What If Jesus Isn’t Coming Back Anytime Soon?

What If Jesus Isn’t Coming Back Anytime Soon? March 2, 2019

 

What if Jesus isn’t coming back soon?

For many Christians, the hope and promise of the imminent return of Christ is just about the only thing that sustains them on a daily basis.

They see the world becoming more secular and they experience great discomfort as the culture starts to become less “Christian” and more hostile to their worldview.

As a result, many of these Christians cling to the idea that Jesus will return any moment now to vindicate them, rescue them from this pagan culture and whisk them away to heaven where they will be much more comfortable and will never have to suffer the ungodly world they were born into any longer.

But, what if this isn’t going to happen? What then?

I’m not suggesting that Jesus will NEVER return. But I am suggesting that He might not be coming back in our lifetime.

And if Jesus isn’t coming back soon, then what should we be doing now?

Keep in mind that for more than 2,000 years, every Christian who believed that Jesus was coming back soon was dead wrong.

Jesus did not return when Christians were being put to death by the Romans. He did not return during the Spanish Inquisition when Christians were tortured for disagreeing with the Catholic Church on their doctrines. Jesus did not return during the Dark Ages, or during the Black Plague. He did not return to stop World War 1. He also did not return when Hitler took power and began to advance an empire that very closely mirrored the Beast and the Anti-Christ we see in Revelation.

Imagine how many Christians must have been convinced that Hitler was the fulfillment of the End Times prophecies they had read about in their Bibles? Or Stalin? Or Idi Amin?

But every single one of them was wrong.

I’m not trying to get you to doubt the return of Jesus. But I am asking you to consider what you should be doing now – right now – with your life and your witness.

If Jesus isn’t coming back today, or tomorrow, or anytime in the next 100 years, then you and I need to reconsider our calling.

This means we’re not supposed to sit around waiting for Jesus to come back and make it all better.

Instead, we have been given a mission. It’s this:

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Jesus [Matt. 28:18-20]

Jesus also gave us a warning about what would happen to those servants who are found asleep at the wheel when their master returns, and it isn’t pretty. [See Luke 12:47]

Here’s the hard truth: If the culture we live in is not becoming more like the Kingdom of God, that’s our fault. Those who do not know the Lord, as we do, are not responsible for living up to His standards. But we – the people of God, who know full well who the Lord Jesus is and what His plans for changing the world look like – are absolutely responsible for teaching people around us how to follow Jesus.

Our mission is to be an example of Jesus to those around us, and to put on display the manifold wisdom of God.

We are the ones who are called to love one another, and to love our enemies, and to bless those who curse us, and to put the teachings of Jesus into daily practice.

The whole point of all of this is to demonstrate that Jesus really is a better King than any other ruler on this planet. Our mission is to point people to another way of living and another code of ethics that rivals anything this world has to offer.

The good news is that if we are living this way and putting the teachings of Jesus into practice when He does eventually return, we won’t be ashamed at His appearing. We won’t have to make any excuses about why we were just waiting around for Him to come back and fix everything.

If Jesus returns tomorrow, may He find us busy and obedient to His commands to love and serve.

If Jesus doesn’t return, may we fully commit ourselves to making the most of the time we have been given to influence our world with the Gospel, and to reflect the glory of our risen King.

Jesus might not return in your lifetime. But at the end of your lifetime, you will see Him face-to-face.

What do you want Him to say to you on that day? I know I want to hear:

“Well done, my good and faithful servant. Enter into the rest that is prepared for you, my son.”

Let’s live today as if Jesus isn’t coming back anytime soon. Let’s work to realize Christ’s Kingdom here and now – not to create a place where we are ruling via political power, but to create a world where love, mercy, compassion, forgiveness and grace are as common here as they are in Heaven.
Let the Kingdom come!
**

Keith Giles was formerly a licensed and ordained minister who walked away from organized church 11 years ago, to start a home fellowship that gave away 100% of the offering to the poor in the community. Today, He and his wife live in Meridian, Idaho, awaiting their next adventure.

His new book “Jesus Unbound: Liberating the Word of God from the Bible”, is available now on Amazon and features a Foreword by author Brian Zahnd.

He is also the author of the Amazon best-seller, “Jesus Untangled: Crucifying Our Politics To Pledge Allegiance To The Lamb” with a Foreword by Greg Boyd.

Keith also co-hosts the Heretic Happy Hour Podcast on iTunes and Podbean. 

BONUS: Want to unlock exclusive content including blog articles, short stories, music, podcasts, videos and more? Visit my Patreon page.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Spirit Plumber

    What if Jesus comes back in 3 or 4 hundred years, by which time we will have a post-scarcity civilization that looks like The Culture or ST:TNG and then there will simply be no room for something like a Tribulation or a Battle of Armageddon, and when the Beast rises from the pit, Jim Kirk simply shoots it with a photon torpedo? 🙂

  • DuckyShades

    What if Jesus isn’t coming back, say, ever? Maybe because he never literally went? What if the idea of a god man breaking the sky to save your plight is actually idolatry, a distraction from learning the virtue of acceptance, not expectation, in life’s hardships.

    What if the return of Jesus is indicative of a people who spend their entire life naval gazing and self lacerating over how much of a a failure they are. Never able to love and accept themselves or others. But instead compound their introspection as a sinner in the hand’s of an angry god.

    What if all the while they claim their heart contains the most explosive gospel (Pauline) love; knowing deep down they’re simply repeating rhetoric they adopted, stories they accepted as literal, in a familiar and comfortable environment that weekly confirms their biases. Church.

    2,000 years feels like a long time. But human beings are hardly out of the cradle of civilization. Still clinging to primitive ideas forged on Jewish myth. Only, now cemented in dogmas of innerrency and infallibility, leaving room for hardly an honest question lest the whole cookie crumble and your faith be challeneged.

    Interestingly enough, not one single 1st century author/historian/scribe took record of things like – an ascension. Or a crucifiction blackout. Or Harod slaughtering baby boys. Yikes. Among many other things. It’s a long list. Where the hell was everyone?

    I suppose Jesus and the 12 were quite inconspicuous. Or maybe it’s time we mature in our approach to scripture; take our fingers out of our ears from honest and difficult perspectives that threaten belief systems and theological certainty. But in the end actually lead to a true acceptance of unconditinal love.

