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rapture ain't just a perfume

post #1 of 63
Thread Starter 
Ok, so I read the Time magazine story about End Timers and Rapture, and have some respectful (I hope) questions. Do most Christians believe this? And by believe, I mean do they literally believe (as much as can be accurately translated) the book of Revelations? Do they really believe that sometime soon the sun is going to go dark, the moon blood red, and swarms of locusts and scorpions will be attacking the non-believers? Or do some just believe that a bunch of really bad stuff is going to happen, and that the locusts etc. is a metaphor for that bad stuff? Do these believers really feel that God put us here just to destroy us in such an awful manner?

I believe the end may be very near as well, though I attach more human causes to it. I find the whole thing very interesting, and I'm very glad that I finally know what all those bumperstickers about unmanned vehicles finally mean!
post #2 of 63
Loooove those bumperstickers! They crack me up every time!

I believe Revelation but take it more as a metaphor and don't put too much stock in any one person's interpretation b/c there are so many!
post #3 of 63
Thread Starter 
I thought the big battle was b/w God and the Devil? Also, NM, when you say the bible predicts nuclear devices-is that a commonly accepted interpretation? What does it say? I'm the first to admit I don't know that much about the bible., but I've also heard people say that the bible mentions UFO's,.
post #4 of 63
With the sure acknowledgement that I am speaking very generally on tenets of faith, and not addressing what *most* Christians believe (re: "liberals are harder to herd than cats" from another post - Christians are that much more so, i.e. imperfect in the extreme, impossible to classify as a "group" etc.).

In regard to the Revelation (singular!) of Jesus Christ as told to John:

This is the most hotly debated book of the entire Bible, even, or rather especially, amongst the various scholars - both the self appointed "do as I say not as I do's" and actual scholars who've dedicated their lives to serious study of the Word, Jesus Christ. Nevermind the average believer with little or no time dedicated to actual study.

Yes, I take most of it literally, in that from experience I don't expect that the God that I know to say mountain and actually mean blade of grass, KWIM? More importantly, for me, is that I take it seriously.

Yes, I believe that a Harpazo (literally, the "taking out") will occur before an all out Apocolypse. But, no I do not think that God will "bring it on".

I believe that all humans have free will and that despite, for example, my best efforts, vigilant prayers, and extensive work in healing, that IF there are more of those who are NOT willing to cut the evilness out, than there are of people like me, and conversely other peace activists working their own side of the street in their own ways (i.e. the mamapie's of the world and their personal works of liberty and peace et. al.), then humans will be the cause of the destruction, end, and so on.

But, I don't wallow in hopeless. I continue as I feel led, in prayer and quiet healing work. Hopefully (literally I hope) helping one person at a time in some small way that at least they feel to be signifigant.

And like everyone else, I become lost in the irritating tiny details of daily life like dh being temporarily "on vacation" thanks to the Tennessee State Legislature failing to make a budget agreement and effectly shutting down most of our state. That and I smell fish burning from the kitchen! Gotta Go!

post #5 of 63
Just wondering: Shouldn't this thread be on the Spirituality board?

Again, with as much lightness and love as I can muster: The name of the last book of the Bible is Revelation, not revelationS. Why I think that's important, amongst Christians, (since why would anyone else need be concerned, or care overly much - KWIM?), is that getting it right is indicative to demonstating that one possesses at least a basic, rudimentary knowledge of the subject at hand, whether they agree with, or about, the contents at every turn or not. It helps to know what exactly you do or do not agree with, after all.

Obviously, in all areas of life, I disagree with ignoring the "bad parts", as pretending something "unpleasant" does not exists only serves to exacerbate it in the long run. For those that do take Revelation seriously, there couldn't be a truer example of such.

Also, and I totally snarfed this from someone who I do not agree with at every turn, but did immediately identify with on this issue, a man who happens to be Billy Graham - Christianity is NOT a religion, it is a personal relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Peace, Love, & Lavendar Incense,

post #6 of 63
I want to ask the following with respect, Nursing Mother and Pupcake. Have not Christians believed that the end was nigh for the past 2000 years? Did not Christ himself believe that he was inaugurating the kingdom of heaven on earth, that his time was in fact the end times? Am I wrong?
post #7 of 63
Yes, Christians believe/are taught that in a sense. Following along with that line of thought, and based on other conditions throughout the Bible, we're closer to the end now than 2,000 years ago. And, If the United States falls like the other super powers before it, Rome, Greece et. al., and the world were to go on for a time (the horror! the horror! : ) without us, at least as we are now, then people 25 or 2,000,000 years from now will obviously be even closer. I think the existence of nukes puts the mark much closer to 25 yrs.

