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The End of the World: Why do end-of-time beliefs endure?
The Economist ^ | December 16, 2004 | Staff

Posted on 12/21/2004 2:48:52 PM PST by MississippiMasterpiece

A VERICHIP is a tiny, implantable microchip with a unique identification number that connects a patient to his medical records. When America's Food and Drug Administration recently approved it for medical use in humans, the news provoked familiar worries in the press about privacy-threatening technologies. But on the notice boards of raptureready.com, the talk was about a drawback that the FDA and the media seemed to have overlooked. Was the VeriChip the “mark of the beast”?

Raptureready.com runs an online service for the millions of born-again Christians in America who believe that an event called the Rapture is coming soon. During the Rapture, Christ will return and whisk believers away to join the righteous dead in heaven. From there, they will have the best seats in the house as the unsaved perish in a series of spectacular fires, wars, plagues and earthquakes. (Raptureready.com advises the soon-to-depart to stick a note on the fridge to brief those left behind—husbands, wives and in-laws—about the horrors in store for them.)

Furnished with apocalyptic tracts from the Bible, believers scour news dispatches for clues that the Rapture is approaching. Some think implantable chips are a sign. The Book of Revelation features a “mark” that the Antichrist makes everybody wear “in their right hand, or in their foreheads”. Rapturists have more than a hobbyist's idle interest in identifying this mark. Anyone who accepts it spends eternity roasting in the sulphurs of hell. (And, incidentally, the European Union may be “the matrix out of which the Antichrist's kingdom could grow.”)

Christians have kept faith with the idea that the world is just about to end since the beginnings of their religion. Jesus Himself hinted more than once that His second coming would happen during the lifetime of His followers. In its original form, the Lord's Prayer, taught by Jesus to his disciples, may have implored God to “keep us from the ordeal”.

Men have been making the same appeal ever since. In 156AD, a fellow called Montanus, pronouncing himself to be the incarnation of the Holy Spirit, declared that the New Jerusalem was about to come crashing down from the heavens and land in Phrygia—which, conveniently, was where he lived. Before long, Asia Minor, Rome, Africa and Gaul were jammed with wandering ecstatics, bitterly repenting their sins and fasting and whipping themselves in hungry anticipation of the world's end. A bit more than a thousand years later, the authorities in Germany were stamping out an outbreak of apocalyptic mayhem among a self-abusing sect called the secret flagellants of Thuringia. The disciples of William Miller, a 19th-century evangelical American, clung ecstatically to the same belief as the Montanists and the Thuringians. A thick strand of Christian history connects them all, and countless other movements.

Don't get left behind Apocalyptic belief renews itself in ingenious ways. Belief in the Rapture, which enlivens the familiar end-of-time narrative with a compellingly dramatic twist, appears to be a modern phenomenon: John Nelson Darby, a 19th-century British evangelical preacher, was perhaps the first to popularise the idea. (Darby's inspiration was a passage in St Paul's letter to the Thessalonians, which talks about the Christian dead and true believers being “caught up together” in the clouds.) It is not easy to say how many Americans believe in Darby's concept of Rapture. But a dozen novels that dramatise the event and its gripping aftermath—the “Left Behind” series—have sold more than 40m copies.

New apocalyptic creeds have even sprung from those sticky moments when the world has failed to end on schedule. (Social scientists call this “disconfirmation”.) When the resurrected Christ failed to show up for Miller's disciples on the night of October 22nd 1844, press scribblers mocked the “Great Disappointment” mercilessly. But even as they jeered, a farmer called Hiram Edson snuck away from the vigil to pray in a barn, where he duly received word of what had happened. There had been a great event after all—but in heaven, not on Earth. This happening was that Jesus had begun an “investigative judgment of the dead” in preparation for his return. Thus was born the Church of Seventh-day Adventists. They were not the only ones to rise above apparent setbacks to the prophesies by which they set such store: the Jehovah's Witnesses of the persistently apocalyptic Watchtower sect survived no fewer than nine disconfirmations every few years between 1874 and 1975.

