Jump to content

Something That Keeps Bothering Me...


Recommended Posts

When I first posted here a few months ago, I was a mess. Absolutely terrified. of hell, the end times, the thought that certain things in the bible might be true, etc etc. I'm glad to say I'm 100 times happier than when I first posted here, and I think I'm almost over this whole religion thing :)

 

There's just one thing that keeps popping up, and it makes me worried whenever i think about it. The prophecies regarding the end times, in particular the one where it said many people would be leaving the faith... I've found a few things that reassure me about this- the fact that people are probably turning away from religion due to the internet and the fact that its easier to do our own research on things like the history of religion, comparision of different religions, contradictions etc. I'd say the mounting pile of scientific evidenve against christianity's claims probably also has something to do with it!

 

But I still think "it doesn't actually say in the bibly WHY people would be falling away from religion, maybe the internet and science was just god's (or satan's or whoever lol) tool to make us fall away to make the prophecies come true."

 

Anyway, I read something a while ago, about how some of the end times prophecies may have actually been talking about the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in about 70CE (written after the fact, but presented as if they had been written before the events had taken place- so as to get people to believe they were real, fulfilled prophecies I guess) ...so I was wondering if this "people abandoning the faith" prophesy could actually have been written about the time surrounding the destruction of the temple??

 

Anything to put my mind at ease would be much appreciated :)

 

Thanks, Suzie :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've no doubt that many here will have a more sufficient answer than I, but my take on it is this:

  • Those prophecies were about local things going on in their time, not in ours.
  • Prophecies are only recognizable in hindsight, i.e. confirmation bias makes "prophecies" appear fulfilled.
  • The book of Revelation was written by a nutter sequestered on an island, eating hallucinogenic plants.

The concern you mention, about people "falling away" in the "end times", is the final threat of Christianity. It's brilliant: It keeps people in the fold even when they know better!

 

Choose what you will believe, and walk in it, Suzie! Peace is to be had therein! smile.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi, suzie. Yeah, I suspect a lot of us know about those kinds of fears.

 

As to end times ... people have been predicting THE END since ... well, the beginning. As soon as monotheism started replacing old multi-god systems, suddenly you had a problem. Since there was only ONE god, and that one by definition had to be all good (or else intolerable), you had to have a way to explain how the world could be so full of troubles.

 

So people came up with various notions about the world just being some sort of temporary testing ground or some such -- to be destroyed after god didn't have a use for it any more. So anywhere you have one god, you're ALWAYS going to have people predicting the end of the world AND looking for signs of when it's going to happen.

 

As to it coming after people were "leaving the faith" ... Remember that in the first 300 or so years A.D. Christianity was constantly riven with disputes. Was Jesus just a man? Was Jesus pure god and not a man at all? Was he born a god or did he become a god only at his baptism or his resurrection? On and on and on. And people killed each other over these disputes. So really, right from the time of Paul (at least), some Christians were always perceiving others as "leaving the faith." And since they all expected Jesus to return at any moment, naturally somebody would take "leaving the faith" as one of the signs of end times.

 

Maybe it was intended as a warning to scare people away from "heresies." Hard to say. But since then there have always been people "leaving the faith." Why do you think the Catholic church held crusades and the Inquisition? To keep wavering people focused in the worst possible ways. Heck, the Reformation was people "leaving the faith" on a much bigger scale than today (because they left the Catholic church for dozens, if not hundreds of types of Protestantism).

 

Anyhow, there's a quick version. Hope it helps.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've no doubt that many here will have a more sufficient answer than I, but my take on it is this:

  • Those prophecies were about local things going on in their time, not in ours.
  • Prophecies are only recognizable in hindsight, i.e. confirmation bias makes "prophecies" appear fulfilled.
  • The book of Revelation was written by a nutter sequestered on an island, eating hallucinogenic plants.

The concern you mention, about people "falling away" in the "end times", is the final threat of Christianity. It's brilliant: It keeps people in the fold even when they know better!

