Biblical “Scholars” say funny things

Like this thing:

Whenever speaker and author Gary Frazier goes on a radio show to talk about the “end times,” he knows he’s going to get calls heckling him.

“The climate in the world is just like it was in the days of Noah,” Frazier said.

How in the fuck can he justify and prove that inane comment?

“We look about the world today,” Frazier said, “and we are able to recognize that these things are leading to the fulfillment of the prophecies spoken about centuries ago.”

“These things” being global warming and his doubt about the theory that Earth is currently undergoing a typical cycle of warming up and cooling down like has happened with ice ages previously. I mentioned in another post recently that we are technically in an ice age now, on account of there actually being ice on the poles and in mountain glaciers.

Frazier likens today’s world events to a jigsaw puzzle whose pieces are coming together — political pacts, military treaties, rogue nations who may have access to nuclear weapons, the global financial crisis, the calls for a new world currency.

Frazier says his mission is to teach people what the Bible says and how current events are pointing to the end times.

“Because we are living in the last days, we need to be busy winning souls,” Frazier said. “We don’t say to go and sit on a hill and wait for Jesus.”

John was saying the exact same damn shit in his day, hence the existence of Revelations – a book that never will come to pass. John was expecting the end within his lifetime. He was completely wrong, as has been every deluded dope on a soapbox since. Frazier is going to be wrong as well. People always want to dig around in past words for present day meaning and it’s always wasted time — at least in terms of end-times prophecy. Nothing of the future of the world can be gleaned from the superstitious fears of goat herders 2000 years previously. Nothing. All that should be done with that kind of crap is note its silly existence as a way of life we’ve gladly left behind and move forward into thinking about ways to improve the world we have right now.

To be fair, not every “scholar” agrees with Frazier’s very dismal take on the future. I’ll quote Thor Madsen:

“First, the biblical writers prepare us for extreme natural and moral disasters just before Christ returns, and we see trouble everywhere these days, especially in the United States and the Middle East,” he said. “Secondly, the Bible gives Israel a leading role in end times history, and this nation is under threat as never before, especially with the rise of radical Islam.”

Madsen said biblical scholars reach different conclusions, but they’re OK with that.

“We don’t have to nail down exactly how the end times will play out according to Scripture,” he said. “In details we can disagree agreeably. But some events are given to us as certain. Jesus Christ will return some day. Everyone will face him as judge, according to the gospel. Until then, the church will grow against the backdrop of intense suffering.”

Plus, this whole rapture idea that’s so popular these days has only been popular for a couple hundred years. Andy Johnson, New Testament professor at the Nazarene Theological Seminary in Kansas City, makes a point of mentioning that:

Johnson says such a Rapture, as written about in the “Left Behind” series, is never clearly mentioned in the Bible. It came from William Nelson Darby, a preacher in the early 19th century, and was incorporated in the popular Scofield study Bible.

This dispensationalist viewpoint is credited to him, at least — that Jesus will secretly remove his bride, the Church, out of harm’s way, come the day, and then wreak holy havoc on the rest of the world just for the hell of it.

Others call it tribulation, or “The Great Escape” and are encouraging their believers to go quite overboard on the soul harvesting so more people can truly be saved when this happens.

Kate Bowler, assistant professor at Duke Divinity School in Durham, N.C,

said that what Christians believe about the end times affects their outlook on the future, whether to be optimistic or pessimistic. Those who hold to the theological view that includes the Rapture of believers before the tribulation see things only getting worse — the rise of the Antichrist, the unraveling of society, the unleashing of evil before Jesus comes.

“We have centuries of prophecy charts,” Bowler said. “In the end, people want a Christian narrative of time, how the story ends. There is a real satisfaction in knowing what will happen in the end, even if it’s bad.”

Well, when your whole outlook on life seems to hinge on the value of suffering for a greater reward, this comes as no great surprise.

The smartest person in the whole article appears to be the author whose book is getting shilled at the end of it. Barbara Rossing has written a book called The Rapture Exposed and in it, makes note of the various theories of the end and what various Christian groups want to claim is coming.

“The end times is an important aspect of Christian theology, but not necessarily the Rapture,” she said.

Also it is not biblical to equate contemporary political events with predictions in the Bible, said Rossing, who is a New Testament professor at the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago.

“Jesus says no one knows the time (when Jesus will return), and it is not our job to speculate on it,” she said. “One blessing of the end times is it teaches a sense of urgency. But it should not be escapism from this world, but an urgency to live even more how God taught us, to love God and love our neighbor.”

Wouldn’t it be nice if a few more Christians were keyed in to this mindset?

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Canadian Atheist Basically ordinary Library employee Avid book lover Ditto for movies Wanna-be writer Procrastinator
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