Are You Ready for the Rapture?, Or, Learning to Laugh with God at Dispensationalists

It seems we will always have "signs-of-the-times" loons speaking out with vigor everytime a conflict arises in the Middle East. Is our memory so short that we have forgotten the wild claims during the first Gulf War? Are people honestly so foolish that they think this time around the end of the world is nigh? I am afraid the answer will, as always, be yes.

Which is why there is no better recourse than to laugh. And what better way to laugh at these people than to read what they are writing? Thanks to Travis Ables for his post that linked to a site that offers endless hours of laughs.

At the Rapture Ready message board, there are numerous threads on any topic relating to the Rapture. For the sake of this post, I picked just one thread that seemed particularly interesting, titled, "American and these end times" (demonstrating the characteristic learnedness of such message boards). The question under discussion is, essentially, the following: Why is America not mentioned in end-times prophecy? Here are samples of some of the posts for our reading pleasure. I guarantee this will brighten your day.

"How are u so sure the REASON America ceases to be mentioned at all in end-times propehcy is due to the Rapture of the Church? I ask because I would like to hear opinions, but also because my own personal belief is, America is gone from end times prophecy because she will have ceased to exist as a super-power nation as
she (and we; I am in America) will be destroyed. ... The Rapture WILL occur, since God says it will."

"I agree with you that the US is not even hinted at in prophecy because we will be taken out by something at the beginning of the Tribulation or maybe even before. God will punish the US for claiming to be HIS nation while being idolators and immoral......the same way He punished ancient Israel for living that way while claiming to be His people."

"I do feel God raised us up and graced us to help birth and be a friend to Israel. We have done that."

"Well to give the statistics, from the war on Christmas last December 91% of the Americian population claims to be Christian. The population of the U.S. will reach 300 million this year so each persentage piont is 3 million people. So if only 80% truly believe thats still 8 out of every 10 people you see will be gone with the rapture. Which wont leave enough people to keep the lights on in most of the country especially throughout the heartland. ( 85 % is what ive been praying for and my wife calls me a cockeyed optimist) realisticly id guess between 70 and 80 persent which would destroy this country as a superpower, to many experianced people gone to work what has to work for sociaty to keep functioning. Well my 2 cents worth. While were on the subject anyone know the persentages of Christians and Messianic Jews liveing in Isreal? Ive been wondering if the Issiah passage about Jacobs fat becomeing lean could also be do to the rapture."

"I have at least 3 reasons for the absense of America... 1) We are just absorbed by the one world government and become part of the AC's community 2) We are financially destroyed and like many have said cease to be a world power 3) I am thinking maybe although unlikely that not even the writers of the bible knew and that maybe america was a suprise by god very unlikely like I just said already 4) War another theory that many choose to look at. Although I forget where but I saw an article that said the bible described Israel as a woman being lifted on eagles wings which could mean the US protecting Israel during the Tribulation."

"you also have to remeber that there is most likely going to be a lot of destruction and lives lost when the Rapture happens.........planes crash, cars crash into other cars and buildings , etc. when those in them are Raptured. and yes, i've read the Left Behind series also but i truely believe this is the way it will be.......so it won't be just those who are Raptured that will be gone.......which is going to add possbile thousands to the total. millions raptured + several thousands dead .......just in the U.S.A."

Comments

Patrik said…
They read the bible like they spell, I guess.
WTM said…
It doesn't make me laugh so much as it makes me cry...
Shane said…
yeah, i'm afraid i don't find it funny either.

Laughing seems counterproductive.

s
D.W. Congdon said…
Laughing is the only thing one can do without losing all hope in the church in America.
kim fabricius said…
One thing you do not do is to pay these dangerous fantasists the compliment of an argument. Unless you are Sisyphus. Of course one's laughter is scornful, not light. A good reply would be some scathing Swiftian satire, a send-up along the lines of "A Modest Proposal". A working title might be "The Rupture" (as in abdominal hernia).
Gaunilo said…
I'm amused by the (tacit) debate about whether America is a godly nation or not: "God is going to judge the U.S. for departing from his ways and calling ourselves his special people and America's going to get wiped out with like 100 H-bombs" vs. "80% [!] of the country will be gone in the rapture."

Figure out how the idolatry of patriotism is working itself out in that thread.
Shane said…
America has always looked upon itself as the chosen people. It's something we inherited from the puritans. Read the mayflower compact and then read a speech by ronald reagan, it's the same idea. If the chosen people (the city set on a hill) can just hold on for a little longer against the forces of evil (i.e. the indians or the soviets), then we will reap blessings.

However, I cannot agree that there is no point arguing with dispensationalists. There is a point, it is just a question of approach.
D.W. Congdon said…
Gaunilo, that's an excellent point. I might come back to the observation in the future. You can see the two sides played out in the large scale as well. Westboro Baptist (of "godhatesfags" infamy) on one side, and your average "God bless America" evangelical on the other. It's either "I am going to heaven, and not you suckers!" or "we're all going to heaven because we're God's country!"
byron said…
Patrik: LOL!

WTM: A tragi-comedy.

Seriously: my own interest in eschatology is not unrelated to observing the confusion and destruction (theologically, environmentally, socially, geo-politically) spread by such views.
Kevin said…
Thanks Dave,
"from the war on Christmas last December 91% of the Americian population claims to be Christian. The population of the U.S. will reach 300 million this year so each persentage piont is 3 million people. So if only 80% truly believe thats still 8 out of every 10 people you see will be gone with the rapture."
You may make fun of this guy, but his logic is Impeccable!
Think about it. America is a Christian country, so therefore in the post rapture world we will all be gone. All that will be left are the liberal humanists, and they are way to idealistic and stuck in academia to keep things going on a practical level. Bravo!
Jackson said…
I've noticed that many dispensationalists focus way too much on the prophecy of the book of Revelation (and I can say this because I attended a Foursquare Bible College for a short time). John's Revelation was both a prophecy AND an Epistle. So the answer to the question, "Why isn't America mentioned in the book of Revelation?" is that John was trying to get a message out to the people of his own time.
D.W. Congdon said…
Jackson, a good point, and one worth hearing again and again. I made the same point on a discussion of Revelation over at Connexions, Richard Hall's blog. The post on Revelation is from a couple weeks ago. The comments were a little heated, since Connexions is visited by at least one dispensationalist/fundamentalist.
Anonymous said…
The "Rapture Index" on Rapture Ready (which Tim LaHaye loves) is helping to fulfill the most important endtime "sign" in Matt. 24: DECEPTION. If the RI would add up the total numerical value of its own deception, it would self-destruct! Actually it should be called the "Second Advent Index" since the "precursors" are fulfilled during the tribulation and point to only the final advent and not to a supposed "pretrib" coming that no pre-1830 church ever taught. At the same time, RI author Todd Strandberg declares that his "pretrib" rapture is "signless" - which is believable if "precursors" can't be signs!
D.W. Congdon said…
I love the Rapture Index. It's one of the funniest things online. I think it deserves a post of its own sometime soon.