 

Choose what you will believe, and walk in it, Suzie! Peace is to be had therein! smile.png

 

 

Thanks Positivist :)

Haha it didn't take me long to get over the prophecies in revelation, they just seemed so out there (even for the bible!) and nonsensical that I got bored reading it! The main ones that scare me are the ones in the gospels... I really should focus on ALL of what Jesus says about "none standing here before me"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Imagine that we would have an increase of Christians in the next 10 years. Then everyone would forget the "end times" scenario. And then, after those 10 years, they started to lose members again... well, then suddenly "end times" is here again. I think there were a concern about the end times and the decrease of "True Christians™" in the 19th century, and several times before that. Usually it leads to some preacher or church going all nuts and there's a revival (as they call it), and new members. I remember reading about a bunch of these revivals through history. They even existed in the early church, and they usually were based on "oh, my god! The End Time is coming!!!"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi, suzie. Yeah, I suspect a lot of us know about those kinds of fears.

 

As to end times ... people have been predicting THE END since ... well, the beginning. As soon as monotheism started replacing old multi-god systems, suddenly you had a problem. Since there was only ONE god, and that one by definition had to be all good (or else intolerable), you had to have a way to explain how the world could be so full of troubles.

 

So people came up with various notions about the world just being some sort of temporary testing ground or some such -- to be destroyed after god didn't have a use for it any more. So anywhere you have one god, you're ALWAYS going to have people predicting the end of the world AND looking for signs of when it's going to happen.

 

As to it coming after people were "leaving the faith" ... Remember that in the first 300 or so years A.D. Christianity was constantly riven with disputes. Was Jesus just a man? Was Jesus pure god and not a man at all? Was he born a god or did he become a god only at his baptism or his resurrection? On and on and on. And people killed each other over these disputes. So really, right from the time of Paul (at least), some Christians were always perceiving others as "leaving the faith." And since they all expected Jesus to return at any moment, naturally somebody would take "leaving the faith" as one of the signs of end times.

 

Maybe it was intended as a warning to scare people away from "heresies." Hard to say. But since then there have always been people "leaving the faith." Why do you think the Catholic church held crusades and the Inquisition? To keep wavering people focused in the worst possible ways. Heck, the Reformation was people "leaving the faith" on a much bigger scale than today (because they left the Catholic church for dozens, if not hundreds of types of Protestantism).

 

Anyhow, there's a quick version. Hope it helps.

Thanks :)

"people have been predicting the end since the beginning" -this makes me think of an article Blackpudd1n gave me when we first met- it listed all the predictions for the end of the world- the very first one was something about a stone tablet dated to ?300BCE with something about all the evil that was happening and how it was obvious that the world was in its final days... guess they were wrong :P

 

Someone pointed out that women were leaving the (Catholic) Church in droves when they announced their stance on the OCP, and nothing happened then.

 

Yeah, it's probably a last resort to keep people believing :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We are in the end times. In 4.5 billion years the Sun will expand and burn up our planet. That's just a few days after tomorrow...

 

Uh Oh.... that's not far away at all... I'd better start repenting :/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just ask yourself how many other cults, scams, and emails from former Nigeinan bureaucrats have played the "most people won't believe me/will stop beliving me" card. Religious cults know that they are going to lose members so they try to set up this "I told you that the unfaithful will be decived!" idea in order to hang on to what is left. Thousands of years ago some scamer wrote it down and his efforts made it into the Bible. There is no reason to think it was any more legit for Christianity than for anybody else who has tried it. And over the years many cults have gone extinct.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chances are, the world will end when our sun becomes a supernova, or an asteroid collides with us, or something of that nature. Humans might not even survive until then. Will a celestial being return to earth to harvest all the human souls before the earth is destroyed? **shakes magic 8 ball** Not likely.

