Monday, April 6, 2009

End times theology (a topic of cults)

A spider ran across my arm last night and woke me up from a sound sleep. The spider got away, but a little while later, my wife suddenly exclaimed: I found him, hurry, get him, he’s on my neck. I got him, but by this time I was wide awake. I lay back down to try and sleep, but my mind kept buzzing with thoughts, and this post was one of them.

End times theology is often the primary topic of cults, and conversely, a subject avoided by most churches. This subject having been so tainted, by some well publicized and humiliating failures of second coming and pre-coming disaster dates, that its avoidance seems like the safest policy.

The bible, however, is full of prophecy, and Jesus did speak of his coming as an absolute inevitable reality; a message only eclipsed by his primary theme of salvation through belief that he is the prophesied savior and son of the most high, and willing to personally save us upon repentance; as I see it; simply recognizing that we are an incomplete creation (imperfect), lacking the law of love written firmly upon our hearts (therefore sinful), and recognizing ourselves as the workmanship of God; that we can’t usurp his role as creator, and that we can’t create, or recreate ourselves, or change the inevitability of our demise, since only he has eternal life within himself. Recognizing his willingness to share his eternity through believing in his goodness means we are not afraid, or living with guilt complexes because we know that God is aware of the stages involved in his creation, which we are; and he knows he has not yet added that Godly love that will complete us. This part requires something from us, we must ask.

Cults put people on guilt trips for not being able to change their human nature, as if anyone could recreate themselves; they instill fear, which is the antithesis of faith. Not truly internalizing the goodness of God blocks faith, and makes love for God impossible. One can no more love God than an abused child can truly love the abuser; the God that “so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son,” is lost in a fog of self loathing, which may eventually turn to resentment and hatred for God. The savior that took our sin upon himself, surrendering his divinity for a time so as to be brutally executed during which time saying “forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing,” is equally submerged in a sea of do’s and don’ts to qualify for forgiveness. One way or another, cults bar the door of salvation.

If no one bothered with prophecy when Jesus came 2000 years ago, no one would have recognized him; and today, without prophecy, there’s nothing to recognize the indicators that he is near. The cults which do focus on Jesus coming, generally concentrate on misapplying prophecies so as to indulge in scare tactics to draw a following. They speak of the ‘end of the world’, which the LORDs coming certainly is not. They speak of destruction and revenge and don’t tell anyone that the prophecies of his return are about him saving his chosen people, collecting his bride and providing the earth with a government that will settle disputes, provide for the welfare of it’s citizens, outlaw war, and allow every man (person) to “sit beneath their own vine.”

Jesus will come to save the Jewish people from annihilation; his wrath is for those who attack Israel. The cults don’t talk about this, they’d rather indulge in replacement theology and apply already fulfilled prophecies to the present i.e. telling people that the punishment God prophesied for the Jews, will fall upon them; so be afraid… be very afraid.

The very prophecies of the Jews (and Israel’s) Diaspora and reconstitution as a nation, which are a central theme in prophecy, and the primary sign that the bible is in fact the word of God, are hijacked by cults and turned into devices to incite terror and leverage for mind control and to line their own pockets with extorted wealth.

Cults have their truths, or nobody would buy what they’ve got to sell. People who get sucked into them are generally not stupid; but rather simply following the pathway determined by their having been taught that the old covenants Ten Commandments are the eternal law of God, instead of a New Covenant definition of love and faith.

The cults spokesmen repeat the warning: “Satan is conducting spiritual warfare,” They are themselves proof that what they say is so. They are the arsonist leading the mob to search for the arsonist.

The cult’s spokesmen say that the time is near, crying wolf, setting dates until no one will listen any more. It reminds me of WW2 after radar began being used. The Germans now could tell that the Allied bombers were coming, so there were no more surprises. The Allies began dropping shredded aluminum foil which created confusion, reflecting back so much that it might white out the Germans radar screens. The exact time and trajectory of the allied attack was lost, but here’s the point: in spite of the bogus information, there was no doubt that an attack was coming. In this analogy, the cults are Satan’s aluminum foil being dropped to confuse the truth; but in this case it isn’t bombers that are coming, it’s the world’s salvation in the person of Jesus Christ.


