Definition of Irony: why “end times” believers might actually trigger the end times

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Like many of you, I grew up as an end-times believer.

I mean pre-tribulation rapture, antichrist, battle of Armageddon, and the whole nine yards.

While other kids were thinking about where they were going to go to college, I was worried that the rapture would come before I had sex.

Or worse, that I would actually have sex but that the rapture would happen while I was having sex… and well, that would certainly be disappointing and awkward all at the same time.

Thankfully, none of that happened. Even better is the fact that it’s not going to, because the rapture is a hoax.

Walking away from a belief in the “end times” and all the baggage that comes with it wasn’t easy. Strangely enough, it was actually quite frightening to let go of such a pessimistic view of the future in lieu of a healthy, optimistic, eschatology. You’d think such a trade would be easy, but it wasn’t.

Back in 2007, my wife took me on a weekend get-away to Boston because she wanted me to meet her friend Joe who had done two master’s at Gordon-Conwell and was getting ready to do his PhD in Theology at the University of Aberdeen. She was hoping that introducing us would gently prod me into going to seminary, but at least temporarily, the plan backfired.

The conversation with Joe went great, until he started talking about the rapture being a joke. I still remember walking back to the car when we left dinner, telling my wife what a heretic the guy was… shocked that she would have friends like that. I mean, he was only a theologian who went to one of the top seminaries in the world, and I was a punk who went to Word of Life and Liberty University… so what did he know? (flash forward: he’s now one of my best mates)

The world was ending and the rapture was imminent, I steadfastly believed.

Until I didn’t anymore.

When I ended up in seminary, no less than a week went by before I realized that end-times believers were actually the minority in Christianity and believed an entire worldview that wasn’t in the Bible (go look– there’s no falling planes, no taxi cabs going off the road, no scenes where millions of people missing… it’s NOT there. I can’t even refute a passage about it, because there aren’t any passages to refute.)

Ultimately, I realized that while everyone else had been busy improving the world, I had wasted my time worrying that Jesus was going to walk in on me having sex.

It was so disappointing to find out I had been duped all those years.

I felt like I had just found out there was no Santa Clause, no Easter Bunny, and got kicked in the groin, all in the same day.

It was horrible.

But beautiful too, because it led me to a healthy, optimistic, Biblical world-view. Not the crap that had been fed into my mind by fundamentalist preachers, but the real-deal biblical message of hope.

I discovered that the entire end-times movement was new on the scene of Christianity, something created by John Nelson Darby in the 1800′s. He invented the concept of a rapture, that the world was getting progressively worse, and even taught his followers that it was biblical to be pessimistic about the future– admonishing an entire generation who were busy improving society.

And, it worked. Until he arrived on the scene, Christians were incredibly optimistic and were busy trying to make the world the kind of place that Jesus would actually want to come back to. They fought against slavery, poverty, and were engaged in long-term quests to improve the fabric of society.

EndTimesUntil they eventually bought into the idea that the world was ending, so why bother? With the first World War, the pessimistic teachings of Darby started to make sense- the second Word War sealed the deal. A man named Scofield picked up Darby’s teachings and published the Scofield Study Bible with the teachings of Darby mixed into the pages in such a way that the teachings of scripture and teachings of Darby became indistinguishable.

Combine this with the fact that “Bible Schools” began to crop up all around the US for the express purpose of spreading Darby’s teachings throughout the world, the game was over. Darby and Scofield had (or have) single handedly become responsible for creating mulit-generations of American Christians who think the world is ending and act accordingly.

Well, it’s not, and you shouldn’t.

Yes, Jesus is coming back some day- but not in a hail of gunfire. In Matthew 24 Jesus promised his disciples that the tribulation they would experience prior to the destruction of the temple in AD 70 would be the worst in all of human history– that from there, things would always be better. He promised Peter that as we built the church, not even the gates of hell would ever be able to stop us.

But, much of my tribe lives as if that’s untrue and would rather plan for Armageddon than work for healthcare or immigration reform.

the-end-is-nearWhile the Bible doesn’t teach that the world is going to end in a hail of gunfire, end-times believers actually might make that come to a reality all on their own.

Ironically, end-times believers might actually trigger the “end times”.

What my former community has failed to realize (among 9,172 other things according to my records) is that eschatology impacts your worldview, worldview impacts your behavior, and behavior determines the future.

 

The things we believe deep inside (even if we don’t realize we believe them) drive our behavior in the here-and-now, and our behavior in the here-and-now has great bearing on future events.

