Examining these verses.
"Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened." Matthew 24:34
Simple isn't it? It appears so simple, but those words "these things", and "this generation". They carry baggage that has been strangling my faith for years.
I'll reproduce the context here.
The Bible NIV
"The Destruction of the Temple and Signs of the End Times
1Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. 2“Do you see all these things?” he asked. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”
3As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
4Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. 6You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8All these are the beginning of birth pains.
9“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.12Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
15“So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’a spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.
22“If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25See, I have told you ahead of time.
26“So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.
29“Immediately after the distress of those days
“ ‘the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light;
the stars will fall from the sky,
and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’b
30“Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earthc will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.d 31And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.
32“Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near.33Even so, when you see all these things, you know that ite is near, right at the door. 34Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 35Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
The Day and Hour Unknown
36“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,f but only the Father."
"These things" seems to carry the baggage of cosmic signs, and jesus coming on the clouds of heaven.
"This Generation" seems to carry the baggage of limiting those events to the lifespan of his disciples....
What do I do with that?
Can Christianity handle a mistaken Jesus? Can I say to the world
"Our Lord mispredicted the end of all things, but he is still the Lord of creation?"
So much theological conflict, not enough resolution.
There are other ways of interpreting this passage. Yes indeed there are other ways, but what if?
What if? What if? What if?
What if Jesus was wrong?
There are Christians like Dale Allison who write books saying that Jesus was wrong, and yet they remain Christians. Wolfhart Panneberg, James Dunn... even Albert Schweitzer to an extent..... they held the Christian label
How did they do it?... How did they do it?
It would be easier to just renounce my Christianity, but then I would harassed by a different set of what ifs.
What if this? What if that? What if? What if?
So many what ifs..... ah possibility is so painful. Heh