That verse is reason enough for pastors like John Hagee of Cornerstone Church in Texas to declare that Tuesday's 'Blood Moon' marks the beginning of the rapture, surely to happen in the next 2 years during four Blood Moon's we'll experience from 2014-2015. Apparently, a lot of people are buying his book and believe the same thing. I've been wrong before (a lot), and I could be here, but I'm not buying it. I'm sure Pastor Hagee is a good man. I've listen to his sermons on occasion. He's passionate. I like that. But I don't get this mindset.
Christianity is, by nature, weird. This week is the high and holy festival of our weirdness. We believe a man rose from the dead and ascended into heaven after spending a few weeks risen and hanging out with his friends. Their testimony is why we believe what we believe. We believe it to be true because it happened, and they saw it with their eyes, told everyone, and gave their lives for it. Would you give your life for something you weren't sure of? I didn't think so. But this is still weird to the rest of the world. It's okay to be weird because of what we know to be true, what we believe happened.
When we propagate stories like this surrounding the Blood Moon, we become weird in the wrong way. Not weird because we're different. Not weird because we love our neighbor as ourselves. Not weird because we put others first. Weird because we believe something we don't know to be true and what we believe will happen. That's totally different. When we lean toward that weirdness, we lose our voice with those outside of the Church or Christianity. That seems crazy (it's borderline) and like fear-mongering (it is).
I don't think it is our role to lead the Jesus movement based on what we don't know. I think we're supposed to reach out to our culture with what we do know.
- We are made in God's image. I want everyone to know that.
- God loves us. Ditto.
- Jesus died for us to forgive our sins. Isn't that good news?
- Jesus arose to give us victory over our sins. That's great news.
- He wants to restore His image in our lives. Couldn't we all use a makeover.
- He's coming again -because he said so, just not when. So I want to live in such a way that if it's tomorrow, I'm content with how I've lived and in such a way that if it's a million years from now, I'm content with how I left planet earth, Christ's Church, my community, and the people I love.
If we push people to make decisions on unsure data, then those are unsure decisions. If we lead people toward standing on the firm foundation of our faith, they will stand on the Solid Rock. And it'll be a lot less weird.