Sunday, 11 May 2014
Jesus said, "According to your faith, be it unto you".
It's impossible to avoid seeing posts about theological arguments if you frequent social networks and have connections to believers, particularly in conservative evangelical camps. As a new believer I grew up with a particular eschatalogical viewpoint and vehemently stuck to it. However, one comes across opinions of all shades in Christendom and in the church we used to attend until 7 years ago, eschatology (as well as other contentious issues) was neglected, for the simple reason that no-one really knew how to talk about it and it was considered easier to avoid it.
When we went out of organised church, I spent a lot of time, as many do, searching in the internet for people who had gone through the same kind of experience as we had gone through, and found many who had come out of organised church, especially in America. Their input has been really important to me. I think of Stephanie Bennett in Florida, https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/koinonialife/info Michael Clark in Idaho, http://awildernessvoice.com/ and the late Jay Ferris http://lovinglikegod.com/ in North Carolina. The networks where I found myself, through contact with them, brought me into contact with opinions of all kinds. I was brought up in the UK, and now live in Germany, far from the kind of conservative evangelical churches many in the US were brought up in and were influenced by. So I haven't been affected by that kind of religion, and sometimes feel unable to relate to the kind of reaction many who have come out of that kind of organised religion have, when looking back. The religion I came out of was nonetheless just as dangerous and misleading, perhaps because it was more subtle in some ways.
Anyway, part of my journey away from religion has included forays into the camps of people who espouse other eschatalogical persuasions than the one I grew up with. Their views challenged my own, but one thing began to become more and more important to me... Most of these people were no longer focused on their own theological position; they were far more focused on Jesus alone. HE was their all-consuming passion and they deliberately chose to walk away from theological arguments ABOUT Him. This made a deep impression on me. I have been influenced for many years by strong theological opinions, but the fact that the lives of those who held these had not been changed BY what they purported to believe made me see that it isn't our theological opinions which are important, but a strong relationship with the Lord Jesus Himself. A child has no idea about the arguments between pre-trib, mid-trib, post-trib raptures or the Koiné Greek used to back up such arguments, but a child can receive revelation from the Holy Spirit and love the Lord with all his heart.
A HUGE amount of marketing and money are spent on the whole rapture question. How can this be money well spent? Websites are given over to it and monumental arguments take place over the issue. How can this be time well spent?
The other day, a thought occurred to me. Jesus said, 'According to your faith, be it unto you'... (Matt 9:29). The men to whom Jesus said this were healed of their blindness. But we cannot receive anything from the Lord except by faith in His word, on any matter, whether provision, healing, wisdom, foreknowledge etc. And it occurred to me that perhaps this whole rapture question is the same.
I wonder if perhaps the various eschatalogical positions are ALL correct? It's just a question.
Maybe it just depends on a person's FAITH, where he will end up - in the rapture, pre-trib or after, post-trib, or none? Maybe all the arguments we have about the subject are fruitless discussions ... if we spent our time looking to Jesus alone and spending time in His presence, (after all, we become like the One we worship - Psalm 115:8) our faith would grow, because He would give us revelation as we look to Him. We have to watch out that our focus isn't on theological positions, but on the One who loves us. He will lead us, give us whatever revelation we need, as we come to Him.