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> Prophecy, Any takers?
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Are earth events prophecy being fulfilled?
Yes, absolutely. [ 9 ]  [40.91%]
No, not at all. [ 4 ]  [18.18%]
Maybe, not sure. [ 5 ]  [22.73%]
Other. [ 4 ]  [18.18%]
Total Votes: 22
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Antwn 
Posted on 25-Oct-2005, 11:02 AM
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QUOTE (SCShamrock @ 23-Oct-2005, 05:21 PM)
Antwn,  thanks for the links.   
 
Ok, I think you have established your opinion of earthquakes as they may pertain to bible prophecy. Now how about other bible prophecy. Where do you stand with the events and conditions that were prophesied about?


Frankly I have no faith in the Bible as a source of prophetic relevance. The whole subject seems fraught with innumerable fallacies of assumption and interpretation to me. The only reason i'm interested at all is because I'm curious about the spiritual and intellectual goings-on of my fellow humans, since the beliefs of humanity have direct impact on the decisions of humanity of which I am an integral part.

While I'm not particularly interested in engaging debate on Biblical prophecy, since the end result would inevitably be that its a matter of faith anyway, I am inspired occasionally to address assumptions that strike me as unsupportable, like the idea that earthquakes are on the increase just as the Bible predicted.

If people would abnegate geology in deference to blind faith, then frankly I don't know what to say. "My despair will be suffered privately" is all that comes to mind.




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stoirmeil 
Posted on 25-Oct-2005, 12:20 PM
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QUOTE (Antwn ap Ioan @ 25-Oct-2005, 11:02 AM)
If people would abnegate geology in deference to blind faith, then frankly I don't know what to say. "My despair will be suffered privately" is all that comes to mind.

And actually, I have a lot of sympathy for that point of view as well, since I work in a scientific community and I have a pretty good idea of both the depth and the rigor of investigation at that level, especially in my own field. The divide-straddler in me says "Live and let live." But I do feel that rumbling sense of alarm when the clash between the two perspectives comes anywhere near the realm of public policy that affects us all.

Let me ask this, again respectfully, to turn the discussion in a slightly different direction. What are the implications for the prophecies being plottable to specific points in time and space, and reasonably interpretable? Outside of "See, I told you so!", which would probably get lost in the massive shuffle of wonder and dread anyway. What I want to know is: what does it mean to you, that revealed prophetic conditions appear to be coming to pass? I'll be right up front -- it is not only the conditions themselves (geological, social, what have you) that are interesting to consider, but also the frame of mind of the people who either do or do not agree with what they might signify.
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reddrake79 
Posted on 25-Oct-2005, 07:54 PM
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I may be nit picky about this, but

I don't believe the bible says that earthquakes will increase, just that there will be earthquakes (unless Ive totally missed the verse we are refering to in this discussion),

another point - only an eathquake of magnitude 3 on the richter scale is felt by people, however our super sensative equipment can record magnitude 1. That could acount for the apparent increase in the geologic survey numbers

3rd- The people who copied the Bible had too much respect for God's word to try to add there own ( falibly human) interpretation through the ages. They were very faithful to copy the bible word for word. The Dead sea scrolls help to prove that.

4th prophecy is also not a matter of faith- If a person claims to be a prophet and what he says didn't come to pass he would lose his following quickly. Its easy to prove a prophet- If they are intentionally vague ( 1- 900- dil ur futre) or only talk about past events then they are not really prophesying. If they are as specific as they can be (ie daniel interpreting the dreams and John seeing the Day of the Lord) then the only thing you have to do is be patient and see if they are right. Some of the old testament prophets, prophesied about things that happened in a matter of days to years. Its not a matter of your faith affecting the outcome or not.


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SCShamrock 
Posted on 26-Oct-2005, 08:37 AM
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QUOTE (reddrake79 @ 25-Oct-2005, 07:54 PM)
I may be nit picky about this, but

I don't believe the bible says that earthquakes will increase, just that there will be earthquakes (unless Ive totally missed the verse we are refering to in this discussion), 


Nitpicky is good.

Ok, here is one place where I get this interpretation. It is from the KJV - Mathew Ch 24:

QUOTE
4And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

5For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

6And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

7For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

8All these are the beginning of sorrows.


