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The Missing Christians

For years, Fred "Slacktivist" Clark has been dissecting, page by page, the Left Behind series of Evangelical Christian potboilers. Clark, a Christian himself, goes far beyond merely mocking them but also analyzes the theology, philosophy, and politics underlying them. As an aside, he's looked at other Rapture narratives and is asking, "Why are Rapture stories always so dull?" To this end he examines The Missing Christians, a 50-minute 1952 movie about the Rapture, which is available to watch on YouTube. Clark warns: "This is far, far worse than you’re expecting even if you take into account that it will be far, far worse than you’re expecting." As usual, Clark goes beyond (but certainly by way of) just mocking the film to get at the core of what he argues the Rapture idea is really about, and why, despite the Apocalyptic material, these stories always end up so dull.
Part of the problem here, as in Left Behind, is that the “storytellers” of Evangel Films aren't nearly as interested in telling their story as they are in settling the score with their perceived enemies. These are the same enemies that haunt the sleep of Tim LaHaye — those sophisticated “liberal” Christians who refuse to concede the expertise of “Bible prophecy” experts. Just like Left Behind, The Missing Christians is a revenge fantasy in which those evil sophisticates are “proved” wrong and the righteous are proved right.
(More Slacktivist on MetaFilter)
posted by Legomancer on Feb 12, 2014 - 115 comments

Please take the wheel

A very short history of The Rapture
posted by Artw on Jul 25, 2012 - 88 comments

Stories of How the World Didn't End

John Michael Greer, blogging at The Archdruid Report, has recently been rounding off his entries with stories of end-of-the-world predictions that did not come true. [more inside]
posted by Ipsifendus on Feb 21, 2012 - 8 comments

Imagine there's no people

So you wake up tomorrow morning to find almost everyone on Earth missing. The Internet will continue to work for a few hours: what information could you download to ensure your survival and rebuild civilization? A few suggestions: The CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics. Third Word Development (18 GB of information on agriculture, livestock, food processing, construction, water, sanitation, health and much more). The Global Village Construction Set (previously). Copies of Gray's Anatomy, Where There Is No Doctor, and The Ship Captain’s Medical Guide.

A few more that might be handy even in ordinary times: all of Wikipedia, or perhaps just a portion. (Ideally, of course, you’d already have a bound, printed copy), Offline Google Mail (Chrome) to save correspondence; SiteSucker to download sites you’d like to keep around while offline.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Jan 5, 2012 - 89 comments

Test everything; hold fast to what is good.

Fred Clark posts at a blog called "Slacktivist", so he is often referred to by that name. But this left-wing Christian is far from a slacker. His blog is a powerful voice against the usual conservative Christian presence in America, and the best distillation of his strength is his series of posts analyzing the Left Behind novels of Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. Fred savages these books for their "bad writing and bad theology" but it's not the usual Internet snark; Fred has a larger mission here than just pointing and laughing. He just finished dissecting book two, Tribulation Force, so it's a great time to jump on if you already haven't. (He has promised that after a holiday break, he's going to do the Tribulation Force movie, and then on to book three.) [more inside]
posted by Legomancer on Dec 20, 2011 - 183 comments

BusinessWeek on the Rapture Market

Times are tough, but one market is doing well: The Rapture. You've got your usual seeds and survival packs and first aid kits, but do you have your Rapture erotica for those long, lonely nights in the bunker? What about an iPhone app so you know when the Rapture occurs? How about informational and inspiring movies? And for those looking to break into the market, BusinessWeek gathers some helpful tips, such as "never give a date for your endtime prophecy."
posted by Ghostride The Whip on Jul 31, 2011 - 35 comments

The End of the World Is (still) At Hand!

Harold Camping refines his end of the world prediction. When the world didn't end this past Saturday at 6 pm Harold Camping went into seclusion for a bit to think about that. [more inside]
posted by Poet_Lariat on May 24, 2011 - 222 comments

Jesus came back, sort of.

