Will world end Monday?: 2-20-09
February 20, 2009
When the whole world seemed to be full of anxiety in the late 1990s about the approach of the new millennium, I wrote a longish piece for The Star about various views of how the world will end and the accuracy of such prophecies.
If you have my book, A Gift of Meaning, you can find that piece on page 106. If you don't have my book, stop what you're doing and go buy a dozen copies. Think of it as a Tammeus Stimulus Package.
I was thinking about that article when I read this Baptist Press piece about how many Americans believe the world will end in their lifetimes.
Turns out, nowhere near a majority. A group called LifeWay Research asked 1,600 people if they thought the world would end in their lifetimes and only 11 percent said yes.
Well, I say "only," but that means 11 out of every 100 people wandering about think Doomsday is just around the corner. My, oh, my.
Now, I have no inside information about this, but as I said at the end of the piece I mentioned at the start here, "although there are no guarantees, the date-setters' consistent failure suggests there will continue to be plenty of problems to solve in the new millennium -- and lots of time in which to solve them."
It's really hard to do, but I think we're all better off if we live as if each day is a gift and this day might be the last such gift we'll get. But folks who form a prophecy industry about the end of the world strike me as mostly charlatans -- and in many cases theological charlatans.
So what do you think about the end of the world? Is Monday a good guess or not?
* * *
LUTHERAN PROGRESS ON HUMAN SEXUALITY
On Wednesday here on the blog, I talked about various ways Christians are approaching the issue of homosexuality, and specifically same-sex unions. Good timing. Yesterday, a task foce of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America did the right thing by recommending, in the words of this Chicago Tribune story, that "that its leaders officially recognize same-sex unions and allow gays in committed relationships to serve as clergy." Eventually (by which I mean over the next 100 or 200 years), I think all churches will move to (or at least toward) such a position. In my view, there is no biblical reason not to and there are plenty of biblical and other reasons to do that. To read the entire ELCA report, "Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust," click here. And notice the group's attempt to recognize that not everyone in the church is on the same page on this issue. I think it's crucial to be aware of that and to find ways to live in love within a church even when you disagree.
Bill, I'm glad to hear about the ELCA. There is one near our house, and we've talked about trying it out ... but it seems the longer we stay out of organized church, the more comfortable we get about staying home Sundays. But maybe this Sunday ...
What are my thoughts on the end of the world? Jesus said it's not for us to know the day or the hour, and then lately I've been hearing some persuasive stuff about how it already ended many hundreds of years ago, and we just don't know it yet.
I think too many Christians use it (the end) as a way to excuse the continuing trashing of our whole ecosystem. I think God is calling us all to engage in some major problem-solving, and I really wish we would. I know some say it's too late to turn things around for Planet Earth --
But I say it aint over 'til it's over.
Posted by: Susan | February 20, 2009 at 12:35 AM
The world may end on Monday-who knows ?
We should live as if our world may end at any time.
I mean--you or I could be run over by a bus or eat some bad peanut butter and that would be our end !
Eternity is what we all should think about daily.
Heaven isn't the only option , y'know.
Posted by: oremus | February 20, 2009 at 03:39 AM
About the end of the world: Do we get to vote? :) I'll take my chances. I think that in the history of the world, there have always been hard times that shake confidence. The bubonic plague comes to mind when I think of that. So this is the time we are given (as a gift--my niece says she tries to be thankful for God's gifts, even the ones she doesn't want) It is healthy to choose to live it. Practicing faith and trust in God's care in small things as we go . Jesus said something about that. If this is how you do in the green times, what will you do in the dry?
Posted by: Mary Behr | February 20, 2009 at 03:52 AM
Bill, I find it amusing that End of The World Scenarios are placed at the feet of religion.
Science itself provides many scenarios, some made possible the the atheistic scientiests themselves! (and remember, Richard Dawkins assures us that scientists are atheists...therefore I blame the athists for providing the wmds and the like.)
And who can forget MUTUAL ASSURED DESTRUCTION? Why is is suprising that people raised in that climate tend to think the world could end?
It is sheer hypocrisy to say religion is responsible for this, when the world is filled with nuclear weapons. (Yep, they are still there)
Here are some real END OF THE WORLD POSSIBILITIES:
Posted by: adam harrison | February 20, 2009 at 06:10 AM
And then there is always the possibility that some nutball could "visit the wrath of Hannibal Lector" upon you, as one poster here has frequently promised to do.
