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The Big Picture

'Have you ever heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates? Morons.' -- Vizzini from "The Princess Bride"

Friday, March 21, 2008

Rapture Ready pt II -- Heathen Rapture Debunked

In my last post, I identified a two part series of posts by Wilfred Hahn over at Rapture Ready. I will focus on part II in this post. We have already seen how he ignores fact and reality to twist current world events into "proof" that rapture is imminent. Only he showed that in reality it is nothing more than a self-generated series of events that have no relation to anything supernatural -- i.e. God. In spite of this plain and simple fact, he proceded to expound on his thesis that somehow, someway, nonChristians can see these events and recognize that the coming of Jesus is indeed a certainty in short order. In his opening paragraphs of part II he writes:

Therefore, the simple question we pose is this: If Christians, who supposedly possess the Bible and therefore are without excuse to hear what God says and means, would at least non-Christians have a legitimate excuse for their blindness? The Bible answers this question clearly in the negative. Unbelieving humanity will have no excuse.
While Christians also “have the word of the prophets made more certain” (2 Peter 1:19) the entire rest of the world still remains without excuse. This indictment is even more valid today. Why? The first verified appearance of the prophesied Christ has already occurred. If He “[…] had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin.“ (John 15:22) Moreover, God “has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead." (Acts 17:31)

Any time a fundamentalist Christian uses a Bible quote in their argument, I know that I can easily defeat their argument. For there is not one single quote in the entire Bible that proves anything at all. even the moralistic quotes only show that the Bible writers were aware of moral tenets that others had also learned through non-God-revalatory methods (trial and error). But lets look at this passage from Wilfred.

The first verified appearance of the prophesied Christ has already occurred. If He “[…] had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin.“ (John 15:22)
Well then, wouldn't we all be better off if we had never heard anything of God, Jesus or his message, because then we would be free of all guilt! But we know that is false. Even the Bible denies this. For look at the very first book of the Bible. The story of Noah should be enough to prove this false. Innocents who had never heard of God were all summarily killed off, even animals. So this is a lie. It is certainly not a good start to convince non-Christians of the accuracy and supremacy of the Bible. and if this blatant falsehood is protrayed as proof of Jesus, then there is no reason to believe at all. (or maybe telling lies is how proof is given; See Paul in his epistles to the Romans, "For if the truth of God has increased through my lie to His glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner?" [Romans 3:7 NKJV] )

Moreover, God “has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead." (Acts 17:31)
Excuse me, but no proof of anything is not the same as proof of something. Prove that Jesus was raised from the dead first. That is a pretty extraordinary claim, and somebody merely saying it happened is not enough. If it were, then all Christians should be Mormons, since the claim of Joseph Smith should be enough proof that it really happened (The visit by the angel Moroni). Besides we have already seen that the founding Christians, like Paul, were willing to lie to further their evangelical goals, so how can we take a statement by another "Paul" as truth, if it is established that they lie?

So let us continue and examine just what the next five end-times signs Wilfred has lined up to prove to us heathens that the rapture is real.

6. World Energy Supplies

At first you may wonder just what our world energy supplies has to do with rapture and the Bible.. That is an easy one to answer; nothing at all. But, as I am sure you could have guessed by now, the obvious is not what Wilfred wants to discuss:

In recent times, energy prices have been soaring. What could this have to do with the endtimes? It certainly speaks of an eventual end at least of one type — the end of the Oil Age. Our secular observer of this development — whether an energy expert or geopolitical strategist — would agree that oil assuredly will run out some day based upon present-day trends. Moreover, they will also surmise that this will have a destabilizing effect upon the world. But, from the evidence, could they also conclude something more apocalyptic even without reading the Bible?
The answer to his question is: No. Of course everyone agrees that oil will run out. It is a finite quantity after all. But science and almost everyone who is not an insane conservative also knows that new alternatives to oil are possible and should be researched. Science wants to solve the Oil problem -- the energy problem -- by finding new sources of energy, but that requires money. Liberals and heathens want to give them this money, conservatives want to invest in finding new places to drill for oil. ANWR anyone? So no, there is no evidence of "something apocalyptic" coming in terms of energy except that Cheney and Republicans do not want to change from oil. So the problem is the stubbornness of conservatives, not the supply of energy. So, again, conservatives cause the problem and then these end-of-the-world religious nutjobs claim this means something that it does not. What they fail to realize isthat they are only setting up a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Consider these facts: Roughly three-quarters of world oil reserves are found in countries that are either predominantly Islamic or members of the 57-country member Organization of the Islamic Conference. Muslim nations have 3.4 times as much oil per person than the world average and almost 7.7 times as much as major Christian nations — what I call the Top-10-X countries
So what? Oil is found in a region that has also traditionally been Islamic. Let's see what Wilfred says:

