More on the Rapture

More on the Rapture April 22, 2009

After writing “Life Goes On“, I had some extra material that had been left on the cutting room floor. Since it was too good to pass up, I just had to write another post. How could I pass up the opportunity to share a belly laugh like this?

Because the tribulation will be hell on earth, there is hope that even the most stubborn of sinners will be forced to admit he or she needs a savior. In the following section, I’ve selected a group of celebrities who are known to be atheists, or who are hostile toward the Christian faith.

This article, from the reliably hilarious Rapture Ready website – which has been faithfully charting the signs of the end for almost twenty years, and has steadfastly refused to draw any conclusions from this – is titled “Future Employees of Rapture Ready” and lists some prominent nonbelievers whom the author fantasizes will become converted evangelical Christians in the days after the Rapture (which, as always, is due to happen any day now). A few examples:

Richard Dawkins – A biologist by trade, he has written several books that promote evolution and debunk the idea that there is a God. I’ve read Mr. Dawkins’ book, “The God Delusion,” and I was surprised to find him mention Rapture Ready. On page 254 of his book, he focused on a comment I made about the site, which is a perfect fit for this article. At the bottom of RR’s main page is an announcement that reads, “If the rapture should take place, resulting in my absence, it will be necessary for tribulation saints to mirror or financially support this site.” I don’t understand why Dawkins found offense in an obligation that he believes will never come his way. Well, Dick, that obligation may soon be upon you, and I think it would be a very fitting end to have the money you earned debunking the idea of a God to someday be used to magnify His glory.

Penn Jillette & Teller – The team of Penn & Teller are most widely known as professional magicians. They also host a program on the premium cable channel Showtime that debunks pseudoscientific ideas, supernatural beliefs, popular fads and misconceptions. There will be plenty of falsehood in the days that follow the rapture, so Penn & Teller’s skills would be very helpful in combating error.

I ought to write the author of this site and ask to be listed on that page. Granted, it would be a great honor to me, as I’d be among most illustrious company! Regardless, I find it greatly amusing that the author finds solace in daydreaming about famous atheists converting to Christianity – the outward sign, perhaps, of a tacit recognition that his arguments are unlikely to convince anyone without supernatural aid.

Another amusing commentary on the Rapture warns believers not to try setting dates, but seems to overlook an obvious implication of its own words:

The Word of God is clear on this subject of Date-setting. To set dates on the return of Christ is to err.

Does that mean Jesus will not return on any date when he is expected to return? Ironically, the perpetual date-setting by Christian believers may be what’s keeping him from coming back!

And lastly, another excerpt from Rapture Ready, this time from their feedback. I’m surprised they chose to post this, without even a response, but it gives important insight into how the ceaseless frenzy of end-times anticipation does real harm to human beings:

I grew up in a rapture believing church. I was a premillenial dispensationalist for many years. I was sincere in this belief and found your site during that time of my life.

To make a rather long story much shorter, it was very spiritually damaging for me. I was so caught up in thinking the world was ending tomorrow or in the next moment that I was in a constant state of fear. The here and now became pointless. Would my unsaved loved ones make it in time? Was this or that particular political figure the next anti-Christ? Which poor deluded souls deceived by Satan would find themselves part of a group that thought they were Christian but were really part of the ‘one world religion of the beast’? It was an awful and extraordinarily stressful way to live.

It’s a tragedy that so many millions still lead lives full of stress and fear brought on by their belief in an imminent end. Contrary to the often-heard claim that religion brings peace and comfort, many variants of religion are intended to inspire terror and paranoia in their followers, the better to secure their unquestioning allegiance against the external world.

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