The End is Near, Again and Again.

There was another of those the-end-is-near predictions today.  It has to do with a possible U. S. military action in the Middle East.

One might call predicitions of “the end” a cottage industry.   People have been making a living telling us this since who knows when.

In the Christian faith, the most notable end-is-near proponent was none other than Jesus, if we are to believe he said the things attributed to him.  He believed the world would end during his lifetime.

Since then, I would guess someone has made this prediction every year for about 2,000 years.  Why do people make these predictions when they never come true?

Surely the reason there are always such predictions floating around is because a lot of people like them.  They are willing to buy books and toss money in the collection plate.

Perhaps the believeability of the end prediction is the inevitable product of believing in the invisible super natural.  If there is not critical thinking about evidence of the supernatural, we might expect there to be none about the end of times either.

The one positive thing about end of times predictions is that when it does not happen time and time again, some people become sketical of the entire enterprise.  We have in RRF someone whose entire extended family left religion because they first swallowed and end of times radio preacher and then became disillusioned with all religion afterwards.

So, to readers who really believe the end is near, you are welcome to tell us when.

http://www.christianpost.com/news/possible-us-attack-on-syria-being-linked-to-bibles-end-times-prophecy-103509/

Avatar of Jon Lindgren

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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48 Responses to The End is Near, Again and Again.

  1. Michael Ross says:

    The end IS near. Any thinking person has to believe we are near the end. The only question is “the end of what.” The end of history? The end of the world? I think not. The end of the world as we know it? A real possibility in my view.

  2. Wanna B Sure says:

    “The end of the world as we know it”—-Yup. When the heart stops beating. The end is near for all of us. Nearer for some. Average life span @ 77 + – ?

    • entech says:

      The heart can stop beating for several hours. Modern medicine can do that, the church can’t.

      • Wanna B Sure says:

        My father’s heart stopped beating. He’s dead. Been dead ten yr. This is not difficult stuff.

        • entech says:

          Mine was stopped for 6 hours, I am still writing in reply to your nonsense.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Evidently your stoppage wasn’t permanent. In due time my friend, in due time.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Where is the nonsense in this thread? Do you disagree with the average lifespan of 77? I did say + -( that’s plus or minus). Would you have preferred I said 90, or 40? Those numbers can vary where you are at. It is after all nonsense on your part to decontextualize what you know very well what I meant, but then that is your way. Nonsense.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            PS Should have said “decontextualize WHEN “…
            My fault. Don’t want you to get all exercised over that too. It could be bad for your heart.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Entech; “Does The Spearmint, (chewing gum) Loose It’s Flavor On The Bedpost Overnight? Let’s see what you can do with this. It came from the UK.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            4:14 “Does the Speamint Loose Its Flavor on the Bedpost Overnight (when you chew it in the morning will it be too hard to bite)”

            I just love classical music. :)

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Thought you would like it.

          • entech says:

            don’t make it so specific, practically everything you say is nonsense and/or irrelevant.
            Example where on earth does chewing gum enter the topic.
            My Mother used to sing that, you must be older than I thought, probably explains a thing or two.

            about the permanent stoppage, I can imagine a time when I will look forward to that, but like Augustine – not yet.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Entech; Follow the thread. It will be revealed to you, and your continual ranting will be shown to be just what it is,—ranting.
            The chewing gum was simply an exercise, (excurses) for your style of commentary.
            Back to heart stoppage: I do have concerns as to how long the brain was without oxygenation. (A case for immediate CPR). The longer it takes for care, the more possibilities of damage. With medical assistance, the heart can be stopped and started during the procedures, but mechanical devices can and do replace the function, if necessary. Temperature control is also used on occasion. Pacemakers can assist, but when the heart stops beating, even a pacemaker won’t help. But you know this, and you just want to argue. I have also personally known people who have had procedures done after a heart attack that had memory problems, along with emotional control. Possibly from the trauma, shortage of oxygen, or medication. Sometimes they recover completely in time, sometimes not. Could this be the cause of your obsessing? I don’t know, but it is a possibility, and if it is, I understand your frustration.
            Back to “Heart stopped beating”.—I said nothing about starting again. I repeat, follow the thread.
            Here’s another tangent,(excursus) for you to work on, as long as you like them so: “I got tears in my ears, from laying on my back, in my bed, from crying over you.”

