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Author Topic: The "Rapture" and other Things  (Read 8572 times) Average Rating: 0
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Rosehip
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« on: March 15, 2010, 01:47:53 PM »

I just finished a conversation with a Ukrainian Baptist friend of mine(highly influenced by Americans), and was suddenly thrown back  into a world I had almost forgotten- the world in which people spend entire conversations boasting about their fuzzy, mushy feelings about their "personal" relationship with God and all the good, good things they've gotten out of it (blessing after blessing-good, cushy job, attentions of rich, American men, blah, blah, blah). In the midst of this, she kept talking about the "Rapture"-how she just can't wait for this, how wonderful it's going to be, etc. etc. etc. I told her the Church has never taught the Rapture and that it is a relatively new doctrine, and she vehemently disagreed.

Am I correct in believing that the Church has never taught the Rapture?
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« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2010, 01:53:04 PM »

Yes, you are.  The doctrine of the rapture that many Protestants preach today is really a recent innovation found in the Dispensationalism of the Fundamentalist John Nelson Darby (early 19th century).
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« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2010, 02:03:55 PM »

Yes, you are.  The doctrine of the rapture that many Protestants preach today is really a recent innovation found in the Dispensationalism of the Fundamentalist John Nelson Darby (early 19th century).

Thats true. The teaching really took off here in America where it seems to have gained a lot of popularity big time during the second so called "great awakening" during the 1800's. There is no tradition for it in the Church.
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« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2010, 02:09:07 PM »

Yes, you are.  The doctrine of the rapture that many Protestants preach today is really a recent innovation found in the Dispensationalism of the Fundamentalist John Nelson Darby (early 19th century).

Thats true. The teaching really took off here in America where it seems to have gained a lot of popularity big time during the second so called "great awakening" during the 1800's. There is no tradition for it in the Church.
If anything, rapture doctrine is very much akin to the doctrine of chiliasm (belief in a literal 1000-year reign of Christ on earth before the last judgment, which I believe is actually part of the Dispensationalist scheme of the end times), which the Church formally condemned.
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« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2010, 02:09:13 PM »

Thank you. I indeed told her it was the invention of Darby and part of the Dispensationalism popular in America, and that she should do some research. She told me she refuses to do any research, because all she cares about and reads is the Bible and it's written in the Bible, so it's true.
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« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2010, 02:14:38 PM »

Thank you. I indeed told her it was the invention of Darby and part of the Dispensationalism popular in America, and that she should do some research. She told me she refuses to do any research, because all she cares about and reads is the Bible and it's written in the Bible, so it's true.
Would she see it in the Bible if no one told her it was in there?  Yes, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (the text Dispensationalists use most often to "prove" their doctrine of the rapture) does speak of a future event that could be called the "rapture", but the particularly Dispensationalist interpretation your friend apparently believes (that the faithful will be silently taken from this earth prior to seven years of tribulation and the 1000-year earthly reign of Christ) is not in the text of the Bible itself.  This is an interpretation she had to have been taught to bring to her reading of the Bible.  To my knowledge, the Church has always identified the event in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 with the Last Day return of Christ in glory to judge the living and the dead.
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« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2010, 02:16:03 PM »

Thank you. I indeed told her it was the invention of Darby and part of the Dispensationalism popular in America, and that she should do some research. She told me she refuses to do any research, because all she cares about and reads is the Bible and it's written in the Bible, so it's true.

Did you inform her that the Bible has billions of interpretations and that the rapture is only one of those billions of interpretations?

Not that it matters, I used to be one of those, and I know from personal experience that is impossible to get through to someone in that mindset.
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« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2010, 02:17:45 PM »

Studying the doctrine of the Rapture is a waste of time, unless your proclivety is the reading of historical/prophetical fiction.   One might as well spend time studying to write a historical novel with apocolyptical overtones suggesting that Abraham Lincoln was a vampire slayer.

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« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2010, 02:19:41 PM »

Quote
Thessalonians 4:13-18 (King James Version)

 13But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

 14For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

 15For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

 16For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

 17Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

 18Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Just for the sake of reference, here are the verses in question.
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« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2010, 02:29:19 PM »

Also: any advice on how to deal with people who brag and boast until you want to scream about how God has "blessed" them and given them wonderful job, good health, lotsa money, attentions of rich American man, etc. etc. etc., especially when they know full and well that you are going through enormous problems of your own?Huh It seems sooo insensitive to me. Why do these types of christians feel they have to brag, brag, brag?
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« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2010, 02:35:24 PM »

Based on my own history as a protestant I would say that a lot of protestants equate the "rapture" with the second coming of Christ.  There was a time that I would have reacted the same way if someone told me that the rapture wouldn't happen because I would have thought they were saying that the second coming of Christ wouldn't happen.  Not sure if this is the case here or not.
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« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2010, 02:36:36 PM »

Also: any advice on how to deal with people who brag and boast until you want to scream about how God has "blessed" them and given them wonderful job, good health, lotsa money, attentions of rich American man, etc. etc. etc., especially when they know full and well that you are going through enormous problems of your own?Huh It seems sooo insensitive to me. Why do these types of christians feel they have to brag, brag, brag?

Most of the time they don't know they are bragging.  They often think they are witnessing.
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« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2010, 02:37:05 PM »

Also: any advice on how to deal with people who brag and boast until you want to scream about how God has "blessed" them and given them wonderful job, good health, lotsa money, attentions of rich American man, etc. etc. etc., especially when they know full and well that you are going through enormous problems of your own?Huh It seems sooo insensitive to me. Why do these types of christians feel they have to brag, brag, brag?
If you ignore them and walk away, you give them one less person to brag to. Wink
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« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2010, 02:37:17 PM »

Based on my own history as a protestant I would say that a lot of protestants equate the "rapture" with the second coming of Christ.  There was a time that I would have reacted the same way if someone told me that the rapture wouldn't happen because I would have thought they were saying that the second coming of Christ wouldn't happen.  Not sure if this is the case here or not.

Thanks. This makes sense. I guess my former religion didn't emphasize the rapture, so this is all a bit strange to me.
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« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2010, 03:00:03 PM »

Quote
Thessalonians 4:13-18 (King James Version)

 13But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

 14For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

 15For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

 16For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

 17Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

 18Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Just for the sake of reference, here are the verses in question.
This is the "Apostle" read at burials.
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« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2010, 03:26:59 PM »

This is a classic case of twisting scripture to meet an agenda. Convincing people that your religion is correct is no longer necessary because when viewing scripture in that context it automatically makes that religion the correct one.
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« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2010, 04:10:48 PM »

Wasn't it Hal Lindsy who really made the rapture theory popular amongst Evangelicals with his book "The Late Great Planet Earth", published in 1970.  I read it as a teenager.  The whole thing seemed so counter cultural (A perfect way to lure people in considering when the book was published).  The  idea that all true believers will just disappear one day and leave all the wicked to suffer through the end times seems very unchristian to me, let alone unrealistic and against they reality of human suffering.

This doctrine created has lead the the development of the whole escapist notion you find in modern Evangelical Christianity.  Modern American Christianits seems to view themselves as more of a counter cultural movement with heavy politically orientation due to the rapture theory.  Look at how Evangelicals want to start World War III in the Middle East in order to hasten the return of Christ?  They don't care if we all get blown to pieces in a war since they assume that they'll have all vanished by that time.  A very bizarre and dangerous turn for any religion to take and one which only bad things will come from.
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« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2010, 04:14:12 PM »

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« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2010, 04:25:38 PM »

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« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2010, 04:32:08 PM »

The rapture, or more specificially the PRE-TRIB rapture, indeed had it's origins in about the 1800s.  All pre-tribbers believe in a literal 1000 year reign of Christ on earth, but not all millenarians believe in a pre-trib rapture (there are mid-tribbers and post-tribbers).  For instance, none of the early chiliasts such as Irenaeus, Justin, and Tertullian believed in a pre-trib rapture--they all believed the church would be on earth when the Antichrist arrived.
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« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2010, 05:19:20 PM »

The rapture, or more specificially the PRE-TRIB rapture, indeed had it's origins in about the 1800s.  All pre-tribbers believe in a literal 1000 year reign of Christ on earth, but not all millenarians believe in a pre-trib rapture (there are mid-tribbers and post-tribbers).  For instance, none of the early chiliasts such as Irenaeus, Justin, and Tertullian believed in a pre-trib rapture--they all believed the church would be on earth when the Antichrist arrived.