The creepy weird part about that is that although repeatedly asked to say that the phrase is a joke, the poster never would!
Posted by: adam harrison | February 20, 2009 at 06:14 AM
Great post on Fundamentalist Atheism from Kansas Bob!
Posted by: adam harrison | February 20, 2009 at 06:26 AM
Here is another END OF THE WORLD SCENARIO from the local atheist genius CHUCK LUNNEY...remember, you an opportunity every other week to have breakfast with CHUCK and IGGY and friends!
Posted by: adam harrison | February 20, 2009 at 06:37 AM
My prediction is no, the world will not end Monday. Are you nuts? If it doesn’t end I must be a prophet.
I believe Obama is going to end some of this bigoted thinking about gays real soon. As far as the churches go-I don’t understand why gays want to be part of something so silly.
People should sit back and watch this video and think about rational thinking. Sometimes I believe people are blind, or maybe they have been brainwashed.
imagine no religion http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89amWUVvL0s&feature=rec-HM-r2
Jesus and santa claus are the same person along with the tooth fairy, mother goose, easter bunny, witches, peter pan, fairies and on and on and on…..
Get a life. And enjoy the wonder of this planet.
Make a difference. My special little prayer
Pbs - Nova - Life's Greatest Miracle 1/6 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyU4KWzedBg
Peace For the Sake of Goodness Cole
Posted by: memberofKCFreeThinkers.org | February 20, 2009 at 07:01 AM
Bill, thank you for your posting about the ELCA task force recommendations. I'm privileged and honored to be one of the delegates to the assembly which will vote on this in August. I've never been to a churchwide assembly before, so I'm excited about that.
The ELCA church council recommended in November that a simple majority (rather than a "supermajority") be required to adopt recommendations related to the task force's report: http://archive.elca.org/ScriptLib/CO/ELCA_News/encArticleList.asp?article=3995. If that recommendation is adopted by the assembly, the four recommendations leading to approval of ordained clergy in "publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships" is likely to be approved in some form or other.
It will be an exciting time! Another item on the agenda is to approve "full communion" between the ELCA and the United Methodist Church. The UMC has already approved this.
What a marvelous, historic assembly to be attending!
Posted by: Dave Miller | February 20, 2009 at 08:34 AM
RE: SAME SEX UNIONS - PART I
Bill, I am surprised you say there is "no biblical reason not to" allow gay unions.
What planet are you from? The reason is right there in the "Ultimate Absolute Truth" about man lying with man, etc. Don't get me wrong, I like the planet you are from, because I am from the neighboring planet, but your arguments sounds weak even for an anti-theist like me.
It really doesn't matter what I think, what matters is what Jesus' flock thinks as a groupthink , #1 and #2 what exactly it does on issues and how it behaves on gays. So far, stats have been very encouraging - younger people are very acepting of the gays, in 15 years there has been a 30% increase in approval of gays in the military from 45 to 75%, many TV shows and movies feature gays, 10-15% of Americans statistically are gay or bisexual or transgender, so this is a huge %.
I sometimes wonder if religious gays could start coming to just one "fire & brimstone" church midtown somewhere and take it over with their membership in a few months and see what exactly the minister and trustees are going to say when they start showing up and donating money. This would drive crazies out and will draw a younger more hip and more tolerant crowd. What would the minister start preaching? Would you see a change in his surmons when he will have to be looking gays in the eyes every week?
I guess this thought experiment of "intellectual submission" can be quite a heart probing one for clergy. When faced with a changing environment would they attempt to change and compromise on some things in their dogma? - of course they will, otherwise their church dies out.
Posted by: Iggy - www.KCFreeThinkers.org | February 20, 2009 at 08:44 AM
SAME SEX UNIONS - PART II
It is remarkable to me that your other piece talks about 11% of the polled folks thinking that the world will end in their life time. The apocalyptic nature of Xianity is giving way slowly to "normal" secular, common sense and logical approach to life. The goal posts of Xianity and other religions when it comes to the end of the world are constantly moving.
The quote "the date-setters' consistent failure suggests there will continue to be plenty of problems to solve in the new millennium -- and lots of time in which to solve them" is a revealing one.
It appears that religious crazies confuse the idea of "singlularity" with "miracles" and it appears that "singularity" is slowly taking shape over space daddy taking interest in our affairs and him being ready to put us out of our mysery when his plan comes to fruition. As education and income of people goes up, study after study shows that people are less and less religious. Events that have happened only once in our visible Universe - or at least as we percieve them - we have explanations for which are much better than "magic man did it".