Which way to Armageddon? Why do end-of-time beliefs endure? Social scientists love to set about this question with earnest study of the people who subscribe to such ideas. As part of his investigation into the “apocalyptic genre” in modern America, Paul Boyer of the University of Wisconsin asks why so many of his fellow Americans are “susceptible” to televangelists and other “popularisers”. From time to time, sophisticated Americans indulge the thrillingly terrifying thought that nutty, apocalyptic, born-again Texans are guiding not just conservative social policies at home, but America's agenda in the Middle East as well, as they round up reluctant compatriots for the last battle at Armageddon. (It's a bit south of the Lake of Galilee in the plain of Jezreel.)

Behind these attitudes sits the assumption that apocalyptic thought belongs—or had better belong—to the extremities of human experience. On closer inspection, though, that is by no means true.

Properly, the apocalypse is both an end and a new beginning. In Christian tradition, the world is created perfect. There is then a fall, followed by a long, rather enjoyable (for some) period of moral degeneration. This culminates in a decisive final battle between good (the returned Christ) and evil (the Antichrist). Good wins and establishes the New Jerusalem and with it the 1,000-year reign of King Jesus on Earth.

This is the glorious millennium that millenarians await so eagerly. Millenarians tend to place history at a moment just before the decisive final showdown. The apocalyptic mind looks through the surface reality of the world and sees history's epic, true nature: “apocalypse” comes from the Greek word meaning to uncover, or disclose.

Norman Cohn, a British historian, places the origin of apocalyptic thought with Zoroaster (or Zarathustra), a Persian prophet who probably lived between 1500 and 1200BC. The Vedic Indians, ancient Egyptians and some earlier civilisations had seen history as a cycle, which was for ever returning to its beginning. Zoroaster embellished this tepid plot. He added goodies (Ahura Mazda, the maker and guardian of the ordered world), baddies (the spirit of destruction, Angra Mainyu) and a happy ending (a glorious consummation of order over disorder, known as the “making wonderful”, in which “all things would be made perfect, once and for all”). In due course Zoroaster's theatrical talents came to Christians via the Jews.

This basic drama shapes all apocalyptic thought, from the tenets of tribal cargo cults to the beliefs of UFO sects. In 1973, Claude Vorilhon, a correspondent for a French racing-car magazine, claimed to have been whisked away in a flying saucer, in which he had spent six days with a green chap who spoke fluent French. The alien told Mr Vorilhon that the Frenchman's real name was Rael, that humans had misread the Bible and that, properly translated, the Hebrew word Elohim (singular: Eloha) did not mean God, as Jews had long supposed, but “those who came from the sky”.

The alien then revealed that his species had created everything on Earth in a space laboratory, and that the aliens wanted to return to give humans their advanced technology, which would transform the world utterly. First, however, Rael needed financial contributions to build the aliens an embassy in Jerusalem, because otherwise they would not feel welcome (a bit lame, this explanation). Although the Israeli government has not yet given its consent, the Raelians—those persuaded by Rael's account—continue to welcome donations in anticipation of a change of heart.

The Raelians' claim to be atheists who belong to the secular world must come as no surprise to Mr Cohn, who has long detected patterns of religious apocalyptic thought in what is supposedly rational, secular belief. He has traced “egalitarian and communistic fantasies” to the ancient-world idea of an ideal state of nature, in which all men are genuinely equal and none is persecuted. As Mr Cohn has put it, “The old religious idiom has been replaced by a secular one, and this tends to obscure what otherwise would be obvious. For it is the simple truth that, stripped of their original supernatural sanction, revolutionary millenarianism and mystical anarchism are with us still.”

Nicholas Campion, a British historian and astrologer, has expanded on Mr Cohn's ideas. In his book, “The Great Year”, Mr Campion draws parallels between the “scientific” historical materialism of Marx and the religious apocalyptic experience. Thus primitive communism is the Garden of Eden, the emergence of private property and the class system is the fall, the final gasps of capitalism are the last days, the proletariat are the chosen people and the socialist revolution is the second coming and the New Jerusalem.

Hegel saw history as an evolution of ideas that would culminate in the ideal liberal-democratic state. Since liberal democracy satisfies the basic need for recognition that animates political struggle, thought Hegel, its advent heralds a sort of end of history—another suspiciously apocalyptic claim. More recently, Francis Fukuyama has echoed Hegel's theme. Mr Fukuyama began his book, “The End of History”, with a claim that the world had arrived at “the gates of the Promised Land of liberal democracy”. Mr Fukuyama's pulpit oratory suited the spirit of the 1990s, with its transformative “new economy” and free-world triumphs. In the disorientating disconfirmation of September 11th and the coincident stockmarket collapse, however, his religion has lost favour.

