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The W - Current Events & Politics - Are we in the end times?
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ekedolphin
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Since: 12.1.02
From: Indianapolis, IN; now residing in Suffolk, VA

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.29
With all the devastating natural disasters of the past year, resulting in the deaths of literally hundreds of thousands of people, it seems we can't go a month without an earthquake, tsunami or hurricane causing devastating loss of life.

It's gotten to the point where I'm compelled to ask this question, even knowing that I might get ridiculed for it. But that hasn't stopped me from making an ass of myself on a few occasions, and besides, this is an important question.

Do you think that we're in, or approaching, the End Times, whether they be the times prophesied about in the book of Revelation, or whatever other belief system you, the reader of this comment, subscribes to?

I know people have been looking at disasterous events for thousands of years and saying, "All this happening at once means Jesus must be coming soon." And I'm not exactly about to go around holding up a sign that says "REPENT, THE TIME OF THE LORD IS HERE" or anything like that. But I ask the question regardless. I myself am not sure of the answer obviously, and I'm not even sure whether I believe it or not. It's simply occurred to me as being a possibility, based on all the incalcuably devastating natural disasters that have been going on recently.

So... discussion?



"I am here to use my frabjulitulity to mictifarcate your giltooney! Lo! My junurtiquity is most biollorky! Bask in the power of my meckalecka-hi, meckahiney-ho!"
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DrDirt
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Since: 8.10.03
From: flyover country

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.35
Eke, it certainly does seem overwhelming. However, if we look back over the last several thousand years, the truth is that it is really business as usual. The difference is our ability to almost instantly hear and see what is going on all over the world.



Perception is reality
redsoxnation
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Since: 24.7.02

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.85
Well, if we consider the Bible Codes on the History Channel as accurate, yes, the world is coming to an end. Of course, when the time traveling alien theory is used as a viable theory for the Bible Codes, they do lose some credibility.
Is the World Coming to an End: Perhaps. However, if the world suddenly does come to an end, would anyone actually know that the world has come to an end? They could announce today that the world will end next week, and, if you get hit by a bus 10 minutes after the announcement, does it really matter?
On all the natural disasters: Some of that has to be factored in with instant communication. In the past, what happened on the other side of the world wouldn't be known for days/weeks/months/years/ever, thus a pattern like now could occur but few would be able to piece things together. Also, considering they are saying the Pakistani earthquake was close to the surface and that was the reason for the massive damage, would it be shocking if perhaps the Pakistani's had underground problems with some of their nuclear material? That was the first thought crossing my mind after hearing the news of the devastation of the quake.
Oliver
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Since: 20.6.02
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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.05
I'm focussing on the One World Currency concept. The EURO was a step in that direction.
Jim Smith
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Since: 17.10.04
From: Bloomington, IL

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.53
    Originally posted by ekedolphin
    I know people have been looking at disasterous events for thousands of years and saying, "All this happening at once means Jesus must be coming soon."


There you go. The only reason you think today's disasters are worse than ever before is because you're here, right now, hearing about them. A hundred years ago you'd be looking at cholera epidemics and the San Francisco earthquake and wondering if those were portents of Armageddon.

This is probably a pessimistic way of looking at it, but if your criteria for "the end of the world is coming" is that things are getting bad, how do you know things won't be a million times worse a thousand years from now? The early Christian church assumed the Apocalypse would happen fairly soon after it was prophesied (they didn't see a reason for Jesus to wait around) and I'm sure they saw the signs all around them too, but they also could scarcely imagine all the stuff that's gone down since that time.

Every generation thinks that their lifetime is the period in history where things are so bad that this ol' world is winding down, and so far every generation has underestimated how much the world can take. Which isn't to say that the world can never end, but it's always struck me as egotistical to presume that the most important moment in history--the end--has to occur on our watch.

Personally, I don't see why people get uptight worrying about the end of the world, and the Christian version of the End Times in particular. If you believe in the book of Revelation, you're probably already a Christian, so you're sure you'll be raptured before all the bad stuff even starts.
messenoir
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Since: 20.2.02
From: Columbia, MO

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.00
Personally, I've always argued Revelations more is God seeing the destruction we're bringing to the planet and trying to warn us.

