Eklektikos: A Contemporary Christian Blog

Eklektikos is dedicated to providing informative, uplifting and inspirational news, articles and commentary to our readers, in our ongoing effort to share the love of Christ with others in this fallen world. To God be the glory! This is the blog version of our main webzine 'Eklektikos: A Contemporary Christian Digest.' Like our main webzine, this blog is updated weekly, unless circumstances require otherwise.

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Location: Texas, United States

I am the executive editor of the webzine "Eklektikos: A Contemporary Christian Digest", a tireless researcher seeking a deeper and clearer knowledge regarding the past, present and future plight of Christians in our fallen world.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Praying Down the Apocalypse

I guess I'm a little naive when it comes to some things. I heard a fellow Christian say a while back that they hoped the LORD would hurry up and come and that they weren't all that concerned with certain current events (we were talking about a one world currency) because it just meant that we were nearing the end, we would be raptured, Christ would set up his millennial reign and everything would be just great. I thought they were just an anomaly. I mean, my mouth dropped when they said that, but I didn't give it much thought because I just thought they were not the norm.

All that ended today when I was surfing the net and landed on these two articles... I provide the links at the end of the quote, but the quotes give you a general idea of how "they" view "us":

"They are sincere, serious and polite as they tell you that they feel called to help bring the Rapture on as fulfillment of biblical prophecy. That’s why they have declared solidarity with Israel and the Jewish settlements and backed up their support with money and volunteers. It’s why they have staged confrontations at the old temple site in Jerusalem. It’s why the invasion of Iraq for them was a warm-up act...." This is from an article written by Bill Moyers and posted on: http://www.sentienttimes.com/04/oct_nov_04/journalism.html, (italics are mine.)

"The Rapture is a good thing, and therefore floods, famine, drought and all that are also good things because they portend the coming of end times. Even liberalism is a good thing, because there need to be a lot of Christ- deniers for the end times to come. (Among the prophesied Christ-deniers: the pope. That part is pretty much played down in the pamphlets.)" This is from an article written by John Carroll of the San Francisco Chronicle and can be found here: http://www.rense.com/general63/rap.htm Also from this same article: "The rest of the ungodly losers are left to deal with natural disasters and wars and the armies of the Antichrist, after which they die in various colorful ways while the ranks of the saved watch with compassion tempered with an understandable sense of satisfaction."

These comments were in response, in part, to a website called Rapture Ready. It gauges certain events that they feel like are mentioned in apocalyptic writings to help the reader determine how close we might be to the rapture. Given that Moyers says in his article certain Christians feel the need "to help bring the Rapture on as fulfillment of biblical prophecy ", I guess my Christian friend wasn't such an anomaly after all.

I suppose my naiveté' lay in the fact that certain people would actually pray for this to happen quickly....I mean, have they actually read what is going to happen? The fourth seal unleashes the power for one fourth of the world to die from plagues, battle, hunger and “death” (Rev. 6:8). The sixth trumpet releases “four angels who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year”, to kill a third of mankind (Rev. 9:15). This doesn’t even include all the natural disaster that will befall the earth, like the destruction of the vegetation, the seas, the plague of locusts, the darkening of the heavenly bodies, plus much more. This isn’t the movies people! This is the wrath of an Almighty GOD!! REAL people will die REAL awful, agonizing, horrible deaths. Didn’t Jesus pray on the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And here SOME of us are, actually praying just the opposite!!!No wonder the unsaved (like those quoted above) have such disgust for a lot of Christians! Could it be they see this self-righteous, hubristic attitude for what it is? After all, “they” won’t be here for any of it! They’ll be raptured!!! What if their interpretation of the Scriptures is not correct? What if the rapture ISN’T pre-trib? There are many, many people out there who think we will be around for some of the awful things prophesied in Revelations. It says in Revelations that some will be martyred for the faith, and they will cry out “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Could it be possible that true Christians will be martyred because the so-called “church” has exhibited such arrogance and self-righteousness that the rest of the world thinks that is what everyone who calls himself a Christian is really like? Are they bringing about our very own persecution by their prayers?
Furthermore, why would we want to hurry up the return of CHRIST…after all, once the judgment of the earth starts, that’s IT for your unsaved friends! Their chance is over.
Finally, why do these people think they need to help GOD out? I mean, really…what are they thinking? They will manipulate politics, etc. to FORCE things to look like their interpretation of Revelations, to FORCE GOD’S HAND? I don’t think so!!!

Monday, February 21, 2005

Heart in Hand in Second Place

YIKES! What an awful weekend I have had! It started out with my driving my two teenagers around the circumference of the earth on their endless quest to socialize. Between picking them up from school, going to get something to eat, taking my son to one friend's house, then waiting on my daughter's friend at Hastings for 20 minutes, just to discover that she wouldn't be ready for another hour...driving home, going back to Hastings, running errands while they were at Hastings, picking them up, taking them to the house just to turn around and go get my son....I spent about four hours in the car! My BONES ached, literally,and I didn't even get to eat dinner until 9:30, which I had to inhale because I had to leave in about 15 minutes to go get my son.... I was exhausted from all the driving. But that was the easy part of the evening.....

