A couple of days ago I was driving around and caught an interview of Tim LaHaye on NPR's Fresh Air program. LaHaye is the author of a 12 volume fictional series called Left Behind which centers around the Christian fundamentalists belief in Armageddon and the Rapture. He's written a billion other books, including this self help guide to surviving the Rapture. LaHaye believes that the current generation will see the Rapture and Armageddon.
Let's make no mistake: Christians of this ilk want the Rapture and Armageddon. They think that they (the true faithful) will be transported to heaven to be with God, while the rest of the atheists, Jews, Muslims, and Catholics battle it out with each other for Armageddon). They look forward to it. They wish it would happen tomorrow. Try listening to Jack Van Impe and his wife Cruella on TV some time. They speak in gleeful hushed tones about the fact that they will be safe but that millions will die in Armageddon. They support Israel because they think that Biblical prophecy requires Israel to be formed before they get to go
to heaven, but they aren't doing Jews any favors: they expect all of them to die at Armageddon.
This would be funny except for the fact that:
- Hoping for the death of even one person, much less millions doesn't have much humor value.
- People like author Tim LaHaye have founded organizations that carry considerable clout, particularly among conservative Republican groups.
The only thing that comforts me is the certain knowledge that each of these people will ultimately be placed in the ground as we all are, their prophecies unfufilled, and they will have wasted their lives pursuing a distorted, warped, twisted, and ultimately false view of the world.
In the mean time you can amuse yourself with the flowchart for Armageddon and its more sensible revision. You might also look at someone else's view of humanity's path to salvation. There is a nice page on snopes.com which details an Internet myth about a woman who jumped the gun a bit on the entire Rapture thing.
Be afraid. Be very afraid.