Let’s Party Like There’s No Tomorrow

Hellfire missile commonly deployed in the Middle East.
Hellfire missile commonly deployed in the Middle East.

Never happened. Barry McGuire sang that great anti-war song, Eve of Destruction, in 1965 as the US entered into yet another foreign war. The song promised an end of the world.

Here we are, and the world’s still ticking. Was the song just another false prophecy?

Bad timing has been the downfall of many a prophet. Not that they were wrong. Just got their timing off.

Ask the estimated two million people that died in North Viet Nam, South Viet Nam, Cambodia and Laos. For them and the those that survived, hell was unleashed. Ask the residents of the Middle East who have lived in a cauldron of war for the past century, much of it dished out by our own nation. They are experiencing a healthy dose of destruction.

The song was as biblical as a song can get. We are on the Eve of Destruction.

Man is a murderer. Ever since Cain killed Abel. Ever since their parents turned against a loving and holy God who place no more demand on them than that they obey his decree not to eat of one tree. Just one tree. The one in the midst of a bountiful garden full of every delicious, edible fruit. From those trees they were free to eat.

Let’s put their crime into perspective. God created them in his own image. Breathed his very life into them. Gave each gender the joy of living in total harmony with the other. In purity and innocence. Gave of himself, joining them for a walk, each day, in the cool of the evening. Surrounded them with a creation designed to sustain and nurture them. Gave them rule over that physical domain, itself.

Imagine being there. Imagine the joy of tending Creation. Physical intimacy with no hang-ups. No hidden agendas. No manipulations, greed, jealously, or bitterness. Perfection embodied in a perfect world.

God gave them one “no-no.” One, “don’t go there.” Amongst a creation overflowing with things to eat, one thing you must not eat. In act of love, a Creator warned his creations that disobeying him, eating the fruit of that one tree, would bring death upon them.

God does not lie because it is impossible—it is not in his nature. He is the one being that can be trusted to always tell the truth. To always reward good and punish evil. Always. No bone of crony favoritism will ever be found in God. Being just and truthful, he pronounced the judgement that he had earlier told them would come, if they disobeyed his one and very simple command not to eat of that one, specific, tree.

Ever since that dark day in the Garden, mankind and creation has been living in and on the Eve of Destruction. Living the life of suffering and struggling that God ordained and rightly meted out. We are experiencing the just reward of our actions against a pure and holy Creator.

We did the crime, and now we are doing the time.

How then are we to live here and now in light of this truth? The truth that there is a God and that he has cursed Creation to suffering, struggle, and final destruction?

First, it means dispensing with the idea of heaven on earth. The idea that governments, properly run, can rid this planet of poverty, disease, inequality, and war. The idea that fallen mankind is basically good. Elect the right people. Pass enough laws. Turn enough PhD’s into bureaucrats. Declare war against poverty. Take enough money from rich people to give to poor people. Fight enough wars to destroy angry Muslims. Make war against drugs. Make war against illiteracy. Make war. Make more war.

If man is good and government can solve problems, why hasn’t any society or government ever gotten it right? Over thousands of years and billions of people, wouldn’t the laws of probability have resulted in one, just one, successful experience?

Destruction is around the corner. And in a way that makes not a bit of sense to even the human idea of justice, God planned that not all mankind would suffer eternally. He would not only deal out justice, he would take the penalty for some upon himself. That they might live. Forever. That some men would again know the unfathomable joy of walking with him again in peace and perfect union with their creator. And his solution would be no more complex than his original dictate—believe and live. Believe in him—that he has paid the price of sin through the sacrifice of his own Son, and live forever. So simple, as before. And so contrary to our own natures. So contrary to a race that sees the only solution to every problem as war.

What is truth?” Before Pontious Pilate stood the Creator, himself, awaiting the judgement of this earthly magistrate. How ironic. The loving and merciful Christ, the one and only source of all truth, stood before an earthly judge, innocent of all charges.

Men will believe what they want to believe when they want to believe it. That the next lottery ticket has a better chance of being a winner than the one that purchased last week. That a new found adulterous affair will bring the happiness that a current marriage does not. That homosexuality will no longer bring guilt if everyone will agree that that sodomy is just a matter of genetics. That murder might go away if we punish feelings of hate rather than the heinous destruction of God-given life. That economies improve if taxes are increased and the government serves as a socialist Robin Hood—stealing from the rich to give to the poor. That starting wars “over there” will prevent them from starting wars “over here.”

“The eastern world it is explodin’, violence flarin’, bullets loadin’
You’re old enough to kill but not for votin’
You don’t believe in war, what’s that gun you’re totin’
And even the Jordan river has bodies floatin’
But you tell me over and over and over again my friend
Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction

Don’t you understand, what I’m trying to say?
Can’t you see the fear that I’m feeling today?
If the button is pushed, there’s no running away
There’ll be none to save with the world in a grave
Take a look around you, boy, it’s bound to scare you, boy
But you tell me over and over and over again my friend
Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction

Yeah, my blood’s so mad, feels like coagulatin’
I’m sittin’ here just contemplatin’
I can’t twist the truth, it knows no regulation
Handful of Senators don’t pass legislation

And marches alone can’t bring integration
When human respect is disintegratin’
This whole crazy world is just too frustratin’
And you tell me over and over and over again my friend
Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction

Think of all the hate there is in Red China
Then take a look around to Selma, Alabama
Ah, you may leave here for four days in space
But when you return it’s the same old place

The poundin’ of the drums, the pride and disgrace
You can bury your dead but don’t leave a trace
Hate your next door neighbor but don’t forget to say grace
And you tell me over and over and over and over again my friend

Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction”

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