Yes that's correct there are different rapture theories amongst pre-Mellinialists, pre-Trib still has the greatest following among Evangelicals but the post-Trib view is gaining wider acceptance, the mid-Trib view as well to a lesser degree. I hold to the post-Trib view, though I must point out that I'm now undecided regarding Mellinialism, I used to be pre-Mill but now I'm leading more towards a-Mill. Either way I've always believed that Messiah will only return once, and therefore "the chosen" will only be "gathered" on the day of His return. And that's why the pre-Trib rapture doctrine is heresy - it adds a 3rd Coming (2nd Coming secret rapture, 3rd Coming Messiah's return).

I just finished a conversation with a Ukrainian Baptist friend of mine(highly influenced by Americans), and was suddenly thrown back  into a world I had almost forgotten- the world in which people spend entire conversations boasting about their fuzzy, mushy feelings about their "personal" relationship with God and all the good, good things they've gotten out of it (blessing after blessing-good, cushy job, attentions of rich, American men, blah, blah, blah). In the midst of this, she kept talking about the "Rapture"-how she just can't wait for this, how wonderful it's going to be, etc. etc. etc. I told her the Church has never taught the Rapture and that it is a relatively new doctrine, and she vehemently disagreed.

Am I correct in believing that the Church has never taught the Rapture?

In most cases what is meant by "rapture" is the pre-Trib theory, so yes the Church did not teach this though pre-Tribbers try their luck with a psuedo-Ephraim text (8th century). This is rather flimsly "evidence" IMO.

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rapture#cite_note-24 and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apocalypse_of_Pseudo-Ephraem.

Thank you. I indeed told her it was the invention of Darby and part of the Dispensationalism popular in America, and that she should do some research. She told me she refuses to do any research, because all she cares about and reads is the Bible and it's written in the Bible, so it's true.

Both post-Tribbers and mid-Tribbers have no problem refuting pre-Trib claims with the Bible itself.

Wasn't it Hal Lindsy who really made the rapture theory popular amongst Evangelicals with his book "The Late Great Planet Earth", published in 1970.  I read it as a teenager.  The whole thing seemed so counter cultural (A perfect way to lure people in considering when the book was published).  The  idea that all true believers will just disappear one day and leave all the wicked to suffer through the end times seems very unchristian to me, let alone unrealistic and against they reality of human suffering.

This doctrine created has lead the the development of the whole escapist notion you find in modern Evangelical Christianity.  Modern American Christianits seems to view themselves as more of a counter cultural movement with heavy politically orientation due to the rapture theory.  Look at how Evangelicals want to start World War III in the Middle East in order to hasten the return of Christ?  They don't care if we all get blown to pieces in a war since they assume that they'll have all vanished by that time.  A very bizarre and dangerous turn for any religion to take and one which only bad things will come from.

It's rather amazing that the rapture theory is largely absent amongst persecuted Christian communities. Here's a quote from amazon in response to a book review:

Dear Sir, If I may say so, please give me a break. I read the book sir. This book never discusses the false doctrine of the rapture. I did read the discussion concerning preparing for persecution and possible martrydom. But there was no mention of the rapture there. This is a great encouragment to me to see this in an American book. It was sheltered Westerners like you sir that taught the young underground Chinese Church that we didn't need to prepare for persecution because the rapture was coming to save us all. And then the persecution came and many fell away as a result saying, "But I thought they said the rapture would save us". Then we went to our Bibles and realized that the pre-tribulational rapture was a myth not taught in the Bible or believed by the early Christians. Today you will not find such bad theology as a false pre-tribulational rapture taught in the Chinese underground Church. We understand this to be a pipe dream pushed by many within the lazy and fat American Church that thinks that they, of all generations will be delivered, while their brothers and sisters in other countries are not spared from such difficulties. So how preparing for persecution equals bad theology makes no sense. This is true Christianity and always has been. Sir, you should stop listening to those false teachers who would tickle your ears and tell you what you like to hear.

Also: any advice on how to deal with people who brag and boast until you want to scream about how God has "blessed" them and given them wonderful job, good health, lotsa money, attentions of rich American man, etc. etc. etc., especially when they know full and well that you are going through enormous problems of your own?Huh It seems sooo insensitive to me. Why do these types of christians feel they have to brag, brag, brag?

Remind them of Job, who lost everything in one day. God can choose to give us everything and God can also choose to take everything away from us in less than a split second, Job understood that and praised Him for it. How many of these people would do the same, I wonder. Don't let these people get you down, yes God may have blessed them but if they don't use these blessings for His glory (bragging, conceit and pride do not bring Him glory), then God may very well take them all away for their own good. Suffering, hardship and persecution is good too, St. James even went so far to say that they should be embraced with rejoicing.


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« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2010, 06:49:51 PM »

Also: any advice on how to deal with people who brag and boast until you want to scream about how God has "blessed" them and given them wonderful job, good health, lotsa money, attentions of rich American man, etc. etc. etc., especially when they know full and well that you are going through enormous problems of your own?Huh It seems sooo insensitive to me. Why do these types of christians feel they have to brag, brag, brag?
They may be filled with pride and have very poor social skills. 
OR
They may be insecure. What they frequently brag about is usually their greatest insecurity.
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« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2010, 07:10:38 PM »

Also: any advice on how to deal with people who brag and boast until you want to scream about how God has "blessed" them and given them wonderful job, good health, lotsa money, attentions of rich American man, etc. etc. etc., especially when they know full and well that you are going through enormous problems of your own?Huh It seems sooo insensitive to me. Why do these types of christians feel they have to brag, brag, brag?
If you ignore them and walk away, you give them one less person to brag to. Wink

You could rub in the 2008 crash of the stock markets and real estate bubble. This often makes them feel good. That is if they haven't lost there fortune and ended up in Haiti stealing baby's.
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« Reply #23 on: March 15, 2010, 07:32:19 PM »

Also: any advice on how to deal with people who brag and boast until you want to scream about how God has "blessed" them and given them wonderful job, good health, lotsa money, attentions of rich American man, etc. etc. etc., especially when they know full and well that you are going through enormous problems of your own?Huh It seems sooo insensitive to me. Why do these types of christians feel they have to brag, brag, brag?
If you ignore them and walk away, you give them one less person to brag to. Wink

You could rub in the 2008 crash of the stock markets and real estate bubble. This often makes them feel good. That is if they haven't lost there fortune and ended up in Haiti stealing baby's.

? This woman is Ukrainian, lives in Ukraine.
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« Reply #24 on: March 15, 2010, 08:16:05 PM »

But, didn't we all know already that the Left Behind series is on par with Biblical prophecy as being an apt portrayal of things to come?  For shame, for shame, that we would doubt the works of Tim LaHaye and his many peers, in their ongoing mission to warn us of that day before the Anti-Christ appears, when all good pretribs will disappear, leaving the rest of us to hold the bag in the persecution to come!

And now for something completely different...

I was blessed to have a pastor for a grandfather who never threw away any book.  So many outdated exegesis on when/if the rapture would come, so many authors who boldly declared that the Beast was already here upon this earth in the form of (insert obscure European political figure here).  I remember one from Jack Chick publications who told us that the Anti-Christ would be a Merovingian descended from the Blessed Virgin herself (because if you squint real hard "Mary" is the first word, and the second word is obviously a derivative of "virgin"  Roll Eyes ) , which also prepared me for the Da Vinci Code (Chick publications was more of a page turner, IMHO).  So many were willing to tell us an exact date based off the "proper" reading of the most obscure numbers, involving what must have been "new" math.  I remember one guy in the early '90s setting a date for the early '00s based off the number of stones and chambers within the Great Pyramid of Giza, because it was obviously built by the Hebrew slaves based on the wisdom of Joseph.  Considering that more than half of these books predicted the end of the world before I even knew how to say my "ABC's" let alone read, I was well protected from certain tendencies in this regard.

