A brief post that looks at the issues with the rapture. Greg Boyd’s ministry emailed out a video the other day where he explains why the rapture is bad theology. This is more of a discussion post than anything else.
“You have a poem called “Bad Theology.” What would you call a bad theology?I guess any theology that presumes to have God in its pocket. Can I explain this without sinning further? We’ll find out. The community in which I was raised did what they would call theology, but it was always a kind of cranky, brutal reduction of lush and beautiful complexities into the lowest common denominator, the dullest version. But when I went away to school and started reading more, I became increasingly dissatisfied with any theology that replaces the enormous, immeasurable real with very measurable and very calculated replacements. I’m not saying this very eloquently, but I guess bad theology articulates as definitive and conclusive that which is unknowable and without end.“
We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died.[g]16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died[h] will rise from their graves. 17 Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. 18 So encourage each other with these words.
1 Thessalonians 4:15-18 NLT
Greg Boyd of Woodland Hills
Long ago I rejected the concept of the rapture to be one of the most erroneous teachings in modern evangelicalism. I was stunned when I realized how new it was, and I thought the theology to be inconsistent with the core of the Christian faith. Plus it didn’t help that many evangelicals were caught up in the Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins books and the cheesy movies such as the Kirk Cameron. I recall watching Left Behind in 2000, and I still have not recovered from Kirk Cameron’s acting to be honest with you 😛 These are some of the many reasons why I reject the rapture:
- It leads people to be spiteful to their neighbors.
- It causes Christians to look at the earth around them as being disposable. Why care about nature, the environment or so many other issues if you don’t have to deal with it? The theology undermines the core concept of Christian faith.
- It also contributes to an anti-intellectualism in the Christian faith. Why wrestle with issues like evolution of the problem of evil if you think you are going to be sucked up into the sky? Why care?
- I believe one of the people who influenced the teaching, John Nelson Darby is a man who was mentally ill.
- It leads Christians to celebrate disasters and view bad news as being good. For me this is horrific in so many ways.
- It also leads to many evangelicals to neglect the poor and many of the “least of these.” Some evangelicals get so wrapped up in this topic that they neglect the more important
The other day Greg Boyd’s ministry emailed out a video where Boyd talks about why the rapture is bad theology. I have that brief 5 minute video up above. If you want to see a longer video that looks at this issue in about an hour long sermon, then you should go here. I like Greg Boyd quite a bit, and I appreciate him taking on this issue. Its long overdue that this topic be addressed. One of the posts I need to do sometime is a post that talks about what I appreciate from Neo-Calvinist theology. This issue is one of the topics that I do appreciate. You don’t hear this theology in a Calvinist system, if I am wrong please correct me. So let me ask you the following questions to consider.
- Why is the rapture bad theology?
- What stories can you tell about this theology, and how it adversely effected you?
- What led you to reject it?
- On the flip side why do you embrace it?
Feel free to discuss this issue below. That’s it for the day guys, please know that I love you!