Apocalyptic fundamentalists just love being relentlessly negative. It all goes back - at least in the Church of God DNA - to our Adventist roots. No need to work to build a better world for the next generation or reform unjust, oppressive structures in society. It's all useless. The only hope is to give up, dive beneath the covers of the Bible, and pretend Jesus is coming again in three to five years or so.
Trouble is, it was three to five years away back in the 1950s too, then the sixties, then... well, you get the idea.
And between the "ain't it awful" now and the magic make-believe millennium then lies the Great Tribulation. War, the Four Horsemen of Revelation. You have been warned!
Which explains why outsiders reading The Good News, flagship publication of the United Church of God, have often been puzzled by its title. Here's an article featured in the latest issue. Good news? Not likely.
Yes, dear old Tom Robinson is beating the drum again. How does he know this stuff? In a word, prophecy. The same mistaken approach to prophecy that fed all those incredibly wrong expectations in the 1970s when the Worldwide Church of God assured everyone it was all going to happen "in your lifetime." 19-year time cycles, gun laps, 1972, Petra, 1975.
The track record - along a well worn rut that Tom and the GN crew still jog zombie-like each month - obviously isn't good. The loudest of the prophecy buffoons of a half-century past have gone to their graves, along with their predecessors in the Millerite movement (1844 anyone?) We're now just waiting for Rod to succumb to the way of all flesh. That could be in three to five years, but possibly earlier!
Whatever else the prophetic parts of the Bible are, they're not predictive. Have any of these clowns actually bothered to do some serious reading on the nature of ancient apocalyptic literature?