Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Fayette | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Warren | Webster
Davis Motor Sales banner ad

Keeping the Faith - Hope over Hysteria

ronniemcbrayer300 orangeKENTUCKY (10/27/13) - Seventy five years ago this week, millions of ordinary Americans were convinced that the world was coming to an end. They came to this conclusion, not because Hitler was rattling his sabers in Europe and the entire world teetered on the verge of war. Rather, these fears were fueled by a broadcast aired from a small CBS radio studio in New York City.

Orson Welles took to the airways on October 30, 1938 as the usual host of the Mercury Theater, and using the science fiction book, War of the Worlds as his script, described in dramatic and fictional detail – with that unmistakable voice of his – how Martians had invaded Earth, landing in Grover Mills, New Jersey.

There were 32 million radio listeners that evening, and none with 24-hour news, Twitter, Google, or text messages to learn from the world around them. Thus, the nation was thrown into a terrifying hysteria that simply could not be duplicated today. Telephone lines were clogged; police stations were overrun; anxious mobs filled the streets; churches ran over with impromptu prayer meetings; and citizens barricaded and armed themselves.

There is a Christian equivalent to this kind of unnerving fear and panic. It pours from radio and television stations, podcasts and pulpits, from books, periodicals, and websites. The oft-presented Christian version of the Apocalypse is initiated not by a Martian invasion, but by Jesus’ violent and destructive return to earth.

“Jesus is coming back!” they say. “There will be few survivors, but if you do survive the initial onslaught, you will be left behind to suffer the vengeance of the glory of the Lord, as he tramples ‘out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored.’” These Orson Welleses of our day sell millions of fictional books, movies, computer games, CDs, audios, videos, T-shirts, calendars, and greeting cards with their shrink-wrapped, pre-packaged, fear-mongering.

Personally, I’m very well acquainted with this kind of mania. Growing up in the revivalistic tradition, almost weekly the pastor would tell us how the universe was about to come unwrapped and how very few of us were going to make it through the Jesus-invasion. As a self-centered child and teenager, I felt that if Jesus had waited all these centuries to show up on earth at this particular blip in history just to interrupt my life, it was fairly discourteous on his part to do so.

As I have gotten older, however, I see a more pronounced difficulty with constant “end-of-the-world” preaching. Entire congregations of people become so obsessively convinced that we are living in the final chapter of human history – on the last page, if not within the last sentence – that they begin to give away the future.

Ultimately, it is extremely difficult to give one’s self to today, to incarnate God’s love for the world, to alleviate the grotesque levels of suffering on this planet, or to practice justice, peace-making, and grace when one’s attitude is, “Why bother? It’s all going to burn up in ashes any minute now.”

Unbalanced apocalypticism simply makes it easy to give up on today. It fosters a view of the future that is dark and sinister. It creates a kind of apathy and hopelessness toward the planet. We become little more than caricatures of today’s politicians who choose to kick the worst problems down the street for another generation to wrestle with, long after they have left office. We become freakish doomsday preparers, who misunderstand that the best preparation is joining God in his transforming work rather than watching the clock for the end of the world.

No, “God is not slow about keeping his promises,” but the truth is that Jesus will probably not return today, and it’s not likely he will return in our lifetime. Therefore, we have to be more than prepared for his imminent return. We must be prepared to persevere. We must trade in our misapplied hysteria for living out a very real hope, the “Blessed Hope.” We must learn to live in the actual here and now, not the hypothetical tomorrow.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, pastor, and author of multiple books. You can read more and receive regular e-columns in your inbox at www.ronniemcbrayer.me.


Disclaimer: The content supplied by columnists and letters to the Editor on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such content, statement, or opinions therein. SurfKY News does not necessarily adhere to or endorse content provided by outside non-staff sources.

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

Posted on 2/2/14
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
3/12 - 718 switched from reg 2 to hopkins only
Posted on 1/31/2014
2/6/2014 - posted
447 on Feb 15th (Val ad ended) switched to kid books
2/18 - 553 clicks
CHANGED TO SIMPLE AD ON 2/19 619 HITS
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
3/12 - 718 switched from reg 2 to hopkins only
Posted on 1/31/2014
2/6/2014 - posted
447 on Feb 15th (Val ad ended) switched to kid books
2/18 - 553 clicks
CHANGED TO SIMPLE AD ON 2/19 619 HITS
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
3/12 - 718 switched from reg 2 to hopkins only
Posted on 1/31/2014
2/6/2014 - posted
447 on Feb 15th (Val ad ended) switched to kid books
2/18 - 553 clicks
CHANGED TO SIMPLE AD ON 2/19 619 HITS
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
3/12 - 718 switched from reg 2 to hopkins only
Posted on 1/31/2014
2/6/2014 - posted
447 on Feb 15th (Val ad ended) switched to kid books
2/18 - 553 clicks
CHANGED TO SIMPLE AD ON 2/19 619 HITS

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

April 16, 2014 18917

UPDATE- Sheriff's Office Following Leads…

in Top Stories by Taylor Riley, SurfKY News Reporter
April 14, 2014 6359

U.S. Bank Hanson on Lockdown Due to Bomb…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
April 14, 2014 5260

Pedestrian Killed During Two Vehicle…

in Top Stories by Chris E. King
April 17, 2014 3475

KSP Nabs St. Charles Man Wanted by U.S.…

in Top Stories by Trooper Stu Recke
April 15, 2014 3040

Police Searching for Sureway's 'Baby…

in Top Stories by Taylor Riley, SurfKY News Reporter

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

April 14, 2014 5260

Pedestrian Killed During Two Vehicle…

in Top Stories by Chris E. King
April 17, 2014 3475

KSP Nabs St. Charles Man Wanted by U.S.…

in Top Stories by Trooper Stu Recke
April 15, 2014 3040

Police Searching for Sureway's 'Baby…

in Top Stories by Taylor Riley, SurfKY News Reporter
April 15, 2014 2699

Multi-Agency Investigation Leads to Drug…

in Top Stories by Lori Blakeley
April 15, 2014 1045

State Approves $500K for Hopkins Archery…

in Top Stories by Rebecca Hanchett

Most Read Stories from Owensboro

April 14, 2014 2066

Grow Garden Grow - Spring Has Sprung

in News by Barbara Cecil Russ
April 15, 2014 1607

Owensboro Police Investigate Auto Accident

in News by Michael Hathaway
April 15, 2014 1269

Owensboro Parks Offers Tennis Lessons

in News by Britni Bunn
April 15, 2014 885

Happenings and Meetings Owensboro

in News by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News
April 14, 2014 670

Owensboro Health Hosts Tours for…

in Top Stories by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

April 16, 2014 2898

Sheriff's Deputies Nab Central City…

in Top Stories by Sheriff Curtis McGehee
April 14, 2014 2517

MCC Staff Shares Good News with…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News Reporter
April 15, 2014 1904

'Walk Right Back' An Everly Brother's…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News Reporter
April 15, 2014 1739

Local MCHS Students Train at Job Corps

in Top Stories by Karen Robinson
April 15, 2014 1417

Thumbpickers Unite at Mose Rager Day

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News Reporter

SurfKY News Group, Inc. Central Office & Printing Division
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431  •  270.452.2249 (fax)
Main Number: 270.452.2727 (phone)  •  Printing Division Direct Line: 270.821.8600 (phone)

SurfKY Owensboro News Bureau
920 Frederica St. / Suite 210  •  Owensboro, KY 42301  •  270.683-8060 (phone)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social 06social 21social 22social 04social 03