What is the Good News during the Age of Trump?

What is the Good News during the Age of Trump?

I was taught at a very young age, as long as I can remember, what the “good news” was. In fundamental Christianity, it is a central concept in which all others branch from. This “good news” is indoctrinated in us, and we are told to go out into the world and preach the good news. It is our reason for existence, our life purpose, and where we find hope to make life worth living.

So, what is this “good news” that we are supposed to preach to the world?

Simply stated, and yet theologically complicated, the “good news” is nicely tied up in one verse, John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten son, so that whosoever believeth in him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” The good news is that we can have eternal life, and not go to hell after we die if we believe in him. In order to prove our belief, one must be saved, which means asking Jesus into your heart, confessing you’re a sinner and living your life following Jesus.

We are also taught in fundamentalism that those who are saved will take part in the rapture. The rapture is when Jesus takes all the believers up to heaven “in the blink of an eye” and leaves all other people, including atheists, Muslims, Buddhists, etc.) to suffer on earth during a seven-year tribulation period on earth. This tribulation would be filled with the worst torture, starvation, disease, plagues, and wars the world has ever known.

This “good news” I was taught was downright horrifying. I remember coming home from school when I was 6 years old and no one was home. I thought for sure my family was raptured, and I was left behind. I can’t tell you the terrifying panic I felt as a little girl. This fear was always with me. Always afraid I would be left behind.

I believed in the rapture until I was 30 years old. My hope lived in my belief that “any day now” Jesus would come to get me. I could escape and leave this shitty world behind. God was going to destroy it anyway. The worse things got, the closer we were to the coming of Jesus. There was no reason to try and change the world, or bring peace, heal the nations…my central purpose was to get others saved so they wouldn’t be left behind.

However, I didn’t really believe this. It brought me fear and sadness. It didn’t bring hope or promise. Did I love others more than God did? I don’t want anyone destroyed or any humans to suffer. I don’t want anyone to hurt. As I delved into my own spirit, I began to see a different ending. What if there was no rapture? What if the world was going to get better? What if the message in Revelation was, in fact, restoration of creation?

Now this, would be good news.

These questions led me to start over. I hit the reset button on my faith, and one of the first books I read was Barbara Rossing’s scholarly critique of the rapture in her best selling book, The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation. Contrary to the premillennial dispensationalist vision of the Bible and geopolitical events, Rossing argues that Christians are called to a renewal of the earth, not to await its destruction. We pray this in the Lord’s Prayer: “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” She writes, “The Lamb is leading us on an exodus out of the heart of empire, out of the heart of addiction to violence, greed, fear, an unjust lifestyle, or whatever holds each of us most captive. It is an exodus we can experience each day”.

During this reset, I had to unlearn everything and become a blank slate. I started reading the Gospels. Specifically, the words in red, the words of Jesus. I knew there were mistranslations. I knew there were misinterpretations, so my rule was to test what I was reading against my own spirit. If a story or message was present in at least three of the gospels, there was a pretty good chance it was a message I could rely on.

The overwhelming message of the gospels is to preach the good news. However, the good news was completely different from what I was taught in fundamentalism. Jesus explains what the good news is to his disciples before he died. Jesus preached the good news while he was alive. The good news was not wrapped up in his death, or his murder at the hands of the religious empire.

Simply stated, and not theologically complicated, the good news was that the kingdom of heaven is near.

It was a proclamation of freedom for the prisoners and recovery for the blind, to set the oppressed free. Jesus says the kingdom of heaven is within us. This place of unconditional love, healing, peace, forgiveness, and restoration for all people is found within us. This Kingdom begins in our mind. It is the light we seek. It is the world we desire. It is our dream and it is the age to come.

Currently, in the age of Trump, there are many of us that are experiencing immense grief. Every issue we know in our hearts to progress toward for humanity is being threatened or destroyed. Healing disease, loving and caring for the poor, protecting the planet from climate change, world peace, unity, equality,…seems that dream is dying. We are experiencing the death of a dream. However, I have realized the dream is not dead.

The age to come will come, perhaps by different means than we thought. I believe in the Kingdom of Heaven. I believe in the age to come where the outer becomes the inner. Our inner world, our inner kingdom will become the outer world. We must still believe. We must bring it about, in our words and actions. In the end, we win. Restoration of all people wins. Restoration of all creation wins.  The good news is for all people.

To be a believer means to believe in the coming of the Kingdom. It means to believe that God will go after every lost sheep until all of creation bows in peace, unity, and love for all.

Hope is rising. The kingdom is growing stronger. Our light within is getting brighter as we connect, and resist. We will overcome the darkness. It is the way and the truth. It is life.

The age to come.


This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. I’m a little puzzled by what you are saying. Am I to understand you don’t then believe that Jesus will return and the dead in Christ shall rise and meet Him? I’m just confused about what you are saying. I’m not picking a fight I’m truly confused. I wasn’t just taught that belief, I found that in the Bible for myself. The WORD rapture is not in the Bible. I’m going to dig into my Bible because I’m concerned that people are trying to minimize the very importance OF being born again. I have a huge problem with these ginormous churches preaching the prosperity doctrine, like Joel Osteen. I have never heard him say that we are sinners and must accept Jesus as our Savior in order to be saved. I will believe that as the truth forever. If Jesus isn’t going to return and us children of His won’t be meeting Him in the sky, like the Bible plainly says, what’s the use of being saved? No one would NEED to believe in Him . Hell is a real place. Do I misunderstand you to say there is no hell ? I’m just wondering. Thank you for answering! God bless you!

    1. Dear Robin,
      I could write a book answering your questions, which I am :). I don’t take the Bible literally. I believe it is symbolic, and metaphorical, mythological. Ever since I could read it, I read more into each story. It’s the way my brain works, I read into everything. I’ve been told I’m too deep far to many times to count, although most writers, artists, philosophers are.
      My reply I don’t believe you’d appreciate or think about because it’s clear from your post that you stand firm in what you believe.
      If you would like to begin searching answers for yourself with an open mind, you have to be ready for what you find.
      Begin by reading about John Nelson Darby. The man who invented the rapture in the mid 1800s. Early Christians had no concept of it. Start there.
      I would follow Jesus and his teachings even if there was nothing in it for me, so when you say That no one would NEED to believe in him. I don’t feel that I do. I WANT to.
      If you ever want to dive into my concept of hell or anything else rather, feel free to email me, I’d be glad to have an open dialogue. However, right now may not be the time to do that because your mind is pretty closed. And that’s ok😘.

  2. Thank you for your words of inspiration and comfort – they are a bright light in these often depressing and confusing times!

  3. I keep bouncing back and forth between the fundamental Baptist Church beliefs and a common sense Bible based belief. I grew up with the prior. My mother often said that if you raise your children in the way of the Lord, your children will not depart from it as adults. I know she loves me… I do fear I am a disappointment to her….. Dad asked me about my religious beliefs in front of mom. I told dad that I had a hard time believing that God would harm the righteous of most any religion since they were raised in the righteous ways of their loving parents. I could go on and someday I may. I am torn… I lean towards love and charity and the giving and receiving of it. If anyone wishes to help me, please pray that I will think twice prior to being so judgemental. Love to all

  4. I cannot thank you enough for this!!! I have been having such a hard time lately with so many questions of why. And this has helped me so much and took a little weight off my shoulders and put some things into a clearer perspective. One I was so questioning if God was full of grace and he made all in his image was how could Muslims, Jewish, etc be condemned. Would be not show them mercy as grace as well? They are not very different than us. So thank you again for this, it made a substantial difference for me. God bless!

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