 For example:

If one chooses to believe in their heart that they are unlovable, they eventually assimilate to that core belief and start behaving in accordance with it– they start behaving as someone who isn’t easy to love, and end up alienated in relationships.

If we believe that a certain situation will never work out the way we would like, eventually we start behaving as if the situation has already failed– and thus, snatch failure from the jaws of success.

Core beliefs drive our behavior, even when we don’t realize it. Behavior simply points to the core belief and gives us a clue as to it’s identity. Behavior is merely a symptom of a deeper disease.

 This is where end times fanaticism gets ironic enough for an Alanis Morissette song.

 If we believe the world is getting progressively worse until the end comes, we will be a people who start behaving that way. If we start behaving that way, we’ll stop investing into long-term multi-generational ways to improve society. If we stop investing into the future and capitulate to our own crappy theology, well…

We might see our belief come true.

We might see Climate Change creep in and begin to destroy our planet.

We might shrug our shoulders at the thought of melting icecaps, drowning polar bears, and decimated ecosystems- chalking it up to some liberal hoax.

If we believe that more war is necessary before Jesus returns, we might just be a people who- at best- welcome war, and at worst, become gleeful and bloodthirsty with every skirmish in the middle east.

If we believe society will move in the path of deterioration instead of wholeness, we might find ourselves acting like separatists, arming our homes like they are military compounds, and disengaging from culture at large.

If we believe that the end is near, well… we might just start acting like it.

This is why end-times theology is so dangerous- it creates underlying belief systems that are contrary to what Jesus teaches us in scripture, and we begin acting upon them instead of following Jesus.

Our forefathers created a mess with this theology, and many of them got rich from peddling it.

We need to return people to the beautiful, hopeful message of Jesus.

We need to be investing in the future as if there is a tomorrow.

We need to be caring for creation as if it were God’s original mandate to humanity (news flash: it was).

We need to work tirelessly as peace makers, believing that we can actually move closer and closer to that realization.

This false theology has hindered the Jesus Revolution in the same way that our false beliefs about ourselves hinder our daily relationships.

It’s time to let go of the pessimism, and embrace an optimistic God.

If we don’t, we just might usher in the end of civilization.

And wouldn’t that be more ironic than anything Alanis sang about?

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About Benjamin L. Corey

Benjamin L. Corey, is an Anabaptist author, speaker, and blogger. His first book, Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus (Release date, August 2014), tells the story of his journey out of lifeless religion and into a fresh expression of Christianity. He is also a contributor for Sojourners, Red Letter Christians, Evangelicals for Social Action, Mennonite World Review, has been a guest on Huffington Post Live, and is one of the CANA Initiators. Ben is also a syndicated author for MennoNerds, a collective of Mennonite and Anabaptist writers. He is a two-time graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (Theology & Missiology), is currently a Doctor of Missiology/Intercultural Studies student at Fuller Seminary, and is a member of the Phi Alpha Chi Honors Society. Ben is also co-host of That God Show with Matthew Paul Turner. Ben lives in Auburn, Maine with his wife Tracy and his daughter Johanna.

You can also follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

  • Laura Shattuck

    I can only say WOW!

  • http://thewriter58.com Mark Lee Schnitzer

    fantastic article….I completely agree.

    I was one of those “Distant Thunder”, “Left Behind” evangelical until I left behind that ridiculous theology. We are called to be light, we called to be reconcilers, we are called to be peacemakers, we are called to love and bring little slivers of the Kingdom into the world.

    Thank you so much for this article.

    Peace to you,

    Mark Lee Schnitzer

  • James Neill

    Incredibly insightful and well-written. I’ve long said the same thing about apocalyptic thinking: it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.

  • http://moralcompassblog.com Terry Firma

    What you don’t really explain is HOW and WHY you stopped being an end-times believer. You just say you were at seminary for a week and poof, those beliefs you’d held dearly your entire life were gone.

    I’m not making light of the strength of your convictions, but that almost sounds as if you’re easy to dissuade if exposed to some new idea. Maybe that’s a good thing, a sign of open-mindedness. But it’s kind of startling to read. “For years I believed this with all my heart. And then I didn’t anymore.” You’re leaving us hanging!

    In that light, are you ever worried that, since it seems to have been such an effortless change for you to shift worldviews, you will one day do so AGAIN, and convert to a different religion altogether? (On this day, it’s good to realize that Muslims believe they ARE absolutely right about THEIR God, too.) Or that, one day, you’ll drop all superstition, stop devoting all this time to its practice, and spend (even) more time actually doing palpable good?