The apocalyptic narrative may have helped to start the motor of capitalism. A drama in which the end returns interminably to the beginning leaves little room for the sense of progress which, according to the 19th-century social theories of Max Weber, provides the religious licence for material self-improvement. Without the last days, in other words, the world might never have had 65-inch flat-screen televisions. For that matter, the whole American project has more than a touch of the apocalypse about it. The Pilgrim Fathers thought they had reached the New Israel. The “manifest destiny” of America to spread its providential liberty and self-government throughout the North American continent (not to mention the Middle East) smacks of the millennium and the New Jerusalem.

Science treasures its own apocalypses. The modern environmental movement appears to have borrowed only half of the apocalyptic narrative. There is a Garden of Eden (unspoilt nature), a fall (economic development), the usual moral degeneracy (it's all man's fault) and the pressing sense that the world is enjoying its final days (time is running out: please donate now!). So far, however, the green lobby does not appear to have realised it is missing the standard happy ending. Perhaps, until it does, environmentalism is destined to remain in the political margins. Everyone needs redemption.

Watch this spacesuit Noting an exponential acceleration in the pace of technological change, futurologists like Hans Moravec and Ray Kurzweil think the world inhabits the “knee of the curve”—a sort of last-days set of circumstances in which, in the near future, the pace of technological change runs quickly away towards an infinite “singularity” as intelligent machines learn to build themselves. From this point, thinks Mr Moravec, transformative “mind fire” will spread in a flash across the cosmos. Britain's astronomer royal, Sir Martin Rees, relegates Mr Kurzweil and those like him to the “visionary fringe”. But Mr Rees's own darkly apocalyptic book, “Our Final Hour”, outdoes the most colourful of America's televangelists in earthquakes, plagues and other sorts of fire and brimstone.

So there you have it. The apocalypse is the locomotive of capitalism, the inspiration for revolutionary socialism, the bedrock of America's manifest destiny and the undeclared religion of all those pseudo-rationalists who, like The Economist, champion the progress of liberal democracy. Perhaps, deep down, there is something inside everyone which yearns for the New Jerusalem, a place where, as a beautiful bit of Revelation puts it:

God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away.

Yes, perhaps. But, to be sure, not everyone agrees that salvation, when it comes, will appear clothed in a shiny silver spacesuit.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: 666; leftbehind; prophecy; rapture; secondcoming; verichip
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1 posted on 12/21/2004 2:48:52 PM PST by MississippiMasterpiece
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To: MississippiMasterpiece
"Why do end-of-time beliefs endure?"

Because the end hasn't come yet?

2 posted on 12/21/2004 2:49:58 PM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (Drug prohibition laws help fund terrorism.)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Because we have read the ending of "the Book" and know what to expect?


3 posted on 12/21/2004 2:51:25 PM PST by freemama
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

And because there is hard evidence under the seas and in the mountains that the end-of-time, at least as how the contemporary folks knew it, has come before. And it has come much more quickly than most are willing to accept.


4 posted on 12/21/2004 2:52:29 PM PST by SubMareener (Become a monthly donor! Free FreeRepublic.com from Quarterly FReepathons!)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
>Because the end hasn't come yet?

Iglesias and Kournikova are not married!

December 21, 2004, 11:55:02 Enrique Iglesias and Anna Kournikova have not married, sources have claimed.

According to America's People magazine, the smitten pair did not tie the knot in a romantic Mexican beach ceremony - despite Anna's recent comments that they had married.

A source said: "They definitely did not get married. They're very happy together, but marriage is not something that they're planning in their lives right now." ...

5 posted on 12/21/2004 2:55:02 PM PST by theFIRMbss
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To: MississippiMasterpiece
In the '70's, we were told 'nuclear war' at school and 'rapture' at church. No wonder I was depressed! One day, my mom said that even her grandmother had been waiting for the end of the world. What a relief!

Now I think we still have a hundred years or two --- but those Left Behind books sure were fun!

6 posted on 12/21/2004 3:09:05 PM PST by eccentric (aka baldwidow)
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To: MississippiMasterpiece

From what I've read, every existing generation believes THEY are in end times.


