That to me the true point of the difference between The Gospel and Paganism and is that Pagan myths like those of Gilgamesh, Orpheus or Izanami and Izanagi are about accepting death as a natural part of Life, while The Gospel promises that no Death will be defeated and one day no longer exist. The Second Death is the Death or Death.
Many people who aren't Christians out there however view neither what I just described or the more casual Christian understanding of the "After Life" as desirable. They feel it is grossly naive to think such a condition would be a good thing. In Season 4 of Angel, (the spin off of Buffy The Vampire Slayer), what Jasmine is trying to accomplish was essentially how Joss Whedon views Revelation 21 and 22.
I get the sense that at least some Western viewers of Anime probably have the same view about Human Instrumentality in Neon Genesis Evangelion and End of Evangelion (and the many evil schemes in Anime since that are kind of similar, like most recently *Spoiler Alert*
Back on topic, the argument for why this should be viewed as bad is typically that there is no freedom or growth in a such world, that conflict and difficulty is necessary for that. (So it's funny that sometimes the exact same people make the "why does God allow Evil to exist" argument).
It's pretty difficult for us to even imagine what such a world would be like. But I definitely view that criticism as an over simplification. For one thing there is this Quote from Revelation 22:2
"the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations."Emphasis on the word Healing. This shows that things are not exactly done. And I personally believe new children will be born during this era as well. A certain thing Jesus said about the Resurrection in Matthew 22 is commonly misunderstood ignoring Jesus actual point. Adam and Eve were supposed to be fruitful and multiply, so if we're restored to that state, it includes that command.
I feel like these criticisms of the world presented in Revelation 21&22 (The Millennium in chapter 20 I don't even view as a true Utopia, but more as a Benevolent Dystopia. Has that term been used before or did I just invent it?), however morally they word it, essentially comes down to them saying they think it would be BORING. Like the common rather tong in cheek presentation of traditional heaven as us just sitting around all day on clouds playing harps while hell is a party.
I don't want to be bored either. I used to spend a lot of time radically declaring Superman Returns the worst movie ever made because to me it is the most boring. I am confident however that the New Heaven and New Earth will not be boring, but I've struggled with finding a good way to explain how. Till today.
Pause and Select is an Anime Analysis YouTube Channel. I just a little while ago, on the night of January 10/11th 2018, watched their four part series on Japanese Apocalypticism in Anime titled Understanding Disaster.
The fourth and final part is what's primarily relevant to what I have to say here. But the first three parts should be watched first for context, it is all interesting stuff. (When talking about Akira, the observation about Akira being the object of worship but Tetsuo being the one really running things happened to remind me of my own re-evaluation of the relation between The Beast and the False Prophet).
In the fourth and final part they make a connection between the development of Apocalypticism in Anime and a certain genre of Anime. They don't use this term in the video, but the genre in question is often most commonly called "Slice of Life". Fortunately much of the narration is subtitled in the video, especially when quoting someone else. So here is a pretty and informative screen-cap.
"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away."Another key word used in this portion of the video is "healing", other videos about this genre also associate it with healing and soothing. But to me and many other fans they are absolutely not boring.
One mistake Pause and Select Makes is that K-On! in particularly is not lacking narrative. Digibro's praise of the show is all about it's subtle narrative arch and character development. Meaning there is growth. I'm surprised this video didn't mention Aria. It doesn't mention Girl's Last Tour because it was published over a year ago.
This genre of Anime has been favorite for awhile now, for many reasons. But watching this video just today caused it to click to me how maybe these Anime can also help me how explain the New Heaven and New Earth won't be boring. In theory these Anime exist in the present world and so we don't immediately think of them as being Utopic. But really they are narrative Utopias.
The video goes on to talk about other Apocalyptic Anime that looks cynically on the Slice of Life genre. But because of my Faith in The Bible, I know such a stable future will one day come.
Since I think this post may attract some Anime fans not familiar with what I usually talk about. I want to add a reminder here that I have become a Universalist, and so this coming Utopic Shin-Sekai will be enjoyed by everyone, not just believers. Even Nihilistic Atheists like Digibro.