Jesus is Not Coming Back

I found this while reading The Skepchick:

Jesus is not returning
John Bice

According to The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, “An overwhelming percentage of Christians (79 percent) say they believe in the second coming of Jesus Christ.”

That statistic isn’t surprising when one considers that most Christians also believe in the devil, resurrection, angels, heaven, hell and other fairy tales. Irrational beliefs can be benign or directly harmful. For example, the silly assertion that Jesus was born of a virgin probably doesn’t negatively influence opinions on important matters and policies. The widespread belief in the “second coming,” however, can have significant public consequences.

Voters convinced the return of Jesus is imminent may find themselves rather unconcerned with solving problems requiring long-term perspective and commitment.

A 2004 article in The Christian Science Monitor on apocalyptic end-times theology, quoted one man as saying, “I know people who have sold their houses and lived with relatives because they thought the world would soon come to an end … I know others who’ve cut their education short because they thought it more important to witness to people than to get their degree.”

An Associated Press poll, conducted in late 2006, found that 25 percent of Americans (and nearly half of white evangelical Christians) believed there was a good chance that Jesus would return in 2007.

Translation: Tens of millions of Americans expect Jesus any day now.

For these people, issues like energy independence, the federal budget deficit, sustainable environmental practices or global climate change aren’t a big priority. Instead, their attention is focused on religious “moral issues,” like protecting marriage from homosexuals or arranging burials for embryonic stem cells.

Earlier this year, the National Association of Evangelicals, an erudite group to be sure, rebuffed forward thinking religious leaders for suggesting that global climate change represents a genuine crisis. They claimed that such talk shifts “the emphasis away from the great moral issues of our time,” such as the “integrity of marriage,” and promoting “sexual abstinence.”

Preserving the global ecosystem for future generations simply isn’t an important moral consideration for anyone convinced Jesus is rounding the corner with a fistful of tickets to heaven. For this reason, and others, I think it’s important to point out something rather obvious.

Jesus isn’t coming back.

Consider the most obvious reason. Assuming someone resembling Jesus ever lived, the guy has been dead for nearly 2,000 years. This fact represents very compelling evidence for why Jesus won’t be coming back. Actually, it’s so compelling, rational people are quite satisfied to stop there.

Bible fans, however, also may wish to consider what Jesus allegedly said. Many passages in the Gospels make clear that Jesus believed the end was nigh. He predicted an imminently approaching apocalypse, which would establish the Kingdom of God (aka Kingdom of Heaven) on earth.

In the Gospel of Mark, for example, Jesus asserts that the end would occur within the lifetime of some he was addressing, “Some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power.”

In Matthew, Jesus says, “The Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. 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.”

That simply didn’t happen. Jesus was wrong. This creates quite a problem for Bible believers, which they solve in their normal way. Passages fitting their particular brand of Christianity are to be taken literally, whereas passages that disagree, make no sense, or are obviously incorrect need to be somehow “interpreted.”

However, the writings of Paul make it absolutely clear that early Christians took Jesus at his word, literally, and were convinced the end would come quickly. In First Corinthians, for example, Paul’s advice to single followers was to not bother getting married. Paul wrote, “the time is short … this world in its present form is passing away.”

Jesus was a false prophet. The end simply didn’t come as he claimed. His followers have been proven wrong.

Believers need to shed their puerile fantasies.

http://www.statenews.com/index.php/article/2007/09/jesus_is_not_returning

I realize John isn’t saying all that much that hasn’t already been said, but it is worth noting.  Especially the part about True Believers doing crazy things because they believe the world will end any day now. I personally quit attending college when I was a fundy with the intent of attending Bible College and spreading the word.  I don’t know where I would be today if I had decided to get the degree that I was working toward instead of preparing for the Rapture. 

The comments on the article are what you would expect.  My favorite (though I haven’t read through all of them) has got to be this one:

And if you are correct Mr. Bice, what good does it do to destroy people’s faith? How are you helping society by undermining the foundations of morality?

Europe has gone down the path you recommend, and the results are too promising, Europe is dying because of the secular, egalitarian values that people like you prescribe.

So what if it is a lie, assuming it is. Read your philosophy a little deeper, start with the Republic and contemplate the idea of the Noble Lie.

Better than your prescription for nihilism.

 

27 thoughts on “Jesus is Not Coming Back

  1. And people want to hang on to morality? Isn’t that a bit limiting? People acting kindly purely out of the selfishness of trying to attain a better afterlife.

