Loud and sustained sounds used to send me into shutters with shivers up my spine. Once in a while they still do, especially if they resemble a brass instrument. Since I live near a firehouse, my overall sensitivity has decreased. How odd…Why the fright, you may ask?
Have you seen any of them? $99 will buy you all 4 here. Horrible stuff.
In more recent times, the Christian mega hit book series by Tim LaHaye, and subsequent movie trilogy based on his books Left Behind, claims to portray what the Biblical predicts in the so-called Last Times.
All three movies will cost you just under $20 here. The extra bonus if you grew up in the 1980s, is seeing teen heartthrob Kirk Cameron acting again. (I really thought I’d married him one day. In middle school, I wrote him 2 fan letters and everything. Pffft, his LOSS!)
What many, if not most, of us don’t realize is how recent and uniquely North American this pseudo-theology is. It’s popular just in North Amercia, and hardly heard of nor accepted elsewhere in Christianity, globally, let alone historically. Here is a quick rundown of it. It’s recent doctrinal misappropriation: The Rapture and Second Coming stuff. (Spoiler Alert: It started “coming to life” in the 1700s).
I deeply appreciate NT Wright’s comments called Farewell to the Rapture. It’s a short read.
He shows how Paul’s language colorfully used social, religious, and political metaphors of the particular time. Rapture advocates have wildly attributed his intriguing language to extremely specific and literal occurrences and world events–present and future.
Regarding eschatology, Wright says, “Understanding what will happen [in the future] requires a far more sophisticated cosmology than the one in which “heaven” is somewhere up there in our universe, rather than in a different dimension, a different space-time, altogether.”
Basically, American End-Times theological invention subverts God’s current work of redemption in us. It obscures God’s nature, as well, and what God is “up to.”
The Harold Camping rapture nonsense brings this misunderstanding into glaring and ghastly light. How were his followers helped by his understanding of God? What will they do now that they haven’t raptured? Sad.
Even the attempts to map out the book of Revelation on any sort of timeline are terribly misguided. The book reads like an acid trip. Revelation barely made it into the Biblical canon. Martin Luther, who wanted the Bible in the hands of all Christian laity, said it should be included in the canon, but only if it was never used as teaching material.
How do you view the Book of Revelation?
The prime focus for believers should be the event and meaning of the cross, then and forever. It should be about how this truth of God’s work and grace becomes incarnational reality in our everyday lives. Let it never be degraded to who will get sucked into the sky one day, and when.