It is important that you understand; Everything on this blog is based on the current understanding of each author. Never take anyone's word for it, always prove it for yourself, it is your responsibility. You cannot ride someone else's coattail into the Kingdom.



xHWA said...

Thanks for bridging this subject, Luc. I'm really glad prophecy isn't something people have to feel driven away from.

I certainly would love to have a better understanding of prophecy. I have a good grasp on Armstrong's twisted cult version. I certainly know enough to know the COGs are dead dead dead wrong. As time goes on that becomes more and more clear. You said,
"they’d rather indulge in replacement theology and apply already fulfilled prophecies to the present".
I see that a lot! I'm glad you mentioned that because I 100% agree.

But as to the details of what is the right view, I just don't have that understanding.
I like the idea of the return being a hope-filled thing and not a terror-filled thing.

Byker Bob said...

This weekend, the pastor of the church I've been attending told us of the confiscation of all of the Christian training materials which had been surreptitiously and laboriously printed and accumulated over in China.

This got me to thinking. Christians in such places as Red China, North Korea, India, and other nations are living in conditions every bit as harrowing as those in which the early Christians lived during Roman occupation of Israel. They are jailed, tortured, and sometimes martyrred. For them, it must be extremely encouraging to read the Books of Daniel and Revelation, because these books make it plain that the solution is on the way. Here in the USA, we tend to take a different attitude towards the apocalypse, because we live in a relatively peaceful, free, and opulent era.

My problem with Armstrongism and other cults is that they co-opt the apocalypse, and make it appear that they are the chosen groups who are actually going to be presiding over the tribulation. The best description of the traditional old school WCG gospel message was that Jesus was about to return to establish Armstrongism as the government for the world tomorrow. Such a message was extremely presumptuous to say the least, and very damaging and elitist. There are so many things wrong with that "gospel" that it is difficult to know where to start. But, people are continuing to subscribe to such brainwashing even today.


Unknown said...

I liked this post a lot. It was very nice to read. I have been saved by Jesus in 2003. I was once involved with a very famous cult: Jehovah's Witnesses. It's interesting that you used this analogy:

"One can no more love God than an abused child can truly love the abuser;"

JWs are also abusers. I was abused. The thing is this, abuse victims love their abusers and want to please them. They know that they can never please their abuser but want to very deeply. The reason that I didn't love Jehovah but did love Jesus is because Michael Archangel (the created being that JWs tell you was born on earth as Jesus) was the one who died for me. I couldn't love this hateful, wrathful god who would demand blood from one created being to atone for other created beings.

When Jesus revealed Himself to me in my living room on May 4, 2002 in all His Glory (just like you read in Bible, you fall dead on your face when you experience this) I was overjoyed to find that my Creator did die for me!!!!! And now I love him, don't worry about when He'll return as I know He won't forget me and have stopped looking for the "end of the world" and the "antichrist"! Wonderful! Just wanted to share...
In His Love,
Diane W.

Luc said...

I find your story to be wonderful and fascinating. Jesus reveals himself in spectacular ways like he did with the apostle Paul, or in quiet subtle ways, with guided experiences and reasoning's.

My dad spent some time assisting missionaries in South America. he told me of acts of God and miracles he witnessed. I asked him why these things never happen here. He said, oh they do, just not as often.

"You see," he said, "the people down South already believe and demons don't hide their work,and neither does God; but to we in the North, we believe in science, even when we believe in God, we believe with reservations buried in the background. God has given us sufficient evidence for belief, and he there fore provides little overt evidence in the form of signs to convince us."

That is essentially how he explained it. I can't say if this is true, but I've not heard a better explanation.

It is exciting to hear about movements of God, such as those in Iran, where Jesus has appeared to everyone in a dream on the same night, and he tells them who he is. It's wonderful to hear that God's power is made known in the Western industrialized world as well.
I really appreciate your comment, thanx bunches.

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