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twinbee reports:
44% of americans polled believe that "the rapture" will occur either sometime within their lifetime, or within their children's lifetime.

Opinions? Ramifications? Please discuss.

( Sources: SFGate | RaptureReady.com )



( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 21st, 2005 06:33 am (UTC)
Monte Carlo Ley Lines
IMHO it shows a poor understanding of the actual analogy of Matthew 24:42-44:

42 "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.
43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into.
44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

[New International Version]

There's a converse implication: since believers do not know the time of eschatological events (the Second Coming not being the literal end of the material universe anyway), there remains a responsibility of stewardship over the material world. That's what all the "good manservant" parables mean to me, anyway.

Nov. 21st, 2005 02:25 pm (UTC)
And we wonder why no so many people seem completely disinterested in long-range

Condi Rice is on record telling Katrina victims that "Jesus will come on time if we're patient" - ie, we don't have to bail your booties out of the rising water, this world and everyone in it is doomed.
Nov. 21st, 2005 06:01 am (UTC)
And they've believed it for many years before and they'll believe it for many years after.

There was a booklet produced in 1987. "88 Reasons Why The Lord is Returning in 1988" or something along those lines.


If it happens, it happens. If it doesn't, we'll be on the other side when it does ;)
Nov. 21st, 2005 06:17 am (UTC)
I do remember things like that
What is the Mennonite doctrine on the rapture?

I understand there are different views on where Christian souls await the Second Coming, with most indicating paradise until bodily resurrection and the millenial kingdom. Some LJer (essius, IIRC) had a whole eschatological taxonomy with different timelines.

I think the problem with "it will happen in our lifetimes" versus "if it happens, it happens" is the duration of accountability for one's legacy. If the world will be around for untold centuries, millenia, or aeons of trillions of years yet, there's more to worry about in terms of what you leave behind.

Nov. 21st, 2005 06:10 am (UTC)
do you have a source for that stat? i didn't see it at either of your sources (they just talked about 'the rapture index', really).
Nov. 21st, 2005 06:13 am (UTC)
Source for the stat
Actually, other than twinbee, I don't have one yet.

I haven't looked extensively, though. I will later, but please let me know if you find anything to confirm or refute the 44% figure.

Nov. 21st, 2005 07:15 am (UTC)
Re: Source for the stat
i spent two seconds on google and came up with nothing, which is why i asked -- 44% seems a little high to me.

while other religions have an "end of days" facet, that which is referred to as rapture is unique to chiristianity. wikipedia sez only 88% of americans are christian.

so, the 44% statistic means that roughly 50% of the christians in the US believes that the rapture statistic is true.

BUT rapture is something stemming from the protestant reformation. catholicism (the largest christian group in the US, weighing in at 27% of the population) doesn't particularly discuss it*. this means that it's pretty unlikely that the catholics would be weighing in so favorably on the subject. so, the majority of that 44% would stem from the 61% of americans that are protestants, more than 67% of the protestants would be believing this.

i have a hard time believing that figure.

...then again, i had a hard time believing that w got reelected :P

* while i don't identify as christian and haven't for years, i enjoy attending catholic services and have pretty much my entire life, and with my nomadic tendancies, i've attended services in more than a dozen churches and had quality time in the catholicism classes as a youth. i'm speaking only from my experiences in the lack of rapture talk, but that doesn't mean that there aren't other churches that do discuss rapture. plus, wikipedia sez "most Christian denominations who have beliefs concerning a 'rapture' are those that appeared after the Reformation."
Nov. 21st, 2005 11:14 am (UTC)
Re: Source for the stat
That may have come from ABC News: Dr. LaHaye was on Good Morning America last week and they made some remark of "___% of Americans". (I was in the shower and didn't hear it all)
Nov. 21st, 2005 06:37 am (UTC)
Ahhh, Protestants.
Catholics gave up millennial ...quasi-theology... about 1100CE :p
(What? You asked for comments, not... serious theological rebuttals. Right? :p)
Nov. 21st, 2005 06:39 am (UTC)
(I had a religion teacher who believed that we were currently in the end times, and that Jesus might well return within his lifetime. But that's different from believing in a rapture followed by seven years of scary shit - he believed we were in the scary shit.)
Nov. 21st, 2005 06:51 am (UTC)
I'm sure that that's always been the case.
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 21st, 2005 08:11 pm (UTC)
Yes, we do!

Nov. 21st, 2005 01:38 pm (UTC)
The Rapture..
This is something my oldest brother and I were discussing not that long ago. While growing up, we had a very young Pastor who was hung up on preaching about this. Neither my brother nor I ever thought that we would be around long enough to go to college or marry or anything to the point that long term planning seemed ridiculous to us.

