On our main website, you’ll find a title banner that reads: “The Pursuit of God: Serious Topics for Serious Christians.” And yet in this article about the end times, we are going to say some very harsh things about the Christian religion and warn you to be very wary about trusting Christian interpretations of end time events. So what’s with the apparent hypocrisy? If we claim to be Christians ourselves—which we do—then why are we so adamantly opposed to so much of what the Christian Church teaches? Well, why are sincere followers of Islam so opposed to ISIS terrorists? After all, the boys in black hoodies are claiming to be showing the world what real devotion to Allah looks like as they go around torturing, maiming and assaulting other humans. Is it really true that the fictitious Allah is the sort of fellow who is all for guys with big guns tearing land and resources away from others just to feed their personal lust for power and glory? No, it’s really not. Even though Allah is as fictitious as America’s Santa Claus, Allah is a very specific sort of character who would never sign off on what the ISIS boys are doing. You see, even fictional characters have limits. America’s Santa Claus is a jolly fellow who is all about making children smile and doling out presents. Sure, you can claim that Santa Claus told you to rape a bunch of women, strap bombs to children, and blow up buildings. But as soon as you make such a ludicrous claim, it’s obvious to all Americans that you’re no longer talking about the Santa Claus, because Santa is a character with limits that just can’t be crossed. The same is true for the Allah character who serious Muslims worship. Allah isn’t some dope who can’t tell the difference between humans really worshiping him and humans just using him as an excuse to try and pull a Hitler maneuver in the Middle East. Allah demands true devotion from his followers, and he frowns on those who use him as an excuse to serve themselves. Continue reading
Imagine how ineffective Hitler would have been if the Germans he tried to rally just weren’t interested in following him. When you think of Hitler, you think of his Nazis. Take away the Nazis, and all you have is one lonely dreamer who no one is listening to.
If you want to make a big impact on the world, you need followers. It was Alexander the Great’s massive army that made history remember him as great. But take away all of those loyal soldiers who were willing to die for their leader, and you just have one guy with a sword who longs to conquer the world. You can’t establish an empire without manpower. You can’t launch a revolution or get people to embrace a new way of thinking without a bunch of followers who are willing to endure suffering on your say so. Imagine how ridiculous the Catholic pope would look traipsing around in his royal garb if no one was willing to listen to him. Such behavior would normally land a man in a mental institution, but instead the pope is a globally respected leader. Why? Because he has followers. Continue reading
Suppose you are hiding out in a two story house that is surrounded by large, hostile beasts. The beasts keep charging at the walls of the house: ramming, clawing, and biting in an effort to tear their way inside. If they succeed, you are going to find yourself in a major crisis. Sure, you have some ammunition with you, but it won’t be enough if those beasts manage to break in and take over the house. Your best hope of survival is to try and kill them off now, before they can get inside. As long as the walls of your house remain intact, you can try to pick the beasts off one by one as you lean out of an upstairs window. Continue reading
As humans, we feel more comfortable communicating with our own kind than we do trying to talk to some other kind of being. When it becomes necessary to try and figure out what’s going on in the mind of some non-human, we often try to find another human who can act as a skilled interpreter for that other non-human being. This is what you’re doing when your pet dog is acting strange and you take him to a veterinarian. You believe that the vet has a better understanding of dogs than you do, and you’re hoping that he can help you make some sense out of your pet’s odd behavior. The vet listens to you describe how Scruffy has been stealing articles of clothes out of your laundry basket and dragging them into his doggy bed each night. You’re so exasperated by Scruffy’s behavior that you’re ready to ring his furry neck. But when the vet gives you his interpretation of Scruffy’s thieving, suddenly your attitude changes. The vet says that Scruffy is emotionally bonded to you and wants to be near you all the time. When you send him off to bed and close the door of your bedroom each night, it makes him feel stressed to be separated from you. So he finds something with your scent on it—like a piece of clothing that you recently wore—and takes it to his doggy bed so he can feel like he’s in your presence when he sleeps. Continue reading
There is no such thing as real black or white magic. Sorcery, curses, spells and prayer walls—these things are complete hooey. But look around the world today and you’ll find that a ton of people believe these are real things. Christian Carrie actually thinks that just by exercising her vocal cords and working herself up into an emotional lather, she can cause a demon repelling force field to erect around her home and family members. Sorcerer Sam really thinks that by chanting words, fussing around with goat entrails, and drawing geometric shapes, he can cause his boss to come down with some terrible ailment, thus clearing the way for Sam to get promoted. What’s really going on here? Why are there are so many people across so many religions buying into the utterly absurd notion that humans can gain possession of god-like powers? After all, these are human beings we’re talking about—the same creatures who struggle to twist the lids off of pickle jars. They trip over their shoelaces, drop their cell phones, forget their online passwords, and get stumped by crossword puzzles. Are we really to believe that such beings are capable of manipulating matter, controlling the future, and forcing supernatural beings to serve them? Certainly not. Such arrogant claims are solely driven by wishful thinking. Continue reading
A tornado suddenly drops out of the sky without warning and mows through a town before anyone can run for cover. How did the funnel cloud form without our detecting it? A few cases of a fatal disease quickly become hundreds. How did the infection start? How is it spreading? A fire breaks out in a forest. How did it start? An earthquake flattens a city. How did so many buildings collapse? How can we improve our infrastructure? In life, when bad things happen, we always ask how. We have whole fields of scientific research that are in endless pursuit of answers to how questions. How can we prevent disease? How can we stabilize economies? How can we protect the environment? How can we reduce crime? We claim to want to know why things happen, but we’ll never find the answer to why as long as we’re avoiding the subject of who, and who is a question we never ask.
Even Christians are so intensely bothered by the subject of who that when a real tragedy strikes, you’ll find many saying, “God had nothing to do with this horrible event. It was just a terrible coincidence.” In other words, there was no who, there was only freak randomness. How very unhelpful of Christians to try and bury the truth when it is most desperately needed. But this is what we do because we’ve all got a major hang up with facing the fact that there is always a who behind every problem in our lives, and that who is a God who is going to hold us accountable for how we’re responding to Him. Ignoring Him, avoiding Him, and acting like His reality ceases to be whenever it suits us—these are the responses which get us into big trouble. Continue reading
God never needs to work through human beings in order to accomplish His will on earth. But He often chooses to, and this makes our lives complicated. Why? Because our Gods are Multitaskers who are always accomplishing multiple agendas at once. Why should They just pass on information in some clear and straightforward manner when They could pack in a bunch of growth opportunities and tests of submission as well? Continue reading