“…[W]icked people and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving others and being deceived” (2 Timothy 3:13).

I can barely stand to watch or read the news anymore. Why? More mass shootings, like the recent ones in Chicago and Nairobi. Congressmen who quote the Bible while they take food from the mouths of poor children in working families by cutting funds from the SNAP program (note 1). People who call themselves Christians but actually act exactly the opposite from the way of love Jesus taught and practiced, all the while claiming to be persecuted for their faith (note 2). The new Miss America called a terrorist by racist hatemongers because she has brown skin. Rancor, greed, selfishness, posturing, and on and on.

So I have to wonder what the proponents of a view popular in the 19th and early 20th centuries (the latter was supposed to be “the Christian century”) were thinking. They believed that as a result of the preaching of the gospel by the church, the world and people would keep getting better and better until a literal thousand-year reign of Christ (Revelation 20) marked by perfect peace and righteousness, was ushered in. During those halcyon days, Jesus would reign from heaven, then return to Earth. At that time, Satan, having reared his ugly head one more time, would be defeated.

The view was dealt a death blow, of course, by WWI and WWII, the Holocaust, and nuclear weapons, but even without any of those, the idea (known as “postmillennialism”) would eventually have been shown to be the silly piece of rosy-colored glasses optimism it is. We have actually gotten worse and worse as a species, as evidenced by a brief look at the news any day. And far from things being made better by Christians preaching the gospel, so-called “believers” have actually contributed to the malaise of this nation and the world, with their intolerance, hatred, ignorance, and bigotry. It’s no wonder so many are turning against the Church, but not Jesus.

If our Lord is to be honored, and at least little corners of the world are to be made a bit better, it’s all the more incumbent on those who claim to follow Jesus to live authentically, loving their neighbors as the sign that they love God. I still have hope, a little glowing ember somewhere deep down, that people like that can make a difference, even if they don’t bring in the millennium.

© 2013 Tom Cheatham. All rights reserved.

Note 1 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jim-wallis/just-picking-on-the-poor_b_3956677.html?ir=Religion

Note 2http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unfundamentalistchristians/2013/09/of-cakes-and-christians/