Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
mzmolly

Armageddon-are We There Yet?

Recommended Posts

I know that's an interesting way to start a discussion on this subject but...

 

I have a dilema, and I could use the help of my new friends.

 

I recently recieved a letter from a relative stating in a nutshell:

 

1. The end of time is near

2. My family is doomed to hell if we don't find a Church right quick

3. I am not meeting my parental obligations for not finding a Church for my family as of yet.

 

*sigh*

 

My position on this ...

 

I have not found a Church because progressive churches are rare, and the Churches I have attended have a largely RW bent-as does the afore mentioned relative.

 

I also don't feel attending church is necessary to my salvation, so to speak-though I am seeking a progressive church for my family.

 

Lastly, I do not believe in Armageddon in the manner my relative does.

 

I responded to the letter stating my thoughts as gracefully as I could, but I haven't heard back.

 

Any and all thoughts are appreciated.

 

 

:huh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't have time to offer a full repsonse, but I recommend these books:

 

Barbara Rossing, New Testament scholar and author of The Rapture Exposed,

sees "Left Behind" theology and Christian Zionism as biblically false and politically destructive.

 

Wes Howard Brook, N.T. scholar (in the Ched Meyer's school of thought), wrote Unveiling Empire: Reading Revelation Then & Now; this book totally undermines the "Left Behind" notions and instead posits that Revelation was written to serve as a handbook to help Christian believers live as faithfully as possible in the midst of empire... much like we are trying to do now!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MzMolly,

 

Brother Roger is right, the work of Barbara Rossing and Wes Howard Brook are helpful in understanding the “end times” are NOT here.

 

But I’ve found that the work of Joseph J. Adamson in his book Real Prophecy Unveiled explains not only why the world will not end, but a lot more.

 

For example, he explains why and how the humble and meek shall indeed inherit the earth and establish the new “kingdom” of God, which “shall last forever, never to be destroyed.” (Daniel 2:44, Revelations 11:15, etc.)

 

There is a lot of good news available. The trouble is, the proud and militant talk and shout the loudest. But in due time the Spirit of truth will expose their bigotry and hypocrisy, and enable the humble and meek to inherit the earth. That’s what the fulfillment of real prophecy is all about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MzMolly,

Unfortunately when people tell you to find a christian church or you'll go to hell they mean find a christian church that is exactly like theirs. If you told him you'd found my church his head would explode because we have a woman co-pastor and several gay deacons. Sometimes you just have to say "Bless your heart , don't you worry about me 'cause me and the Lord are gonna figure it out." In other words, sometimes there's no talking to people becase anything thing that does not agree with them is the Devil.........Sigh

Dillo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps my biggest complaint against fundamentalism is their "view" on the Armageddon/2nd Coming. Like other issues, we often fail to look at it historically and faithfully...

 

Both are important.

 

First, a historical look at the notion of a "2nd coming". The entire hypothetical second coming notion was first invented by the early church, then cherished, then projected back onto Jesus and then abandoned when they realised it wasn't going to happen (to assimilate a quote from NT Wright's Jesus and the Victory of God, p. 185).

 

What did Jesus really say? When he is reported of speaking on the 'second coming' in places like Mark 13, we have to put it in context. He was speaking on the Mount of Olives, looking down at Jerusalem, and making bizarre prophecies about the future of Jerusalem since they knew not the way of peace. Interestingly enough everything he said came true about Jerusalem. In this context, he quotes Daniel 7.13 in his retelling of a story about the vindication of the 'Son of Man'. "You will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven" denotes the arrival to the Ancient of Days, being present and vindicated to God. Jesus, persecuted by the evils of his world, was ultimately presented to God and vindicated as the true messiah. The apocalyptic metaphor of 'coming on the clouds' denotes exaltation--not return. We follow in Christ's footsteps. We come to God, not the other way around.

 

In Mark, this is evident, especially in the context of 1st century Judaism. Matthew and Luke report the sayings, though both show that their interpretation of it is beginning to shift. At the beginning of Paul's ministry he seems to think he will be alive to see it, at the end of his life he is realising that he won't. Revelation has 95% to do with making a commentary on the evils of the Roman domination system and 5% to do with anything futuristic.

