5 Things To Consider Before Taking The Left Behind Movie Seriously

5 Things To Consider Before Taking The Left Behind Movie Seriously September 12, 2014

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On October 3rd, 2014 American movie theaters will again be flooded with yet another Christian movie– a remake of the Left Behind cash cow that has taken Western Christianity hostage for more than a generation. Recently it was made public that one of the producers of the movie is none other than Duck Dynasty’s Willie Robertson, who is imploring Christians to gather up their friends and take them to see the movie in hopes they’ll “get saved” on the way home.

The Christian movie industry is troubling to me on many fronts, but most notably because of the fact that it’s just plain ole dangerous for one to sit back and unquestionably absorb their theological worldview from entertainers. However, I don’t think this is a trend that will die down anytime soon, which means we’ll need to be continually dissecting these money making ideas clothed as “truth” when they unfold.

Perhaps you’re thinking of going to see the movie– or even worse, maybe you thought of bringing a friend who might actually take the movie seriously. If this is you, please take a moment to consider these 5 things about the Left Behind movie and the theology associated with it:

 

1. Whatever you believe about eschatology (the study of last things), you should be aware that good or bad, eschatology dramatically impacts your worldview.

In approaching any situation, how we believe it will end has a dramatic influence on our behaviors here and now. Eschatology is probably the most extreme example of this because what we believe about the end of the world, most undoubtedly affects the way we interact with the world. In light of this, one should use the most extreme care in what they adopt as a view of the end because the consequences are immediate and numerous.

2. The major events you’ll see described in the movie do not appear anywhere in the Bible.

The cold hard truth? There is not a single passage in the entire Bible that describes a world-wide event where millions of people go missing and the world is ushered into chaos. It simply doesn’t exist– not anywhere. Just know that when you see this movie, you are not seeing a depiction of a biblical event. Even Bible teachers who believe in this theology, such as John MacArthur, have admitted that it is not explicitly found in scripture but simply “implied”. I would caution one from building an entire world-view around something that even believers admit can be seen only through creatively reading between the lines.

3. Left Behind eschatology historically has had a negative impact on the world.

Church history, especially here in America, reveals a shameful fact: when rapture theology was invented in the UK and then transported to the US, Christians dramatically disengaged from society. Early Evangelicals were dedicated to making long-term investments to make the world the kind of place that Jesus would want to come back to, but after rapture theology was invented, we see that dramatically change as pessimism over the future took over. If you’ll know a tree by its fruit, the case on this one is historically clear: rapture theology brings bad fruit by cultivating  fear, pessimism, and disengagement from society. In fact, the inventor of rapture theology, John Nelson Darby, actively rebuked Christians for being optimistic and taught that a Christian worldview must be pessimistic.

4. Left Behind theologians are constantly revising their interpretations to cover up for failed predictions.

The modern obsession with the end times is borderline divination, as folks who “get into it” become obsessed with attempting to tell the future– a behavior the Bible actually condemns. The most prominent proponents of this theology (take for example, Hal Lindsay) have all been found guilty of making false predictions and then forced to refine their stance to explain it away. Scripture teaches that we must not listen to people who wrongly tell the future, because if that doesn’t make one a “false prophet”, I don’t know what would.

5. Taking the movie seriously will likely pervert your Christian witness.

The Jesus of scripture invites us to proclaim the “Good News” that his Kingdom is here, that he is Lord over all of it, and that we are invited to participate in building it. Taking movies such as Left Behind seriously however, pervert the message of Jesus (ironically, becoming “anti-Christ”) and turn “Good News” into: “Holy Moley! I had no idea that the world was about to fall apart! Good thing we’re getting the hell out of here soon!!”, which is a far cry from what Jesus taught. Jesus invites us to wage a beautiful revolution and to live in his Kingdom right here, right now. Rapture theology however, invites one to focus on escaping the world instead of transforming it, which isn’t the Gospel at all. Such a perversion of the message of Jesus is something Christians would want to not only avoid, but publicly condemn. We must follow Jesus instead of movie-makers trying to cash in on the proven money making strategy of predicting the future and making it sound frightening.

Please, my fellow Jesus people: don’t take this movie seriously. Certainly, do NOT take a friend who isn’t a Christian, lest they be led to believe that this movie represents the Christian message, as it does not. Instead of John Darby and Duck Dynasty theology, I’d recommend skipping the movie and investing the money in an eschatological book by one of the premier biblical scholars in the world, Surprised by Hope by NT Wright.

 

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  • Paul

    For more information regarding end times theology, I recommend the book, “Victorious Eschatology” by Harold Eberle.

    http://www.amazon.com/Victorious-Eschatology-Second-Edition-Harold/dp/1882523334

  • I recently discovered I had the entire book series in my attic, stuffed up there from my last move in 2005. They will either end up in the trash, or beside the other 15 beleaguered copies languishing on the shelves of the local goodwill.

    I read the series after being told that the end time scenario I’d grown up with was flawed and I needed the “proper” version, which was just as violent and improbable as my old version.

    then it struck me. The rapture/end time theology is self serving religious escapism, a “screw you to the rest of the world, Im’ saving my own behind” mentality, one that only welcomes those who believe the same. I guess I”m screwed.

  • Christian Kirk

    You make some very valid points. My father was into eschatology pretty hardcore. I still have a hard time not living in fear of events happening and what the future holds. I have a relationship with God, so I know I don’t need to live in fear, but hearing about the “End Times” since childhood and seeing where the world is headed strikes a deep fear in me at times. As you’ve said before, a lot of these evangelists and eschatology “experts” are practicing fear-mongering and wanting to scare people into getting saved which DEFINITELY goes against the Gospel.
    The idea of taking a non-believer to church or even worse to a movie in hopes that they “get saved” goes completely against the Word and the Great Commission. Our duty as Christians is to show people love and the power of God’s saving grace, not hope that they see it in church or a movie. It is so lazy for us to let someone else do the job, not to mention Hollywood whose industry certainly isn’t based on fact, but on entertainment.
    Thank you for your poignant commentaries. They force me to think in terms that I have not before, despite being raised in a Christian home and being surrounded by Christian culture my entire life.

  • Ed Taylor

    Excellent, as always, Ben.

  • I have to admit that I read the entire series before I became a Progressive Christian. (I feel like I’m at a confessional here!) Even when I was reading those books, one thing that I did notice is that the whole concept was built on a very shaky premise. I actually was puzzled as the “Tribulation Christians” were running like the Flash from Petra to Israel.

    I am actually very grateful that my own denomination, The Salvation Army, does not take an official stance as to what view of eschatology is proper.

  • Chris Crawford

    I’m a bit shocked at Robertson’s support; almost every single Church of Christ member I know (and I am one, so I know a lot) rejects the rapture, from the dangerously conservative to the most liberal.

  • I’m not going to the movie because Nicholas Cage is in it! LOL DT

  • for Robertson, I am betting its about marketing, not religion.

  • I’m a new voice that is emerging. I will publish a book entitled, “The Clock – A Timekeeping Tool for the Church of Tomorrow” in 2015. My research has been presented within the SBL. The Clock will put all of this ‘end times’ nonsense to rest. It is an actual clock that will give everyone a circular understanding of time, beginning with the text of Genesis 1 and returning to the same text. It’s solid theology – the kind you would honor. It brings all aspects of Scripture together in a sensible way. Please remember me as I work to complete the manuscript and the many, many illustrations that accompany it.

  • Morris V. Fleischer

    I keep coming back to the premise that fear isn’t tantamount to faith. It’s why I have a huge problem with the kind of theology espoused by the Left Behind series, etc. (and those awful “hell houses” some churches have around Halloween…what a terrible, despotic corner God is painted into by these events–amazing what passes for evangelism nowadays). You make a good point that this kind of eschatology is ever-changing. In the 1960’s and 70’s, Communism and Red China were singled out as being the great threats to Christendom. Now, these same “prophecies” are being interpreted as speaking about militant Muslims. It’s the “threat du jour”–anything that threatens white middle class America (the primary market for the Left Behind series, John Hagee’s books, et al.) must be the classified as the great evil. Who knows, maybe next week it will be the Stay-puft Marshmallow Man…

  • Guy Norred

    So send it to the trash heap, not where someone else might actually end up reading it and take it seriously.

