The Rapture is Coming!

Wait a minute

Rapture92

It’s almost as if Jesus’ return was predicted but turned out to be horribly wrong…

(Thanks to Keith for the pic!)


[tags]atheist, atheism, Jesus, rapture, Left Behind[/tags]

  • Jesus

    DAMN! I overslept!!!

  • http://raphael.doxos.com Huw

    Christian Radio in North GA (where I went to 2 Years of HS) had Jesus coming back on 1 April 1980. That’s my favourite date for the Rapture.

  • Richard Wade

    This is why churches have back doors. When the predicted end doesn’t come, the “prophet of doom” can slip out, leaving the congregation to feel like fools.

    I have never had the pleasure to hear a sheepish explanation for why one of these many ends didn’t happen. People seem to immediately forget they were suckered into believing it and act as if it was never predicted.

  • http://olvlzl.blogspot.com/ olvlzl, no ism, no ist

    “The Rapture” is an invention of the 19th century which most Christians never believed in.

    If you want to cover all your bases, though.

  • http://darwinsdagger.blogspot.com Darwin’s Dagger

    Maybe Jesus did come back on October 28, 1992. He just took one look at what Christianity had become and decided they all deserved to be left behind.

  • Polly

    My wife never heard of the rapture despite the fact that she’s been a xian all her life (Armenian Apostolic) as well as her family. My mother introduced her to the idea.

  • Mriana

    Guys, did anyone bother to look up their quote? I have the NKJV and the RSV right in front of me and neither one of them has 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 saying that. I don’t know what Bible they are using, but my NKJV says:

    Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks;for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

    The RSV says:

    Rejoice, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

    NEVER take a Fundie’s word for what the Bible says. Look it up for yourself because they seem to lie, make-up their own text, or something, just to scare and brainwash people. LOOK IT UP for yourself, regardless if your an atheist, agnostic, or other non-theist. I didn’t become good at knowing what the Bible says, by taking it on blind faith.

    If you don’t look it up for yourself, you’ll miss the seeing the B.S. being dished out and I’m telling you, sometimes you need a shovel to get through all the B.S.

  • Karen

    I have never had the pleasure to hear a sheepish explanation for why one of these many ends didn’t happen.

    The standard explanation is that the Lord, in his infinite mercy, decided to “tarry” and give people one LAST chance to repent and accept Jesus. It’s useful because it lets everyone off the hook (including god, who’s not procrastinating, he’s just so kind that he doesn’t want ANY to perish) and it sets up the flock for the next date with destiny.

    People seem to immediately forget they were suckered into believing it and act as if it was never predicted.

    Nobody likes to admit they were suckered. Much easier to save face and go with the standard explanation. This has happened down through the centuries, by the way, not just in modern times.

  • http://emergingpensees.com Mike C

    olvlzl is right. The Rapture is not in the Bible and is not a part of historic Christian doctrine. It was invented by a pastor in the 19th century who got kicked out of his church for preaching it, and then it got popularized among fundamentalists by evangelists like Dwight L. Moody. After the Depression, two World Wars and the rise of Christian liberalism it got even more popular among fundies who were convinced that the world was getting worse and worse and the end was near. It then filtered into evangelicalism and became the predominant end times theology for most conservative evangelicals and especially among Baptists and Pentecostals. However, it is much less common among the more intellectually oriented evangelicals.

    Anyhow, I grew up in a Rapture-believing church, though I’ve long since left that theology behind. My favorite Rapture book from my childhood was this one.

  • http://emergingpensees.com Mike C

    Guys, did anyone bother to look up their quote? I have the NKJV and the RSV right in front of me and neither one of them has 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 saying that.

    That’s really funny. They got the chapter reference wrong on their poster. The verses they quoted are actually 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 :)

  • Mriana

    Mike’s right. It is 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18, however, it isn’t talking about the Rapture. As Mike and olvlzl said, the Rapture is not in the Bible. Some little old lady had a “vision” and this pastor went with it, in the 19th century- as Mike said, except he didn’t mention the little old lady and her vision.

    Like I said, you just can’t trust what an Evangelical Fundamentalist says. Always look it up for yourself and double check what they say. Well, I make this a rule regardless who says- even if Spong says it. :lol: When I quote something I always check and double check to make sure I have it right.

  • Maria

    I was raised liberal Catholic and never even heard of the rapture till I was 20. It seemed like total bs to me even back then when I was still religious. I guess if you’re raised in it though, you can believe anything………

  • Aj

    End Times, Judgement Day, Armageddon, you guys still believe in the Book of Revelations right? Those crazy Christian Fundamentalists making up “the Rapture”. Scotty, beam me up. Surely they didn’t really need to add any more insanity.

