Will the rapture happen?

And, if it does, will the job market open up? :slight_smile:
This is a blog post I wrote about the rapture. I apologize for any misspellings or unclearity. I typed it on my blackberry late last night and did not proofread it.

From time to time, I have the advantage of knowing about religion work in my favor. Regularly, I meet people in bars that want to talk religion. This is rarely a good thing. Beer and discussions about thought are often not good.

Recent news about the rapture happening on Saturday from religious radio talk show host Harold Camping raised many comments of facebook and discussions about eschatology, or the “end time” Theology. I want to take a few minutes and clarify many ideas in Christian Theology that the mainstream media will obviously not care to cover. It’s not “sensational” enough and is more “newsworthy” than what they want.

–Who is Harold Camping?
Harold Camping is the guy who came up with the idea that the rapture will happen on Saturday. He also wrote a book that says the rapture will happen in 1994.

He is a radio talk show host who claims no affiliation with any church. He was an engineer and tries to fit this idea that numbers must mean some sort of prediction in Scripture, so he made up a confusing formula to say people will be raptured this weekend.

Now, I have studied Eschatology for years. I have laughed at many ideas. Camping’s formula is the first thing I have looked at EVER and said, “What!?” It honestly makes no sense. It is based off ideas of Jesus’s death (that he seemed to make up) and multiplying numbers of that to certain numerical values of what number stands for heaven to come up with a strange idea that…well…NOBODY gets.

Why is the media even caring…oh yeah. Sensationalism = $$$.

–What is the rapture?
We have to clarify a point here. Camping is not suggesting that the end of the world is on May 22nd. He is saying the rapture is May 22nd. It is important to clarify this because it means a lot in terms of understanding what ideas we are … quite frankly … laughing at.

So what is the rapture and how does it differ from the end of the world? This is VERY complicated to answer because of how different groups view the rapture. Essentially, the rapture is when Christians are brought out of this world, then Jesus comes back and opens a can of whoop ass on the world.

The idea of the rapture comes from one peculiar verse in Scripture. I bet most of my readers would assume it is from Revelation. It is NOT. The verse is:

“and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

It is not found in Revelation at all, but is often attributed to the book of Revelation. It is found in 1 Thessalonians, chapter 4.

These few verses alone have lead to such a complicated mix of ideas in Christianity that I don’t want to go into them in depth here. Still, it is important to note that the idea of the Rapture is not based solidly in Scripture. Rather, this is one of the earliest books of the Christian Scriptures (possibly the earliest) and is most likely written by Paul to help reassure the church of Thessalonica about staying with Christianity. Little, if any, of the book is about strict doctrine and the whole book itself is someone personal, and poetic, in nature.

I say this all because many Christian denominations don’t believe in the rapture as proposed in this way. MOST see this verse as more poetic than literal.

–Eschatology in pop culture
Eschatology, or “end time” Theology is huge business in Christianity. When I started my Book of Revelation class in college, my professor started the class by saying if we hoped to make money off Revelation, we should NOT take his class. The less you know about the book, the more you can make. I still believe him after 15 years.

There have always been people that put forth “end time” Theologies. There is not a moment in Christian History where the “end of the world” and speculation about it were not a central focus. In recent times, Hal Lindsey’s “The Late, Great Planet Earth” became a huge sensation in the 1970s, claiming the world would end in the 1980s. He later wrote a different, less popular book, about the world ending at a different date (which I cannot recall offhand, as well as lack of caring since it made no real impact).

Now we are faced with Camping’s predictions. Somehow, his initial prediction that the world would end in 1994 made no ground and was obviously flawed. Now people are hovering around his new and improved 2011 prediction.

–Eschatology in Scripture
What scripture says about eschatology is complicated to answer. First and foremost, we have to understand the people that brought us these ideas and how they are viewed.

I won’t go into what people wrote the prophetic books. I will say we can focus on one book for this discussion: Revelation.

Revelation was written by someone that calls himself John. After reading this, people often jump on the assumption that it’s John, the Apostle. Little supports this and there are many reasons to believe it is not, in fact, THAT John. Nor, despite some odd similarities in Theology, is it the same anonymous person that wrote the Gospel of John.

Revelation was written, at least according to most scholars, around 95 AD, and during the reign of the Roman Emperor Domition.

The theme of the book talks about keeping hope during THAT time period. It promises that there will be difficult times, but God prevails. What we should look at next is an idea I believe to be true as I read Scripture, particularly Revelation. This is the idea of realized eschatology.

I can’t even grasp, after over a decade of reading on this subject, all the major ways Revelation and eschatology is understood in Christianity. There are just too many interpretations. Still, one idea I love is the idea of realized eschatology.

