The Sky is Falling, Again.

It’s so fun to write, “We are in the end times”.  The link below discusses it in a circumspect way.

I wonder when the first national religious figure talked of the current state of moral decay and how the god is about to put the hammer down.  Was it right after the pilgrims landed or a few years later?

It has been a staple of religious politics and fund raising during all of my lifetime.  And, it is  being recycled today as if it were fresh and urgent news.

We have to remember Jesus and his circle thought the world would end during his lifetime, that it was very near in time.  He was as successful in using the idea has U. S. evangelists have  been.

People hearing this threat would be wise to remember it has been said since the beginning of Christianity.  In addition, they should ask by what objective standard is sin worse now than ever before?

The truth is, there is not agreement within the faith as to what  the “end” really means.  The Bible treats it in different ways.  The floating down and floating up of Jesus takes place in a different time and sequence in different parts of the Bible.

Should one worry there is a link between gay marriage, abortion and the end times?  There is no theological meaning to these events.  They are not sins.

The sky refuses to fall.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/on-faith/wp/2013/05/02/on-the-national-day-of-prayer-time-for-a-revival/

 

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About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years. There is more about me at Wikipedia.com.
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23 Responses to The Sky is Falling, Again.

  1. entech says:

    I wonder when the first national religious figure talked of the current state of moral decay and how the god is about to put the hammer down.

    In about 2300 BCE Sargon ruler of Akkad the first Semitic Empire said something like that. He also said the invention of the bow and arrow created a weapon to end all wars.

    It is probably an even older sentiment and usually means the self appointed representatives of Heaven on earth are losing there influence. Gods, Kings and preachers don’t like giving it up.
    :lol:

  2. dan says:

    No one can deny that moral decay is intensifying. Do you ever recall a time when you didn’t have to worry about locking the doors to your home? Do you ever remember a time when you could attend an event and not have to worry about someone planting a bomb in the crowd? Society is becoming more and more violent. Sure, some will say that violence has been around for thousands of years and I would agree but now violence can find it’s way into everyone’s home at the touch of a button. I recently happened upon a video of violence by accident. A link to the video was on a reputable news website. Upon clicking the link, a video depicted a woman being decapitated. After a little research, I read that the people responsible for her decapitation are called Los Zetas. While Obama and his thug administration turn a blind eye on people crossing the border, one doesn’t need to look far to see that members of Los Zetas are infiltrating the U.S. I traveled to El Paso some years ago. Almost every business had bars on its windows. I was told not to travel alone into Mexico. So I heeded the advice. We have sleeper cells of Islamic terrorists preparing plans to attack the innocent in the U.S. My concern is that when the U.S. economy crashes (it will, fiat money has no value), will we become like Mexico? Will gangs of thugs terrorize the innocent? Detroit is already on it’s way to looking like Mexico. I envision the end times to look like Los Zetas controlled areas in Mexico look like today. Life for them has no meaning. Perhaps its Christianity that gives meaning to life and helps keep the fabric of morality from decaying ever faster. One of its commandments is “Thou shalt not kill”. Zeta’s worship power and drugs, their fabric of society is woven in death and torture. Obviously, the Zetas aren’t the only gangs, there’s the Latin Kings, MS-13, Aryan Brotherhood, Folk Nation and so on. But instead of focusing on demonizing the gangs, we demonize only one group, the Christians. We focus on their beliefs and attempt to belittle them yet we turn a blind eye on the ever-increasing gang population and drug culture. Why?

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      dan 3:30 Thank you for posting your thoughts.

      Statistically, there is not an increase in crime. There are new kinds of crime and they leave the impression things are getting worse. The Mafia certainly left plenty of people dead. Car crashes used to be worse. Bank robberies with many deaths were more commmon during the 1930′s. How about lynchings and killing, raping and beating of black people?

      We certainly have more news coverage now. It hypes and distorts the state of affairs. As I wrote, every generation thinks it is seeing the worst of times.

  3. Avatar of realist realist says:

    I have always felt that people who see themselves as participant in events that are foreseen by prophets of various types are actually self-centered narcissists. Why, of all the years humans have been on this earth, should we suppose that cataclysmic events will happen in our lifetime? Wouldn’t a better case be made for periods within the dark ages of medieval Europe, or even during the terrible days of WWI. What is so special about us that we will witness anything other than the ordinary life of a human being trying to get by. I believe some people enjoy the drama of participating in volatile events even when it means that they are in danger of dying. So they look forward to witnessing the “end times” as relief from the monotonous nature of their own lives. For drama queens, even cataclysm is preferable to knowing life will be as it has been for eons including an anonymous death. Of course, the truth is that unless we blow ourselves off the earth, we will just plod along pretty much as each generation before us has done. For me, this is a comfort.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      realist 3:44 “I have always felt people who see themselves as participant in events that are foreseen by prophets … are actuall self-centered narcissists…For drama queens, even cataclysm is preferable to knowing life will be as it has been for eons including an annonymous death.”

