Written for Second Coming: How Could You Miss It?
Oct 17 2006
I didn't grow up with TV or movies so I never saw the movie Thief in the Night until a few years ago. There were a few clips on Randall Balmer's series Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory put together in the late eighties--early ninties. I don't remember if I read the story form of it or not but it would be the kind of literature that my mother would try to distract us from. Not really what we believed. I'm unclear what "Rapture" is or means. We just had a clean "end of the world" and all who are not ready will be damned. Pretty scary stuff. Just a different slant.
The part of the clip Balmer shows that haunts me is Josh McDowell preaching at those kids telling them all those lies about sex. He says if you sleep with a person you're not sleeping only with that person but with every person that person has ever slept with. The circle was ever-widening. It was his tone, the way he pointed at people and used such a menacing tone. Balmer interviewed him and asked about this tactic of scaring people into heaven. You probably know the answer. It's better to scare them into heaven than have them miss out on it.
The part I don't get is: How can it be genuine? I don't think fear produces genuine love for God and true gratitude for what Jesus did. It just does not mesh. Even the Bible says so. "True love casts out fear." So if you're feeling fearful I guess you don't truly love God. Thus, scaring people into heaven is an irreconcilable oxymoron.