  • Robert Conner

    According to 1 Thessalonians, widely regarded as the earliest Christian document to have been preserved, members of Paul’s house churches started to panic when some began to die before the Parousia and in 1 Corinthians, Paul is still telling people not to marry because “the time left is short.” No one in the mid-first century thought that 19 centuries would pass before Jesus returned. Here’s Matthew on the subject: “Truly I tell you, you will not finish going through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.” (Matt. 10:23) Here’s the way the New Testament canon closes: “Look, I am coming soon!” (Rev. 22:7)

    So based on the New Testament, Jesus obviously isn’t Coming Back. Unless, of course, you’re so dimwitted that you’d wait 19.5 centuries at the airport for your ride to show up. Anyone with any real “maturity,” any actual ability to read a document like an adult, and capacity to read what’s clearly there and take it at face value, would understand in an instant that Christianity’s central prophecy is a lie. Instead, the whackadoodle prophecy-mongering sects, the “dispensationalists,” have spent the past several centuries yanking disparate verses out of context and cobbling them together into “systems,” or just listening to freaks like Jim Bakker selling Armageddon slop buckets on TV.

    How dumb are they? This dumb: https://new.exchristian.net/2019/01/the-second-cyrus-and-his-court-eunuchs.html

  • P J Evans

    What if the whole idea of Jesus coming back was never meant to be taken literally? When he talked about the end of the world coming, he probably meant that for each of us, death is the end of our world – but everyone else keeps going. There’s not always a warning about it, people can drop dead at any time (and have been since forever). So live like you might die at any moment: treat others well, because they may die at any moment, also, and you can’t apologize to them after that.

  • kaydenpat

    I completely understand why some people believe strongly that a nice man is coming to take them away from all of their problems and sorrows but that belief doesn’t mean that it is so. It’s best to live well and do the best you can during your time on earth because there is no fairy godfather who is going to whisk you away. Not soon. Not ever.

  • Paul Ronco

    Jesus, I think, addressed this question in Matthew 16:24-25. He also told us to not bother anticipating his return in Matthew 24:36-37.

  • Cynthia Brown Christ

    When I read the words of Christ over and over he talks about the Kingdom being here on earth. Maybe his coming back means when he comes into our own hearts and mind and soul, hear on earth. In other words, he never left, but we turn our face away from him…until we choose to follow him, this time.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    What if Jesus isn’t coming back until we are ready to receive him? What would be the point of him going away at all if all we needed to do was twiddle our thumbs waiting for his return?
    The Bible is pretty clear that when Jesus returns he’s bringing heaven down here with him rather than whisking us away off there, and Jesus specifically says that wars and disasters are not signs of the end. It seems odd to me therefore that we persist in seeing signs of everything going to hell in a handbasket as signs of Jesus’s return when they ought logically to mean that his coming with the kingdom of heaven is further away than ever.

  • jessica jones

    I think people who proclaim Jesus is coming back “soon” is a dangerous thing to do. Someone’s definition of soon can be tomorrow, next week, next month, 6 months from now but when Jesus doesn’t return in that time frame people question or disregard the reality of God’s existence.

  • Paul Ronco

    Also, I would offer a small correction to the article. The author suggests that “for more than 2,000 years, every Christian who believed that Jesus was coming back soon was wrong.” This is inaccurate. If Jesus was born in 0 A.D., and was crucified in his early thirties, then we are at least eleven years SHY of 2,000 years having passed, wherein people could have been anticipating his return.

  • Paul Ronco

    If Revelation is a paradox designed to scare humanity into peace, which I now consider it to be, then the angel’s admonition that “Look, I am coming soon!” is completely subjective. Einstein himself proved that time is relative.

  • Paul Ronco

    An interesting theory, but I believe that Revelation was literally talking about the end of the world.

  • When addressing long time spans 2000 years is perfectly acceptable even if 1989 years is technically more accurate.

  • Jesus gives clear guidance of the time of his return.
    Revelation 1:7 is a particular favorite: 7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
    Lot’s in this verse. Today with our 24/7 news cycle it is easy to understand how every eye will see him. Not so easy for many to understand why many will wail but as the evil increases on the earth you can get an idea.

  • Ah, the naysayer chimes in. Jesus is not coming back to wisk people away but rather to confront the nations who will decide to try and destroy him.

  • ashpenaz

    Maybe Jesus is back. Maybe His current form is how we are going to interact with Him forever–through the sacraments, through the Spirit. Maybe the whole point of the Incarnation was to say, “This is the kind of life God wants you to lead–choose Jesus, or don’t. Be compassionate, or don’t be. Trust God, or trust guns. Build bridges, or build walls. I’ve shown you what I want you to do–so, build your foundation on My commands. Or don’t. You can be outside the Kingdom with the dogs. Or you can wash your robes in the Lake of Fire and come into the New Jerusalem. Anytime you want. The gates are always open, and the Spirit and the Bride say come.”

  • 747

    The problem with this here “clear guidance” is that it is very broad so as to be very imprecise and thus distinctly UNclear. You are basically framing it as “sometime, when you guys have satellite tv.” That is hardly “clear guidance of the time of his return.” In fact, it could be ‘any’ time from 20 years ago into the indefinite future. And there’s the problem: what seems like “clear guidance” to you just isn’t unless you make a host of assumptions. Besides which, I haven’t even picked up on the hermeneutical issues with “a verse” from Revelation, like genre, context. Nope. This doesn’t cut it as any sort of “clear” time-frame. Then there are theological issues: what exactly is meant by “the end times”? For the New Testament writers, “the end times” began with Jesus. But then there is the little matter of the language used: “the second coming” isn’t a term used in the Scriptures. “Coming again” maybe; but even that is a present-continuous tense that is not confined to once-more. Jesus comes again and again in perpetuity. Various NT writers have their own ways of dealing with a ‘delayed parousia’. Which brings me to another juicy lil secret: the word ‘parousia” that is often translated as ‘coming’ also means ‘presence’. This would mean not “coming again” but “present again”. Jesus will be present again. For John the Evangelist, this is by the Spirit that Jesus is present ‘again’. Which all just means that a theological interpretation is as important as the words used. I am by no means saying you’re wrong – what it means is there are other valid interpretations of what you’re claiming. Peace!

