All political, religious, and corporate enterprises have 'Their Story' to tell. Those stories may be historical, contemporary
and/or imaginings to come.  America has a series of catastrophic historical stories e.g., Black Monday ('29), Pearl Harbor
('41), 9/11 ('01).  America now has a 'clanging' contemporary story, i.e., 2008 run-up for POTUS.  The searing question
of course is, "what's about to come our way, next?"   Gasoline over four dollars per gal., bipartisan strife along with a
rancorous Congress, a literal divided nation of 49%-to-51% on many seminal issues, seemingly endless foreign war
entanglements, and a welling secularism beginning to flirt with a nebulous
ecumenism (religions coming together in unity,
merely for the sake of an ecclesiastical-type unity). (See
(1) for Christian unity).
An earlier Commentary, The Gathering Storm(2), is a parallel essay on seasons and Times facing the endtime church.  The
gathering storm represents the larger picture of eschatological events beginning to taking place.  A gathering narrative
may come together over several sequential periods of time.  Nevertheless, they represent forming conditions which
constitute elements necessary for storm-forces to develop and manifest.  Storm-forces here are not just climatic and
weather related, but also
spiritual-storms and religious-upheavals beginning to cast their ominous gray clouds over the
lands.  The Middle East is such a theater of 'religious-upheavals' with opaque clouds beginning to turn more sinister in
appearance, by the day.
The Middle East is a gestalt narrative, meaning the whole is more than the sum of its individual parts.  In a gestalt
narrative there are powers, forces and principalities at work which may not be readily visible to the 'natural' eye vs. the
spiritual  eye. Cable News anchors, incessant talking heads, pundits and commentary wonks all continue to move the
'assorted pieces' around on the Middle East gaming table attempting to puzzle out their correct positions and relationship to
adjoining ones. What they don't have, or care to see, is the picture (eschatological) on the top of the puzzle box which
gives them the overview of the completed jigsaw.  One could voice similar concerns regarding the present-day bent of our
State Department and its pell-mell rush to fashion a two-state Solution for the Palestinian/Israeli 'conflict'. What is taking
place in and around Israel is anything but a simple 'conflict'.
The two-state Solution, and the  Road Map consortium's peace initiative, are simply "land for peace" swaps which have
never worked with Islamic factions and will not in this instance,  la Gaza turnover.  Even so, the Israelis will enter into the
peace swap accord and in doing so position themselves for the regional Arab caliphate attack, set out in Ezk. 38 & 39.
Once the Peace Accord is signed, and ratified, the narrative of darkness will begin to ominously canopy over Israel
Jacob's Troubles, Tribulation Period).
So sadly to say, the commercial broadcast media either utterly avoids or condescends any and all prophetic eschatology,
but save the secular Nostradamus Quatrains. The Learning channel
(TLC), National Geographic (NGC), the History channel
(THC) along with brazenly NewAge-centered  PBS are almost, to a fault, highly secularized and/or Pantheistic. The
learning, cultural, and religious narratives advanced by these broadcast ventures are seriously romancing
2 Tim. 4:3-4(3).
From within the depths of mankind's innate ethos, there is a knowing that an eternal God reigns supreme over all creation,
the universe, and beyond.  Yet, the spirit of Nimrod (personal name meaning, "we shall rebel") is alive and well while
mankind continues to choose to worship the created things over the Creator
(4),  in so many avenues of daily life.  God will
not be mocked nor will
He contend with mankind forever.  The end of forever may already be at the door, or just now
peering over the near horizon of time.
The endtime biblical narrative was penned in scripture and clearly setouts God's coming final judgments on mankind and
on those which choose to go through the Tribulation Period.  America is already beginning to separate at the seams, while
China, Russia, and the EU are reconsolidating their alliances and strengthening there economies.  Do we not see the signs
of the times, upon us?
Will it take another 9-11, or worse, to galvanize America's collective awareness as to the eminence of threats aimed at this
Nation? Government and media
narratives of 'why things are the way they are', and 'what can we expect to come in the
foreseeable days', are both devoid of  God's Time Table and the outworking of His endtime Plan for mankind.  It must be
said here, there is a gathering of concerns by numerous groups who recognize the signs of the times
(5) and are diligently
endeavoring to fulfill God's endtime Plan.
The Christian ministries and Christian Churches which are rooted in the Word, filled with the Spirit, and compromise not
the Gospel are God's pretribulation emissaries and disciples sanctioned to gather in the endtime harvest of souls into His
kingdom, as it exists at this time on earth.
The intent of this Commentary is to encourage each of us to reflect on the Narrative which we cling to, so dearly.  If it is
a GAIA narrative (ecological spiritism), ecumenical manifesto (inclusiveness of all religions), psychosocial gospel,
Dominion Now, and/or a sinless, bloodless, repentance free doctrine - without a full yieldedness to Christ Jesus, get a
"second opinion" ... that opinion is still in the written New Testament Gospel.
The Grand Narrative was given by Christ in His Gospel.  A second narrative is to be found in counterfeit religious
movements, "Jesus Seminar" colloquy, and Religious enclaves contrived out of man's insatiable desire to imitate, if not,
supplant God's sovereign Word.  Secularized endtime narratives will continue to be gathered and expounded upon.  The
Word of God has already been gathered together in His scriptures and His words shall not pass away.(7)Â  Come to know
the biblical Narrative of Christ so that you are prepared to speak it, in and out of season.
[2 Tim. 4:2]
Jon D. Hannum, Ph.D.
Amen ministries of Austin
(1)   Eph. 4:13 "... until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature,
    attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ." [NIV]  This is unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the  
    Son of God, Christ Jesus - and not unity in or of the community, for the sake of ecumenicalism.
(2)   The Gathering Storm -
(3)   2 Tim. 4:3-4  "For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own
   desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
   They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths."
(4)    Rom. 1:25  "They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the
    Creator--who is forever praised. Amen."
(5)    Matt. 16:2-3Â   "When evening comes, you say, It will be fair weather, for the sky is red, and in the morning, Today
    it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast. Â You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but youÂ
    cannot interpret (discern)Â the signs of the times ..."
(6)    Eph. 1:10Â  "that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ,
    both which are in heaven and which are on earth; in Him."
(7)    Matt. 24:35  "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."
(8) (RF)