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This is a serious inquiry, and not a troll for arguing Christian theology. And sorry, I couldn't think of a more efficient way of asking the question in the subject title. But my inquiry is this: are there Christian sects who believe in the basic tenets of the Christian faith, without believing that there will ever be an Apocalypse or a Second Coming. Or, to put a finer point on it: that those aforementioned events and the Book of Revelation as a whole are unnecessary for Christian faith?
 
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Brickmaster wrote:
This is a serious inquiry, and not a troll for arguing Christian theology. And sorry, I couldn't think of a more efficient way of asking the question in the subject title. But my inquiry is this: are there Christian sects who believe in the basic tenets of the Christian faith, without believing that there will ever be an Apocalypse or a Second Coming. Or, to put a finer point on it: that those aforementioned events and the Book of Revelation as a whole are unnecessary for Christian faith?


I think all the Christians who might have fit this bill were bullied into compliance by Saul.
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The apocalypse is near.
 
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Both are fundamental tenets of mainstream, orthodox Christianity (Protestant, Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, etc). So if a sect like that existed, it would probably be deemed heretical or cult-like by the orthodox church.
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Unitarian Universalists are historically christian but in practice is a congregation that encourages its members to seek their spirituality from a variety of sources.

Or as I was told:
"You should come to the UU church!"
"I'm an atheist."
"Great! You'll fit right in!"
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What you have is pretty different interpretation on how literal Revelations is. Some protestants expect it to happen pretty much as written. Catholics don't take the details nearly as seriously.
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Yes, there are, but they probably aren't considered Christians by mainstream Christians. The new-wave/new-age Gnostic Christians read the concept of apocalypse and second-coming as a metaphor, not a literal prophetic event, as akin to a great personal spiritual transformation which destroys and makes new the ego or self, rather than a terrible event that destroys and makes new the world. The word apocalypse means TO UNCOVER OR REVEAL, and the goal of gnostic belief is a tearing away of the veil of reality that separates man from omnipresent God - no different, really than the aims of Sufism or Kabbalah. But of course that stinks of magick and occultism to a lot of mainstream Christians, especially in the American protestant environment which has gone to great lengths to stomp out any sort of mysticism before it starts (in the same way that the Catholics have historically gone to great lengths to stomp out mysticism before it starts.)

Check out the Nag Hammadi, especially The Gospel of Thomas for the historical example of this kind of teaching, or you can examine it from another perspective by reading Leo Tolstoy's The Kingdom Of God Is Within You, and The Gospel In Brief.
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CrankyPants wrote:
Unitarian Universalists are historically christian but in practice is a congregation that encourages its members to seek their spirituality from a variety of sources.

Or as I was told:
"You should come to the UU church!"
"I'm an atheist."
"Great! You'll fit right in!"


I was likewise going to suggest the Unitarians.
 
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Not here. I think that it is likely that an evident and ever pressing modern day problem that needs to be solved, and yes I have a specific one in mind, will be the cause of most joining into something that is not looked upon favorably by God. I do not subscribe to the evil antagonists running around in the pages of the left behind series. It is more nuanced than that. Most everyone will look at the end day, compromise that you shouldn't have made as logical, beneficial to the human race, and fairly harmless. That is my opinion.

And for the record I believe I will recognize said decision, whereas many others will not, and probably just agree to it anyway for the sake of convenience and love.

I do not see an antichrist figure as for sure knowing that they are evil at all. They would not have to ever know.
 
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Kevin C wrote:
Brickmaster wrote:
This is a serious inquiry, and not a troll for arguing Christian theology. And sorry, I couldn't think of a more efficient way of asking the question in the subject title. But my inquiry is this: are there Christian sects who believe in the basic tenets of the Christian faith, without believing that there will ever be an Apocalypse or a Second Coming. Or, to put a finer point on it: that those aforementioned events and the Book of Revelation as a whole are unnecessary for Christian faith?


I think question conflates a few points.

