Future Outlook

Ideas about what's to come

     In the Limbo chapter of Storm's book, linked below, he describes an apparition, in 1985, at Merton's grave, in the cemetery of the Trappist abbey of Gethsemane, Kentucky, of the Catholic priest and Trappist monk Thomas Merton (who died in 1968), and claims that Bill (William) Crawford, who was then pastor of a UCC (United Church of Christ) church in Fort Thomas, Kentucky, saw it with him.
     Crawford, of Huntington, West Virginia, confirmed, by telephone, on June 13, 2004, that he had seen that man (though his memory of the incident had dimmed, after almost 19 years).
     And, for "credibility issues", why would Storm have left a tenured full professorship, and department chairmanship, to eventually become pastor of a then-declining church in a declining neighborhood in Norwood, Ohio, in the UCC (a denomination in which most people haven't heard of him)?
     Many people, especially Americans, would regard the material below as crackpot lunacy -- and, with limited human perception, it may be very hard to tell whether some sort of fraud or delusion is involved in it --
     However, we might do well to look at the situations of those involved in these assertions:
     The afterword in the 2000 edition of Storm's book, below, was written by George Ritchie, a psychiatrist, and author of the 1978 book Return From Tomorrow, in which he describes his near-death experience in 1943; and the foreword to Ritchie's book is by Raymond Moody, a psychiatrist and author of the 1975 book Life After Life.
     The foreword to the 2005 edition of Storm's book is by Anne Rice, whose name and picture have appeared in Barnes & Noble advertising materials.
     (And, those books by Storm and Ritchie seem to complement each other well: they each emphasize different things.)

     The book My descent into death, by Howard Storm (2005), has descriptions of the future of mankind, which he claims were told to him by "the higher powers", during his "near-death experience" in 1985 (summary).
     (Though Storm is a pastor in the UCC, that book doesn't exclusively propagate some particular religion, such as Christianity: in its Chapter 9, Reality, he asked them, "Which is the best religion?"; they replied, "The religion that brings you closest to God." He asked, "But which one is that?"; they replied, "There are good people in bad religions and there are bad people in good religions. It is not so important which religion, but what individuals do with the religion they have been given. Religions are a vehicle to take you to a destination. The purpose of religion is to help you have a personal relationship with God.....
     "God abhors the misuse of religion that creates divisiveness between people, that justifies violence, that promotes pride in self-righteousness. God is far greater than any religion.")
     (This seems to coincide with Raymond A. Moody's material, quoted in Inter-faith Religion.)
     In Chapter 6, The Past and the Future, Storm tells how they told him, in 1985, that the Cold War would soon end, because "God is changing the hearts of people to love around the world." (At the end of that chapter, he says, "Since 1985, when I was told these things about the future, the Cold War ended with little bloodshed.")
     Storm goes on to describe what he claims they told him, about the way things will be on earth in about 2185; and then states: "Will the United States," I asked, "be the leader of the world in this change?"; they replied, "The United States has been given the opportunity to be the teacher for the world, but much is expected of those to whom much has been given. The United States has been given more of everything than any country in the history of the world, and it has failed to be generous with the gifts. If the United States continues to exploit the rest of the world by greedily consuming the world's resources [the US has been the largest consumer of petroleum in the world -- what was the conquest of Iraq really about?], it will have God's blessing withdrawn. Your country will collapse economically [US Debt Follies, US Unfunded Liability], which will result in civil chaos. Because of the greedy nature of [the]* people, you will have people killing people for a cup of gasoline. The world will watch in horror as your country is obliterated by strife. The rest of the world will not intervene because they have been victims of your exploitation. They will welcome the annihilation of such selfish people. The United States must change immediately and become the teacher of goodness and generosity to the rest of the world. Today the United States is the primary merchant of war and the culture of violence that you export to the world. This will come to an end because you have the seeds of your own destruction within you. Either you will destroy yourselves or God will bring it to an end if there isn't a change.
     ".... I don't know if the richest country in the history of the world is doomed to lose God's blessing or if the people of the United States will become the moral light of the world. How long will God allow the injustice to continue? The future lies in the choices we make right now. God is intervening in direct ways in human events. May God's will be done on earth as it is in heaven."

     * This word "the" appears in the 2000 edition, but was omitted in the 2005 edition (apparently, as a "typo") -- the word seems to imply a singular reference to the US population, as "greedy"


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