Spreading Real Hope and Not Escape
I’ve been lecturing on various topics in Guatemala for the past six days. I’m bummed I didn’t pay more attention to my high school Spanish school studies. I still remember a few words and phrases that go a long way when I’m in the elevator with people who speak Spanish and greet me.
Best to say “Buenos Dias” and add “Good Morning” to let them know you’re not a native Spanish speaker or they might engage you in conversation.
If this happens, the following come in handy: “Lo siento, no hablo español” (“I’m sorry, I don’t speak Spanish”) or just “No hablo español.”
Most of my talks (five) were on eschatology with two talks on government and economics.
Over the years I have received numerous requests for my books and talks in Spanish.
A number of my books are in the process of being translated thanks to my hosts. In addition, the five lectures will be upload for all to see and hear in English and with very good Spanish translation.
I was pleasantly surprised when on Saturday morning 127 people showed up to hear me, a stranger, speak on eschatology that is not about the lastest end-time event or the soon return of Jesus to “rapture” His church.
They even paid! In my experience, this is unheard of. That shows commitment.
The only way you could Christians in the United States out on a Saturday morning is to advertise that it’s a tailgate party for the latest offering of college football games.
Many Central and South American countries are inundated with an end-time prophetic view that is debilitating. They offer no hope — esperanza — for this world. It’s all going to be burned up in some end-time ball of fire. So they wait and hope to be raptured out of the coming apocalypse.
Bad prophetic views have made a mess of the church. They are on permanent idle speed. They’ve neglected education, politics, law, media, business because why rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic when it’s all going down to the sea bottom?
This doctrine is so central and so crucial to the Dispensational Premillennial school of thought that any other doctrine which sees anything occurring today as a social outworking of the Kingdom of God must be interpreted as a strike against Christ himself. Therefore, it is a great threat to the church.
While waiting for my flight back to Atlanta, I was doing my usual morning internet news reading and came across an article about N. T. Wright’s Gifford’s lectures. The following caught my attention. It’s spot on.
Whatever one’s belief on end-time theology, it is certainly clear that many Protestants today cheer on war in the Middle East, offer unqualified support for the state of Israel, and look at the current situation as the sign that Armageddon and the 1000 years is imminently upon us. The current earth must be destroyed.
If the world is coming to an end, to be replaced by the Kingdom of God, the chances of inferring anything about the latter from the former are effectively nil. If heaven is coming, earth has to be abolished. [N.T. Wright]
Since the current world must be destroyed to bring on God’s Kingdom, why bother looking for evidence of God’s Kingdom in the current earth?
And, when Europe was set ablaze by Queen Victoria’s squabbling grandchildren in 1914 – the Kaiser, the Tsar, the King – with all the rest cheerfully trundling off to war, it all came true: Valhalla fell… [N.T. Wright]
…and the dying cheered.
I’m anxious to see what will come of my efforts here. Only God knows.