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I'll give it a go Lithium - 15/04/2004 04:22:45 PM

1. Do you believe in the Rapture?

Hmmm...this is a toughie. Read on...

2. Why or why not?

I understood that the Rapture was a fairly basic tenet of Christianity, but have only recently come to the conclusion that what many people understand as the Rapture is actually very loosely supported by scripture. Sure, you can read and interpret some aspects of Revelation pretty much any way you want, but I think that the Rapture idea is more based on (I believe) a verse in 1 Thessolonians that says we will be caught up with him in the twinkling of an eye - that the dead in Christ will rise first.

3. If you answered yes to #1, are you a Pre-Tribulation(it'll happen before seven years of horrible stuff) or Mid-Tribulation (3.5 years in)?

Bah. I believe that people interpret things way to literally for their own good. Look at the religious scholars of Jesus' time - they had all the prophecies figured out and knew exactly what the Messiah would look like when the time came, which is why they ended up killing him.

The popular belief of the coming of the Messiah was that he would save Isreal from Rome and establish an independent nation. The popular belief today is that people will be raptured and then all these things will start to happen. See the connection? I hope that a lot of people aren't looking the wrong way when all the stuff hits the fan.

That said, who's to say that the Tribulation and the Rapture are even related? Sure, the Rapture is identified with the second coming of Christ, as is the Tribulation, but not at the same book of the Bible and certainly not in the same wording. Too many people think they have it all figured out: you're either a pre, mid, or post-tribulationist. Eschatology is a lot of made up crap mixed together with what people want to believe, sprinkled with a liberal dose of loose (or strict, depending on your belief) scriputral interpretation. It doesn't really hold water, and I don't think it's worth buying into completely.

4. Do you know who is credited with starting the modern Rapture movement?

I would have to go with the apostle Paul on this one. Like I said, in 1 Thessolonians he talks about that. Basically, the early church was becoming concerned that Jesus hadn't come back yet, and that the Christians who were dying wouldn't get to go to heaven with him. Paul said that the dead in Christ would rise first, and that we would meet him in the air. This is also one reason why the early Christians put so much emphasis on burying the dead - catacombs and such - because they believed in the bodily resurrection. Now, whether or not the resurrection and the Rapture are the same thing is a different matter.

5. If you answered no to #1, do you believe in the Parousia of Christ (Second Coming)?

But of course.

6. The Left Behind series: a lot of truth mixed in with the fictional account or a lot of dangerous bunk that undermines Christianity?

Ehhh...I thought it was an interesting story that wasn't that well written. I also believe that trying to interpret prophecy in such a detailed manner will inevitably lead to areas where you are incorrect - oftentimes grossly so. As far as the story, I recognize it as Speculative Fiction (in the truest sense of the word ).

7. (Because I know some will want to say it anyways ): Is all of the above a bunch of hooey and not worth believing, whether it's Rapture stuff or Christianity in general?

To say anything is not worth believing is pretty sad, in my opinion.

8. Those Rapture bumper stickers:

a) I laugh when I read them, then shake my head in disbelief

b) I smile and agree with the sentiment

c) I proudly display one on my car

d) What the hell is a Rapture?

e) I think that bumper stickers proclaiming an obscure and unimportant aspect of one's faith are a poor representation of what Christ accomplished.

9. Should the Apocalypse of John/Revelations be viewed literally or metaphorically?

Bah. And double Bah! Prophecy is prohecy - you can never fully understand what it means until the event that it's perdicted has come to pass. And, more often than not, it can refer to two events at different times in history. That said, I believe that there are a lot of valuable lessons in Revelations: the judging of the world, the return of Christ, the making of a new world, etc. All these give great promise and shine the light of insight onto God's character. However, trying to figure out exactly how these things will happen is a fool's errand.

Bah, I'll just stop at 9 and see what answers are given. I just hope that people can agree or disagree civilly, but is that asking for too much here?

The problem with many of the ideas about the end times (indeed, all of religion) is that people tend to take it to extremes too often. They're just not comfortable until they've taken an idea and defined it, compartmentalized it, and stored it into their worldview in a nice, compromising way. What really needs to happen is that people need to lighten up and accept the fact that there are ideas out there that we won't really ever understand and that if the Tribulation or the Rapture does happen, we'll deal with it when it comes. Is that too much to ask?


Don't you know I've always loved you,
Even before there was time?
Though you turn away I tell you still-
Don't you know I've always loved you?
And I always will.

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/Survey: Do you believe in "The Rapture"? - 14/04/2004 11:21:18 PM 222 Views
Needless to say, I don't - 14/04/2004 11:27:30 PM 49 Views
Of course I don't. Don't be silly. - 14/04/2004 11:32:40 PM 28 Views
Good, I'm not that silly then - 14/04/2004 11:38:42 PM 10 Views
Re: Good, I'm not that silly then - 14/04/2004 11:47:04 PM 5 Views
I think it's a cultural thing, to be honest - 14/04/2004 11:56:26 PM 5 Views
I would wager so. - 15/04/2004 12:00:59 AM 5 Views
Very scary - 15/04/2004 12:19:52 AM 4 Views
Of course. - 14/04/2004 11:53:48 PM 36 Views
Breakdown? - 15/04/2004 12:21:04 AM 10 Views
My $.02 - 15/04/2004 12:19:57 AM 34 Views
I'm curious, are you a neo-Gnostic? - 15/04/2004 12:23:12 AM 17 Views
curiously.... - 15/04/2004 12:34:42 AM 18 Views
Ah, thanks - 15/04/2004 12:42:07 AM 13 Views
Quite Welcome... - 15/04/2004 12:48:38 AM 11 Views
I'll have to look for it sometime - thanks - 15/04/2004 12:53:46 AM 10 Views
Anytime *NM* - 15/04/2004 12:56:06 AM 2 Views
mmm no - 15/04/2004 01:59:19 AM 8 Views
Re: /Survey: Do you believe in "The Rapture"? - 15/04/2004 03:53:53 AM 8 Views
Ummm...what is it? - 15/04/2004 07:07:28 AM 18 Views
Don't worry. - 15/04/2004 07:27:16 AM 10 Views
Nope. - 15/04/2004 07:29:16 AM 7 Views
Ok, I'll answer, though I doubt anyone really cares what I answer. - 15/04/2004 08:46:14 AM 29 Views
Gee, where do you get that? - 15/04/2004 04:07:22 PM 15 Views
Hasn't worked yet... - 15/04/2004 05:18:31 PM 15 Views
I'm sorry that - 15/04/2004 08:07:21 PM 12 Views
Neither has waiting for Jesus to come back. - 15/04/2004 10:11:56 PM 11 Views
Oops! I thought you were talking about the Blondie song! *NM* - 15/04/2004 11:10:29 AM 3 Views
I don't believe in The Rapture,Buddha or JC or [insert deity here] but - 15/04/2004 11:24:34 AM 10 Views
have you read "The Rapture Trap" by Thingpin? - 15/04/2004 11:47:58 AM 12 Views
No. - 15/04/2004 12:12:27 PM 8 Views
- 15/04/2004 02:43:20 PM 14 Views
- 15/04/2004 02:53:16 PM 9 Views
I'll give it a go - 15/04/2004 04:22:45 PM 9 Views
A Little Defense of...da Rapture! - 15/04/2004 06:12:49 PM 11 Views