Now before you decide that I'm off my rocker, consider this. The Greek work used in the original text was wjdirn. It means: the pangs of child birth, travail pain, birth pangs. I use the english translation of the greek letters because I don't know how to put them in here. You can read it yourself here. The word used in the KJV is sorrows. In the New American Standard, and others I would imagine, they used the words birth pangs. I think this is a more literal translation of the original greek, which is why I say that the signs mentioned such as famines, pestilence, earthquakes, etc., would increase. But this is not a sudden change, but rather a constant one with a trend toward more and more intensity, severity, and frequency.

Reading on in the New Testament, we find in 1Thes. Ch 5:

QUOTE
1But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.

2For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

3For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

4But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

5Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

6Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.


So here is my explanation. Thanks for your response, and I would like to hear how anyone else feels about what I have just posted.


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Raven 
Posted on 26-Oct-2005, 04:46 PM
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QUOTE (reddrake79 @ 25-Oct-2005, 07:54 PM)


another point - only an eathquake of magnitude 3 on the richter scale is felt by people, however our super sensative equipment can record magnitude 1. That could acount for the apparent increase in the geologic survey numbers


The USGS figure that Match the quote for the 20th century are for major quakes magnatude 6 or greater.

I should have mentioned that earlier.

Mikel


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Antwn 
Posted on 27-Oct-2005, 01:07 PM
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Please tell me why this is significant? If I were to proclaim myself a prophet and predict with all requisite solemnity "the sun will come up tomorrow", what significance would you place upon it? Why do you laud statements of common knowledge as prophecy? Frankly, any local yokel of the era could have made the same vague statements with the same accuracy. Is it the fact that such "predicitons" occur within the context of the "authority" of the Bible that compel you to proffer this artifice of significance? Gee, the Bible says earthquakes, pestilence and famine will occur and they have. What exactly is it about that which should impress anyone? Do you have any idea for how long and how many times people have claimed "the end times are near"? You can do your own research.

"7For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in diverse places.

8All these are the beginning of sorrows."

Not the beginning of sorrows, just their perpetuation. The writers of these words were well aquainted with these conditions, they were part of human history before Biblical times. We can't seem to play Monopoly without a few owning hotels on Boardwalk and Park Place while the rest of the world struggles to afford St. James Place and a railroad.

The only way current incarnations of en masse gullibility (most religions) make sense to me is to consider them a dysfunctional attempt to assuage the pain of unsatisfied spiritual need. I can't fathom them as decisions made rationally. Why dysfunctional? Because the whole thing succeeds as spiritual affectation only. A true spiritual experience would obviate neediness, posturing, seeking and supplication, among other common atributes of contemporary spiritual psyches. The seeker has need, the finder is satisfied, thus I think the endeavor is more subsitution for than realization of spiritual fulfillment, and becomes more problematic since its survival depends on the continuity of that very substitution. Subservience to cosmic authority as interpreted by terrestrial authority is also promulgated and people become obedient to join the club, even throw their logic in the trash. Don't believe that little man behind the curtain, the phantasmagoric Hollywood presentation before you is the true Wizard of Odd....er Oz.

Having seen so many otherwise highly intelligent people in my life continuously bite the worm without seeing the hook is disconcerting to say the least. Maybe I'll have to reread Eric Hoffer.

Stoirmiel: Personally I think my frame of mind can be sussed by what I've already posted without much elaboration.
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stoirmeil 
Posted on 27-Oct-2005, 01:42 PM
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QUOTE (Antwn ap Ioan @ 27-Oct-2005, 01:07 PM)
The only way current incarnations of en masse gullibility (most religions) make sense to me is to consider them a dysfunctional attempt to assuage the pain of unsatisfied spiritual need. . . .

The seeker has need, the finder is satisfied, thus I think the endeavor is more subsitution for than realization of spiritual fulfillment, and becomes more problematic since its survival depends on the continuity of that very substitution. . . .

Stoirmiel: Personally I think my frame of mind can be sussed by what I've already posted without much elaboration. . . .

I think there may be an alternative way to read it, the feeling of necessity that is. It's not a common person that comes up against an existential proposition like "The only meaning there is, is the meaning you make" with equanimity. It's kind of alarming, and it may be so disorienting that it had a bad impact on function. It is perfectly natural to reduce anxiety by inferring some kind of causal and/or explanatory agency. Then, the exact nature of that is very much a matter of cultural variation.

