The Rapture--Grand Truth or Great Hoax?
Jesus Kills Gandhi: News at Eleven
This is a bit of a long one so get comfy and dive right in…
Within some of my hubs, comments about heaven and hell show up—not too often, but occasionally. I personally don't believe in either one. If you read my hubs, you will understand why.
One of my favorite religious subjects is the Apocalypse, or The End Times. The biblical books of Daniel and Revelation* are where you’ll find most of the references that End Time believers use to prove the so-called Rapture is just around the corner. As a former fundamentalist Christian, I have been hearing about this state of affairs for several decades. At one time, I was convinced it was true. But in restudying scripture and allowing myself to listen to some who were much wiser or more learned on the subject, I gradually allowed the End Time mindset to dissolve.
I share with you (by permission) a wonderful segment of a piece entitled “Debunking the Rapture.” It won’t matter much to those of you who are non-Christian or at least non-Rapture, but you End Time Christians might want to reconsider your Armageddon fervor.
“Jesus is Coming. Look Busy.”
(Excerpt taken from Living the Questions 2.0, Session 13: Debunking the Rapture, featuring Barbara Rossing. Session Guide excerpt reprint authorized by livingthequestions.com, LLC.)
There are many strands in the fabric of scripture, and apocalypticism [End Time belief and pronouncement] is certainly one of them. But it's not the only one. Simply put, the apocalyptic image of Jesus returning in power on a majestic white horse with sword in hand to slaughter the evil masses absolutely contradicts the Jesus who taught us to love our enemies, the humble Jesus who rode into Jerusalem on a donkey and would later tell his disciples that "those who live by the sword will die by the sword." How could one who practiced non-violence and compassion denounce his core values and embrace brute force, violence and vengeance? It is simply inconceivable that the God revealed to us in Jesus Christ would resort to retribution. It is more than inconceivable; it is unbelievable…
In her book, The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation, Barbara Rossing asserts that Revelation’s true message is a “vision of hope for God’s healing of the world.” A divine plan to dramatically and violently enter into history and remake the world is a lie. The literal “second coming” will never happen—and yet we are called to participate in the coming of the Kingdom here and now. Slow it may be, but the will and principles of a just and gracious God are being worked out in human life and institutions—in us! We are the second coming, called to manifest a message of hope to a world in fear…
Insofar as one perceives the mystery of the Divine as the benevolent ground of
all being and that Mystery to have been revealed in Jesus, then there is certainly
nothing to fear from the ravings of apocalyptic preachers and authors. Our call
continues to be one of offering an alternative to the fear and violence embraced
by so much of the Church. The message of Revelation is but one facet of the
disciples’ overall responsibility of bearing hope and reconciliation to a troubled
world—doing our part to bring healing to the nations, one person at a time.
Well, what do you think? Any ideas as to how Rossing might be wrong? Or does it make sense to you? I’m looking forward to the coming discussion.
In the mean time, each of us is free to believe as we choose. I would only recommend that we follow the path of compassion, that is, do the least harm and the most good. Any religion or spiritual path worth its salt will have compassion as its root principle. If not, don’t bother with it.
Rapture or not, we still have to live with each other. Might as well make it as good a life as possible. I know you agree.
*Not every church scholar and authority was pleased with the idea of adding The Book of Revelation to the biblical canon. It found its place in history by a very narrow margin.