Add to this conflicting theories within the pre-trib movement itself as regards those "left behind".  Some believe only 144,000 Israelites will have a chance of salvation, some believe that there would be a sort of "second class salvation" open even after the rapture (i.e. those faithful are the ones the saints are prophesied to "judge" or rule), some believe that salvation is still open after the rapture and that the Tribulation is the punishment for not falling in line sooner. 

I believed in staying out of those arguments.  I had my hands full with our Lord turning water into grape juice Shocked
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« Reply #25 on: March 16, 2010, 04:33:03 AM »

The term "rapture" is derived from the text of the Latin Vulgate of 1 Thess. 4:17:
"we will be caught up," (Latin: rapiemur).
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« Reply #26 on: March 16, 2010, 02:18:10 PM »

The term "rapture" is derived from the text of the Latin Vulgate of 1 Thess. 4:17:
"we will be caught up," (Latin: rapiemur).


It's so typical of Protestants to build an entire case on only one word/verse.
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« Reply #27 on: March 16, 2010, 02:31:11 PM »

The term "rapture" is derived from the text of the Latin Vulgate of 1 Thess. 4:17:
"we will be caught up," (Latin: rapiemur).

So, in a sense, we're still going to be "raptured", just not in the way nor according to the time frame given by most Protestant rapture apologists.
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« Reply #28 on: March 16, 2010, 04:11:00 PM »

The term "rapture" is derived from the text of the Latin Vulgate of 1 Thess. 4:17:
"we will be caught up," (Latin: rapiemur).

So, in a sense, we're still going to be "raptured", just not in the way nor according to the time frame given by most Protestant rapture apologists.

Yip, though I prefer to call this event The Gathering of the Chosen as per 2 Thessalonians 2 & the Olivet Discourse, which those passages make very clear that it will only occur the day Messiah returns. I see no evidence that we'll be beamed up into Heaven Star Trek style, all Scripture says is that we'll meet our Master in the air. What for? I think that St. John Chrysostom was right on the money with this:

“If He is about to descend, why shall we be taken up?  For the sake of honor.  When a king enters a city, those who are in his favor go out to meet him, but the condemned await their judge inside.  Or, when a loving father comes, his children, and also those worthy of being his children, are taken out in a chariot to see and kiss him, but the servants who have offended him remain indoors.  So we are carried out upon a chariot to our Father...See how great our honor is?  As He descends we go out to meet Him, and what is more blessed, we shall be with Him always”  (Homily 8 on Thessalonians).

This fits very well with the army of 10,000 (Rev 19) and Joel 2.
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« Reply #29 on: March 16, 2010, 06:44:55 PM »

Also: any advice on how to deal with people who brag and boast until you want to scream about how God has "blessed" them and given them wonderful job, good health, lotsa money, attentions of rich American man, etc. etc. etc., especially when they know full and well that you are going through enormous problems of your own?Huh It seems sooo insensitive to me. Why do these types of christians feel they have to brag, brag, brag?

Ask them what they are doing to demonstrate their gratitude to God. If they are truly trying to glorify God, then ask them if they are honoring His Mysteries, receiving His Sacraments, and striving for theosis.


Selam
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« Reply #30 on: March 16, 2010, 07:27:15 PM »

Gebre, Nazarene, this rapture thing I have investigated...it is of demonic origin, introduced by enemies of the church as a doctrine for very specific destructive purposes. I want you both to read on the life and connections of Cyrus Scofield who created the system known as dispensationalism and laid the foundation to this rapture doctrine along with Darby and others indirectly connected to him. I will just give a clue to what I'm talking about: Scofield's connection to the Lotus club. Everything else you must research.
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« Reply #31 on: March 16, 2010, 07:31:58 PM »

Yes, I too grew up in a home with a Scofield bible. But, can you please elaborate just how this doctrine is of demonic origins? I will be getting back to my friend with any information I can find (although she refuses to learn anything about it, because she says all she needs to know is in the Bible).
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« Reply #32 on: March 16, 2010, 07:33:53 PM »

Also: any advice on how to deal with people who brag and boast until you want to scream about how God has "blessed" them and given them wonderful job, good health, lotsa money, attentions of rich American man, etc. etc. etc., especially when they know full and well that you are going through enormous problems of your own?Huh It seems sooo insensitive to me. Why do these types of christians feel they have to brag, brag, brag?

Ask them what they are doing to demonstrate their gratitude to God. If they are truly trying to glorify God, then ask them if they are honoring His Mysteries, receiving His Sacraments, and striving for theosis.


Selam

She will tell me how wonderful her christian life is, and how fantastic her relationship with Jesus is. She can talk for hours with no breaks in between about her amazing relationship with Jesus and how He gives her everything she needs, etc. etc.
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« Reply #33 on: March 16, 2010, 07:42:18 PM »

Yes, I too grew up in a home with a Scofield bible. But, can you please elaborate just how this doctrine is of demonic origins? I will be getting back to my friend with any information I can find (although she refuses to learn anything about it, because she says all she needs to know is in the Bible).

Too controversial, further I cannot prove it with conclusiveness (I relie mostly on Scofield's character). I leave it up to those interested in the subject of the origin of dispensationalism.
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« Reply #34 on: March 16, 2010, 07:46:14 PM »

Yes, I have long been aware of the allegations of Scofield's less than saintly life, but I believe the doctrine actually originated with John Darby of the Plymouth Brethren.
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« Reply #35 on: March 16, 2010, 08:24:37 PM »

Also: any advice on how to deal with people who brag and boast until you want to scream about how God has "blessed" them and given them wonderful job, good health, lotsa money, attentions of rich American man, etc. etc. etc., especially when they know full and well that you are going through enormous problems of your own?Huh It seems sooo insensitive to me. Why do these types of christians feel they have to brag, brag, brag?

Ask them what they are doing to demonstrate their gratitude to God. If they are truly trying to glorify God, then ask them if they are honoring His Mysteries, receiving His Sacraments, and striving for theosis.


Selam

She will tell me how wonderful her christian life is, and how fantastic her relationship with Jesus is. She can talk for hours with no breaks in between about her amazing relationship with Jesus and how He gives her everything she needs, etc. etc.

Then tell her you are happy for her, and share with her the wondrful things that Jesus has given to us through His Church. Remember that Our Lord said that "those who are not against Me are with Me."

But I understand your frustration. My brother-in-law is the same way. He's always talking about how many people got "saved" at his church and talking about how good God is. It sort of implies that I don't realize that God is good, and that better things are happening in his life than in mine. It's very annoying, but I think he means well.

You could also point out to your friend that the Bible says that "all those who desire to live godly lives in Christ Jesus will be persecuted." [II Timothy 3:12] Show her from the Bible that God's servants have often endured tremendous hardships, sufferings, and martyrdom. Show her from the Bible that following Jesus is costly, not easy. Jesus is not Santa Claus!


Selam
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« Reply #36 on: March 16, 2010, 08:30:41 PM »

Sigh. She told me she is ready for persecution, ready to die for Jesus, just like the martyrs! But she won't listen to anything I have to say about the Orthodox Church-anything I try to tell her, she corrects me and quotes a bible verse showing how our church is less than satisfactory. You know what I mean.
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« Reply #37 on: March 16, 2010, 08:48:13 PM »

A great book on "end times" views is "A Second Look at the Second coming" by T.L Frazier.
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« Reply #38 on: March 16, 2010, 09:14:18 PM »

Thanks, Quinault! I've heard a lot of good things about that book. My problem is it is unavailable in our public library system and I've no money to buy any books. Sad
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« Reply #39 on: March 16, 2010, 09:51:29 PM »

Also: any advice on how to deal with people who brag and boast until you want to scream about how God has "blessed" them and given them wonderful job, good health, lotsa money, attentions of rich American man, etc. etc. etc., especially when they know full and well that you are going through enormous problems of your own?Huh It seems sooo insensitive to me. Why do these types of christians feel they have to brag, brag, brag?

