Religious conspiracy theorists are abounding as birds fall from the sky and dead fish pile up on the shores of the Arkansas River. Is it a sign of the end times? Is the rapture around the corner? Do we need to get out our dusty Left Behind books and re-read details from the Tribulation Force? I bet all those people who bought caves in the desert for the millennium are drooling right now.
Now, I love a good mystery, and if it involves my favorite book in the Bible–Revelation–well, I get all wiggly and hyped up just thinking about deciphering prophecy. But the right side of my brain is telling my inner wacko conspiracy theorist (the left side) to pause, and think about this for a moment.
Could it be that rampant pollution, disease among fish or bird species, hazardous dumping of toxic materials in our oceans, air pollution, chemical pollution, even potential weapon testing could be the true offenders and not God?
I struggle with the idea that Christians are some of the first to point their finger at God. They say this must be an act angry retribution for our sin. It’s God’s iron-fist destroying creation with plagues of fire and brimstone, or smelly fish in this case.
“Personally, I definitely do believe we're in the End of Days, and I believe there is a lot of evidence of that,” Steve Wohlberg, an author and theologian who has written several books about the end of the world, told the New York Daily News.
“I'm an observer of the times,” said Wohlberg, who hosts a nationally syndicated radio show and has appeared on several television documentaries about the Bible and the Apocalypse. “The End of Days will have a parallel to the days of Noah,” he said.
Well Steve, I don’t disagree that certain signs from prophecy appear to be much closer at hand, then say, two-thousand years ago. But if Jesus didn’t know the time or hour, why in the heck are people so obsessed about it? If time is short, than I recommend inviting more people into a relationship with Christ, not scaring them into submission with threats of floods and the sky falling.
So call me more on the grace side in my train of thought, but when I read the scriptures, I find another theme that seems to make more sense. And it is this…sin always has a consequence. And our inherent, genetic compulsion to sin, has affected creation.
So, is it possible that mankind, so sweet and innocent, could be the perpetrator in another case of widespread global damage? Could this punishment they say comes from God, simply be a natural consequence from poor choices made by greedy and self-absorbed men?
When I saw that CNN had interviewed Kirk Cameron and asked for his theory, I almost fell out of my chair. Cameron is indeed a strong Christian, an actor and proponent of spreading the Gospel, but his involvement in the Left Behind movies does not make him an expert on end-time theology.
I loved Cameron’s response to CNN anchor Anderson Cooper: “Well, I first think that they ought to call a veterinarian, not me.”
“You know, I'm not the religious conspiracy theorist go-to guy particularly. But I think it's really kind of silly to try to equate birds falling out of the sky with some kind of an end-times theory. I think people love to define codes and signs of future events. I think people just have a fascination with the religiously mysterious.”
Well said…Kirk Cameron. Well said.
So, here’s my theory…maybe we need to work on treating creation the way God intended, as good stewards, instead of trashing the place and then blaming it all on God.
And all the fish in the sea and birds in the sky, shouted “yippee!”