      Great post. It is, of course, discouraging to those who see themselves as important enough to be known and watched by a god. What’s unfortunate is those of us who know this cannot make a living by preaching, “What you will experience after death is the same as what you experienced before you were born, nothing. Will the ushers please pass the collection plate now so all may contribute to spreading this good news throughout the world.”

  4. Kevin says:

    end times.

    well I have been told that the end times were long time ago.

    I am merely passing on a message I have been told a few years ago, from a dear friend of mine, i may not have this correct, however from what I remember it has been sketched in my mind and it has come from one of the very few religious people I have had respect for. His name is Lloyd Dale, Lemmon SD. I have not talked to him in many years, and if he thoughts have changed, please respect that. I have to say this is one of the very few religious people that I have ever respected.

    The end times have come, they will be followed by a 1000 years of peace. I dont recall the exact numbers but the rivers of blood were many years ago. 1000 years of peace, have been there. we are almost a 1000 years past that, have you heard of a war from 100 ad to 1100 ad?

    All you and I know is most wars were cause by God. I really dont believe that to be true. Well all wars. In the last 1000 years what war was not cause by God. Its an excuse.

    I simply can not explain what Lloyd Dale has told me. I just can not explain his words. I also have to say, Lloyd Dale is one of the greatest people I have ever known. If the red river free thinkers, ever contact him, I really feel it would give you much more insight. Its the difference of what we now feel today to know what history was all about. I have not talked to Lloyd in many years, but I have so had his respect, have so thought many times of what he has said. I am not sure, but I feel he feels there is a god, but his aspect of it, I am not sure ifyou folks would not feel the same. If you ever have him come explain what he knows, has studied, let me know, I will be there.

    If your really a free thinker, you want the other side of the story, and I oh my…I feel I am the middle man, that is what I do best, some will think he is nuts, some will think about it. I may be wrong, but, we hear about God now, its so smoothed over, no wonder no wonder no one thinks there is a God. I have spent many hours with Lloyd Dale, and I feel he is a man among men. Ye proclaimed himself as a preacher back then, but its a preacher I have never heard. You would do well to invite him to your meeting and if he shows up, let me know, I will be there.

    • entech says:

      Wars in the period:
      Muslim conquests 622- well past 1100
      Roman Empire against the Germanic tribes 166 – 180
      Lots and lots in China during period
      Charlemagne against Saxony 722 – 804

      I don’t think you would find a hundred years of peace in that time period let alone a thousand.

      In my understanding a large part of Christian eschatology revolves around the second coming of Christ, I will leave it to some of those here who have a much greater knowledge of theology than me.
      I think of myself as one of the “freethinkers” and certainly not a Christian, although the two are not incompatible, I don’t think “the other side of the story” as you describe it would be acceptable to most Christians or to any freethinker.

      Waiting to be corrected this is beyond anything I have heard – post eschatology?

      • Wolfy32 says:

        Entech, I don’t know the name of the “group” or denomination of “Christianity” (In quotes because many reject that they have any Christian affiliation) have a post apocalyptic view of the world. Unfortunately, the name for this obscure group abandons my crappy memory, but, they believe that the anti christ has already been here. (Caesar, or whomever they believe was the anti christ). They believe that we now live in the period of “1000 years” of near eutopia. That the rapture already occured, etc. And we’re just waiting for the final days.

        The best way I can describe it is the Matrix. In the end, civilization as we know it is destroyed and civilization starts over with a select few. So, this group believes in post eschatology.

        So, to confuse this even more… Protestants reject this post eschatology protestant group. :)

        • entech says:

          Found something that looks like it. I did remember something about the Roman Destruction of the Temple being the end. It seems a lot of early Christian thought was based on an imminent second coming, and a change in thinking can be seen as it became less and less likely that it would happen while any of the people with direct contact still lived.

          Preterism is a belief that the events prophesized in the New Testament have already happened. The great war of Armageddon in the book of Revelation occurred in the late 60′s and early 70′s CE when the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed, many Jews were killed and the rest were driven from Palestine. When Jesus talked about the end of the world, he did not mean that the physical world would be no more. He taught that the old worldview held by various contemporary Jewish groups was coming to an end, to be replaced by a new concept, the Kingdom of God. Thus, all of the major elements in the book of Revelation (Tribulation, Armageddon, Rapture, etc.) actually took place in the first century CE

          http://www.religioustolerance.org/millenni.htm

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            entech 1:40 Great link. One has to conclude the various predictions about the end which appear in the Bible, as well as the gazillion others from other faiths, were all passed down from various previous societies and threads of their gods and religions. There are probably end times scenarious being written today based on one tale or another and these will slowly surplant Revolations.