Ask them what they are doing to demonstrate their gratitude to God. If they are truly trying to glorify God, then ask them if they are honoring His Mysteries, receiving His Sacraments, and striving for theosis.


Selam

She will tell me how wonderful her christian life is, and how fantastic her relationship with Jesus is. She can talk for hours with no breaks in between about her amazing relationship with Jesus and how He gives her everything she needs, etc. etc.

Perhaps she needs to read the story of the Publican and Pharisee.
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« Reply #40 on: March 17, 2010, 05:25:03 PM »

Gebre, Nazarene, this rapture thing I have investigated...it is of demonic origin, introduced by enemies of the church as a doctrine for very specific destructive purposes. I want you both to read on the life and connections of Cyrus Scofield who created the system known as dispensationalism and laid the foundation to this rapture doctrine along with Darby and others indirectly connected to him. I will just give a clue to what I'm talking about: Scofield's connection to the Lotus club. Everything else you must research.

I'm not one for conspiracy theories though if you have something to share, then by all means share it. For me the fact that the rapture as it's portrayed by Left Behind sounds a lot like science fiction is enough to convince me that it's BS, whether of demonic origin or not. Pre-Tribbers can't seem to understand that even though God will always protect us, the conditions are often less than comfortable. Think of the ancient Israelites in Sinai, YHWH fed them everyday and empowered them to overcome their enemies and yet they still wined and complained! God promises us bread not caviar, and will not secretly take us out of the world during the Tribulation because this is where He needs us to be, probably more then than any other time.


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« Reply #41 on: March 17, 2010, 05:47:28 PM »

This may be in the same vein as the rapture-happy. Just an hour ago a trucker came in to the depot where I work with "Driving for the Glory of God" on the side of his semi. It seems a bit much, no?
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« Reply #42 on: March 17, 2010, 06:25:52 PM »

Well, I sent my friend a bunch of info about the origins of the rapture theory, and she was quite horrified. She said this isn't what she believes at all and that she had never even heard of J.H. Darby, C. Scofield, H. Lindsey and Co.
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« Reply #43 on: March 18, 2010, 12:51:59 PM »

Probably a Daken...i.e., a follower of Dake or perhaps some nausiating Seventh Day Adventist. 

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« Reply #44 on: March 18, 2010, 12:54:51 PM »

Hal Lindsay bridged the consumer market for Dispensationalistic paradigms,  reading him is about as appealing as reading Stephen Hawkins...titulating the itching ear.

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« Reply #45 on: March 18, 2010, 12:56:03 PM »

Probably a Daken...i.e., a follower of Dake or perhaps some nausiating Seventh Day Adventist.  

john

I have no clue what you mean by a "Dake". Most of my friends are regular evangelical Baptists-the Slavic Baptists are typically much more conservative than their North American brethren (that is, until American Baptists started infiltrating with their modern ideas). Traditionally, Slavic Baptist women cover their heads in church, just like the Orthodox do, and they have large families and are not Calvinistic.
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« Reply #46 on: March 18, 2010, 01:26:04 PM »

The point was that there are numerous rapture schemes...but they rely upon their foundation in a belief that the Church must be removed out of the world before THE anti-christ can come.  Some vary upon the time of that rapture...taking up.
Dake possessed a prolific recall of Scripture and was quite the literalist.   

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« Reply #47 on: March 18, 2010, 06:20:11 PM »

Why do these types of christians feel they have to brag, brag, brag?

They think you will believe it really is God who has done all the things they talk about and that that will glorify him. They want you to admire him and believe in him. (They probably assume you don't, or at least that you are not saved.)

In reality, maybe God really has blessed them in these ways - who are we to say he hasn't? But it seems to me that God's blessings are largely secret between the soul of his child and God himself. "The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him." When it's real, other people will notice it anyway, and may well ascribe it to God and be drawn to him as a result. Telling of God's special personal providences should, I think, be done with quietness and reticence, to carefully chosen people who perhaps need to learn it.

An example: "God gave me a parking space yesterday in a crowded town." Maybe he did; maybe your visit there was of some genuine significance. But so many other people get parking spaces anyway, that it sounds trivial and rather silly. So if God really did provide it providentially because your need to be in that place at that time was real, instead of admiring God people just think you're barmy. But sometimes it may be right, especially in private conversation, to remind a doubting brother or sister that the God who knows the sparrow and numbers the hairs of our heads also rules over parking spaces.
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« Reply #48 on: March 18, 2010, 06:25:24 PM »

pre-Trib still has the greatest following among Evangelicals...

...in America. I know a church in England which has the pre-Tribulation Rapture position in its legal trust deed, and so has to find a pastor who preaches it. I was told they had to appoint an American.

There are plenty of pre-, post- and amillennialists in Britain among Evangelicals. I wouldn't wish to offer a guess as to which is the most common. If it's of any interest, I lean to the amillennial position myself. One sometimes hears comments about an American like this: "He's a good brother, though he is pre-Mill."

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« Reply #49 on: March 18, 2010, 08:40:37 PM »

Quote
But sometimes it may be right, especially in private conversation, to remind a doubting brother or sister that the God who knows the sparrow and numbers the hairs of our heads also rules over parking spaces.

Yes, but I've noticed a curious psychological phenomenon: the more I doubt, the more these types hold forth about all the wondrous things "God" has done for them, and, quite frankly, the more I doubt! It's like raving ad nauseum to your single friend about your amazing love life with your spouse-how is this going to make your friend feel any better about his/her cross of being single?
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« Reply #50 on: March 18, 2010, 10:13:32 PM »

Quote
But sometimes it may be right, especially in private conversation, to remind a doubting brother or sister that the God who knows the sparrow and numbers the hairs of our heads also rules over parking spaces.

Yes, but I've noticed a curious psychological phenomenon: the more I doubt, the more these types hold forth about all the wondrous things "God" has done for them, and, quite frankly, the more I doubt! It's like raving ad nauseum to your single friend about your amazing love life with your spouse-how is this going to make your friend feel any better about his/her cross of being single?

Yes. I think you have explained the problem well here. Authentic testimonies and praises to God's glory should always inspire and encourage other Christians. But often what is conveyed - whether intentional or not - is a message of, "God is blessing me because I am right, and if you would believe just like me then you would be blessed too." Anyway, this is how it often comes across to me when I am inundated with text messages and such from my brother-in-law. But I always try to pray for him and offer him my sincere encouragement where I can.

Perhaps when we Orthodox suffer, we should be more vocal and outspoken in giving praise to God. We can show these Evangelical Fundamentalists that God is actually blessing us through our suffering, enabling us to grow closer to Christ through our trials and tribulations.

A good question to ask these people is, "What are you doing tangibly to help those in need? If God has blessed you, how are you tangibly sharing those blessings with others?" Usually they are very good with verbal witnessing, but they do little to actually help meet the physical, material, and emotional needs of others. Of course, they justify this by saying, "If you would only get saved, then all these other things willl work out." I know, because I used to be guilty of such an attitude and behavior myself.


Selam
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« Reply #51 on: March 19, 2010, 04:28:00 AM »

I like Gebre Menfes's reply (and alejkëm selam, of course). Having been away for several days and read the whole thread in one go, I am not replying much to individual points with quotations, but I would like to add a few observations.

The thread seems to have bifurcated: one question is the origin of the Premillennial, pre-Tribulation Rapture understanding of eschatology. I think that has been answered and explained well in a number of posts. The other question is how to cope with people who (to use Rosehip's word) brag about their blessings in the ways she has described. This is a much more difficult question. (I assume you are concluding from your experience that it is Pre-Mill people who thus brag, but I wonder whether this might be a false link.)