 

Now, faith.

 

I do not believe in a 'god' that has in mind the destruction of most of the world someday in a bizarre horror of display. I do believe in God, as seen in Jesus, that will "make all things new". I believe God's dream for the planet will come true, that all will be what is meant to be. In this context, Jesus will be present as king. So yes, 'he will come again in glory' but no, it is not the "second coming" of religious fundamentalism.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MzMolly,

Unfortunately when people tell you to find a christian church or you'll go to hell they mean find a christian church that is exactly like theirs.  If you told him you'd found my church his head would explode because we have a woman co-pastor and several gay deacons. Sometimes you just have to say "Bless your heart , don't you worry about me 'cause me and the Lord are gonna figure it out." In other words, sometimes there's no talking to people becase anything thing that does not agree with them is the Devil.........Sigh

Dillo

You are exactly right. It doesn't end with *find a great church that you enjoy and can grow spiritually from* it ends with think like me or your doomed to hell. :rolleyes: I generally tolerate that quite well, but when someone claims I am damaging my child for not embracing the George Bush version of Christianity, I have a problem.

 

Sorry to bring politics into this. But, I feel that much of Christianity has been poluted with worshiping of the Republican Party, rather then the ideals of Christ.

 

I wrote her back, and haven't heard again. Must have said something right huh? ;)

Edited by mzmolly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is a good point. Sometimes we fail to recognise the subversive wisdom of Jesus. Being Christian is about saying "Jesus is Lord", or in our case "Jesus is our president". Not George Bush, but Jesus. His wisdom subverts much of the "Republican" wisdom...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you've done the right thing, mzmolly. If your friend cannot accept that you can still be a friend and give your honest answer to his/her letter, then I think that calls into question what sort of a friend they are.

 

I have always regarded this 'end times' scenario to be a desperate attempt by fuindies to capture converts in an age when traditional 'Bible-believing' religion has less and less credibility and power. My arguments have always been that there is no evidence to show that the Biblical prophecies were intended to refer to any but their own times (e.g. the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD) and that the various vices and abuses, which they describe as a prelude to the End, have always been very prevalent, especially in the Middle ages.

 

In my experience most Bible-thumpers are very naive and poorly-informed about history. Some think that England in the late Victorian age really was a godly and blessed couintry to live in.

 

We all know that life on earth could end at any time; my understanding is that August 14, 2116, is the most likely date, when Comet Smith-Tuttle is set to collide with Earth. but the idea that anyone could predict this 2,000 years ago is sheer fantasy. Worse , it does a disservice to what the Bible is all about, and to those who wrote it.

.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think you've done the right thing, mzmolly. If your friend cannot accept that you can still be a friend and give your honest answer to his/her letter, then I think that calls into question what sort of a friend they are.

 

I have always regarded this 'end times' scenario to be a desperate attempt by fuindies to capture converts in an age when traditional 'Bible-believing' religion has less and less credibility and power. My arguments have always been that there is no evidence to show that the Biblical prophecies were intended to refer to any but their own times (e.g. the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD) and that the various vices and abuses, which  they describe as a prelude to the End, have always been very prevalent, especially in the Middle ages.

 

In my experience most Bible-thumpers are very naive and poorly-informed about history. Some think that England in the late Victorian age really was a godly and blessed couintry to live in.

 

We all know that life on earth could end at any time; my understanding is that August 14, 2116, is the most likely date, when Comet Smith-Tuttle is set to collide with Earth. but the idea that anyone could predict this 2,000 years ago is sheer fantasy. Worse , it does a disservice to what the Bible is all about, and to those who wrote it.

.

I totally agree with your assessment.

 

I remember "hearing exact dates" before. I recall a few such dates, one in particular dealt with the alignment of the planets in the 80's. I remember dreading that day. It came and went. My mother told me they've predicted "end times" for centuries and I began to realize that I should explore other explanations.

 

My mother in law, who sent the letter apologized! Imagine that!

 

Peace all,

and thanks for the replies. :)

Edited by mzmolly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>mzmolly: My mother in law, who sent the letter apologized! Imagine that!

