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Old 02-05-2002, 07:13 PM   #1
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Thoughts on "The End of the World"

I have paid attention to modern Christian apocalypticism since about 1996, because I, myself, was fascinated by a lot they had to say.

Roman Catholicism, most intriguingly, has a certain conservative faction that is very much obsessed with it. It's not a reflection on the Church itself regarding this--it doesn't advocate any of it--but with over 1 billion members and the Vatican's attentions on assaulting liberal dissent, conservative dissent has been allowed to grow unimpeded.

Most interestingly, a lot of what they have judged on is on what Mary has stated during her various worldwide apparitions during the last two centuries, with most attention being paid to Fatima in 1917 and Medjugorje of the last two decades.

The messages from Mary herself are not incredibly specific. Her latest message from Medjugorje is typical of most of her monthly messages:

(Message of January 25, 2002)

"Dear children! At this time while you are still looking back to the past year I call you, little children, to look deeply into your heart and to decide to be closer to God and to prayer. Little children, you are still attached to earthly things and little to spiritual life. May my call today also be an encouragement to you to decide for God and for daily conversion. You cannot be converted, little children, if you do not abandon sins and do not decide for love towards God and neighbor. Thank you for having responded to my call."

Basically, the call she advocates is for us to go back to faith, to love, to prayer, and to peace. (FYI, by "conversion" in the above message, it means a conversion of our hearts, not the literal evangelization it normally implies.) However, if you ever happen to pick up a book on Christian apparitions, it normally contains interspersals of Mary's words with plenty of "editorial" passed off as true interpretation. For instance, one of these books would likely list the above message and say:

"Well, it's no wonder Mary stated this. With a society deeply ingrained in the liberal ideology of the 1960s and the Clinton era, it is imperative that we convert to God's true will."

Of course, unless you have read one of these books, you won't understand fully what I mean by "editorial." Here's another situation:

St. Malachy in the Middle Ages wrote down a list of all the Popes and a brief, but cryptic, description of them, until "the end." So far, they have been completely correct. Apparently, there are two more left. Now, according to this, the death of the current Pope is supposed to be the true spark of "the end." The next Pope is supposed to be evil, factioning the Church greatly, taking 2/3 of the Church with him to "destruction." His reign is supposed to coincide with the Antichrist, who is to reign the exact amount of time Jesus was on Earth--approximately 3 years. True Christians are going to be persecuted, whether that means a physical persecution like during the Roman Empire or verbal/emotional isolation.

Now, the "editorial" goes on a two page rampage about how this Pope will be liberal. Assuming that the death of the current Pope really will spark the above events as predicted, I don't know how that can be possible. All but a small handful of the voting cardinals have been appointed by the current Pope. All of them are either as conservative as him or worse. The current activity from the Vatican is overwhelmingly anti-liberal, so the Pope's successor will likely continue these policies, perhaps zealously going beyond what the currently frail Pope could do--hence, my belief that the "evil" Pope will be, in fact, conservative. I'm thinking like the essentialism of the Pharisees, who lost sight of the true intent of Christianity.

Regardless, like the film "12 Monkeys," I do not write this with the hope of changing anything, but to just learn; to understand the process ahead of time of how everything will eventually fall apart. You can't escape God, so it is worthless to believe that somehow you can outsmart Him whatever his future plans may be. How Jesus will destroy the proverbial temple and rebuild it in three days, etc. Interesting stuff to me...

Melon

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"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time
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Old 02-06-2002, 12:43 AM   #2
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12 Monkeys is a GREAT movie!! Brad Pitt was terriffic in that. Bruce Willis too. Does life imitate art??

All Presbyterians are going to Hell, according to Catholics. How's that for predictions?
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Old 02-06-2002, 03:50 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by DebbieSG:
12 Monkeys is a GREAT movie!! Brad Pitt was terriffic in that.
That truly was Brad Pitt's best acting ever, it showed he has talent not just looks.
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Old 02-06-2002, 11:44 AM   #4
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Yah, I mos defly agree.. Brad Pitt showed his ability in things like that.. and I'm a big big fan of Snatch.. I can't wait for the Next Guy Ritchie Movie.. The kid's (Pitt) got great talent, and honestly, I think he had a cooler .. maybe this is just a guy wanting a guy to look tough... a cooler look in Fight Club.. Snatch.. than the floozy long haired ness of Legends of the Fall.

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Old 02-06-2002, 12:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by DebbieSG:
All Presbyterians are going to Hell, according to Catholics. How's that for predictions?
Why I'm defending the Church right now is beyond me. I can guarantee that they wouldn't do the same for me. But since I am really about the quest for truth...

The Catholic Church has been incredibly ambiguous about this statement. Officially, with Vatican II in the early 1960s, the Church stepped away from its assertion that it was the sole possessor of salvation and granted that we are all looking for the same goal, but taking different paths. In this model, Catholicism was still what they considered the closest religion (what faith doesn't think of themselves as the greatest?), and other Christians were next closest. Religions like Judaism and Islam, which share the same belief in God, but not in Jesus, were next in line. Other religions that didn't share any common belief systems were on the outer fringe.

