II. Madly in love with the world
A friend once told me about a church somewhere in Texas that started a recycling program and got push back from the neighboring churches for delaying the return of Jesus. I know there is a school of thought that ties the destruction of the world with Jesus’ return; I’m not overly familiar with all the end times schools because they aren’t much fun or theologically sound, but I do remember getting caught in a premillennialism verses postmillennialism argument between the Assembly of God pastor and Baptist pastor. It was a different language that sounded utterly ridiculous to my ears but I could immediately see the appeal of the violence and revenge for many who feel dismissed in this life. I never heard of rapture theology until college and the idea of being swept up to watch the suffering of the world does not mesh with a savior who pours out his life in love, but it sure seems like this glorification of destroying enemies and the earth as a vision for the end times is incredibly popular
I hope this story about heckling a recycling program is urban legend playing on regional biases, but I’m a little worried that it could be true. I want to distance myself far from these traditions. There is no glory or open door for Jesus to return if we wreak havoc and blow up the world. When I speak about impending doom, I do not in any way want to support any theology that pits God against us and God against the world. Creating is God’s delight and nobody gives a gift of such grandeur and beauty as the earth to rejoice when it is trampled upon like a tired toddler in a house of cards.