 

Molly that's amazing! I've certainly never been able to respond to End Days scare tactics in such a way that I got an apology! You must have definitely been in the right spirit when you replied!!!! :blink:

 

If, and only if, you feel comfortable, would you consider posting part or all of your reply to her here? I could use a good example to work from! :-)

 

~ Lib

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, its my first post, I'm a christian, a charismatic, even though I'm skeptic by nature, and many beliefs i hold run contrary to my peers. I saw the ad for this site on a Singapore newspaper, I'm Singaporean btw. Yea, on this topic about eschatology before I digress any further.

 

My approach to this whole thing on end times is really to live like Jesus is coming back in our generation but don't get too dissapointed if he does. There are many signs in the bible, esp. in revelation about the seals and stuff. Many generations in the past, esp. in the previous millenium, the dark ages. Where people thought that Jesus was coming back, even the Thessolonian church as well. But we can hardly tell.

 

Preachers may point to this earthquake here, that war there, that pestilence there. But i mean, come on, what about the black death? or the 1666 fires? (This must have gotten preachers running about the place cos' of the 666 lol....) Do they mean that the end is near? apparently not. But, another thing is Israel, while I can say that it has very much fulfilled the prophecies in Isaiah. With it saying that after Israel is formed, the end would be "near".

 

But anyone knows that the bible is not really very accurate where time is concerned, especially in the area of eschatology. I mean Jesus, when he was on earth said that he was coming back "soon". Does that mean that it'll be 2-3 thousand years till the end times after Israel was formed? I don't know. God says don't try to guess, don't even try. Well, those loonies in the first millenium as well as in recent times obviously tried to act smart. And please if I was God and i set a date for the apocalypse and those guys on the Earth have guessed it, i think i'll probably postpone it, for credibility's sake y'noe?? ;)

 

:)

Edited by cold_static544

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Simpleman

As he says, we will know when the time comes. Why be in doubt or seek what others look for? We are not of this world, be of good cheers and keep your Faith for that is the only thing that will save us. When there is peace in Israel then the time is really near. Take these words as those from a sinner who will sin and repent again and again. :) until he no longers walk the earth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jesus' second coming is, unfortunately, a mistaken belief of the early Christians'. However, it is interesting to note the theological meanings that this event (which has turned symbolic) continues to accumulate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Simpleman

Men of hard hearts and little faith. The snake is amongst us so be wary and keep the Word. Think with your heart not your head. Your senses will deceive you. This is not new but oft repeated, however, we forget. Find your peace with the Lord and let him fill you up with the Holy Spirit again. Again and again, we must do this and we must admit that we are human who will continuously sin to the last days of our lives and that's why JC is here. Be humble, be child like and lean hard on him and remember no servant is above his master so stay true to his course for the snake is allowed to rule this world for a short time until the new Jerusalem is re-built.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
>mzmolly: My mother in law, who sent the letter apologized! Imagine that!

 

Molly that's amazing! I've certainly never been able to respond to End Days scare tactics in such a way that I got an apology! You must have definitely been in the right spirit when you replied!!!!  :blink:

 

If, and only if, you feel comfortable, would you consider posting part or all of your reply to her here? I could use a good example to work from! :-)

 

~ Lib

Oh my,

 

I guess I'd be glad too LOL :lol: EEK!!! If I can find it... I'll check and see.

I don't know how helpful this will be, as I did not get into specifics with the party involved. I simply addressed it from an "agree to disagree" perspective...

 

Edited to add snips of my reply as it is a very long letter and quite complicated involving several issues....

 

(a few snip-its) ;)

 

Dear XXX,

 

I will make an attempt to address your concerns.

 

It has been apparent over the years that you and X have had some differences with X and I in the areas of child rearing, politics and religion.

 

xxx in a nutshell the best I can offer is that we have differences with one another that we can accept or not. We will never agree on everything, and I don’t think that is uncommon, frankly.

 

We feel that God is loving and forgiving, and that God will guide us if we ask him to – regardless of whether or not we attend Church. Furthermore, we don’t think that regular Church attendance is a necessary element for eternal life.

 

In fact, Jesus said the following:

 

"And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you."