  • Or leave them in the attic to continue dry rotting

  • Zuul!

  • WilmRoget

    Recycle them. Made into newspaper, or perhaps a paper sack, the cellulose the trees were sacrificed for can finally be useful.

  • Larry TheKeyboardist Blake

    I vaguely remember hearing somewhere to live each day not as if Jesus will come back the day after, but to live each day as if Jesus died on the cross the day before.

  • Ransom Backus

    No such thing as a rapture. When He returns, He will meet us in the air. We will be transformed into our incorruptible bodies and we will reign with Him.

  • Larry TheKeyboardist Blake

    My takes on each of your points:

    1) As I said in a previous comment, I vaguely remember hearing somewhere to live each day not as if Jesus will come back the day after, but to live each day as if Jesus died on the cross the day before. I don’t remember who said it or where I heard it, but I think it’s a good idea to consider living by.

    2) Or, as I like to put this one, the “Man-made Apocalypse.”

    3) I have a feeling that the more we take such a pessimistic worldview, the longer it’ll be before Jesus comes back. So much for that “Good News” these people claim to profess.

    4) The way I see things, it’s more about money than anything else; basically, you try to convince your audience that you can predict the Apocalypse, then when you end up with egg on your face, do your best to cover it up or dismiss it, then rinse and repeat.

    5) I think you pretty much said everything I could have said and more about this topic.

  • John A. C. Kelley

    I think the majority of Christians have believed this crap for so long that it’s become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

  • habsfan63

    While I am not a big fan of movies like Left Behind, or people who make specific end times predictions, I feel it is unfair to state that people who hold to a rapture theology have disengaged from the world. Yes, in some cases that is true, but it is more often the case that holding to a rapture theology has propelled Christians to engage the world with the Gospel with a greater sense of urgency. The Azusa Street Pentecostals of the early 20th century were known as much for their “Jesus is coming soon!” theology as for Spirit baptism and tongues. And it was that theology that drove many of them to the mission field throughout the US and around the world, giving birth to one of the strongest missions movements of the 20th century. Yes, rapture theology may cause some to bury their heads in the sand, but for most it has served as a motivator to share the Gospel and the love of Christ with a world that they don’t want to see … well … left behind.

  • AJ McGuire

    Can you elaborate on your point #2 and scriptures like 1Thess 4:16-18? Thanks.

  • It’s a good mantra!

  • JenellYB

    Sadly, few, very few, “Christians” read the bible, at all. They have bits and pieces from various preachers, popular books, movies, tv… The “Left Behind” series may have been the biggest and most widely influential, but the pure fiction our of the entertainment industry that has been uncritically accepted into generation’s of Christians beliefs, but its been going on a long time. In denominations where belief in active demon spirits and demon possessions are popular, petty much their entire “demonology” comes straight out of horror fiction books and movies, like Poltergeist and The Exorcist. An analysis of Mel Brooks’ The Passion reveals major portions portrayed elements not even remotely hinted at the the Bible.

  • Love, love, love N.T. Wright’s Surprised by Hope. Thanks for recommending his work as something we can meditate on as far as the “end times.” Sometimes I think the Kingdom is like that mustard seed which will reach critical mass and it wil come fully. Wright’s After You Believe makes you want to live Christianly.

    I grew up under the Darby, rapture stuff, because my parents were Plymouth Brethren and we went to Word of Life Bible camp every summer. Even back then people considered this a divisive issue in the church. Your reasons for not taking the whole rapture thing seriously are well stated and helpful.

  • Guest

    Basically, in that portion of scripture, Paul’s purpose in that passage was

  • NavPath55

    You’re viewpoints are flawed due to the fact that they are not anchored on any scripture references. What you describe above is the common argument of individuals who have decided not believe 1 John 2:15-25 (ESV). You may also gain accurate insight by taking the time to read Jude 1:1-16 (ESV). However, please note that you will not understand these verses (and the entire New Testament) unless you are open to the Holy Spirit (3rd person of the Trinity) leading you to the truth.

  • Mr. Collins

    Excellent points, Benjamin!

    I find it disturbing that the rapture proponents I have encountered gleefully look forward to the end of the world and the destruction of mankind. (“It’ll be fun!” because they think they won’t be Left Behind.)

  • AJ McGuire

    ? ?for some reason I don’t see the rest of your statement. It stops at “purpose in that passage was”

  • cjdewar

    Sorry AJ, I just got home from a long week, and my ability to type is gone. Basically, we would hold that Paul is likening the return of Christ in that passage to the coming of a dignitary or ruler; during such an arrival, it was customary for emissaries of the city being visited to meet the ruler outside of the city and accompany him in. Such emissaries were considered highly honored.

    Accordingly, Paul is stating that those who had died in Christ before His return (the main concept he is addressing in this passage) were by no means dishonored; they would in fact be honored all the more.

    The imagery does not lend itself well to an extended absence of believers for a tribulation period; the trumpet will sound, Christ will appear, we will meet him in the air as he returns, and we will parade down with him as he establishes his reign.

    Also, I’m the guest from above; idk why it says guest instead of my name.

  • TD

    Thank you. I don’t ascribe to this theory, but my parents did and loved God and their neighbor and quietly served in this present age. The mocking tone of the above comments is very simplistic and disheartening.

  • AJ McGuire

    For me it would be helpful if the passages used to support the rapture were gone through one by one and why they don’t work and why so many say they do and how they got to that point. I’m just trying to figure all this out, what I believe and what we as Americans have added, both good and bad to the Christian experience.

  • #6. Paying to see movies with Nicholas Cage encourages Nicholas Cage to be in more movies.

  • Guest

    I still like Raising Arizona! : )

  • AJ McGuire

    I still like Raising Arizona! : )

  • cjdewar

    I’d be happy to discuss some others with you; one issue may be that the main reason I disagree with rapture theology is the fact that there is little scriptural support for the viewpoint. There are two main passages that are used to support rapture theology; the one you listed above, and Matthew 24:40 (the “one man is taken, one is left behind passage).

    In the Matthew passage, context is key. Those who use this passage to support rapture theology say that the “one man is taken, one is left behind” concept is referring to a rapture event, where Christ takes one man to himself, and leaves the other behind to face judgement and wrath.

    However, the immediate context of the passage calls this interpretation into question. In Matt 24:37-39, Christ states “For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. (ESV).” In this context, it appears that the “taken” ones referred to in verse 40 are in the same predicament as those who were “swept away” by the flood in Noah’s time. Basically, those who read this verse as pertaining to the rapture are reading it backwards; in context, it is the ones who are left behind that escaped the wrath.

    Couple this concept with the fact that for all of 24, Christ is explaining to his disciples the things they can expect to experience during the coming tribulation, and even calling them to prepare themselves for it. If rapture theology is correct, why would Christ call for his disciples to prepare themselves for a tribulation they would not experience?

    Other than those two verses, I do not know of any other points in scripture that could be interpreted as discussing a pre-tribulation rapture; there are plenty of verses that discuss tribulation, the end times, and the return of Christ, but no others that I am aware of can imply that all believers had been taken away beforehand. The strict “rapture/extended tribulation/return” does not appear.

  • AJ McGuire

    Thanks so much for your input, I came out of a fundamentalist/cult years ago and am still trying to figure things out, and still have friends with a wide variety of beliefs and this belief of the rapture seems so imbedded in the christian culture.

  • AJ McGuire

    Do you believe the Tribulation in the bible has already taken place?

  • cjdewar

    If you ever want to talk about things, hit me up on Facebook. My handle is the same as my id here. I enjoy talking about scripture, and I’m used to doing so with lots of people who have come from various backgrounds. I’m a pastor, and I’ve got an undergrad degree in bible/theology, and a graduate degree in military history. I am not saying this to brag; there are far more intelligent and educated people out there than me. It just wanted to offer any help I can, and some of what I’ve learned may be useful to you.