First, let me say that, over the past 20 years in my work with the Albanian Mission, I have moved amongst Evangelicals in Scotland, England, Wales, France, Greece, Albania, Kosova, Germany and the Republic of Macedonia, and among various shades of Evangelicals - Baptists, Methodists, Anglicans, Brethren, Pentecostal and others - and I have seldom come across the problem you so painfully describe. We had one preacher who occasionally came to our Baptist church in Wrexham whilst we were between pastors, who might be seen as a mild example of the type you describe: he is Pentecostal, and he stopped being invited but not (I think) because he was Pentecostal; I preached at a Pentecostal church in Yorkshire and another in Sussex, and to a muted extent in comparison with your experience I encountered it there in the homes of the people who accommodated and/or fed me. This leads me to two speculations: (1) is the problem more a national cultural one (i.e. American), and (2) does it arise mostly in Pentecostal and (their off-spring) Charismatic circles? These are questions, not answers.

But how to deal with it when it arises? Five things come to mind:

1) Most importantly, you need to be quietly confident of your own relationship with God, so that the disturbance does not reach your trusting soul.
2) 1 Peter 3 tells us to "be prepared to make a defense to anyone who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence". This would surely apply when we converse with those who are really challenging our relationship with Christ in comparison with their own, as they see it.
3) Jude 9 tells us that even the archangel Michael in contending with the devil "did not presume to pronounce a reviling judgement upon him," so it seems to me that we, who are "a little lower than the angels", ought not to respond with similar counter boasts or rebukes.
4) One reason for this, to my mind, is that we might just possibly, and unintentionally, fall into finding fault with something that God really has done for this person (even though he ought not to brag about it), and we would thus be found to find fault with God's handiwork.
5) Surely such people should be viewed not as non-Christians but as immature Christians whose need is to grow in grace? We learn from scripture and experience that "through much tribulation we must enter the kingdom": it seems they have not yet absorbed that lesson, and only time and God's patient and perhaps chastising work in their lives will teach it to them. Not you or I in all likelihood.

Finally - and earnestly not wishing to cause offence - it is worth noting that many of the claims which some Orthodox make against us Evangelicals do seem - or shall I rather say, could seem - like triumphalism or even like boasting. But I don't want to start corresponding about petards.  Smiley
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« Reply #52 on: March 19, 2010, 08:51:02 AM »

It is interesting to study eschatological perspectives but it is dangerous to lock yourself into a certain chain of events and not budge because end times prophecy is so symbolic.  The Pharisees did the same thing--they would not accept any Christ that didn't conform exactly to the perception they had on the end times and they ended up missing their redemption.
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« Reply #53 on: March 19, 2010, 04:35:44 PM »

^^Great points Layman Dan and David Young.


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« Reply #54 on: March 19, 2010, 06:42:15 PM »

Quote
This leads me to two speculations: (1) is the problem more a national cultural one (i.e. American), and (2) does it arise mostly in Pentecostal and (their off-spring) Charismatic circles? These are questions, not answers.

Mr Young, I'll try and take on these questions as someone who: was a Baptist who has relatives who were/are Pentecostal, and who has spent some time in England.

Question 1: I would say "yes".  In our nation we more often than not equate success with God's blessing.  We are the nation of the "Divine Mandate", and "Manifest Destiny" a belief that because God is/was with us that it was our destiny to rule this continent from sea to shining sea.  This has left a deep imprint on our cultural psyche.  Of course, the Isle of Britain has had certain past problems in this regard as well, but since her history extends back further, perhaps this has not left as deep an imprint. 

Question 2: Gets kind of iffy.  There are indeed some Pentecostal/Charismatic movements that link success with God's blessings, what is known in our bumper-sticker terminology as "Name it-Claim it Movement" or the Prosperity Gospel.  However, this mentality is not limited to these movements, and if anything I would say it is merely an outgrowth of a pre-existing mentality.  There were more than enough people in the churches I attended growing up who saw adversity as being the judgment of God to give one pause. 

Just to use a personal example, when my grandfather (a Baptist pastor) returned from a mission trip to India with a rare ailment which caused him to lose the use of his legs many people saw this as proof that God never wanted him to go to India to begin with.  As he struggled with this ailment for years there were many people in his church that chided him for a "lack of faith" or hidden sin which was why God wouldn't heal him.  This was not a problem with the whole congregation, and there were more than a few people who took inspiration and gave glory to God for his tenacity and good humor with his ordeal.

Also in the same small town from which he hails there are two Baptist churches, one which the prosperous and wealthy went to, and one which ministered to those who were not so.  It was never stated explicitly, but if you were not a member of the town aristocracy, you did not go to the prosperous church of the "blessed".  The "prosperous" church has had a long decline (but a brand spanking new sanctuary), while the the not-so prosperous church has grown to the point where they NEED a new sanctuary.
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« Reply #55 on: March 19, 2010, 06:51:23 PM »

There are indeed some Pentecostal/Charismatic movements that link success with God's blessings, what is known in our bumper-sticker terminology as "Name it-Claim it Movement" or the Prosperity Gospel.

Just as an aside, I know a brilliant Protestant scholar and friend (who posts here on occasion) who chides the "once saved always saved" idea of many Protestants with such slogans as "Blab-it and Grab-it" salvation.  Also, I've tried to clever construct my own: "Profess and Possess."  It's not nearly as catchy.
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« Reply #56 on: March 19, 2010, 06:57:17 PM »

There are indeed some Pentecostal/Charismatic movements that link success with God's blessings, what is known in our bumper-sticker terminology as "Name it-Claim it Movement" or the Prosperity Gospel.

Just as an aside, I know a brilliant Protestant scholar and friend (who posts here on occasion) who chides the "once saved always saved" idea of many Protestants with such slogans as "Blab-it and Grab-it" salvation.  Also, I've tried to clever construct my own: "Profess and Possess."  It's not nearly as catchy.
How does "Blab It and Grab It" connect with "Once Saved, Always Saved"?  I would associate the former more with the "Name It and Claim It" prosperity gospel.
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« Reply #57 on: March 21, 2010, 12:14:03 PM »

people in the churches I attended growing up who saw adversity as being the judgment of God

... a personal example...my grandfather

I am glad you brought this up, because I came to the computer specifically to put forward a similar idea myself: namely, that there is so to speak another side to this coin, a flip side, mirror image, or whatever the appropriate metaphor is. Not only have we all (regrettably) encountered the sort of people about whom Rosehip is so painfully exercised - the "Prosperity Gospel" brigade - but I suspected I am not alone in having met people who are very quick to pronounce that some calamity is God's judgement on a person, church, nation or other group.

Now I am aware from scripture that calamity is indeed one of God's "wake-up calls" (or better, chatisements) to erring people, and I think it is very right indeed for a person/church/denomination/nation or whatever to seach and inquire when calamity strikes and ask, "Is this God's chastening of me/us?" One thinks of the monk Gildas berating the British for their sin at the time of the Saxon invasions; of Wulfstan berating the English for their sin and backsliding at the time of the Viking invasions; and of course of many examples in the Old and New Testaments, even to the final  'removal of the lampstand'. But examining one's own heart and life (individually or corporately) is a very different thing from pronouncing confidently that calamity is God's judgement on others.

In re your grandfather, a number of the Christians I admire most, precious, devoted and much used servants of the Lord, have suffered real affliction towards the end of their lives: think of Francis of Assisi the Catholic; of Sangster the Methodist; of Stanley Delves, the Strict and Particular Baptist. And I am entirely sure that a large number of others could be adduced - not least no doubt your own grandfather. "Man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward." So: by all means each of us should examine his ways to see whether he is truly in the faith, and whether our suffering is God's chastening; but we should also remain vividly aware of our Lord's example, who pronounced no especial judgement on those others on whom the Tower of Siloam fell.