~ (Matthew 6:5-6)

 

In spite of the fact that Jesus said God hears our prayers no matter where we are, we do want to find a Church that is compatible with the teachings of Christ, for many reasons. It seems that has been a more difficult task than we imagined it would be. We have not made the connection we had hoped for, nor have we found a Church that isn’t more concerned with taking in money and propping up misguided values, than teaching the values of Christ. We have found the Churches *we* visited to be largely superficial and empty in their agenda.

 

Lastly, we are confident in Gods love and grace, and feel that should (my husband, daughter or myself die today) we will be accepted warmly into the arms of God. I am sorry if you feel differently. However, as you know, God is our ONLY judge.

 

I will close by respectfully asking that going forward you come to our home, simply to enjoy our company, and accept us for who we are. If this is not possible then I understand that. Sometimes family is no fun to be around. However, if you have any suggestions or ideas for improvement they may best be left to the Lord through your prayers.

 

(end snipets)

 

Keep in mind I addressed this from a *perspective* she could understand and in a way turned the tables with the bold text above...

 

I doubt this will be in any way helpful, but thought I'd post it as you asked. :rolleyes:

Edited by mzmolly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did anyone catch the *discovery channel series* in this subject. It was very interesting.

 

http://shopping.discovery.com/stores/servl...productId=54854

 

"Step back in time to investigate Ancient Evidence that offers a new take on the major figures and events described in the Bible, the Torah and the Koran. Breakthrough scientific discoveries illuminate age-old secular depictions and scriptural accounts. Expert anthropologists, historians and geneticists comb the past to bring you closer to the sacred world than ever before.

 

Watch as scholars and computer animation experts collaborate for the first time ever to bring the book of Revelations to life, providing insight into what many see as a vivid description of the end of the world – from fantastic images of otherworldly creatures to detailed metaphors involving the number seven. Then, meet the man behind the metaphors as historians shed light on the book's writer – the apostle John – and provide political context for the dramatic depictions found in the bible's most controversial book."

 

A very sensible examination IMHO...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20031222&s=lifton

 

| Posted December 4, 2003

 

American Apocalypse

by Robert Jay Lifton

 

Robert Jay Lifton's new book Superpower Syndrome: America's Apocalyptic Confrontation With the World, just released by Nation Books.

 

The apocalyptic imagination has spawned a new kind of violence at the beginning of the twenty-first century. We can, in fact, speak of a worldwide epidemic of violence aimed at massive destruction in the service of various visions of purification and renewal. In particular, we are experiencing what could be called an apocalyptic face-off between Islamist forces, overtly visionary in their willingness to kill and die for their religion, and American forces claiming to be restrained and reasonable but no less visionary in their projection of a cleansing warmaking and military power. Both sides are energized by versions of intense idealism; both see themselves as embarked on a mission of combating evil in order to redeem and renew the world; and both are ready to release untold levels of violence to achieve that purpose.

 

The war on Iraq--a country with longstanding aspirations toward weapons of mass destruction but with no evident stockpiles of them and no apparent connection to the assaults of September 11--was a manifestation of that American visionary projection.

 

The religious fanaticism of Osama bin Laden and other Islamist zealots has, by now, a certain familiarity to us as to others elsewhere, for their violent demands for spiritual purification are aimed as much at fellow Muslims as at American "infidels." Their fierce attacks on the defilement that they believe they see everywhere in contemporary life resemble those of past movements and sects from all parts of the world; such sects, with end-of-the-world prophecies and programmatic violence in the service of bringing those prophecies about, flourished in Europe from the eleventh through the sixteenth centuries. Similar sects like the fanatical Japanese cult Aum Shinrikyo, which released sarin gas into the Tokyo subways in 1995, have existed, even proliferated, in our own time.

 

The American apocalyptic entity is less familiar to us. Even if its urges to power and domination seem historically recognizable, it nonetheless represents a new constellation of forces bound up with what I've come to think of as "superpower syndrome." By that term I mean a national mindset--put forward strongly by a tight-knit leadership group--that takes on a sense of omnipotence, of unique standing in the world that grants it the right to hold sway over all other nations. The American superpower status derives from our emergence from World War II as uniquely powerful in every respect, still more so as the only superpower from the end of the cold war in the early 1990s.