I was suprised by the results of the higher % of older folks not thinking the world will come to an end soon. In short term (5-20 years) these "wise" men and women see that their life is coming to an end and practicality of "today's" life is taking hold - grandchildren, retirement, bad economy, etc. They are thus becoming less fundamental, i.e. more "deistic/spiritual" in their thinking. It is hard to rectify though with regular church attendance of older folks who in their majority reject firmly established evolutionary evidence, thus creating an interesting conundrum for eligious folks.
Posted by: Iggy - www.KCFreeThinkers.org | February 20, 2009 at 08:45 AM
On Web: Armageddon Online
The News - Weird-Strange
Written by Administrator
February 20, 2009
THIS is the amazing image which could show the fabled sunken city of Atlantis.
It shows a perfect rectangle the size of Wales lying on the bed of the Atlantic Ocean nearly 3½ miles down. A host of criss-crossing lines, looking like a map of a vast metropolis, are enclosed by the boundary.
They seem too vast and organised to be caused naturally. And last night the possibility of an extraordinary discovery had oceanographers and geophysicists captivated.
The site lies 620 miles off the west coast of Africa near the Canary Islands — a location for Atlantis seemingly suggested by the ancient philosopher Plato.
He believed it was an island civilisation sunk by an earthquake and floods around 9,700BC — nearly 12,000 years ago.
The “grid” showed up on Google Ocean, a Google Earth extension that uses a combination of satellite images and marine surveys.
Last night Dr Charles Orser, curator of historical archaeology at New York State University — and one of the world’s leading authorities on Atlantis — called it “fascinating”.
He said: “The site is one of the most prominent places for the proposed location of Atlantis, as described by Plato. Even if it turns out to be geographical, this definitely deserves a closer look.”
The legend of Atlantis has captured the imagination of scholars for centuries.
And in the 1970s it spawned a hit TV series, Man From Atlantis, in which Patrick Duffy played a webbed hero who could live underwater.
Posted by: Dolores Lear | February 20, 2009 at 09:34 AM
This sunken grid is only one of the underwater remains of Atlantis. Our land area has many ancient remains, of the High Tech Planetary Society before the Flood, on all Continents.
From Pyramids to all types of ruins, that look like Buildings and Sports Arenas today.
In 1971, I was given the understanding that the Noah Flood, was a Planetary Flood that lasted over 1 year. Humans, and Biblical Stories, teach it was a 40 day/night flood.
I also understood, that the Sinking of Atlantis was the same Flood Catastrophe. Atlantis split down the middle and sank.
The flat map of our Planet used daily, shows a split down the middle of Earth's land, with the Arctic and Atlantic Ocean separating it. This is also shown on Globes.
Religion and Science both say the Earth's land mass was all joined together 'in the beginning' with one sea/ocean. Science says the land mass drifted apart over millions of years.
The water made the 'sea', in Genesis, and affirmed by Science as surrounding the one land mass.
In Genesis, Noah is 600 years old a the time of the Flood. It continues with rain, the windows of Heaven breaking open, and the fountains of the deep breaking open.
The water continues for 6 months. The rain stops, the water drains, and Noah is 601 years old when he steps on dry land on a mountain.
The land area was changed. The Axis was changed, a rainbow appeared, and the Seasons began.
The megalithic remains of that first Civilization, that we are still digging up around the Planet, is on all the sections of Earth, land and sea.
Posted by: Dolores Lear | February 20, 2009 at 09:35 AM
The Atlantic Ocean was not there, when the First World Sank. The Sea surrounded the Land Mass. No one could sail to another country. Now we have 7 Oceans.
Now The End of Our Civilization is at hand, like the Noah/Atlantis Society. The Old Testament has many verses and warnings, about the Evil Human Society and coming Catastrophe for that High Tech Society.
Many prophecies have been made today, about another Planetary Catastrophe, a Planetary Judgement Day Fire in Religion.
Some prophecies have 2012, as the Day Life on Earth Ends Again, with other causes.
But, the Religious Prophecy is for a Planetary Fire Catastrophe. This 'is' set up by Humans, with our Trash Waste, Nuclear Waste, and Pollution on land and sea.
We have Nuclear weapons like the Noah/Atlantis Society did, recorded about Sodom and Gomorrah. We have Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Hate and Killing is still the Name of the Game of Human Life on Earth.
Why do Human teach Love of GOD/LIFE, Love of our Man-made Gods, and Love of our Brothers/Sisters of LIFE?