  • http://olvlzl.blogspot.com/ olvlzl, no ism, no ist

    I’ve known more Christians who didn’t take Revelations seriously than those who did. It was almost left out of the canon. I seem to remember reading it was let in when it’s proponents said that it shouldn’t be read literally.

    You guys do know the difference between fundamentalism and most of Christianity, don’t you?

  • Polly

    @olvlzl, no ism, no ist,

    Shortly before I “deconverted” from xianity, I stopped taking many sections of the Bible literally (I had always been a Bible literalist) and especially Revelations.
    One day, in Bible Study at church, I merely suggested that some Eastern churches didn’t accept Revelations as canonical. I got a real steely gaze from the youth pastor. Every god-damned word is sacred to some xians.

    “You guys do know the difference between fundamentalism and most of Christianity, don’t you?”

    I sure didn’t. I thought I was in the majority of xianity and all these new-fangled liberal heretics were just trying to water down the “message.” Actually, I still feel like there’s a lot of candy coating, but, now I’m in favor of it. :)

  • Mriana

    Scotty, beam me up.

    :lol: AJ, that possibility is more of a reality than the “Rapture”.

  • http://thisislikesogay.blogspot.com Duncan

    Well, it’s true that the specific doctrine of the Rapture is a nineteenth-century concoction, but the promised return of Jesus on clouds of glory is right out of the gospels. Take a look at the thirteenth chapter of Mark, especially verse 32. Of course, Jesus’ reported promise that he would return before his disciples’ generation had passed away was as bogus as all the succeeding dates that have been promoted. The belief that the End Was Near turns up in just about all the New Testament books, not just the Revelation. (So it doesn’t matter if the Revelation really should be canonical or not.) Early Christianity was an apocalyptic cult, as far as we can tell, and Jesus probably was an end-of-the-world preacher as well as a faith-healer and exorcist; that’s how the gospels depict him, anyway.

    It’s ironic. Barbara Rossing’s lousy book The Rapture Exposed got a lot of favorable notice, not just from liberal Christians but from lefty-liberals. But leaving aside her shoddy scholarship, Rossing also believes that the Revelation is a god-inspired prediction/prophecy of events that would happen hundreds, even thousands of years in its future, and that Jesus will come again, just as the gospels say. The theological difference between her and Tim LaHaye basically comes down to quibbling over details of the End Times, not the nutty belief itself.

  • Robert Benz

    Leon Festinger, in his classic “When Prophecy Fails” noted that whenever a publicly testable prophecy is made, yet does not occur, some of the True Believers will drop out, and the rest will actually increase the volume of their preaching (proselytizing, or some such unspellable word).

    How true it is. Jehovah’s Witnesses and Adventists and others never dry up as a denomination, no matter how many times they are proven wrong. The Holy Bible says all false prophets should be put to death, but that’s a little extreme, in my opinion.

  • Robert Benz

    The “End Times” is a really bad sort of self-fulfilling prophecy, isn’t it?

  • http://emergingpensees.com Mike C

    you guys still believe in the Book of Revelations right?

    Read in context Revelation is a stunning and beautiful example of what is known as the “literature of the oppressed”. Far from being a prediction of what is supposed to happen in some far off future, it is actually a very practical handbook on how to live faithfully to one’s convictions in the context of a violent and oppressive empire that will persecute you for your convictions.

    Of course it is also written in the genre of Jewish apocalyptic writings – which likewise are not about the “end of the world”, but are usually about the “end” of the current systems of injustice and oppression – i.e. the end of the world as we know it.

  • Darryl

    Martin Luther dismissed the book of Revelation calling it “an epistle of straw.”

    If you’re interested in one of the great popularizers of the rapture and associated whackinesses, check out Clarence Larkin. He was a source for many American fundamentalists of the early 20th C. This fella’s stuff is still in print, I think. His drawings of end-time “dispensational” scenarios are art artifacts from the 19th c. but nothing else.

  • http://emergingpensees.com Mike C

    Martin Luther dismissed the book of Revelation calling it “an epistle of straw.”

    I think you’re getting that confused with James. Luther called the book of James an “epistle of straw”… mainly because it conflicted with his “faith alone” stance.

  • Teres

    No one can predict when is the rapture time.
    If its predicted, people will just stay in church and pray.
    Our GOD is full of surprise and power, like when he create this world.
    So we can only pray, wait and the most important is to do His Ten’s commandments with humble heart. Nothing less nothing more.