.................... see link above for rest of article...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Challenging Christian Zionism

For Christians committed to justice and peace, the challenge of Zionism can be daunting. Many Christians support Israeli actions and policies, believing that Jews' status as the "chosen people" of the Hebrew scriptures entitles them to use any means necessary - no matter how violent or oppressive - to occupy the holy lands. Those who question this position may fear being labeled anti-Semitic, but cannot square Zionist theology with God's concern for the poor and oppressed of all nations, the teachings of Jesus, the inclusive nature of the early church, or the present-day oppression of Palestinian Christians.

 

A new Web site called "Challenging Christian Zionism: Christians Committed to Biblical Justice" is intended as a clearinghouse of information about Christian Zionism and to foster education on this very divisive issue. Articles include: "Christian Zionism: An Historical Analysis and Critique," "The Evangelical-Jewish Alliance," and "Whose Promised Land: Israel and Biblical Prophecy."

 

Visit: http://www.christianzionism.org

 

Read Sojourners magazine articles on this topic:

 

Short Fuse to Apocalypse? A look at the political and theological roots of Christian Zionism.

http://www.sojo.net/index.cfm?action=magaz...&article=030710

 

Not a Monolithic Bloc: Many U.S. evangelicals seek an 'even-handed' Middle East policy.

http://www.sojo.net/index.cfm?action=magaz...article=030710b

 

How Christian is Zionism? What the Bible says about Israel and the things that make for peace.

http://www.sojo.net/index.cfm?action=magaz...article=030710c

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rapture Christians Are Policy Advisors To White House?

 

“It was an e-mail we weren't meant to see. Not for our eyes were the notes that showed White House staffers taking two-hour meetings with Christian fundamentalists, where they passed off bogus social science on gay marriage as if it were holy writ and issued fiery warnings that "the Presidents [sic] Administration and current Government is engaged in cultural, economical, and social struggle on every level"—this to a group whose representative in Israel believed herself to have been attacked by witchcraft unleashed by proximity to a volume of Harry Potter. Most of all, apparently, we're not supposed to know the National Security Council's top Middle East aide consults with apocalyptic Christians eager to ensure American policy on Israel conforms with their sectarian doomsday scenarios. But now we know. "Everything that you're discussing is information you're not supposed to have," barked Pentecostal minister Robert G. Upton when asked about the off-the-record briefing his delegation received on March 25. Details of that meeting appear in a confidential memo signed by Upton and obtained by the Voice.” (Village Voice, “Bush White House checked with rapture Christians before latest Israel move,” 05/18/04) http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0420/perlstein.php

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BrotherRog,

 

That is exactly why the whole rapture/Left Behind thing scares me. It's not just that I disagree with Biblical interpretation ... on most issues I'm content to let people believe what they believe and leave it at that...

I've been so outspoken in the past against the rapture et. all because of where it leads. If people want to believe in a kooky understanding of the future and the end of the world, then that is their perogative. But I don't want them leading the country and making choices about nuclear weapons and human life based on such an understanding. Sometimes I think they want Armageddon so bad they will make it happen with their own weapons and destructiveness, just to prove themselves right.

 

:P:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This ought to curl your hair. :ph34r:

 

Red-Heifer Days

 

Rod Dreher

NRO Senior Writer

 

April 11, 2002 8:30 a.m.

Red-Heifer Days

Religion takes the lead.

 

Could this little calf born last month in Israel bring about Armageddon? The concept would have struck many people as absurd the last time such a calf was born, in 1997, and probably makes most readers laugh today. Big mistake: Never underestimate the power of religious faith to shape events, especially in the Holy Land. Especially right now.

 

Our eschatological heifer story begins on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, where tens of millions of Jews, Muslims, and Christians believe the central events of each tradition's Last Days will play out. The site, the Biblical Mount Moriah, was the site of the Hebrews' First Temple, destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BC, and the Second Temple, which the Romans leveled in 70 AD. Muslims, believing the site to be the place from which the Prophet Mohammed ascended into Heaven atop a steed, began in 685 to build the Noble Sanctuary, a 35-acre site in Jerusalem's walled Old City, containing the Dome of the Rock shrine and the al Aqsa mosque.

 

Click on link above for rest of story.

 

Enjoy!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...