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rapture ain't just a perfume - Page 3

post #41 of 63
not to worry nm, i didn't mean to insinuate that you implied we humans weren't equal. i was trying to say that as we are all equal as human beings, and that our beliefs are personally held, then by extension our beliefs are equal too. we each hold them to be true for ourselves, personally. in other words, while you may not personally believe in buddhism (for example), that does not mean that a buddhists beliefs are not true or valid for that person.

post #42 of 63
Some questions for those who think all belief systems are equal:

Would you say that the belief in absolute truth is just as valid as the belief in relativism?

If you took any four belief systems/religions and put them side by side, would you really not be able to "rate" them? For example,

1.) The Nazi belief system,
2.) the simple peaceful Islam practiced by peasants in North Africa,
3.) the Temple of the Sun (weird cult that committed mass suicide a few years back), and
4.) the belief system that predominates among the intellectual elite at the Ivy Leagues?
post #43 of 63
well this is getting really OT here and that was not my intention, so let me just respond super pickle, by saying, 1. i don't know if there is an absolute truth, and 2. i was refering to spiritual belief systems, so examples #1 and 4 don't really apply. and yes, while i may prefer #2 to #3 personally, again, each belief is held by the individual and therefore has equal merit for that person.

ok, back to the rapture.....
post #44 of 63
Yes this thread has strayed very very far from its original topic
I forgot we were even talking about the Rapture.

Steph, I understand that you do not know if there is absolute truth. That's a very honest answer and makes much more sense than someone who says he's absolutely sure that there are no absolutes :

But I was asking if you think the *belief* in absolute truth is equal to the *belief* in relativism. Or if religions based on the concept of absolute truth (including Christianity and Islam, just to name 2) are as valid as religions based on moral relativism.

I think I understand where you're coming from when you say that the beliefs have equal merit for the individual....if what you're saying is that a Taoist receives guidance and comfort from Taoism comparable to the guidance and comfort that a Muslim receives from Islam, you are probably right on.

Sincerity in belief is a virtue and has many benefits to the believer. In the end, though, some beliefs are going to be closer to the Truth than others. Say 5 people are driving down the road and see a cow in a field. #1 thinks to himself, "what a marvelous example of the creativity and sensitivity of the heart of God." #2. thinks, "Ahhh, the product of millions of years, millions of mutations, and a lot of selective pressure. " #3. thinks, "Hey, there's Grandpa!" #4. thinks, "This is of course not a cow but merely the illusion of a cow" and #5, in all sincerity, thinks, "Cool! It's Babe, Paul Bunyan's ox."

Well, each person might receive satisfaction from his belief, and not one of the passengers is inferior as a human being, but clearly the cow is *not* Paul Bunyan's ox and *probably* isn't Grandpa. Whether it's an illusion or not is a great philosophical exercise but when it comes down to it the cow is either real or it isn't. The cow does not cease to *be* b/c a human considers it an illusion. Our varying faiths sustain us, encourage us, and make us better people, but I still hold that some *are* hitting closer to the mark (the actual nature of God and the universe) than others.
post #45 of 63
I also have to say that it should not be hard at all for anyone here to rate Nazism at the bottom and Temple of the Sun next (comparing Nazism, TotS, Islam, and progressivism) . Why? B/c we know that genocide is wrong and that compelling a group to commit mass suicide is wrong. These are values that transcend our personal preferences and our cultural heritage. And I would have to disagree that belonging to the Temple of the Sun was good for the adherents.

Now, it would get sticky if we tried to rate peaceful Islam vs. progressivism. There would be a lot of disagreement. Some would prefer progressivism, citing its fairness and open-mindedness. Others would prefer Islam, citing its devotion to righteousness and truth. But even here we would be drawing upon the universal moral consciousness, which is beyond us as individuals, to support our preferences. We would be trying to figure out which belief system was more aligned with True Good. Unless we have been utterly corrupted, we all know intuitively that fairness is good, peace is good, honesty is good, and kindness is good; and that injustice, violence, lies, and hatred are bad.
post #46 of 63
(trying to steer the discussion back to the original topic, sorry for the derailment...)

