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Apocalypse Now; Why the Book of Revelations is Must Reading

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Classical_Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 02:15 PM
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Apocalypse Now; Why the Book of Revelations is Must Reading
Apocalypse Now; Why the Book of Revelations is Must Reading

By GARY LEUPP

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; the first heaven and the first earth had disappeared now, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the holy city, and the New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, as beautiful as a bride all dressed for her husband.

Revelation 21:1-2

A Godsend for the Warmongers

In my naively believing childhood, when I eagerly devoured the whole Bible, acquiring in the process a love of stories (if not of history), I read the Book of Revelation, fascinated by its awe-inspiring imagery and promise of glorious punishment and reward at the end of the human record. I later learned that Martin Luther, puzzled and troubled by the work, doubted whether it should ever have been included in the New Testament. (Some might conclude from this that one can be a Christian while not accepting this particular text.) He could "in no way detect that the Holy Spirit had produced it."

He also doubted whether the Epistle of St. James should be considered canonical, since it appears to challenge the doctrine of salvation by faith so central to Pauline theology. In the end he included both books in his German translation of the Bible. Had he omitted James, there would have been little impact on the subsequent Protestant movement, but had he jettisoned Revelation, the world might be rather different now. The book is more central to the beliefs of some churches than to others, but it has greatly affected the way many view current events. Sixteenth century Protestant preachers were sure that the Pope was the Antichrist, and descriptions of the Wars of Religion draw upon its apocalyptic imagery. Even today people draw upon it, as the War on Terrorism threatens to become a War of Religion. Some think Revelation 18:8-10, in which Babylon is doomed "within a single hour" and "burnt right up" refers to the 9-11 attack on New York.

Revelation is must reading nowadays, especially for the nonbeliever. I have returned to it, many years after abandoning the above-mentioned childhood faith, not because I think it is inspired prophecy, there being in my opinion no such thing, but because many other people (including many I'd grant are "good" people) think that it is. And because some of them think this piece of Holy Scripture somehow justifies ongoing imperialist war, which they (with their commander-in-chief) conceptualize religiously as a war of Good versus Evil. And because that conviction causes believers to support, on faith, Bush's efforts to remold the Middle East in the way the neocons (who are overwhelmingly not fundamentalist Christians, but who assiduously court them) want to do it. One should read Revelation to see how it can be used, and to see what sort of worldview the book encourages.....

http://www.opednews.com/leupp_071904_revelations.htm
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 02:21 PM
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1. The entire Left Behind series wouldn't exist
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indigobusiness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 02:26 PM
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2. It has occurred to me that the Bible is less about believing
and more about the evolution of deep insight and an evolution of personal perspective. Dogmatic belief and shallow interpretation is what causes so much animosity toward it.

Transcendental wisdom is possible by an accurate application of the teachings. That is the promise. Believe it or not.
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 03:58 PM
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7. Ah, but *whose* "accurate application" do we use?
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indigobusiness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 04:45 PM
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9.  Maybe the deeper meaning is revealed through
diligent study and meditation. After all, it is an effort to comprehend the ineffable.

Have you noticed the wide variety of superficial meaning?

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denverbill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 02:52 PM
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3. I'm agnostic. But Revelations is a bit scary.
First of all, it requires Israel to be rebuilt as a state, which happened. Then it requires the temple to be rebuilt, which is being planned. There's lots of talk of Babylon falling, which fell just last year, assuming you interpret that part literally. US troops are actually stationed on the site of Babylon, iirc.

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Classical_Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 03:19 PM
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4. It is self fullfilling
The Bush administration is filled with Christian Zionists.
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denverbill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 03:32 PM
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5. Yes and no.
They might be doing their best to continue it on it's way, but the Bush administration isn't responsible for the creation of Israel.

It's funny, back in 1980 I thought Reagan might be the anti-Christ (666, Ronald Wilson Reagan). I pretty much laughed that off after a few years. Now, you reread Revelations and look at Bush and Reagan and read the descriptions. The 'beast that was mortally wounded and yet lived' describes Reagan fairly well, with his shooting and recovery. Later it talks about the one who 'breathes life into the beast', seemingly bringing the beast back to life. Not an altogether outrageous description of the Republican effort to Deify old Ronnie is it?
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Classical_Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 04:23 PM
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8. The dispensationalists(Christian Zionists) have been around since the
early 1800s. They were very much involved in the creation of the Israeli State. Balfore, was a christian zionists.
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DieboldMustDie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 03:53 PM
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6. "It is between fifty and sixty years since I read it [the Apocalypse]...
and I then considered it merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy nor capable of explanation than the incoherences of our own nightly dreams."

-Thomas Jefferson, letter to General Alexander Smyth, Jan. 17, 1825
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