The End of Days Craze
November 18, 2009 by Pastor Jeremiah
I haven't seen the latest Doomsday thriller, “2012”, that hit theaters last weekend. Then again, maybe I've seen it a thousand times. I'm guessing it starts with a conspiracy that is met with healthy skepticism, then an earthquake, an explosion, a flood, or invasion happens followed with chaos and totally awesome special effects! It's an old, and familiar plot which should spell disaster for a movie, but somehow “2012” destroyed the box office competition while amassing 65 million in ticket sales this weekend, triple the revenue of the runner up. Why? And what is with our obsession with doomsday films anyways?
Apparently, director Roland Emmerich is on to something. “2012” is his third apocalyptic, end of the world film (“Independence Day” and “The End of Days”). The timing of releasing the film and basing it upon the Mayan 2012 conspiracy was a stroke of genius no doubt, but it still doesn't account for the incredible draw that this movie has received. Movies like “Independence Day” and “Armageddon” did just as well without being attached to a real world global conspiracy. So what's with the end of days craze? Here's some thoughts ...
We're gluttons for punishment
Christians have always obsessed about the end of the world. For good old fashioned Bible thumping Christians, the end of the world represents the day when God will punish the wicked and bring about his long awaited judgment (2 Peter 3, Matthew 24). Watching these doomsday thrillers brings a self righteous satisfaction that says, “I told you so” and “if you had only read the back of the book, then you would know”. It's like watching a screen worthy visual for everyone's favorite book series “Left Behind”. This makes me wonder. Where's the love in all of this? What did Jesus mean when he said, “the meek shall inherit the earth.” Somehow I think he was excluding the self righteous in his use of the term “meek” which should be alarming news to sandwich board protesters of sin everywhere.
The Secularists of the world are no different. They just come at it from a different angle. Even if there is no God out there who we will all answer to, we will still pay for our sins. It's “An Inconvenient Truth”. And so we subject ourselves to Smart Cars and religiously recycle as a way to make penance for our sins against our god the earth. We've washed ourselves with "the green" and we condemn others who aren't green enough. (Dont get me wrong, I recycle and drive a 75mpg scooter). Not to be undone, this “earth god” can dish out his fair share of punishment fire and brimstone style. Thou shalt not emit CO2, or else I will command the sun to melt your flesh with UV rays and cause cancerous cells to grow within your bodies. Save the whales, or else I will release upon the earth “Free Willy III, IV, V ...” (you get the point). M. Night Shyamalan's latest film, “The Happening”, suggested that our mistreatment of the trees may backfire on the human race. Who knew that our friends the trees could release mind bending chemicals inciting suicidal thoughts. I guess it serves us right for inventing the chain saw. The doomsday film serves as a reminder to the secularist that he/she can buy a few years of time back for their great, great grandkids.
In summary, there's one thing that we can all agree on. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23) and “The wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23).
*If you are looking for a Seattle church, we invite you to join us at Westside church this Sunday!