Holy Turtle!
posted by Bag Man on May 22, 2011 - 40 comments

False May 21, 2011 Doomsday prophet Harold Camping "deserts" devastated followers, church offers solace (PHOTOS)

False May 21, 2011 Doomsday prophet Harold Camping "deserts" devastated followers, church offers solace (PHOTOS) Doomsday prophet Harold Camping, who predicted that the End of the World would come on May 21, 2011, has gone missing ever since it became increasingly clear that his prediction is going to fail, even as local churches willingly stepped in to provide counseling and help to Camping's devastated followers.
posted by Leisure_Muffin on May 21, 2011 - 626 comments

Only TWO DAYS left!!!

"Harold Camping, 89-year-old leader of the ministry Family Radio Worldwide, has predicted that a five-month destruction of humanity will commence Saturday with a Rapture, in which believers will ascend to heaven. 'Whereas this five-month period will be an enormous horror story for those who have not been raptured, it will be a time of great joy and wonder for those who are raptured,' according to the Family Radio website. Camping uses a mathematical formula linked to prophecies in the Bible. He once predicted Sept. 6, 1994 as Judgment Day, but that math didn't quite work out. This time around, Camping's organization took out an ad in Reader's Digest, stating: 'The Bible guarantees the end of the world will begin with Judgment Day May 21, 2011.'"* [more inside]
posted by ericb on May 19, 2011 - 437 comments

The end is/was supposed to be near!

Pick a year to find out when the world should have ended/is ending/will end.
posted by daninnj on Apr 5, 2011 - 30 comments

I mean, it's gotta end sometime, right?

"Eschatology" is, generally speaking, the study of the end of the world, but when most people in the US hear the term, they generally think of Christian eschatology.

Specifically, they tend to think of the barrels of ink and that one movie (previously) which have been devoted to the subject over the past couple of decades. Neither seems to have contributed to a wider understanding of the actual theology involved. [more inside]
posted by valkyryn on Oct 12, 2010 - 94 comments

The Rapture of the Nerds

Science Fiction writers Alastair Reynolds, Vernor Vinge, Karl Schroeder and MeFi's own Charles Stross discuss the Singularity - which, Stross cheekily points out, has been around the corner for a good 20 years.
posted by Artw on Feb 17, 2010 - 27 comments

as a thief in the night

You've committed your life to Jesus. You know you're saved. But when the Rapture comes what's to become of your loving pets who are left behind?
Eternal Earth-Bound Pets takes that burden off your mind.
posted by plexi on Aug 25, 2009 - 82 comments

Fake Rapture.

Fake Rapture. You are now on the cutting edge.
posted by univac on May 5, 2009 - 131 comments

Run from anything that stimulates youthful lust

Christian Sex Retailing. Christian Sex Toy Retailing There's a new sexual revolution happening, and the people driving it are not exactly a bunch of free-love libertines. Many people probably think of evangelical Christians as being more preoccupied with denying the pleasures of the flesh. Christianity has always had a lot to say about sexuality. But attitudes are changing and new approaches to Christian sex are emerging. Dagmar Herzog was interviewed today on CBC's The Current (second segment, requires Flash Player), and, who says in a recent interview with Salon: For liberals, sex has become the problem that has no name; one simply does not hear liberals articulate a defense of sexual rights. Instead, what we have witnessed is a coalescing of conservative evangelical and mainstream secular perspectives on sex. The conversation on sex in America -- when sex is discussed in a serious and earnest way at all -- tends largely to adopt the parameters set by the Religious Right. Herzog's new book. A collection of print interviews with Herzog can be found here. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu on Aug 1, 2008 - 44 comments

You've Been Left Behind & I Nailed Your Wife

We all know The Rapture is coming soon (although "no one knows the day or hour"), and many of us will want to send out appropriate taunting messages from our heavenly perch to our loser buddies that didn't get chosen. At last, a service provider has arisen to serve this need. At You've Been Left Behind, you can store up to 250 MB of documents to be sent to up to 62 separate emails addresses in the event of the Rapture. Rapture is determined to have occurred when 3 of the 5 team members fail to log in to the site over a 3 day period.
posted by jonson on Jun 3, 2008 - 146 comments

The world wasn't destroyed after all. Sorry about that.