Finally, when I was in Tirana last year - a place I seldom go as our work is mainly elsewhere - I learnt that a certain "Prosperity Gospel" mission, which had been excluded from the fellowship of missions in Albania because the Prosperity Gospel was deemed a heresy, have repudiated that teaching, approached the other missions in repentance for their past error, and been admitted to the fraternity of missions. That I found heartening.
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« Reply #58 on: March 21, 2010, 05:13:55 PM »

I just finished a conversation with a Ukrainian Baptist friend of mine(highly influenced by Americans), and was suddenly thrown back  into a world I had almost forgotten- the world in which people spend entire conversations boasting about their fuzzy, mushy feelings about their "personal" relationship with God and all the good, good things they've gotten out of it (blessing after blessing-good, cushy job, attentions of rich, American men, blah, blah, blah). In the midst of this, she kept talking about the "Rapture"-how she just can't wait for this, how wonderful it's going to be, etc. etc. etc. I told her the Church has never taught the Rapture and that it is a relatively new doctrine, and she vehemently disagreed.

Am I correct in believing that the Church has never taught the Rapture?

I heard a story on the radio about a guy who started a business to take care of pets left behind after the Rapture. He will have someone go to your home and get your pets after you are taken up and promises to take good care of them. He certifies that his team of rescuers are all great sinners and definitely wont be Raptured themselves.

People are actually paying for this service.
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« Reply #59 on: March 21, 2010, 05:18:36 PM »

Oh, I wouldn't defend my grandfather too far.  He was a hard man, and as an example of twisting Scripture to defend his own views he could be one of the worst.  One should, however, consider the source of the criticism against him.  Unlike many of his critics, he never participated in the racial terror tactics common to his small town, and he never denied someone because of their economic status or skin color.  It was his willingness to minister to the "least of these" that was the basis of judgment against him, of which his physical ailment was seen as being divine confirmation.

He did have a genuine love for the Lord and for people, which sadly was often obscured by some of the errors in which he was raised.  

But, far from being a judgment, I would say his adversity made him a more effective witness than he possibly would have been without it.  In the last two decades of his life certain archaic (I say archaic because the they were a product of time and place, re: southern Mississippi in the early 20th century, not as a form of chronological snobbery) views he held were more often than not overshadowed by the previously mentioned good humor and tenacity he displayed in dealing with his ordeal.

I would love to be able to say that the views expressed by his opponents were no longer common, or at least were common only to the one region of the country, but this is tragically not so.  It is not even common just to certain denominations and sects.  There is at least one mainline Protestant denomination I could think of who believe that their errors, innovations, and slide into heresy can be justified in recent legal victories, showing that the Holy Spirit is indeed leading them into a "New Thing"(TM)(R)(and held in trust in perpetuity).
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« Reply #60 on: March 22, 2010, 05:01:46 PM »

A clarification about equating Success with God's blessings.

Success is ALWAYS a blessing from God.  If a thief steals and nobody catches him, has he been successful?  To himself, he is successful, towards God, No.  God sees ALL and is no respector of persons, rewarding each according to their deeds.  Some in this life, some in the next.

If a Christian suddenly looses his mind and begins to parade his good works so that he might be thought righteous while he is acting unrighteously towards God or his neighbor, so that he is able to gain a reputation of righteousness and holiness, has he been successful.  To himself he has  been successful, towards God, No.  God sees ALL and is no respector of persons, rewarding each acording to their deeds.  Some in this life, some in the next.

If it rains on my garden and I need rain, it is a blessing.  If my garden produces numerous good looking and delicious fruit, it is a blessing from God.

"In our nation we more often than not equate success with God's blessing.  We are the nation of the "Divine Mandate", and "Manifest Destiny" a belief that because God is/was with us that it was our destiny to rule this continent from sea to shining sea.  This has left a deep imprint on our cultural psyche.  Of course, the Isle of Britain has had certain past problems in this regard as well, but since her history extends back further, perhaps this has not left as deep an imprint. "

There is nothing immoral or theological wrong with "our having such a sense of Destiny", indeed God has blessed us in that very way.  We may not be proven worthy of these blessings, but our American history is not yet over, especially if we are weeping. 

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« Reply #61 on: March 25, 2010, 09:19:09 PM »

The Rapture belief existed among the Puritans, but it was not important to them, it seems to have just been how they happened to read the Bible. In the 1800's it became a heresy. According to His Eminence Lazar Puhalo, Darby (or someone) based the Rapture on a dream he had. It is an innovation, and it is not in the Bible if it is read objectively.

One problem with the Rapture is that it assumes a hyperliteralistic interpretation of the Second Coming. The Scriptures give us parables and imagery about the Second Coming and Last Judgment, but we know absolutely nothing about what will literally take place. Since the Orthodox interpretation of Paradise and gehenna is allegorical, any hyperliteral interpretation of the Last Things is cause for alarm.

The other problem with the Rapture is that it is unChristian--it claims God wants to hurt everyone who's not a believer, and that God would never want a believer to suffer. In fact, we believe that God does not take pleasure in anyone's suffering, and we know from history that God has allowed Christians to suffer in all places and times. The Rapture is a materialist, cultic delusion.
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« Reply #62 on: March 25, 2010, 09:25:08 PM »

Welcome to the forum, Rufus!
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« Reply #63 on: March 25, 2010, 10:19:00 PM »

Welcome to the forum, Rufus!

Thank you!
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« Reply #64 on: March 27, 2010, 04:05:53 PM »

The Rapture belief existed among the Puritans, but it was not important to them, it seems to have just been how they happened to read the Bible. In the 1800's it became a heresy. According to His Eminence Lazar Puhalo, Darby (or someone) based the Rapture on a dream he had. It is an innovation, and it is not in the Bible if it is read objectively.

Apparently it was a Scottish teenager named Margret McDonald who a had a dream that the Christians would be raptured. However it's recently come to light that the rapture in her dream was a post-trib not pre-trib rapture. While this timing of the "rapture" (gathering of the chosen actually) is line with Scripture, the idea of us being beamed up into Heaven ala Star Trek is definitely not.

One problem with the Rapture is that it assumes a hyperliteralistic interpretation of the Second Coming. The Scriptures give us parables and imagery about the Second Coming and Last Judgment, but we know absolutely nothing about what will literally take place. Since the Orthodox interpretation of Paradise and gehenna is allegorical, any hyperliteral interpretation of the Last Things is cause for alarm.

I wouldn't go as far as to say that we know absolutely nothing about what will literally take place. Scripture does give interpretations for some of the symbols (eg: the angel tells Daniel that beasts are symbolic for kingdoms), but we are given nothing more than a few basic details.

The other problem with the Rapture is that it is unChristian--it claims God wants to hurt everyone who's not a believer, and that God would never want a believer to suffer. In fact, we believe that God does not take pleasure in anyone's suffering, and we know from history that God has allowed Christians to suffer in all places and times. The Rapture is a materialist, cultic delusion.

That is the primary reason I've always rejected the rapture theory as well (at least how the premill dispensationalists explain it).

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« Reply #65 on: March 28, 2010, 02:21:44 AM »

The scariest thing about the rapture is that it ties into the whole Evangelical worldview and prompts these people to want to create Armageddon in the Middle East in order to hasten their own departure from this mortal coil.  When you have around a third to half the Christians in the U.S. believing in this garbage (many of whom are politically active and vote their dogma's all the time) then this is cause for alarm.  Yet these same Evangelical types will rail on against Shia Iran and their belief in the Mahdi returning as if it's crazy rhetoric without ever comparing those Islamic beliefs with their own delusional theology.

Thankfully the current presidential administration, despite it's faults is not so keen in giving the Israeli's a free pass to do whatever they please.  The Evangelicals are already up in arms about how we Americans have abandoned our best "friend" in the world and how God is sure to punish our country for this action.  I guess that, since they don't believe that God will ever expose them to total annihilation then they have no fear of an impending world war?
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« Reply #66 on: March 28, 2010, 03:00:19 AM »

The scariest thing about the rapture is that it ties into the whole Evangelical worldview and prompts these people to want to create Armageddon in the Middle East in order to hasten their own departure from this mortal coil. 