 

Revelation was presumably a satire for it's day and age, likely written by someone of questionable sanity. It's inclusion in the cannon was widely debated, but some important church guy liked it well enough to sneak it in there after awhile.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Babylonian Dream

A broken clock will always be right twice a day Suzie, with how big the Bible is, its no suprise a few of its prophecies came true, especially the ones where it predicts that people are going to figure out its just a book of fables. Perhaps the writers wrote that, because they knew it was BS?

 

Also, there are prophecies that not only didn't come true, but the opposite has happened. Damascus is a thriving city, even more than in the time of the prophets when they said it would be utterly destroyed and never rebuilt. Hinting that this would happen in NeoAssyrian times. Never happened. Indeed, Jericho and Damascus are two of the oldest cities that are still inhabited, and are doing quite well.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Haha it didn't take me long to get over the prophecies in revelation, they just seemed so out there (even for the bible!) and nonsensical that I got bored reading it! The main ones that scare me are the ones in the gospels... I really should focus on ALL of what Jesus says about "none standing here before me"

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus repeatedly directs his warnings and promise of a second coming to those living at that time.

Matt 16:27-28 and Matt 24 are prime examples.

 

And then there's this gem:

 

1 Peter 4:7

But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

 

The world didn't end and Jesus never came back.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Babylonian Dream

Are there really prophecies that say people will figure out it's just a book of fables? :-P

No, but saying that people will stop believing hints at the authors knowing that they were full of baloney.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's all made up, Suzie. Every last bit of it.

 

Don't you think people have been leaving the faith for thousands of years? You're not so special that your abscondence will be the last straw. No one is that special...

 

It's a bunch of made-up, bronze-age crap. No joke.

 

 

ETA: coming back several hours later to note: religions that don't have a way to make people join and stay always die out. Cults like Heaven's Gate really suck at this, because all their members died as part of the meme. Christianity is the best at this, but that doesn't mean that it is correct. It just means that it has the best memes that cause people to stay. Because of this, it has millions of adherents, which lends it a degree of legitimacy amongst the weak minded. If it was a tiny little cult somewhere that everyone thought was weird, you'd think it was ridiculous that anyone believed such bullshit. Yet lots of people believe it. And guess what? It is still bullshit.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Haha it didn't take me long to get over the prophecies in revelation, they just seemed so out there (even for the bible!) and nonsensical that I got bored reading it! The main ones that scare me are the ones in the gospels... I really should focus on ALL of what Jesus says about "none standing here before me"

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus repeatedly directs his warnings and promise of a second coming to those living at that time.

Matt 16:27-28 and Matt 24 are prime examples.

 

And then there's this gem:

 

1 Peter 4:7

But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

 

The world didn't end and Jesus never came back.

 

It's crazy that people are still waiting 2000 years later... wonder when they will give up?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's all made up, Suzie. Every last bit of it.

 

Don't you think people have been leaving the faith for thousands of years? You're not so special that your abscondence will be the last straw. No one is that special...

 

It's a bunch of made-up, bronze-age crap. No joke.

 

 

ETA: coming back several hours later to note: religions that don't have a way to make people join and stay always die out. Cults like Heaven's Gate really suck at this, because all their members died as part of the meme. Christianity is the best at this, but that doesn't mean that it is correct. It just means that it has the best memes that cause people to stay. Because of this, it has millions of adherents, which lends it a degree of legitimacy amongst the weak minded. If it was a tiny little cult somewhere that everyone thought was weird, you'd think it was ridiculous that anyone believed such bullshit. Yet lots of people believe it. And guess what? It is still bullshit.

