As many of my readers know, I used to be a screaming conservative street preaching ‘it’s not religion it’s a relationship’ ethical black and white liberal = evil Catholic bashing Christian pop music listening shine-Jesus-shine singing puritan paperbacks reading borderline-Fundie. While there is much about that background for which I am grateful, I’ll never forget the day I was sitting in a bus (prayerfully) listening to a Brueggemann lecture on the OT portrayal of God.
“Sometimes, we need to make accommodations so they can be part of the community,” he says. At a recent service, a woman walked to the front of the church and took the microphone. “She can’t talk well and she stumbles, but she thanked everyone for praying for her brother,” Beck says. Sometimes he must remind her not to put her fingers in the common Communion cup.
LaHaye and Jenkins take a literal interpretation of prophecies found in the Book of Revelation. They believe the antichrist will surface on the world stage at some point, but neither see Obama in that role. “I’ve gotten a lot of questions the last few weeks asking if Obama is the antichrist,” says novelist Jenkins. “I tell everyone that I don’t think the antichrist will come out of politics, especially American politics.”
So much focus on striving to win always leaves me uneasy. If the last shall be first, I find myself wondering, how do you defend years of training to go for the gold? Most of us know what it means to want to be the best at school or in the office, or to get our way in relationships. These yearnings don’t generally bring out our most loving or generous selves.