It is easy to start a war but it is very difficult to end a war…
In my previous article I explained how there is a palpable danger that fundamental Christians in high positions who subscribe to the belief in the Rapture will be more likely to take us into a conflict that precipitates into the third World War or Armageddon.
I have shared my concerns that we are now witnessing disturbing signs mainly in the United States where evangelical Christians have been “tweeted” into highly placed positions in the Government thereby being decision makers affecting the entire planet.
The most dangerous concept of evangelical Christians is their belief in the Rapture.
Rapture is based on the proposition that before the great tribulation Jesus will return on a cloud and at that time all true Christians will suddenly disappear from earth and meet Jesus on the cloud and be taken up to Heaven. Those who are "left behind" will be subjected to the wrath of God. Tribulation is interpreted as a time of oppression: wars, earth quakes, wars, starvation, and contagious diseases.(see Christianity Renewed Vol 2)
Armageddon is often portrayed as the ultimate war where the army of true Christians supported by Jesus Christ (who only preached love your neighbour) will fight the army of evil (Satan, the devil).
The far-fetched literal interpretation that Jesus would first do a fly-by of planet Earth to snatch away his true believers before the time of tribulation sound like the script of a Hollywood movie …but sadly enough it has now become a very popular belief in this Century.
History of the rapture
(Please visit my website www.christianityrenewed.com for more details)
The Origin (1907):
It all started in 1907. The Bible interpretation of the Rapture (originally preached by a Plymouth Brethren J.N. Darby) had a very humble beginning in the footnotes of the Scofield Reference Bible.
Gradually many Protestants who read the Scofield Reference Bible uncritically accepted what its footnotes said and adopted the rapture doctrine, even though no Christian had heard of it in the previous 1800 years of Church history. (Jesus never mentioned it – see Christianity Renewed Vol. III)
This idea of the Rapture became very popular due to the horror of World War I (1914-18), the scourge of the Spanish Flu (1918-20), the Great Depression (1929 -39), World war II (1939-1945) were all considered signs that the Time of the End or the close of the age had finally arrived. Sales of the Scofield reference Bible exceeded 2 million copies after World War II.
Another reason for the spreading of the Fallacy of Rapture was the rise of Fundamentalism. Christian fundamentalism, a movement in American Protestantism that arose in the late 19th century is a reaction to modern science, especially Darwinism (see Scope trial) which is the theory of biological evolution which is very different from the Book of Genesis.
In the twentieth century most people are content to get their knowledge of religion through books, movies and TV shows.
For example a popular series “Left Behind” tells the story of the end times (set in the contemporary era), in which true believers in Christ have been "raptured" (taken instantly to heaven), leaving the world shattered and chaotic. As people scramble for answers, the secretary-general of the United Nations, (who is the Anti-Christ) is promising to restore peace and stability to all nations. The series sold more than 80 million copies. Also a number of rapture movies were made with popular actors as Nicolas Cage.
Many people are at present full of fear for the future. The rapture is a modern equivalent to the “Deus ex Machina” as used in ancient Greek drama’s.
The Rapture fallacy is now promoted by powerful TV preachers. Trusting naive Christians give millions to their preachers to make sure they will be accepted as true Christians. Some preachers in mega churches have been able to amass more than a billion US$... and worse of all in 2019 some of the most powerful politicians in the world believe in the Rapture.
Next we discuss who Scofield is. (He is not a Bible scholar. He was convicted for falsifying documents and he was a master self-promotor) why the Rapture as interpreted by evangelical Christians is not in accordance to the Bible.