  • Linnea912

    It’s ironic that this topic should appear today. I have a (how to say this politely?) very conservative evangelical co-worker who told me today that this weekend, her church had a guest speaker who told them that the Rapture would take place as soon as the last person on Earth was converted. I didn’t say anything, as I really don’t have much interest in getting into religious arguments at work. But the Rapture is total bunk- any serious Bible scholar knows that. Besides, in order for it to happen like my co-worker says, the entire human race would have to stop reproducing, and then God would have to wait until the youngest person of that cohort accepted Jesus… well, you see where I’m going with this.

    The Bible does say in Revelation that the Kingdom of Heaven will come down to earth, and that’s what I believe. But I think that we all play a part in ushering in that kingdom.

  • CO Fines

    What if Jesus came back and it turned out that what we thought would be the end of the world turned out to be the end of the age, and it did happen “soon” within a generation? Not that those Second Temple Jews and Jerusalem Mother Church Christians didn’t consider it the end of their world. What if the letters to the seven churches in Revelation were actually sent out much earlier than the academic consensus believes? What if we are at the end of another age now and Revelation is talking about that too, Great Dragon and all? What if Jesus came back expecting to find us awake and busy with his work, but instead we were arguing and scoffing and intellectualizing and nitpicking and sleeping and entertaining ourselves and attacking each other? Jesus says we know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but then asks why we do not know how to interpret the present time. What do you suppose it means to be thrown into prison and not being let out until we have paid the last penny?

  • Joris Heise

    Over and over__I hold and say that Jesus ‘COMES’ at every encounter, every moment. I wrote a poem titled, If Jesus is not the caravan, Jesus is not risen. Jesus comes, like His kingdom, BECAUSE IT IS NEAR, and all you gotta do is step into it, accept God as father and God’s way of doing things, and voila–Jesus shows up just like that. You are risen with him (to be a Child of his and yours and our Father). Jesus is coming and this whole mistake (made sometimes by the Gospel writers themselves–as Mark’s Gospel indicates over and over–they did not “get” it)–this whole mistake is thinking Jesus is out there in the ether just awaitin’ for Gabriel to blow his horn, when he is blowing it incessantly to ears that do not hear. If only people would pray the Lord’s prayer–and see that you are the living embodiment of Jesus talking to oour Father here and now–reliving the temptations (next Sunday’s Gospel) and re-living His life with his Person-and his Spirit–in this age, among this not-yet-reborn generation of merely physical birth.. You are reborn “in Messiah”–in Christ. He lives in you. That is faith. His coming is your presentation of His Presence.

  • Joris Heise

    and, respectfully, the many generations who have tried to interpret Revelations–I consider it a wonder-full description of our world, a poem-movie-painting of our world at each moment–everything is happening NOW in all its fury, beauty, danger, genocides, plagues, seas of blood and New Jerusalems. The author ‘SAW” the way Hebrew Prophtets say–not drug-induced sensationalism, but as e e cummings and Gerard Manley Hopkins and Dante “saw” that the truth needs pictures, and flat dogmas and preaching and so on do not capture, convey and instill the actual truth beyond words–so you paint with words, your awe with vividness, you picture with flamboyancy–el greco and “stary, starry night.” Revelations reveals the world TODAY.

  • Joris Heise

    That’s exactly what I say!

  • Joris Heise

    here, for example, is my daily blog….

    The Good News for the Day, March 5, 2019
    Tuesday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time

    Peter, responding to Jesus, said, “We have given up everything and we have been following you.” Jesus said, “I will tell you the truth:, Nobody who has given up houses, brothers, sisters, mother, father, children, or lands for my sake and for the sake of the Good News Message—who will not receive a 100 times more now in this present era: houses, brothers and sisters, mothers, children and lands (along with persecutions), and permanent life in the era that is coming to be. But many that are first will be last, and the last will be first.” (Mark 10)
    Because the Kingdom of God is so like a valley on the other side of a mountain—you cannot really know what it is like. Coming down from the mountains of western Idaho, you see a vast plain of eastern Oregon—and the Kingdom is like that discovery, that vista. You might be driving westward in slick snow in the mountains and twenty minutes later, looking down on a green Eden
    Once you “get” it—the whole atmosphere and values and principles change. You give up the past and realize how constraining, how you were so passive and victim, how you just stayed half-dead and not controlling your own life. Your spirit—your very person was poor and stuck in mud—no matter how great your parents, friends and lovers are. It is you who become someone New.
    Once you “get” it—you become alive to the beauty, the transformation, and the great wealth of your new life. You appreciate your parents and family altogether differently—with compassionate forgiveness, humble respect and deeper appreciation. You acquire new “brothers, sisters, children and ‘lands’” by seeing them so differently—so differently it is hard to convey and tell someone else that the world is yours-and-God’s—God’s and yours. (You don’t “own” as someone superior; you are part of the awesome giftedness of God to you.)
    Once you “get” it—you live a world wealthy on the inside, rich with an unfolding view of the whole larger picture—you are driving into the Kingdom of God Himself and it becomes technicolor and vivid, shining and ultimately permanent, and there lowliness gets rewarded, while pride gets humbled. People—popes, president and kings are back to being common. The lowliest person is recognized for greatness.
    No words of Jesus can convey this change of repentance and the embrace of that World. It is altogether new and ultimately indescribable—and that is why Jesus keeps saying, “It is like…it is like…it is like.”

  • Sorry. The verse I quoted was not one of the verses that talk about the time of his return. I said he gave clear guidance but did not cite any verses to support that point. Here are a few:

    1. Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

    2. Matthew 24: 15 So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.

    3. Matthew 24: 36 “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son,[b] but the Father only. 37 For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, 39 and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.

    Point 1. Arguably this has been accomplished.
    Point 2. This requires the Temple be rebuilt. That requires the Jews to admit that the location of the Temple is not the Dome of the Rock. It will happen at the appointed time.
    Point 3. The days of Noah were sinful, and lawless by almost everyone. We aren’t quite there yet our direction is certain.

  • onenessguy

    Hi Keith, I don’t believe Jesus is ever coming back in the way that Christians seem to think he is. His Spirit never left us and is always available. Here is my blog post about this subject https://gospelofoneness.wordpress.com/2019/01/23/question-153-about-the-cycles-of-history-and-the-golden-age-that-was-and-is-to-come/

  • Paul Ronco

    The author said “more than.” The time-span elapsed is absolutely not “more than” 2,000 years. Such mistakes are easy to make… I would not be commenting on this article if I was not very thankful that the author, Keith Giles, had used his platform to address the question.