 

Oops i didn't realise I sounded like I thought I was special enough that my apostasy would be the last straw!! This whole people leaving the faith thing has only really been bothering me since I have been on this site... but from what I can tell, a lot of the members on this site are Americans... I get the idea that religion is still going strong in places like Africa. And that Europe (and Australia) have been fairly secular for a while. I have 3 friends in total who are Christians here, two of them became Christian since I met them (one married a christian, not really sure what happened with the other one- she came back from uni holidays one day sporting a WWJD band and saying she was a christian... I never really talked to her about it!!) so i guess people in my country aren't falling away from the faith :)

 

Haha your post made me think about what it would be like if christianity was some obscure little cult- i was brought up catholic and never really thought how strange it is to believe that eating a dry cracker and drinking a bit of grape juice would give you everlasting life. Haha or holding wooden (or plastic or whatever) beads and mumbling to yourself. I'd never even heard of pentacostals until the end of last year, i went out with some workmates, one of my workmates had brought a girl along and we somehow got talking about religion. She mentioned that she was brought up as a Catholic but was now a pentecostal- she told me about talking in tongues (her friends tell her she sounds French when she speaks in tongues) and healing people by placing her hands on them... I thought she sounded crazy!!

 

sorry if this is rambly, i'm tired and keep getting called away from the computer!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

There's just one thing that keeps popping up, and it makes me worried whenever i think about it….

 

Anyway, I read something a while ago, about how some of the end times prophecies may have actually been talking about the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in about 70CE (written after the fact, but presented as if they had been written before the events had taken place- so as to get people to believe they were real, fulfilled prophecies I guess) ...so I was wondering if this "people abandoning the faith" prophesy could actually have been written about the time surrounding the destruction of the temple??

 

 

I'm glad you're feeling better about all this. In case you are still curious, and since no one else had mentioned it yet, the view that Revelation was referring to the events of 70AD is the Preterist view. It is hotly debated whether it was written before or after the events, but even before I started to doubt Christianity the issue of Revelation was already settled for me. The parallels to events of those times were much too obvious to me to be taken as anything but events that had already occurred. I too felt that church leaders and writers who told/tell people that Preterism was heresy and that the prophecies of Revelation were yet to come were just fear-mongering opportunist.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's all made up, Suzie. Every last bit of it.

 

Don't you think people have been leaving the faith for thousands of years? You're not so special that your abscondence will be the last straw. No one is that special...

 

It's a bunch of made-up, bronze-age crap. No joke.

 

 

ETA: coming back several hours later to note: religions that don't have a way to make people join and stay always die out. Cults like Heaven's Gate really suck at this, because all their members died as part of the meme. Christianity is the best at this, but that doesn't mean that it is correct. It just means that it has the best memes that cause people to stay. Because of this, it has millions of adherents, which lends it a degree of legitimacy amongst the weak minded. If it was a tiny little cult somewhere that everyone thought was weird, you'd think it was ridiculous that anyone believed such bullshit. Yet lots of people believe it. And guess what? It is still bullshit.

 

Oops i didn't realise I sounded like I thought I was special enough that my apostasy would be the last straw!! This whole people leaving the faith thing has only really been bothering me since I have been on this site... but from what I can tell, a lot of the members on this site are Americans... I get the idea that religion is still going strong in places like Africa. And that Europe (and Australia) have been fairly secular for a while. I have 3 friends in total who are Christians here, two of them became Christian since I met them (one married a christian, not really sure what happened with the other one- she came back from uni holidays one day sporting a WWJD band and saying she was a christian... I never really talked to her about it!!) so i guess people in my country aren't falling away from the faith :)

 

Haha your post made me think about what it would be like if christianity was some obscure little cult- i was brought up catholic and never really thought how strange it is to believe that eating a dry cracker and drinking a bit of grape juice would give you everlasting life. Haha or holding wooden (or plastic or whatever) beads and mumbling to yourself. I'd never even heard of pentacostals until the end of last year, i went out with some workmates, one of my workmates had brought a girl along and we somehow got talking about religion. She mentioned that she was brought up as a Catholic but was now a pentecostal- she told me about talking in tongues (her friends tell her she sounds French when she speaks in tongues) and healing people by placing her hands on them... I thought she sounded crazy!!

 

sorry if this is rambly, i'm tired and keep getting called away from the computer!

