Tag Archives: 2012

The Rapture

Will 2012 be the year? Will maybe even tomorrow be the day? I recollect pondering feverishly on questions like these in the mid ‘70’s while spending one summer working side by side with my maternal grandfather, who was a contractor, in rural Indiana—real bible belt territory. I remember him saying while we rode in his pick-up truck on the way to work that “The wages of sin is death” and that one day, soon, the “rapture” would be coming, “so you had better be ready”. For a young, impressionable 16 year-old, his words sure pricked the hairs on the back of my neck as we drove in the early morning hours along those country roads—flatland everywhere you turned with acres upon acres of bean and cornfields accompanied by the sour stench of cow manure in the air. Even when returning home to the mostly Catholic Northeast, that word, Rapture, remained indelibly chiseled deep inside my psyche. What on earth was this rapture thing? The word “rapture” is very present today in the popular fundamentalist-religious imagination—it’s a belief that the final days are coming upon us soon, and that only “certain” Christians will be saved and will be automatically “caught up” in the air to be with God in Heaven before the final battle of Armageddon; and by the way, with this understanding of the rapture—no one, other than these born-again folk, will be saved on the final judgment day. Well, in point of fact, the word “rapture” doesn’t even appear anyplace in the bible at all; the term first came into vogue in the late 19th century when a woman in Scotland had a “personal revelation” from God. Her personal revelation was then later interpreted by a minister who “theologized” the experience as “rapture”—which is a word fine-tuned from the phrase “caught up in the air” found in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 . But, consequently, the rapture has become a predominate theme with biblical fundamentalists; also with millions of people buying into the rapture theme hook, line, and sinker—and boy oh boy does the rapture sell—millions of books have been sold, most notably the “Left-Behind” series, which depicts what the final days will be like and how the raptured few will be saved. There’s also another book out called, “The Rapture Dialogs: Dark Dimension”, alleging how the UFO phenomena is really about demonic beings from another dimension, possessing the minds and hearts of everyone. Wild speculation, but this is the kind of stuff that always sells. Actually, within scripture, this whole rapture business has its origins in the Book of Jeremiah (6:9) and refers to the “remnant”, meaning those chosen few, who always remained faithful to God’s ways. Many reading this might be saying, “so what—let these fundies believe what they want”; yet, it’s fundie folk like these who predominately can often determine the outcome of political elections in the USA. read more

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