The Mystery is 'Why do Humans Kill Each Other, and GODs Planet?'.
Will the Human Nuclear Armageddon, 'fire from the sky', be the Catalyst of the Judgement Day Planetary Fire?
Will Humans by 2012, be ready to Burn up our Home Planet, with their Hate for Each Other and Nuclear Bombs?
Nostradamus and the Writings in South America predict 2012, and Humans seem to have all the Elements in Place, for a Planetary Fire Catastrophe by 2012.
High Tech can Prove Eternal Physical Life After Birth, is Possible on Planets and in Spaceships.
Literally, What is the Religious teaching, of Life After Death in Heaven? Teachings by Humans without High Tech Science Knowledge?
Posted by: Dolores Lear | February 20, 2009 at 09:36 AM
What is all this stuff about gay marriage continually? I certainly believe they should have equal rights, but it seems to be some kind of LITMUS TEST.
And frankly from the atheistic view of evolution...which I do not accept as atheistic...then homosexuals aren't going to be producing many offspring and hence are not going to be the fittest.
Posted by: Will Graham | February 20, 2009 at 09:37 AM
IMHO, when people believe something without or contrary to evidence there is usually some emotional reason or wishful thinking for believing it to be so. But who would wish for the end of the world? Well I think it's interesting that those who are poor, unmarried and young (25-34) are most likely to believe in it. Any of those conditions, especially in combination, could lead to anxiety about the future and about the process of making plans for the future. But if there is no future - if the world is going to end soon - then making such a plan becomes unnecessary. It relieves people of the responsibility of making future plans and working to carry them out. Why worry about finding a mate, getting an education or job training, or choosing a career if the world is going to end soon anyway? Well, at least it's only 11 percent.
Posted by: Lynne - www.kcfreethinkers.org | February 20, 2009 at 09:39 AM
Its hilarious to read Iggy talking about "normal"! LOL!
But all kidding aside, we met some interesting atheists yesterday who are nothing like the creeps who post here. I have never met atheists of this kind before...who were not in your face threatening jerks...and was quite suprised!
Posted by: Will Graham | February 20, 2009 at 09:39 AM
By the way, Iggy, how did the officially atheistic Soviet Government treat gays when you were going to school there?
Posted by: Will Graham | February 20, 2009 at 09:40 AM
HAVING FUN WITH JEWS ...
Jewish WAZZUP Commercial
Support your People!
Funny Jewish Inventions - Part 1
Funny Jewish Inventions - Part 2
Posted by: Iggy - www.KCFreeThinkers.org | February 20, 2009 at 09:41 AM
Seeking community participants
The KU Edwards Campus, along with K-State Olathe Innovation Campus, Johnson County Community College, Blue Valley Schools, Olathe School District, Shawnee Mission School District, Johnson County Library and NICE will be hosting a Math, Engineering, Technology and Science (METS) Community Conversation on Tuesday, March 10 on the KU Edwards Campus.
Community members, parents, educators, business leaders and middle and high school students are encouraged to participate in this important discussion aimed at understanding how important METS is to our 21st-century economy.
There is no cost for participating in the event, but we request a RSVP. REGISTER today - http://jc-cc.eventbrite.com/! Dinner and check-in is at 5:30 p.m. with the event wrapping up at 9 p.m.
In promoting such a dialogue, we aim to engage the community in supporting economic growth in our area while improving opportunities for young people. We will highlight how the Johnson County Education & Research Triangle, regional educational institutions, and other organizations support these goals, as well as listen to new ideas and thoughts from the larger community. This Community Conversation is connected to a region-wide initiative with Public Agenda http://www.publicagenda.org/whoweare using their proven model for dialogue and engagement.
Please feel free to forward this e-mail to anyone you know who is interested in this issue and might like to also participate.
This conversation will only be a success if all of our voices are included! – your participation is very important. See attached flier for additional details.
We hope to see you there, METS Community Conversation partners
Posted by: Iggy - www.KCFreeThinkers.org | February 20, 2009 at 10:25 AM
Are you a bit too old to have an imaginary friend?
Have you read Matthew recently?
(1:23) A virgin shall be with child"
The prophecy given in Is.7:14 referred not to a virgin but to a young woman, living at the time of the prophecy. And Jesus, of course, was called Jesus -- and is not called Emmanuel in any other verse in the New Testament.
(2:1) When was Jesus born?
Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king.
There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.
Herod the Great died in 4 BCE.