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Wanna 12:01 I had not noticed any “obsessing”, “lack of memory” or any of you amature analysis of entech. He simply bests you in on these pages.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            And you Jon are equally ignorant of the content of the thread. The blind leading/defending the blind.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Obsessing= revisiting the same wrong assessment/inclusion, and won’t let go. Obsessing.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Go to 1:58, follow down, then 2:09. Clearly neither one of you likes specificity. Not good for a college professor.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Wanna 2:22 Following a thread has nothing to do with your amature accusation there is something wrong with entech’s mind. It has everything to do with someone, you, who is losing an argument deciding to change the subject by making a VERY personal insult.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            @9:55 : Evidently specificity is a challenge to atheism. You would rather speak in large generalities of things you don’t or can’t understand, and try to make it sound superior or profound. Your method is not only “bested”, it fails. No cap and gown for you.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Not a personal insult, but an observation of a probability. I did say “I don’t know, it’s a possibility”. You evidently are not aware of the cause and symptoms. Depression is another manifestation, and how that is revealed is varied.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Wanna 2:42 “I don’t know, it’s a possibility.”

            I don’t think you have any idea how mean a remark like that is. Anything is a “possiblity”. There is “possibility” the sun will not come up tomorrow. The words “possible” and “possibility” are so loaded and meaningless they are banned from use in courtrooms. For example, an attorney cannot say, “We don’t know where the defendant was that night, so there is a possibility he was in the home of the murdered victum.”

            But, you are here tossing out such a word merely because you are losing an argument and should apologize.

            Because you have such a block on understanding what is an appropriate remark on this board, I’ll give an example. Everyone of us had bumps on the head when we were children and/or during adulthood. You had one or more. Brain injury is a real illness. It comes from blows to the head. There is the “possiblity” your stubborness to admit to the obvious role of cultural influences on religious beliefs resulted from a bump on the head you recieved as a child. Now, to use you ill advised defense, I’m saying it’s just a possibility, I don’t know, etc etc.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Jon; I’m sure “the emperor” was offended when he was told that he had no clothes. That still did not change the situation. He had no clothes. Want to hear a poem from “Old Mother Hubbard”? …”went to the cupboard to get her poor daughter a dress…”

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Jon @ 3:01: Desperate ramblings on your part. If you don’t like my assessment of the thread, cut me off. Just remember, if you do, we’ll all know you can’t handle any other point of view, and you lost the discussion/argument.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            And I don’t think that would be the way of a true Freethinker.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Testing 1-2-3–
            I really don’t have the ambition to go back and look up all the negative comments we’ve seen here about Christ, Christians, their mental stability, or “dependence on a sky daddy”, or many other some such aversions. But all one has to do is ask about a clinical condition that exists, you claim foul. Hmmm. The attempt to silence through intimidation or other was a common practice during the middle ages. ie. “The Ban”, or the inquisition. Could that happen here? Sounds like some would like it to. We shall see in time to come, only it may come from the other side. Who will be the Grand Inquisitor then?

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Feel free to Google “after effects of stroke-heart attacks and procedures. Neurological, psychological, (stress, anxiety, argumentativeness, depression). There are pages, with related links.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Wanna 6:00 “Feel free to Google ‘after effects…’”

            Feel free to Google “brain injuries”.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            I didn’t mention brain injuries. Your own insertion, (and diversion). 15-20% of heart attack victims have clinical symptoms of depression with related manifestations.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Wanna 6:15 “I didn’t mention brain injuries.”

            Of course you didn’t. Most brain injured people don’t mention it. You did use the word “possibility”. I’m just saying anything is a “possiblity” including the bump on the head you had as a child. Talk about obsession, you are obsessed with heart problems. You keep bring it up. There is a “possibility” its a sign of some problem you have.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Simply more of the same attempted diversion. A common practice of yours. It may work on some, but not here, or this time. When it is used, it is a sure indicator that your point is weak and you know it. Both of you use it, and it still doesn’t work. You should know that by now. Like a spoiled child in a store that screams until he/she gets his/her way. As though the louder and more repetitive they are, they will get their way. Keep screaming. Try stomping your feet, and hold your breath. Can you send a video of that? If Entech doesn’t have a clinical problem, he is fortunate. If he/you can’t let go and let God, (an obvious situation), you have nobody to blame but yourselves. Go to top of thread, and be an adult.

  3. Avatar of realist realist says:

    I think the people who are sure the end is near and will happen within their lifetime are a bunch of narcissists. This type of thinking is seen in other situations where people will insert themselves into a scenario such as being a crime victim or an accident victim. Usually this is seen as “worry”, but underlying that is a conviction that their own importance dictates all events shall revolve around them, even bad events. Of course it hasn’t helped that trendy books and movies glamorize the idea of the end of the world. I’m afraid we’re just going to keep plugging along pretty much the way we have been for millions of years; the “we” being the earth.

    • Jinx says:

      I have long believe that we do not need a god to end our world because we are well on our way to ending it ourselves……..nuclear weapons, climate change, aggressive farming, poisoning the air and water and over population. There are serious scientists that believe we have already reached our tipping point (point of no return) and quality of life on this planet is beginning to slowly decline; a decline that will accelerate over time.

  4. Dan says:

    Unfortunately, I find that it’s mainly the liberals who spread the “End Of the World” fear. Al Gore is one of the most prominent doomsday speakers out there. According to him, global warming is going to lead to mass food shortages and extreme super storms. Thirty years ago, the liberals were saying that global cooling was going to wreak havoc on civilization. So, both sides of the aisle have “End Of the World” doomsday prophets. The strange thing is that Christanity states that the world will never end so I’m really unclear as to where this End Of the World fear tactic is coming from except from people like Al Gore and astroid buffs. Personally, I like to be prepared, not for the End of the world but for devestating ice storms (loss of electricity in the winter), financial collapse (approaching 17 trillion dollars in debt) and flooding (happens almost every year now in Fargo).

    • Wolfy32 says:

      Dan, I agree… I think the common theme here, and its a theme used by Governments, religion, by parents, by communities, by gangs, by terrorists, by religion and governments (together), and by individuals… It’s a theme of quite simply fear, and preying on people’s fears.

      Be it eschatology from religion, or doomsday people saying the world is going to end unless we invest in better environmental technology. There’s money and control to be had through fear…

      It’s easier to make people scared and make them do stupid things, than it is to do something about it. The Christians are more or less of the You can’t do anything about changing God’s mind about the end times, so, let’s just bring it on and get it overwith.

      And the concept of global warming is too big for people to remotely try to understand what they can do. A little recycling at home, really is going to have near zero impact at home.

      • Dan says:

        I’m not sure if Christians want to bring it down but I do know that Islam believes that in order to usher in the 12th Imam, there has to be chaos and bloodshed like no other time in history. Then the 12th Imam will be revealed and make the world (under Islam) a better place. Check it out, I don’t make this stuff up. So, what do we have going on in the middle east right now? Think Iran isn’t wanting the U.S. to escalate the situation in Syria?

        • Wolfy32 says:

          I think Iran is staying out of it. I don’t think Iran wants us anywhere near Syria. I’m somewhat surprised at Russia’s Response of “leave Syria alone” although it appears that Syria is a territory of Russia’s… Which, well, is no surprise..

          Here’s my thought… because I suspect that if Syria did this now, it’s probably been doing things like this for a while.

          So, what I actually believe…. Russia took in Snow, or whatever that guy’s name was that leaked the NSA stuff.

          The U.S. Publicly denounced Russia for it’s actions.. The U.S. refused to attend the summit with Russia… The U.S. is pouting right now.. No one’s listening to us, and Russia took a NSA guy with tons of US intelligence… now we’re stomping our feet pouting wanting some of our dignity back… What are we going to do??? Drum up a case to get public support to attack some of Russia’s Assets… This isn’t to punish Syria… This is to punish Russia.

          I just hope that in our arrogance and poutiness, that not having any international support, we don’t ruffle the wrong feathers… We’re assuming Russia will just abandon Syria and leave it to it’s own devices.

          However, if we’re prepared to go something alone over something as trivial as the NSA guy, I hope we’re ready to lose American lives, and ready to have the world watch us flounder on our own again.

          Obama lost some dignity and pride that whole case.. now, like a 3 year old he has to attack Russia indirectly to let them know we’re POed at them.

          The only thing that surprises me on this, is that China is letting us do this.. I’m kind of surprised that China isn’t pulling the financial strings and saying, hey, keep your toys away from our friends… Someone might get hurt….And it won’t be us.

          At the same time, maybe China wants us to spend more money we don’t have… So we owe China more… They don’t have to fight petty wars… They own us financially…

  5. Wolfy32 says:

    I believe actually that Christians seem to be a bunch of cowardly escapists….My aunt and uncle both constantly complain about society and wish God was coming soon. They’ve had 2-3 by pass surgeries each now, and they are fairly depressed and constantly wish God were coming. Which is pretty arrogant and narccisstic. To want to end the entire world’s way of life just to escape their own lives?

    First of all, why would any, legitimately sovereign and devine God cater to that whininess? I would lose a lot of respect for a God like that.

    Second of all, how dare you wish away human civilization for the sake of escaping your own lives.. My mom and dad are similar in some ways, but, not as bad.. Jon is right though, anytime there’s talk of war in the mideast, my parents peak up and start studying end time prophecy to try to figure out where this war fits in.

    And although, maybe there is something to eschatology that is hidden there. Nostradomous got some things right… More than most, but was also wrong on a lot of things. So, maybe a few biblical writers were vague enough to get some things right too.

    I don’t know whether we should intervene in Syria or not.. If (it’s a huge If) chemical weapons were actually used…. Well, what should be the consequences? What if a country used a small nuclear device say that only destroyed a football stadium. Would that warrant being taken over?? In WWII the US didn’t enter the scene until Japan bombed us. My understanding is that Hitler was in talks with Japan and told Japan not to involve the West! Had Japan not attacked us, we could be looking at a very different Europe today. One dominated by naziism.

    I don’t have an answer for Eschatology, however, one thing is certain, there’s money involved in war and fear. When you combine the two… it could be a cash cow!

    • Dan says:

      “What if a country used a small nuclear device say that only destroyed a football stadium.”

      Wolfy32, then it wouldn’t be a nuclear device, it would be a fire cracker.

    • Dan says:

      “how dare you wish away human civilization for the sake of escaping your own lives..”

      How does this adversly impact your life? If I wish that today would go by fast because it is a difficult day for me and you are having a vacation on a beach in Florida, would I be cutting your vacation short? Is wishing a crime? Maybe, they are wishing it to end because they see people being slaughtered in the middle east and want it to end. If Hitler would have won WWII, once all of the Jews had been exterminated and Hitler was looking for his next scapegoats, do you think people might wish for the world to end so that the suffering of society would stop?

      • Wolfy32 says:

        Which, brings us to our first of many paradoxes… I’m glad you said it.. People don’t get it when I say it…

        If what you say is true, Christianity provides a form of satisfying and justified escapism…

        Then why do we live at all? Why not “drink the cool aid..” It can all be over very quickly. If the world is that evil and that bad and that wrong, why do we continue with our own lives? What do Christians truely have to live for, if death has everything they crave?

        I used to think of Christianity / religion as a solution for depression and many other mental issues in society. However, it actually perpetuates and could give people an out… The next life is better, screw this one, I’m going to the next one…

  6. Wanna B Sure says:

    “The end is near again, and again and again”.
    The solution is—Change TV channels, stay away from preachers/sects that preach mostly on Daniel, Ezekiel, and Revelation. Don’t buy books that center on the same, or answer the door if one wants to sell you a magazine. Those that do center on “the end times” are not so large as they would have you believe, or believe themselves.

    We have five churches in our town. With the exception of one that may on occasion mention the “end times’ scenario, (still not it’s primary emphasis), the remainder don’t. Look to the dispensational millennialists for that.

  7. Wolfy32 says:

    Most of the Evangelical Assemblies God Churches around the entire state of ND (and I think from a national organization perspective) focus on end times… not as a Primary focus, but, it’s like their secondary focus….Most of their worship songs are centered on God coming back for them soon, and many of their sermons will have some mention of Christ’s return and/or end times. It may not be the focus of each sermon, but, it’s definately an undertone….. My dad taught sunday school the last few years, and all of it was sponsored by the church and it all focussed on eschatology.

    And the evangelical Assemblies of God churches in ND are pretty large and popular in ND.

    • Wanna B Sure says:

      Go to a lutefisk supper, and you would think everyone loves lutefisk.

      • Wolfy32 says:

        Been to a couple and it’s surprising how many people hate lutefisk… Just went because someone else dragged them… :)

        Just because a lot of people go to something doesn’t mean they buy into it. I’ve gone and I didn’t buy into it and I’m sure many other people didn’t have a choice either.

      • Wanna B Sure says:

        Yes. Go to Wiki, and look up the numbers of Pentecostals, add most of the Baptists and a few small other sects that preach “the end times”. Then add up all the others that don’t. You will find those who do is a very small number. If there are those who “don’t buy into it”, the numbers would be even smaller. The numbers provided are in the whole USA, not just ND.

  8. Dan says:

    The end to normal life happened on 9-11. Now we live in the new normal. When will this new normal be changed due to another “event?” Events happen around the world everyday but fortunately, the U.S. hasn’t had one significant to change our new normal. To me, every time we have an “event,” we loose more of our personal freedoms in the name of security. Is there anyone who disagrees with this assertion? I remember about two weeks after 9-11, my wife had to fly out of Dallas to Grand Forks (I was heading for the desert) and TSA made her feel like a criminal. They made her drink out of every prepared bottle (for our new born) and run the wand over her countless times all while our 8 month old screamed his head off. I saw a old woman (probably in her 80s) in a freaking wheel chair get the run around trying to get through TSA security. Did you know that the TSA also has authority on the road ways as well? There aren’t many yet but wait until the next event.

  9. Henry says:

    Jon:“It has to do with a possible U. S. military action in the Middle East.”

    Yes. Let’s play a video game while we debate what will happen with men’s lives. Let’s get those WMD’s. Obamba says so. Even if we have to go it alone. Then we can declare mission accomplished. And get another Nobble Piece Prize.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics-live/the-senates-syria-hearing-live-updates/?id=ed01ca14-222b-4a23-b12c-c0b0d9d4fe0a

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