Maybe that is saying the same thing you are saying, Antwn.

The process of discovering or inventing explanations in a way that includes oneself personally, and then adjusting one's self and pattern of living to them, is a big lifelong thing that it seems the majority of humanity persists in doing. I think it's a crucial human behaviour. That's a truth in itself. The particular truth that is being sought is more relative, in fact, than the reality that humans are seekers, that they demand explanations to maintain a functional equilibrium. And probably that unsettling conditions make them seek harder and demand more of the explanations they believe they find. As a species, we need it. It's that simple, and it's the thing that interests me so much in discussions like this. The truth value of the belief system is independent of that. Not inferior to it, but a separate consideration.

Yes -- I have a good idea what your position is. I was hoping to hear from some others. It may be my question does not really seem relevant. smile.gif
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SCShamrock 
Posted on 27-Oct-2005, 05:49 PM
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QUOTE (Antwn ap Ioan @ 27-Oct-2005, 01:07 PM)
Please tell me why this is significant? If I were to proclaim myself a prophet and predict with all requisite solemnity "the sun will come up tomorrow", what significance would you place upon it? Why do you laud statements of common knowledge as prophecy? Frankly, any local yokel of the era could have made the same vague statements with the same accuracy. Is it the fact that such "predicitons" occur within the context of the "authority" of the Bible that compel you to proffer this artifice of significance?

It is significant because I believe in God, and believe the Christian bible to be the word of God.

This "artifice" is just a sign, one of many that were offered. There is nothing sinister here. You may think (you have said as much) that you can determine it with some sense of certainty that earthquakes, in their current frequency and intensity, have always existed. You may even make the suggestion that, because of time and sedimentation, earthquakes have decreased in both size and frequency. It obviously doesn't matter to you one way or another, and that's fine. I certainly didn't start this thread in an attempt to evangelize. And of course, if I were promoting earthquakes and famines as the sole source for believing the end time was upon us, then my sanity would not be in question. That's not what is happening here.

Earth changes could be a lucky prediction (you addressed their existence but neglected the acceleration of them) that the so-called "local yokel" could have forecast. But other predictions that happen within the context of the authority of the bible are not so easily dismissed as blatantly obvious, even with the twisting of context that is so prevalent here. One example I'll give you is from the story of the battle of Amageddon. The bible speaks of an army of 200 million soldiers. No nation had anywhere near that potential when these words were written, and there is no reason to believe that a local yokel would have thought there would be. The type of lawlessness spoken of in 2 Timothy was not widespread then, and there is no reason to believe that a local yokel of that time would have thought it ever would be. As you have mentioned, look it up.

One last point. I have a good friend that is atheist, and at times has accused me of being brainwashed, and of being in a state of self-hypnosis, calling my condition "cosmic euphoria." To him I'm sure it is. But for those of us who profess faith in Jehovah God, who also possess a little intelligence, we come to our faith employing our hearts and minds, not just our emotions. You sound like my friend, except your dissent doesn't come across quite as crass. I will say this however; the "neediness, posturing, seeking and supplication, among other common attributes of contemporary spiritual psyches" you mention as being part of religion is just part of some religion. Unfortunately, I see many of these attributes within the Christian faith as more of a lack of faith; that somehow God is not merciful enough to accept the believer in his Son apart from some song and dance routine. That is why I don't attend church. I can't seem to find one that simply teaches and loves without all the pomp and ritual so common today. There is heavy emphasis placed on more bodies in the church (which I think equates to more dollars) rather than nurturing the souls of those already there. And nothing makes me feel sillier than having a church leader open with a little prayer (which I'm standing for) then lead a song (which I'm sitting for) then sing another song (standing again) pass the plate around (standing then sitting) then another song (stand) then my personal favorite (big smirk) hug your neighbor (either sitting or standing, or a combination of the two). I feel like a robot and the guy up front has my remote control. Also, I find most of this "lead in" stuff to be not only ritualistic, but an attempt to eat the clock as well. So I don't go to church, but that doesn't stop me from learning all I can about my bible and getting to know the one who inspired it.
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Antwn 
Posted on 28-Oct-2005, 01:06 PM
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QUOTE (stoirmeil @ 27-Oct-2005, 01:42 PM)
The truth value of the belief system is independent of that.  Not inferior to it, but a separate consideration.