  • http://olvlzl.blogspot.com/ olvlzl, no ism, no ist

    Mike C, I always suspected that Luther didn’t like the emphasis on “works” in James, sort of put the “justification by faith” line in some trouble. Though I’m sure the princes who he depended on for protection wouldn’t have been James fans either.

    I’ve never understood why they put Ecclesiastes in, what a sad sack. If I want to read something that depressing I’ll read the news.

  • http://olvlzl.blogspot.com/ olvlzl, no ism, no ist

    So we can only pray, wait and the most important is to do His Ten’s commandments with humble heart. Nothing less nothing more.

    Jesus said that you had to feed the hungry, visit the prisoner, love your enemies and pray for them, heal the sick (you favor universal healthcare?), forgive seven times seventy times, etc. Are you saying that these teachings by Jesus aren’t requirements?

  • Polly

    What’s the difference between the “rapture” and the “second coming”? Either way, isn’t it all escapism? i.e. JC shows up and all your problems are solved.

    I’m not just being a smartass. I don’t like that my mother is expecting to be beamed up to the mothership any day now. I would rather she live in reality instead of escapist fantasies.
    My wife used to wish JC would get here already whenever she was stressed. Now she hardly ever refers to that. Instead, she responds the way anyone else does – buying Lotto. :D

  • http://olvlzl.blogspot.com/ olvlzl, no ism, no ist

    Polly, the “rapture” is rather a detailed description of what it’s adherents believe is going to happen, including that there are going to be lots of empty clothes lying around that will need to be picked up and washed (clue, I’m not picking up after them). What “the second coming” means is less clear. Some people say that Jesus will come down in a physical body on a cloud, some believe it’s not physical, some believe that the “second coming” is in the form of the church…. They’re not similar concepts one being very rigid and defined the other being defined very diversely or not at all. Some people say they don’t know what it means, which is about as honest as you can get.

    I don’t know, when they used to talk about “the end of time” when I was a kid, we Catholics didn’t expect it to immediately solve all of our troubles. We suspected those were just about to start.

  • monkeymind

    What’s the difference between the “rapture” and the “second coming”?

    Polly, when I saw this snippet from your comment in the sidebar, I clicked on it because I thought it was going to be a salacious joke related to the other thread about what atheists scream in bed. What a disappointment!

    Related to the actual content of your comment, I saw a bumper sticker the other day aimed at the folks who think the war in Iraq is fulfillment of prophecy:

    “The Rapture is not an exit strategy!”

  • http://www.cogspace.com/ Katie Molnar

    Re. Terry’s silly faithgasm:

    No one can predict when is the rapture time.
    If its predicted, people will just stay in church and pray.
    Our GOD is full of surprise and power, like when he create this world.
    So we can only pray, wait and the most important is to do His Ten’s commandments with humble heart. Nothing less nothing more.

    Observation: Spelling and grammatical accuracy are directly proportional to one’s level of education, and spelling and grammatical accuracy are inversely proportional to one’s level of religious faith.

    Therefore, religion and idiocy are directly related.

    Surprising? No, but funny to see it evidenced.

  • Polly

    @olvlzl, no ism, no ist,
    So I’m not the only one who doesn’t know exactly what the 2nd coming is supposed to be apart from the “rapture.” OK, I thought I had missed something.

    @monkeymind,

    “Polly, when I saw this snippet from your comment in the sidebar, I clicked on it because I thought it was going to be a salacious joke related to the other thread about what atheists scream in bed. What a disappointment!”

    LMAO! Sorry to disappoint. Thoughts like that are inevitable, though, what with the word “coming” firmly linked to great anticipation.
    Those who believe in prophecy among xians and muslims, see war in the Middle East as, not only, inevitable but a good sign. Some foreign policy we’re going to build with THAT attitude.

  • HappyNat

    No one can predict when is the rapture time.

    Actually anyone can predict the rapture, many crackpots have. I’ll predict the rapture on 11/9/07 on which I will have been married five years. The fact that someone has put up with me for five years should mean the end of the world.

    So we can only pray, wait and the most important is to do His Ten’s commandments with humble heart. Nothing less nothing more.

    How does one do all of the those shall nots? Most of the 10 Cs are stuff NOT to do . . .