  • AJ McGuire

    Do you mind telling me what church you are a pastor of? I’m searching for a church home but in re-framing my beliefs I’m not sure where I should go! And there aint many choices in my neck of the woods! I’m sort of collecting information and trying different churches but that is a lot of work for an introvert!! (that looks like a monkey! Ha!)

  • AJ McGuire

    You aren’t coming up on F.B.

  • cjdewar

    I waffle on that. I believe both that it has taken place, and will take place more fully in the future. My reasoning for this is as follows; both Christ and Paul spoke of the tribulation as an event they could expect their followers to experience on earth. John’s revelation definitely was directed first and foremost to those whom he was writing to, and applied largely to the Christians living under threat of persecution following the Jewish Revolts. However, Christ, Paul, and especially John (in Revelation) all at times seem to be discussing points that will occur immediately before Christ’s return, and they also discuss things that haven’t happened yet. I expect that they will. This is definitely a waffle on my part, but it is the only way I can currently wrap my head around the concept of tribulation. Likely, this viewpoint will evolve as I continue studying.

  • cjdewar

    My church is called City Church. We are an unaffiliated non denominational church in Canton, ohio (and my Facebook page is Facebook.com/cjdewar )

  • AJ McGuire

    My brother-in-law lives in Alliance! He is still pretty much old school fundie, but a nice guy none the less.

  • cjdewar

    Strangely enough, I helped plant a church in alliance over the past year and a half or so, called WellSpring. We started our new church in Canton about 2 months ago.

  • AJ McGuire

    I’m not sure what church he is going to now. If you run into anyone named McGuire it might be a relative!

  • cjdewar

    Small world, right? I wouldn’t doubt for a second that Ron ( the head pastor at WellSpring) would know your family; he seems to know everyone in that town. Seriously, shoot me a friend request, I’d love to talk anytime you’d like. I’m going to drop off for the night, so have a great night!

  • AJ McGuire

    My experience with non-denominational churches, they were all very fundamental so now I’m curious, how do you feel about gay marriage/gay Christians?

  • Artistree

    cjdewar,
    I believe you are on exactly the correct path with your statement, ” I believe both that it has taken place, and will take place more fully in the future.” The events Jesus talked about in Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21, Revelation 6, all had their literal and historical fulfillment in 70 AD, and the destruction of Jerusalem. But these chapters will have a larger and more global fulfillment at the end of time. The “tribuation” which happened in the years leading up to the end of the Old Covenant world will have a fuller fulfillment at the End of this world. But we can’t expect multiple fulfilments of Jesus’ prophets signs to be laid out in the exact ways, types, and signs as were fulfilled in 70 AD.

  • Artistree

    AJ McGuire,
    Thanks for your sincere questions for CJdewar.
    Here’s a question for modernist evangelical/fundamentalists who hold to this modern pre-tribulation rapture of the church doctrine:
    If is doctrine this true, why didn’t the Apostles teach it to their churches and closest companions ? If this idea of a rapture of the church prior to a 7 year tribulation was taught, you can be sure it would have been a hot topic. We have the writings of the Apostolic Fathers ( the men who knew the Apostles personally or lived in the same generation, along with volumes of writings from the Early Church, and this “Rapture” teaching is never ever mentioned. Could that be because the Apostles did not teach the “secret rapture of the Church” doctrine ?

  • AJ McGuire

    Or they could keep secrets? Lol! Seriously though, you make a great point! Thanks for your input!

  • Herro

    >Scripture teaches that we must not listen to people who wrongly tell the future,….

    Do you not listen to those books and/or persons in the New Testament that wrongly tell the future?

  • Eric Folk

    Why the dig at Duck Dynasty at the end?

  • Mandy

    All of your points can be refuted with biblical scripture to back it up. Where does the bible indicate a massive up taking?
    “I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left. ” (‭Luke‬ ‭17‬:‭34-35‬ NIV)

    Jesus warns us to remain watchful.

    “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”

    The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers. (‭Luke‬ ‭12‬:‭35-40, 46‬ NIV)

    Also, on division:

    “Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” (‭Luke‬ ‭12‬:‭51-53‬ NIV)

    This is simply from Luke, there are plenty elsewhere to prove you are wrong in your theology.

    I don’t have time to argue every point, so the other one I will mention is where you lump all believers who take rapture seriously in to the category of “obsessed future tellers….” This simply isn’t so. I think Phil Robertson is a superb servant of Jesus. The main point is: everyone should be reading their bibles daily front to back, instead of simply following preachers and bloggers like yourself who distort the truth and create confusion.

  • jontrott

    Thank you. I’m part of a ministry that came from the Jesus movement, that late 60s early 70s move of God among hippies. One of the JM’s attributes was a focus upon Christ’s Return, and that (I would argue) is indeed a biblical idea. But we were also influenced by Hal Lindsay and company to embrace a non-biblical idea which you’ve covered here — the idea that Christians get to check out early and leave everyone else behind. Tremendously destructive idea, politically, socially, and theologically. I can’t help but wonder what would have become of the Civil Rights movement had Dr. Martin Luther King believed in this comic book theology? Or what if Dietrich Bonhoeffer, instead writing “Cost of Discipleship” (and later on being executed by Hitler), had written a book about how Christians would be raptured? Doubtless he’d have also backed Hitler at that point, since Der Fuhrer was obviously God’s tool to usher in the last days…. *sigh*….

    Again… Thank you.

  • jontrott

    Mandy, that’s precisely the one verse I’d expect someone to offer in defending this doctrine. But (tongue in cheek) let me offer biblical grounds for suicide. “Judas went out and hanged himself.” And “Go thou and do likewise.”

    In other words, we don’t always understand or properly interpret the bible. Jesus will return, that is biblical as Jesus himself clearly spells it out. But what he does not spell out — and goes to lengths to explain he will *not* spell out — is the when or how it will happen. You’re reading into the bible information which isn’t there. That’s known as eisegesis (“the process of interpreting a text or portion of text in such a way that the process introduces one’s own presuppositions, agendas, or biases” into said text) and it is a theological no-no.

    Good Christian folk believe this doctrine. But it simply isn’t supported by the biblical record. Founding an entire, complex doctrine upon what filters down to one or two ambiguous verses is very, very dangerous. Jesus is coming back. Let’s focus on that as motivation to live for him so that whether he returns before we go, or we go to meet him, our lives are a fragrant offering of service and love of God and neighbor and even enemy.

  • Darreth

    Their tribal Jewish Bronze Age myth, pilfered from even earlier myths, has ZERO impact on me except when I shake my head.

  • Mandy

    You are going too far with your “not” taking scripture literally. I don’t base my position on just what I referenced, but the entire context of what I know of God and the entire bible. Your reference to Judas is irrelevant here. How can you throw out so much of what Jesus has said in Luke? What is your explanation otherwise, for his command to remain watchful, his description of the event, etc?

  • I, too, expected that reference to ‘one taken, and one left behind’ but the problem is that it is describing the second coming of our Lord, and everywhere else it is clear that such a day will be heralded by a trumpet blast and the whole earth shall see him return – with our modern global web of 24/7 news coverage, that now is actually perfectly possible and plausible – that everyone will be in no doubt that Jesus just came down from heaven, and we shall ‘rise to meet him in the air’. What is being called out here is this idea of a SILENT ‘rapture’ – the word rapture is an invention, and so is the notion that the world will awake one day to find that all the Christians have mysteriously vanished. As a young believer, who read the Bible for himself before going near a church, I wondered myself then that this ‘rapture’ must mean the trumpeted return is a THIRD coming, and lo and behold, in a ‘Chick tract’ it mentioned “the third coming of Christ” Even then, I thought I’d never actually found THAT in scripture.

    Once you get into things like a ‘secret’ return of Christ, you’re into the territory of Russellites (Jehovah’s Witnesses).

    Think about this: There are so many interpretations of end-times prophecy, the vast majority of them actually MUST be wrong!

  • LorenHaas

    You jave to ask?

  • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

    “Zuul! M***********!”
    – The Nostalgia Critic

  • Me

    You’re a bible scholar? “The cold hard truth? There is not a single passage in the entire Bible that describes a world-wide event where millions of people go missing and the world is ushered into chaos. It simply doesn’t exist– not anywhere.” Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Mathew 24:40 Umm, there is one verse for you, and there are many more. Ever read Revelation? The series and the movie is a dramatic interpretation. While I don’t quite agree with those behind the series, the movie, or their Hell Fire and Brimstone message, The End is written in The Word, read it sometime.

  • Me

    The end IS coming soon, no one knows the day, no one knows the time, but it will come, and when it does, are you prepared? Those who aren’t WILL be left behind.

  • Darreth

    Wow. It’s all a enormous fabrication. Yet, you’re advocating for it.

  • Darreth

    It amazes me how many people refuse to actually read Jesus’s very own words. He was extremely specific about what was going to happen:

    “For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds. Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.“ (Matthew 16: 27, 28)

    Either those words are a complete fabrication or it happened nearly 2000 years ago.

  • cjdewar

    Or He was speaking of John the Revelator, who may have been standing there and may have seen Christ’s coming in a prophetic vision. Or He was speaking concerning His resurrection, in which He inaugurated His coming kingdom. Or both. Like I said, I waffle.

  • I think #3 is the most important. While others have pointed out that rapture theology actually helps engage certain sects with the world, on a larger scale, it is partly responsible for our Middle Eastern wars and our ill-treatment of the environment. “God is not capricious,” didn’t mean that God wouldn’t make the Earth unlivable with global warming, though that would have been bad enough. It meant that God will come and get the right people before it all goes to shit. It is not only a disconnect with reality, it is a disconnect with the rest of us.

  • Danielle Layton Ball

    PS…There is no Xavier Instititute and those who believe superheroes will rescue them from harmful situations will surely find themselves harmed. It’s called FICTION. Good grief.

  • As an atheist, going to hell houses (perhaps a tad under the smokable influence) is a heckuva lot of fun. They put a lot of effort in, and their ideas are super funny.

  • I’ve said before in my own blog (http://wp.me/p2FH9L-75) that we are told to watch, but we are never told to PREDICT anything. Those prophets in our scriptures who foretold never got it WRONG; they only gave us signs to watch for once they happen. If we decide to foretell or predict we place ourselves in the same status as the prophets of scripture. Very presumptuous! I read somewhere else (maybe another of Corey’s blogs) that false prophets in the OT were to be stoned. Many of these modern book-writers on the end-times may line up against the wall!

  • I’m open to the Holy Spirit, but unfortunately he told me that your futuristic approach to exegeting these verses is wrong.

  • Ron McPherson

    When a topic is fundamental to one’s belief structure, calling into question any ancillary part of it can cause one to incorrectly assume the whole thing is being attacked. Picking leaves from a plant is not the same as uprooting it altogether. For example, when Ben blogged about the possibility of annihilationism over unending torment, some apparently were so incensed that they could not even debate the real topic at hand. Instead, they fumed as if Ben had disputed the concept of hell or the punishment of sin altogether, which was not even his point at all. Now that he raises the possibility that the Bible does not teach a secret rapture, some seem to be concluding that Ben is dismissing the whole idea of the second coming of Christ. Again, that’s not even the point in question.

    Over the years I was indirectly indoctrinated into forcing myself to believe that my views just HAD to be right. Especially over the last year or so, I believe the Lord is helping me to see that I should read the Scriptures with an open mind, instead of filtering everything that I read through what I have been taught to believe (i.e. exegesis rather than eisegesis). In other words, I’m having to de-program preconceived notions.
    Several months ago I had a conversation with an individual who is a KJV, uber fundamentalist. When I made the point that it is possible that no one individual has a corner on the truth (that it was possible for believers to have differing viewpoints, that we can interpret verses differently), he replied back with I Peter 1:20 (the verse about private interpretation). I assume his point is that since he is right about the Bible, he is not interpreting for himself. Since others are wrong about the Bible, they are guilty of private interpretation and thus have no credibility.
    My point is that some are so set in their beliefs that you cannot even have a rational discussion about the Scriptures. Unfortunately, I may have once been one of those myself.

  • bz

    The secret rapture is a complete deception with no biblical basis. It basically takes the un-biblical doctrine of purgatory and makes it happen on earth. However any topic in Christianity, eschatology or otherwise, can be co-opted by people who are isolationists and elitists. Even if they are theologically correct. Take for instance the religious leaders of Jesus’ day. I believe a bible based eschatology always points back to the Jesus of the gospels who calls us to be both in the world but not of the world. To be salt to flavor those individuals around us, and at the same time light that cant compromise with the darkness of society. It sounds impossible but that’s what we are called to do. And if we cant do that, our Christianity doesn’t matter.

  • bz

    The author is simply saying that no verse in the bible talks about it being a secret event.

  • NavPath55

    What part of those verses did you not understand?

  • Alan Christensen

    Some rapture writers (LaHaye, I think, is one) note the fact that in Revelation the word “church” doesn’t appear after chapter 3, inferring that the subsequent events are during the tribulation, when the church is absent from the earth. I find this kind of argument from silence unconvincing and agree with cjdewar about the Matthew and I Thess. passages. The imagery of “meeting the Lord in the air” is absolutely in I Thess. 4, but what’s being described is hardly a secret event.

  • Stephanie Page

    Two of the greatest and most insidious frauds ever perpetrated on the Christian community were popularized in the 1800s: The Rapture & Papal Infallibility, both hogwash with no basis in fact or scripture and both extremely damaging to all Christians who prefer to live in the present instead of the 9th Century.

  • Eric Folk

    Of course. Duck Dynasty has nothing to do with the Left Behind movie. It seemed like a gratuitous cheap shot.

  • Andre Rahming

    I thought this movie was a documentary about Cages acting career….. Is life so bad for Christians that they would sit around waiting for the sky fairy to return and take them away…. if the rapture included the Muslims and Practicing Jews I would be all for it the three problematic religions gone the world might become peaceful….

  • silicon28

    Since your are so big on talking about The Word? then you should know that there is no such book in the Bible with the title “Revelations.” There is a “Revelation of John” – but no “S” on the word… Jeesh; at least know what you are talking about before you start quoting it. That way you don’t look like a complete idiot. (Although your use of the word “Your” for “you’re” at the very start of your comment dug a hole you probably can’t get out of…)

  • WilmRoget

    ” the sky fairy”

    That derogatory term parallels the term ‘gay lifestyle’ and by using it, you put yourself on the same abysmal moral plane as homophobes.

  • WilmRoget

    “There is not a single passage in the entire Bible that describes a
    world-wide event where millions of people go missing and the world is
    ushered into chaos. It simply doesn’t exist– not anywhere.” Two men
    will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Mathew 24:40
    Umm, there is one verse for you, and there are many more.”

    Ironically, the passage you presented does not describe a ‘world-wide event’, but it does describe something that happens every day, in variations, around the world, for all time. Two people are in a room, one dies – of anything. It can be two workers in a field, or two women grinding, or a patient and a nurse, two soldiers on a battlefield. What is described there is simply death.

  • WilmRoget

    Your overt antisemitism though reflects your character.

  • WilmRoget

    “”I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be
    taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding grain together; one
    will be taken and the other left. ” (‭Luke‬ ‭17‬:‭34-35‬ NIV)”

    You know, that sort of thing happens every day. Two people are at work, one has a heart attack and dies. Or two people are at work in a bad neighborhood and a stray bullet kills one of them. Or two people are at work in a war zone and shrapnel from a bomb kills one of them.

    “This is simply from Luke, there are plenty elsewhere to prove you are wrong in your theology.”

    Your literalism betrays you:

    11 A woman[a] should learn in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man;[b] she must be quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 15 But women[c] will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety. I Tim 2

  • Me

    Have you never heard of parables?

  • Me

    And you have never made a mistake? Suppose you’d say (that is you would say, in case you missed it) there is no book of Thomas, either?