While I am no fan of Evangelical theology and certainly do not subscribe to the rapture, I think you are mischaracterizing their views a bit. I used to be an Evangleical, complete with belief in the rapture etc. But I never once heard anyone say that they wanted to hasten Armageddon in order to expedite their own journey to heaven. In fact, I was always told to be grateful that Our Lord tarried in His Second Coming, since that allowed for more people to hear the Gospel and be saved.

I'm sure that some Evangelicals might indeed desire to hasten Armageddon, but they are the fringe and not typical of predominant Evangelical thought. In critiquing the many flaws of Evangelicalism, we must be careful not to create straw men or falsely ascribe fringe doctrines to the mainstream Evangelical movement.


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« Reply #67 on: March 28, 2010, 04:08:43 PM »

Please be aware that political discussion is not allowed on this board. I am aware that certain evangelicals often tie spirituality to politics, but we ought to be able to distinguish the two. This thread is for religious discussion of the Rapture only, not discussion of politics based on Rapture theology, plentiful though those ideas might be. If you wish to start a discussion on Rapture politics, the Politics board is the place for that discussion. If you lack access to the Politics board, please PM Fr. Chris.
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« Reply #68 on: March 28, 2010, 04:52:40 PM »

How does "Blab It and Grab It" connect with "Once Saved, Always Saved"?  I would associate the former more with the "Name It and Claim It" prosperity gospel.

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."

The idea that all you have to do is affirm the Lordship of Christ Jesus verbally, and by doing so possess an irrevocable justification before God now and for eternity.

Is that clearer?
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« Reply #69 on: March 28, 2010, 09:59:04 PM »

The scariest thing about the rapture is that it ties into the whole Evangelical worldview and prompts these people to want to create Armageddon in the Middle East in order to hasten their own departure from this mortal coil. 

While I am no fan of Evangelical theology and certainly do not subscribe to the rapture, I think you are mischaracterizing their views a bit. I used to be an Evangleical, complete with belief in the rapture etc. But I never once heard anyone say that they wanted to hasten Armageddon in order to expedite their own journey to heaven. In fact, I was always told to be grateful that Our Lord tarried in His Second Coming, since that allowed for more people to hear the Gospel and be saved.

I'm sure that some Evangelicals might indeed desire to hasten Armageddon, but they are the fringe and not typical of predominant Evangelical thought. In critiquing the many flaws of Evangelicalism, we must be careful not to create straw men or falsely ascribe fringe doctrines to the mainstream Evangelical movement.


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« Reply #70 on: April 29, 2010, 01:43:48 AM »

Just in case anyone wants to be extremely frustrated:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzrxtFTkMtQ

"For some reason they went to the Septuagint?!?!Cheesy

This guy needs to head over to an Orthodox monastery while he's in the Holy Land. He should take his clan of chuckling tourists with him.
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« Reply #71 on: April 29, 2010, 12:37:05 PM »

The thing that really put the rapture in perspective to me is that when I heard a certain popular evangelical radio preacher recently say that he is convinced that prophecy is fulfilled & the rapture will probably be in his lifetime. Of course, that part is typical but when he went on to say that the raptured will not taste death, my immediate thought was where then is the resurrection in this scenario? I realize this is probably obvious but since I could generally care less about this doctrine it did not register. Do they really believe that they will transcend resurrection? I am only aware of the 2 prophets in Revelation 11 who some say may be Enoch & Elijah (who even may have to die) but there is no conclusion here.
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« Reply #72 on: April 29, 2010, 12:54:04 PM »

evangelical radio preacher ... is convinced that ... the rapture will probably be in his lifetime. .... that the raptured will not taste death, ... where then is the resurrection in this scenario? .... Do they really believe that they will transcend resurrection?

Belief that the Lord will come soon has been common in many times and places in church history, from the early church, to the Middle Ages, and down to today. The radio preacher (in this matter at least) was well in tune with men like Abbot Ælfric and Archbp Wulfstan of the 10th and 11th centuries.

What we believe about what you call "transcending the resurrection" is this: those believers who are still alive at the Coming of the Lord will be changed in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye, into their resurrection bodies; also at the Coming, the dead in Christ shall rise from their graves and be clothed with the same immortality and glory. So yes - those left alive at his Coming will not taste death.

Will it be soon? Well, no-one knows; but I have heard it said that there are three pointers to watch: the world, the church, and the Jews. Working backwards in that list: the Jews restored to their land and Jerusalem no longer trodden down by the Gentiles (some would add, with a widespread turning to Christ among them); the world going from bad to worse in a wide range of ways; the church completing the commission that the Gospel must be preached to the ends of the earth, "then the end will come".

It does seem to me, upon careful pondering of the years since, say, the late 19th century, that these three points are falling into place, are moving towards fulfilment, and that there is good reason to expect the Lord's Coming soon: maybe not in my life-time, who am old, but perhaps in that of my children or my grandson. But no-one knows: I may be as mistaken as Archbp Wulfstan - but at least, if I am, I am in good company!

I hope that helps: I write it, not to be polemical, but because you ask whether we really believe that.
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« Reply #73 on: April 29, 2010, 01:05:40 PM »

evangelical radio preacher ... is convinced that ... the rapture will probably be in his lifetime. .... that the raptured will not taste death, ... where then is the resurrection in this scenario? .... Do they really believe that they will transcend resurrection?

Belief that the Lord will come soon has been common in many times and places in church history, from the early church, to the Middle Ages, and down to today. The radio preacher (in this matter at least) was well in tune with men like Abbot Ælfric and Archbp Wulfstan of the 10th and 11th centuries.

What we believe about what you call "transcending the resurrection" is this: those believers who are still alive at the Coming of the Lord will be changed in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye, into their resurrection bodies; also at the Coming, the dead in Christ shall rise from their graves and be clothed with the same immortality and glory. So yes - those left alive at his Coming will not taste death.

Will it be soon? Well, no-one knows; but I have heard it said that there are three pointers to watch: the world, the church, and the Jews. Working backwards in that list: the Jews restored to their land and Jerusalem no longer trodden down by the Gentiles (some would add, with a widespread turning to Christ among them); the world going from bad to worse in a wide range of ways; the church completing the commission that the Gospel must be preached to the ends of the earth, "then the end will come".

It does seem to me, upon careful pondering of the years since, say, the late 19th century, that these three points are falling into place, are moving towards fulfilment, and that there is good reason to expect the Lord's Coming soon: maybe not in my life-time, who am old, but perhaps in that of my children or my grandson. But no-one knows: I may be as mistaken as Archbp Wulfstan - but at least, if I am, I am in good company!

I hope that helps: I write it, not to be polemical, but because you ask whether we really believe that.
Thank you for the answer.
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« Reply #74 on: April 29, 2010, 01:45:12 PM »

Just in case anyone wants to be extremely frustrated:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzrxtFTkMtQ

"For some reason they went to the Septuagint?!?!"  Cheesy

This guy needs to head over to an Orthodox monastery while he's in the Holy Land. He should take his clan of chuckling tourists with him.

That is hilarious....so typical.... Roll Eyes Gotta love the tracksuit... Grin
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« Reply #75 on: May 05, 2010, 01:50:23 AM »

This was shown to me:
http://www.khouse.org/articles/1995/39/

I have also been talking with a close friend, who is heterodox regarding the rapture. She insists that she will not have to go through it because, "Christ cannot be cruicified again."

I'm not sure what to make of this since I cannot wrap my head around it, nor formulate a response.
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« Reply #76 on: May 05, 2010, 02:17:02 AM »

Here is a person who knows what he is talking about:

THE BIBLE AND THE RAPTURE:


http://www.pantocrator.net/en/modules.php?name=Downloads&d_op=search&query=


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« Reply #77 on: May 24, 2012, 11:34:40 AM »

Studying the doctrine of the Rapture is a waste of time, unless your proclivety is the reading of historical/prophetical fiction.   One might as well spend time studying to write a historical novel with apocolyptical overtones suggesting that Abraham Lincoln was a vampire slayer.