    Why not? Hint: the answer probably shouldn’t be “Because the Bible.”

    To flesh out my last point: Let’s say for a moment that you’re going to spend thousands upon thousands of hours NOT engaged in religious practice, including preaching, and instead devoted all that time to making meals for the homeless, or teaching math or geography to little kids in Haiti … do you think that God, were He to exist after all, would be cross with you? If He is as you say He is, surely not, right?

    Inquiring minds.

    Love always,

    Terry

  • http://www.formerlyfundie.com Benjamin L. Corey

    Thanks, Terry- good questions.

    For this piece, I tried to keep it about the impact of this belief system instead of my own process. However, my process did take a while. The initial stage in seminary was simply when I realized that I was the extreme minority belief, and began investigating what others thought, other paradigms to view things. I quickly realized that I actually couldn’t back up my position, and that I had simply believed it because “that’s what I was taught”. I let go of the belief system before I had something to replace it with, a process that took over two years. The stepping out into unknown waters happened quickly, the first few weeks of seminary, but the entire shift took a bit longer.

    No, I’m not concerned that I’ll shift religions. My theology shifts with the acquisition of new information, but I’m on the Jesus boat and I’m not getting off. Even if you can prove to me that he was just an ordinary bloke with a Dad named Larry, I’m still going to follow him because I actually believe his way of living is the best way.

    For your last question, would God be angry if I gave up religious practice to serve the vulnerable? Absolutely not. In fact, I would argue that serving the vulnerable IS religious practice. In Amos chapter 5 God says that he hates churches who have a lot of religious practice but fail to be engaged in social justice. In Matthew, Jesus tells the religious leaders that they have ignored the most important parts of the faith: justice and mercy, and the brother of Jesus, James, states that “pure religion” is caring for the vulnerable.

    So, nope- he wouldn’t. In fact, I’d argue that he’d be quite upset if I didn’t do those things you mention.

    Much love back at you-

    BLC

  • Tim Hill

    I remember the first time I had to reconcile how much God loves the creation, but, was going to destroy it…Spent more time on that than on my sexuality. Odd how it was easier for me to accept God loved me the way I was created, than to give up my scofield Bible. Very clear and concise to the point article. Thank you.

  • http://emerginganabaptist.com Ryan Robinson

    Great post. I didn’t grow up in a “fundy” church – my pastor hinted at dispensational ideas but never in Darby-esque detail. It was presented as obvious, with no hints anyone could disagree, but not central. I moved away from it slowly, primarily through groups that may or may not have believed it but argued that it shouldn’t be our focus as it clearly was not Jesus’ or anybody else’s in the Bible. My understanding of Gospel slowly moved away from “go to Heaven” (after a Rapture) to “thy Kingdom come.” Then I eventually realized that I not only didn’t need the dispensational garbage anymore but that it was actually contradictory to this Gospel I claimed, so I looked for biblical evidence, found nothing, and have left it behind (see what I did there) since.

  • gimpi1

    Ah ha! The missing link! I have always wondered why Christianity went from being mostly optimistic and engaged with making a better future (or at least one the individual Christians in question saw as better) to being – in many cases – pessimistic, closed-minded and uninterested in making a better world or even actively interested in making the world worse. The Rapture. I get it.

    As an outsider, I have always wondered how the decidedly unbiblical doctrine of the Rapture caught hold. Thanks for the timeline, it makes things a bit more understandable.

    I agree with your warning. If too many people believe the world is about to end, they will refuse to invest in the future, try to solve problems or prevent disasters. If your “Rapture” theology requires the world to go to pot, you’ll do your best to make it go to pot, and your efforts will prove just how right you are. Self-fulfilling prophecy indeed.

  • http://moralcompassblog.com Terry Firma

    “For your last question, would God be angry if I gave up religious practice to serve the vulnerable? Absolutely not. In fact, I would argue that serving the vulnerable IS religious practice.”

    Good, commonality!

    But I made a larger point. It is that you invest (pointlessly, it seems to me) many thousands of hours of your life talking about what the Bible means, what God wants. You’re preaching, you’re praying, you’re striving to come closer to some truth by learning ancient Greek, and so forth. It’s an enormous investment mentally, spiritually, financially, and timewise. But … you already KNOW what the core of Jesus’s purported life was — to do good. To help the poor, the downtrodden, the vulnerable. You also acknowledge that God wouldn’t be mad if you served Him solely through action.