As I believe Christ is part of the Trinity, no I think he knew that was fufilling only a part of His destiny at that time.

It was the Doubting Thomases (generally speaking, not just the actual Thomas in particular), that had trouble conforming some of their prior intrepretations of scripture to what was, and what would, occur and when. i.e. "The Messiah is standing before me, why isn't taking over right NOW, as I expected Him to?"

Most people today and throughout history, Christians certainly included, find Revelation hard to grasp, translate, and come to terms with because John was trying to describe what he was shown to be happening in our, near or distant, futures with all he had to go on - the language, tools, and experiences of his own time.

I don't know that I could accurately relay the "everyday" technology that I am sitting amongst right now and that I am used to using, sufficiently enough for someone who has never seen or used any of it to understand. Indoor plumbing, nevermind nuclear power plants, the inner circuitry of a tv or PC, a deisel engine vs. gas powered etc. etc.

Not to mention the spiritual, other realm, aspects! So, I can see why we have difficultly identifying the literal from the possibly figurative within Revelation. But, I don't accept that as an excuse for a believer to give up or shrug off the task.

post #8 of 63
I am a Catholic Christian, and we believe Revelation (no S! ) is figurative. I really like Pupcake's description, though, of how John was using the tools he had at the time to describe his visions.
post #9 of 63
The end is always near. We just don't know how near. But every day we're closer to the end, and farther from the beginning. And after the end comes another beginning...

I believe Revelation is written in symbolic language, just as many other books of the Bible are--as they were written by various people at various times. But I don't discount it any more than I would discount Song of Solomon, which some interpret as the relationship between God and His people and some interpret as erotic and secular poetry. (I venture to say a little bit of both, but that's just how it speaks to me) I think at any given moment in history and relate it to Revelation. Hence, the end is always near. We can run to the brink, pull ourselves away for a time, then rush forward again--over and over and over until the end is here. In this respect, the Bible is a living document, relevant to any era.

UFO's in the Bible I view that in the same light as Bible Codes :s2demon

My views of Revelation, (influenced by the liberal Christian theology I lean toward as an adult, and my conservative Protestant Christian and Catholic upbringing) is difficult to sum up at almost 10pm in front of the glare of a computer screen. I hope I'm being coherent. The end of Tuesday is upon me. I can't guarantee anything better tomorrow. With everyone's responses, I'm inspired to ponder even more.

But what I really want to know is what does Rapture smell like?
post #10 of 63
Ok, but if God knows all and has created all, why would we go through a big ol' battle only to prove goodness wins the day? What I am trying to say is that it all seems pretty futile to me--God creating, us living according to a master plan, and then God coming down and crackin skulls to prove he is the Good Guy.

I dont' get it.

I'm not Christian--but even if this has been in the works for thousands upon thousands of years, it seems pretty silly if, at the end of it all, we are (or I should say Christians are) sitting around with God, kickin back....and saying "Hey God, remember when you kicked Satan's butt? That was cool."

I don't see the point. If the Christian God is THE God, why all the fuss to prove his point?

I think that life is a cycle and until humans learn the lessons we have to learn, we will continue to be here. Perhaps someday we will all be on a kick-ass nirvana and go around talking about AP and natural parenting to EVERYONE we meet (heaven?). Everything will be organic, we all will love each other. It's a long time in comin cause some of these new souls are really mucking it all up.

This is not meant as a Christian-bash. I honestly don't get it. It seems so....well, so arrgant of the Christian God to make everything and then have this big war with something he created, just to prove he is the best.
post #11 of 63

I wish I had easy, pat answers to those questions! I think "How do you get a job without experience and experience without a job" would be easier to answer. (Volunteer?!)

Your questions and others like them are what all Christians, and those considering Christianity, go thru - the ebb and flow seesaw of faith and doubt. Like every other human grappling with eternity questions of any faith, we can use these periods to grow stronger in our faith, or we can succumb to the doubts and adapt our views, or give up our beliefs altogether.

I believe God is Love. I think Hell is, and will be, a complete seperation from God. I don't think Love will cease to exist toward the seperated person, should there be one - but I don't have a textbook explanation of the where, when, why. I sincerely hope there won't be any humans in Hell. I have more faith, through study, contemplation, prayer, and my own instincts, than to believe we're all pawns in some cosmic chess match. All these things are puzzle pieces, so to speak. Some people have some answers, some have others and we each have to piece together that which speaks to our own hearts.