    But I will say – how would we know whether or not JC had come back in the past? He wouldn’t dare reveal himself all-guns blazing because what he’d be trying to do wouldn’t work if people just accepted it blindly without thought just because of who he is, he wouldn’t be treated like a normal human being, also he’d be a high priority target, and nobody would beleive a self-proclaimed messiah anyway unless he performed undeniable miricles which would make the existence of atheism impossible, which he wouldn’t want. He may even be in a form incapable of miracal performance, maybe

    Why might JC/god want atheism to exist? Certain lines of thought are easier under atheism, you feel absolutely free to philosophically question the god concept and his intentions all you like without any fear, this is difficult for a believer. In addition a certain level of psychological distress from fear of oblivion or lack of someone who cares can aid in becoming psychologically stronger, and the emotion resulting from not knowing+other things gives meaning to your story.

  2. Europe is dying? How?  We are talking about the land mass that if ever the EU became a federal state liuke the US would be a superpower, in some fields, such as the economy, do to the US what the US currently does to the rest of the world.

    We apparently have to have faith, and make irrational decisions based on it, so people can be comforted.

    Given that the only ones going to be swept into heaven when the rapture comes are just 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes of Israel, (ie 144,000) there are going to be a lot of unhappy fundies sharing hell with us atheists.

  3. Yeah, it was my favorite comment because of the irony.  It always kills me when the hardcore conservatives and/or fundies point to the Netherlands especially, with their more progressive society, and say, “Look!  They have more (insert bad crime like murder)! It must be because they allow gay marriage/legal prostitution/legal marijuana/whatever!”  Of course, they have no actual facts or stats to show that said place has a higher whatever rate, and there is actually no direct correlation between the two even if the stats supported their claims.

    It works both ways though.  Here in the US, we have a ton of guns, and lots of murder.  Many of these murders are committed with…GASP!…guns.  However, there is no direct correlation that shows that owning guns causes more gun deaths (you can conclude that more gun deaths CAN and do occur with increased ownership, but they are not caused by the actual ownership – Guns don’t kill people, but people with guns DO kill people).  Though, the gun/murder comparison actually has real stats to back it up.  The increased rape/legalized prostitution in the Netherlands argument (or increased STDs/murder/alien abductions/whatever they are claiming) usually doesn’t have actual numbers or facts to back it up.

  4. …Europe is dying…

    So the American fundies wish. I recently traveled across Europe and I’m pleased to report that it’s as vibrant as ever.

  5. Maybe they mean that the old, Feudalism based, theocratic Europe is dying?  To them that would no doubt be a bad thing.

  6. Maybe they mean that the old, Feudalism based, theocratic Europe is dying?  To them that would no doubt be a bad thing.

    I’m glad to report that the Europe you refer to has been dead for more than 200 years. Though countries like Poland or even Italy might give you a different impression, they’re definitely a minority. Just to give you a small example, you wouldn’t want to be gay in Poland.

    I reckon those fundies would feel quite at home in Poland, that is, if they don’t mind the fact that it’s one big happy catholic family.

  7. C’mon, you all know that Europe is dying because of all those horrible Muslims who are breeding like flies and will turn Europe into a new Caliphate in a few years.  Incovenient little facts like the birth rate of Muslims in Europe dropping the longer they live in Europe and that simply being a Muslim doesn’t mean you hang on Osama’s every word won’t change that.
    Mark Steyn told me so.

  8. I note that none of the religious commenters actually did something like, oh, I don’t know, explain how a bible that clearly and distinctly says “Jesus will be back soon” is still accurate when “soon” has been gone for a couple of thousand years now.

    No, at best they skirted the issue.

    It’s not that complex:

    “I will be back before some of you die”

    plus

    Everyone who was alive then is dead, and he’s not back

      equals

    Your god either was wrong – which proves he isn’t a god – or lying – which proves he isn’t good and shouldn’t be worshipped.

    There are no other choices.

    Or, to sum: There are no gods, deal with it.

  9. C’mon, you all know that Europe is dying because of all those horrible Muslims who are breeding like flies and will turn Europe into a new Caliphate in a few years.  Incovenient little facts like the birth rate of Muslims in Europe dropping the longer they live in Europe and that simply being a Muslim doesn’t mean you hang on Osama’s every word won’t change that.

    As far as I know, France is projected to be a majority Muslim country by 2050. The obvious question is if and how the birth rate for both the “native” and the Muslim segments of the population will change until then.

    There is also a much more troubling trend in Europe—they call it multiculturalism and I call it political correctness taken to moronic and unconstitutional heights. At least in Germany and the U.K., there have been a number of court cases where raped and battered women were told to suck it up and forget about the constitutional and human rights of these two respective countries, because the women come from cultures where such treatment is the norm and complies with Sharia “law”. As a European, it’s getting to the point where “Islamophobe” is a compliment and not an insult. Needless to say, I am absolute livid about the miscarriage of justice in these two countries. The judges should tell the Muslim miscreants to pack their bags and go back to where they came from—alone.