7 posted on 12/21/2004 3:10:00 PM PST by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: MississippiMasterpiece
Why do end time beliefs endure

I first thought you were referring to Global Warming>

8 posted on 12/21/2004 3:10:17 PM PST by aimhigh
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To: MississippiMasterpiece

BTTT


9 posted on 12/21/2004 3:12:19 PM PST by Fiddlstix (This Tagline for sale. (Presented by TagLines R US))
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To: MississippiMasterpiece

"Yes, perhaps. But, to be sure, not everyone agrees that salvation, when it comes, will appear clothed in a shiny silver spacesuit."

How about a baby in a manger? Works for me.


10 posted on 12/21/2004 3:14:11 PM PST by The Spirit Of Allegiance (REMEMBER THE ALGOREAMO--relentlessly hammer on the TRUTH, like the Dems demand recounts)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
"Why do end-of-time beliefs endure?"

For the same reason that some Freepers are obsessed with stories that are posted more than once - they have nothing better to do.
11 posted on 12/21/2004 3:14:29 PM PST by Steve_Seattle
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To: A CA Guy
"From what I've read, every existing generation believes THEY are in end times."

Maybe it's because we're all going to die and we have a hard time imagining life going on without us, so we want to take the rest of the world with us.
12 posted on 12/21/2004 3:16:29 PM PST by Steve_Seattle
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To: theFIRMbss

I think that deserves a halleluiah. There's still time for me.


13 posted on 12/21/2004 3:18:57 PM PST by roostercashews
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To: Steve_Seattle

That is most optimistic of you.


14 posted on 12/21/2004 3:19:01 PM PST by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: All
The last thing you want to find your self doing is mocking God's Word and the Bible. These "End Times Beliefs" are based on the Bible. When they are mocked and ridiculed, remember, it is not JUST a certain Church you may know who goes on about it to much, or some individual you know who may "be going on about it" to much but you are mocking the Bible and God. From Genesis to Revelations. And if it is the Holy God Breathed Inspired Word of God, He warns that anyone who takes away or removes one part of it will be cursed and separated from God. You cannot according to the Bible, say "I believe all of it except the book of Revelations". If and when we get to "that" point whether it be a year from now or longer, best to hold our tongues and maybe in private look up to Heaven in prayer and ask God Himself for an answer. The Bible specifically says that when these times do come that peoples heart who have unbelief will be hardened so that they will not even be able to believe. Don't let your hearts become hardened.
15 posted on 12/21/2004 3:22:13 PM PST by Esther Ruth
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To: MississippiMasterpiece
WHY?

Everyone is going to die. The end-of-the-worlders just wish that everyone would die when they do. They can't stand the thought that life goes on.

16 posted on 12/21/2004 3:28:06 PM PST by Jeff Gordon (Now is the time for all wise men to gloat. FOUR MORE YEARS,)
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To: Steve_Seattle
we want to take the rest of the world with us

I should have read some more before posting (#16). Needless to say you have the right answer.

17 posted on 12/21/2004 3:30:55 PM PST by Jeff Gordon (Now is the time for all wise men to gloat. FOUR MORE YEARS,)
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To: MississippiMasterpiece
"Why do end-of-time beliefs endure?"

Cause there hasn't been a good scary King book in years.

Red

18 posted on 12/21/2004 3:36:27 PM PST by Conservative4Ever (Dear Santa....I have been a good girl this year.....)
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To: Esther Ruth
If you can't add, remove or alter books in the bible without being cursed and driven from God, why then does the Lutheran/Protestant/Evangelical/Pentecostal/Baptist/Communal/Episcopalian(sp?) bible not contain the same books as the King James Roman Catholic bible since they all sprang from the teachings of Christ?

I believe all mankind is fighting the great battle of Good vs. Evil, I don't believe in the "rapture", I wasn't "born again", I did it right the first time.

19 posted on 12/21/2004 3:39:09 PM PST by infidel29 (America is GREAT because she is GOOD, the moment she ceases to be GOOD, she ceases to be GREAT - B.F)
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To: MississippiMasterpiece

What an interesting article.

The answer is clear; For everyone alive at this time, on this earth the END TIMES will occur between this moment and 100 years from this moment.

No-one living at this moment will be here in one hundred years.

