10.09.2011

Singularity

http://withfriendship.com/images/h/37499/Singularity-wallpaper.jpg


In keeping with the theme verse of this blog, I thought I would direct your attention to this blog by Pastor Shawn Brace. He highlights some of the key circumstances that lead him to the conclusion that we're rapidly approaching this world's singularity.

Do you agree?


Excelsior

8 comments:

  1. I do agree; please explain just what you mean by singularity, tho... I know several different meanings/contexts for that word and can't get one to totally make sense in this situation.

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  2. There are some things that I disagree with, however, I will start with the positives.

    Yes, Christ is coming soon, and the convergence of the church revivals and the secular world’s opinions are indicative of this. As the pendulum swings back and for, it is at the center of the arc that Satan can impersonate Christ because the stage of the Christian and secular world is set for this deception. He refers to this as the “ripening of the world and the church.”
    I would also agree that his fourth reason for these events is spot on. The fact that the world has filled up the cup of God’s wrath is why God can know longer protect the world form the results of sin. (It is not that He is “punishing the world” however, but that He must withdraw His protecting hand, letting the four winds of strife come upon the world.)

    In the beginning he suggests that we should not talk about the imminent return of Christ because it could cause people to fear. Much could be said in response to this, but I will leave a simple analogy: the ostrich sticks its head in the sand when danger is coming.
    His second point is that current events should not be the primary barometer to measure the nearness of Gods return. The primary barometer is the fulfillment of prophecy as revealed in the Word of God. The events surrounding us (political, economical, spiritual, natural, etc.) are a large part of the fulfilling of prophecy, and therefore should be a prominent subject of our study.
    According to Shawn, his main objection is that, “I believe Christ has been waiting for us for the last 165+ years, not the other way around.” There is a measure of truth to this, Ellen White talks about Christ waiting for His character to be manifest in His people. However, God is not waiting for us to get our act together. He is especially not waiting specifically on the SDA church. While the “patience of the Lord is salvation,” there will come a time, that only God the Father knows, and then He will come for who ever is ready to receive him. It is not up to us to “finish the work” and “be perfect” so that Christ can return.

    I enjoyed reading his thoughts and I am glad that he himself is aware of the current events.

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  3. First the easy question ;)

    One definition of a singularity is that it is the end of a geodesic. If we let the trajectory of normal life on this earth approximate a geodesic, then I believe events point to a swiftly approaching singularity.

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  4. Shaila, thank you for commenting! I appreciate the motivation to think this through a little deeper. Here's part 1 of my response.

    I'm not Shawn and I don't pretend to speak for him. However, in light of the issues you raised, an attempt at clarification is in order.

    1. I don't think Shawn is suggesting that we should not talk about the imminent return of Christ, but rather that we shouldn't use physical events, "signs of the times," as our primary motivation for falling in love with Jesus. I don't read him to be advocating that we stick our heads in the sand; just that there is a more compelling reason to surrender our hearts to Jesus than earthquakes and tsunamis. Does this mean that God doesn't use the latter to get our attention? Of course not. But is there a danger that focusing overmuch on those catastrophes distorts the gospel we're called to present to the world?

    2. Your second and third concerns seem to be tied together, so I'll address them as such. I haven't read Shawn's book "Waiting at the Altar," so I don't think it's fair to try to clarify his views without really knowing what they are. Just reading this blog however, I don't think he intends to communicate a works-based explanation of the necessary conditions for the Second Coming. My explanation, with which I think Shawn would concur is this.

    Does Jesus call us to a high standard? Yes. (Mat. 5:48) Will His last-day church meet those high expectations? Yes. (Eph. 5:27, Rev. 19:7) Does she have a part to play in the beautification process? Of course. (Rev. 3:18, Mat. 22:11-12) Is she primarily responsible making herself ready? No. (Rev. 19:8, Isa. 61:10)

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  5. part 2


    Mrs. White makes it clear the Christ could have come during the last 165+ years. Why didn't He?

    "Had the purpose of God been carried out by His people in giving to the world the message of mercy, Christ would, ere this, have come to the earth, and the saints would have received their welcome into the city of God" Testimonies VI, 450.

    “Had Adventists, after the Great Disappointment in 1844, held fast their faith, and followed on unitedly in the opening providence of God, receiving the message of the third angel and in the power of the Holy Spirit proclaiming it to the world, they would have seen the salvation of God, the Lord would have wrought mightily with their efforts, the work would have been completed, and Christ would have come ere this to receive his people to their reward." EW 299.

    "For forty years did unbelief, murmuring, and rebellion shut out ancient Israel from the land of Canaan. The same sins have delayed the entrance of modern Israel into the heavenly Canaan. In neither case were the promises of God at fault. It is the unbelief, the worldliness, unconsecration, and strife among the Lord’s professed people that have kept us in this world of sin and sorrow so many years." Evangelism, 695, 696

    Etc.

    I think your point is that there will be a point in time at which Christ will come, and will not delay any longer. I think Shawn's point is simply that Christ is going to come when His people are ready. These two conclusions are not irreconcilable; Jesus predicted that there would come a point when both the grapes and the grain were ripe, and at that point, the earth would be harvested. (Rev. 14:14-19) Ultimately, it is our actions that determine whether we are ripe grain, an expectant bride, radiant in Christ's righteousness, or whether we are ripe grapes, an unready harlot, clinging to our own righteousness.

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  6. Mmm... very well put, Joel.

    Thank you for taking the time to clarify in such depth. You brought out several underlying nuances that fill out the picture.
    I can certainly agree with your conclusions.

    The last point of the bride being ready is such an important one, but very touchy. I have frequently battled for the right words with which to cloak this idea. Sometimes it is presented as works oriented with the bride needing to get her act together, and other times she may simply carry on because there is no hope of reaching "perfection."
    Balance and correct scriptural understanding is the key; and you brought that out very well.

    Thanks for thought provoking posts! : )

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  7. ok, but what does it mean to be ready as a people? There are a few of Shawn's aforementioned books in the church health food store...I suppose I should buy one and read it. But there is something I can do: to be ready, and to help others be ready too.

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  8. These questions just get harder and harder!

    I don't know. This implicates a lot of questions, about the concept of the remnant--it's composition, and timing, about corporate versus individuals, about what constitutes readiness. . .

    Here are some thoughts I have, but I'm afraid they fall far short of answering your question[s].

    I think a timeless definition of the remnant is "those who are seeking for truth, that they may obey it in the love of it." (2T 105) A more specific definition of the remnant of the last days is Revelation 12:17's description: those "which keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus."

    "The work of preparation is an individual work. We are not saved in groups." GC 490

    And I would agree with you--our own personal condition, the strength of our connection with Jesus should be our greatest concern.

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