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Thread: Christianity and the "End Times" fallacy

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    Turbo's Avatar Civitate
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    Default Christianity and the "End Times" fallacy

    I've read some posts regarding the Bible and several statements by posters that the "end times" are soon to come, referring to the predictions made in the book of Revelation. This is protestant theology.

    There significant historical evidence and logic that strongly suggests that the 'End times' happened already. The Book of Revelation deals not with the future but rather with the past struggle and eventual triumph of the Christian Church over the Roman Empire.

    This however does not fit with many protestant ideologies and theologies and is ignored. Further, it strongly suggests that the Orthodox and/or Roman Catholic churches are the legitimate churches of Christ as it is through them that Christianity eventually outlasts the Roman Empire.

    A good link to read if you are interested: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontl...ion/white.html

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    Darth Wong's Avatar Pit Bull
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    The current obsession with "end times prophesy" is bizarre, and shows religion at its worst. At its best, religion encourages people to help others, but at its worst, religion encourages people to do self-destructive things or harm others. In the case of "end times prophesies", people are told to react to social problems not by trying to solve them, but by interpreting them as "signs of the end times" and retreating further into isolation from the rest of society so that they will be ready for the Rapture.

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    Justinian's Avatar
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    I applaud anyone who can figure out what that mess of incoherent nonsense known as Revelations is predicting.

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    imp2054's Avatar Aoba
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    This isnt a 'current' obsession by any means. Since Christianity started there has always been a section of its followers convinced they are living through the 'tribulation'. Christianity is afterall an apocolyptic religion, Jesus himself preached of the end of the world. Many major political figures who've annoyed apocolyptic christians since Nero has been seen as the anti-christ.

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    GodNeptune's Avatar Centurio
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    Well, I've also read that Revelations can be interpreted as an allegory of future astrological events. The book is full of cosmic symbolism that's for sure.

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    Justinian's Avatar
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    Well, certainly. Taking Revelations literally makes even less sense then taking Genesis 1 literally.

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    Turbo's Avatar Civitate
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    I consider myself to be a practicing Catholic but not a born again Christian. I consider the Bible to be divinely inspired (I am referring to the full bible, not the shortened protestant version).

    The problem I see with Born Again theology is that they start out with a concept then reference scriptures to prove their case. They ignore or gloss over whatever evidence there is to contrary. The "end times" theology is almost a heresy in that entire theology base much of their beliefs on 'rapture'. The need to be born again is essential to be raptured. Take away the 'rapture' concept or the impending doom 'end times' , and these beliefs start to fall apart. The end times is a reincarnation of Gnostic teachings -- you only have to read the Gnostic Book of Barrabas to see what I mean.

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    Justinian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Turbo
    I consider myself to be a practicing Catholic but not a born again Christian.
    Would you mind explaining the difference for the unenlightened?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Justinian
    Would you mind explaining the difference for the unenlightened?
    Since he hasn't responded yet, I would point out that Catholics have extra material to consider besides just the Bible: they have the "apocrypha" as well as papal writings. They also consider the Bible to be a source of divine inspiration but not necessarily inerrant (the Catholic church officially accepts that evolution occurs, for example).

    Born-again Christians are fundies; they think that every single word of the Bible is the precise and literal truth. If the Bible says that the Earth was created in six days, they believe it was actually created in exactly six days, astrophysics be damned.

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    PacSubCom's Avatar Darkness is the light
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    Default Wir sind Papst!

    I must say that the Catholic doctrine seems much nicer. The bible isn't inerrant, only the pope is. And a pope you can influence ... or get rid of.

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    Darth Wong's Avatar Pit Bull
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    Quote Originally Posted by PacSubCom
    I must say that the Catholic doctrine seems much nicer. The bible isn't inerrant, only the pope is. And a pope you can influence ... or get rid of.
    I'd agree with that; while I am no fan of the Catholic Church, they aren't as scary as the sort of person who will look you right in the eye and tell you that it's OK to kill babies if God tells him to do it (I wish I was making this up, but I'm not; I've run into people who actually say that).