  10. David: Your god either was wrong – which proves he isn’t a god – or lying – which proves he isn’t good and shouldn’t be worshipped.
    There are no other choices

    You think xianity is the only way and that disproving the bible disproves god?

    When someone lies, think what their intentions were – to exploit or to comfort? Why do either? It’s not clear cut either because “bad” things can be done with kind intentions, and vice versa, you just need to identify.

    Elwed – you’re correct about islamophobia being regarded a compliment, regular people get excited and rally (often in approval) behind those against immigration, it’s seen as a quick-approval boost that people use in conversation and attention-seeking. This has, predictably, shifted public views rightwards even if elections havn’t gone that way for other reasons. I think The Sun has a large part in this. Personally only one page of that paper really interests me.

  11. Elwed – you’re correct about islamophobia being regarded a compliment, regular people get excited and rally (often in approval) behind those against immigration, it’s seen as a quick-approval boost that people use in conversation and attention-seeking. This has, predictably, shifted public views rightwards even if elections havn’t gone that way for other reasons. I think The Sun has a large part in this. Personally only one page of that paper really interests me.

    Yep that’s true. None of you have probably heard of him, but Geert Wilders, a dutch politician who won roughly 8% of the votes during last years’ election, has made it his personal goal to pretty much get rid off everything islamic in the Netherlands. Recently he tried to ban the quran because it supposedly calls for violence. He’s known for polarizing the people and it seems like the crazier he gets, the more people agree with him.

    He might be a one of a kind freak of nature (seen his hair??) but there’s many more movements similar to his all over western and northern Europe.
    I guess people need a minority to pick on, as a means to ventilate their frustration or boredom or whatever it is.

  12. It makes me nervous to talk about “making all the muslims leave” because there’s a European precedent for that and it isn’t pretty.  But I’d be all for saying (there and here) “You are welcome to come here but this is how we live and these are our laws.  If you can’t live with that, stay home.”

    I was struck by that “Europe is dying” too.  I see that all the time on conservative blogs.

  13. It is true that cars here in Europe are not as big as American cars.  I guess we are dying…

    Elwed- re multikulti backlash, check out this video for a levelheaded view.

  14. Zilch, I already reposted that beautiful rant on my site. For what it’s worth, I fully agree with Pat Condell.

    And I am sort of aligned with what DOF said. Integrate and honor ourvalues or pack your bags and go back to where you came from. I have written more than one post to this effect on my site, as well…

    Muslims in America don’t seem as boneheaded as their European cousins, but the War!on!Terror! may well change that for the worse…

  15. Good, another intellegent person who reinforces the idea that the decietful misanthrope known as jesus has bit it and aint getting back up for round two.

    Normallyy, I’d try n add more flair here, but irritated with break-up.

  16. Having studied the narrative pretty closely, I have a feeling that Jesus did exist, and was probably quite enlightened for his time (or even in some respects, for this time).  Of course the narrative is heavily distorted but my impression is he was a Jewish reformer, I think not trying to start a new religion. He was exploited by Paul, who never actually met him and who is responsible for Christianity. 

    And no, he ain’t coming back.  He’s dead.

  17. Jesus is Not Coming Back

    Well tell him to arrange for his overnight bag to be forwarded or it goes to the charity shop.

    As far as I know, France is projected to be a majority Muslim country by 2050. The obvious question is if and how the birth rate for both the “native” and the Muslim segments of the population will change until then.

    Could you post the calculation? I’m not calling you out, I’m just surprised.  Muslims are about 8% of the UK population, and I wouldnt be surprised if France was the same, so I’d be shocked to see such growth in 2 generations- even allowing for the different birth rates.

    At least in Germany and the U.K., there have been a number of court cases where raped and battered women were told to suck it up and forget about the constitutional and human rights of these two respective countries, because the women come from cultures where such treatment is the norm and complies with Sharia “law”.

    You may be reading the Daily Mail/Sun etc.  The rights of women to live inside British culture, and to be protected against violence has be established.  Family members in ‘honour killings’ have been sucessfully prosecuted.  Part of the problem is of course getting them to make the allegations.

    What does worry me is the fact that the Muslim community does sometimes seem desperate to distance itself from the rest of Britain.  At things such as School Fetes the Asian community seems under-represented compared to the make up of the school.

  18. What does worry me is the fact that the Muslim community does sometimes seem desperate to distance itself from the rest of Britain.  At things such as School Fetes the Asian community seems under-represented compared to the make up of the school.

    The fact that they’re seen as ‘different’ by many people doesnt’t help much though. I think that that’s part of the cause of why the Muslim community stays isolated. Terms like ‘us’ and ‘them’ are used too frequently in the media imho, at least in Holland. And like I said before (I’m Schaap, just registered) influential politicians like Wilders keep it that way and will try to make it worse whenever they can. Because the fear and anger they instigate make them more popular. It confirms their views, at least in the eyes of many.

