"...we’re incomplete, undeveloped, short of our potential. We have things to learn. We can always get better at something.... One reason that God doesn’t change is that he doesn’t need any of what we’ve just described. He doesn’t need to grow; he doesn’t need to mature; he doesn’t need to get better at anything." - Olinger
"A lot of people are bewildered, scared, frustrated about all this change... The Scripture doesn’t ignore this problem, and it doesn’t try to 'pep talk' us out of our distress with platitudes. But it does offer two truths that can stabilize us despite the instability of our world." - Olinger
Reposted from August, 2021.
Judging from what I’m seeing, hearing and overhearing lately, a lot of conservative Christians are really worked up right now. Details vary, but the general feeling seems to be that recent developments in religious liberty, LGBTQ trends, mask and vaccine “mandates,” and Afghanistan mean all we hold dear in the U.S. is now collapsing.
With the exception of Afghanistan, most of the alarm seems focused on loss of freedom. On Afghanistan, concerns are appropriately more focused now on the casualties from Thursday’s attack in Kabul. A week ago they ran the gamut from the suffering of Christians there, to national embarrassment and the frustration of our military, to betrayal of allies …to the feeling that Joe Biden is an inhumane monster.
For my part, though I have concerns about cultural trends and the Afghanistan mess, I don’t see our times as unprecedented. The word “perilous” fits, but that’s been true for a pretty long time. I don’t feel the sense of doom that many of my fellow Christians and conservatives seem to feel right now.
I’m sure some would say my problem is naïve optimism, arrogance, ignorance, or bias. That may be part of it, son of Adam that I am—but there are also other factors.
The disaster in Afghanistan isn’t World War II’s battle of Okinawa or Vietnam’s Battle of Ong Thanh. Admittedly, it’s hard to find historical examples of American failures bringing greater peril to American and allied civilians.
I will never forget the third Sunday in March of 2020.
On Saturday, March 14, I attended my first Prophecy Up Close event hosted by The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, in the Milwaukee area. That night, we drove down to Mendota, IL, to prepare for our ministry at Mendota Bible Church.
The fear of coronavirus was spreading quickly, as was the talk of locking down society—a term previously reserved for situations involving either extreme weather or an impending attack. I spoke about Biblical prophecy that day, and told the congregation that this would be a day that none of us would ever forget. And, indeed, it was. I remember reading news stories that afternoon about the emergency rules that would shortly be going into place in Illinois—all the while wondering how they related to our United States Constitution.
We stayed in our hotel that night, planning to meet a pastor for lunch on Monday. We walked over to McDonald’s for a snack to eat while we watched the final presidential primary debate, and there we caught a glimpse of what life would look like under lockdown.
The next day, as we left, our hotel clerk cried. At lunch at our restaurant, our waitress cried. Both of them feared financial ruin. We drove home, relieved to get back to Wisconsin—only to learn that the lockdowns would very quickly be following us north.