Many bible scholars have adopted a preterist reading of Revelation - that it is primarily a commentary on contemporary events. Under this reading, a belief in the future events of Revelation is not necessary to the Christian faith, because it is an allegorical commentary on events which have already happened.

However, the phrase 'He will come again to judge the living and the dead' does appear in the creeds, so rejection of any kind of second coming would be unorthodox with respect to creedal Christianity.

However what that entails is also open to discussion. For example in the early church a majority of schools were either universalist or annihilationist - believing that non-believers would be saved or cease to exist, rather than go to hell. These schools were sidelined with the rise of Roman Christianity.


I have some preterist leanings myself.

TheChin! wrote:

I think all the Christians who might have fit this bill were bullied into compliance by Saul.


It's not accurate to call the second coming strictly Pauline. It's mentioned in all four gospels, by the author of Hebrews, and by Peter:


Matthew 24:30 "At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory.

Mark 13:26-27 At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.

Luke 9:26-27 If anyone I fanyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God."

John 14:1-4 "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God ; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going."

Hebrews 9:28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

2 Peter 3:8-10 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is ike a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to peris, but everyone to come to repentance. 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.


In short, I think you would have to cut out large parts of the Bible to not believe in SOME type of return of Christ.
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Kevin C wrote:
Brickmaster wrote:
This is a serious inquiry, and not a troll for arguing Christian theology. And sorry, I couldn't think of a more efficient way of asking the question in the subject title. But my inquiry is this: are there Christian sects who believe in the basic tenets of the Christian faith, without believing that there will ever be an Apocalypse or a Second Coming. Or, to put a finer point on it: that those aforementioned events and the Book of Revelation as a whole are unnecessary for Christian faith?


I think question conflates a few points.

Many bible scholars have adopted a preterist reading of Revelation - that it is primarily a commentary on contemporary events. Under this reading, a belief in the future events of Revelation is not necessary to the Christian faith, because it is an allegorical commentary on events which have already happened.

However, the phrase 'He will come again to judge the living and the dead' does appear in the creeds, so rejection of any kind of second coming would be unorthodox with respect to creedal Christianity.

However what that entails is also open to discussion. For example in the early church a majority of schools were either universalist or annihilationist - believing that non-believers would be saved or cease to exist, rather than go to hell. These schools were sidelined with the rise of Roman Christianity.


Well, I'm definitely a preterist.
 
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Osirus wrote:
CrankyPants wrote:
Unitarian Universalists are historically christian but in practice is a congregation that encourages its members to seek their spirituality from a variety of sources.

Or as I was told:
"You should come to the UU church!"
"I'm an atheist."
"Great! You'll fit right in!"


I was likewise going to suggest the Unitarians.

Who are not considered to be orthodox by orthodox Christians.
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I would suggest you try the Quakers, but if you really want to avoid eschatological nonsense, I'd suggest steering away from religion in general.
 
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One book suggestion for the OP:



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happyjosiah wrote:
It's not accurate to call the second coming strictly Pauline.


Christ is coming back as a woman?
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As a Christian, I actually do think some of Jesus' and other prophecies in Revelation and rest of the New Testament did have immediate fulfillment in the 1st Century. Especially as they related to the destruction of the Temple in 72 AD and the diaspora. But I don't believe it was ALL fulfilled.

The main issue I have with preterism (and amillenialism for that matter) is that there is too much pain and suffering in the world today for me to believe that Christ is reigning on earth.

One of the most amazing (and fulfilled) prophecies in the bible is that Israel exists as a nation today. As a result, I also believe that a literal, new temple will be built in Jerusalem. Revelation refers to it being a central location during the 'end times' and yet it doesn't exist yet. It will. It's being hotly discussed today and there's a Temple Institute working towards it. Revelation even talks about the new temple not including the 'outer court because is has been given to the Gentiles.' (Rev 11.2). The Dome of the Rock sits on the site traditionally considered to be the 'outer court.'