    Then what do you have to lose if you were to simply drop all (or most) of the unnecessary externalities of your faith — the praying, the worrying, the preaching, the bellyaching over what this or that Bible passage means — and devoted all that time to actually making a difference in a palpable, provable way?

    I guess what I’m getting at is a kind of Pascal’s Wager in reverse.

    I’m not saying you don’t palpably, with real actions, help the world to some extent already — probably much more than I do, and I greatly commend you for it — but that is so puzzling about all this to me. There is no crucial DOWNSIDE to what I propose. It’s not like you’d fall out of favor with God if you decided to give those months, nay YEARS out of your life to LIVING Jesus’s example, rather than thinking/talking/writing about it.

    If you find the time, talk a little about how you see this.

  • Nancy Nash

    From a certain perspective, a religious practice devoted to truth also serves the vulnerable. If you consider that our existence is so much more than physical, at times the poor and downtrodden are in better spiritual shape than the misled. We each have a purpose, and it is up to each of us as individuals to decipher what that is. We move in mysterious ways.

    For example, I’ve long agreed with the essence of this post, and felt fairly well acquainted with the concept of self-fulfilling prophecy. Yet the following quote struck on a deeply held belief and drew my awareness to it:

    “If one chooses to believe in their heart that they are unlovable, they eventually assimilate to that core belief and start behaving in accordance with it– they start behaving as someone who isn’t easy to love, and end up alienated in relationships.”

    I struggle to live anything close to Jesus’s example and this belief is undoubtably a part of the cause; how can one begin to love others without love for self? If the tiny spark provided by this post helps at all in my own quest to do good, that good will be passed on to others that they may do the same. I do not as yet see clearly enough to know what form my own action may take. What I do know is that thinking/talking/writing is no less real than any other action.

    @Terry ~ Seeing as you write your own blog, inspired by pointing out others’ hypocrisy, isn’t it a bit ironic to call someone else out on wasting their time thinking/talking/writing? Likewise, on your blog you state that you prefer the religions that do not proselytize. By suggesting that a Christian could do better by abstaining from their practice, are you not proselytizing for atheism to a certain extent?

  • http://www.formerlyfundie.com Benjamin L. Corey

    @ Terry- I hear what you’re saying, but would counter with the following:

    - I already do those things in real life, through ministries I’m involved in which focus on ministering to the oppressed and marginalized, especially through the work of the foundation I help lead. No, I don’t do it full time, but if I could figure out how to feed my own family while dedicating myself to doing those things full time, I’m all for it.

    - But why do I write/preach/teach about this stuff? Well, because success without a successor is failure. If I’m following Jesus, my job isn’t simply to serve the least among us, but to teach others to do the same (aka, producing “disciples”) which is exactly why I teach, preach, and write. I want to help develop a generation who will take over these things when I’m gone… and that doesn’t come without teaching and developing them.

  • Jane Romano

    I LOVE LEARNING! And growing in “the GRACE and knowledge” of our GOD (Papa to me!!) Seeing that this is all “relational” and that we are “relatives” ;) I am so enjoying this blog!!! I decided to add my “3 1/2 cents”. First off I am CONVINCED that God is not mad at anyone for anything. He did however pour out the “wrath” that HE had on Yeshua and hence that made HIM our redemption (and certainly ONE that can be followed in His character and integrity). He went about DOING GOOD and although that was not always accepted it didn’t seem to bother Him or stop Him as it will not me!! I am a daughter that “serves” her Papa and love doing it!!! I am interested, however, in “how” you believe “things” are gonna “play out” Benjamin? I am not “big” on eschatology, not sure why but I am doing fine in RELATIONSHIP so “if” I “need” to KNOW MORE, I would love to hear your views on what you “believe” is on the agenda for our future!! I am a KINGDOM citizen now…and am not “participating” in this world’s (system). Papa’s system is safety and full of promise…so I hand there!! Thanks again for posting this and opening up realms of information. “above ALL get UNDERSTANDING” and in doing so we get WISDOM!

  • Jake

    Wowzers.

    You’re always challenging me, but in a good way, B.C.!

    My original comment was kind of covered already in comments 4, 5, and 6, but I want to expand on that a bit. Having been raised in a fundamentalist household, I believe in the rapture of the church and all that lot. You raise some interesting and valid points, and I’m curious to know more.

