Holy Crap

CaptureThere was a time when I believed everything that happened in the big picture was End Time Revelation.  Earthquakes,volcano eruptions, hurricanes, typhoons, tornadoes, wars, rumors of wars…I thought it all pointed to prophecy in the Bible.

When I stepped back to think about it, there have always been earthquakes, hurricanes, typhoons, tornadoes, wars and rumors of wars.  There is nothing new under the sun.  The earth has been shaped by all of these things, many of them happening over millions of years.  As long as there has been mankind there have been wars and rumors of wars.

Now I read posts like these of my friends who still believe that all of these things are connected to end times prophecy and instead of nodding in agreement looking toward the sky for the triumphant return of the King of Kings, I shake my head and think, ‘holy crap’.

75 thoughts on “Holy Crap

  1. Ruth,
    I have christian friends who do the same thing. Gary DeMar , a christian, has written several compelling books why these prophesies are NOT true. He says if you read the first 3 verses of Rev Chapter 1 , you will see these events were supposed to have happened then not now. Of course we have another reason for believing they are not true. :-)

    1 The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, 2 who testifies to everything he saw—that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.

    • It’s such a relief not to contend with the cognitive dissonance it takes to hold onto all these beliefs. It always made my brain hurt a little. But then my pastor and Sunday School teacher would always reassure any of us having questions that,

      “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

      But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.” 2 Peter 3: 8-10

      Don’t you know nothin’ ’bout the babble, Ken? :)

    • I have christian friends…..

      Yet another unsubstantiated statement from the non-theists. Can trust these buggers to write anything that borders on the truth.

      You off to Hawaii tomorrow, senor Ken or are have you already flown the Koop?

      Happy Birthday wherever you are, young man. All the very best.

    • Good point kcchief:
      There are Christian theologies who are not apocolyptic and see the some of these “prophesies” as already occuring. Thus, as you said, they too would shake their heads and say “holy crap”!

      My diagram here illustrated the Preterism believers who hold this view.

      Many atheists want to typify Christianity as ONE thing. Worse, they want to typify Religion as one thing. ONE thing thinking — sound familiar? Almost religious, ain’t it.

      Anyway, good point.

  2. Great post. There has been several peer-reviewed studies showing that conservatives (generally very religious) tend to have increased gray matter volume in their right amygdala (fear, anxiety, negative emotions). This gray matter can decrease (synaptic atrophy) when the fear mongering ends and people stop listening and dwelling on the negative.

    End-timers are wired or rewired to fear by the very money-making organizations that say “if you ‘get saved’ you will experience love, joy, inner peace, and eternal life, all the while instilling and reinforcing fear in the people financially supporting them.

    There evidence of major earth quakes which caused catastrophic damage and took 10’s of thousands of lives before the time of Christ, in the same area that these “prophesies” were birthed. I’d also like to note that when people are in stressful conditions they tend to see patterns and report paranormal activity. Research also shows that when they are in fear and/or experiencing a lot of anxiety, church attendance goes way up like what happened after 9/11. These crooks of the cloth know what they are doing.

    • That makes a lot of sense. I’m not a neurologist and I don’t know much about gray matter, but I know people who listen to or watch FOX News all day are, generally speaking, some of the most negative people I’ve ever met. They sky is always falling. Chicken Little Syndrome is what I call it.

      • I’m not a neurologists either. I learned, through research, personal and professional experience how easy it was to program and/or reprogram a person by getting them into suggestive, trance-like states. They do this in church, camp meetings and revivals (and Christian concerts) using selective music (an in some cases flashing lights) with specific beats per minute to lower your brainwaves to a meditative, relaxed alpha brainwave rhythm — a form of brainwave entrainment.

        Preachers, and especially evangelists use a technique called voice roll, which is a patterned, paced style of speech using key words, repetitively, and evenly spaced out. The techniques aren’t original to Christianity, and they aren’t the only ones who do it in contemporary times.

        About FSN:
        My dad wasn’t always a conservative until he started watching Fox News about 10 years ago. Now he’s to the right of conservatism, which tells you just how effective Fox News is. In the case of technique — they use big-boobed women to deliver the doom and gloom, lol. He’s an educated man, or at least he was. ;)

        • …they use big-boobed women to deliver the doom and gloom, lol.

          My husband wanted to know why they all looked like botoxed Barbie dolls, and why they all look like they’re going out “clubbing”. His words – not mine. lol

          I know a lot of folks who were pretty moderate until the economy went south. They started watching FSN on the regular and now they just sound like a bunch of parrots. Don’t even get me started on Rush Limbaugh. I can’t stand to watch either of them. If I watch news I want news – not opinions. And I can’t stand all that yelling over each other. If you conduct an interview, at least, let the interviewee answer the questions you ask. Geez…

  3. The people I’ve met with a strong bent toward end time revelation tend to be stressed, fearful, and paranoid. When I first encountered this, I thought it weird. Doesn’t the end times mean your impending salvation?

