I’ve been thinking a bunch about escapism theology lately. This is a perspective that we will be taken out of this world and brought to a much better place at the end of the world. This is the view propagated by the Left Behind series and by many evangelical denominations. I’m starting to see a two pronged problem with it, though.
First, it creates a negative view of the world. This is an ancient way of thinking, that sees all matter as inherently evil. After all, isn’t Satan the god of this world? It’s rather silly really – because even if this is a truism, God’s plan and purpose is to redeem it all. I see this as a process throughout time culminating eschatologically, escapism theology sees this as an end of the world event. This allows escapism to alliviate themselves of a command to care for comma tend the gift of the ecological system that we have been given, which directly lends itself to industiralized Christianity. Whereas in processism, which is much different than process theology, the believers are God’s hands to care for and help return the earth into God’s garden of Eden.
Secondly, escapism allows Christians to make converts instead of making disciples. This way allows people to convert, or start the great race, and then sit down, pray and sing and feel good about themselves. Never growing, no adventure. This is possible because of an urgent desire to get folks “saved”, asking questions likem, “If you were to die tonight…”, which is just creepy really. Why is salvation, which is true life, being motivated only by death? Two words for this approach: stupid, stupid. Of course, process salvationism sees the process of moving from an unimage of Christ to an image of Christ as an eternal process, not an event.
So, I’m not an escapist. I see right now as being just as valuable and important and rewarding, as time spent in heaven, and the new earth.