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Featured The Second Coming

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by adrian009, Oct 8, 2019.

  1. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    The Second Coming (also known as the Second Advent or the Parousia) is both a Christian and Islamic belief in regards the Return of Jesus. Christians believe He ascended to heaven and shall return in the same manner as recorded in Acts of the Apostles 1:9-11.

    Concepts around the Second Coming have evolved over the centuries based on Messianic Prophecies and eschatologies. Views about the nature of the Second Coming vary amongst different Christian denominations and Islamic schools of thought.

    Second Coming - Wikipedia

    Over the centuries a variety of claimants have come and gone including some extremely infamous characters in modern times. Over the last 200 years the Baha’i Faith and the Ahmadiyya movement are two religions whose founders claimed to be the Return of Christ and continue to maintain sizeable followings.

    List of people claimed to be Jesus - Wikipedia

    I have just three questions to consider for this thread.

    1/ To what extent are beliefs about the Second Coming of Jesus beneficial or harmful?

    2/ If the concept is to be taken seriously, what can we reliably determine will be the distinguishing features of Christ when or if He has come?

    3/ Are there lessons to be learned from history about the acceptance or rejection of previous Messianic type figures including Christ Himself?
     
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  2. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    I have some very serious reservations about encouraging apocalyptic and eschatological thinking. Such a thing strikes me as encouraging a very unhealthy and irresponsible species of escapism.
     
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  3. leov

    leov Well-Known Member
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    there are two views of the Second Coming, literal physical and another one spiritual enlightenment.
     
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  4. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    There is certainly a disturbing element about some churches I have experienced that place undue emphasis on this aspect of Christian teaching as opposed to promoting the charitable and practical aspects. Then there are those Church leaders that have claimed a special status for themselves and led their congregations astray. So I certainly share your concern.
     
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  5. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    Would you elaborate please?
     
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  6. Heyo

    Heyo Active Member

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    1/ Apocalyptic cults usually discourage their members from higher learning, they have no regard for the environment and they foster fatalism. If "the end is nigh", what worth has anything but trying to become "holier than thou" so that I can go to heaven and the rest will endure the tribulations?
     
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  7. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    Good points. Adrian, I was also thinking about how so many people here in America dismiss as of no concern our wrecking the world because they believe "everything will be renewed and made fresh again" when Jesus returns.
     
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  8. leov

    leov Well-Known Member
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    the pattern is here:
    "but God raised him on the third day and made him to appear, 41not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead." Acts 10
    Paul divided soul natures in 1Cor 2:
    4"The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 16“For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ."
    It means there is category of literal understanding or spiritual undersranding. it is a matter of spiritual evolution.
     
  9. leov

    leov Well-Known Member
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    another pattern is seen in Gospel of John ch.20, where only Mary was able to see risen Lord in the tomb.
     
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  10. sooda

    sooda Veteran Member

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    Its been useful politically...….
     
  11. Nimos

    Nimos Active Member

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    The obvious "benefit" is that this can give hope to people as I see it. Despite it being false hope, I think for some people it might be good.

    The bad thing about it, is that this hope might not be rational and therefore become one of more obsessive nature, where people get so convinced about someones claim, that they will do whatever in order to maintain the conviction or the hope in the hope of this being true. Which will cause them to stop being skeptical or think critical about what they ought to believe in and not believe in. Basically as I see it, they become defenseless against their belief. For the most part I think this apply to the majority of people that follows a religion, their ability or rules for accepting things, changes so they are no longer the same. One set of "logic" and skepticism apply to their religion and another to everything else. Which allow them to justify things that are obviously immoral and reach conclusion for which there is little rationality behind.

    It can cause them to make decision which themselves defy comment sense, in order to please this belief, like when JW refuse to receive blood or when the Catholic church encourage people to not use condoms etc. This lack of rationality and "brainwashing" of people, can cause them harm.

    Looking at the bible, its explanations and stories in all of its contexts. There should be little doubt for anyone, whether Christ have returned or not. Again, the reason I think people ignore this, is because of the above, that hope in something, becomes so important and dominating for that person. That their ability to think critical in regards to this, is so limited that they are easily convinced about a person that they might find special, even though such person have no credential of being who they claim. For the most part I think people get so impressed of someones personality and "lectures", that they eventually forget that none of this matter when one have to judge whether someone is Christ or not. Therefore people no longer demand evidence, their conviction of this person being who they are, is enough. And at this point they are basically just following someone blindly. And that is where things can start to turn ugly, as such person might start telling others how they ought to behave to be "good" people. Which can lead to exploitation, abuse etc.

