The End of the World ... As We Know It
A growing number of well-known evangelical leaders today are teaching thousands of people that the world has a serious problem. The problem they describe is not what you might expect to hear, especially from evangelical leaders. They believe that those who claim Jesus is coming back soon and that the Earth will face a horrible Armageddon or judgment are actually the cause of the world's major problems and are prohibiting a time of great renewal from taking place. Talk of biblical end-time prophecy is considered by these men to be unnecessary and downright dangerous.
Tony Campolo in his recent book, Speaking My Mind suggests that these types of end-time thinkers are even the cause of wars. He says, "Their doctrines are a major factor in determining a far-ranging set of consequences that include American policies regarding militarism, the emergence of evangelical Zionism, attitudes toward Palestinians and the role of American geopolitics." (p. 207) He later says their "impact on geopolitics can only lead to war." (p. 215).
Rick Warren suggests that Jesus doesn't want us to even think about prophecy or His return. Warren tells us that it is none of our business. He tells us that thinking about Jesus' return is a ploy by Satan to get us distracted. (PDL, pp. 285, 286)
Richard Abanes, author and speaker, in his book End-Time Visions: The Road to Armageddon, criticizes many Christians who believe we should discuss prophecy and that there is indeed a coming Armageddon. He puts solid, Bible-based Christian leaders in the same category as cult leaders such as David Koresh, who led his group to an untimely end.
Are these evangelicals the first ones to hate the idea of Armageddon and the disaster that is coming to the world before Christ returns? In the book, Reinventing Jesus Christ, he quotes Barbara Marx Hubbard who says that those who believe in an Armageddon are self-centered people who if not stopped will actually cause a self-fulfilling prophecy to take place - the destruction of the world.
Marx Hubbard tells us of a global peace plan and she calls it an "Armageddon alternative." This alternative can actually save the world from Armageddon, she says, but only if enough people believe it and only if the world can be rid of these self-centered doomsdayers. "The species known as self-centered humanity will become extinct. The species known as whole-centered humanity will evolve.... Those who choose this version of the future will be there. Those who do not choose it will not be there." Marx Hubbard's own book of "Revelation" describes a message she received from the "Christ": "You are to prepare the way for the alternative to Armageddon, which is the Planetary Pentecost, the great Instant of Co-operation which can transform enough, en masse, to avoid the necessity of the seventh seal being broken." She continues: "Tell them to recognize the God within themselves, and to follow that light through the darkness of tribulations to the dawn of the Universal Age, when only the God-conscious continue to exist, and everyone is like Christ…. Those with the seal of the living God on their foreheads will be with Christ at the time of the Transformation. I cannot 'return' until enough of you are attracted and linked."
According to Marx Hubbard it is these self-centered believers that are standing in the way. And yet in the book of Revelation, in the last chapter, Jesus says not once but three times, "I am coming quickly," while John in the same chapter tells us not to seal the words of the prophecy because the time is at hand."
In Reinventing Jesus Christ, he quotes Alice Bailey who was "told by her spirit guide over fifty years ago that the 'Forces of Darkness' would oppose the 'new gospel' and the 'New Age.' Is this new gospel and Transformation one and the same as Brian McLaren's New Kind of Christian and Emerging Church? Is it the same as Rick Warren's spiritual awakening and global Transformation? With so many similarities, one can only surmise that they may indeed be so. And if that is the case, will there be a growing hostility and anger towards those of us who say, Maranatha, come quickly Lord Jesus? (I Corinthians 16:22)