In laymen’s terms, realized eschatology means God is with us now. If we are always looking to figure out that “time” when God will come back, we miss the point. God is with us here…now. Revelation talks about that fact quite frequently. So much so that I argue it is the main point of the book.

I am not writing this because I think most of you are afraid of the rapture. I am writing this because I wonder how many actually think this is a main part of Christian Theology. Many (if not most) denominations reject the idea of the rapture. It’s a little annoying to see people label Christians based off such a silly concept.

As a side note, I have yet to find a church that has cancelled their Sunday services. If you do find one, wait until Monday, then call and ask their ideas about eschatology. You might find something humorous.

You have already demonstrated far greater understanding of the concept than Camping. It is fortunate that Camping is so badly amiss that he isn’t even wrong, because I have an extremely busy weekend planned.

I would be more interested in a discussion of Realized Eschatology.

Mr Camping has calculated that Rapture will happen when the clocks strike 6pm, and will roll around the world by timezone.

I therefore intend to avoid it by setting my clock forward two hours at 5pm tomorrow. I fully anticipate people in the western hemisphere to do the same once they realise what’s going on.

That was an interesting post, Puppet.

What I’ve never understood is why anyone would pay ANY attention (beyond a snigger, a roll of the eyes, or a boot up the backside) to further prophecies by someone whose predictions have been so spectacularly wrong.

When there is camping, a rupture is inevitable.

Moreover, people have left their jobs, sold their businesses and invested all they had in public ads to mark the date…

I am sad beacuse while there are many people who believe in “good faith” -no other intention that doing the right thing, or at least, what looks like it-, others want the world to end, they want to make it burn. Seems to me they feel powerful standing from such a moral position. I am afraid one of these days these clowns will purposedly make it happen -the end of the world as we know it, I mean.

The Rapture happened on 5/11. There are many empty containers in Nantou that stand as testimony to the fact that true believers have been taken up.

We are now officially living in the afterlife. Isn’t it great? :laughing:

[quote=“Fortigurn”]You have already demonstrated far greater understanding of the concept than Camping. It is fortunate that Camping is so badly amiss that he isn’t even wrong, because I have an extremely busy weekend planned.

I would be more interested in a discussion of Realized Eschatology.[/quote]
It has been years since I sifted through any of my material on this. I am wondering what I really have, but will dig up what I do have.

The idea seems logical to me, though. I accept the date of mid 90s CE for Revelation being written. At that time, Revelation would not offer much hope if it was meant to say, “Jesus will be back in 2011.” The idea is Jesus working in the Church now (and when it is written) makes more sense. The future prediction seems to take away from what God has done throughout the last 2000 years of our faith and seems to suggest this book has little value until it’s “time to happen.”

That’s ok, I’m familiar with partial-preterism, hyper-preterism (or ‘full preterism’, ‘completely realized eschatology’), and pret-idealism (the premier online resource for the subject is Preterist Archive, which I’ve been following for around 10 years).

Although preterism has its attractions, there are certain fundamental problems:

  • A flawed hermeneutic, especially where symbolism is concerned
  • A lack of continuity with Second Temple Period eschatological expectations
  • The extremely late date at which it emerges in Christian history

I likewise accept the late date for Revelation (which militates against the preterist interpretation), agree with your reasons for rejecting futurism, and hold to the historicist perspective.

No.

No one knows cept God Himself the exact time of the Son’s return. Chances are more then 1393939939393939393939393858588585 pct good it aint happening tomo. So you believers should still pack your lunch and go to work.

I will bet anyone 1000nt that the rapture will not come on May 21st.

Ven an atheist?e

[quote=“Dragonbones”]That was an interesting post, Puppet.

What I’ve never understood is why anyone would pay ANY attention (beyond a snigger, a roll of the eyes, or a boot up the backside) to further prophecies by someone whose predictions have been so spectacularly wrong.[/quote]
The sad thing is that there are some people having their pets euthanized to prevent them from suffering during the Apocalypse, all because they take this nutcase at his word. :raspberry:

I don’t think it will happen today, but I’m ready just in case.

Raptures do NOT usually happen on a Saturday. so relax.

It’s not official until 6:00pm!

Taoist pilgrimages usually do, at least in Taiwan. Just can’t get people out in number otherwise. I like how they divine the god’s will by casting oracle blocks, but only give the god weekends for a choice. :laughing:

Are any of these retards selling their properties? It could be an interesting and financially rewarding test of faith.

“You clearly won’t be needing your condo after Saturday, and money’s no use where you’re going, so how about you sign here? Now obviously it’s only good for me for the six months of mayhem the world has left, so that has to be factored into the price.”

HG

dailymail.co.uk/news/article … ction.html

parents tellin their kids they aint goin?