I will take donations or bets of $100


20 posted on 12/21/2004 3:49:18 PM PST by highflight (from a distance - buzzards might appear as eagles.)
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To: infidel29

Only books that differ are a few in The Old Testament, not the actual teachings of Christ in The New Testament.


21 posted on 12/21/2004 3:51:05 PM PST by eccentric (aka baldwidow)
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To: MississippiMasterpiece
Heed ye the words of Lord Ignatz:

The Universe you perceive is but part of a Macro Universe-just as the Micro Universe is part of yours. All that you see through telescopes,or perceive with Einsteinian equations,is but a tiny bubble of flatulence in the intestinal tract of a dragon in the Macro Universe: called by some The Great Serpent;by others The Midgaard Serpent;by yet others The Wing-ed Serpent;by Asiatics The Dragon.

In the fullness of time,all that you can see and can imagine will exit noisomely from the Macro Beast:collapsing your myriad worlds upon themselves-yet,the contents shall live on:

dissipating,coalescing,swirling,rising,falling,expanding,contracting for evermore.

Thus spake Lord Ignatz.

22 posted on 12/21/2004 3:56:52 PM PST by genefromjersey (So much to flame;so little time !)
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To: highflight
No-one living at this moment will be here in one hundred years.

Oh ye of little faith! I think medical science is full of miracles yet to come.

$100? There are better investments out there. :)

23 posted on 12/21/2004 3:57:03 PM PST by eccentric (aka baldwidow)
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To: A CA Guy

I think most believe in the End Times now because of the infestation of Homosexuals trying to take over so to speak the break down in morality, and when you talk to most people they cannot see a brighter future?

What is it we are looking forward to? most people are just surviving now a days people do not have that inner happiness they might of had long ago so I think people are waiting for the End to Come so we all truly find that PEACE and HAPPINESS everyone in the world wants...


24 posted on 12/21/2004 3:57:32 PM PST by missyme
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To: eccentric

Ok - I'll up the ante based on the increased life expectancy for the past century. 150 years.

But I hope you're not counting on stem cell research!!!!!!!!


25 posted on 12/21/2004 4:00:12 PM PST by highflight (from a distance - buzzards might appear as eagles.)
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To: eccentric
I dated a "born again" Evangelical for a while some years ago, her bible was significantly thinner than mine (the KJR Catholic version). She said that several books were removed because the authors of those books weren't overcome with "divine inspiration" when they were written. I'm wondering how do the "powers that be" know if they were overcome with divine inspiration or not. Or if any biblical authors were for that matter... maybe it was gas?

I realize that's pretty irreverent, but honestly who are any (modern peples) to truly say under what conditions the books were written?

26 posted on 12/21/2004 4:00:18 PM PST by infidel29 (America is GREAT because she is GOOD, the moment she ceases to be GOOD, she ceases to be GREAT - B.F)
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To: Esther Ruth

In what year was the Book of Revelation set to page, and whose hand physically wielded the pen that did so?


27 posted on 12/21/2004 4:07:23 PM PST by Giant Conservative
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To: infidel29
I don't know what Bible your friend would have had that would have appeared thinner because of 'removed' books. The few of The Old Testament are very small. And I don't know of any religion that has removed books from The New Testament.

The major differences in the sizes of Bibles is the extra's they have inculded such as references, study guide, commentaries, maps, etc.

28 posted on 12/21/2004 4:12:26 PM PST by eccentric (aka baldwidow)
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To: infidel29
The Roman Catholic Bible is the text in question. Perhaps a quick exploration before a snappy religious snub would make one look less... well you know what kind of person that is. Relax and learn a bit instead of being spoonfed. Open a NIV version and realize the care and comparitive analysisLOL... Or.. be afraid to learn and just keep snapping. Perhaps the KJ bibles do not include Pauls urgent plea I Thess 5.21: " Test everything. Hold on to the good." Or Luke who praised the careful and thorough Bereans in Acts 17:11 "Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true."