  • Steven Waling

    What if elephants can fly?

  • CO Fines

    Probably best to avoid their flight path. No charge.

  • Cassandra

    The World isn’t becoming more secular. At least according to the sociologist of religion, Rodney Stark in his book. ‘The Triumph of Faith. Why the World is more Religious than Ever’.

    People in the West may not be going to church as much, but that does not mean that they are less religious or spiritually inclined than they have been historically. Furthermore the West is not the world.

  • Paul Ronco

    The Bible says that time is relative as well:

    “8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:8-9 (NIV)

  • Paul Ronco

    Interesting. Okay then, maybe I was wrong to assert so confidently that Revelation is about the end of the world. Still, I suspect that it is. It’s concerning that so many of the things that are happening today appear to be growing in scale, as well as be very much in line with, the prophecy. Science is now telling us that these multiple threats– primarily, climate change and nuclear war– could end organized life on the planet. But, the irony that I see is that they’ll have been because of us.

    “The obscure and extravagant imagery has led to a wide variety of Christian interpretations: historicist interpretations see in Revelation a broad view of history; preterist interpretations treat Revelation as mostly referring to the events of the apostolic era (1st century), or, at the latest, the fall of the Roman Empire; futurists believe that Revelation describes future events, the seven churches growing into the body/believers throughout the age, and a reemergence or continuous rule of a Roman/Graeco system with modern capabilities described by John in ways familiar to him; and idealist or symbolic interpretations consider that Revelation does not refer to actual people or events, but is an allegory of the spiritual path and the ongoing struggle between good and evil.” –Wikipedia, Book of Revelation

  • BruceOcala

    I’ve looked at Acts 1: 11 after Jesus’ ascension as a corrective to those who are “sky-gazing” or “heaven-gazing” in awaiting Jesus’ return when the angel says: “Men of Galilee, why do you stand here looking into the sky?” In other words, you have ministry to do, folks – get to it!

  • Paul Ronco

    Pretty much. Agreed.

  • Summers-lad

    “I call all times soon.” – Aslan
    I don’t say this to contradict Keith’s post though. I agree with what he says.

  • Summers-lad

    I think the last chapters of Revelation are about the end of the world, at least as we know it. The planet may well carry on orbiting the sun for millions more years without us, but there is a new creation.
    Views differ on what point in time the bulk of Revelation is about. I take it as applying to the time when it was written, but also applicable to all times since in the sense that spiritual battles keep on happening. Ian Paul has written some interesting posts on Revelation in the last few weeks and months, based on his recent book (which I have yet to buy). https://www.psephizo.com/

  • Roger Morris

    What If Jesus Isn’t Coming Back Anytime Soon? Or ever?

  • April Davidson Hollingsworth

    Jesus unposed supposed to come back during the disciples’ lifetime. He didn’t. He isn’t coming.

  • billwald

    As Acts progresses from the Resurrection to Paul’s travels, the Christian “event horizon” expanded into the future and so did their planning. Maybe our event horizon should be at least 2,000 years ahead of us.

    At the beginning of acts, the True Believers gave away their retirement funds. St Paul’s generation took an offering for the starving True Believers in Jerusalem. Anyone who gives away everything but his daily needs and maybe today’s “left-overs” for tomorrow’s lunch and only depends upon Jesus . . . .

    Anyway, you blog cynic observes . . . The NT tells us that God created Hell for evil angels/humans? How many more centuries will it take for God to fill Hell?

  • billwald

    The ancient rabbis taught that the Messiah would come when all the Jews observed 3 consecutive “perfect” Sabbaths.

  • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

    Conservative Christians act much like you prescribe. They screw people over with devil may care smiles and preach about a day when they can finish what Hitler began with the gays, minorities, and those filthy rich Jews always trying to meddle in their affairs. i can only hope America’s youth becomes secular enough to overthrow all this ill-gotten unquestioned authority.

  • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

    Why? Is Jesus the moral monster the Bible makes him out to be?

  • From the perspective of the world at His return, Jesus and His angels will appear to be aliens coming to conquer the world.

  • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

    Uh huh…

  • Bungarra

    Interesting Topic. Having grown up in Church’s which predicted the return of Christ, it is interesting to consider the effects of such teaching. From some associated with the 7th Day Adventists setting up chairs on the top of the Cliffs of Sydney Harbor to watch the return of Christ on January 1, 1900, to the impact of opposition by some in the US Church to disarmament on ‘why bother, Christ is coming soon, He will bring peace after the time of Tribulation’, and we need the weapons for ‘Armageddon’.

    See ” When Time Shall Be No More.” by Paul Boyer. – Prophecy Belief in Modern American Culture.

    This whole area has been abused. I would strongly suggest that the Churches viewpoint should be – “Yes Christ is returning! Meanwhile our task is to plan for the long term to be Christs presence on Earth and plan and work while we can and plan for the next 1,000 years.” Non of this dodging of our responsibilities to care for the Poor and Sick and Disadvantaged because it does not matter as it will all be finished shortly.

    I am of the age where most who taught me that in my youth are long gone.
    John H.

    Paul Boyer

  • tusk321

    I think most have seen many “Christians” exposed in this time of trump and their hatred for a secular humanity. It’s the Christians that are at the point of no return. Constantly pushing Christ on people that honestly, could care less.
    Then damning people to a hell that only your brand believes in, all the while creating a vile existence with your fellow man, here on planet earth.
    Like those that support the Jackal in the White House, are the same that poison the waters of life, with self righteous nonsense and blame everyone else for the problems of this great white country.
    It’s the hypocrites, liars, thieves, manipulators and child abusers, that have stained the Christian Faith.
    Your brand is killing itself, from the inside out. And second, why would a Christ return to a people that take advantage of not only “his” grace but Love for All.
    In my opinion, the Christians have always been the bullies on the playground… and the meek, such as those that have suffered from the pit of a fiery Christian faith, Black, Jewish, Gay, Trans, Immigrants, are truly the ones that your Christ would return for… and have them inherit the earth. Because the ladder is just too foolish to understand what faith is not.. a weapon. xo

  • Ron Swaren

    I’ve known construction workers and a lot of them are that way. I mean, not showing up………..

