Why the Rapture Should be Left BehindFebruary 22, 2011
There’s a moment of childhood panic that is familiar to many evangelicals. In fact, for some, the experience continues well into adult life. It’s the panic that ensues when you suddenly find yourself alone in a location where you would normally expect to find other people (e.g. your home, school, dormitory). Where is everyone? Why am I the only one here? The terrifying thought inevitably kicks in: they’ve been raptured and I’ve been left behind!
I’ve even heard of pranks in Bible college dormitories where all the students, minus the target of the prank, empty out of the dorm early in the morning leaving clothes strategically placed on their beds. Someone blows a trumpet to wake the poor remaining student (and because Jesus’ return is to be announced by trumpets, of course). The poor student wakes up to find his worst fears confirmed. He wasn’t truly saved and now he’s going to have to slog it out through the tribulation with the rest of the heathen.
With the recent popularity of the Left Behind series by Jenkins and LaHaye, this distortion of the New Testament’s apocalyptic texts has probably become even more ingrained in the evangelical psyche.
Earlier today, John Byron posted the following helpful video in which Barbara Rossing explains the surprisingly recent origins of the idea of a rapture and why it’s an idea best left behind: