Growing up fundagelical, “The Rapture” was one of those topics I was taught and accepted but never questioned. (The Rapture for all you non-fundegelicals is when all the REAL Christians on earth will suddenly vanish. Think: Left Behind.) We all talked and argued about the Rapture. The big argument was whether the Rapture was going to be pre-tribulation? That’s where REAL Christians vanish before the seven-year period when ANGRY God destroys the world. Was it Mid-tribulation? That’s where ANGRY God waits three and a half years before removing the REAL Christians. Was it Post-tribulation? ANGRY God waits until the end of the seven years then claims all REAL Christians. In the 1970s, in fundagelical circles, it wasn’t uncommon to be asked if you were pre-trib, post-trib, or mid-trib. The correct answer for the Southern Baptist group I belonged to was pre-trib. Everyone else was in error.
Imagine my surprise when I left my fundagelical bubble, met other Christians and would mention the Rapture only to get curious looks wondering what the hell I was talking about. Apparently, most mainline Christian denominations don’t believe in “The Rapture.”
Yesterday while I was clicking around on the internet, I fall down a rabbit hole. That’s how I found the website https://www.raptureready.com/. Go ahead and click, I’ll wait. . . . . . . . . Back? Someone has created a website to track different “signs” of the end times and created a score that tells you how likely the Rapture is to happen. According to the Rapture Index, As of January 21, 2019, the score is 179. This, according to their scale, means you should fasten your seatbelts and get ready to fly. THE RAPTURE IS IMMINENT! However, close examination indicates the index is at a (-2) for this week, so it’s less imminent than last week. Some indicators on the scale seem oddly out of place. For example: “peace process”, “liberalism”, and “Ecumenism”. In the fundagelical narrative of end times, nothing is worse than peace, unity and free thinking.
Franklin Graham, the fundagelical offspring of Billy Graham, hinted that all the “signs” of the end times were converging. What signs you might ask? Well, wars and rumors of wars, earthquakes, and famine. The go-to verse for fundagelicals is “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.” (Matthew 24:6-8 NIV)
In the fundagelical narrative, the world is getting worse and worse, and wars, earthquakes, and famines will increase in frequency just like the birth pangs of a woman in labor. The problem is that these signs are not converging. Both the number of wars and war deaths declined in the second half of the twentieth century. Famines have decreased. The U.S. Geological Survey has not reported any increase in earthquake activity. However, fundagelicals never let facts get in the way of their supposed “Biblical Narrative.” Wait what about the “signs” in the sun and moon and stars? You can check out my video on the “Super Blood Wolf Moon” or my Blog Post for that answer.
Why do fundelicals keep pushing an imminent Rapture? Fear motivates people. Fear gets people to watch the prophecy videos or buy end-time prophecy books. Fear motivates people to give $$$ to help spread the word. Fear keeps you inside the fundagelical camp. After all, non-fundegelicals aren’t REAL Christians and will be left behind. Stay faithful to fundagelicalism, or you’re toast.
By the way, the fact that I question the teaching on the Rapture is just proof that the end times are near. After all, there will be scoffers in the end times. (Second Peter 3:3 and Jude 1:18) That’s why you can’t reason with a fundagelical.
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