In part 1 I discussed what Jurgen Moltmann said in his book, “The Crucified God” in 1974. Those descriptions speak directly to our failure as Christians in our culture today. But having said that we know that humans, sinful humans have been failing since the Fall. Israel is the perfect example and God has always come back to them. God the Father, Christ Jesus and the person of the Holy Spirit are at work in the world, the cosmos and our lives and community.
I focused on these two statements by Moltmann made in 1974 which could be 2021.
“People boast of their own growing meaningless, and failure of the world to understand, as which ‘the cross’ which they have to bear, and they regard their own obstinate lack of courage as bearing the cross.”
“This leads to the fragmentation of the church into the true ‘church of Jesus’ and the evil political church of Barabbas’s; or the true ‘church of Mary’ which alone hears the word of the Lord, and the ‘church of Martha’ preoccupied with useless social activity.” Pages 20-21
Continuing on Page 21 we are pointed to what Moltmann calls The Apocalyptic Closed Church. He goes on to say: “the world is lapsing into the spiritual death of atheism, atomic catastrophe, the death of the young from drugs or ecological self-destruction.” Do you recognize any of that in America today?
Moltmann continues: “At the same time, it is the hour in which the true church has to rise up as the visible place of refuge in the disaster.: ‘Rise up for the final struggle.’ It cannot be denied that such visions of the future exist in the New Testament, and the crisis of history may come to such a critical end. But nowhere in the New Testament does the ‘end of the world’ bring about the second coming of Christ. The New Testament looks forward to the very reverse, that the second coming will bring the end of destruction and persecution in the world. Anyone who reads the ‘signs of the time’ with the eyes of his own existential anxiety reads them falsely. If they can be read at all, they can be read by Christians only with the eyes of hope in the future of Christ. Otherwise, the apocalyptic interpretations of the age will be the nihilistic attempt of the ‘devils’ of Dostoevsky, who want to destroy the world in order to force God to intervene, and who for romantic reasons regard chaos as creative. But this no longer has anything to do with the cross as the horizon of this world, for the cross is the sign of the unity of love for God and the love with which, according to the Gospel of John (3:16), ‘God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son’.
We don’t have to go far to find recent events and remarks that lead toward a self-inflicted apocalypse.
“Donald Trump told supporters in Oshkosh, Wisconsin on Monday that he formally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moved the US Embassy there for the benefit of his evangelical Christian supporters.
"And we moved the capital of Israel to Jerusalem," he said. "That's for the evangelicals."
Prior to his declaration in 2017, the US embassy was located in Tel Aviv.
"You know, it's amazing with that – the evangelicals are more excited by that than Jewish people," Mr. Trump said. "That's right, it's incredible." From the article: Why is Jerusalem so important to American Evangelical Christians? (link)
There is no doubt many are reading the signs of the time, which people always do in conjunction with world altering events. And as in the past we have an overabundance of false prophets that are filling the media with falsehoods and their pockets with money. Many Evangelicals are also chiming in as you see from the above article to help bring about the end times. This is if it were not so serious humorous. The idea that Christians would use an imagined ‘Cyrus’ character to help bring about the end times just because they want it to happen is in a word 'fanatical'.
2 Timothy 3:1-8 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good…
We may indeed be approaching the end times. But any authority to venture an opinion is not found in the false prophets and pastors of today, that is clear. As this famous/infamous attorney said recently about her election fraud claims: “Lawyers for conservative attorney Sidney Powell told a federal court on Monday that "no reasonable person" would conclude her unfounded claims of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election were statements of fact as she fights a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems.” From the article: Sidney Powell tells court "no reasonable person" would take her voter fraud claims as fact.
No reasonable person would take seriously the fantasy and falsehoods that are being put forth as fact about the end times or other manufactured fantasies.
Moltmann then says: “debates within Christianity become polarized in false alternatives.” I will pick up there tomorrow in Part 3.