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« Reply #78 on: May 24, 2012, 12:33:36 PM »

It is a relatively new invention. In fact, I was reading Bukharev's commentary of the Revelation of St. John and he actually identified the events in Revelation with the several historical periods of the Church, the last being something which has not come yet; not some silly Rapture theory. I've always asked my Evangelical friends what will happen if the Rapture occurs while I'm on the toilet or in the shower and they tend to take the joke offensively.
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« Reply #79 on: May 24, 2012, 12:55:58 PM »

The Rapture can be traced back to a scottish school girl's "visions".

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« Reply #80 on: May 24, 2012, 01:15:16 PM »

what will happen if the Rapture occurs while I'm on the toilet

Most literal version of "from one throne to the other" I've ever heard of...

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« Reply #81 on: May 24, 2012, 01:22:38 PM »

what will happen if the Rapture occurs while I'm on the toilet

Most literal version of "from one throne to the other" I've ever heard of...


That brings up another theological crisis....can you use the bathroom in heaven.....

PP
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« Reply #82 on: May 24, 2012, 04:40:43 PM »

what will happen if the Rapture occurs while I'm on the toilet

Most literal version of "from one throne to the other" I've ever heard of...


That brings up another theological crisis....can you use the bathroom in heaven.....

PP

An ex-Catholic family member says he remembers how disturbed some people were when the bodily assumption of Mary was dogmatized...they wondered how she would use the bathroom.
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« Reply #83 on: May 24, 2012, 04:44:58 PM »

what will happen if the Rapture occurs while I'm on the toilet

Most literal version of "from one throne to the other" I've ever heard of...


That brings up another theological crisis....can you use the bathroom in heaven.....

PP

An ex-Catholic family member says he remembers how disturbed some people were when the bodily assumption of Mary was dogmatized...they wondered how she would use the bathroom.
Im glad it's not just me then....ok good.

PP
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« Reply #84 on: May 24, 2012, 04:47:03 PM »

Studying the doctrine of the Rapture is a waste of time, unless your proclivety is the reading of historical/prophetical fiction.   One might as well spend time studying to write a historical novel with apocolyptical overtones suggesting that Abraham Lincoln was a vampire slayer.

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UN    INGBELIEVABLE. NOW MY MIND IS BLOWN.

Insane.

And everyone knows:

Into each generation a Slayer is born. One girl in all the world . . .

So I am calling BtVS on this film's historical accuracy.
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« Reply #85 on: May 24, 2012, 04:51:56 PM »

Studying the doctrine of the Rapture is a waste of time, unless your proclivety is the reading of historical/prophetical fiction.   One might as well spend time studying to write a historical novel with apocolyptical overtones suggesting that Abraham Lincoln was a vampire slayer.

john
Trailer

UN    INGBELIEVABLE. NOW MY MIND IS BLOWN.

Insane.

And everyone knows:

Into each generation a Slayer is born. One girl in all the world . . .

So I am calling BtVS on this film's historical accuracy.
Morbid curiosity is really making me want to see this thing......

PP
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« Reply #86 on: May 24, 2012, 04:57:12 PM »

Studying the doctrine of the Rapture is a waste of time, unless your proclivety is the reading of historical/prophetical fiction.   One might as well spend time studying to write a historical novel with apocolyptical overtones suggesting that Abraham Lincoln was a vampire slayer.

john
Trailer

UN    INGBELIEVABLE. NOW MY MIND IS BLOWN.

Insane.

And everyone knows:

Into each generation a Slayer is born. One girl in all the world . . .

So I am calling BtVS on this film's historical accuracy.
Morbid curiosity is really making me want to see this thing......

PP

I mean those prophetic words spoken. The internet has thought of everything.

Someone PM that member and tell them.

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« Reply #87 on: July 01, 2012, 10:03:11 PM »

The rapture is a very late innovation in the Protestant West. Mostly believed by radical Puritans that settled in America so they could spread their distorted version of Christianity. They were persecuted in Europe, and rightly so I might add - of course I wouldn't endorse violence against them, but why should any repsonsible leader allow their subjects to follow a clearly harmful cult?

Anyways, back to the rapture... like most Puritan ideology, the rapture is highly dualistic. The idea that we will be raptured out of this world and into some place at the edge of the universe finds no support with in Scripture or Tradition. The text most rapturists use to support their delusions is found in the first letter of St Paul to the Thessalonians, Chapter 4. Verse 16ff reads as follows:

"For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a  shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive [n]and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord."

Note it doesn't say that we will "go to heaven". Here is St John Chrysostom's commentary on the passage:

"If He is about to descend, why shall we be taken up? For the sake of honor. When a king enters a city, those who are in his favor go out to meet him, but the condemned await their judge inside. Or, when a loving father comes, his children, and also those worthy of being his children, are taken out in a chariot to see and kiss him, but the servants who have offended him remain indoors. So we are carried out upon a chariot to our Father...See how great our honor is? As He descends we go out to meet Him, and what is more blessed, we shall be with Him always" (Homily 8 on Thessalonians)

The Greek word "parousia" (the word used in the Bible to talk about Christ's second coming) is a Cesar word. At Cesar's royal appearing (i.e. Parousia) at a particular city, the people would go out to meet him and escort him into the city. This is the imagery St Paul is conjuring here. At Christ's appearing (parousia), the faithful will be caught up to meet him in the air and escort him back to earth. The wicked fearfully wait for their judgement on earth. And so we will be with Christ in the earth made new forever. This is the Orthodox teaching of the second coming. Note, this is not a literal description of the second coming. Paul is using imagery from the Old Testament (i.e. Daniel where the Annointed One will "come in the clouds") and also imagery from Cesar (i.e. parousia, the royal appearing of Cesar). Christ is the true King of the World, Cesar is not. At his parousia, the faithful will be overjoyed and go out to meet him, just like the people go out to meet Cesar when he visits a city or triumphantly returns home after a military victory.

The rapture is nothing but neo-Gnostic delusion.
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« Reply #88 on: July 01, 2012, 10:31:26 PM »

Way off topic, but this particular thread resurrection is a bit melancholy as I was thinking about our dear sister Rosehip just today.  Really miss her gentleness and sweet disposition.   Cry  Sorry- didn't mean to be a downer.
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« Reply #89 on: September 27, 2012, 10:44:32 AM »

Studying the doctrine of the Rapture is a waste of time, unless your proclivety is the reading of historical/prophetical fiction.   One might as well spend time studying to write a historical novel with apocolyptical overtones suggesting that Abraham Lincoln was a vampire slayer.

john
Uh...Lincoln is Neo.

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« Reply #90 on: September 27, 2012, 11:53:43 AM »

I think in Thessalonians when it mentions "meeting the Lord in the air," it is actually a reference to Daniel chapter 7.  And "meeting the Lord in the air" doesnt mean we will meet Christ in the air then continue floating to heaven.  My understanding is that when a king was coming to visit your city/country in ancient times, people would go meet him half way, then walk back the rest of the way with him.  Similarly, when we "meet Christ in the air," we will come back to earth with him as he restores creation. 

Is this idea Orthodox? 
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« Reply #91 on: September 27, 2012, 12:15:02 PM »

Is this idea Orthodox? 
Well that's how I read it, in any case.
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« Reply #92 on: September 27, 2012, 12:19:46 PM »

Ah, the issues of dogmatizing a prophecy before it happens Smiley

PP
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« Reply #93 on: September 27, 2012, 12:38:34 PM »

My understanding is that when a king was coming to visit your city/country in ancient times, people would go meet him half way, then walk back the rest of the way with him.  Similarly, when we "meet Christ in the air," we will come back to earth with him as he restores creation. 

That's how I understand it.
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« Reply #94 on: September 28, 2012, 01:27:55 AM »

Oh, seeing a thread started by our dear sister Martha brings back a lot of memories. May her memory be eternal!
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« Reply #95 on: November 05, 2012, 08:47:00 PM »

Ah, the issues of dogmatizing a prophecy before it happens Smiley

PP
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