A weeks ago a fine young Priest wrote to me seeking advice on a subject often overlooked by the Anglican Communion: that of eschatology.
Since writing on this sounded like hard work I raised the matter with Brother Richthofen, and was fascinated to learn eschatology is actually the study of the times referred to in Scripture as the last days, a period known to Learned Theologians like as myself as “the end of the world”.
When I hear things like this I can’t help but be impressed with what young people are learning in Seminary these days: in my time we wouldn’t have dreamed of studying anything so advanced, or which didn't involve sports and hating Roman Catholics. Pressing Brother Richthofen for more information, he made the excellent suggestion I ask Evangelical Eric to prepare a me a paper of the topic, as he explained those of poor Eric’s persuasion are obsessed with it.
Eric took to the job like a fish to water; particularly as this was the first task he’d been given since joining us that didn’t involve pain or humiliation. In less than a day he produced more than a dozen pages. Naturally I didn’t bother reading his work too closely, since I am far too important a Teacher to waste time on anything a mere Curate produces, but one startling point really did catch my eye: one day Jesus will come again.
At first I was inclined to doubt this, as it’s not something any of my fellow orthodox leaders have ever mentioned, but the more I looked at the Bible references Eric had included the more I had to admit that it really does look like the concept of a “Second Coming” in some form really is a Biblical notion.
Now when you think about this it really is a marvellous concept: for all these years I’ve thought we are called to despise and preach against apostate liberal Sodomites because it’s such a fun thing to do, when the truth is we should do this because Our Lord will be coming again, and we obviously don’t want Him finding out any of ‘those sort of people’ have anything to do with the Church: look at the trouble mixing with them got him into the first time around.
What’s more, the potential this truth has for raising money is unlimited! While it’s easy to frighten the elderly or infirm out of their life savings with talk of eternal damnation, correctly applied this doctrine could just as effectively scare the healthy, who normally earn much more. Just because they’re young fit and well paid doesn’t mean they’ll be any more eager to one day look up into the sky and see Jesus looking down from end of the horizon to the other, demanding to know why they hadn’t supported the important work of GAFCON.
Poor Eric; when I thanked him for opening my eyes to this important truths of the Scripture he just started blathering about it having nothing to do with getting money out of people, which just shows how much the boy still has to learn about ministry. Nevertheless, I can already see how the young Puritan really will prove to be an important adjunct to our team.
I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.