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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Food troubles are here to stay

Another dimension of Israel. It’s hard to grasp the extent to which oil is a part of our lives until the reality starts to hit us in the face and pocketbooks. And even then, some of us still don’t grasp it, or don’t care because they’re fine now.

Christians, let’s use our greatest resource – the church – to start addressing some of the problems people – whether the average American, or those in Haiti or Indonesia or Israel – are running into and try our best to raise awareness and develop plans of action, because they’re going to get worse.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/980076.html

The government sends calming signals and says no dramatic shortages are expected. The Economist says do nothing, market forces will sort it all out. But as the global food-price crisis hit Israel this week, something told us we are not being told the whole story.

Around the world food prices are soaring. Since January 2006, the price of rice has risen by 217 percent. Wheat, corn and soybean prices have more than doubled, and in several countries, milk and meat prices have also doubled.

Food prices and falling wages have sparked riots in more than 30 countries from Bangladesh to Egypt to Haiti – where the prices of rice, beans, fruit and condensed milk have gone up 50 percent over a few months, while the price of fuel has tripled.

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Nearly 1 in 5 troops has mental problems after war service

Hopefully most of you have been aware of the prevalence of PTSD in Iraq war veterans. Those who need the most help are most always going to be on the margins. By miracle or simply persistence, I believe Christ can help them. Let’s live the life of service and freedom together!

link

WASHINGTON (AP) — Roughly one in every five U.S. troops who have survived the bombs and other dangers of Iraq and Afghanistan now suffers from major depression or post-traumatic stress, an independent study said Thursday. It estimated the toll at 300,000 or more.

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Riots, instability spread as food prices skyrocket

Does anyone honestly think that we’re going to engineer ourselves out of this mess? That 2012 apocalypse prediction is really not looking so out of the question after all, is it?

This blog has been repeating the same old theme: a coming apocalypse from a confluence of anthropological, economic, and natural factors, which seems interminably headed towards the direction of a die-off, global war, or any other of the major disasters mankind has faced in its short history. Christian brothers, how can we honestly sit here doing nothing? Has your church made you that out of touch, that you would ignore the suffering of those around you? Examine yourself and see if your faith is tried and true.

(CNN) — Riots from Haiti to Bangladesh to Egypt over the soaring costs of basic foods have brought the issue to a boiling point and catapulted it to the forefront of the world’s attention, the head of an agency focused on global development said Monday.

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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Energy Crunch Threatens South American Nations

By now the talk about global warming on this site amounts to beating a dead horse, as the granting of the Nobel prize to Al Gore should demonstrate. Clearly, because we fail to take necessary action now as well as in the immediate (as in, the next 3-5 years) future, we are headed towards some catastrophic changes in the way the ecosphere functions to support our main life support systems. There are irreversible changes occurring all around the planet due to the chain of events started by industrialization, the least of which are the opening up of the Northwest passage, the melting of the Siberian permafrost (releasing massive amounts of methane, a far more potent source of pollution than carbon dioxide), rapid melting of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, and increases in chaotic weather (and I’m putting it mildly – like the recent 40 degree drop in temperature from 90 to 50 in the past few days here in Chicago), to name a few.

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Vatican: Non-Catholics ‘wounded’ by not recognizing pope

As horrible as such a decree might sound, I think it actually brings the true catholic “Church” nearer to truth – in terms of orthopraxis – although it’s clearly offset by its person/institution of origin. The bare fact is that the Church is to be as a united and uniformly pure gathering of individuals after the return of Jesus, not as some arbitrary decree from a “recognized” (that is, recognizably flawed) institution like that of the Vatican.

That said, as a follower of the Way, our identity is formed and dictated by our relationship to God and one another, not to any earthly institutions.

Vatican: Non-Catholics ‘wounded’ by not recognizing pope

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) — The Vatican on Tuesday said Christian denominations outside the Roman Catholic Church were not full churches of Jesus Christ.

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