I find it a cheap copout to blame God for disasters and death instead of looking at how we can change things for the better ourselves. It's the "I don't need to worry about my actions because God is coming soon anyway" mentality.



A strict constructionist interprets the Constitution according to the language and original intent of the text at the time of its writing, in much the same way as a fundamentalist views the Bible. Fortunately, for strict constructionists, they have been endowed by God with the superhuman gift of being able to read the minds of people who died 200 years ago. Naturally, they use this power only for good -
America (The Book)
AWArulz
Knackwurst








Since: 28.1.02
From: Louisville, KY

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.28
Guess I'll weigh in.

The quick answer is: Yes, I agree we are in the end times spoken of in the Bible. The longer answer is that I think we have been in those end times from the second they strung old HeyZeus up.

Jesus said something along the lines of "you'll hear of wars and rumors of wars and some other stuff, but do not be alarmed, because the end is not here yet. When you see the desecration that causes desolation, then run for the hills" Ok, it's a paraphrase, people. I don't have my Bible handy. Esentially, what I and many people believe is that the so-called millenium is what we are currently in. Killing Jesus kicked it off and when he gets around to the return visit, it ends. The so-called tribulation? It's happening now. It's been happening right along. Did ya ever read about the Inquisition? The Holocost? The Flu Epidemic of 1918? Katrina? TheSan Francisco Earthquake? Krakatoa? Vesuvius? I am hoping that I'll be alive when Jesus returns (that would so rock), but I don't think there's any way to pin down that time. He told one or the other of his goofy apostles that is "Is not for you to know the time and dates the Father has set by His own authority,..... but be my witnesses .... to the ends of the earth.."

I'm good with that.





We'll be back right after order has been restored here in the Omni Center.
Sec19Row53
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Oconomowoc, WI

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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.40
    Originally posted by AWArulz
    [snip] I am hoping that I'll be alive when Jesus returns (that would so rock), but I don't think there's any way to pin down that time. [snip]

What scares the he!! out of me is if I'd meet Jesus walking down the street, and he introduced himself, would I know it's Him?

ON TOPIC - If you're asking whether we'er in the last days, I doubt it. As Jim Smith said, it only looks like the end because this is your frame of reference. There's always been bad stuff going on in the world.



If one man calls you and ass, ignore him. If five men call you an ass, get yourself a saddle - Arab proverb
drjayphd
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Since: 22.4.02
From: Long Island

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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.83
While we're talking about Revelations, we've also got to consider the timeframe when it was written. If I'm correct, that came during one of the second-century Roman pogroms against Catholics, and those responsible for this book were in exile. I'm inclined to think that Revelations was more of a reassurance to fellow Catholics that they'd be on top in the end, but I'm also not a Bible literalist who's sold millions of books based on things happening as written. (Doesn't make Tim LaHaye any less of an asshat, but that's just my opinion, not necessarily informed.)



You wanted the best, you got... Out of Context Quote of the Week.

"...but that doesn't mean he can't relate an amusing anecdote about the Haiti Kid and one of the Frenchman's testicles." (Hogan's My Dad)

Jim Smith
Goetta








Since: 17.10.04
From: Bloomington, IL

Since last post: 2217 days
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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.53
    Originally posted by AWArulz
    Esentially, what I and many people believe is that the so-called millenium is what we are currently in. Killing Jesus kicked it off and when he gets around to the return visit, it ends. The so-called tribulation? It's happening now. It's been happening right along. Did ya ever read about the Inquisition? The Holocost? The Flu Epidemic of 1918? Katrina? TheSan Francisco Earthquake? Krakatoa? Vesuvius?


Your point is interesting, but your evidence here isn't sufficient. Natural disasters, persecution and genocide, and plagues all existed in one form or another before Jesus's lifetime. You seem to be saying that this stuff has gotten worse since then, but since we don't have as much data on more ancient disasters it's difficult to make the comparison. (Since the world's population has drastically increased in the last 2000 years, pre-Christian calamities would logically affect fewer people, but I don't see that as a good measurement of the frequency and severity of such events.)

I mean, I'm not saying it's patently false to consider the End Times to consist of the last 2,000 years, but Hurricane Katrina and the Holocaust don't necessarily prove or disprove that line of thinking.
AWArulz
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Since: 28.1.02
From: Louisville, KY

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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.28
Essentially, Jim - no, incidence of increased activity was not my point. I don't recall Jesus saying there would be MORE, just that they would be there.