The Greek text which stands behind the King James Bible is demonstrably inferior in certain places. The man who edited the text was a Roman Catholic priest and humanist named Erasmus.1 He was under pressure to get it to the press as soon as possible since (a) no edition of the Greek New Testament had yet been published, and (b) he had heard that Cardinal Ximenes and his associates were just about to publish an edition of the Greek New Testament and he was in a race to beat them. Consequently, his edition has been called the most poorly edited volume in all of literature! It is filled with hundreds of typographical errors which even Erasmus would acknowledge. Two places deserve special mention. In the last six verses of Revelation, Erasmus had no Greek manuscript (=MS) (he only used half a dozen, very late MSS for the whole New Testament any way). He was therefore forced to ‘back-translate’ the Latin into Greek and by so doing he created seventeen variants which have never been found in any other Greek MS of Revelation! He merely guessed at what the Greek might have been. Secondly, for 1 John 5:7-8, Erasmus followed the majority of MSS in reading “there are three witnesses in heaven, the Spirit and the water and the blood.” However, there was an uproar in some Roman Catholic circles because his text did not read “there are three witnesses in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit.” Erasmus said that he did not put that in there... Blah blah blah http://www.bible.org/page.asp?page_id=665

29 posted on 12/21/2004 4:13:55 PM PST by momincombatboots (Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber)
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To: infidel29

Well, if it is The Holy, God Breathed Inspired Word of God, I will just like a child, have to trust Him, that He will give me His complete Word, why would He not. He does say "That the grass will whither and flowers fade, but His Word will last forever." Such things as you have mentioned, the rapture, that one must be born again - are no different in any the Bible versions you mentioned, are they? Does the Catholic Bible use the words "you must be born again"? These are in John 3:3, John 3:17 and 1 Peter 1:23.


30 posted on 12/21/2004 4:28:55 PM PST by Esther Ruth
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To: Giant Conservative
I believe it was John the apostle in about the 90's, while he was in prison.
31 posted on 12/21/2004 4:32:29 PM PST by Esther Ruth
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To: momincombatboots

Before you throw out accusations of closed mindedness, fear or a "spoonfed" existance, realize that I've studied religions from Daoism to the moonies to Christianity, Shinto, Zen and others. I have a cousin who has been a bible scholar for years, many in the Vatican and has met the Pope. I've taken tidbits from many religious beliefs. I do not adhere to the strictures of ANY singular faith because, being administered by man, inspired or not, they are all flawed. No one faith can claim the "Truth" and back it up. I am human and therefore I am flawed, I can only believe what God tells me through my own prayers, readings and dreams. I believe the Bible tells a story and teaches through the words of God through Christ. It also gives us laws, insights, and first hand experience, but should not be taken literally in all cases. I try to live a good life as beat I can, I try not to tell anyone that what I believe is penultimate, and I try not to insult someone else's beliefs (I can't say I succeed daily in this endeavor, but I'm human).


32 posted on 12/21/2004 4:32:39 PM PST by infidel29 (America is GREAT because she is GOOD, the moment she ceases to be GOOD, she ceases to be GREAT - B.F)
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To: A CA Guy
From what I've read, every existing generation believes THEY are in end times.

Probably. Then too, the end of the world could come for any one of us tomorrow. Gotta keep your bags packed and be ready to go.

33 posted on 12/21/2004 4:37:00 PM PST by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
Because we know at the center of the soul what will come and aren't aware we know it?

34 posted on 12/21/2004 4:39:46 PM PST by William Terrell (Individuals can exist without government but government can't exist without individuals.)
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To: highflight
No-one living at this moment will be here in one hundred years.

Maybe, but people sometimes live longer than 100 years. As long as human life is possible on this planet, this circumstance will probably continue.

35 posted on 12/21/2004 4:41:35 PM PST by RightWhale (Destroy the dark; restore the light)
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To: infidel29
" but honestly who are any (modern peples) to truly say under what conditions the books were written?

an outstanding, objective, non-evangelical book:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0684815036/qid=1103676788/sr=1-3/ref=sr_1_3/104-4833519-2085531?v=glance&s=books

36 posted on 12/21/2004 4:54:42 PM PST by SolutionsOnly (but some people really NEED to be offended...)
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To: theFIRMbss
December 21, 2004, 11:55:02 Enrique Iglesias and Anna Kournikova have not married, sources have claimed.

Christmas did come early!

37 posted on 12/21/2004 4:57:22 PM PST by Always Right
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To: MississippiMasterpiece

Could Christians here please tell me.... how could any rational Christian believe that carrying a chip with your medical records requires you to serve the Devil??? Isn't Christianity a religion of faith alone....