Yes, we need to be ready at any moment for it, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't also live as if it isn't. Meaning we should have a plan for our lives, decide what we want to do and who we are going to love and marry and even what we're going to work toward retiring.

I may be an Independent Baptist and a fundamentalist, but I will be the first to say that fundamentalist are the most gullible creatures out there. People don't think for themselves, be it taking an article from the Onion about Harry Potter as gospel truth if it is in a conservative publication to teaching kids that "the end is nigh" to the point they give up their dreams for the future. As with everything, you need to use the head the good Lord gave you.
Nov. 21st, 2005 02:36 pm (UTC)
Christians wait for the Second Coming, we wait for the First ;] I'm a member of a Lubavitcher Chasidic synagogue (I am not Chasidic myself, I'm Modern Orthodox, but it's a nice place and I like going there) and the Lubavitcher branch of Chasidism is really big on the Coming of the Messiah. To the point that it has a splinter group (in certain parts of the US and Israel mostly) whose members believe that the seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe was the Messiah, and he'll rise up from the dead and the whole Christian story, just with the Rebbe instead of Jesus. Luckily, our synagogue is not part of this group...

Anyway, the above theological debate aside, I'm pretty often exposed to "We want Moshiach [Messiah] NOW!" type of stuff, but I haven't seen it cause anyone (at least not in our shul) to focus less on their long-term goals. The reason is probably that it's quite often mentioned that we've been waiting for literally ages, and it still hasn't happened yet! OK, it has to happen right now or tomorrow at the very worst ;], but if it doesn't, hey, we'll manage for another couple of generations, just like we always did.

Then again, from what I read on the Internet and what I hear from friends I used to go to shul with who are now in the US or Israel, those Lubavitchers who believe the 7th Rebbe is the Messiah and he will return shortly are simply militant. (This branch is not present in Hungary so I have very little direct experience with them.) 'Moshiach has to come right now (because it's inconceivable how the Rebbe could've died otherwise) and if he doesn't, we'll make him come.' To me it seems like that group will collapse under its own end-times predicament in a generation. Or become Fundamentalist Christians with a twist (maybe they're already so, then again, I don't really see American-style Fundamentalist Christians too often, either).
Nov. 21st, 2005 03:26 pm (UTC)
As a Christian (raised Methodist) in high school I thought that the year 2000 would usher in some new era (which it did, and didn't at the same time, but that's a different conversation), but afterwards I reread the passages of Matthew that you responded to Rivendellrose with and got so sick of the rising tide of more neo-evangelicalism and insistance that the Rapture is coming soon. It will come, I believe that, but it's wrong to speculate about what those times will entail, and it is also written that when people insist they have seen the Lord, here or there, not to believe it - which I believe to mean that the Rapture is here until you see it with your own eyes. The point is just to be ready, and I could be wrong, but wasting the environment and starting wars isn't appropriate preparation. Living like tomorrow isn't going to come is the definition of irresponsibility.
Nov. 21st, 2005 05:18 pm (UTC)
With any luck, it'll happen before Evolutionary Computing Project is due.
Nov. 21st, 2005 07:54 pm (UTC)
Speaking of Evolutionary Computation
Did I ever tell you I had a fundamentalist Christian co-author who was, or became, so staunchly creationist that he asked me to take his name off a paper on genetic algorithm-based data mining? He did not want his name "associated with what he considered to be dangerous ideas".

It was for a workshop on Genetic and Evolutionary Computation (specifically, the 1999 GECCO-AAAI joint workshop on Data Mining with Evolutionary Algorithms).

The problem was that he asked me to do it after the paper had already been published, and he asked me to lie to the publisher and say that he hadn't been informed of his inclusion as co-author. Not only was he informed, he replied to me by e-mail to thank me.

When I refused to lie, this person actually wrote to the publisher with the same false claim, saying that he was not aware of his inclusion, whereas to me he had just backed down and say "but I didn't realize that if was a GEC conference". (Gee, I would have thought that the GEC would be a clue. And yes, I did spell it out.) I wrote the above to the publisher, which was going to temporarily pull the paper from its reprint archive CD. Once they knew the truth, they rescinded that plan.

Dec. 9th, 2005 09:54 pm (UTC)
Re: Speaking of Evolutionary Computation
No, and this is an incredible story. Wow.
Nov. 21st, 2005 08:53 pm (UTC)
Yes, I do believe that the Revolution will come in my lifetime. Either that, or Capitalism will mess us all up, which will be not very far from a biblical Armageddon.

Oh, you said Revelation. Err... no thanks.
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )

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