"Nursing Mother wrote: "My opinion is, with all the New Age talk on nagative forces and "bad vibes" in this world that subtling they are talking about us Christian who cause bad vibes in the world and stop "progression" and the evolution of so-called society. When we all disappear it will make sense, as that will be the "earth cleansing inself of negatism, sin, etc" so the world can evolve and create this New world order where Christians won't be speaking up all the time and causing problems. Just think what this world would be like if all the fundies, conservative christians, and "pain in the butt religious people" where outta here!!!! There would be a lot of happy people as well as terrified people. BTW this is just my thoughts on it. "

NM, This is really insightful, I have *always* wondered what the world is going to make of it when all the Christians just disappear.
Like, how could they not realize that the prophecies are being fulfilled when "one is taken and the other left"? Your speculation makes a lot of sense.
post #47 of 63
>>"I want to ask the following with respect, Nursing Mother and Pupcake. Have not Christians believed that the end was nigh for the past 2000 years? Did not Christ himself believe that he was inaugurating the kingdom of heaven on earth, that his time was in fact the end times? "<<

I sorry I haven't read most of this thread past the beginning (and my post will explain why) but I did want to address this. When you have been around from the beginnig of time and then some and then some more, (like God, not me) whats a couple of thousand years in perspective of eternity. God is not slow at keeping his promises as some understand slowness to be. He is waiting untill the perfect time to return. It is his desire that none should parish and he want people to have time to seek him.

As for revelation :

I do believe it to be true , i do belive the prophesies will be fulfilled buit I don't know that we will recognize thier fulfillment the way the writer did. Different world views, different ways of explaining the unexplainable. How do you describe something you have no concept of?

I tend not to spend too much time studing revelations and it irritates me when Christians send to much time agonizing over every detail of it and arguing whos interpretaition is corrert. While it is fun to play games with interpretations and make guesses as to what it all means I find it a waiste of time to spend energy going over and over what it all means. There will come bad times and we need to be prepared for them so that we can stand fast. In these bad times we can be assured of the hope of Christ's return as the mighty Lion of Judah and his curch meeting Him in the air. Rather than the agonizing and arguing though and predicting we should concern ourselves with making sure that we are ready and our faith steadfast and that we are helping as many other people as possible get tot hat point. Thessilonians has some really good stuff on the end times that isn't nearly as criptic and gets more to the point. So umm, there is my $.02.

post #48 of 63
Indiegirl wrote, "I'm not Christian--but even if this has been in the works for thousands upon thousands of years, it seems pretty silly if, at the end of it all, we are (or I should say Christians are) sitting around with God, kickin back....and saying "Hey God, remember when you kicked Satan's butt? That was cool."

What a hoot! That had me rolling on the floor!

I have really, really tried to stay out of this one, but I just have to say this:

NM does not speak for all Christians!

Not all Christians believe in a literal interpretation of the bible!

Not all Christians believe in the rapture! (my dh is a former Catholic and he says he was brought up to believe Revelations as just what it was - a dream)

I consider myself "Christian" but also believe there is more than one path to God or Truth, as do a LOT of Christians.

Fundamental Christianity is not the only brand of Christianity!

And my God does not condemn those who believe in a path other than Christianity.

She also does not condemn homosexuality.

My God wants me to have a personal relationship with her. It is a mother/child (or father/child, if you insist on thinking of it that way) relationship. She knows I'm not perfect and loves me anyway!
post #49 of 63
NM may not speak for all Christians but she sure knows the Bible!

I have learned so much from you, Nursing Mother, I consider you a real blessing.
post #50 of 63
So, you're saying that the Jews will eventually come to their senses and see the error of their foolish ways. It'll take something as huge and bizarre as all the Earth's christians flying into the sky, but they'll eventually get it.
Honestly, to get most of the skeptics to believe it will take huge and bizzarre. No one is calling them foolish people have their reasons.