Mea maxima culpa
posted by ardgedee on Jan 1, 2008 - 98 comments

Pony Express for the Damned

Write letters to your unsaved friends. When the rapture comes, this guy will mail them.
posted by Sfving on Dec 26, 2006 - 80 comments

Is it time to get excited?

Is it time to get excited? Looking at the Rapture News, I'd say yes! However, the Rapture Index (previously) remains unchanged. For some, the timing is in doubt.
posted by pandaharma on Jul 14, 2006 - 64 comments

If you're reading this, then, well nevermind.

ON JUNE 6 2006 (6606) IF THE FIRST OF TWO RAPTURES HAS NOT HAPPENED AND ANTICHRIST HAS NOT DECLARED HIMSELF ON WORLD SIMULCAST TELEVISION, THEN I (PASTOR HARRY) WILL REVEAL THE TRUE NAME AND IDENTITY OF THE ANTICHRIST AT 11:05 PM EST ON THIS SITE AND ON DOOMSDAY TALK RADIO, OUR INTERNET RADIO BROADCAST.
posted by three blind mice on Jun 6, 2006 - 148 comments

Catholics are the New York Yankees of Christianity.

The Interpretative Dance Theocrats. Inspired by Salon's excerpt from Michelle Goldberg's new book, Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism, this handy guide will resolve your confusion over Christian theological jargon. [via]
posted by monju_bosatsu on May 22, 2006 - 15 comments

OMeGa

Interpreting Revelation's "Millenium." Outside of the all-too-virulent rapture-crazy pre-tribulational dispensationalist premillenialism permeating JesusLand, some Christians hold to other, more nuanced eschatological alternatives. You've got historic post-tribulational premillenialism, which places the transformation of the faithful at the final judgment rather than before it; amillenialism, which regards Christ's "millenial" reign as a symbolic spiritual reign culminating in the last judgment; and postmillenialism, which sees the millenium as a gradual progression towards goodness and light. Overlapping those, you have the "it's all been fulfilled" preterists, and their prophecy-party-pooping compatriots, the hyper-preterists. It's a debate just slightly more fun than the end of the universe. Meanwhile, the noncanonical apocalypses sit in a corner, sadly ignored, and sunny Megiddo is still waiting for some end times action.
posted by brownpau on Feb 1, 2006 - 76 comments

...to help the Jewish people go home...

Philo-Semitism: Just another form of Anti-Semitism? Interesting Wash Post article on Evangelicals turning away from supersessionism -- the centuries-old belief that with the coming of Jesus, God ended his covenant with the Jews and transferred it to the Christian church, and the concerns it is raising. ..."That hope is felt and expressed by Christians as a kind, benevolent hope," ... "But believing that someday Jews will stop being Jews and become Christians is still a form of hoping that someday there will be no more Jews." ... Is it that philosemitism is just as dehumanizing as antisemitism and, because it masquerades as its opposite, more insidious, or just the most recent manifestation of the longstanding appropriation of us Jews as symbols, whether it helps or hurts us?
posted by amberglow on Jan 8, 2006 - 138 comments

who will send this

Who will send this -er- Apology letter to us- um left belowers if all the predispensationalist and milleniest fundies are raptured? via the awesome growabrain
posted by svenvog on Sep 28, 2005 - 35 comments

An amalgamation appropos of nothing

Saturday night and nothing to do? No worries, just kick back your heels, have a glass of wine, and Tesh your cares away.
posted by DeepFriedTwinkies on Apr 9, 2005 - 8 comments

The Apocalypse Will Be Televised

Indeed, all over the world, millions of born-again Christians have vanished into the mystical ether--leaving behind their clothing, their eyeglasses, even their dentures--along with every child under the age of twelve. Airplanes are crashing, automobiles are veering driverless and out of control, and fetuses are disappearing from their mothers' wombs, as the born-again and the unborn alike are abruptly "raptured" to heaven. Harper's Magazine reviewer Gene Lyons discusses apocalyptic entertainment.
posted by iamck on Mar 11, 2005 - 48 comments

That's not the rapture, it's the space people harvesting you for meat

Republican environmental politics as usual? While the president's policies seem to be standard for his party, Bill Moyers thinks there's more than meets the eye. On receiving Harvard medical school's Global Environment Citizen Award, Moyers posits that destruction of the environment isn't just good for big business, it's a self fulfilling prophecy of the apocalypse. Not just any old apocalypse, it's The Rapture, complete with plagues for the non-believers and immmediate ascension to the right hand of God Himself for the righteous.

