"I heard that when the tribulation comes, China will be one of the few countries with a big enough army to take over the United States.” My parishioner looked at me earnestly, awaiting confirmation of her theological and political observation. This woman, the spiritual rock of the church, doesn’t fit the media profile of those who believe in the “rapture.” She is well educated, deeply involved in the community and a successful businesswoman and civic leader—hardly a Neanderthal or escapist.

I decided to respond with what I took to be a fairly plain-vanilla, noncontroversial geopolitical observation: “Actually, North Korea’s army is bigger than China’s.” She nodded, satisfied, and headed off to her third church meeting of the week.


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