Within the last few years, however, the Vatican has become more hard-line conservative (or as the Pope likes to say, "neo-traditionalist"). Not only does it now assert itself as the sole possessor of salvation, but now it is attempting to eliminate dissenters by excommunicating dissenting clergy and dictating what kind of education can and cannot be taught in its universities. This is contrary to the spirit of Vatican II and is contrary to Catholic tradition itself, where St. Thomas Aquinas, the father of most Catholic theology, taught the utmost importance of conscience, not Church law, for morality. Hence, "dissenters," as long as they have not rejected the core beliefs of the Church (see the Nicene Creed for the core beliefs such as the belief in Christ, etc.), are to be considered fully Catholic.

Now, in it's latest activity, the Vatican is trying to tell lawyers and judges not to perform divorces and for people to uphold the "traditional family" at any cost, even if it means discriminatory legislation...

...which brings me back to the "evil Pope" line. We all know that his death is going to be sooner than later, although it has been said he could still live 10 more years, as his physical health is still good (Parkinson's Disease is caused by the lack of the brain chemical, dopamine, which, in it's total absence, causes the tremors. While it may look scary, it is not fatal in itself.). With that, I don't know how one can claim that the next Pope can be liberal, knowing the makeup of the current Vatican, which is highly conservative. With the next Pope, I see a continuation of this conservatism, perhaps mutating into some sort of "fundamentalism," but a "fundamentalism" of tradition and the usage of selective Biblical passages to assert these claims.

All I can say is that we often think we are smart enough to know what is good and what is evil, but with a world so full of grays and wolves in sheep clothing, I often wonder if we would know Satan even if he were standing directly in front of us?

Melon

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"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time
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Old 02-06-2002, 05:21 PM   #6
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Melon, what exactly are you talking about here? It's all interesting stuff, but what is the actual purpose of this thread?

I wish to comment on a lot of stuff, but I don't know what is relevant or not.

Ant.
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Old 02-07-2002, 01:37 AM   #7
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I used to be a bit of a skeptic regarding predictions and the like, but I learned that sometimes people have to listen to and believe the voice inside their head, regardless of the absence of evidence.

Somethings, some people just know. No person tells them anything, they just know.

Some people can make legitimate predictions based on no evidence or suggestion of possible events to come. The greatest hurdle they face is convincing anyone to believe them before it is too late.
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Old 02-07-2002, 04:40 AM   #8
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Melon, so is it your intent to point out the extreme evils of the conservative Right, as manifest in the Pope? ...

Or are you open to what other eschatological beliefs (ie, Protestant perspective)?

From my Protestant background, the countdown to the end of the world is measured by the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem...

As far as antichrists go, Revelations tell of a beast from sea and the beast from earth (Revelations 13). "The beast from sea" symbolizes the Roman empire, the deification of secular authority-- mainly, THE Anti-Christ. "The beast from earth" symbolizes religious power in the service of secular authorities, a false prophet if you may. There you have the opposite Trinity: Satan, antichrist, and the false prophet.

Sure, some Protestant eschatologist speculate the Catholic Pope may be "the beast from earth"... but then again, it might be the Dali Lama.

There's also the speculation of the Rapture, where many Protestants think that believers will be caught up with the Holy Spirit before the 7 years of Tribulations befall Earth... others think it's during or after.

In any case, I think when the Anti-Christ does rise to throne... I really don't think anybody will fear or oppose him... What I think is that the wool will be covered over everyone's eyes, and everyone will be rooting for the Anti-Christ (similar to the patriotic fervor in America; after all, we all worship after celebrities) and not know it,... only the very few will be able to discern the true evil of the Anti-Christ.
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Old 02-07-2002, 10:36 AM   #9
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My point? I guess I don't have one. Or maybe I do, and I just can't summarize it in one little statement.

Part of it is the question of whether, even if we happened to know what would cause "the end," would we be able to prevent it? If we are just a cog in a gigantic machine, who is to say that we can just suddenly pull ourselves out?

Part of it is that I'm very pissed off as conservatism lately. Not only do I see a lot of their belief systems just a mirror of the Pharisees in Jesus' time, but I'm tired of all the hatred done in the name of religion. Then you get told if don't hate (or, as they like to manipulate it, "tough love"), that you are somehow evil. Of course, I know I shouldn't care what others say, even if the "others" are billions of people worldwide, but it bothers me. It bothers me that religion has been reduced to a joke, it's members coming across as ignorant cultists who cannot think for themselves and seem to not exist on the same plane of reality. To see people call out "jihad" as an excuse to kill thousands of people. To know that Christianity has been responsible for anti-Semitism, the Crusades, the Inquisition, the main supporters of African slavery in America, and now rabid homophobes hell bent on some half-assed "crusade" causing misery for so many people. All this in the name of religion....

....which makes me wonder. Would we know "evil" even if it was staring at our face? Even if it were the head of the Christian Coalition? Or the Vatican? Or the televangelists who spend all their time finding obscure numbers in Hebrew lettering? What if the same people who were claiming to "save" us were the same people who were leading us into our own demise? I guess, in a long winded way, that is my point.

Melon

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"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time
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