Essentially, within the Christian community, there have been historically four positions regarding eschatology (the end times).

Post-Millenialism - Jesus dies and is resurrected and his followers evangelize the whole world and it gets better and better and better - at the moment the last person alive is evangelized, Jesus returns and we have 1000 literal years of Jesus' reign. At the end, the Devil gets away, he and Jesus fight it out at Armageddon and eternity starts.

Premillenialism. - Jesus dies and is resurrected the world gets steadily worse until just before it's gonna get really bad, Jesus raptures Christians out of the word, then 7 years of REALLY bad stuff happens. Then Jesus returns and we have 1000 literal years of Jesus' reign. At the end, the Devil gets away, he and Jesus fight it out at Armageddon and eternity starts.

Pretrism - Most of the prophecy stuff was about stuff that happened b ack in the day. One day Jesus will come back and we go heaven to be with him.

Amillenialism - (it's my position). The Millenial period is not a literal 1000 years and started with Jesus' resurrection. The events noted will go on throughout the church age. One day Jesus will come back and we go heaven to be with him.

LaHaye is a premillenialist. I don't see the "jesus returns twice" thing in the bible.




We'll be back right after order has been restored here in the Omni Center.
ShotGunShep
Frankfurter








Since: 20.2.03

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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.80
    Originally posted by drjayphd
    While we're talking about Revelations, we've also got to consider the timeframe when it was written. If I'm correct, that came during one of the second-century Roman pogroms against Catholics, and those responsible for this book were in exile. I'm inclined to think that Revelations was more of a reassurance to fellow Catholics that they'd be on top in the end, but I'm also not a Bible literalist who's sold millions of books based on things happening as written. (Doesn't make Tim LaHaye any less of an asshat, but that's just my opinion, not necessarily informed.)

That's pretty right on. The context for the Book of Revelation is very important. Scholars dispute when it was written, but many believe that it was during the first century AD. The Christian minority was being persecuted by their pagan rulers and were a desperate people. The imagery in this book help them stay steadfast.
It has been a controversial book for a very very long time and it took quite a while for it to be accepted as canon.


However, this is a time of very frequent disasters. It is more than just our awaredness via technology. But it is certainly not out of the realm of chance. We cannot be too quick to assign meaning to randomness because alarmism just isn't good.
spf
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Since: 2.1.02
From: The Las Vegas of Canada

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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.57
    Originally posted by ShotGunShep
      Originally posted by drjayphd
      While we're talking about Revelations, we've also got to consider the timeframe when it was written. If I'm correct, that came during one of the second-century Roman pogroms against Catholics, and those responsible for this book were in exile. I'm inclined to think that Revelations was more of a reassurance to fellow Catholics that they'd be on top in the end, but I'm also not a Bible literalist who's sold millions of books based on things happening as written. (Doesn't make Tim LaHaye any less of an asshat, but that's just my opinion, not necessarily informed.)

    That's pretty right on. The context for the Book of Revelation is very important. Scholars dispute when it was written, but many believe that it was during the first century AD. The Christian minority was being persecuted by their pagan rulers and were a desperate people. The imagery in this book help them stay steadfast.
    It has been a controversial book for a very very long time and it took quite a while for it to be accepted as canon.


    However, this is a time of very frequent disasters. It is more than just our awaredness via technology. But it is certainly not out of the realm of chance. We cannot be too quick to assign meaning to randomness because alarmism just isn't good.


Another thing to keep in mind when pondering how many disasters there are is that there are simply more and more people inhabiting the same amount of earth. For an earthquake to kill 30,000 back in 800 CE would have meant killing a much larger proportion of the people in a given area. Now though 30,000 is a drop in the bucket of the overall subcontinental Asian area. Not to imply those lives are somehow meaningless or something. But we have more big disasters because there are more people to die in them.



Big Bad
Scrapple








Since: 4.1.02
From: Dorchester, Ontario

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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.68
Not to be all agnostic on everyone, but the Bible is the most re-translated, re-written, vague document of all time. I prefer to concentrate on what I as an individual and what we as a community can do to help our world rather than rely on a 2000-year old version of Chicken Soup For The Soul.



