The End Times Part IV: The Tribulation in Detail

As a child, I was taught that the end time were approaching, that all true Christians would one day be raptured, transported straight to heaven, and that this would be followed by a Tribulation in which God would judge the earth. The tribulation would be a time of horror, a time of disaster and death. I learned the outline of the Tribulation, and about the judgments God would pour out on humans during its seven year length. I believed wholeheartedly that God's judgement was coming, and that it … [Read more...]

The End Times Part III: Dispensationalism

I often wondered as a child how Abraham or Moses could go to heaven if they hadn't heard about Jesus. It is this question that Dispensationalism seeks to answer.Dispensationalism divides the history of humankind into seven "dispensations." During each dispensation God dealt with humans differently, requiring different things of them. In each dispensation, humans failed to live up to the requirements, and in each dispensation the result was judgement.Now there are actually several different … [Read more...]

The End Times, Part II: Social Justice, Dominionism, and the Culture Wars

Whether Christians are Postmillennialist, Amillennialist, or Premillennialist has a dramatic affect on how they view the world. Understanding this aids in understanding things like social justice, dominionism, and the culture wars.Postmillennialists, Amillennialists, and PremillennialistsCatholics are generally Amillennialists while mainline Protestants are generally either Amillennialists or Postmillennialists. The distinction between the two is often vague. Amillennialists believe we are … [Read more...]

The End Times Part I: The Millennium, Tribulation, and Rapture

I still remember the kitchen table debates, with charts spread out, Bibles open, and concordances on hand. Would the rapture happen before the tribulation, or during it, or after it? What role would the United States play in the end times? What area of the world would the antichrist be from? Could he possibly be already around - who? These answers to these questions seemed pressing, crucial, important, though in retrospect I'm not entirely sure why.Now if there's anything Christians disagree … [Read more...]

Abortion, GLBT, the Bible, and Cloaking

I've written recently about conservative arguments that having abortions causes post traumatic stress disorder and ruins women's lives, and that being gay means leading a destructive "lifestyle" that elevates your risk of suicide and depression. In each case I've pointed to self-fulfilling prophesies - if you can convince women having abortions that they are murdering babies, then of course they'll have problems afterwards, and if you continually tell gay young people that homosexuality is an … [Read more...]

How Creationism Drove Me out of the Church

To be more specific, creationism led me to a crisis of faith that ultimately, through some twists and turns, drove me out of the Christianity. My parents did not realize that in teaching me that literal young earth creationism was the foundation of Christianity they did not simply fortify my faith but rather gave my faith an Achilles heel. And apparently, I am not alone. Really, really not alone.My parents taught me that Christianity was about being filled with the Holy Spirit and having … [Read more...]

Catholicism and My Desire for Beauty

I wrote several days ago about how I was attracted to Catholicism because it offered me infallibility immediately after my belief in the infallibility of the Bible had been shaken. A second reason I was attracted to Catholicism was the beauty and ritual it offered.The first Catholic mass I ever went to was Easter vigil. I went with some Catholic college friends because I was curious. Easter vigil begins at 9:00 p.m. the night before Easter and ends at midnight. It starts outside with a huge … [Read more...]