Yes -- I have a good idea what your position is.  I was hoping to hear from some others.  It may be my question does not really seem relevant. smile.gif

Thanks Stoirmeil, but I'm a little confused about something. I understand your point that humans are seekers who demand explanations to maintain a functional equilibrium, and inquiry is quite human. Yet if a person is seeking something that is true, how can the truth value be a separate consideration from the nature of his seeking? The integrity of his quest would demand that the two be cojoined, wouldn't it? If a person seeks by nature, then one would assume (existentially speaking) that he'd seek something true. Otherwise he's only playing games with himself and not truly seeking at all.

Shamrock: I was commenting on the specific quotes you posted. I believe I'm correct that you're much more well versed (no pun intended) in the prophetic passages in the Bible than I am, and while I'm sure your quotes don't do justice to the vast panoply of prophecy contained in it, I respond to what's posted. If you feel inspired to give me some chapters/verses for prophetic passages you know are especially poignant in lieu of quoting them each here, I'm happy to do research. If you don't that's fine too, though as voluminous as the Bible is, frankly I don't know where to start.

I was very glad to read your post Shamrock, and I felt so much empathy reading your comments about church services. I was raised Episcopalian and attended both church and sunday school as a child until I renouced the whole affair at about age 13. I remember everything you described and feel much respect for you in eshewing the ritual in order to maintain the integrity of your faith.

My generalizations did not include your specific circumstance. Generalizations generally don't....generally speaking ;-) Yet certainly the posturing I mentioned, along with the neediness and supplication is inherent in those very rituals, which are inherent in the general practice of Christianity today. You're choice may be more the exception. Indeed, it would have to be for the survival of the practice for the pecuniary reasons you also mentioned.

I have no doubts about your intelligence Shamrock. I have known many highly intelligent Christians, some in my own family.
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SCShamrock 
Posted on 28-Oct-2005, 02:02 PM
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Antwn,

You are correct in your generalizations of Christendom. The reference point that I draw from in order to know how to live as a Christian is the bible itself, and not from some group of people so wrapped in piety as to think they are to be answered to. Until I learn of a church that does strictly God's work, that holds scriptural purity over popular practice, and operates completely by faith to teach, nurture, and worship--then I will only grace the halls of a church building long enough to hear them say "I do."

One note to the rest of the board members. I don't want my opinions and statements about church and church goers to be taken offensively. If they are, then my sincere apologies. This is strictly how I see things are with the experiences I have had. I would love to go to a church, but only a sincere one. To crib a line from the movie Steel Magnolias...."an ounce of pretention is worth a pound of manure."
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sniper 
Posted on 28-Oct-2005, 03:29 PM
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I usually keep my faith a private matter since so many are ready to rail against anyone that holds a firm belief in the Jehovah God. I have followed this thread, and others in this forum, with interest.

I would like to say that I think SCShamrock has done an exemplary job of providing an articulate explanation of his personal faith and bringing the Christian principles to light with noted verses from the Christian Bible.

To Antwn: If an interest exists to better understand the Christian faith and compare it to historical evidence I would suggest the journey start with the Gospels of Mathew, Mark, Luke and John. Once the gospels have been read and compared, a thorough reading of the New Testament should follow. Only after reading the New Testament should a person study the Old Testament in it's entirety. The Gospel of John might even be best place to begin since contained within it is the quote that most accurately reflects the Christian ideology.
From John 3:16, quoting the Savior Jesus Christ:
"For God so loved the World,
that he gave his only begotten
Son, that whosoever believeth in
him should not perish, but have
everlasting life."

Everlasting life is the foundation from which all Christianity is based.

I suppose it is easy for people to dismiss some or all religions as pomp and suspect when the people practicing their faith do so in ways that appear conflicting with the message they proclaim but, the reality is that everyone has a faith and a need for fellowship whether it be political alliances or religious or both. Reading the Bible, like reading the Quran, is the best place to begin a journey of understanding the motivation of believers.

I'll bow out again and read the evolution of this topic with interest.