    I’ve felt this shift, as well as others, nipping at my heels for quite some time, but it seems that most authors/preachers who mention these things make statements geared toward those who already have the same belief. I agree that our primary focus should be on Jesus and kin-dom living, but I’ve got 35 years of teaching butting heads with the truths that other tend to only drop morsels of. These teachings are so intertwined with my faith that, much like your mention of Darby’s teaching in Scofield’s bible, it is hard to distinguish where one ends and the other begins.

    Thank you for taking the time to challenge my way of thinking!

    P.S. – FWIW, though I was raised to believe in the dominion of humankind over the earth, I never understood why the (seeming) majority of the people I grew up around failed to realize that meant we also had to CARE FOR the earth!

  • Jane Romano

    I am with “Jake” on this one!!! REALIZING that I had been “duped” and followed (we can be dumb sheep ya know ;) the mainstream teaching (thinking THEY knew…uh…just because?> “MY PEOPLE perish (NOT for eternity but here and now) for LACK of KNOWLEDGE”. Well I am sick and tired of people pleasing, for I believe you must know Benjamin that any “out of their box” thinking and if that is not bad enough SAYING will not get you invited to many dinner parties!! I have been called a “HAIRY TIC” and of course a “BLASPHEMER” but I just figured “good enough for YESHUA good enough for me!! LOL. But seriously, I SEEK truth and NOTHING but the truth and will SETTLE for nothing else…in HIS Name!!! So help us out brother….give us “more” to chew on!! Your journey into what Papa is showing you!!! Thanks in advance!!

  • Travis

    Correct me if I’m wrong but it sounds alot like you’re a pre-terist? (If I’m using the right term) 1 Thess 4:15-17 clearly teaches that there will be a snatching away. While I don’t dispute that the popular theology of the day regarding “the rapture” and other bafflegab that Hal Lindsey and his ilk made popular throughout the 80s; Paul’s writings, the gospels and the book of Revelation all have a great deal of fascinating insight as to what will happen in the future. It’s well worth studying.

  • http://www.formerlyfundie.com Benjamin L. Corey

    I’m not a full preterist, but partial, yes– I simply hold the historic, orthodox Christian position. You are partially correct– Paul does describe people being caught up in the clouds, but not snatched away. Paul’s imagery is not of a secret rapture where millions disappear, but a very public event in full view of everyone. When Christ returns, he describes that those still here will meet him in the clouds– much like a child would run out to the end of the driveway to welcome home a parent who had returned home. People who believe in the rapture, believe in 2 second comings of Jesus, not just one. They believe one will be secret and one will be public, something that even Jesus taught against.

    If you’re using the filter of the end times nonsense we’ve been taught, Paul’s verse in 2nd Thess looks like a rapture. But, if you look closer, it is not a secret event or a secret snatching away, but rather a public meeting with the Lord upon his return. Nothing like the Left Behind movies.

    I also disagree that Revelation is about the future– that’s a rare view in Christianity which even Revelation teaches against. If you check the Greek, you’ll find three time markers early in the book as it claims that the events in the book will happen “near”, “quickly” and “shortly”. The literal Greek means “at arms length”. Certainly, 2000 years later is not near, quickly or shortly. A futurist view also neglects the fact that books in the Bible were always written to an actual audience, and the primary meaning is what it meant to them. It would have been silly for John to write a book to seven actual, real churches if the book was about 2,000 years in the future.

    Hope this helps.

    Ben

  • Cynthia Mahan

    Except for one thing: mankind can’t change God’s plan for mankind and for the world. God is in control. If he wants it to be the end of the Age of the Gentiles, then it will be the end of the Age of the Gentiles.

    Be careful that you don’t start thinking that God is helpless to stop what mankind is doing.

    It is mankind that is helpless, because God’s plan will roll on, regardless of anything we do.

    I too am a partial preterist. I believe that Jesus came in judgment on the Jews in 70AD and fulfilled Daniel 12 by taking all those faithful in hades to heaven. Since that time, we go to heaven one at a time as we die. At the end of the Age of the Gentiles, which will perhaps be in the 3rd millennium after the cross, he will come a 2nd time to judge the Gentiles, much in the same way he came in 70AD to judge the Jews.

  • http://www.darcysheartstirrings.blogspot.com Darcy

    And that is why I am a preterist. :) Actually, I grew up a church that was partially preterist and taught that the Rapture was a false doctrine. So many christians have no idea where their doctrines come from, and it sure ain’t the Bible.

