A United Methodist Pastor's Theological Reflections

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory (nikos) through our Lord Jesus Christ." - I Corinthians 15:57


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Evangelical Excessive Baggage


As an evangelical Christian, I have a problem with leading evangelical spokespeople using what I would call "excessive baggage" in making their theological points through the media.

For example, in response to the recent federal judge's ruling on California's Proposition 8, the ban on same sex marriage, Chuck Colson, a leading evangelical had this to say:

"I have warned you for months that our religious freedoms are imperiled. Well, Armageddon may be close at hand if a new court decision holds up."

While Chuck Colson is passionate about the biblical definition of marriage being between a man and a woman which I also endorse, why does he feel the need to throw in "end of times" theological language with the Armageddon reference? All of the sudden, I now want to distance myself from Mr. Colson, not because we disagree on the definition of marriage, but now he has thrown in what I believe to be a non-orthodox view in which he believes that this world will one day be destroyed by a cataclysmic battle.

Sorry for digressing into "end times" talk since the more immediate issue is on the definition of marriage, but the orthodox understanding of the end times envisions a time when through a special act of God's grace (the reappearance of Jesus who will take his rightful rule on earth), God will renew the earth and flood it with righteousness, justice, and peace. Evidently, Mr. Colson, an evangelical, endorses a theology that doesn't affirm that God's creation is good and it fails to affirm God's promise to one day rescue and redeem THIS world. Perhaps, I have misrepresented his use of the word, "Armageddon" but that's my point. Why does he feel the need to throw in the excessive baggage?

So while making a point about one particular subject in the bible, marriage, he opens up a can of worms with the Armageddon reference. And here's the ironic thing in all of this. In affirming the theological understanding that God's creation is good and will one day rescue and redeem it, the biblical writers often use a wedding/marriage metaphor (the complimentary coming together of a man and a woman in a covenant relationship) to explain the end times (the complimentary coming together of heaven and earth forming an eternal covenant relationship.)

And what's even more ironic is that it's time for me to leave now and officiate at a wedding.

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