Monday, July 13, 2009

Death-Wish Theology

I have been in Michigan this week visiting friends and family. It has been great to get caught up with people, and it has been a rare occasion to get the my brothers and I under my parent's roof at the same time.

It has also been a time of comparing life in Salt Lake City to life in the Detroit area. Each has it's plusses and minuses, but on the whole SLC wins for me hands down.

One thing that struck me is how often I hear (and am put off by) pop Christian theology here. I go to a fairly moderate church in Salt Lake, and spend the rest of my time paling with Mormons, so I think I have gotten used to not hearing goofy (imo) theology as a part of everyday speech.

For example, people often state how horrible and corrupt the world is and how folks can't wait for Jesus to come back and deliver us from this hell-hole (Obama being the proof of the end times). "Really?" I reply, "I am in no hurry to leave. I am actually having a good time!"

This just assures them that my predalection towards liberalism is taking me down a dark path.

Then there was the church visit. If you saw Borat, picture his church scene at the end so you can get the proper visual. The pastor kept going on about the sickness of the world, our evil presidential administration, the educational system that is guiding kids to hell, etc... The audience clapped and cheered for this borish and broken view of life.

Then he talked about the mis-guided "peacemakers" in this world. "There ain't gonna be any peace in this world," the pastor shouted while bouncing on the front of his toes, "until the Prince of Peace returns!!!"

Death wish theology. Let's just blow this place.

Now I may be an unusual father, but it would not be acceptable if my kids trashed the upstairs and then sauntered past me on their way out the door saying, "Hey Pop, we left a mess upstairs for you to take care of... thanks!"

God may, or may not, be returning any time soon. But if he is anything of the Father figure I hope he is - he will be expecting us to grow up first.


didymus said...

That's the kind of stuff that just drives me nuts. I'm surprised you even went to that church. Why'd you go? You have family going to that church? Is that kind of "death wish" theology common out there? I remember when I lived in San Diego it was the norm in evangelical churches.

Did you connect with any emergent folks out there by any chance?

Don Hendricks said...

Andrew, glad you saw the family, don't get me started on millenial madness, except to say that my revulsion to that view opened the door to the restitution of all things and fulfilled escatology, which cause me to rekindle a trinitarian revival that has made every moment of my life filled with expectation and hope. Thanks for the Bday comment.

Bruce the Agnostic said...

After Jack Van Impe IS just up the road in Troy.

When I went to college at Midwestern Baptist is Pontiac in the 1970's a lot of my fellow students worked in Van Impe's office

I have little tolerance for the end-times mumbo-jumbo.

Redlefty said...

All fueled by fear and insecurity. Sad.

It's amazing how much eschatology can truly drive our daily decisions and behaviors.

Andrew said...

Yep, but even beyond the end times stuff, there is this undercurrent of everything that has not been christianized being worthless. It just sees everything as being bad. So depressing and hopeless (and dare I say: arrogant).

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