  • fractal

    I liked the title of this article, especially as it is under the “progressive christian” heading.
    However, there is nothing progressive about the article!
    Why do Christians feel the need to shove their beliefs down the throats of others?

    Belief Theology is pushy, irrational and narrow-minded.
    You don’t have to “believe” anything, to experience grace and the Sacred.
    Divinity doesn’t have non-profit status or the need to proselytize.
    A real follower of God would see God wherever she goes: in a Hindu temple, a prison, a drag-queen revue, sky diving—Wherever you go, God is there.
    Trying to force people to call Goddess by a particular name, gender, or religious tradition is simply propaganda.

  • fractal

    I think the Fundamentalists of all stripes are the bullies.
    Consider the Old Testament, where Jews targeted cultures that gave women status and some freedom, and then attempted to annihilate those tribes.
    The humanists and mystics of any religious tradition are nice people who get along with each other just fine.
    It is the Fundys that cause all the problems—And that means you too, Catholics.
    Just because you don’t call yourselves Fundamentalists, doesn’t mean you aren’t.

  • Dhammarato

    JC is not coming back, so what? just vote for Trump, isn’t he just the same thing

  • Dhammarato

    Perhaps it all lies. the end of the world will be when humans are free from the oppression of religion and its lies and un-kept promises.

  • Dhammarato

    is it not marvelous that so many have lost so much faith in a magical JC that thy stop going to church. Calling them all spiritual will save the wounded hearts of those still in the pews, but someday they will wake up to find the churches almost completely empty. And that’s the case today. Quick JC get your butt back before the churches are all fallen into dust and there is no one to met you at the station.

  • Dhammarato

    Kingdom of Heaven will NOT come down to earth. Its already here and inside each one (Luke 17) Luke proved Revelation just another lie, the last lie is a book of old lies.

  • Confused thinking is one hallmark of the Progressive; you have all of them in spades.

  • Read more carefully if you hold that view; it is incorrect.

  • Then you are without hope.

  • cowalker

    This kind of discussion is pretty hilarious when juxtaposed with claims that the Bible is the perfect, clear guide to truth, life and morality. It is more like the perfect Rorschach test. .

  • fractal

    No content, just blather—the exact opposite of my comment.
    Is that REALLY the best ya got?

  • fractal

    Statement is illogical.

    After reading several of your comments, I can tell you have never had LOGIC 202; your local community college offers it.
    I suggest you take it, and try to make sense.

  • fractal

    Most “spiritual” people want nothing to do with your churches or your dogmas.
    Stop using them to try and win an argument.
    It is duplicitous.

  • fractal

    What if revelations was written by a Paranoid Schizophrenic?

  • fractal

    OUCH!!!

  • Pauline

    AWESOME…….

  • And the content of your comment besides personal opinion was?
    Christians number 3 billion. How do you think they got that many without proselytizing.
    God is everywhere but not in attendance at a drag queen review in the way you imagine.

  • Glad you read some of my comments; you won’t understand them as you commented.

  • Nimblewill

    Christ in us is the hope of Glory. His manifestation, His making Himself known, His coming! He was and is and is to be. He’s come and He is coming and He will come.

  • Seriously? Show us all those Christian riots out there. Shows all the buildings they’ve razed, all the windows they’ve broken, all the cars they’ve turned over. You people are so FOS.

  • jekylldoc

    And the hope of Glory is Christ in us.

    I like this poetic presentation. It’s when the prose starts that we get into trouble.

  • Bruce Patterson

    The two thousand year anniversary of Jesus death is not complete yet. This is the more important date to watch for, as it is the fortieth fifty year jubilee of when he finished his work on earth. It may not be when he returns, but it will likely be the start of man’s final time on earth, which will be evident by signs and wonders and increased understanding of the written Word. Some of these things are already showing up, preparing the way for the last generation of mankind.

  • Roger Morris

    Surely, if Jesus is not coming back, you are just as much without hope as I am?

  • AntithiChrist

    Ironic, after listing all the non-interventions that Jesus could have done, sparing all the blood and gore, then admonishing Christians to not be “asleep at the switch.”

    Delicious.

  • Steve Troxel

    Folks like you have been procrastinating the end for centuries only to proven wrong time and time again.

    I wonder if such prophecies expose the narcissism that is infused in peoples religion – of course the end will happen in your lifetime as your lifetime is one of the most important in history because you are in it.

  • M.A.

    That is about the strongest argument I’ve ever read Bob. Keep up the good work.

    In the meantime I’m going back to digging my doomsday bunker because I know those darn Aliens are coming to get us soon .

  • Steve Troxel

    And who hasn’t read the text carefully.

    There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

    Sure Christian groups have pretzeled the reading to get these words to say something other than what they say clearly.

  • Not really. Jesus came atone for sin through His death so everyone could be reconciled to God. If you believe that He came then you can be saved.

    Jesus returns to judge the world and to take rulership of the earth from Satan. They are two distinct phases of the Plan of God for Man.

  • Bruce Patterson

    There is a difference between your “wondering” and my stating a few facts. Maybe you should be reviewing what is written about in Vanity Fair, rather than comments about the Bible.

  • If you read the commentaries, there are several explanations offered for the meaning of Matthew 16:28. The one below is an example.

    “Outside of the synoptics, probably the most deciding passage comes from 2 Peter 1:16-18:”

    2 Peter 1:16-18 (NIV) Emphasis added
    16 For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” 18 We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.

    What is the clear meaning you referred to please?

  • jekylldoc

    The problem isn’t mistaken prophecy, it’s Desperation Religion. If Christians of the time had known that the world would continue to be ruled by the sword, until militarism gained the power to wipe out everyone, many fewer would have been willing to engage in living for the reign of peace. And so they would have missed out on the internal peace that comes with living that way. Telling stories of the supernatural can ease people around their desperation and help them experience the Eternal, that is, life lived for the principles whose validity and meaning do not shift with the winds of culture, technology or social media.

  • CO Fines

    Assuming you are asking about the Book of Revelation, it is unclear whether you are asking about Jesus or John. In either case, if your supposition had been so neither one of us would be here discussing this, so your question pretty much answers itself.

  • jekylldoc

    Is the kingdom of heaven further than ever? I am in doubt on that question. We have widespread democracy. We have widespread literacy, access to food, and access to health care. Now the question is what are we going to make of this? What would Jesus do?