The fun part started when I went to get my son at his friend's house. His girlfriend of seven months was there, and I was not happy about it at all. They fight constantly, and I have watched my delightful, sweet, engaging son turn into a moody, depressed, grouchy, sometimes disrespectful stranger that I hardly recognize anymore. Needless to say, I was quite angry when I saw her there, as he had told me there weren't going to be any girls there that night. When I picked him up I was so mad I didn't even speak to him....little did I know his tender heart was breaking....he had broken up with her that night.

Now, me and several other people have been praying over the past few weeks that this very event would occur...so praise be to the LORD, he DOES hear our prayers, but PRAYER is to bring glory to HIM, to teach us something about HIS character and not necessarily to "get " what we want. I found that out that night, the hard way.

I went to check on him in his room after he had been home for a while. He was laying on the floor with both hands over his face. The friend he had spending the night was sitting on my son's bed, looking dumbfounded, as I am sure he didn't know how to comfort my son at this dire hour of his need. I was clueless as to what had happened that night. He had been sick all week, so I made the mistake of asking him what was wrong....thinking he had a headache or something as a result of his having a cold all week. He soundly told me to leave him the hell alone, and, well, I didn't take that very well. The friend went home.....and as I was talking to my husband in the driveway (he had just returned from taking the friend home) my ex-husband (my son's father) drives up!

To make this long story shorter, the gist of it was my son had called his dad to talk. He was WAY more upset than I had known....I had tried to talk to him before his dad got there, but he just kept pushing me away. In fact, he was overwhelmed by grief and self-doubt over his decision and anxiety and pain were overtaking him. I let him go with his father, because he really needed someone that night to watch over him, but he didn't want it to be me. As I watched them drive away, I sat down on the drive and cried. How could my son do this to me? I had run myself ragged that night...driving them all over the planet so they could have a fun night....it was ME who had been praying for weeks over this relationship, it was ME who had warned his father about how unhealthy this relationship had become....who had spent countless hours fretting over this situation...and in the blink of an eye, my son runs off with his father for the comfort I so longed to give him. I felt so abandoned, unappreciated, rejected and invisible....like the proverbial elephant in the room, that no one hears. Once again, I was second choice. This was the theme of my life, and once again, sitting there in the driveway, crying, I was re-playing old tapes....

Just for once in my life, I wanted to be SOMEONE's first choice! My sister, I always felt, was my Mom's favorite...my oldest daughter in a moment of rage told me she loved her stepmother more than me, I was never picked until last for the jr. high basketball team (are you crying yet?) Blah, blah, blah....pity parties are never a pretty sight. But GOD in his great love and mercy, reached down to me that night and spoke to me in that small, gentle, precious voice he uses to comfort me and said, now you know why I commanded...."Thou shalt have no other gods before me". If anyone deserves to come FIRST, it is CERTAINLY HIM!!! For just a brief moment, I felt like I had a tiny glimpse into the wonderful, beautiful mind of GOD. If anyone DESERVES to come first in our lives it is definitely HIM, and yet how many times do we make him first? Of all things in the universe, GOD has sacrificed the most!! (pawltry in comparison to my driving the circumference of the earth so my kids can socialize). It is GOD ALMIGHTY who sweat BLOOD on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins (as opposed to my measly prayers as I worried over their relationship)...It is GOD ALMIGHTY who SENT HIS OWN SON TO DIE ON THE CROSS FOR OUR SINS to a world of ungrateful, sinful human beings, many of whom will never accept his wonderful gift! (my sense of rejection can't even compare to that, and all I had sacrificed was my pride as I gave my blessing on my son going to his father's house for comfort. How many times does GOD try to reach the unsaved, offering them ETERNAL LIFE, and yet they turn their backs to him and try to find comfort somewhere else?)

I felt both blessed and humiliated by this revelation as I realized how many times in my life I had put GOD in second place! How many times I hadn't turned to HIM first for advice or comfort ....how many times I had been unappreciative of the sacrifice he had made for me....and how many times I had turned my back on his advice and rules (like my son was doing to me) to go my own way! I cried even harder and yet had a profound sense of love, humility and gratitude as I realized that even in spite of my sin, GOD had ALWAYS remained faithful to me, in the fact that he loved me (like he promises in his WORD) and that in spite of my past sins, he took the time to TEACH me something about HIS love and HIS character.

Sitting there in the driveway under that February moon, I realized I needed to start always make GOD my first choice....

And I realized, being "second choice" isn't such a bad place to be after all....


The Lord is at Work!

Just a quick note to say, "Thank You, Lord!"  This weekend has been quite a roller-coaster ride, but I've never for one moment been without God holding my hand.  Praise our AWESOME GOD!  :->

Sunday, February 20, 2005

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