  • http://phariseechurch.com Norman Walford

    This is an excellent post. George Muller, one of the great men of faith in the 19th century, and well known for his work in founding of Christian orphanages, was a contemporary of John Darby.eHe had little time for Darby, regarding him as a somewhat shady and divisive character.

    An interesting point – Darby was once asked why,if his theories were so self evidently biblical, it had taken almost two thousand years for the ‘correct’ interpretation to be reached. Darby’s rather clever answer was that God had kept the real interpretation hidden, to be revealed in the end times (I.e. then) through his chosen messenger (Darby). And that the revelation of the true interpretation was further proof of the imminent end. A self serving explanation of ever there was one.

  • JDE

    Ben, I think they’ve already engineered it. Our current socioeconomic debacle was caused by individuals and corporations ridiculously overindulged by those whom the fundies have spent the past thirty years voting into office, ever since Regan began empowering them.

    I don’t see any way in which we can come back from this. America is too badly broken, and cannot be repaired. Furthermore, due to the interconnected nature of the global economy, as we continue to go down, we’ll be taking the rest of the world down with us. We’re already beginning to see it in Europe. I think we’re looking at the collapse of our global civilization within the next several years, quite possibly the end of our species not long after.

    Naturally, the fundamentalists will never accept responsibility for any of this. As the lights go out, the last fundie, on his deathbed, will still be blaming those whom he just knows to be the real culprits, because his pastor will have told him so – the Liberals, the atheists and the gays, abetted by their allies, the godless secular Jews who control the media and the banks.

  • The Irish Atheist

    JDE, I think you’re overestimating the troubles that America and Europe are struggling through. A cursory glance through world history or even American history is enough to show that the socioeconomic stage is merely a continuation of, quite frankly what the world has always been like.

    Take it from an immigrant. Living in America is awesome.

    I can write whatever I want, speak my opinion. I live in unimaginable luxury compared to 90% of the globe, a lifestyle that our ancestors never dreamed of. I’m not required to join the army. I can walk to the market knowing that I’m about as safe from bodily harm as anyone can be. I have a voice in my government. I live in a country that takes the principles of freedom and liberty serious. I don’t have to belong to any church. The fact that I’m ethnically half-Roma is nothing more than an interesting talking point at parties.

    Take it from someone who experienced religious warfare. Whose homeland is literally split into two pieces thanks to Christian fundamentalists. Who has friends and family struggling to survive in 20% percent unemployment. Your country is not broken. You’ve just been conditioned to think that it is because it could be better.

    America used to be a slave owning country. The government used to poison barrels of whiskey during Prohibition, killing thousands. Americans exterminated an entire race in their haste to settle the West. Racial minorities used to be hung from trees while people treated it like an ice cream social. It used to be illegal to be gay. Compared to any other time period, America’s flaws aren’t that bad. Well, they aren’t any worse, that’s for certain.

    Your country could always be better. But it’s pretty damn good right now.

    The food isn’t bad either.

  • JDE

    To the contrary, I think you’re seeing what you want to see. The fact that Ireland is now so economically depressed, after having experienced a period of such marked prosperity, really rather illustrates my point.

  • https://theirishatheist.wordpress.com/ The Irish Atheist

    No, it doesn’t illustrate your point at all. We’ve endured a thousand years of perpetual warfare and now we’ve had fifteen years of peace. Yes, we have economic troubles. No, it’s nothing compared to what we endured throughout the 20th Century. If you’re going to comment on my homeland, at least have the fortitude to do it intelligently.

  • JDE

    You don’t know what you’re talking about and you don’t understand what it is I’m saying.

  • Sara

    Interesting post. My religious background is evangelical so I am well aware of the end times teachings. Is it just American evangelicals that believe in the rapture?? What about other denominations like Catholicism?

  • http://www.formerlyfundie.com Benjamin L. Corey

    Thanks for the question, Sara.

    As far as I am aware, the official Catholic position is that there will be an event at the second coming of Christ where those still living will meet him in the air, as is described in 2 Thess. This is an event where we meet Jesus and immediately usher him back to earth and is done in full view of everyone– it’s not secret, and people don’t go somewhere else, they just welcome him back.

    This has been the historic position of the Church, not just Roman Catholicism. The believe in a secret rapture and all the other end times stuff that goes along with it (Antichrist, mark of the beast, etc) is most commonly found in fundamentalism and evangelicalism. It is not common within the global church as a whole, other than where there has been a high concentration of American evangelical missionaries who exported this new theology.

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