38 posted on 12/21/2004 5:09:55 PM PST by ChicagoHebrew (Hell exists, it is real. It's a quiet green meadow populated entirely by Arab goat herders.)
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To: ChicagoHebrew

"Could Christians here please tell me.... how could any rational Christian believe that carrying a chip with your medical records requires you to serve the Devil??? Isn't Christianity a religion of faith alone...."

It's a sovereignty issue in the spiritual realm. Actions are a result of faith or the lack thereof....


39 posted on 12/21/2004 5:21:23 PM PST by The Spirit Of Allegiance (REMEMBER THE ALGOREAMO--relentlessly hammer on the TRUTH, like the Dems demand recounts)
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To: ChicagoHebrew
The belief is the medical version of the chip is only the beginning. The addition of nano-technology to the chip could be applied to national ID cards that could give off a signal acting as a GPS. This same technology is also being investigated for banking records with MAC or check cards.

The book of Revelations warns of a time when mankind cannot buy or sell without bearing the mark of the beast. An implanted chip containing all of a persons financial records as well as medical records and National ID could very well be such a mark. Some say.

40 posted on 12/21/2004 5:25:29 PM PST by infidel29 (America is GREAT because she is GOOD, the moment she ceases to be GOOD, she ceases to be GREAT - B.F)
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To: Steve_Seattle; A CA Guy; eccentric; roostercashews

2Pet. 3:3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
2Pet. 3:4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
2Pet. 3:5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
2Pet. 3:6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
2Pet. 3:7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
2Pet. 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
2Pet. 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
2Pet. 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
2Pet. 3:11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
2Pet. 3:12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
2Pet. 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
2Pet. 3:14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
2Pet. 3:15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
2Pet. 3:16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
2Pet. 3:17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.
2Pet. 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.


41 posted on 12/21/2004 5:28:10 PM PST by itsahoot (There are some things more painful than the truth, but I can't think of them.)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
Because the end hasn't come yet?

Good answer. Everything is finite. Therefore expecting an end of some sort is neither unreasonable nor is it illogical.

A bit egotistical maybe to think that it will happen in our life time but humans are egotistical by nature and see most things as they relate to us.

I fail to see any reason for puzzlement.

42 posted on 12/21/2004 5:32:43 PM PST by Harmless Teddy Bear (Interdum feror cupidine partium magnarum europe vincendarum (Merry Christmas))
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To: infidel29
I believe all mankind is fighting the great battle of Good vs. Evil, I don't believe in the "rapture", I wasn't "born again", I did it right the first time.

That's what pidgeon holes are for.

43 posted on 12/21/2004 5:37:51 PM PST by VOYAGER
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To: VOYAGER

...hmmm I thought they were for pigeons....Can you explain what a cob web is next? I mean spiders make spider webs, do cobs make cob webs?


44 posted on 12/21/2004 5:42:52 PM PST by infidel29 (America is GREAT because she is GOOD, the moment she ceases to be GOOD, she ceases to be GREAT - B.F)
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To: MississippiMasterpiece

Read "The Parousia" by J. Stuart Russell. Makes a lot of sense. Available at Amazon.


45 posted on 12/21/2004 7:00:49 PM PST by Recovering_Democrat (I'm so glad to no longer be associated with the Party of Dependence on Government!)
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To: infidel29

[Middle English coppeweb : coppe, spider (short for attercoppe, from Old English ttercoppe : tor, poison + copp, head) + web, web; see web.]


46 posted on 12/21/2004 7:16:54 PM PST by Harmless Teddy Bear (Interdum feror cupidine partium magnarum europe vincendarum (Merry Christmas))
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To: E. Pluribus Unum; Steve_Seattle; Esther Ruth

>>>> Why do end-of-time beliefs endure? <<<<

It’s because people don’t know there Bible. They Just listen to the sound bites.

There is No End Of The World coming up. If we follow down the wrong path (which it seem like) There will be some very bad hard times coming up but no end times. As in the
end of the world.
It always amazes me that all these people can go to Mass. And chant “ Now And Forever” And “ Forever And Ever Amen” and then go out and say “ The end of the world is near”
Read carefully the kingdom on earth will go on forever & ever.