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    Princeps Prior
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    Maybe the "end times" refer to the end of history. Note that this is different from the end of man.
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    the book of Revelation cannot be read on it's own, Paul and friends letters have to be read also to give a broader view/elaborate on what it is on about/occasionally repeat what John says in it

    as a side note, I don't think it should be read in Elglish either, alot of things are bastardised in translation

    and SocietDoom, it refers to the end of the current and past era of humanity (and all who have lived so far...unless God likes them of course)
    Last edited by Richard; November 28, 2005 at 10:13 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Justinian
    Would you mind explaining the difference for the unenlightened?
    A practicing Catholic is one who attends mass on a weekly basis and generally follows the Catholic Church's position as defined by the Pope. The key difference between the Orthodox Churches and the Catholic Church is the recognizing of the Pope's final word on matters of theology.

    'Born Again' is primarily protestant theology that claims that acceptance of Christ as the savior is sufficient for entry into heaven. The theology bases much of its position on the passage in the bible regarding the thief on the cross next to Christ who despite a life of crime was saved by accepting Jesus. The Orthodox and Catholic faiths also stress "works" (good deeds resulting from faith). I actually think this part of "born again" is theologically correct particular when you read about Christ's position on the Old Commandments however, if faith exists within a person, there should be some evidence of it (works).

    The 'born again' movement states that the people that are born again are predestined by God to be born again. This is Calvinist theological that says that it is God that decides who will be saved and who won't be. This I strongly disagree with. I believe God "knows" who will be gain salvation (foreknowledge) but each person is given an opportunity and choice (self-choice). Whether you believe god is a stern lawgiver or a loving father plays an important role.

    The last piece of the 'born again' movement concerns the book of Revelation and the concept of rapture. This has become cemented dogma and it is this is the heretical part of the faith.

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    The book of revelations has to do with the end of time. If I understand it right the following will happen. God will judge all and if you have lived bad you will be cast in the fire. If you are good you go to heaven. From that point on it becomes weird.

    There will come a 7 headed dragon (I believe Satan) and he will fight with everything that is good. He will be destroyed by jesus I believe and all in heaven will come down to earth and live in jerusalem wich will be the heaven on earth. All that have lived bad will live outside the city without possibility to enter.

    This all sounds pretty strange but lets just keep it at that in the end there will be an enormous fight between good and evil. From that point on nothing else is stated. What I would like to know is what will happen with good after evil has been destroyed. Because there can be no evil without good and vice versa.
    In patronicvm svb Jesus The Inane

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    Quote Originally Posted by KrewciaL
    The book of revelations has to do with the end of time. If I understand it right the following will happen. God will judge all and if you have lived bad you will be cast in the fire. If you are good you go to heaven. From that point on it becomes weird.

    There will come a 7 headed dragon (I believe Satan) and he will fight with everything that is good. He will be destroyed by jesus I believe and all in heaven will come down to earth and live in jerusalem wich will be the heaven on earth. All that have lived bad will live outside the city without possibility to enter.

    This all sounds pretty strange but lets just keep it at that in the end there will be an enormous fight between good and evil. From that point on nothing else is stated. What I would like to know is what will happen with good after evil has been destroyed. Because there can be no evil without good and vice versa.
    Interesting that you think that God will judge men on their works (living bad) and not their faith in Christ. Most people that believe in rapture usually insist that gaining it is only possible if you have "given yourself to Christ" - in faith.

    Salvation has nothing to do with good and evil, at least not in Christianity. Salvation is by faith in Christ. It is through faith that good comes.

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    Tom Paine's Avatar Mr Common Sense
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    And of course this is a flaw; you can be genocidal and still saved if you're Christian...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Squeakus Maximus
    And of course this is a flaw; you can be genocidal and still saved if you're Christian...
    A true Christian can not commit genocide. However, someone who commits genocide could still gain redemption through repentance and faith. This is not to say that the path to salvation would be an easy one. The sins commited in life must be accounted for and purged before one can enter heaven.

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    Tom Paine's Avatar Mr Common Sense
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    I suspect if they claimed to be a new Joshua...

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    sephodwyrm's Avatar Sohei
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    Joshua?!

    (a dead soul from Ai and Jericho shakes in her grave)

    Would God give instructions like that? Seriously...many things are beyond our understanding and we're limited by our current mindset and time-frame.
    Older guy on TWC.
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