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Have We Reached The End Of The World?

By James Donahue

Soothsayers and doomsday forecasters are busy predicting the end of the world as we know it. We see it on the web, television documentaries are laced with scientific explanations about just how it could or may happen, fundamental Christian preachers are saying they are seeing the “sign of the times” that Jesus is coming back, and then there is that strange Mayan Calendar that ends on December 21, 2012.

Indeed, we are living on an overcrowded planet, we have polluted the air, ground and water and ravaged our natural resources to the point where there is no longer enough to go around, and the air is so polluted we appear to be creating radical climate changes that some say will make life on this planet unbearable. Are we about to go extinct?

Some are predicting it. Religious zealots appear to welcome the “signs,” believing that the fabled return of the dead Jesus will trigger a rapture of the saints and that devoted followers will escape the mysterious horror of dying.

Just because so many people seem to believe we are rushing toward the end of the world as we know it, does this make it so? It is said that the Christians have it all wrong, and that the creator god exists within each of us. Those who believe this also believe that each person creates his or her own universe, although it is fashioned by the precepts taught by the society in which we live. Thus everybody’s universe is somewhat similar, although seen from a uniquely different perspective. And since we are creators, we can, collectively, bring about the destruction of our world.

This does not have to happen. We have often referred to the lemming, a small rodent that lives in the arctic regions. There is a legend, which is quite untrue, that these creatures commit mass suicide when they overpopulate and food supplies run short. We laugh at the story, yet religious driven humans seem to be following this same pattern. We appear to be mentally preparing for mass extinction rather than doing anything to save our planet. If enough people continue to believe this to be their future, and it becomes fixed in their universe, they may cause it to happen.

Throughout recorded history, humans have been proclaiming secret knowledge that the end of the world is upon us. It may surprise you to know that such proclamations were being made long before Jesus ever walked on the face of the earth.

The late Isaac Asimov, who published various books filled with peculiar information, noted that an Assyrian clay tablet dating to about 2800 BC was unearthed that contained the following warning: “Our earth is degenerate in these latter days. There are signs that the world is speedily coming to an end. Bribery and corruption are common.” So what else is new?

The Roman mythology included a story of how the City of Rome was founded by the legendary twin Romulus and that 12 eagles had revealed to him a number representing the lifetime of Rome. Some Roman “psychics” of the time calculated that each eagle represented 10 years so they expected Rome to be destroyed by about 389 BC. They were quite wrong. Rome still stands today.

According to Matthew 16:28, Jesus predicted his second coming within the lifetime of his disciples. He told them: “Verily I say unto you, there be some standing here which shall not taste of death till they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.” King Ben Purnell, founder of the House of David at Benton Harbor, Michigan, told his followers the same thing before he died in 1927. His body was placed in a glass coffin on the cult property. It is still there.

The first of the self proclaimed prophets to feed on the Jesus return story was Montanus, who in the year 156 AD declared himself to be the Spirit of Truth and personification of the Holy Spirit. He gathered followers including two women who claimed to be receiving “The Third Testament,” a series of messages directly from God that promised the Kingdom of God and The New Jerusalem would descend from heaven and land in Phrygia, or modern-day Turkey, where it would be the home for all “true believers.” People gathered in the magic place, nothing happened,  The cult carried on  for a while until the Council of Ephesus declared Montanus to be a heretic. Pope Leo I ordered the cult “exterminated.”

The historical record has been cluttered with people rising up to proclaim the end of the world almost constantly ever since. In AD 387 St. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, said the Goths were Ezekial’s Gog in the Old Testament. The Goths had just destroyed the Imperial army at Adrianople and Ambrose declared that “the end of the world is coming upon us.” He was wrong.

In AD 300 St. Martin, Bishop of Tours, announced that he believed the antichrist was already born and would rise to supreme power within a few years. That story didn’t pan out either.

We can keep going on this historical list because the nuts just kept coming out of the woodwork. Some of them gained large followings and stories of people selling all of their belongings and going up on mountains, or hills, or deserts to await the arrival of the Messiah happened many times.

Are we to take the contemporary prophets of doom any more seriously than the ones that preceded them? We suggest giving up on that Christian cult, especially after Jesus failed to keep his promise to come back during the live times of his own disciples, and seek a new and more promising spiritual path.

We believe the world is about to experience a major change, but it may be an awakening from the darkness caused by thousands of years of enslavement under a belief system founded on fear and suffering in the name of Jesus, a mystic who never intended to be declared a deity.

If not that, then yeah . . . it's the end of everything and you know what is about to hit the fan. Like the prophets have been saying for thousands of years, doomsday is just around the corner.