  • Brandon Roberts

    i agree with your points. this happens to often a christian says something will happen than it gets turned into biblical fact. or somebody misunderstands something in the bible than everbody blindly accepts it. like how some christians think masturbation is a sin though the bible says nothing about it or sodom and gomorah being used as an example for the anti gay agenda though they were actually destroyed for xenophobia idolatry and murder i think

  • ti

    MacArthur was my pastor for almost ten years–would be curious to see a link/context of his stating the rapture is merely implied; a quick search produced this, where he seems pretty convinced it is concretely anchored in other pillars of truth, such as Christ’s death and resurrection: “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord,(4:14–15a)

    The blessed hope of the Rapture is not based on the shifting sands of philosophical speculation. Nor is it religious mythology, a fable concocted by well-meaning people to comfort those who grieve. The marvelous truth that the Lord Jesus Christ will return to gather believers to Himself is based on three unshakeable pillars: the death of Christ, the resurrection of Christ, and the revelation of Christ.”

  • Mr. Collins

    “Nor is it religious mythology, a fable concocted by well-meaning people
    to comfort those who grieve.”

    Yes it is. It’s also a fable used by those who seek power over others to control and manipulate.

  • WilmRoget

    Thank you for admitting that you are wrong.

  • silicon28

    Which book of Thomas? The Coptic Gospel of Thomas, or the Infancy Narrative / Gospel of Thomas? Neither of which appears in any form of the N.T. Canon, but they certainly do exist.

    Nice job on the edit however, but the text actually should be referred to as “The Revelation of John” if you are going to mention it as a whole.

    And a bit of a free hint, honestly offered… You might not get replies with snark in them if you actually did a once-over of your own attitude that veritably screams out in your comments. There is a hard, derisive, borderline sarcastic “tone” in practically everything you say, that frankly doesn’t leave you much room for what reads like a bit of a whine when you get back what you are offering in the first place. (For what it’s worth…)

  • Mike

    Then I guess that make Jim Jones a good person

  • Michael Shawn Kelly

    When we try to make the bible something it isn’t, we diminish what it really is. (And this happens in many more ways that just these end of the world scenarios.) These sad folks that want to feel more important about their place in history use this rapture nonsense to glorify their “persecuted” existence with a false knowledge of a “someday we will win” mantra. We should just invite them to the party but ignore their sad theology.

  • bz

    Its difficult to discuss the scriptures if people don’t operate from a starting point of letting the bible interpret itself by comparing scripture with scripture. I’m personally trying get away from believing for face value what I was taught and trying to test my beliefs by the bible.

  • bz

    The author’s point isn’t to refute the second coming. It is to refute the biblical notion that it will be a secret which is what the left-behinders believe.

  • The Lost Dutchman

    I think you mean Mel Gibson, although a Passion movie by Mel Brooks would have plenty of extra-Biblical elements.

  • Alan Christensen

    “The majority of Christians” have never “believed this crap.”

  • Alan Christensen

    This discussion thread, while interesting, reminds me why I belong to a church that makes no dogmatic statements about the End Times / Second Coming beyond “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again” and “He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead.”

  • Joshua Tyler Williamson

    I’m going BECAUSE Nicolas Cage is in it.

  • Scott_In_OH

    Second sentence of the OP. One of the guys from Duck Dynasty is helping produce this movie. Not gratuitous or cheap.

  • $120619225

    “Recently it was made public that one of the producers of the movie is none other than Duck Dynasty’s Willie Robertson,
    who is imploring Christians to gather up their friends and take them to
    see the movie in hopes they’ll “get saved” on the way home.”

    And if they don’t get saved, they will at least have helped Phil Robertson make more money. Won’t you please give?

  • R Vogel

    If ‘Jesus is coming soon!’ there is little motivation to deal the with big and very real problems facing the world because it will all be replaced. Concern with making new Christians is not engaging with the world. If all the effort was put into combating climate change, poverty, and oppression what might the outcomes have been?

  • JulieStilesMills

    Love this thread. No arrogance or sarcasm. Responses filled with grace, patience and eloquence, an open, respectful dialog allowing doubt and questions without judgement, in the spirit of edification. I don’t mean this in a condescending way – I was encouraged by your conversation. I don’t see this kind of dialog in comments very often. LOVE this thread. Thanks.

  • I think MacArthur says (correct me if I’m wrong here) that the Thessalonians’ fear of missing the Day of the Lord indicates they conceived of a “rapture” happening before the tribulation. But its hard to see how one can get the current popular conception of the “rapture” from 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17, which seems to be describing something completely different. I’d be interested to hear about any pre-19th century conceptions of the “rapture” as a distinct event from the second coming of Christ. I agree with the blog host that there are healthier ways to look at the “end times,” particularly a renewed emphasis on the Kingdom of God (by way of N.T. Wright and others). In general, I think eschatology is one of the most abused theological topics in the popular imagination – in part because it draws from our lurid desires to see our fellow humans be punished. An unhealthy obsession with it tends to bring out the worst in ourselves and our faith traditions.

  • Mandy

    Did you miss his statement, “There is not a single passage in the entire Bible that describes a world-wide event where millions of people go missing and the world is ushered into chaos. “????

  • Mandy

    Notice it says “on THAT night”; it doesn’t say “on ANY GIVEN night”–obviously he is referring to that specific event. The other verse you referenced about being submissive has absolutely nothing to do with this discussion. Thanks.

  • WilmRoget

    Note what I said about literalism.

    Then consider that for each person, when they die, that night is ‘THAT’ night.

    “The other verse you referenced about being submissive has absolutely nothing to do with this discussion.”

    Of course it does. Taken literally, the method you’ve used here, it applies to all discussions.

  • Ron McPherson

    Same with the church I attend. I’ve never heard our pastor preach on the end times.

    Reading the book of Revelation carries a blessing but it’s probably best to study it privately. Just my opinion. Some from the small group I lead have expressed an interest in doing a group study on it but I’m not going there.

  • Anton Meyers

    So were supposed to just accept the dreck hollywood foists on us without a peep? Rather sneery,condescending tone to this that kept me from taking it seriously.

  • bz

    By chaos do you mean the wicked will be destroyed by the “brightness of his coming”? The only ppl left behind according to the bible aren’t alive anymore..

  • paganheart

    Only good flick he ever did.

  • Andy

    Do you have a dog that’s not housebroken yet? I know what you could do with those books…

  • Andy

    I had no intention of seeing this already, and you’ve certainly convinced me that that’s the right decision. Thank you, Ben. I hope this reaches other people who (rightly) have doubts about whether or not this movie is a good idea.

  • Andy

    The majority of fundamentalist ones, maybe?

  • Andy

    I would watch a Passion movie by Mel Brooks. Many times.

  • onearmsteve

    http://youtu.be/wDpln8z5BkE here is Tim Staples on this topic

  • HappyCat

    Two other reasons for me not to go – do I really want to give these folks money? Second, do I really want the whopping dose of depression that the portrayal of Non-Christians in these films seem to leave me with?

  • paganheart

    Exactly. I still remember the Sunday School teacher I had in the sixth grade who said that she thought a nuclear confrontation with the Soviet Union might be a good thing, because it would “hasten the day when our Lord returns.”

    I’ll be blunt: I think the Rapture is a cop-out. An easy excuse used by so-called “Christians” who don’t want to do the work of bringing God’s kingdom to Earth….because it’s hard; because it’s messy; because it’s complicated; because it would require pain and sacrifice; because it might force us to rethink and reform our selfish, shallow, superficial, decadent, comfortable and materialistic lives; because loving–really loving–our neighbors is so, so, so much harder than hate and judgement, especially when they don’t look, talk, think, pray, or have sex just like us; because praying for people and telling them to “get saved” is a lot easier than doing any or all of that really hard stuff, and we’re lazy creatures.

    If Jesus is just going to come back and take all “good Christians” away from this horrible mess we’ve made of our planet anyway, then why bother do anything good for our fellow humans, or the planet? In fact, if you believe in Rapture theology, then we should not even try to make the world a better place; if anything, we should be hoping it just gets worse and worse, and perhaps we should even actively try to make things worse. Because the worse things get, the sooner Jesus is going to come back and take us all to heaven!!! Hallelujah!!!…..hence my Sunday School teacher’s comment, and the comments of those who seem to be just itching for the US to go to war with the entire Muslim world, Islam having basically replaced Communism as evil incarnate.