On the flip side, congrats to ABC for hiring Tim McGraw to tailor the lyrics to "I like it, I love it" for every halftime highlight show throughout the "Monday Night Football" season. Just last week, my buddy House and I were discussing Cosell's classic highlight narratives in the '70s, and how nobody had approached them since, and I told House, "Only one thing could ever come close, and I know it's a long shot, but what if ABC hired Tim McGraw to tailor the lyrics to 'I Like it, I Love It' for each week of NFL highlights throughout the season?" And wouldn't you know, it happened! See, dreams can come true. --- Bill Simmons, www.sportsguy.net
whatever
Lap cheong








Since: 12.2.02
From: Cleveland, Ohio

Since last post: 11 days
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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.16
Question:
Are we in the end times?

Answer:
No. The signs will be when the sky turns red, the rivers turn to blood, and the Tribe, Cavs, and Browns will all win championships in the same year...

...and I will be raptured immediately beforehand.

In all honesty, this is a question I have thought about awhile ago. I don't believe that we are yet in the "end times" per se, but that stuff happens and people in large groups can be pretty dumb. That said, I also choose to live my life in appreciation of what we have and how good we have it. I love and treasure my family. I try to be good to my fellow people, 'cause life is too short as it is without spending it making people miserable. So even if we are in the end times, then I am doing my best to enjoy life as much as possible.



"Lita holds a Stone Cold Steve Austin home pregnancy test. What will the Bottom Line say? “Hell Yeah” or “Eh-EH”?" - Raw Satire, 6/15/04
(Apparantly ours said "Hell Yeah", 03/08/05)

Tenken347
Boudin blanc








Since: 27.2.03
From: Parts Unknown

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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.77
What I've always considered to be the most important thing about the Biblical End Times (at least as far as the identification of them) is that Rev. 3:3 says that the End Times will come like a theif in the night, that none shall know the hour. In other words, I feel pretty secure when EVERYBODY starts asking, "are we in the end times?" When things are bad and nobody's wondering if its the end of the world, that would be far more worring to me.
ekedolphin
Scrapple








Since: 12.1.02
From: Indianapolis, IN; now residing in Suffolk, VA

Since last post: 44 days
Last activity: 8 days
#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.29
Well, none shall know the hour for a fact, but that doesn't necessarily mean that no one will speculate that it could be coming.



"I am here to use my frabjulitulity to mictifarcate your giltooney! Lo! My junurtiquity is most biollorky! Bask in the power of my meckalecka-hi, meckahiney-ho!"
--Elan, The Order of the Stick

Four-Time Wiener of the Day (5/27/02; 7/3/02; 7/30/04; 8/28/04)

The Only Five-Time (and Last) N.E.W. World Heavyweight Champion

Certified RFMC Member-- Ask To See My Credentials!

Jaguar
Knackwurst








Since: 23.1.02
From: Phoenix, AZ

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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.61
Three years ago I might've agreed with you, but it seems that Bush's presidency won't be quite *that* effective.


*rimshot*



The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't.



And if our transcendental "if" should find a final floor
Then man will know the death of God where wonder was before
DrDirt
Banger








Since: 8.10.03
From: flyover country

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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.35
While it is interesting to speculate about, it is ultimately futile. If one is serious about Chritianity, then simply lead the best life you can, follow the precepts contained in the Bible and go on about your business. The New Testament also speaks quite cleary to the uselessness of worry. As stated earlier, it will happen when we don't expect it. It also speaks to false prophets ans to be aware of those that say they know God's Will. Which is why I never understood so many televangelists credibility.



Perception is reality
messenoir
Summer sausage








Since: 20.2.02
From: Columbia, MO

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#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.00
Yes, I get very annoyed with Christians who take the view, since we will all be going to Heaven anyway, it doesn't matter what we do in this life, as long as we ask Jesus for forgiveness.

I get the feeling Jesus is going to surprise many people by caring very much how we treated the planet on the people on this planet when we get to Heaven.



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Click Here This article pretty much sums up my feelings about beibg a lefty as it relates to 9-11, and all that jazz. It's a pretty long article, but good. NOTE:
- MoeGates, Here's a good article (2002)
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