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Antwn 
Posted on 29-Oct-2005, 11:10 AM
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Sniper: You overestimate my curiousity. My interest was to find examples of true prophecy only (remember the topic?) not to delve into the entire new testament, unless its in Welsh. As I said before, I also have NO desire to enter into an extended debate about Christianity or anyone's personal faith since its inevitable conclusion would be that its all a matter of faith. I already know that. I entered the thread because the idea of prophecy intrigued me, not the ideas of Christianity. I'm as familiar with them as I want to be. I also wanted to provide some info about earthquake frequency and to respond to a few things in previous posts because that response was specifically requested. But thanks for the suggestion.
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sniper 
Posted on 29-Oct-2005, 11:15 AM
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Sorry about that.
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reddrake79 
Posted on 30-Oct-2005, 08:05 PM
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whoa, rabbit trail, but as I tell my bible class rabbit trails are good too,

1 off topic paragraph. smile.gif I am a regular church attender (sp?) and it kind of saddens me that some of my christian bretheren (and sisteren ?) out there are missing out on the church experience I am having. I find church to be a positive point in the week (not because the pastor teaches only the good parts of the Bible) Yes, we do go through some of the motions (everyone greet your neighbor, pass the plate, etc.) but we are creatures of habit and while they may not necessarily be part of being a christian there may be a place for those things. (large churches have a hard time getting everyone to know each other) I personally would encourage the non church attending Christian to continue to look for a church that meets your needs. I recently moved and It took me several months to find a church that I felt at home in.

Back to topic...

If the prophecies were just the generic every day event types then that would be nothing special, however- Daniel ch. 2 recounts the dream and prophecy of nations to come after babylon, 1 Kings 17 drought on isreal, The invasion of the southern kingdom (Judah) by the Chaldeans predicted (Habakkuk 1:6-11)(2 Kings 25; 2 Chronicles 36:17-21), there are entire books written about the prophecies concerning the messiah.

for anyone who is realy interested in researching the prophecies, one good source is biblegateway.com. They have a topical index with a heading of "prophecy" in it.

another thought about prophecy, if the prophecy is true dose it not then beg us to consider the veracity of the source and other things it has to say?
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stoirmeil 
Posted on 30-Oct-2005, 09:41 PM
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QUOTE (Antwn ap Ioan @ 28-Oct-2005, 01:06 PM)
If a person seeks by nature, then one would assume (existentially speaking) that he'd seek something true. Otherwise he's only playing games with himself and not truly seeking at all.


Let me try to say it in a different way. I know there's likely to be those who don't like this, and I'm sorry for that, but I can't really put it in a way that will avoid that.

Humans generally need to be certain about things. That is why humans have belief systems -- for their explanatory value (even above the validating function a system holds for its practitioners' justification of their actions -- which is very big indeed). That is also why we tend to defend them as vigorously as we do. Of course, in order to be certain about a belief system, people are going to accept that its tenets are valid, or "true." They will formulate arguments that strengthen their position; they'll will it outright if they have to. I think that's why real "seekers" tend to be in the small minority. Seeking is not what the majority of humans do when it comes to belief systems -- seeking a risky position to be in, and I think the majority of people who don't keep the belief system they inherited are uneasy with seeking, and seek only until they find a replacement. For one thing, seeking does not give you anything like the mental protection of a firm belief system, especially in a foxhole. smile.gif The lifelong seeker usually considers seeking to be a truer position than knowing, and eventually gains an acceptance of that and where it leaves him existentially.

I am asking that we consider something else: for some humans, the certainty of the belief system as a whole, which is vital to the equilibrium humans need for optimal function (especially under stress), is a great deal more important than any tenet within the system. It is not at all playing games -- it's in deadly earnest. This kind of organization of mind completely colors cognition. We perceive what we expect to perceive. There are no absolutes and there is no accuracy when it comes to human perception and memory. That, you have to take or leave as a truth, and it's a hard concept to get used to, but it's been demonstrated many times. (I think it may actually be less important that the system is "true" in some independent cosmic sense than that the human is able to maintain a firm belief in its truth, but that may be going too far for general comfort.) In any case, the truth value of the belief system in and of itself, independent of whether humans believe it or not, is one thing, and the belief value for the person who holds to it is quite something else. Not necessarily mutually exclusive -- but not interdependent.

If that ran off topic a bit, I apologize. I think it has some relevance when we consider the arguments for and against the existence of true predictive prophecy -- what elements of evidence do we look for, accept, and systematize as proof either way? It's posible that none of us are neutral or indifferent to the outcome of the discussion. That has an impact on the truth value too, I would say.
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