Friday, January 22, 2010

Differing Views of the Rapture: Part 7 Arguments Against The Rapture

Arguments Against the Rapture

In discussing the Rapture, a lot of theological ground has been covered. However, it would be inappropriate to conclude a work of this nature without first giving some mention to views that oppose the idea of the Rapture occurring at all. As has been demonstrated, there is a great diversity of views on this doctrine among those who accept the Rapture as Scriptural. It is only right to give voice to some opposing views.

Postmillennialism and amillennialism do not acknowledge that the Rapture will take place. Both of these views approach the interpretation of Scripture by using allegory and symbolism. As such, both views look unfavorably on premillennialism, especially the doctrine of the Rapture. Paul Thigpen and David Currie, both former evangelicals who converted to Roman Catholicism, have authored books titled The Rapture Trap and Rapture: The End-Times Error That Leaves the Bible Behind respectively. In these works, both rail against the Rapture in general and against the popular Left Behind series of Christian fiction books based on Pretribulation Premillennialism. While there are many Protestants who subscribe to the amillennial view of the Thigpen and Currie, they do so using the Bible. Thigpen clearly states in his introduction that the Roman Catholic Church is the God-given interpreter of Scripture.[1] Similar to other authors, he outlines his hermeneutical approach then set out to use this to argue against the Rapture. Using arguments familiar, he forcefully addresses the secret Rapture of pretribulationism[2] before attacking the hermeneutic that produces it.[3]

Currie’s work does mention the Left Behind series but only briefly instead preferring to systematically review the Scriptures used by the various Rapture proponents and offering a distinctly Catholic interpretation using a hermeneutic he calls Biblical Ground Rules.[4] For example, Currie interprets Rev. 12:1-6 to be the birth of Jesus Christ (12:2-5a) and his ascension to heaven (12:5b).[5] Most other interpretations made by Currie contradict the interpretations made by premillennialism. This is to be expected. The Roman Catholic Church has specifically stated that millenarianism is “intrinsically perverse”.[6]

[1] Thigpen, Paul. The Rapture Trap. (West Chester, PA: Ascension Press, LLC. 2001), 20-22.

[2] Ibid, 97-148. Thigpen devotes two chapters to the secrecy of the Rapture as taught by premillennialism.

[3] Ibid, 149-84.

[4] Currie, David B. Rapture: The End-Times Error That Leaves the Bible Behind. (Manchester, NH: Sophia Institute Press, 2003), 51-78.

[5] Ibid, 280-81.

[6] Catechism of the Catholic Church. October 11, 1962. (accessed December 17, 2009), 676.


Dr Dave Richardson said...

You state "Postmillennialism and amillennialism do not acknowledge that the Rapture will take place.Both of these views approach the interpretation of Scripture by using allegory and symbolism." Are you arguing that the entire book of the Revelation is to be taken literally? That position is extremely hard to defend (only144,000 believers in heaven?) How many times in the Revelation is "thousand" to be understood literally and how many times figuratively?

Chris Sanchez said...

Dr. Richardson,

Thanks for your question about my Rapture series.I believe the Bible should be interpreted literally except where allegory and symbolism are obviously being used by the author. Such an approach then leaves us to focus on individual passages where we can examine a passage using sound hermeneutics to determine if the author intended a particular passage in a symbolic way or if allegory was in use while writing.

Irv said...

Catholics know that the bestselling "Left Behind" books and movies have grossly perverted Catholicism's biblical "rapture" doctrine - the only "rapture" view before 1830.
The 2000-year-old Catholic "rapture" occurs AFTER the final "tribulation" (post-tribulation) while the 185-year-old evangelical Protestant "rapture" supposedly occurs BEFORE it (pre-tribulation) and is said to be "imminent."
All Catholics should read journalist Dave MacPherson's "The Rapture Plot" (available by calling 800.643.4645) - the most accurate documentation on the history of the pretrib rapture which began in British cultic circles in 1830. By twisting Scripture, this new doctrine gave folks the (false) hope of being evacuated from earth before the chaos found in the book of Revelation.
"The Rapture Plot" reveals, for the first time, how a Plymouth Brethren historian, after John Darby's death, secretly and dishonestly changed the earliest "rapture" writings of the Irvingites (the first group publicly teaching a pretrib rapture) so that he could wrongfully credit P.B. leader Darby with "dispensationalism" as well as with that rapture view! (Some still view Darby as the "father of dispensationalism" even though MacPherson's book amply proves that Darby wasn't first or original with any crucial aspect of that system but subtly plagiarized others!)
The leading pretrib rapture merchandisers (Scofield, Lindsey, LaHaye etc.) are openly anti-Catholic and believe that the Antichrist during the coming tribulation will be headquartered in Rome (and you can guess where!).
For more shocks Google "Catholics Did NOT Invent the Rapture," "The Real Manuel Lacunza," "Pseudo-Ephraem Taught Pretrib - NOT!," "John Darby Did NOT Invent the Rapture," "Margaret Macdonald's Rapture Chart" (she originated the pretrib rapture!), "Edward Irving is Unnerving," "Famous Rapture Watchers," "Evangelicals Use Occult Deception," "Pretrib Hypocrisy," and "Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty."