Eastern Orthodox Christian Perspective on the “End Times”

Some time in 2007, I happened to be tuned in to a radio station and heard a discussion that struck me as highly relevant to this blog. Unfortunately, I wrote a draft but never got to the point of publishing it. So, 6 years later, here it is!

>> I was listening to the radio today and was amazed at how many of the apocalyptic points he hit on that overlapped with the site’s content. Although I’m not sure what to make of some of his theology, I do want to say that his knowledge of world affairs and evaluation of the direction the world is headed in is expansive and realistic, and stems from a strongly biblical perspective. Some major points he touches on are the compatibility of faith and reason, anthropologically-driven apocalypse, the unsustainability of modern civilization, and a few doctrinal issues.

Original link, now broken: http://www.wbez.org/Program_WV_Segment.aspx?segmentID=13012

Chicago Public Radio program description: Many in the United States are unfamiliar with the Eastern Orthodox Church. Many believe it’s just a Greek or Russian version of the Roman Catholic Church. Closer examination reveals that this ancient branch of Christianity differs from Roman Catholicism and also Protestantism in significant ways.

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Happy 2008 everybody!

The decade of our doom draws closer (half kidding. And the alliteration was just by happenstance).

In the meantime, I’ve been reading a book called “The Fourth Turning” by Strauss and Howe describing the cyclical pattern of history, roughly divided into 4 “quarters”: High, Awakening, Unraveling, and Crisis. They say with conviction that the US is approaching a Crisis in the next four years, and characterize US Turnings as roughly 70 years long. Great news, eh?

I’ll be praying for both me and all of you out there. May God be glorified through our lives in these tough times.

Financial News: Crisis soars as fraud and scandal collapse

The level of crisis in the securities and investment banking industry is at its highest since records began, according to the Financial News annual Crisis Index.

The unique Financial News family of indices measures references to collapse, crisis, fraud and scandal in articles in Financial News and on Financial News Online each year. To create each index, the frequency of mentions is rebased to 100 starting in 1998 to reflect the three-and-a-half fold increase in the number of articles published by Financial News in the past decade.

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Global Warming Is Being Seriously Underestimated

I know I haven’t been posting in awhile. The workload at school has become unexpectedly large, and it has unfortunately caused me to detract from writing anything of significance on this blog, which I think to both your and my detriment.

That said, there have been a number of things I wanted to comment on but haven’t gotten around to doing. I was (and am still) locked in conversation with my last thread-mate, sianamech, but our exchanges have gotten unmanagably longer, which I am trying (unsuccessfully) to parcel out time for (sorry sianimech).

If anything, though, the time I’ve spent in my return to school has been revealing in that it’s shown me how entrenched people really are to this idea of “sustainable growth,” and things essentially staying the same way they are. I think that’s farcical (click on some of the topics under “apocalypse” to see why), and this latest article just serves to underscore that in an unbelievably major way. May God’s people be a light in these dark times ahead.

Global Warming Is Being Seriously Underestimated
By John James

03 February, 2007
Countercurrents.org

“One of the hardest tasks we face in life is to be the bearer of seriously bad news … I now have to bring the worst of news … that civilisation is in grave danger.”

James Lovelock, The Revenge of Gaia.

A number of simply gigantic reserves of greenhouse gasses that nature has stored for our benefit are now beginning to flood back into the atmosphere, as described in http://www.planetextinction.com.

In addition to what nature gives back to us, our own greenhouse pollution has almost doubled since 2001. There are a number of major natural sources, besides our own. We are beginning to have some idea of the total on the planet, but the speed at which these ancient stores will be released is still completely uncertain.

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Global warming will cost world $9 trillion: report

If someone knows where I can find a copy of the Stern report they mention, please drop me a line.

Indeed, with reports like this coming out nearly every day, it’s hard not to be schizophrenic.

via ABC News Online Australia.

The world’s biggest economic evaluation of climate change says if countries do not act now the world will face a depression worse than that of the 1930s.

The report puts the global cost of global warming and its effects at $A9 trillion – a bill greater than the combined cost of the two world wars and the Great Depression. It represents a fifth of the global economy.

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>10 mins ago: Sunny, 67 degrees Now: Thundershower, 59 degrees

I live frugally in a 3-bedroom apartment with roommates – three in the bedrooms and one on the couch (after a spat with mom).

This roommate (CR for Crashing Roomie) helped me realize something in the past few days: I’ve been treating my cats way too nicely and became calloused to CR’s condition. Given a single thin blanket CR was basically shivering through the night for the last week and I did nothing about it.

Instead, I concentrated all my attention on the stray cat I finally managed to coax into the apartment, and making sure the other cat was getting attention and had a napping place for the night instead of the cold floor (my other roommate hasn’t bought a bed quite yet).

This created the situation where the roommate crashing on the couch became increasingly irritable.

CR also claims to be Christian, which further complicated the matter for me. I invited CR to join me in going to church, but due to the distance I got declined. As a result, CR has been watching a televangelist/baptist to “get filled”, which I have strong objections to.

This led to the point where I had to ask, point-blank, “I’m wondering to what extent this guy is acting and to what extent he’s preaching.”

And this is where I noticed CR’s irritation: “I’m not going to argue with you. I know him personally and went to his church.”

I stood around for another 20 minutes to watch him repeat the sermon topic “God will protect us. God will prosper us” (which was basically a repeat of the message last week).

Long story short, I bought CR a blanket and pillow, apologized for not getting it earlier, and asked God for forgiveness. It seems CR is in a better mood now.

In any case, the reasoning to the naming of this post was the inexplicable quickness by which these storm clouds came in, darkened the sky, and spat out a shower that made washing of the filthy city grime on my window quick work. I was reminded of the passage in 2 Peter of Jesus’ second coming:

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.

2 Peter 3:10

Rich nations seek stable global path

The problem with economics educations these days is that the most important points – such as market failure (e.g., failure to account for the cost of polluting mutually beneficial community space) – become so marginalized they eventually become tossed by the roadside of free-marketeerism. [google: environmental economists]

And so we fall into the sheeple mentality where “our leaders” will do something about it. “Our leaders” will stand for us. “Our leaders” will protect us, etc.

Leaders can include all types of people, and they’re not necessarily evil. But when people such as the President or pastors are looked at as “lifelong” or even just “life” leaders, we’ve got a big problem.

That is why I write this blog. I want to challenge you to think independently, think logically (e.g., why trust the government vs. “just don’t trust the government”), and to seek God’s guidance and Jesus’ example in thinking correctly (or alternatively, with moral responsibility).

99.9% of our “leaders” lack this attitude, and that is why the continued exploitation of the poor, among many other injustices, will continue to the very end of the Age.

New York Times via International Herald Tribune.

By Steven R. Weisman The New York Times
SEPTEMBER 17, 2006

SINGAPORE Even before the conclusion of the annual gathering of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, a striking swing in the global order has been obvious. China and other fast-growing developing countries are demanding a bigger say in the aging institutions that superintend the world economy.

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Situation in Zim ‘tragic’ – IMF

Some more bright news from everyone’s favorite slave-state inducing economists at the IMF:

1200%, people. That means your 50 cent bag of chips in the vending machine would now cost $4; your gas would cost $36/gal. In addition there’s a drought. So the potato field you would plant in response to the prevention of your family’s starvation would be decimated.

I wish I could get some statistics on current worldwide droughts (read my post on the drought in the Amazon), because “modern agriculture” is in response tapping underground water tables and freshwater streams en masse (in addition to multinational corporations like Coke and Pepsi), which is causing rapid decreases of water supplies in many places.

This means:

  • In probably 20-30 years, no more underground water reserves in many areas.
  • Prolonged droughts will become the norm for many areas.
  • Without sufficient transport (oil-powered trucks or boats), many will be forced to immigrate or starve.
  • Due to massive immigration, many countries already above carrying capacity will have to shoulder the load of more illegals as well as feeding their own populations.
  • What will probably happen is point 3.

The Age of Cheap Oil is over. Any suggestions as for what we should do?
http://www.news24.com/News24/Africa/Zimbabwe/0,,2-11-1662_2000057,00.html

Singapore – The economic prospects for Zimbabwe are “grim”, the International Monetary Fund said on Saturday, after data from the southern African nation showed annual inflation rose to a record high above 1 200% in August.

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