  • Iain Lovejoy

    I don’t think that that things necessarily are going to hell in a handbasket: my point is that it is when the bad stuff starts going away that is the sign of God’s kingdom getting closer, not those occasions when it appears to be getting worse.

  • jekylldoc

    I see that now in what you wrote before. It’s an excellent point, and I would argue it should tell us a lot about not only what the Kingdom means, but also what it means for us, to be the Body of Christ.

  • Robert Conner

    So fairytales. Got it. Truth = how it makes me feel. So if the “culture” of the biological sciences utterly disproves Adam and Eve, just stick with Adam and Eve.

  • Roger Morris

    You need to stop mindlessly preaching and start listening to what I’m saying. If Jesus never returns, you are in just as much of a state as anyone else on this earth.

  • You need to stop being so sensitive – O am not preaching to you or anyone.
    If you have to ponder the failure of Jesus to return you don’t really believe He ever came do you?

  • Roger Morris

    That doesn’t make sense. I can believe Jesus existed as a historical figure in the past, independent of whether I believe he will return in the future. Think it through.

  • Belief in Jesus as an historical figure is not impressive. Atheists don’t believe Jesus ever existed and claim the proof is in the lack of historical references. You seem to be saying you do believe He existed as a person but from what? His appearance in the bible?

  • They kill us with our love:
    https://youtu.be/natDkCmcLkU

  • jekylldoc

    There’s a middle way, but it requires being able to re-capture something from the ancient worldview that is very difficult for us post-science. That something goes by the name of mythos. Calling it fairy tales illustrates why it is difficult for us on this side of the arrival of science.

    It’s what they had to give people a common frame of reference for orienting emotions. We don’t have access to the same mechanic, but we can reconstruct the sense of significance and values. There is no reason to stick with Adam and Eve, since there is no way to consider that a valid story in the sense that Paul did, but we can still make strong connections to a difference between biological origins and spiritual origins, which is what he talked about when he referred to Jesus as a second Adam. These days the educated among us would say that our biological origins predispose us to too much conflict and resort to fight-or-flight, and we can understand Jesus’ way of self-emptying as a way to escape that trap. That’s not all that different, for mythos purposes, from saying Adam sinned and humanity has been sinning ever since, but we can escape by becoming a follower of Jesus.

  • jekylldoc

    This decoding behavior is akin to psychosis (let the reader understand). It has been going on for centuries, without once turning out to be a valid decoding of some supernatural message conveyed through ancient documents. Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace.

  • Robert Conner

    Looking at the history of Christianity, it’s immediately apparent that humans can’t escape their biology by “becoming a follower of Jesus.” How absurd and pathetic is it to remind you that two world wars and several genocides have broken out in the heart of Christendom? Or that a nuclear arms race also began between countries that had been Christian for centuries? Or that in the US an administration infamous for ass kissing evangelicals lied the country into what appears to be an endless Middle Eastern conflict based on false “intelligence”? Or that the world’s largest Christian sect has basically operated as an international f**k factory for serial pedophiles for at least three generations that we know of? Or that major Christian cultures tolerate and enable fraud and hate on every scale? Mythos indeed. Little wonder we live in an idiocracy.

    BTW, it’s March 13, 2019 and Jesus hasn’t Come Back yet as promised.

  • Roger Morris

    Oh Bob. You have such as narrow, limited view and seemingly incomplete knowledge on these matters.

    Not all atheists think Jesus never existed. There is a range of views on the historicity of the person of Jesus of Nazareth. Some atheists believe he existed as a person in history, but don’t believe in the claims of his divinity (most secular historians in fact and atheist biblical scholars such as Bart Erhman (https://www.bartdehrman.com/). A small minority of atheists are “Jesus Mythicists” and believe Jesus never existed as a genuine historical person (such as Robert Price, Richard Carrier, etc). You need to read a lot more broadly in this area – perhaps beginning with Bart Erhman (https://www.bartdehrman.com/)

  • Ah! The naysayer responds. What does your post tell us but your opinion? Do you have a source to support your contention? We do.

  • The term atheist biblical scholar contains the baseless assumption that the bible is just like any other book.

  • Roger Morris

    Surprise, surprise Bob. The Bible IS a piece of literature that can be studied in a literary sense (and has been done so for more than two millennia), so there is nothing inherently illogical about a biblical scholar being a non-believer. It happens all the time out there in the wide world.

  • Not really. The bible is also Spirit and Truth. Atheists are such a small part of the population in general. Atheists who study the bible a fraction of that. Looking for error in the bible is hardly scholarship; more like bitter envy.

  • jessica jones

    that verse isn’t specifying an actual date though. that’s my point

  • Roger Morris

    Bob, you seem completely unable to see the bias in your own thinking. How do you prove your claim that the Bible is not ancient literature (in itself a laughable position to take) and then prove your claim that the Bible is “Spirit and Truth”? That is merely your personal opinion and – quite clearly – a self-serving opinion that you use to sure up you decision to follow the Bible as inspired. That is called “circular thinking” or “begging the question”.

    Your comment regarding atheists reveals the parochial US-based limitations of your Weltanschauung. The percentage of the population identifying as having “No religion” is increasing every year. In the US in 2016, that number was 21% (up from 15% in 2008). In my country, those declaring “No religion” is closer to 30% (up from 19% in 2006). Some basic maths will help you extrapolate those increases over the next 10, 20, 50 and 100 years.

    Your defensiveness about the Bible makes you assume the biblical studies is aimed at “finding errors” in the Bible. In truth, most biblical scholarship (like all other literary studies) aims to trace the origins and context of the writing of biblical literature. So, you possible need to get out more and look around at what’s happening in the big, wide world outside your tiny cave.

  • I completely agree. Mark 13: 32 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”

  • Simple. You start with the proposition that the bible is the true and correct Word of God. Then you look at the controversial verses that seem to show otherwise and examine them to see if the controversial opinion is true. Mr Ehrman is a good example:

    “In Misquoting Jesus Ehrman recounts becoming a born-again, fundamentalist Christian as a teenager.[1] He recounts being certain in his youthful enthusiasm that God had inspired the wording of the Bible and protected its texts from all error.[1] His desire to understand the original words of the Bible led him to the study of ancient languages, particularly Koine Greek, and to textual criticism. During his graduate studies, however, he became convinced that there are contradictions and discrepancies in the biblical manuscripts that could not be harmonized or reconciled”:[1]

    In his case he tried and failed to become a believer. I have no problem with him. He is wrong but there is still time for him.