    Then I encountered someone who took that implication seriously and reveled in otherwise tragic events because he felt they suggested the end was nigh. Now that is scary.

    • Perhaps I can shed some light on the subject. My Sunday School class did an extensive study into Revelation and I took Beth Moore’s study of Daniel. So that makes me an expert, right?

      Anyway, there are “pre-tribulation” believers and “post-tribulation” believers. The post-tribs believe that Jesus will return after the Great Tribulation in the Book of Revelation. All this talk about that alliance means that the Great Tribulation is being ushered in as we type. During that time Christians won’t be able to trade, buy or sell on the open market because they will refuse the “mark of the beast”. There will be seven years of tribulation – the first 3.5 years will be peaceful followed by 3.5 years of pure hell. Torture, persecution, and all manner of terrible things will befall believers because of their faith. After that Jesus will come back for his 1000 years reign while the devil has been cast into the pit.

      The pre-tribs believe that a “rapture” will take place before the Great Tribulation and all the Christians will be swept up to Heaven with God so they won’t endure the hell that is the Great Tribulation. The people left behind will have that 7 years to become Christians (though I never could really reconcile that one because they also teach that anyone who has already had their chance is toast – only those who haven’t had a chance to accept Christ are eligible). Those who become Christians in that time will go through hell on earth. Then Jesus will come back and kick the devil into the pit and have his 1000 years reign.

      That’s the reader’s digest version, basically. Anybody who is eager to see it coming is most likely a pre-trib believer. Anybody who is really anxious about it is most likely a post-trib believer or uncertain about the whole “rapture” bit.

    • And, yes, it is scary to encounter someone who is excited about the thought of any of that.

      My same friend who posted this on facebook thinks the world is going to hell in a handbag so her constant theme is “even so Lord come”.

      • “and why they all look like they’re going out “clubbing”. His words – not mine.”

        LOL

        The last time my dad paid a visit (he’s from out of state), he had that damn channel on all the time, and a Bill O’Reilly book in reaching distance. What made matters worse was that he’s hard of hearing, so the volume was almost maxed out on the TV. When he’s visiting, I either wear industrial strength earplugs or I have my iPod earbuds in and the volume raised to drown out the BS.

          • I used to let it get to me — and I definitely got stressed, but I’ve mastered a few survival skills through the years for sanity’s sake. :D When he visits it’s usually a week or two at a time. Thank goodness it’s only twice a year. Oy.

          • If only — but I don’t want to be rude while he’s visiting. I’ve learned to adapt and it could be worse; he could be hitting me over the head with the Bible, too. I try to look at it this way — he’s a good man — just brainwashed misinformed, very misinformed. :D

          • I’m making light of the situation, but I know it must be hard for you to sit by and watch. And, yeah, he’s your dad so, of course, you’re going to be respectful even if you don’t agree. FSN just gets on my last nerve.

          • Oh don’t I know. A couple of times, well, many times I impulsively laughed out loud loudly when I’d here some of the crap they spewed on FSN. He’d have this bewildered look and ask me what was so funny. I’d tell him “you wouldn’t want to know, or make up a little white lie. I try to not do that, laugh out loud in front of him, but it happens spontaneously because FSN is so comical in the worst kind of way. I don’t encourage debate with him. Lesson’s learned. There’s no reasoning with that man — I fear he’s too far gone. :D

          • My former employer, because he feared for his business when the economy collapsed, began watching FSN. Slowly he watched it more and more. By the time I left his wife told me he was watching incessantly and that he would sit there and yell at the TV about how terrible Obama is and how he was gonna ‘kill his business’. He was 75ish at the time and still working everyday. It drove him to do a lot of things business-wise that weren’t necessarily improvements simply because he was afraid and watching the Chicken Little News Network fed into his fears. She couldn’t reason with him either. :)

          • She would say to him, “Honey, they can’t hear you, but even if they could, why are you yelling at them? They’re on your side!” She’d just shake her head. I don’t know how she did it. I mean, all the time?

          • Same here However, I do like to watch the Science channels, NASA, and National Geographic from time to time— but if I watch those channels with my dad he starts hyperventilating and goes into FN withdrawal.

    • I know what you mean, Alice. I was so taken in by it and there were days that the sky would just look so…enrapturing. I just knew it would be any day. Sigh….

    • It’s so interesting to see your frankness Alice, and so refreshing. That means that not every person who believes in the absurd is doomed to remain ignorant forever. I’ve never actually encountered anybody who turned from fundamentalism to a more logical, common-sense actually, approach to life. (The other way, I’ve seen.)

      Indeed, earthquakes, floods, turmoil have been so much more pronounced in past aeons, that what we actually see now is nothing compared to them. Even though, I understand, geologists still do not understand much about what was going on in, say, the precambrian.

      What are your thoughts about those people who preached/believed that the world was going to end in 2000, then in 2001, then in 2011, etc? Have you ever met any? Do you think that people like Harold Camping are liars, bullshitters, or crooks? (Or all of the above?)