I believe it was Yammer who previously stated that it would take huge and bizzare to make him believe (not directly quoting here)and I doubt anyone would call him foolish.
post #51 of 63
No, abimommy, I didn't mean to call anybody foolish. Not Yammer, not anybody else. Nor did I intend to say that the Christians necessarily think that the Jews are foolish.

Maybe I should have inserted a smilie somewhere in my post, but this guy : just doesn't seem tongue in cheek enough.
post #52 of 63
... by NM ...
The difference(of Christianity) between Buddhism, Islam, and other religions are many. Those are religions, Christianity is not. A religion is man's attempt to reach God. Religion is man trying to get to God through their rituals, sacrifices, traditions, or good works. But the Bible says that "all our righteous acts are like filthy rags" before a holy God (Isaiah 64:6) God is holy and man is affected with a spiritual disease called sin. Man is incapable of coming into the presence of a holy God through the doorway of religion. This is the great truth of Christianity. Rom. 5:8 "But God demostrated his own love for us in this: That while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
See, here's my big problem with all of this. We're all created in G-d's image, right? So what's the obsession with sin? And if we're in G-d's image, then what's with the "intermediary" thing? And what about taking responsibility for your own sins, anyway?

And as far as needing to be "saved," correct me if I'm wrong, but the million Jewish children slaughtered in WWII, who did not accept Jesus as their savior, they don't go "upstairs" in Christian theology, right?

But if Eichmann and Himmler and Der Fuhrer, who murdered the million Jewish children, accepted Jesus as their savior on their deathbeds, they do go "upstairs" in Christian theology, right?

Thanks but no thanks.

Don't want to be a player in your rapture.

But it is fun hanging around these boards with y'all.

- Amy
post #53 of 63
Amyrpk, I hope this is not taken as condescending or belligerent. I am interested in Jewish understanding of these questions but the best I can do is to try to answer them from a Christian perspective....

"We're all created in G-d's image, right? So what's the obsession with sin? "

Christian teaching interprets the story of the Fall as sin & death entering the world and impacting even non-human elements of Creation. So even though humans were created in His image, by our own choice we have alienated ourselves from Him. God was certainly concerned with sin when he destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, Tyre and Sidon, etc. Some legalistic churches might think that if they adhere to strict behavioral & discipline codes that they will not sin against God. But if they were to look at the scriptures, first of all they would see that they do not follow the Law of Moses to a tee. Then if they looked at Jesus' teachings (if you are angry with your brother you are guilty of murder; if you look at a woman lustfully you have committed adultry, etc.) and honestly examined themselves they would see that they fall short of God's standards for holiness. Remember, Gentiles don't have the Law, and we come from pagan cultures so maybe our depravity is more obvious to us and we tend to get hung up on it, whereas the Jews have a history and tradition of following God's commands and receiving favor from Him.

"And what about taking responsibility for your own sins, anyway?"

Exactly! Before the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed, didn't the people of Israel offer sacrifices for their sins? We see Jesus as the ultimate sacrifice for all our sins. He was blameless like a spotless lamb. We don't see ourselves as being able to make up for our own sins, short of suffering separation from Him, so we need someone to pay the fine for us. Like a scapegoat.

"And as far as needing to be "saved," correct me if I'm wrong, but the million Jewish children slaughtered in WWII, who did not accept Jesus as their savior, they don't go "upstairs" in Christian theology, right? But if Eichmann and Himmler and Der Fuhrer, who murdered the million Jewish children, accepted Jesus as their savior on their deathbeds, they do go "upstairs" in Christian theology, right?"

This is a huge stumbling block and a big issue, the idea that terrible evidoers could go to Heaven and "innocent" people could go to Hell. But is anyone truly innocent in relation to GOd? Children, maybe...they have not attained the age of accountablity. As for Hitler et al., probably these men's souls were so blackened by wickedness that they would not have even thought about repentance, if it's any consolation. God hated what happened and His heart broke with every murder, and His wrath was stirred mightily, we can be sure. But when Jesus died on the cross, sinless, he took upon Himself the full measure of God's wrath against humanity. So, every time we've worshipped an idol, or cheated, or murdered, or cursed a neighbor, Christ has accepted the punishment for all that...even for genocide. He removes our sin from us as far as the east is from the west, no matter how bad. I know it's not fair and seems to go against the idea of a just god. But we see it as evidence of His great mercy.
post #54 of 63
... by Super Pickle ...
... it's not fair and seems to go against the idea of a just god ...
Fairness doesn't enter into it for me. And the idea of a "just god" isn't mine, either.