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
Quirinius became governor of Syria in 6 CE, ten years after king Herod's death.
(2:5-6) "In Bethlehem of Judaea"
Matthew claims that Jesus' birth in Bethlehem fulfils the prophecy in Micah 5:2. But this is unlikely for two reasons.
1. "Bethlehem Ephratah" in Micah 5:2 refers not to a town, but to a clan: the clan of Bethlehem, who was the son of Caleb's second wife, Ephrathah (1 Chr.2:18, 2:50-52, 4:4).
2. The prophecy (if that is what it is) does not refer to the Messiah, but rather to a military leader, as can be seen from Micah 5:6. This leader is supposed to defeat the Assyrians, which, of course, Jesus never did.
It should also be noted that Matthew altered the text of Micah 5:2 by saying: "And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda" rather than "Bethlehem Ephratah" as is said in Micah 5:2. He did this, intentionally no doubt, to make the verse appear to refer to the town of Bethlehem rather than the family clan.
Posted by: Iggy - www.KCFreeThinkers.org | February 20, 2009 at 10:29 AM
Oh, Bill. You poor, lost and misguided soul! You must know that the world will not, and cannot, end on Monday. It is given to us by the great God of Last-Thursdayism that any world-ending only occurs on Thursdays (each and every one).
While this may be a distressing thought to you (the world ending once per week), in reality it can be very comforting -- because you will be remade with all your memories intact and your personality the same, and the only omission being the lack of conscious awareness of the fate of the previous universe. And knowing that the power of You allows a new creation that exactly matches this one, every time, is both awe-inspiring and humbling.
Don't worry about Monday, Bill. Know that you'll wait to destroy the world until later in the week -- just as has been done every Thursday since the world began (last Thursday, to be precise).
Posted by: Chuck Lunney | February 20, 2009 at 10:34 AM
This week's Daily promise, 2/20/09: God is in charge of the world
Do you sense God working in history today?
"O God, declare [my enemies] guilty. Let them be caught in their own traps. Drive them away because of their many sins, for they rebel against you." Psalm 5:10 NLT
A refuge to rejoice"
Where is a refuge to Rejoice in what Humans are doing to our Planet. Why are Humans rebelling about God? Why do Human ask God to protect us from our Human Enemies?
What does Obey the Lord God mean? What does 'Thou Shalt Not Kill' mean for Humans on Earth? Kill Each Other and their Home Planet? Why?
Who is this Man-made Lord God that 'said' this? God is a Spirit 'Being', to most Religious Humans. Do Spirits Speak to Humans Supernaturally? How?
Human also have a Human Man God, Jesus, that lived on Earth, and said 'Turn the Other Cheek', and said, 'Love God', and 'Love your Brothers/Sisters of Life Equally'.
What does Jesus mean? Live an Equal Sharing Passivist Human Peace Lifestyle, with our Brothers/Sisters?
Do Greedy, Unequal, Killing Humans, Live like the World, Satan, and our Flesh? Why?
The Inhumane Problems for Humans on Earth today, began when Adam and Eve listened to Satan and rebelled against the Lord God.
Since when has God been in Charge of Planet Earth? 'In the beginning'?
Before we blow up GODs Temple, Planet Earth, it would be nice to Know, Why Humans Hate, and are Killing Each Other, and our Home.
Eternal Human Life is for Living High Tech Humans, on Planets and in Spaceships like the Lord God, in our Human Image.
Posted by: Dolores Lear | February 20, 2009 at 11:30 AM
I have been trying to read documents literally, and so I have been re reading the Constitution.
Word for Word, literally...I can not find the phrase "separation of church and state" in the Constitution.
Can anyone help me find it?
Posted by: Will Graham | February 20, 2009 at 12:41 PM
Whatever source Iggy is copying his "bibical criticisms" from, he needs to find something else. His analysis is flawed, as he is totally ignoring history and context.
Of course, he is doing this purposely and willfully, and not simply out of ignorance, so it is not something to take all that seriously; for example, his apparent lack of understanding of the word "Emmanuel" which in this context is not a name but a description, etc.
But I think it is interesting that this comes on following his links about having fun with Jews...his Jews hatred and hatred of their writings is showing.
Perhaps he should check out JEW WATCH to keep informed on the actions of the NOTORIOUS JEWISH LOBBY that RICHARD DAWKINS warns us about in his Delusional book...pages 4 and 44 of the hardback edition.
Posted by: Will Graham | February 20, 2009 at 12:57 PM