    These people terrify me. And they really piss me off.

  • IveBeenCalledWorse

    Scripture clearly states that the great tribulation is the final 3.5 yr. At some point (maybe soon??) will be a 7 yr peace treaty, then 1/2 way through, the abomination of desolation; (revealing of the antichrist)-that starts the trib. then Christ’s return at the end of days. His angels will gather His elect (Christians) and separate the wheat / tares saved/unsaved. there is not a 7 yr trib after the good boys and girls disappear- that is fantasy-hence the left behind movie and books.

  • “Scripture clearly states that the great tribulation is the final 3.5 yr”

    If scripture “clearly” states this, please cite the chapter and verse. Thanks.

  • Upharsin

    I’m not sure it’s justifiable to say that “rapture theology was invented in the UK and then transported to the US”. It’s an idea “invented” by the Jesuit Francisco Ribera in the 16th Century, developed by Increase Mather in the US in the 17th Century, and only taken up by a Scottish minister (Edward Irving) in the early 19th Century. It didn’t gain much of a foothold in the UK until Tregellis wrote of it in 1866. Certainly, it was more popular as an idea in the US before Darby took up the cause in the UK!

  • Alan Christensen

    Oh, definitely. Dispensationalism and the accompanying end-times beliefs have been standard equipment for fundies for 100 years.

  • Lol.. this guy obviously is ‘nuts’. why so worried about people watching it? do people get warned about the horror movies and gangster movies? why the sudden warning about this movie? seem to me this guy is twisted… why not just let people watch it… lol… i’ve never heard anything so absurd. you have to warn people before watching this movie? not surprise, the devil is at work.

  • God does not force Himself on anyone. He has given us a choice. We are not robots. If you believe in Him, then that’s good and if you don’t, well you would soon know the choice you have made. Either way, you will know. Many people use the word Christianity, and claim to be one but as God said there will be a lot of false prophets and that includes regular people too. Remember, from the time of Jesus here in the world, the world hated Him, they rejected Him, and they crucified Him. We, who believe in Him, believe that He is the Lord and Savior and He died for the sins of the world. In order for one to understand about Jesus and His Word, does not have to do with the schooling here in the world… but what God reveals to you as you read the Word, as you speak to Him and as messages are given. We will all be judged accordingly, and if you don’t believe it then that is up to you. But don’t force people to believe in your man made theory’s… Just cause nothing is revealed to you does not mean, it is not so… Come to the Lord! and I promise you, He will reveal what you need to know. If you do not want too, that’s a choice you made and no one is judging here… God will, when you are in front of Him someday… So, that’s between you and Him… I will continue to praise and thank the Lord because I know what He has done for me, and I know what I was saved from…

  • Mr. Collins

    “God does not force Himself on anyone.”

    Gotta call BS on that one. Offering people a choice of “Love me or I will torture you forever” is DEFINITELY forcing yourself on someone.

    Don’t take this the wrong way, but the god you worship, the way you describe him? He sounds like a stalker. (Domestic violence comes to mind. You should get a restraining order. Seriously.)

    Maybe you should rethink worshiping a psychopath and find yourself a god of love and acceptance and inclusion. Ya’ know… someone like Jesus.

  • IveBeenCalledWorse

    Mtthw 24;21; Christ states the Great trib starts at the abomination of desolation; also read Daniel, and Thes, and Revelation. The Abomination of desolation is in the ‘middle of the week’ 3.5 into the final 7; 3.5 remain. Read the scriptures; I am not getting into a freak out prove it session so you or someone else can end up claiming you don’t even believe it or take things out of context. Read the Bible; it is clear. do your own research
    http://biblehub.com/kjvs/matthew/24.htm

  • LOL, no, it doesn’t, but I’m sure you know that.

  • Sarah

    Jesus loves you, the Bible is the living word of GOD, if you take the time and pray that God will reveal the truth to you,

  • @ LBV Collins. First, a stalker would know what a stalker is. Secondly, no one is debating. I shared my belief and you did yours… “point proven”. Truth seem to hurt people and accuse someone of being a hateful person, when in reality… when you look in the mirror, you see the true hater and it is “you”. I don’t need to defend God, but all will stand before Him. Including you!

  • Mr. Collins

    Good evening, MizKrys. I apologize for not responding sooner. (It’s been a busy week.)

    Let’s discuss your points.

    “First, a stalker would know what a stalker is.” You’re implying I’m a stalker. (e.g. It takes one to know one.) You should avoid using this type of argument. Here’s why: If I’m a stalker, and I therefore know one when I see one, and I then point out that the god you worship sounds like a stalker to me, then you have validated my assertion (since I’m an expert on stalkers).

    “Secondly, no one is debating.” Not true. By sharing our opinions and then having those opinions challenged, we are indeed debating. (I have found that debating is often a good way of finding truth.)

    “Truth seem to hurt people and accuse someone of being a hateful person, when in reality… when you look in the mirror, you see the true hater and it is ‘you’.” I’m not entirely sure what you’re saying here, but I think you’re suggesting that I’m accusing God of being hateful, when you believe I’m the actual hater. (Is this correct?) I’m not accusing God of being hateful. But I am stating that it’s my perception that the god you describe is a “love me or I’ll kill you ” psychopath. I stand by that statement. (And no, I’m not a hater.)

    “I don’t need to defend God, but all will stand before Him. Including you!” I’m atheist. To me, this is at best a silly statement, at worst an empty threat. You might as well threaten me with punishment from Zeus or Ra or Odin.

    I look forward to your response.

  • I also read the entire series in my younger days. And like you (I think, but please tell me if I’m putting words into your mouth), I was uneasy with the whole thing even though I didn’t have the theological logic to say why.

  • I’ve never been myself, though I can see how they could be good for a laugh. But I don’t think I’d be able to laugh too hard at them, because I’d be too busy cringing at the fact that people are presenting this as “this is what we Christians believe.”

  • @ LBV Collins.

    Hello LBV, You were the one that said “stalker” first, did you not? Now, if you can say that God is like a stalker, and it seems ok for you to say, why is it not ok for me or anyone else to say this about you? Did you say at any point that you are an expert in stalkers before making your comment? No, you did not.

    Ok. I will agree about the debate. As many has debated about God and if you would like to debate go and have one with Dr. James White at Alpha and Omega Ministries http://aomin.org. I am sure he would love to do so with you. Finding the truth is truly important and I do not believe that anyone will see eye to eye if one does not have the truth in them. Although, yes it can be healthy to enlighten others of the opinion of others. Mine, is not an opinion as I know it to be true. I, once was living as the world did.. I am thankful and blessed because I know how life was before and I know how it is after coming to the Lord. I do not go around stating things I did not experience on my own. Since, you have not. You will remain in your belief and as I said, we do not force God on anyone, we simply give the Word of God and it is up to the people whether they choose to know about Him or not. All we can do is share the Word and pray. As you are now in mine.

    Threat? really? That is a silly statement. Many on these forums have said worse and absolutely have threatened people and you say I did that? It’s funny to me. You are an Athiest, who do not believe there is a God, that’s your opinion. I am a Christian who knows and believes with all my heart that God exist and His Words are true. I guess you would see that His Words are threatening as you do not believe in Him. Let me tell you, that is something you would need to discuss with Him, if you even wish to really address what you consider a threat.

    2 Corinthians 5:10-For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

    Also, in Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.

    Let me give you just one more:
    Romans 14:11
    It is written: “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.'”