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wysire wrote:
One of the most amazing (and fulfilled) prophecies in the bible is that Israel exists as a nation today


Paging Moshe to Aisle 3...
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Geosphere wrote:
wysire wrote:
One of the most amazing (and fulfilled) prophecies in the bible is that Israel exists as a nation today


Paging Moshe to Aisle 3...


No need. I am a Christian and also strongly disagree with this interpretation of those passages.
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Thank you for introducing me to the concept of preterism. I'll look into that further.
 
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Geosphere wrote:
wysire wrote:
One of the most amazing (and fulfilled) prophecies in the bible is that Israel exists as a nation today


Paging Moshe to Aisle 3...

I'll be circumspect in my answer, especially since for all those fellow Jews not here in Israel today is still a religious holiday.

So that I am up-front with my prejudices, I am personally not a Zionist in the proper sense of the word. I am a religious Jew and politically am as patriotic to my country as for example many Americans are towards the US, perhaps more than many Europeans are to their own respective countries.

Religious Zionism accepts that the creation of the modern state of Israel has religious significance and either does fulfill certain prophecies or sets things up so that certain prophecies can be fulfilled. I am skeptical of these claims because they seem to work only if one is so loose with interpretation as to make the prophecies virtually meaningless in the sense they could mean anything one wants.

Still the religious Zionists (as opposed to the secular Zionists) are a respected group in Judaism. I just happen to disagree with their views.
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happyjosiah wrote:

Matthew 24:30 "At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory.

Mark 13:26-27 At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.

Luke 9:26-27 If anyone I fanyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God."

John 14:1-4 "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God ; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going."

Hebrews 9:28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

2 Peter 3:8-10 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is ike a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to peris, but everyone to come to repentance. 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.
[/i]

In short, I think you would have to cut out large parts of the Bible to not believe in SOME type of return of Christ.


For total accuracy sake, according to this timeline:
http://amazingbibletimeline.com/bible_questions/q1_bible_who...

Only the Matthew quote could be said to be pre-Saul influenced since the rest of them were written after Saul started to subvert the church to his vision. Also according to that site, Saul wrote Hebrews. Having said that, do we have any pre-Saul untainted copies of Matthew?

For my own confidence, I'd need to see texts from Christian sects before Saul's alleged conversion and subsequent rise to power. I'm not aware of any that have survived.
 
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TheChin! wrote:
happyjosiah wrote:

Matthew 24:30 "At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory.

Mark 13:26-27 At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.

Luke 9:26-27 If anyone I fanyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God."

John 14:1-4 "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God ; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going."

Hebrews 9:28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

2 Peter 3:8-10 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is ike a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to peris, but everyone to come to repentance. 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.
[/i]

In short, I think you would have to cut out large parts of the Bible to not believe in SOME type of return of Christ.


For total accuracy sake, according to this timeline:
http://amazingbibletimeline.com/bible_questions/q1_bible_who...

Only the Matthew quote could be said to be pre-Saul influenced since the rest of them were written after Saul started to subvert the church to his vision. Also according to that site, Saul wrote Hebrews. Having said that, do we have any pre-Saul untainted copies of Matthew?

For my own confidence, I'd need to see texts from Christian sects before Saul's alleged conversion and subsequent rise to power. I'm not aware of any that have survived.


That timeline seems weird/suspect since Mark is generally accepted as being the earliest of the gospels. I'm wondering where they get the claim Matthew is earlier.
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wysire wrote:

One of the most amazing (and fulfilled) prophecies in the bible is that Israel exists as a nation today. As a result, I also believe that a literal, new temple will be built in Jerusalem. Revelation refers to it being a central location during the 'end times' and yet it doesn't exist yet. It will. It's being hotly discussed today and there's a Temple Institute working towards it. Revelation even talks about the new temple not including the 'outer court because is has been given to the Gentiles.' (Rev 11.2). The Dome of the Rock sits on the site traditionally considered to be the 'outer court.'



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-fulfilling_prophecy
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