 

You really didn't sound like you were actively thinking that, no, I didn't mean that at all. But seriously - there's nothing about this day and age, with you leaving the faith, than any other time and place- people have been realizing the lie for centuries. The fact that you are leaving it now does not mean that any sort of a prophecy is coming true. But it is that kind of meme that has kept people - weaker-minded people than those of us here - mentally and emotionally enslaved for centuries. Break free....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's all made up, Suzie. Every last bit of it.

 

Don't you think people have been leaving the faith for thousands of years? You're not so special that your abscondence will be the last straw. No one is that special...

 

It's a bunch of made-up, bronze-age crap. No joke.

 

 

ETA: coming back several hours later to note: religions that don't have a way to make people join and stay always die out. Cults like Heaven's Gate really suck at this, because all their members died as part of the meme. Christianity is the best at this, but that doesn't mean that it is correct. It just means that it has the best memes that cause people to stay. Because of this, it has millions of adherents, which lends it a degree of legitimacy amongst the weak minded. If it was a tiny little cult somewhere that everyone thought was weird, you'd think it was ridiculous that anyone believed such bullshit. Yet lots of people believe it. And guess what? It is still bullshit.

 

Oops i didn't realise I sounded like I thought I was special enough that my apostasy would be the last straw!! This whole people leaving the faith thing has only really been bothering me since I have been on this site... but from what I can tell, a lot of the members on this site are Americans... I get the idea that religion is still going strong in places like Africa. And that Europe (and Australia) have been fairly secular for a while. I have 3 friends in total who are Christians here, two of them became Christian since I met them (one married a christian, not really sure what happened with the other one- she came back from uni holidays one day sporting a WWJD band and saying she was a christian... I never really talked to her about it!!) so i guess people in my country aren't falling away from the faith smile.png

 

Haha your post made me think about what it would be like if christianity was some obscure little cult- i was brought up catholic and never really thought how strange it is to believe that eating a dry cracker and drinking a bit of grape juice would give you everlasting life. Haha or holding wooden (or plastic or whatever) beads and mumbling to yourself. I'd never even heard of pentacostals until the end of last year, i went out with some workmates, one of my workmates had brought a girl along and we somehow got talking about religion. She mentioned that she was brought up as a Catholic but was now a pentecostal- she told me about talking in tongues (her friends tell her she sounds French when she speaks in tongues) and healing people by placing her hands on them... I thought she sounded crazy!!

 

sorry if this is rambly, i'm tired and keep getting called away from the computer!

 

You really didn't sound like you were actively thinking that, no, I didn't mean that at all. But seriously - there's nothing about this day and age, with you leaving the faith, than any other time and place- people have been realizing the lie for centuries. The fact that you are leaving it now does not mean that any sort of a prophecy is coming true. But it is that kind of meme that has kept people - weaker-minded people than those of us here - mentally and emotionally enslaved for centuries. Break free....

Thanks :) gah! some days I feel brave enough to "break free" others I feel like giving in to fear... I'm a scaredey cat!! :P

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks smile.png gah! some days I feel brave enough to "break free" others I feel like giving in to fear... I'm a scaredey cat!! tongue.png

 

Nope. You're not a scaredy cat! You're somebody who, like so many of us here, was kept in line through terror and woo-woo. Takes a loooooooong time for the effects of that to completely wear off.

 

Seems to me you're doing great.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Having the guts to leave religion is hard. Many never do it, even if they don't really believe. Don't knock yourself for having a hard time of it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chances are, the world will end when our sun becomes a supernova, or an asteroid collides with us, or something of that nature. Humans might not even survive until then. Will a celestial being return to earth to harvest all the human souls before the earth is destroyed? **shakes magic 8 ball** Not likely.

 

Revelation was presumably a satire for it's day and age, likely written by someone of questionable sanity. It's inclusion in the cannon was widely debated, but some important church guy liked it well enough to sneak it in there after awhile.

 

And most likely, we will all be long dead by then. However, dispensationalism has been the minority viewpoint with-in xtianity, but I do know it the the majority in the groups most of us came from. Oh well

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.