on the side of every road.
Two sides to every coin.
It takes two to tango.
There will always be a tension of this nature in life, study, and work.
It’s true in things like physics, ethics, accounting, marketing, and history.
It’s also true in eschatology.
There is a theology that says the universe will come to an end with water, fire, and blood. The earth is evil and its fullness thereof. And it’s only going to get worse. More evil and injustice will increase. Soon there will be nothing left but the acrid smoke of hell-on-earth, and God will destroy it all.
There is a little bit of truth to this. We still have mass shootings and the ongoing refugee crisis. But it’s also a big ditch. Many people believe a version of this. Some churches teach a version of this. Some bits in the Bible can be used to justify this view. But the whole of the Bible never justifies a ditch.
This is a pit of justified apathy, cynicism, and indifference. Wheels turn and mud flies. And people are stuck thinking there’s no reason to vote, advocate, or act. Sure injustice reigns. But there’s nothing anyone can do about it.
This isn’t the complete truth.
There’s a ditch on the other side.
On this side of the road is a ditch that says we can do this and more in our human strength. We can figure this out. We can change the world because we are the world. We can bring justice to the disenfranchised and we can make it better on our own. We will create a utopia.
That’s not great eschatology either. It’s a ditch of ego, saviorism, and wide-eyed naiveté that refuses to see the evil and brokenness that will always be with us.
My faith needs to see the possibilities of world and culture change as we live radically changed lives that impact those around us.
In the very same breath, my faith needs to remember that my hope is ultimately in the One who will bring everything under His perfect, holy, just, and generous rule.
And that hasn’t happened, yet.
In the meantime, overcorrection is still not correction.
I’m not saying we always have to stay exactly in the middle of the road.