    As far as atheists and atheism your numbers are opinion based on polls that may or may not reflect the actual situation. If you are correct then why do you need validation? Defensive is a two way proposition.

    My cave includes not only the Christians but the Muslims and the Jews. We all say praise God for a reason, He exists and He is in control. Some day when you are in peril see who you call out to for help?

  • jekylldoc

    Sic et Non. Sources are as persuasive as their content. My “source” is historical record of seemingly endless decodings of the end times writings, by Christians, Jews and others, all to no effect. Not one single success has emerged from all the decodings. Eventually it sinks in that successful knowledge and prediction are not the point of the activity.

  • jekylldoc

    Well, now it’s March 15, and Jesus still hasn’t rent the firmament or appeared to every eye simultaneously. And Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead. People with no interest in mystical insights have done great and heroic deeds of humanitarian intervention, like those of Oskar Schindler and Raoul Wallenberg. It is obviously true that Christianity has not saved the human race from its horrible ways. On the other hand, I am not convinced that paganism or Ayn Rand’s objectivism or any of the many other right-brain system building efforts has done as well.

    I would not argue that mythos is some kind of panacea, only that mythos happens. Given that people will form narratives that give meaning and purpose, why not go with narratives that are life giving? With careful, sensible reflection they can steer people toward a richer, more joyful life that benefits, rather than harming, others.

  • Robert Conner

    My point, which you seem intent on missing, is that the Christian mythos (or whatever) has neither accurately described humanity’s persistent tendency to self-sabotage–a talking serpent, forbidden fruit, weak-minded women–or proposed anything that remediates that tendency–blood sacrifices, “atonement,” scapegoating, etc. Nearly two thousand years of Christian preaching/blather/humbug, and hatred and greed are thriving in the heart of Christendom. American evangelicals, Trump’s base, are a bunch of slavering, science-denying racists, misogynists, gun nuts and homophobes with strong tendencies toward violence and fascism.

    As critical scholars have known for over a century, the Christian “narrative” is a fraud, an accretion of ignorant folklore that has congealed over time around a nucleus of a few historically plausible, but ultimately meaningless, events in first century Palestine. Religious narrative generally, Christian narrative specifically, isn’t “life giving.” To the contrary, faith-based reality denial is a major barrier to social and cultural change. The world burns and Christians respond with “thoughts and prayers.” It would be funny if it weren’t so utterly obscene.

  • No. Endless decodings perhaps.
    Ehrman is just one example of a bad decoder.
    The bible is full of prophecy; some fulfilled, some waiting.
    Since you don’t credit the fulfilled prophecy you will miss the unfulfilled even if it happens before your eyes.

  • jekylldoc

    Don’t hold back. It isn’t good for you. Say what you really feel.

    You are focused on the inaccuracy of the Christian narrative. I might agree with you up to a point. Those who are most certain of its accuracy are generally the most intent on positioning themselves as correct and morally superior for their beliefs.

    I don’t have your visceral reaction against them, partly because I have lived among them for much of my life and find them much more tolerant and generous than the people you describe, yes, even some of them who support Trump. I’m sure you would not credit their views at all, but then they tend to see my views on abortion as morally degenerate, and I don’t think you have a superior moral vision to look down on them from. Morality is much more about what a person does to transform their own relationship to others than it is about judging who is toeing the line on particular issues.

    But I definitely disagree with you about the Christian narrative being meaningless. The emphasis on sharing, forgiveness and breaking down social barriers was radical for its time, and even though the church got co-opted by Empire, and taken over by power-hungry dogmatists, it still carried on traditions such as monasticism and confession which have been significant cultural contributions.

    I am not here to persuade you on the subject — I am well aware of Christian atrocities, from Hypatia to the Albigensian Crusade, from Torquemada to St. Bartholomew’s Day to Auschwitz and to the present day theft of children and sexual abuse of children. I expect you are also aware of the care by religious devotees for those stricken by the Black Death, for lepers, and for disabled children rejected by their Buddhist parents for being reincarnations of evil people. On balance the history of Christianity is a history of humans, and those who propose something better get a hearing from me.

    The idea of judging mythos for its accuracy is quite silly. As any Star Wars fan can tell you, you don’t have to believe a story is accurate to get what makes it persuasive. Yet you would have us throw in our lot with accuracy, as if Stalin’s clear-eyed realism (“how many divisions has the Pope?”) somehow made humanity more humane. I will take my chances with communities of idealism, and the ones I have been part of, both realistic and unrealistic in their descriptions of the mechanics of the world, I knew to be beneficial both for members and outsiders.

    Atonement is an interesting example of a Christian contribution that has suffered under the influence of plays for power. It was not proposed as a substitute for punishment of human sins until the 11th century (Anselm) and until then was understood in a more broad-minded way. The Crucifixion was clearly recognized to be the work of Rome, and Jesus’ “ransom” interpreted in a variety of ways, including a (more or less equivalent to modern) notion that by his act of self-emptying (and subsequent resurrection) he liberated people from the idea that they had no choice about being part of the violent oppression of others. As Andrew Lloyd-Webber and Tim Rice put it, to conquer death you only have to die (as a martyr for true values).

  • jekylldoc

    Bob, I would explain how prophecy really works (think of the sign of Jonah) if I thought there was a bare whisker of a chance of you understanding. But no. Rather, let me simply point out that somewhere above half the “prophecies” claimed to be “fulfilled” in the New Testament were not only completely implausible candidates for decoding, but will not sustain any kind of interpretation as factual predictions that later “came true.”

    Read about all the decoding of Messianic prophecy that was going on in Jesus’ day, or for that matter by the Hasidic Jews of the last 400 years, or the modern-day Christian eschatalogical decoders. It was worse than useless, and a clear sign of abandonment of engagement with either God or the world. Prophecy decoders are heavily invested in seeing mystery as God’s only gift to humanity, in general because they don’t care about spiritual values unless those are enacted offstage in some hidden supernatural drama. If God doesn’t come to actually whack the bad guys, (see “Left Behind”) then we are of all people most miserable, to paraphrase their subtext. Read N.T. Wright with half an eye to “realized eschatology” sometime.

