Friday, July 9, 2010

And The Flood Came

During the time I was reading L’Engle’s Many Waters I was thinking about the words of Christ in Matthew 24, "And the flood came and took them all away.”"

While many folks look at the passage and Christ’s words, “Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left…” and think of the Rapture (a subject I’ve drafted some thoughts on that may appear soon), they fail to recognize that the ones “taken away” in Noah’s time, and therefore in this passage, were not believers but unbelievers; but why let a small thing such as the meaning of the text divert our attention?

As I was saying, I was pondering “the flood came and took them all away.” Now what might a flood without water look like? We know that we have God’s promise that He won’t destroy the world by water again, and while yes, we have an image of fire engulfing the existing heavens and earth – (analogical and metaphorical?) – right now I’m interested in what a flood without water might look like.

What takes people away in judgment? The idolatry of materialism? Humanism – the deification of self? Rejection of the image of God? Yes, I’m sure these things do sweep people away.

What else might sweep people away? Preoccupation with news, speculation about the future, political obsession, retaliation using the weapons of the natural man such as vitriolic, sarcasm, and slander? I think so.

The political and social things many Christians think are dangers to the Church are not dangers at all – unless God has died or shrunk or abdicated sovereignty – what are dangers to the Church in American is the way the Church responds to opposition and pressure – to respond in kind is to be swept away by a flood, a flood of fear, of anxiety, of mistrust in Christ.

We are to overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony, we are to be patient and persevere, Rev. 12:11; 13:6 – 10. If we do not learn to respond to opposition in peace and grace we are deluding ourselves into thinking that we will be faithful as pressure increases. We are not called to stand before Caiaphas, or Pilate, or Herod, or Festus, or Caesar by responding in kind, by being taken away by the very waters that are engulfing the world that lies in the wicked one (1John 5:19) – we are called to stand before all men as subjects of the Prince of Peace.

The flood that spews from the mouths of the talking heads engulfing unwary listeners and drawing them into a thought and emotional matrix is one alien to the Christ who sits at His Father’s right hand. The flood of righteous indignation that issues forth from certain “Christian” leaders does not point people to Christ and it does not teach us how to suffer, nor does it call us to koinonia as Christ’s distinctive people – instead this flood bids us use the world’s weapons and ways – as it draws our minds away from Christ and evangelism and koinonia.

What floods do you see around you?

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