          • entech says:

            Certainly many variations on the theme. I don’t need to reflect further on the natural corollary to the truth that not all truths can be true when one truth is incompatible with other truths.

  5. Wolfy32 says:

    Interesting post. I agree though, being raised with these beliefs, I can relate to their negative impact. I do believe in Revelations strongly and believe there is an end. I don’t believe it will be in our lifetimes. For all we know the writer of Revelation saw the earth billions of years into the future when our sun is dieing.

    “A day in heaven is like 10,000 years” is one biblical comparison of time. Time is relative to one’s location and existence. There’s much we don’t understand about time yet, and I believe the biblical writers did the best they could to identify the “times” drawing off their own current knowledge. Sadly, I think they realized their own limits. Daniel said it best “Put these words away for such a time when transportation and communication is greatly advanced.”

    I think some realized that the end wasn’t in their life time, and recognized it to be a long time from their now. The problem is that the writer of Revelation wanted people to be able to identify the end times… He said “You will know when the end is near by these signs.”

    And those are the signs people go by… There will be wars and rumors of wars…. Well, when is there not a rumor of a war? Christian persecution will be on the rampage. To the point of execution for Christian beliefs. Well, as much as Christians try to set themselves up to be persecuted, they still aren’t persecuted for their stupidity. (So many martyrs in the group.)

    There’s a lot that is highly ambiguous, and it sets the stage of “Christ will come like a thief in the night.” Which tells me unannounced, no warning or heads up, very few signs, if any. Just one day the world will wake up missing a billion or two people. Which you have no idea how terrifying that is to a child being raised and continuously told that their parents and/or them could just vanish from the planet at any moment. There’s no understanding “going to a better place”. I didn’t know if everyday I came home from school whether my parents were going to be there or not or they were just going to be gone. Or if I woke up in the morning whether my parents would be there or not. I believe in the end times, however, I don’t believe in the escapism that Christians want them to be..

    Christians trying to escape their lot in life hoping that they’ll just vanish from their problems… Sorry, we have free will and that means God gave us a brain to use to solve our own problems… LOL.

  6. Wanna B Sure says:

    And then there are many of us that don’t pay too much attention to “the millenium” thingie. Hardly mentioned at all in churches and sermons. There is a saying about it; “Pan millenium”. “However it pans out”. That’s not to say we are indifferent to it, but the Gospels and where we are spiritually when the end comes is of the most importance. (We must remember that when the end comes for each and every one of us, is primarily when our heart stops beating.) We don’t read the last chapter of a book, and throw the rest away. We do however have a concern about Dispensational pre-millenialism though, and that it contains/ develops a strong political element which has contributed to much turmoil both here, and especially in the Middle East, via Christian Zionism. If those who promote it would simply accept it quietly, fine, but they are the loudest and the most politically active. The famous “Left Behind” series is a fiction that some emotionally grab onto and bring to the lobbyists, and the voting booth. I need not get into the specifics as we have been here before. To hear some of them, about the only three books they preach on are Ezekiel, Daniel, Revelation, (The Apocolypse of John). In addition about two verses from Matthew. And allll the above with the help of a pocket calculator. An entire theology is made from these. A theology of works, as though Jesus can’t come back unless we make a landing strip for him on the Mount of Olives, not too far away from the newly rebuilt temple.

    • Wanna B Sure says:

      PS—Re. “The newly rebuilt Temple”, which throughly angers the Palestinians. Peace in the Hinnom (Gehenna) Valley anyone?

    • Wolfy32 says:

      It was all that was focussed on in my upbringing… Every service it was preached… Guess who’s coming back for us soon? Yup Christ. Hang in there people, he’ll be here in the blink of an eye.

      I agree with you though. That the focus should be on ourselves in the here and now, and not on escaping our problems.. I like your take Wannab. Very good thought. If the end happens, it happens, we’ll deal with it when its a problem. Not make our entire lives centered around it in the hopes of escaping our problems… I wonder what God would have to say about that?

      • Wanna B Sure says:

        “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”

      • Wanna B Sure says:

        Or; ” Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will take care for itself. Each day has enough of it’s own trouble”.

  7. Doubtful says:

    Most of the “end of times ” talk now days is from environmentalists claiming that the world will end due to CO2 emissions. They base this on “science” they got from the news media and politicians. How does this differ from the ignorant supposedly Christian groups you like to talk about?

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