  • Karen

    Polly, according to End Times theology, the rapture is the moment when true believers are “caught up in the air” (i.e., bodily lifted up to heaven) to be with Jesus. This event – in which millions and millions of born-again Christians will actually disappear from the earth in “the twinkling of an eye” – is supposed to mark the beginning of the Great Tribulation, seven years of worsening trouble for the earth during which time the Antichrist will lead a world government from a throne in Jerusalem. At the end of the tribulation, Jesus will return to earth in physical form, descending from the clouds with the blast of a trumpet to establish his earthly kingdom.

    Jesus’s return is known as the second coming and he’s supposed to throw satan and his minions into a lake of fire and preside over an earthly kingdom for a millennium, after which satan supposedly rebels again and there’s a whole bunch of other stuff that happens, yadda, yadda.

    Anyway, it’s very, very complicated and there are various theologies about exactly when and how the rapture will happen, who will be taken up to heaven, etc. (I’m dead serious, by the way, Christians fight tooth and nail over these details.) This scenario forms the basis for the Left Behind books, Hal Lindsay’s classic “Late, Great Planet Earth” and for a campy B-movie that’s become notorious in ex-fundy circles called “A Thief in the Night.” I can’t tell you how many people I’ve talked to who were subjected to that movie in junior high or high school church youth groups and utterly traumatized. I thought it was cool, actually. :-)

  • Polly

    @Karen,

    A Thief in the Night.” I can’t tell you how many people I’ve talked to who were subjected to that movie in junior high or high school church youth groups and utterly traumatized.

    Add one more to the traumatized list. I saw that movie when I was young enough to be disturbed by it.

    I saw one of the Left Behind movies with Kirk Cameron – not by choice. It was SOOOOOOO LAME!

    As to the 2nd…”return” of Christ: It seems that the only real difference is what happens to everyone on Earth and whether Satan gets to make a cameo on the world stage in human guise. Either way, whether there’s a “rapture” or not, JC is supposed to be coming back and setting things right. So, what I’m getting from all this, is that the “rapture” doesn’t mean JC makes landfall. He does that later at the official “Second Coming.”

  • Karen

    Add one more to the traumatized list. I saw that movie when I was young enough to be disturbed by it.

    You too!? Man, that silly flick really made the rounds.

    Either way, whether there’s a “rapture” or not, JC is supposed to be coming back and setting things right. So, what I’m getting from all this, is that the “rapture” doesn’t mean JC makes landfall. He does that later at the official “Second Coming.”

    Exactly; you’ve got it. JC doesn’t even make an appearance in the rapture – he’s the sneaky thief in the night at this point. Christians (the right KIND, of course!) just disappear or fly up into heaven to meet Jesus in the air. Jesus only shows up later for the second coming (sometimes known as the apocalypse) and he’s a real bad ass by that time. Watch out!

    The rapture is sort of a “get out of the tribulation free” card dreamed up by an itinerant British preacher named John Darby. Interesting fellow. His ideas didn’t catch on in England, where the people are a bit too sensible. But they caught like wildfire here in the U.S. (sigh …)

  • Darryl

    I wonder if there is any event that could transpire that would shock a goodly-number of our eschatologically-minded Christians into realizing that these scenarios of theirs are all bullshit? All the previous predictions and predictors have passed away in shame and still there are plenty of suckers out there to fill the pews on Sunday and lap up this crap. The fact that none of what is predicted ever comes to pass as it was predicted doesn’t seem to daunt these folks. You can’t disprove a negative–when prophecies don’t come to pass, it’s back to the reinterpretations and the sanctimonious utterances about “God’s will” or “God’s infinite patience” or “God’s mysterious ways.”

    I don’t mind these people believing in their comfort-thoughts (as they pound down their comfort-foods–there are a lot of fat-asses-of-the-faith out there–somehow the sin of gluttony gets shortchanged by this crowd), just so long as they keep it to themselves. When they start sending up candidates for our Chief Executive, then I’ve got issues with them.

  • B7

    I teach ESL in a middle school where I have a number of Mexican migrant students who leave after the first frost to move back to Texas. One of them is named Jesus, pronounced the Spanish way, of course–Haysoos. Well, a Punjabi student of mine insisted on referring to him with the English pronunciation. After the Mexican student moved away, the Punjabi student said, “When is Jesus coming back?” I said, “Christians have been trying to answer that question for centuries.” He didn’t get the joke.

  • Jessica

    Oh yea good prediction! FRIENDLY ATHEIST?! Jesus IS comming back soon and i just want to wish you luck! Your gonna need it!

  • wiccankitten

    as a woman who makes her living as a phone sex operator, i can honestly say i hope Jesus is “comming soon”,Jessica, his 15 mins are almost up!!


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