Friday, October 21, 2011

Coincidence? Me - sa not know

Why is it that you may never read or hear about a particular subject but the moment you do, or the moment your brain actually takes notice, that you’ll hear or read about this subject again within a week? This happens to me all the time! Tonight it happened and I’m wondering if it was a mere coincidence.

The past 6 months or so I have been reading The Left Behind series by Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye. For Christians and non-believers alike, these books are a great read, exciting and Biblically based. Don’t be distracted as I was on the sappy romance of book 2 or 3 (can’t remember which) as this fades and is less a prevalent story. I’ve taken a hiatus from the original series because I have to order the next book from another library and delved into the prequels (they were at my library). I just finished book 2 of the prequels and got online to check my email etc. I also wanted to see how popular the Left Behind series was in relation to other fictions series.

My email contained one of those hoax emails asking for signatures to stop a petition to the FCC trying to eliminate Christian broadcasting. They had a list of names of well-known Christian speakers including Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, Charles Stanley, and David Jeremiah and how they would no longer be broadcasted. I heard of all the others but not David Jeremiah. I Googled this so-called petition and of course it’s been circulating in various forms for 8 years now, the one I received since 2008.

So my search about the popularity of the Left Behind series led me to the New York Times Best Sellers list*. It didn’t help much with my question but as I scrolled the top-sellers in the various categories many were familiar: The Help, the recent book turned blockbuster movie; Heaven is for Real, about the little boy who recounted descriptions of a visit to heaven; The Five Love Languages, after 15 years still at the top of the list for Paperback Advice and Miscellaneous, which is awesome. At the top of Hardcover Advice and Miscellaneous there was those names again David Jeremiah and Joel Osteen. Joel Osteen I knew, young curly haired guy, never really listened to him much when I’ve seen him on TV cause he never really caught my attention. But who is David Jeremiah? So I looked up his new book.

The title isn’t very revealing: “I Never Thought I’d See the Day!” The day for what? I soon found out that is a book regarding the changes that have occurred over the last couple of decades and how Christians are to respond to these changes. As I downloaded a sample of the introduction to the book I was surprised to find it dedicated to none other than Tim and his wife Beverly LaHaye. So…. I finish a book about the last days as prophesied in the Bible, check my email and read a fabricated and totally unrelated story about a Christian teacher I’ve never heard about, Google about aforementioned book, end up on the New York Times Best-sellers list and realize this Christian teacher is on the list for books he’s written about the end times and has dedicated his latest book to the very author whose book I had just finished reading … Hmm coincidence?

I believe there are some things that are coincidences and some that are not. This one? hmmm not so sure. Is it God’s way of telling me I need to get me this book by David Jeremiah? You must realize, after reading the Left Behind series now in succession over the past few months, and reading the book of Revelation as I finally finished the Bible from cover to cover in July, I’ve been a little on the paranoid side. Maybe paranoid is not the right word, but my interest in end-time prophecy is piqued as it has been at times over most of my life, okay maybe a little paranoid :). I did an personal study in my early twenties on the end-times, and have a read a few books on the subject over the years. I try to keep up on current world events and how they fit into the picture of the end times but it seems the more I learn, the more there is to learn. There are two subjects that I try not to think about too much: end-time prophecy and abortion. The latter because it breaks my heart to the point where I cry my eyes out in desperation and the former because it makes me feel like I’m going crazy.

This book seems to deal less with the changes in our culture that are indicative of the end-times drawing near, but more of how Christians are to combat and remain true to God’s word in a society that is becoming increasingly God-less. I use God-less instead of godless because there is no lack of gods in our culture, both implicitly and explicitly worshipped. Maybe what I really need to be reading about is that despite how depressed and often angry I feel pretty well every time I read the news headlines, that God is in control, and that there is hope. I focus on the age-old questions: “Aren’t You as angry as I am about the constant defaming of Your name? How much more can You tolerate? Are coming today Lord? Is it next week? Next year? Jesus, I know even You don’t know the exact hour or even the day but You must know if it’s soon? Will we go with You right away or are we to endure some or all of the Great Tribulation?”

Instead I should be asking “Lord, what can I do for You today to further Your kingdom and bring You glory?”

*When reading the list of the best sellers I was surprised that so many Christian titles were listed, particularly in the non-fiction and advice categories. While quickly scanning the children’s best sellers lists I was taken aback to see Richard Dawkins as an author. Richard Dawkins? The evolutionist Richard Dawkins? The atheist who’s life work has been to elevate science and obliterate religion? I’m amazed by the disconnect of having numerous Christian authors peppering the “advice” category of best sellers and yet the “children’s chapter books” has one of the most anti-religious, essentially anti-Christian authors of our time. Who’s indoctrinating now? It brings much credence to David Jeremiah’s first chapter of I Never Thought I’d See the Day “When Atheists Would Be Angry.” It makes me fearful for the generation that is coming after mine.