Today’s Islamic revival in all of its varieties–non-jihadist and jihadist (both Shi’ite Iranians and Sunni ISIS)–is motivated by a strong apocalyptic strain, the sense well-known to some Christians that the world is coming to an end, that prophecies are being fulfilled, and that the last judgment approaches. Islamic apocalyptic thinking even has a role for the anti-Christ and the Second Coming of Jesus. Muslim apologist David Liepert, who left Christianity for Islam, gives the colorful details of the signs of the End Times (which includes the discovery of a mountain of gold, the sun rising in the west, and a group of Muslims turning into pigs and apes). [Read more…]
A major element in today’s jihadist movement is the Islamic doctrine of the End Times, according to Dr. Timothy R. Furnish in a lecture at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. From an account of the lecture:
To establish a world ruled by Islamic law, Jesus and the Mahdi will battle against the deceiver al-Dajjal and then convert everyone to Islam to usher-in the end times. Wait … what? Jesus?
In checking out the predictions for last year, I came across a post I wrote with this lede:
More doomsday predictions, this time from the Roman Catholic side! According to writings attributed to St. Malachy in 1139, pope #112 will be the last one, and then Jesus will return. That would be the successor to Pope Benedict XVI, who is #111.
And now we have #112, the Person of the Year who has made Catholicism cool again, Pope Francis. But will he be the last of the line? After the jump, the story I quoted back in February, 2013. [Read more…]
Radio evangelist Harold Camping has died at the age of 92. Best known for predicting that on May 21, 2011, Jesus would come back, Camping’s most harmful teaching was that all church bodies were heretical and that people should just listen to his radio broadcasts instead of going to church.
More doomsday predictions, this time from the Roman Catholic side! According to writings attributed to St. Malachy in 1139, pope #112 will be the last one, and then Jesus will return. That would be the successor to Pope Benedict XVI, who is #111. [Read more…]
Harold Camping has repented of his dating of doomsday, but Christian types are not the only ones who fall for end times predictions. The Mayan calendar runs out on December 21, 2012. So quite a few people think that will be the end of time. (I’m not sure why they think the ancient Mayans would know that information.) In France, people are already gathering at a mysterious mountain where they believe they will be saved when time runs out:
A mountain looming over a French commune with a population of just 200 is being touted as a modern Noah’s Ark when doomsday arrives – supposedly less than nine months from now.
A rapidly increasing stream of New Age believers – or esoterics, as locals call them – have descended in their camper van-loads on the usually picturesque and tranquil Pyrenean village of Bugarach. They believe that when apocalypse strikes on 21 December this year, the aliens waiting in their spacecraft inside Pic de Bugarach will save all the humans near by and beam them off to the next age.
As the cataclysmic date – which, according to eschatological beliefs and predicted astrological alignments, concludes a 5,125-year cycle in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar – nears, the goings-on around the peak have become more bizarre and ritualistic.
For decades, there has been a belief that Pic de Bugarach, which, at 1,230 metres, is the highest in the Corbières mountain range, possesses an eery power. Often called the “upside-down mountain” – geologists think that it exploded after its formation and the top landed the wrong way up – it is thought to have inspired Jules Verne’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth and Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Since the 1960s, it has attracted New Agers, who insist that it emits special magnetic waves.
Further, rumours persist that the country’s late president François Mitterrand was transported by helicopter on to the peak, while the Nazis, and, later, Israel’s Mossad, performed mysterious digs there. Now the nearby village is awash with New Agers, who have boosted the local economy, though their naked group climbs up to the peak have raised concerns as well as eyebrows. Among other oddities, some hikers have been spotted scaling the mountain carrying a ball with a golden ring, strung together by a single thread. . . .
Upwards of 100,000 people are thought to be planning a trip to the mountain, 30 miles west of Perpignan, in time for 21 December, and opportunistic entrepreneurs are shamelessly cashing in on the phenomenon. While American travel agents have been offering special, one-way deals to witness the end of the world, a neighbouring village, Saint-Paul de Fenouillet, has produced a wine to celebrate the occasion.