These facts and many improbable others relating to the world’s hydrocarbon situation today, beg incredulity and statistical probabilities. Observing all of these improbable facts (For a full list of more than 20, please see the article series in Midnight Call, Final Combustion: Oil, Islam and the Christian West — April to July 2006), a geopolitical analyst today would be alerted to a cosmic time plan that is indeed headed for a flash point.
Improbable? How is it improbable that a valuable resource winds up being discovered in a region that nothing else at all to offer -- thus making that region poor and backward. I would counter with the example of diamonds in South Africa. That region contains many resources other than diamonds, and yet it is still poor. The injection of diamond wealth still did not affect the overall population. And their predominant religion? Christianity. So Wilfred is just chasing a logical fallacy here, trying to equivocate two unrelated facts into one cause and effect.

And that "cosmic time plan"? Well it seems to be that nothing here on earth in terms of resources is infinite and will run out. It is up to humans to either conserve that resource or find alternatives to it when it runs out. Wilfred is an idiot.

7. Populations and Pensions

Can I just skip this with merely the observation that Wilfred is an idiot? No? Ok. I guess it is true that ad hominins do not suffice as logical argument. So the world's population is growing. I can only reiterate that all the world's resources are limited, not just oil. Food and land are limited as well. But increasing the world's population is solely within the religious doctrine of conservative Christianity. Abortion and contraception are bad things to them. They are the ones pushing for a larger population. The problem is of their making. But guess who has the solutions? That's right, the non-Christian heathens, the liberals, and science.

But the obvoius is not where Wilfred goes:
What kind of crisis is expected? Not a population explosion as has been feared in recent decades, but rather an implosion. Where it once was feared that the world would soon be overburdened by too many people, world population growth has since slowed dramatically from the peak rates of the 1960s. Demographic experts are already predicting that the world’s population may actually decline 25 to 50 years from now. Crucially, world population trends have moved from one extreme to another in less than one century — a relatively short span on the human timeline.

What?? I don't know what dope this guy is smoking but I want some. We have added almost a billion people since 2000. And what experts are predicting a decline? All I can find is that there are some who think that we have already overtaxed our resources and thus we cannot sustain our current population. But that is an unproven hypothesis. Other --equally as valid -- experts say that the earth can sustain a human population of 10 billion if our resources are properly managed. The problem with their estimate is that it requires liberal leaders willing to exploit new ideas and new resources instead of conservatives who want the same ol' same ol'.

As it stands today, all our problems are fixable, but only if a new, progressive, leadership is in place to push for it. The environment will not survive if tired old conservative ideals are continued. The oceans, our energy, our farmland all will collapse unless new ideas are used. So the conservatives that Christians push to lead us are the source of the problem facing us all as a population. This means Christianity is the problem, not the actual sustainability of our planet. (I realize I am oversimplifying here, it is religion in general, in other regions of the world the religion for the same attitudes is different, but the general attitudes proffered by religion is the same no matter what the religion or where it is.)
8. Geopolitics and Human Conflict

Ah yes, the war and complete nuclear annhilihation argument. We certainly have that power now in this point of human history. It would also be nice if we had cooler heads prevailing when it comes to war. But as always it is the ultra-conservatives who push for war. Liberals always are on the side of peace. Haven't we had this argument now here in the U.S. since 2003 when Bush and his hawks invaded Iraq? I can only guess that Wilfred was hibernating in his religious cavern during this time.
To some, it appears certain that it will be “religious fundamentalism” that brings the world to this state. Or, it could simply be the warlike characteristic of man in an age of advanced weaponry and geopolitics that must lead to such an outcome. Recently, comments about a possible World War III have been popularized in relation to Iran’s purported nuclear build-up. World wars are a modern invention, the first two of which have only occurred in the last 100 years. Whatever the case or the cause for a WW III, the secular analyst must conclude that it could soon hold dire implications for the world.

Well he has me there. I certainly think it will be religious extremism that ends us as a race. Be that religion Christianity or Islam it does not matter. Religion, as a whole, is the most likely source of our demise. That means religion is the evil among us. So how is this an argument for believing that religion is our savior?

Oh, and for what its worth, Wilfred is completely ignorant of actual world history. There have been a number of world wars before WWI and WWII. They just weren't labeled "world war". The Romans, the Huns, they were warring parties that engulfed the entire known world (at theor respective times) in war. Technology changed but that is about all.
9. Environmental Concerns

Haven't we already covered this many times? Does Wilfred not realize that these things are all intimately connected? Oh, that's right the "environment" to the right means nothing more than "glabal warming."
Is the earth wearing out? Despite the fact that there is a contested debate about global warming and various other environmental issues today, the Bible says that the world will run down. “Lift up your eyes to the heavens, look at the earth beneath; the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment and its inhabitants die like flies.” (Isaiah 51:6) No matter that globalists might want to use such issues as global warming to further their humanist agenda, it is factual that the world is being indelibly changed in our day. Pollution has had an indisputable impact in many ways. Forests are disappearing at a rate that is not sustainable. Fish stocks in the world’s oceans are being gradually depleted. There are a large number of similar developments that are observable in the world, as the wearing out of a garment. Indeed, some effects can be reversed. But all the same, the logical analyst
would still be faced with this question: How long can such trends continue before deeper crises impact the world?

Whoa! What else if left for me to say. I could write something very similar to this to prove Wilfred wrong. "Humanist agenda." Yeah, that is the agenda where we humans want to protect and preserve our world and our environment so that it endures well beyond our own meager lifetimes. It is the religionist agenda that selfishly abuses every single resource we have with no thought for tomorrow or much less a century from now. It is the religionist agenda that craves war and conflict. It is the religionist agenda that sucks up all the wealth from every other sector of humanity. And in answer to Wilfred's question, those trends can only last until religion as a whole is dropped from the human collective. Then things can begin to improve. The end-times that Wilfred envisions is one solely and wholly created by religion. "Humanism" is the only rational and reasonable solution.
10. Technology Signs
One would expect that this would be a diatribe railing against all modern technology which has caused as much harm as good. But you would be wrong. In fact Wilfred goes in the exact opposite direction. His claim is that all our modern technology should be seen as showing even more proof that God created everything. How this fits in with his main thesis -- that these are the top ten things a heathen would recognize as being signs of the end-times is beyond me. This seems to prove the exact opposite..
But there is a paradox in all this. Consider that two thousand years ago Apostle Paul could write this: “For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20)
If Paul at that time — pre-technology and pre-modern-science — could deduce that God must exist based upon knowledge about the physical universe known then, why not more so today? That should be the logical conclusion. Yet, modern man has taken the opposite posture. He chooses to worship mankind itself rather that the original Creator of all this know-how in the first place.

I think that today's known human knowledge shows the exact opposite of what he claims. The size and nature of the universe is the exact opposite of what the bible teaches. The age of the universe contradicts what the bible claims. And these are simply facts, we are not even considering the theories which arise from these facts.

Oh and just what knowledge of the universe did Paul possess? That the sun revolved around the earth, that the earth was flat, that the stars could fall to the earth, that demons caused disease and prayer could cure said disease. There is no knowledge at all in that which could be said to be useful in understanding the universe, or even God, for it was all wrong. If the knowledge used at that time to create a god was wrong then there could have been no god at all, if the knowledge we have today shows there is no god then this is not somehow tristed proof that there really is a god, as Wilfred claims.

From there he has a few closing comments. Here is one:
Christians have even less excuse. There are 2500-year old Bible prophecies that can only take place in an advanced technological age such as today. For example, the statement about the two witness that “for three and a half days men from every people, tribe, language and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse them burial” (Revelation 11:9) has obvious implications. This could only occur as of this last half-century — the era of communications satellites. What nation, language or kindred people’s today would not have access to the internet or television over a 3 and ½ day period?

Could there possibly be any more of a ridiculuous statement? The inclusion of three and a half days proves that the Bible writers knew of satellites and the internet? How absurd is that? I guess the fact that the known world at that time was all contained within a small area, and the other areas, Africa and Asia were considered off-limits and not-essential. (consider this statement regarding Paul: "Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia." Here is the quote in context: Acts 16:5-7 [New King James Version]. ) Ignoring huge chunks of the world certainly makes it a smaller place don't you think?

But even more importantly, look at that passage again. What does it have to do at all with all tribes knowing about all other tribes at all? What does it saying about knowing anything at all about everything going on in the world at all? It takes a warped mind to read the internet and satellite communication into that passage.

But I have to say this, and I cannot stress this strongly enough. I have to thank our good friend Wilfred. For he has proven to me that without a doubt Christian thought and the foundations of current Christian thought are fully without any merit or validity at all. Wilfred has done more to strengthen my disbelief than all the atheist writers I have read, combined.

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