Two days after Moyer's speech, Science magazine looks at the scientific consensus on global warming. If you're having a hard time explaining all this to your kids, don't worry, your tax dollars are hard at work.
posted by jimray on Dec 8, 2004 - 51 comments

Their early stuff was better.

Heavy prophetic activity... The rapture index- cliffs notes for doomsday.
posted by drezdn on Oct 5, 2004 - 17 comments

flash rapture

Blondie's Rapture, a heartfelt cover of it by My Robot Friend. -another Flash link...
posted by giantkicks on Oct 31, 2003 - 5 comments

RaptureLetters

RaptureLetters sends an email to your unsaved friends, after the Rapture, explaining where your good soul has disappeared to. I suppose this means that they only employ sinners, in order to ensure that someone remains behind to operate the site...
posted by adamms222 on Dec 5, 2002 - 29 comments

The Rapture Index

The Rapture Index This rather bizarre site is the Dow Jones of the end of the world. From the site, "You could say the Rapture index is a Dow Jones Industrial Average of end time activity, but I think it would be better if you viewed it as prophetic speedometer. The higher the number, the faster we're moving towards the occurrence of pre-tribulation rapture. " Whacked...
posted by Coop on Sep 20, 2002 - 23 comments

A Refreshing Change of Pace for everyone with an opinion about Isreal/Palestine.

A Refreshing Change of Pace for everyone with an opinion about Isreal/Palestine. The Middle East Conflict - Has it Been Engineered by Extremist Rightwing Christians and Zionists Hoping to "Force" the "Rapture"? Sounds crazy, looks crazy...but the suggestions are not made on the basis of paranoia alone, unfortunately. The fact that the Americans involved are very religious (and Isreal being the location of a few scheduled divine appearances) is an obviously important but consistantly avoided side of this pile of conflict. So how crazy is this article? Isn't it just a bit naïve to think this is just a big property argument with some jewish/muslim tension thrown in? Hey, as long as we can't decide whether Arafat or Sharon is worse than the other, we may as well discuss something else in the meantime...or discuss something totally unrelated in this thread, for a refreshing change of pace. (From the reputable, extensive and fascinating news website, unknownnews.net)
posted by Settle on Apr 4, 2002 - 52 comments

Noah's Ark is being rebuilt,

Noah's Ark is being rebuilt, but I don't think it will float. I can't help but think that it would make a wicked skateboard halfpipe. The project broke ground in 1976, but seems to be moving slowly. More info here and here. Any Maryland MeFi'ers know the current status of this thing? more inside:
posted by machaus on Mar 5, 2002 - 26 comments

The Rapture Ready index

The Rapture Ready index is a numerical assessment of signs that indicate the end times are here. Maintained by USAF supply sergeant Todd Strandberg, he says the Index isn't meant to show when the Rapture will come, but how quickly we are moving towards it. It's a speedometer; not a clock. (More inside.)
posted by waxpancake on Sep 21, 2001 - 12 comments

What do you get when you mix a zealous Christian, 12 blow-up dolls, and a toga party? It's just too strange, but it might have been the rapture for one woman...
posted by atfrost on Aug 28, 2001 - 7 comments

MP3: it's not just for music anymore!

MP3: it's not just for music anymore! [See inside]
posted by Steven Den Beste on Dec 13, 2000 - 9 comments

The Rapture Index

The Rapture Index "by no means is meant to predict the rapture, however, the index is meant to measure the type of activity that could act as a precursor to the rapture." It tracks such data as unemployment, inflation, false Christs and, of course, plagues.
posted by philip on Apr 10, 2000 - 0 comments

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