    It’s a bit ironic, really, because half of these people who are “too heavenly minded” are actually a blessing to those around them. But in my experience those are never the ones who are spinning the decoding tales. They may fervently believe someone else’s, but they never seem to stop and ask themselves why those people tell such tales, or why none of their fellow believers ever seem to notice that not a single one comes true.

  • I don’t believe you have any idea how prophecy works any more than doctors who think they understand cancer.
    “Half the prophecies” is just a generalized opinion. Jesus was prophesied from the beginning and He came. You don’t believe in Jesus even as an historical figure so to you Jesus does not “sustain.”
    Read about Messianic prophecy from Jesus day where? How about the bible. Why is some first century writing you don’t identify more accurate than the bible that you deny?
    “Left Behind” is a TV show. “Realized eschatology” is a theory that has no support except in circles that deny the bible. The men who popularized it are no different than Ehrman – pretenders.
    Because you are blinded to what is going on regarding man does not mean others are. It’s just your narrow perspective that prevents you from seeing that what has happened in history and what will happen is already recorded in the bible for all to see. Matthew 13:9-16:
    9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.” 10 The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” 11 He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables: “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. 14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: “ ‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. 15 For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’ 16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.

  • jekylldoc

    Those doctors understand miles more than you do about cancer.

    You can verify what I said about prophecies not being predictions by simply going through the 20 or so first examples you come to. I suggest Matthew, because Matthew practices a particularly literary form of “recognition” of fulfillment of scriptures. I used to think Matthew was just fooling people. Then I had it pointed out to me that it is the way prophecy is supposed to work. Not to fool people, but to evoke spiritual experience.

    Realized eschatology has been taught in evangelical bible classes for many decades. It is just a term for how John treats the fulfillment that Jesus brings. LIfe more abundant is not just for some future mansions in our father’s house – it is spiritual life here on earth. It is living in the realm of the eternal – where spiritual values have real presence with real consequences now.

    I don’t know where you get the idea that I don’t believe Jesus was a historical figure. I do. I have spent many hours arguing exactly that point. The fact that I don’t believe everything reported about him was literally accurate does not at all mean that I don’t believe he lived on earth, was crucified by Pontius Pilate, and appeared to the disciples afterward. But your attempt to cast doubt on my explanations based on what you think is my theology is completely misguided – valuable truth can come from heathens and reprobates. Think about the issue, not about the person raising the issue.

    The other first century sources are not especially meant to be accurate. They are not reporting, they are prophetic midrash.
    Some samples of Jewish Messianic interpretation:

    from http://christianthinktank.com/messiah.html

    2 Esdr 7.26-30: “For indeed the time will come, when the

    signs that I have foretold to you will come to pass, that the city that now is not seen shall appear, and the land that now is hidden shall be
    disclosed. Everyone who has been delivered from the evils that I have
    foretold shall see my wonders. For my son the Messiah shall be revealed with those who are with him, and those who remain shall rejoice four hundred years. After those years my son the Messiah
    shall die, and all who draw human breath. Then the world shall be
    turned back to primeval silence for seven days, as it was at the first
    beginnings, so that no one shall be left.”

    2 Esdr 12.31-34: “as for the lion whom you saw
    rousing up out of the forest and roaring and speaking up to the eagle
    and reproving him for his unrighteousness, and as for all his words that
    you have heard, this is the Messiah whom the Most High has kept
    until the end of days, who will arise from the offspring of David, and
    will come and speak with them. He will denounce them for their
    ungodliness and for their wickedness, and will display before them their
    contemptuous dealings. For first he will bring them alive before his
    judgment seat, and when he has reproved them, then he will destroy them.

    But in mercy he will set free the remnant of my people, those who have
    been saved…”

    2 Esdr 13.3: the vision–“As I kept looking the wind
    made something like the figure of a man come up out of the heart of the
    sea. And I saw that this man flew with the clouds of heaven”

    with the explanation in 13.25–“This is the interpretation of the
    vision: As for your seeing a man come up from the heart of the sea, this
    is he whom the Most High has been keeping for many ages, who
    will himself deliver his creation;” and in 13.32: “When these things
    take place and the signs occur that I showed you before, then my Son will be revealed, whom you saw as a man coming up from the sea.”
    I would go fetch some more but the Patheos setup doesn’t quote well.

  • I don’t know where you get the idea that I don’t believe Jesus was a historical figure. I do – good.
    Esdras is not part of the Christian bible – it is considered Apocryphal. That is why the verses you quote seem so odd.
    Realized eschatology has been taught in evangelical bible classes for many decades. It is just a term for how John treats the fulfillment that Jesus brings. Not in my biblical view.
    There are so many atheists on these sites I can’t keep track o them. So you believe Jesus was raised from the dead then? Well who did that.

  • jekylldoc

    I will give you a hint. Not only was Jesus not raised to fulfill prophecy, nor did any of the decoders of the time expect the Messiah to rise after three days (2 Esdras notwithstanding – it says something different from that), but there are no prophecies that forecast such a thing. Jesus’ resurrection is part of the way that spiritual matters work, and Paul, who considers the appearance to himself on the Damascus road to be equivalent to the other appearances, states quite clearly that the resurrected body is a spiritual body.

    You would benefit enormously from ceasing to consider traditional theology and its literalist hermeneutic to be equivalent to reverence for the Bible. The Bible is both less magical and more powerful than your hermeneutic. For where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

    If you set out to move the nearest mountain with your magical faith, you will be frustrated. But if you look at our world, and shake your head and say, “It can never work peacefully or have people support each other like the early church did” then you lack the faith of a grain of mustard seed (which, as you know, starts small).

  • From this reply I take it that you are the leader of spiritual cult?

  • jekylldoc

    You read me like a book, Bob. My followers are gathered outside your house with nasty signs, and one of them is looking in through your window at this very moment.

  • jekylldoc

    Are you suggesting that Christians and Buddhists can study the Koran? Gasp.

  • Roger Morris

    “Simple. You start with the proposition that the bible is the true and correct Word of God.”

    Why would you start there Bob? Seems to me that is simply begging the question – a sadly common logical fallacy in pious circles.

    “As far as atheists and atheism your numbers are opinion based on polls that may or may not reflect the actual situation.”

    Ah Bob, my figures are taken from official government census data. I’m pretty certain they actually reflect reality.

    Your reference to ‘ your cave’ seems ironic and fitting.