If I get to eternity and it is completely different than I foresee, or everything just stops *dead*, so be it. I've used my head and my heart to make the best decision for me, and I've even shared my opinions with those who wanted to know about them. Not ever perfectly, but I try.
post #12 of 63
Originally posted by Nursing Mother
Amy, there are different interpretations of this but in the book of Revelation (Rev. 8-12,13) It talks about the Sun going dark, and a massive destruction of nature. The visability of the earth will be compromised, and some believe this may be because of some sort of atmospheric condition or global pollution. In Rev. 6: 12-17, it talks again of the sun turning black. In Rev. 9:17-19 it talks of Plagues of fire, smoke, and sulfur. Some biblical scholars think these may be talking about nuclear war.
Don't you think that this just sounds like nuclear war because we know what nuclear war might be like? I mean, what did people think this was referring to for the 1900+ years before we had nuclear weapons?
post #13 of 63
Thread Starter 
wow, alot of really great ideas on this. Thanks for all the thoughtful replies. Indiegirl-my thoughts on this are pretty similar to yours-like, what would be the point? Why would God need to do this? It sort of reminds me of a parent with a toddler who leaves things all over the house he doesn't want the child to touch-and then gets really mad when they do, of course, touch those things, kwim?

And also (more of my biblical ignorance showing-sorry pupcake) aren't Jews God's chosen people? Why would only the Christians be taken away before all the s hits the fan? It seems more than a wee bit arrogant on their part to believe that they are the only ones God will save, what a convenient interpretation. But I guess that is always what has bothered me about religion, the whole "my God is better than your God, I'm going to heaven you're going to hell" rhetoric. Oh well, I just got back from Costco. If the tribulations start over the 4th of July, I'll have toilet paper for awhile.
post #14 of 63
Amy mama, I guess this belongs more on Spirituality than here, but my understanding is the reason the Jews are not included is because ... well, they've been superceded.

This is Christian theology that I'm either screwing up or explaining accurately, so someone please fill me in there.

- Amy
post #15 of 63
Actually, Amyrpk, most evanglical Christians interpret the Book of Revelation as saying that the Jews who do not believe in Jesus at the time of the Rapture, and are therefore left on earth, are going to be absolutely instrumental in bringing about God's everlasting kingdom. Bible-believeing Christians totally believe that the Jews are *still* God's chosen people and that, post-rapture, they have a very very important role to play in God's plan. Someone more knowledgeable than I can probably flesh out the story a little better. But in no wise do we think that God is "done" with the Jewish people, believe me!

If you can get ahold of a New Testament, read Romans 10 and 11 for an excellent summary of what Christians' attitude towards Jews should be (humility). You mught even be able to find the text on the web.
post #16 of 63
I do not believe god would unleash suffering on someone for doubting what men have told him about god.

This is the only Rapture I believe in.


Toe to toe
Dancing very slow
Barely breathing
Almost comatose
Wall to wall
People hypnotised
And they're stepping lightly
Hang each night in Rapture

Back to back
Spineless movement
And a wild attack

Face to face
Sadly solitude
And it's finger popping
Twenty-four hour shopping in Rapture

Fab Five Freddie told me everybody's high
DJ's spinnin' are savin' my mind
Flash is fast, Flash is cool
Francois sez fas, Flashe' no do
And you don't stop, sure shot
Go out to the parking lot
And you get in your car and you drive real far
And you drive all night and then you see a light
And it comes right down and lands on the ground
And out comes a man from Mars
And you try to run but he's got a gun
And he shoots you dead and he eats your head
And then you're in the man from Mars
You go out at night, eatin' cars
You eat Cadillacs, Lincolns too
Mercurys and Subarus
And you don't stop, you keep on eatin' cars
Then, when there's no more cars
You go out at night and eat up bars where the people meet
Face to face, dance cheek to cheek
One to one, man to man
Dance toe to toe
Don't move to slow, 'cause the man from Mars
Is through with cars, he's eatin' bars
Yeah, wall to wall, door to door, hall to hall
He's gonna eat 'em all
Rapture, be pure
Take a tour, through the sewer
Don't strain your brain, paint a train
You'll be singin' in the rain
I said don't stop, do punk rock

Well now you see what you wanna be
Just have your party on TV
'Cause the man from Mars won't eat up bars when the TV's on
And now he's gone back up to space
Where he won't have a hassle with the human race
And you hip-hop, and you don't stop
Just blast off, sure shot
'Cause the man from Mars stopped eatin' cars and eatin' bars
And now he only eats guitars, get up!
post #17 of 63
I always think of that song when I hear the word "rapture"!
post #18 of 63
A lot of christian denomonations take the rapture literally. Some believe it happens before the Tribulation (when everything sux) some believe after.

Christians (well the ones who read the scriptures)do not believe Jews have been superceded they believe Jews are the "chosen people"
post #19 of 63
Yep, Spirituality it should be. Movin' ya'll over there...
post #20 of 63
Thread Starter 
I'm in Spirituality and the board hasn't been struck by lightening.

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