Perhaps it may turn out a sang,
Perhaps turn out a sermon.

-- R. Burns Epistle to a Young Friend

Monday, December 21, 2015

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the End Times

They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.  -- Revelation 17:14

As you know, I’m not that big on end-time prophecies, the Rapture, and all.  I’m pretty sure I’m here for the duration and expect to depart this mortal coil much the same way as my parents and grandparents.  If I am lucky, I might even be buried with them, though if I end up feeding the buzzards and the coyotes, it won’t bother me.

Chapter 17 of Revelation talks about the great whore and the beast with seven heads and ten horns.  Some claim this is a depiction of Rome or of the revived Roman Empire as the European Union.  It used to be fairly common to hear Protestants claim John was speaking of the future Catholic Church and the papacy.  However, I think we can much more generally say that the beast and the harlot represent the relationship between governments and false religions. 

Throughout history, rulers have used religion to control people. From the divine right of kings to the democratic voice of the people, government speaks for God, so they would have us believe.  The good thing about America’s founding was that we said this would not be so much the case with us.  Yet, our citizens were not content to allow the government to remain neutral.  They enlisted it in the fight against slavery, and – as necessary and proper as that might have been -- a civic religion began to grow around the concepts of the “Union” and the federal government.  It advanced further in the early 20th Century with the progressive politics of Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson to become a juggernaut – a great, consuming, fire-breathing dragon, in Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. 

The civic idol does not care for competition.  The harlot and her mount grow at the expense of the Bride of Christ.  They make war against the Lamb, often in small, subtle ways, but lately in much broader, more confident strokes.  They believe they have us on the run.  And they do.  Christians are being marginalized, mocked, ridiculed and attacked everywhere.  They have the power.  They can defeat us.  They just have one problem:  it’s not us they have to worry about.


PioneerPreppy said...

Well spoken.

There is a little known Baptist belief, although I must add not officially recognized by any of the various Baptist organizations, that says Christians are confronted with the possibility of a Revelations-like end of times every couple of generations or so. Thus far they have always managed to be defeated but when the time comes that they are not, well, that is the true end times.

Rick said...

I get the feeling the more time spent with Revelation the less weird John sounds. Or rather, the closer one gets to Reality.
There is a recent chapter of The War that claims the here-below looks mighty weird to angels!

John Lien said...

Hey Mush, Just in case you aren't going to post again before Christmas, I want to wish you and your commenters a Merry Christmas!

Oh, and good post, as always.

mushroom said...

Thank you all. Yes, PP, I think that is the case.

Rick, I haven't figured out how to get The War updates. Thanks for letting me know there may be some cool new chapters.

I had a good Christmas, John. I hope yours was good, too.

Rick said...

Ah well, Mush, if you can't figure it out, I sure can't.
Everything from here on out will be posted here:

That's all I knows.

Merry Christmas (belated) and a Happy New Year!