    The mere fact that people of religious a belief, is unable or capable of justifying why someone of a certain status, ought to be followed, purely because they say so, make little sense. Especially when such person can not provide absolute compelling evidence for their claims. Which again shows the confirmation bias and the cognitive dissonance in such people, which again only reduces a persons ability to think critical and rational about their beliefs.

    Lots, the amount of harm caused to people due to these convictions should be enough to make every person, approach this with the highest skepticism and instantly refuse any person making such claim. Also it shows that we are not good enough to learn people how to think critical and approach thing in a rational way. This is most likely a failure of parents and the educational system and in general a failure of our whole society when it comes to teaching people, how to handled information or claims.
     
    #11 Nimos, Oct 8, 2019
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  12. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    What you say makes perfect sense. There are many Christians who view the Bible very literally. So certain apocalyptic events will happen as the righteous are taken up into heaven (the rapture) and the non-Christians such as ourselves will be left amidst a scorched earth ruled by none other than Satan. It’s all so inevitable there’s no point in trying to save the environment. In fact if we start a nuclear war maybe we hasten Christ’s Return. That kind of biblical literalism can be extremely dangerous.
     
  13. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    Thanks for the post. I do share your concern about people suspending their reasoning and critical thinking.

    I agree history has shown through various cults such as the branch Davidians and Jim Jones how dangerous some religious movements can be.

    I do believe their are many religious moderates though who are neither fanatics or literalists who take a pragmatic approach to their faith and dedicate their lives to genuine service of the community.

    Interestingly Christianity itself arose during a time of intense Messianic expectations amongst the Jews. I personally view Christianity along with the other world religions as having positively shaped civilisation and the course of history. That isn’t to deny the many terrible things perpetrated in the name of religion.
     
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  14. Nimos

    Nimos Active Member

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    Luckily the majority is moderates :D

    Maybe and maybe not, its almost impossible to imagine how things would have been without. For a long time religion had been pretty much, either you convert or we kill you :) At least not to much of this is going on in the western world anymore, which is good. It have obviously added a lot of culture. But on the other hand, one could wonder how much knowledge have been suppress by it as well, that could have benefited us today.

    So all in all, I think its simply to difficult to imagine if the world had developed without the major religions and people instead had gone for natural explanations rather than divine ones.

    None the less, I find the progress rather logic and would be surprised if the other way around would be possible. Meaning going from a world based on natural explanations to one based on divine ones.
     
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  15. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    I heard rush limbaugh on the radio somewhere
    and that was what he was saying.
     
  16. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    Question 1 assumes there was a first coming, which could be problematic in itself, given the differing views of who Christ was, (or wasn't). I think that in general the messiah concept is neither harmful or helpful, as it varies on individuals use of it. Certainly, if used as an absolute guide in a fundamentalist way like claiming infallibility or simply obeying all orders limits one's individual ability to think for himself. Jonestown was a classic example of that. However, if the individual has some common sense, there may be some wisdom drawn from the words of a 'messiah'. It also creates this simplistic 'my messiah is better than your messiah' complex, which leads to unnecessary quibbling, like on a school playground about Daddy.

    Question 2 - I can't take the concept seriously. It makes no sense to me. It seems to me that for those who do, it doesn't take much more than somebody claiming to be the messiah, and more often than not it's a male, from within the person's own culture. Maybe they're hypnotised. I haven't seen any proof at all of anything miraculous, and for me, that's what it would take, and I seriously doubt that can happen, as I believe in science. I think it says a lot more about the follower than the leader.

    Question 3 - the lesson, I think is buyer beware. Wholeheartedly turning your life over to the words and ideas of another person is inherently dangerous. It weakens you.
     
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  17. calm

    calm 12/9/2019

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    When Jesus comes back, everyone will see him. Jesus himself said that he would appear like a lightning in the sky. (Luke 17:24)
    And it is also written in Revelation 1:7 that all eyes will see him.
    So if anyone claims to have seen Jesus or to be Jesus, he is lying. (Matthew 24:23-26)
    (in Revelation 19:11-16 Jesus' arrival is described in detail)
     
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  18. dianaiad

    dianaiad Well-Known Member

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    I'm a believer in the second coming, and so is the belief system I'm a part of. However, in 'getting ready for it,' I'm also aware of the parable of the talents. Remember that one?