      • Takis,

        I was part of an End Times forum for a while (a couple as a matter of fact) and it was a daily looking for anything to point to the end. I mean news, astronomy, pop culture, license plates, dreams, visions, personal “thus saith the Lords” and all that. It was rather consuming on the psyche to say the least. I saw many a date come and go. There always seemed to be another day just on the horizon that would ease our disappointment of another failed prophecy.

        I feel sorry for Harold Camping, I think he really believed the things he said. Maybe he doubted later, but so much time devoted to this, how does one admit that their whole life was wasted looking for something that was never going to happen?

  4. What opened my eyes concerning religion was living in many countries with hugely different faiths and seeing similar behavior. Apocalypticism is in every faith: Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim …

    So that insight helped me to see the universalism of the religious mind, but the next step for me was seeing that there is NO religious mind — instead, it is just the mind. So that apocalypticism is even in secular culture — think leftist thinking. Ritualism, parochialism and all the other supposed “religious” phenomena are in secular life too. Sprinkle gods, spirits and afterlife and people start calling it “religion” — a word that can deceive us from watching our own minds.

    Sorry, waxing philosophical perhaps.

    • Learning about different cultures is very eye opening. For example the various creation accounts, the various flood stories, the various virgin birth accounts, etc. I think most pew-sitters are not aware of these.

      There are definitely apocalyptic secularists: Alien destruction, solar flare destruction, predictions of ice ages and so forth and so on, so doomsday is definitely not limited to the “religious”.

  5. Just a couple months ago, my son and his 11 year old friend/neighbor were playing outside. It’s recently become known to this boy that my son is no longer a Christian. His friend randomly said to my son, “I’ll be so glad when Jesus comes back to judge all this.” I guess “all this” referred to the well-kept homes around him and my son. Made me so sad (and mad!) to hear this…from the mouth of a kid playing ball!

    End times…Jesus coming back…oh joy.

    Thanks for another great post, Ruth!

    • Yikes! An 11 year old? My goodness, they’re starting early with that one. And he’ll be glad? Oh, my. I’m sure he’s parroting his parents. It is always troubling to me, those folks that wring their hands maniacally, waiting in eager anticipation of the judgement. Reminds me of the prayer of the Pharisee, “Thank you God, I’m not like the tax collector.” They’re so sure they’re not going to be judged, but that all those bad old sinners are going to “get it good”.

        • While I was part of an ensemble at my church we sang this and your comment made me think of it:

          I cringe now at the very thought of it; gleefully singing, ‘many will meet their doom’. *shudder*

      • Wow! It’s been awhile since I listened to something like this song. Shuddering with you.

        “Heavenward bound” . It’s so nice to be free of that. I just read “A Loving Summation of Atheism to a worried Christian Mother” from Nate Pratt’s blog. I really liked the entire answer. Right now, I’m thinking of this part, “The thing that is important to remember is that while we no longer believe that there are places beyond the world, the world he lives in has now become all the more important. That’s all we have. ” This world is what we have. And that’s okay. In fact, it’s freeing. I’m free to love being alive and to love this world, without feeling guilty or constantly having to remind myself to look heavenward.

        Thanks for sharing the video. ;)

  6. Ruth, have you seen this? Coming to a theater near you. :) I recommend watching it full screen, if you haven’t seen it already. It’s rather impressive and star-studded.

    I did a little cross referencing and found a website warning Christians about the film:

    “Christians and those interested in a Biblical story thus need to be warned to use discernment and not support Hollywood as it exploits the Bible for gain and promotes a film that casts the God of the Bible in a bad light.”

    beginningandend(dot)com

    I couldn’t help but laugh at the irony. Reports on other Christian sites are saying the same thing. And this from news(dot)com(dot)au

    “RUSSELL Crowe’s epic new movie Noah — the one with all the animals entering an ark two-by-two — is experiencing its own deluge. Complaints are flooding in from angry religious groups promising a battle of biblical proportions.”

    The first website (Beginning and End) has a page devoted to the the end-times. One last note: you have probably heard about “Son of God” that was released in theaters on Feb 28. USA Today wrote “Selling out entire theaters before its Friday release” Two other biblical movies will be released this year — “Exodus” and “Mary, Mother of Christ”. Rumor has it that 2014 is the year of the Bible. Oh joy.

    So there you have it. Happy Wednesday. :D

    • I hope some group is doing a pre and post study to see how it changes people’s opinion of the story — more fiction vs more truth. And someone told me the story is based on the book of Enoch — is that true? Anyone know.
      But fitting with this post — it feeds the apocalyptic brain — for both seculars and believers.

      • I’ve been watching my Christian friends post about this. They’re all so excited about these “Biblical” movies coming out. I’ll have to watch that clip later.

        @Sabio,

        I don’t know if it’s based on Enoch or not, but it might make sense as to why Christians leaders are basically calling for a boycott. In fundamentalist circles those extra-biblical writings are forbidden fruit.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s