    These are not threats… These are things that will take place whether one believes or not. He isn’t trying to scare anyone, He is hoping that you would see the truth for what it really is. He loves all of us and He doesn’t hate us. The devil is the hater and no one should ever want to find out what hell is like at the judgment time. I was not always walking with God, it was not until the year 2007 when God, Himself led me to Him as He know I would never search for the truth. I love learning, though I am not one of the intelligent and I am ok to be a just a regular person but all my life I searched for the truth, but I looked for the truth in a worldly way. Since, my faithful day, there has been great change in my life when sadness and emptiness went away. No, He never said it was easy as we would be hated and persecuted and ridiculed. I stand, in one He says… I just remember that He came into this world and He was leading people to the truth but the world hated Him… So, the Son of God without sin was in the world and He was hated.. What more with someone who is like everyone who falls short of the glory of God, would get? So, Sir thank you for your response and I appreciate your opinion, but please do not accuse me of threatening anyone, as I do not do such. If you have a problem with it, please talk to the one who can truly answer every question you may have, His name is Jesus Christ and His Words are true from the beginning, to now, til He comes again….He will answer! *smiles.

    I will keep you in my prayers and should you have anything else to say, please go ahead and do it as you are entitled, and I am also entitled “not” to respond… God Bless you….

  • Mr. Collins

    Good afternoon, MizKrys. Thank you for the thoughtful reply. Here are my responses to your points:

    Regarding my stalker remark, I’m not sure you understood my point. Yes, I did use the phrase first, noting “the god you worship, the way you describe him? He sounds like a stalker.”. Then you responded, in essence, that “it takes one to know one.” I suggested that your response strengthens my accusation, and that you may want to avoid using that argument in the future. So I reiterate, claiming that I’m a stalker, who then claims that the god you describe sounds like a stalker to me, then my bona fides as a stalker make me especially qualified to make that judgment. Instead, I think you would be better off challenging my credentials: “Oh? And what makes you an expert on what constitutes a “stalker?’” (I hope this makes sense.)

    Thank you for the suggestion to visit Dr. James White’s website. I checked it out, and while I’m not sure it’s an appropriate venue for an atheist, I’ll join and watch the conversations to make that determination.

    Regarding my “that’s a threat” response to your point, “I don’t need to defend God, but all will stand before Him. Including you!” …well that IS a threat. It’s no different than saying, “If you commit a crime, then you will be punished!” Both are threats. Both may be true, but both are threats, nonetheless. And as an atheist, stating that god will judge me is an empty threat, since I know the God of Abraham does not exist. The threat will never be acted upon.

    Regarding your quotes from the Bible, the only quotes I hope that all Christians will adhere to are found in Matthew 22:36-40. All else in the Bible is meaningless, in my opinion. Forget Revelations. Forget Genesis. Forget Leviticus 18:22. Forget all of it, except for the two greatest commandments. If all Christians followed those two commandments, and those two commandments alone, then I think the world would be a much better place.

  • *smiles…. thanks for taking time to respond to my reply. i did not read your reply any longer. i have said my “belief” and what i know to be true. i threatened no one, as i am not in a habit of doing so. God Bless you…

  • I must say that I was moderately affected by by Hal Lindsay’s eschatology when I first found Jesus in the mid 80s; the subject fascinated me and my friends for the briefest of times. It was through that experience that I came to understand how shallow and fragile is a faith built on that kind of eschatology: trying to “scare” people into the kingdom doesn’t work. From that group of friends I am the only one who has continued with God to any degree (and many of my brethren are critical even of that because I’m gay).

    Since that time I’ve considered the “End Times” to be a subject to be discussed between brothers and sisters in Christ, for mutual support and edification. The subject should not be wasted on non-believers, who can neither understand nor appreciate what it fully means. The twisted recounting of the “Left Behind” story is only made worse by its clumsy use as an evangelistic tool; such a use effectively relies on a person’s greed and sense of self-preservation to get them to follow God… which is almost the exact opposite of the attributes that God wants us to portray as Christians.

    So I will not be seeing the movie at all; and will discourage anyone who even thinks of it. Hearing that Mr. Robertson is one of the backers, I can only shake my head at what was once a very noble faith; it has been reduced to being not just crass, but downright silly.

  • I would definitely agree with that assessment. I wasn’t certain at all about it, but it seemed as if his whole story rested on a tenuous strain of logic.

  • Wise! Don’t go there! Sit and watch a good comedy on TV; better use of your time!

  • Not xenophobia and idolatry! That’s actually probably somebody else trying to deflect from what Ezekiel really DID say. Strange how so many have their own agenda. Ezek.16:49: Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.

    So if judgement is ‘coming upon a nation’ for doing what was done in Sodom and Gomorrah, then YES, we WILL be judged! Just not for the things that people would LIKE others to be judged on.

  • Why is it that when people make a difficult-to-prove point, they always fall back on “I’m not going to bother proving it because I know you aren’t actually interested in proof”?

  • …am I reading you right? Mr. Corey is “nuts,” “twisted,” and doing the devil’s work for warning people not to treat a work of fiction as if it were Biblically-supported fact and sound theology? I read your “debate” with LBV below, and you seem to take Scripture seriously. So what, then, of the Scriptural warnings against evil speech? James 4:11-12, Ephesians 4:29, etc. go hand-in-hand with the 2 Corinthians verse you cite. A wise Christian will keep them in mind when disagreeing with a brother or sister in Christ.

  • Not to mention, if you giggle too much you get found out and they boot you :)

  • Wonderful.. I will keep those scriptures in mind. Thanks very much. God Bless

  • Concerned Citizen

    But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep.

    For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. (1Thessalonians 4:13-18)

  • Concerned Citizen

    For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. (1Thessalonians 4:13-18)

  • Concerned Citizen

    But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep.
    The rest are in 1Thessalonians 4:13-18

  • Concerned Citizen

    Something worth looking into:

    For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep.

    For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. (1Thessalonians 4:13-18)

  • Pasting the same bible verse in multiple comments is spamming, and if you don’t stop, I’ll remove you from the site.

  • Hi, sorry, this is random, but I’m curious: when we speak to/about you here in the comments, what name would you prefer we use? Ben? Benjamin? Mr. Corey? “The author”?

  • Whatever you prefer is fine with me.

  • Benjamin. In all due respect, being anti baptist and an anti baptist author, speaker and blogger does not make you an expert on this subject. In addition, you having a doctorate or any other type of degree doesn’t make you an expert or ultra professional on this subject as well. I am going to respond and redress your five reasons, right here, right now. I have a degree also; but in order to clearly and truly understand God’s Holy Word, which we call the Bible, we must study and examine it through prayer asking God for UNDERSTANDING in order to share it, in truth, with anyone else let alone in understanding it ourselves. We must remember, God’s word is truth, because God doesn’t lie; therefore, everything in the Bible, though written by and through God’s Holy Servants and Prophets, must be taken literal. You appear to be giving your own thinking and reasons why not to take the movie seriously; not God’s. God wants us to take 1 Thessalonians 3 and 4 very seriously, and THE WHOLE BIBLE and other areas of the Bible that address the catching away, snatching away, and rapturing away of TRUE CHRISTIANS before unparalelled horror and violence takes place on Earth thereafter. Here is my response to your five things to consider before taking the movie seriously. I think this movie should be taken very seriously and feel that it is a “last alter call” from God before TRUE believers are caught up, raptured, and taken away to be with Jesus before the horrific events in the book of Revelation immediately commence thereafter:

    1. In accordance with the Holy Bible, which is the word of Almighty God (God speaking and teaching mankind), the catching away, snatching away, or the rapture as we modernists call it, is not the end of the world. It is the catching or snatching away of true believers, both those that have been dead since Adam and Eve, and those who are alive and remain at the time that the rapture happens (See 1 Thessalonians 3 and 4, and 1 Corinthians 15:51-52. This physical world, as we know it or have known it since Adam and Eve, will not end or be destroyed, however this present generation, from Adam and Eve until shortly after the battle of Armageddon, will come to an end in which we all will almost destroy ourselves, however, Jesus will return and stop us from totally annihilating ourselves completely; and oh, those Christians that were snatched away will be with Christ when he returns at the Battle of Armageddon.