And what is that "children, maybe" about? "They haven't reached the age of accountability"? I thought children, definitely.

Or is the thing about being conceived "in sin" standard to all Christian theology, too?


And BTW what is your moniker about, SP? I always giggle when I see it ...

- Amy
post #55 of 63
I added the "maybe" to "children' b/c I don't know. It's just an opinion. But it is based on David's assertion that he will see his son again (the one that dies after he commits adultry & murder).

The twerps in grade school used to call me Pickle : Hated it til my best friend reclaimed it for me and started calling me Super Pickle
post #56 of 63
Hi! Fascinating discussion.

Just another POV:

Mormons (that's me: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) believe in the second coming of Jesus Christ and all the events described in the New Testament (and Old) leading up to it as literal. We believe in a calling up of believers, we don't claim to have an understanding of what will cause those things to happen to the sun and moon (sun is dark, moon is red as blood, etc.), but we believe they will happen.

Okay: next topic:

Age of accountability: We believe in an actual age of accountability, being eight years old. Prior to this time, children are innocent, and not "responsible" or accountable for their sins. They have this blessing because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Therefore in our church there is no infant baptism or christening--children are baptized at age of eight, after verifying their understanding of basic gospel principles.

Accountability is an interesting thing: I have a brother who is 12 and autistic, and church leaders and my parents prayed and had it confirmed that he is not accountable, because his mental development is hindered/on a different track from your "average person." My youngest brother is eight, and has not been baptized yet because he has learning disabilities, and his understanding is not where it needs to be to be accountable. So you see that it's not just cut and dried at eight years old.

Someone asked if all Christians believe in original sin, and we do not. We believe that the transgression of Adam and Eve removed us from the presence of God and gave us mortality, and that separation is our legacy of Adam and Eve, not sin. We will be punished for our own sins. We still desperately need the Atonement of Jesus because we cannot make it on our own.

Now a question:

When "mainstream Christians" refer to Rapture, exactly what aspects of the events leading up to the Second Coming are they referring to? We don't use this terminology at all.

I hope that I haven't hijacked the thread--people were asking about takes on Rapture, and so I wanted to give ours.
post #57 of 63
Sorry to bust into this facinating thread late.But I have a few things to say.

Originally posted by Super Pickle "And what about taking responsibility for your own sins, anyway?"

Exactly! Before the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed, didn't the people of Israel offer sacrifices for their sins? We see Jesus as the ultimate sacrifice for all our sins. He was blameless like a spotless lamb. We don't see ourselves as being able to make up for our own sins, short of suffering separation from Him, so we need someone to pay the fine for us. Like a scapegoat.
The sacrifices in the Temple were only effective if the person did teshuva (repentance)for himself. I can't really understand someone being forgiven for the sins that you commit because of something that happened to someone else.
Scapegoat- you mean like the one from the temple yom kippur service?

post #58 of 63

I ask respectfully:

Where does the bible say that people will flock to "new age" theologies? That isn't in my bible.

Or do you mean "false prohphets?"

We may have differing viewpoints but being a PK, as are you, I am well versed in my bible knowledge.
post #59 of 63

I agree with what you've said in at least general terms. I was just wondering, when Christians refer to a Rapture, is it referring to a specific event in the big chain of events (i.e., the calling up)?

My dh used to be Presbyterian, and he had been taught that there will be a Second Coming, but they never used the term Rapture in his church.
post #60 of 63
I knew what you meant, NM, but just wondered why the translation from "false prophet" to "new age" theology. Believe me, I've heard your interpretation a thousand times or more. But it is an interpretation. I thought you believed in the literal bible.

I just have a hard time with understanding why literal believers of the bible feel a need to interpret the literal word to fit their idea of what they think will happen.
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