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What We Now Know, Week of July 19, 2005







Excerpted from the weekly newsletter of Casey Research

READER FEEDBACK

Reader reactions to last week’s article “Raptured, Part II: Commercialized Apocalypse”:

Thank you very much for the well-researched articles on the rapture mania. I learned a lot about the, umm, genesis of this belief set. I think it would be very helpful if you followed up with an “outing” of the many well-known politicians (elected and unelected) now engaged in making U.S. policy based on their religious objectives of moving the Rapture Index towards fulfillment.

A good example would be Sen. J. Inhofe of Oklahoma who I think actually said on the Senate floor that our Middle Eastern policy needed to include restoring the biblical Israel for this purpose. Of course, there are a lot of other examples. There is also the well-funded Red Heifer project, an attempt to genetically engineer the red heifer without a single white hair required for sacrifice at the restored temple (although I am unsure whether this has politically connected donors or is a strictly private misguided effort).

A good article on this topic would be a valuable contribution. Thanks again for your excellent news letter, I always read it with great interest and appreciation, even when I am not in agreement with the author’s point of view.

(Dr. Dawn W.)

Dawn is right about Senator James Inhofe’s religiously motivated political leanings [read an article about it here]. Thanks, Dawn, we’ll save the topic for another day but definitely will look into it.

***


As far as I am concerned, your analysis of the rapture isn't worth the "paper" it is written on. The word rapture is not in the Bible, but neither is the word "trinity", so any argument based on the fact that "rapture" is not in the Bible is groundless. Jesus did say he was coming back. The Bible says we shall meet Him in the air. The Bible does say our corruptible bodies will be changed into incorruptible bodies.

However, this is mostly beside the point. The real question is, "Are you writing what you are writing based on divine revelation or just your own mental analysis?" At a time like this, your mental analysis is worthless. Listen to the prophets of which there are now many.

"Believe my prophets that you may prosper" (II Chron. 20:20). Has prophecy ceased? Not yet. Not until some of us get to heaven. Then there will be no need for it. Are you born again? Are you filled with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in unknown tongues? Glory to God. Jesus is Lord.

(Bruce B.)

***


Your rapture articles only serve to reinforce my own view that Christianity is largely a personality cult—without the personality of Jesus Christ, there would be no Christianity. Surprising, too, are the parallels with another personality cult we know of--the Kim Il Sung/ Kim Jong Il of North Korea. Both cults have the same bottom line—believe in our 'savior' or die horribly. We all know that the Kim cult on Earth comes in the here and now at the point of a gun, and that anyone in that unfortunate northern half of Korea who does not exactly toe that line will end up in the worst imaginable concentration camp, and likely sooner or later at the end of a firing squad, or yet even worse—a live burning.

The Christianity Cult, too, promises live burnings—either in the flesh or spirit forms, or perhaps both for those who miss the rapture—and incarceration in that eternal concentration camp known as hell. Funny how so many Christians identify themselves as 'freedom loving' Republicans, for in the end their cult allows no free choice when it comes to worshiping their 'hero'. Either submit or be punished
forever, no matter how little evil you did on earth or how secularly good you were. What a travesty it is that the fundamentalist/ apocalyptic Christian crowd is allowed to inoculate this perversion of reason into the minds of children to boot. That is, the pointed iron boot of their so-called redeemer.

(Harold R. H.)

***


A strongly held belief becomes a serious problem if and when the believer becomes so certain of his or her superior self-righteousness that it leads to acts of destructiveness. This is an arrogance that not only poses great danger for the human community, but even more so for the individual who succumbs to it.

There is a terrible irony in the fall of those who force their misinterpretation of scripture on innocent bystanders. How terrible the ultimate fate of the bomber who not only kills, burns, and maims the innocent, but who does so in the name of God! I do not know what happens to such a person upon arrival in the next world. I really would rather not see it.

I believe the most terrible sin is to oppose the Will of God and to do so in God's Name. It is frightening to see how easy it is to fall into this trap. God-fearing people would do well to think carefully about taking any form of action that imposes itself on others, particularly if it is based on an interpretation of scripture. To end up on the wrong side of this Law could have the worst possible consequence.

Our responsibility is to bring our own lives into line with God's Will, and then, if we are fortunate, to humbly assist others to do likewise. If you think God needs your help taking care of God's business—then you are headed for one hell of a rude awakening.

(David B. P.)

***


If I may, I think you should stay away from Biblical interpretation, especially if you do so in a disdainful way, without wanting to understand and without looking at the entire Biblical texts. Secondly, you should not presume that all of us believe identical things.

If, on the other hand, you wish a friendly gentlemanly debate of the topic, so you can understand more of what we believe, then I would be up to it, using facts and historical evidence (and I would enjoy the exercise). Actually, I personally think that rather than argue some of the lesser documented issues like the Rapture, you should focus on seeing if you can disprove or prove the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus; which is the fundamental tenant of Christianity. As such, I recommend you spend some time reading William Lane Craig’s writings.

However you wish to proceed, I think it is very foolhardy to play fast and loose with Biblical interpretation and I may be presumptuous but I imagine that you will suffer a loss of readership as a result of this—you yourself said that 59% of us believe that the Rapture will happen. Are you thinking that all your readers fit in the other 41%? Good luck.

(Neil)

***


Regardless of who makes the prophecy, or who receives it, there will always be a (relatively) small group of those who take it to its extreme, who seem to believe it is their personal responsibility to bring about the fulfillment of that prophecy. These people should be treated for obsessive-compulsive disorder! That does not mean the prophecy or the prophet are responsible for these extremists.

The Bible does not teach that followers of Christ should hate anyone, in fact, quite the reverse. Jesus taught us not just to love our family and friends, but instead, “Love your enemies, do good to them who despitefully use you.” There is absolutely no instruction anywhere for Christians to hate Jews, Muslims or any religious or ethnic group. People who use the Bible or Christianity as an excuse for their hatred are not followers of Christ.

(Sue T.)

***


I thought “Rapture” was a drug like “Ecstasy” until I read your letter. Now it seems that “Rapture” has the same effects as “Ecstasy.”

(John P.)

***


I think the end quotation from Gandhi sums it all up beautifully. Personally, ever since I was in college and took a course in comparative religions, I have thought that organized religion is one of the greatest evils in the world. Closely related is the failure of "religious" people to distinguish between belief and reality.

(William K.)

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END QUOTE

”The worst government is often the more moral. One composed of cynics is often very tolerant and humane. But when fanatics are on top there is no limit to oppression.”

H.L. Mencken

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