    2. Benjamin; anyone that reads God’s Holy Word, the Bible, between the lines, is not a true Christian. You should know that God’s word is literal; and just because EVERYTHING is not found in one passage or scripture doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist or it will not happen. You must read, and study the entire Bible and many chapters and verses references other chapters and verses in other books within the Bible. 1 Thessalonians 3 and 4, and 1 Corinthians 15:51-52, and Matthew 24 (and other chapters in Mark, Luke and John), tells of the signs to look for that would precede Jesus coming or return and guess what? Those signs are all here and are happening right now. So yes Ben, the catching away, snatching away or rapture is described, mentioned and explained in the Bible.

    3. If rapture theology (which is true), has a negative effective on the world, then it must be true! Satan would love for most of the world to not believe in a catching, snatching, or rapture of true believers; this way, the majority of the world would be left behind (no pun intended) and careened into the tribulation period as depicted in the book of Revelation and billions of people would end up dying in their sins and would possibly go straight to hell (I know that’s hard and cruel but God warns us of not ending up in hell). The fact that Jesus Christ is soon to return has a negative effect on the world; most everyone does not want Jesus to return now because they are having too much fun or doing their own thing. Jesus wants us all to be saved by believing on Him as Lord, God and Savior; that also has a negative effect on the world…again, most of us feel that if we do good, give to the poor, go to church, treat each other with respect, that a loving God will just let us into Heaven when we die and we can do our own thing while we are alive during our life in our earthly body; but the Bible says that we must BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST in order to be saved; good works will not get us into Heaven or save us from hell.

    4. Anyone that tries to predict when the rapture will occur, or even when the world might end by providing specific dates, cannot be true Christians. The Bible warns us and tells us not to do such things because in Matthew 24 Jesus states that no man (or woman) knoweth the day, or the hour, not the angels, or even the Son (Jesus), but only the Father (God) knows the time, day, and hour. If we are true Christians, we will not even attempt to try and set dates, times, etc., because God strictly tells us that no one knows when the end will be or when Jesus will return but God himself. However, Jesus does give signs to look for, and tells us to keep watch, and be ready, because the Son of Man (Jesus) will come at a time that you think not.

    5. If you are a true Christian, you know the Bible. You know the word of God and what it says about the rapture. You also know that Jesus gives us signs to look for and admonishes and tells us to be ready because he will appear or come/return at a time that we think not (that we don’t believe or think he will return). A true Christian will not panic, worry, be filled with fear, be afraid, sell his earthly goods and go crazy, etc. A true Christian will live his or her’s life in a Godly and Christian way, maintaining coolness and calmness, but maintaining that coolness and calmness in Christ and God, relying on them, trusting, and having faith in them for everything that they need in this life, including faith in them that in accordance with God’s word, true Christians will not be here when the horrific and violent events commence as depicted in the book of Revelation. Most of us in fact are not true Christians; we say that we are, but we are so caught up in this world, into the things of this world, into our money, houses, cars, gadgets, technology, computers, toys, women, men, sex, everything and anything that the world has to offer, that deep inside we do not want Jesus, or God for that matter, to come down to Earth or return at least not just yet! What are you willing to give up for Jesus? What are you willing to just leave here and be caught up to be with Jesus? I myself are willing to give up anything and everything that I have including my own soul. All of us are giving every excuse we can not to READ THE LINES (not between them) in the Bible, which are literal, that clearly state that Christians, true Christians that is, are soon, in accordance with God’s word, going to vanish or be caught up in the air to be with Jesus for all eternity very soon; it clearly states this in the Bible. If such an event is in the Bible, and it has not happened yet, then you’d better believe that it is for a future time, and in accordance with the Bible, and in accordance with the signs that Jesus spoke of in the gospels that would precede His return, this catching, snatching and rapturing away of Christian/Believers to meet the Lord in the air (they will vanish), is imminent and will very shortly happen. All I can say to you Benjamin, is get ready. Our Lord Jesus is soon to return (praise His name). He tells us constantly to watch for Him and to keep our lamps trimmed and to be sure to have enough oil in our lamps to ensure that we will see the way to HIm when he appears (symbolic metaphor). You pray about this to God Benjamin. Forget about your Doctorates, and other degrees, and lean on the Lord Jesus Christ for your own understanding and wisdom and on your own thinkings. The Bible says, “the wisdom of this world is foolishness unto God.” Which means, the most intelligent and smartest thing in this world and of this world means absolutely nothing, and has no value (its vanity) to God. God bless all of you. And get ready because our Lord is returning very shortly. I could tell you more, but if you want to know more, call me at 1-941-822-5810. Or go to: http://www.combathomelessness.com. Thanks, and may God teach you all, and be with you all. Hope to see you in Heaven soon.

  • The various doctrines of the Rapture of all born-again believers–living and dead–followed at some point by a seven-year period of God’s wrath and judgment on a Christ-rejecting, Israel-persecuting world, culminating in the literal, physical return of Jesus Christ to inaugurate the 1,000-year earthly kingdom that God promised Israel thousands of years ago is based on a consistent and literal interpretation of God’s Word.

    The doctrine that we are currently living in said “kingdom” (so, gosh, let’s all roll up our politically correct sleeves and get busy building a better world) is based on a highly allegorical view of Scripture which turns the book of Revelation into a scary dream. Or else something we can have some fun with:

    “So, you think Captain Kangaroo is the Antichrist and Mr. Greenjeans is the False Prophet? Kewl.”

    Oh, that’s right…you graduated from a *seminary*. Sorry, I forgot. My bad.

    Your article is biased to the point of being…well, lies, not to put too fine a point on it. Yes, of course John MacArthur states that the word “rapture” doesn’t appear in the English translations of the Bible. Why wouldn’t he? It doesn’t. The word “trinity” isn’t in the Bible, but the concept is clearly taught. The word “demon” isn’t in the Bible, yet they exist and do their work. I could go on, but you get the point. If you can’t read the Rapture as being clearly taught in various passages of Scripture, then I think I may have identified the problem: you can’t read.

    Also, the idea that J. N. Darby “invented” the Rapture in 1830 is a well-documented fiction typically promulgated by post-tribulation Rapture advocates that are possessed of a maniacal, vitriolic loathing for the pre-tribulation view of the Rapture (gosh, I wonder where *that* comes from?). Knowing that, however, requires one to do one’s homework, which you have not. You would do well to do so before writing any more articles that reveal your ignorance of this fact.

    You know, journalistic integrity and all that.

    Or maybe you don’t.

  • bz

    So…my atheist friend, I thought this was a joke until I Googled it. SMH. Thats what happens when we christians dont understand what the bible says about hell and substitute hellenistic afterlife ideas. crazy stuff.

  • Matthew Williams

    Hey, didn’t you write for Cornerstone or am I hallucinating.

  • Mario Strada

    Well then, now I am convinced!

    I hate to pile on, since Corey already gave you fair warning, but I have to wonder what this fixation with pasting bible verses in comment threads is all about.
    Using the same machine and technique, any of us can go read the bible in several different translations and, no doubt, in the original as well. It’s not like this is an obscure passage that is also relevant to the discussion. Even I know it and I am not a Christian.

    in fact, my point is that whenever I read a post with a straight bible passage on it and no other contribution by the author the first thing that pops into my mind is not “Glory be! I am converted”. It’s “here goes another troll with nothing to say but feeling superior because he can cut and paste some verses.

    By the way, this is not for you, but how long will it take for Christians to realize the second coming is not happening? It’s 3000 years enough? If I am not mistaken, Jesus is reported to have said that some of those with whom he was sharing his prophecy would be still alive, or in the same generation, upon his return. That ship has sailed in the First century I am afraid, but the end of the world, as far as the Jews were concerned, did indeed come. It was certainly the end of the world as they knew it.

  • Mario Strada

    I liked the one where is alcoholic in Las Vegas. Forgot the name. Was it “leaving Las Vegas”?

  • Lori Wells Mang

    Peggy Sue got married was great! Also the movie he made about the cop who won the lottery with Rosie Perez was really cute.

  • Bill Burchard

    I enjoyed Cage in The Family Man. Good movie. (I actually bought the DVD and play it every once in a while.)

  • jordan

    Does anyone find it funny that Paul was talking to his contemporaries and fully expected some of the people he was talking to would still be alive when this happened? When was that? Like 1970 years ago?