    Where the master gave his servants money; to one he gave one, to another more, and to another still more, with the instructions to 'grow' them? When he came back, the one he had given the most had invested it well and had a lot to show; the one he had given less had also invested it, and had a great deal to show. The one he had only given one 'talent' to had buried it in the garden, claiming that he had done so to keep it safe and await the coming of the master. He had nothing to show, except the unused talent.

    The master praised the first two, and rewarded them. The third one he took back even the one talent he had given the guy in the first place. Now this parable can be used for a lot of things, because it teaches some really good lessons, but in regard to the Second Coming, it teaches this:

    In preparing for it, those who figure that they don't have to worry about the state of the planet they have been given because Jesus will 'fix all' when He gets here...they are like the servant who had been given one talent. They are ignoring the instructions, and wasting what they have been given. They will lose even that which they had been given. It is those of us who acknowledge that we have been given dominion over the world (and we have that, whether you think God gave it to us or not. We have it simply because we can exercise it), understand that if we HAVE the power to improve things, then we'd better improve things. Or at least, not destroy them.

    The whole idea behind the Second Coming, for us, is to have the best possible world, and the best possible US, to present to Him when He shows up again. We can't wait for Him to fix things. They had already better be on the way to being fixed when He gets here.

    And to us, that means improving ourselves (education, and character, and families) and our surroundings (where we live, the environment, the health of others).

    it does NOT mean standing on a hill somewhere waiting for Him to come down on a shaft of light. It means that when He shows up, He had better 'surprise' us in the act of doing something positive; being good, being righteous, helping others, whatever.

    We ARE an 'apocalyptic cult' in a way, in that we believe in the apocalypse and the SEcond coming. We absolutely do. We also figure that the "Apocolypse" and the 'Last Days" will be pretty nasty, and we'd better be able to help those who are going to be slammed by that., whatever their beliefs and opinions happen to be. We do NOT think that all of us are going to be 'twinkled,' or 'taken up.' Most of us will still be here, and still be needed. We'd better be prepared to make the last days live through able for everybody who has to deal with them. And we absolutely have no clue when that will be. It could be in the morning. It could be a thousand years from now...or longer.

    That's MY opinion, anyway.
     
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  19. shmogie

    shmogie Well-Known Member
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    The return of Christ is a central tenant of Christianity. He said it would occur, and a number of prophecies say so as well.

    Actually, there is a third return of Christ, according to the Bible. The second return is visual but not physical on the earth. This signals the end of life on earth as we know it.

    The third return is the end of life on earth as it is, and ushers in an earth without sin, disease, aging or death, an earth and v human existence of peace, prosperity and harmony.

    The belief in Christs return is hugely beneficial, hope for an individual is beneficial.

    How does He describe his return ? Like lightning across the sky, every eye shall see, in the clouds of heaven. It will be totally visible and known across the world, it will be known for what it is

    It will not be secret, it will not be in the guise of another human born on earth, Christs incarnation on earth as a human was one time for 33 years, and ended at the resurrection. He has returned to His place within the Godhead. He will never be a human being again.

    2,000 years ago the Christ taught this, the Apostles taught this, the Apostolic and post Apostolic Church taught this.

    Anything else is heresy, believing another human is Christ is calling Christ, the Apostles and the 2,000 year old church liars.

    It is a concept born in hell.
     
  20. shmogie

    shmogie Well-Known Member
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    What does wholeheartedly turning yourself over to science do for you ?

    Science tells you you cannot even suspect that the supernatural in any form exists. Yet there are hundreds of thousands today, and millions throughout history who have experienced it in some way. Are they just dullards, or what ,according to science ?

    I think the science doctrines restrict the individual from the possibility of greater and better things. Science says that if it can be seen, smelled, touched, heard or tasted, it doesn´t exist. However, by what authority does science say that ? Logic ? I don´t think so.

    I am extremely skeptical about reports of the supernatural, yet I saw something as a college student that I have tried to explain naturally for decades, and haven´t been able to, nor has my daughters boyfriend, who has an engineering degree and designs and constructs illusions for Las Vegas magicians.

    So, I think that by putting yourself under the thumb of science, you self limit the richness of the human experience and close yourself from wonderful possibilities.

    As to the coming of Christ, be assured, it will occur, and if you are still alive, all your doubt will be erased, but it very well could be too late.
     
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