By: Linnea Nilsen Capshaw

… by postponing the essence of salvation to the afterlife, and by assuming God plans to destroy the earth, the conventional view leads us to assume that the world will get worse and worse, and that this deterioration is in fact God’s will or plan. This assumption would
tend to create a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy. Not only that, but in some versions of the conventional view, the worse the world gets, the better we should feel since salvation – meaning post-mortem salvation after the world is destroyed – is approaching. In too many
cases, the conventional view can lead people to celebrate humanity’s “progress” in self-destruction rather than seeking to turn it around.

To put it bluntly, in terms of humanity and this earth, the conventional view too easily creates – unintentionally, of course – a kind of religious death wish.  (84)

A community of people who begin to wake up to the covert curriculum in which they swim each day would want to band together to share their insights about it. They would help one another not be sucked in, not be massaged into passivity, not be malformed by the powerful
educational process occurring in a multimedia classroom without walls or vacations. They would remind one another of the alternative framing story they had come to believe was good, beautiful, and true, and they would seek, together, to live by this alternative framing story, the radical good news. They would develop practices of spiritual formation so they and their children for generations to come would be able to learn, live, and grow as part of the solution, not part of the problem; as agents of healing, not as carriers of the disease; as
revolutionaries seeking to dismantle and subvert the suicidal system, not as functionaries and drones seeking to serve and preserve it. (302)

What is the “framing story” of Jesus that your congregation professes?

Is your focus on the after-life? Or social/global transformation? Or prosperity ministry? Or learning knowledge? Or ……

Do you help each person in your congregation see what they are uniquely called by God to do as agents of healing and life and transformation in this world?

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