    [off topic] Isn’t there a little dutch flag in your database? If there is what should I write after location? (the) Netherlands? or Holland? [/off topic]

  19. The fact that they’re seen as ‘different’ by many people doesnt’t help much though.

    It’s not quite the same scenario in all European countries, but I have always assumed that the majority is British Muslims originated from the former colonies and it’s my understanding that the British have or had a multi-tiered citizenship. Thus, different and not exactly equal.

    I can understand if radical Muslims and Islamists recruit from the rock bottom of society, but those of the U.K. seem to come from comfortable middle class families. This doesn’t exactly help the image of the purported “religion of peace”… It also doesn’t help that British conservative Muslim groups work hard to win concessions for their interpretation of Islamic religious sensibilities (and forcing them down all British Muslim’s throat) and thus to make Muslims more visibly different than they already are. I guess they have their own version of the Religious Right.

    The long and short of it that I consider a healthy distrust of Islam to be, well, healthy. Just like the Religious Right in the U.S., the deeper problem with Islamism is that it’s a political battle waged in the guise of religion.

  20. Many Muslims (at least local to me) seem to originate from Pakistan, which of course was part of India under the Empire.  Commonwealth citizens have all sorts of rights, because of the idea that they are ‘part of us’ because of Empire.  Oddly it is easier for an Aussie to get into the UK to work than vice versa.

    The conservatism seems to be at least as much cultural- a woman at work apparently faced opposition from her family at actually going out to work.  Anecdotal evidence from my office also seems to indicate that some, especially women, never learn English, and are unable to function outside their self imposed ‘enclaves’. This is not just the oldest generation- Many go ‘home’ to Pakistan to marry, and bring their new spouse back to the UK.

  21. LH, it would appear that Muslims in the U.K. and in Germany have the same problem—they sort of get along as long as the values of their host country don’t conflict with their more tribal culture.

    Self-imposed is a key word.

  22. I can understand if radical Muslims and Islamists recruit from the rock bottom of society, but those of the U.K. seem to come from comfortable middle class families. This doesn’t exactly help the image of the purported “religion of peace”… It also doesn’t help that British conservative Muslim groups work hard to win concessions for their interpretation of Islamic religious sensibilities (and forcing them down all British Muslim’s throat) and thus to make Muslims more visibly different than they already are. I guess they have their own version of the Religious Right.

    In a lot of European countries (UK included I think) there are many young and poor ready-to-be-brainwashed Muslims who might become a danger in the future. The problems they face when looking for work for example (mostly discrimination) makes some of them feel unwanted and angry. These are the guys that are recruited by Al Quaeda and other terrorist networks. The fact that they are being treated differently is indeed also the fault of the Islamic fundies who give all Muslims a bad name and who feed these frustrated boys with their extreme views.

    Fortunately a lot of other Muslims fair well in European societies because they don’t get put off by these problems. This only starts to become a problem imo when Muslim politicians, who attach little value to secularism and who appeal to many Muslim voters, begin to appear. If that happens there is no getting around it anymore, though we’ll probably never have to face a sharia =).

  23. I wasn’t going to interject, but I couldn’t resist saying a few words. If you are a Humanist or an atheist, you likely believe that the earth is 4.54 × 10^9 years old ± 1% (from Wikipedia) and that mankind has been around for about 3.6 million years as I do. With such a view it is not at all unreasonable to say we are in the end days simply because 2,000 years have passed and we’re still here. If the world ended in a thousand years, the end times would be the less than the last .03 percent of human history.

  24. SIAIh 41 BRING forth your IDOLS did they PREACH to you see they can’t speak they can’t DO ANYTHING all they do is cause confusion. spalms 115 and spalms 135 thier IDOLS are FALSE cant speak can’t hear cant smell and those that make them shall become like them. Jeremiah 10 they nail their IDOL down like a scarecrow it can’t move can’…t speak can’t move must be carried these are nothing but the WORK of CON men.john 10 jesus christ sais his sheep hear his voice and another voice thy will not follow and if another person tries to preach to them they WILL FLEE from him. jeremiah 5 the priests bear rule on their own authority what will you do when your judged my word is not inside them. Now here is the kicker john 5 son of man voice goes back in time mathew 16 jesus christ claims to be the son of man.‎1 cor2 mind of CHRIST preached internally and john 16 sais the spirit of truth comes in the future. Ezekiel 13 lying prophets of ISRAEL my word is not inside them saying god sais god sais god sais wrote hoping mankind would CONFIRM their WORDS. all of this is EASILY verifiable.

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