I was pleased to see the following in a Christianity Today article:

“Whereas postmillennialists were habitually optimistic about the course of events, believing that the Almighty was overruling human affairs to establish his kingdom on earth, premillennialists were characteristically pessimistic, supposing that the only remedy for the evils of the day was the return of the king,” historian David Bebbington wrote in The Dominance of Evangelicalism. “Despite their confidence in the power of the gospel to save souls, they put no faith in the secular world around them. The newer school of opinion dropped the earlier evangelical confidence in the steady advance of civilization, replacing it with belief that the present was bad and the future was worse.”

These days many evangelicals talk like premillennialists but act like postmillennialists. They expect the world to get worse and worse but preach the gospel, lobby politicians, and fight for social justice in order to make it a better place. Jim Wallis laments poverty and Jim Dobson worries about homosexuality, but they combat these problems nonetheless. Theology often shapes the way Christians engage their world, but sometimes the world shapes how Christians form their theology. If the trends identified by Wehner and Levin continue, it’s possible evangelicals will see another paradigm shift in their eschatology.

We are living Christian lives that can not decide what the deal is with the future.  Pentecostals are particularly adept at “[talk ing] like premillennialists but [acting] like postmillennialists”.  We believe the church will be victorious but we believe we must make the world a better place.  At some level we can not have it both ways with our current theology.

The recent election shows that our dependence must be on God not on the politicians we like.  Ultimately both the left and the right hold issues that Christians think should be important.  Jim Wallis supports the left (not in an unthinking way).  Jim Dobson supports the right (I am not sure to what degree) as both believe the party they support supports certain Christian values.  As Christians at election times the issue is not between bad and good but either bad and bad or good and good depending on how cynical you are about politicians.

Will the world come to an end because a certain politician gets into power?  The answer is obviously no but we sometimes live our lives as if that is the truth.  Will the devil have a great victory because a certain politician gets into power?  In my years of watching politicians in Australia, USA and UK all sides make a mess somewhere and show the devil victorious either in private lives or public decisions.  This means no party is better than another we are just choosing between politicians.

In the end we are called to pray “Your kingdom come, your will be done.”  God shows up at unexpected times, and Jesus will return at an unexpected time. We need to be faithful, ready and obedient in the interim.

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