Keeping Your Eye on the Big Picture

wholeearthOver the last few weeks a theme has been coming up more and more, at least to me.  That is the idea of Adventists having a vested interest in things getting worse.  Therefore, they overemphasize “bad” things and underemphasize “good” things.  For example, when we find out that the crime rate may have gone down in a particular region, we hear nothing of it, but when we find out that particular storms are on the rise, they find themselves in our sermons and writings.

Interestingly, the last economic crash that began last year had even official Adventist websites and the like predicting that this was the very end, we were told that this was the end of everything.  Let alone the non-official sources that stated with certaintly that this crash was the begining of the very end of time.

And then when things blow over, we hear nothing from these prophets of doom.  I can remember one woman who told me that before Y2K the government was soon going to shut down the borders between the states.  We had to get out now!  Then when such far fetched news turned out to be false, she said nothing, but she did have another prediction about the government that she would tell anyone who would listen.

This kind of thing makes us all have “end of the world” fatigue and just give up on the whole thing.  Our ignorant rantings about what we know not and then our silence when  our illogical and incorrect predictions turn out to be false has created a culture where we either don’t care about the end or we are addicted to the charge of the next big thing.

What is of great interest to me, is how these predictions and prophets often lose track of the Big Picture.  We lose track of the Great Controversy and God’s quest to right all wrongs when we focus on these supposed end time events.   Many lose sight of who predicted what when we bounce from supposed end time events to other ones.  We sometimes end up quoting those who hate while we set aside the books that we say we believe.  To put it more bluntly, some of us end up reading anti-semetic sources who preach about a global economic plan by certain ethnic groups rather than the writings that have been placed in our hands, namely the Bible and the gift of Ellen White.

Perhaps it is time to get the big picture back.  Certainly there are indications that we are nearing the end, but every prediction by some crackpot is not such an indication.  Maybe if we kept the Big Picture we would be less likely to jump from false prediction to false prediction until we end up in an agnostic haze of wondering if the end really will come.

The Actions of the Lamb-Horned Beast

Preachers are called to tell the truth. In this respect they are in the line of the Biblical prophets who had to tell truth to power. They had to say, like Nathan, thou art the man.

Bailout of the Super-Rich

This past week, the Senate and the House of the United States rushed together to push through a 700 billion dollar bill to support wall street and avert a collapse of the United States economy. The bill would help to bailout Wall Street executives who had engaged in unregulated speculations and had lost. To keep them from going down, the democratic congress and the republican executive branches rushed to essentially place a tab on the middle class to pay for a bailout of the super rich.

This past week the United States has demonstrated once again the wisdom of the early Adventists in calling it a lamb-horned beast. The democratic congress and the republican executive branches of the United States government rushed to place a tab of 700 billion dollars on the backs of the middle classes of America to bailout the super-rich who engaged in speculative practices that has placed the economy in peril.

Leaders Passed the Bill

As noted, the Republican president, the democratic house, the vast majority of the senate, as well as both major political party nominees for president all supported this bill. A bill that made no mandates for helping those who could lose their homes. Some say that those who lose their homes should lose their homes, but the super rich who created “investments” out of worthless mortgages, we assume, should be shielded from the results of their actions.

Speaking like a Dragon

The lamb horned beast has horns like a lamb, but speaks like a dragon. (Revelation 13:11) Certainly it is a dragon that would support the rich on the backs of the middle classes fend for themselves. But the Bible is true. In the book of James we have a prophecy of the end where the gold and the silver is rusted out. Those who take advantage of the poor and the middle class workers will not escape the punishment of God. The democratic congress or republican executive branches may not do anything, but the “cries of the poor are entered into the ears of the Lord of Hosts.” (James 5:4).

Socialism for the Super-Rich

It is interesting that the government will pass this socialist plan for the super rich while extolling the virtues of the “capitalist market” for the poor and middle class. It is Babylon. But we can be certain that God won’t be silent forever. Revelation 18 reminds us that the merchants of the world will morn at the downfall of Babylon. They will morn because there is no one to buy their goods. They also morn because they were made rich by the Babylon. (Revelation 18:15).

We have some challenging days ahead including a time of trouble such as there has never been (Daniel 12:1), but let us always remember that word that God has given to us as a people “Babylon is fallen” and let us look forward to that house not made with hands. (2 Corinthians 5:1)

The Signs of the End

The economic problems of the United States as well as the “Bible Prophecy Teachers” who have predicted the demise of the United States economy in September 2008, all have given SabbathPulpit a boost in traffic. As I noted in a previous post, people are wanting to see what the Bible says about the perilous times we live in.

Forgetting the Clear Signs

This is a good thing to go to our spiritual resources to seek to understand the time in which we live. What is interesting however, is that some of the plainest “signs of the times” are seldom referred to by these “Bible Prophecy Teachers.”

Matthew 24:7 says that there will be famines and pestilences and earthquakes in diverse places. While there are some who question whether the increase we see has to do with more sensitive instruments, there does seem to be an increase in the number of all three. The number of earthquakes seem to be on the rise. Luke 21:25 speaks of sea and waves roaring. Here we seem to have an increase in hurricanes and who can forget the Tsunamis. And let us not forget Matthew 24:6 which points to wars and rumors of wars. All of these things point to the blessed return of our Lord.

Yes Economic Distress

There is data in the scriptures that point to economic distress. James 5:1-4 tells us that the rich who hoard the wealth and take advantage of the laborer will be punished. Revelation 18:11, 17 tells us that the merchants will not be able to sell their goods.

While that is true, trying to pinpoint when this will happen is just as problematic as trying to date when the next war will be. God has given us certain benchmarks, let us read and understand those, and let us stop trying to invest our speculations with Biblical authority.