47 posted on 12/21/2004 10:25:16 PM PST by quietolong
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To: quietolong
His Kingdom is not of this world, it is not what we have at present. This world is passing away and it will end. The Bible is very clear on this. This world as it is now is sinful, fallen and unholy and it's only redemption and salvation is through Jesus Christ. Only those who have put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ will enter into His Kingdom, because no one can come to the Father but through Jesus Christ. All this WILL pass.

Revelation Chapter 22

1 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.


Rev 22:2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, [was there] the tree of life, which bare twelve [manner of] fruits, [and] yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree [were] for the healing of the nations.


Rev 22:3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:


Rev 22:4 And they shall see his face; and his name [shall be] in their foreheads.


Rev 22:5 And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.


Rev 22:6 And he said unto me, These sayings [are] faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.


Rev 22:7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed [is] he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.


Rev 22:8 And I John saw these things, and heard [them]. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.


Rev 22:9 Then saith he unto me, See [thou do it] not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.


Rev 22:10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.


Rev 22:11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.


Rev 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward [is] with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.


Rev 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.


Rev 22:14 Blessed [are] they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.


Rev 22:15 For without [are] dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.


Rev 22:16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, [and] the bright and morning star.


Rev 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.


Rev 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:


Rev 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and [from] the things which are written in this book.


Rev 22:20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.


Rev 22:21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [be] with you all. Amen.
48 posted on 12/22/2004 4:11:44 AM PST by Esther Ruth
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To: A CA Guy
From what I've read, every existing generation believes THEY are in end times.

And, sooner or later, one of them will be right.

49 posted on 12/22/2004 4:13:33 AM PST by Skooz (The "holiday" has a name.)
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To: quietolong

Pasadena Star-News

NASA discovers dozens of galaxies
Ultraviolet detectors used to find new stars
By Kimm Groshong
Staff Writer

Tuesday, December 21, 2004 - LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE -- A long- sought-after Holy Grail for astronomers is a complete understanding of how galaxies such as the Milky Way formed.

But since scientists believe most of the formative steps took place more than 10 billion years ago, directly observing that process by looking at galaxies more than 10 billion light years away is pushing the scope of modern technologies.

At least that was the case until recently when NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer, also known as GALEX, discovered what appears to be three dozen "newborn galaxies' much closer to Earth than any of those older galaxies.

The newborns are only about 100 million to one billion years old, scientists said during a teleconference from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on Tuesday.

"These galaxies give us a great opportunity to study the processes that give birth to galaxies in an up-close-and-personal way,' said Tim Heckman, the leader of the study from Johns Hopkins University. "It's almost like looking out the window and seeing a dinosaur walking by.'

The Galaxy Evolution Explorer mission, launched in April 2003, is designed to complete the first survey of the sky in ultraviolet light in order to study how the universe came to contain the stars, galaxies and clusters of galaxies that currently exist.

Since young galaxies produce new stars at a rate about 100 times faster than normal, GALEX can locate them by looking in wide areas of space for exceptionally bright areas in the ultraviolet.

Caltech leads the GALEX mission and is responsible for its science operations and data analysis. JPL manages the mission for NASA.

"These newborn galaxies are near us but they are very rare,' said Chris Martin, a Caltech physics professor and the principal investigator for Galex. "In a single image, we might see many thousands of galaxies ... and one of these is one of these new galaxies,' he said.

Numerous problems hinder astronomers' observations of older galaxies. "We can't obtain detailed information because these newborn galaxies in the early universe are faint and small and also because observations at certain wavelengths are just not possible at such great distances,' said Alice Shapley, an astronomer from UC Berkeley.

But she said the newborns may actually represent the same type of building blocks that formed the Milky Way. "The GALEX sample is so close by that we can obtain exquisitely detailed information from it about the processes that are involved in star and galaxy formation,' she said.

Shapley added that the project of gathering such additional detailed information about the galaxies' compositions and structures would be an ideal job for the Hubble Space Telescope.

Heckman noted that the group's data is "quite incomplete' since the discovery is so new. "We would very much like to get get more information about these galaxies,' he said. Another possibility is a combination of GALEX's observations with those from the Spitzer Space Telescope, which tracks heat rather than ultraviolet light.


Kimm Groshong can be reached at (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4451, or by e-mail at kimm.groshong@sgvn.com .


50 posted on 12/22/2004 4:42:43 AM PST by Esther Ruth
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