Spring has finally arrived full force in Alaska. Yes, there is still the occasional collection of snow in the shaded, sheltered areas. But the cottonwoods are budding their sticky flowers and I saw my first Alaskan mostquito. The sun rises at 5:20 am and sets at 10:30 pm...and the bears are awake…it’s spring.
It’s time for some spring cleaning here at Decaffeinated God-Talk central. Here are some partially developed ideas and ponderings that have cluttered the blog creation space in my mind long enough…
May 21, 2011…Did you know, according to Family Radio (www.familyradio.com) that Judgment Day is May 21, 2011?? Sorry to warn you so late in the game, but after all, we Christians have had nearly 2,000 years to prepare for it. Perhaps your community, like Anchorage, has had a billboard truck driving around town warning folks of the impending judgment on the 21st. If you take the time to go to the website and read the materials written by Harold Camping, you’ll find out that all organized churches ceased to have both authority and God’s blessing as of May 21, 1988; the Rapture will take place on May 21, 2011; and, the final destruction of the world will take place on October 21, 2011.
If you’re a pre-tribulation dispensationalist Christian, you better get your act together; time is short. If you’re a post-tribulation dispensationalist Christian, you still have some time to get your act together, but don’t dally. If you don’t know the difference…you’re probably a Methodist.
Though Methodism’s founder, John Wesley, was fond of describing justification as “fleeing the wrath that is to come,” we’ve not been much of a tradition for consuming ourselves with the end of this world someday so much as its transformation here and now. By May 22, 2011, we’ll have a clearer idea as to which group is right. For those who may want to hedge your bets, Google-ing “pre-trib dispensationalism” and “post-trib dispensationalism” would not be a waste of time.
Osama bin Laden…The recently oft-cited Proverbs verse about not celebrating deaths of enemies and the Twain quote say it all and other bloggers, colleagues and leaders in faith communities have said things much more eloquently than I can…
Rob Bell and Love Wins…There are things that I’ve never done of which I’m very proud. For instance, I’ve never used Forrest Gump for a sermon illustration. Sometimes it’s better to not swing at the easy ones. I thought I would do the same with Bell’s controversial book. I’ve read the book…I agree with some parts and I disagree with others…just like 90% of the other books about the Christian faith I read yearly. What fascinates me is the angry visceral response it evokes from some Christians and how quickly and eagerly those same folks are to condemn another Christian to Gehenna (New Testament word for Hell).
Christianity proclaims salvation by grace alone. Is incorrect doctrine (if, indeed, that’s what Love Wins actually promotes) really stronger than God’s grace expressed in the life, death and resurrection of Christ? Can my ideas defeat this singular act of grace by God? If bad doctrine does, indeed, trump grace, then anyone who has explained the Trinity to a child using ice, water and steam is seriously in danger (Google the heresy of “modalism”). If modalism seems trivial to you in comparison to Bell’s perceived heresy, then where is the line that separates small-h heresy that will get you a poor grade in systematic theology from the capital-h Heresy that gets you a first class ticket to H E double hockey sticks? We do not “kind of” believe in grace and leave the rest to the works righteousness of correct doctrine. “Kind of” believing in grace is like being “kind of” pregnant or “kind of” dead…we either “put our whole trust in His grace” (from the U.M. membership vows) or we kind of trust it and put the rest of the weight of our salvation on OUR doctrine and ideas.
Finally, who do I know in Russia??? There is this neat dashboard that I can access giving me information on the location of folks who are referred to my blog page. I have 22 “hits” from Russia. Who do I know in Russia? There are 20 “hits” from Germany. With a last name like Disburg, there’s probably some long-lost distant cousins Google-ing our shared last name that accounts for that. But, Russia?? If you live in Russia and read Caffeinated God-Talk, please let me know…but could you do so before May 21, please?