Yes, it’s true. Due to all the hullabaloo around here regarding the whole Left Behind business, I decided to go down to my local library and check out what all the fuss is about.
No, I’m not a Fundie. Yes, I’m a Catholic. No, I don’t believe in the Rapture.
I am only on chapter 9, and thus far the characters are still just dealing with the fact that millions of people (not 144,000) around the world have suddenly disappeared. At this point they don’t even know it’s the Rapture; some suspect aliens.
Anyway, so far I am thinking the book is just ok as far as entertainment value when viewed strictly as a piece of fiction. When I stop to consider the fact that the guys who wrote/conceptualized the series firmly believe that this is what is actually going to happen…well, that one’s a bit hard for me to swallow. More power to the people who have no trouble making a leap of faith such as this. I just have a hard time believing it.
The one thing about the Rapture theory I REALLY don’t get, besides the fact that the concept of Rapture was invented this century, is the idea that the person disappears. From what I understand about the concepts about the apocalypse, the saving of the “good” people before the damned are punished, and heaven, only souls go to heaven because heaven isn’t a physically real place, but some sort of spiritual realm. Wouldn’t people supposedly taken during the Rapture simply fall down dead as their souls went to heaven? Supposedly, people have been going to heaven for a long time without bodies…
Oh, there’s all sorts of Biblical fun you can have with this, and I don’t mean “knowing” people;)
The verses of the Bible that deal with The End don’t give clear details as to what’s going to happen. They don’t explicitly say “your hair will fall outb and your soul will go to heaven and your body will disappear because it’s just a facade” but it doesn’t say “you’ll fall down dead because a person can’t live with a soul, and all good souls will be taken to Heaven.”
This is one of those areas where religious groups disagree fundamentally on what happens. The frightening thing is that a lot of people think the books are nonfiction.
As far as the bodies disappearing, the book quotes a passage from 1 Corinthians that basically says that all the people who are going to be raptured will “receive an immortal body” or that their physical mortal body will be transformed into this immortal body which will then go to heaven. This includes dead people, so corpses of the “true” Christians also receive the immortal body and disappear from their graves. Interesting. I was raised Catholic and I don’t remember hearing anything about the Rapture in Catechism class. Hmmm.
Also, I agree with iamp…it frightens me that some people think this is a non-fiction book!
And, apparently, all the people who are “left behind” are not totally screwed–there is to be a 7 year period of “trial and tribulation” wherein people have one last chance to become “saved” before the world is destroyed on Judgement Day.