Is it time to get excited?
July 14, 2006 5:27 AM   Subscribe

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 (64 comments total)
"I bet they run to that folder when the Rapture happens!"

Wow. There's nothing like that perfect storm of ignorance and stupidity.

Well, hard alcohol. There's that.

I love how their radicals feed our radicals, and vice versa. It's a little like professional sports.
posted by ewkpates at 5:34 AM on July 14, 2006

Bombing Lebanon is a sign of the end-times, now? So what was 1982? Chopped liver?
posted by Plutor at 5:37 AM on July 14, 2006

Francois c'est pas flashe non due
posted by Smart Dalek at 5:40 AM on July 14, 2006

I'm old enough to remember being in my southern baptist church during 1982. Between Lebanon, the Falklands, and Reagan heating up the Cold War again, the average opinion of the true believers in the congregation was about the same as the people in the Rapture Ready forum.

Its very odd for me to read those forum comments. Conflicting feelings between the visceral: "These people are batshit insane!" and the nostalgic: "Ahhhh, home!"
posted by pandaharma at 5:45 AM on July 14, 2006

Fucking idiots.
posted by c13 at 5:47 AM on July 14, 2006

Are they really hurting anybody?
posted by Mayor Peace Love and Unity at 5:48 AM on July 14, 2006

posted by fungible at 5:51 AM on July 14, 2006

xtians are dumb am i rite lol
posted by Gator at 5:52 AM on July 14, 2006

It must get awfully tiring being convinced of imminent Rapture for years on end.
posted by jack_mo at 5:54 AM on July 14, 2006

Actually, a good question: Will there be emoticons in heaven? And if there aren't, how will these people ever express themselves?
posted by fungible at 5:56 AM on July 14, 2006

Lets all cheer for Jesus!!
posted by lemonfridge at 5:57 AM on July 14, 2006

If He tarries, I will just have time to get my hair and nails done (you know let all I come into contact with know of my Bridegroom and what He has/will do). So i am all spiffied up for Him when He does arrive to take me home. No disappointment, just a few last minute details to take care of to be more pleasing to look at.

Wow. Get spiffy for the lord, y'all.
posted by katiecat at 6:04 AM on July 14, 2006

Mayor PLU: yes, because they vote.
posted by photoslob at 6:06 AM on July 14, 2006

Well, I guess I'd be cheering if I was in their place too. I mean, the US-supplied army of god gets to play with its M1A1's and F16s, bombing bridges, powerstations, airports. And all the army of darkness can do is hide in the mountains behind their AK47's and rockets made out of water pipes. Its a great feeling to cheer for the winning team. Especially if your hair and nails look great.
posted by c13 at 6:07 AM on July 14, 2006

How can we not be excited, our redeemer cometh.

What's wrong with "comes"?
posted by sohcahtoa at 6:12 AM on July 14, 2006

Do you believe in his sweet sensation
Do you believe in second chance
Do you believe in rapture babe

A terrible hit strikes today
A terrible hit for the parade
Burnin' eyes seek jesus comin
Jesus comes to pave the way
posted by basicchannel at 6:19 AM on July 14, 2006

posted by mr.curmudgeon at 6:20 AM on July 14, 2006 [1 favorite]

yes, because they vote.

The problem isn't that they vote, but that people who know better don't vote.
posted by SteveInMaine at 6:25 AM on July 14, 2006

When I was in college, I had a roommate who was a true believer of all the endtimes prophecies and whatnot. He kept going on to all of us about how, when the antichrist appears, he will come to us as something so beautiful and attractive to us that we would gratefully follow him and believe his every word.

He was, of course, talking about our love for rock music, drugs, women, etc.

We kept asking him if he wasn't describing his own fellowship in his little fundamentalist church?

He didn't like that very much.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:26 AM on July 14, 2006

Are they doing any harm? The leader of the "free" world is a subscriber to this philosophy, and he's got The Football.

To sum up: The individual who has the ability to singlehandedly end life on this planet believes that the world is destined to end in a fiery conflagration sparked by a conflict involving Israel and its enemies in the Middle East.

Sleep tight.
posted by Optamystic at 6:31 AM on July 14, 2006

I love how their radicals feed our radicals, and vice versa. It's a little like professional sports.

hah. brilliant.

the world is in a much better situation than it was a couple decades ago. let's just hope they're not setting themselves up for another Great Disappointment. By now, they've at least learned not to attribute a date to it, hm?
posted by disillusioned at 6:34 AM on July 14, 2006

Every irrational belief is harmful.

Here's a great example from the other side of the world.

I bet the egg goes bad before the Rapture!
posted by ewkpates at 6:37 AM on July 14, 2006

I don't get why these people want the world to end...thus killing billions of innocent creatures in the process. Seems like Jesus would frown upon such feelings? Maybe it's the atheist in me talking.
posted by evilelvis at 6:42 AM on July 14, 2006

Wow. Get spiffy for the lord, y'all.

That reminds me of my most favourite Christian sect, the Panacea Society: they have a nice semi-detached house all ready for the second coming of our Lord, in Bedford of all places. It is equipped with a bathroom, even though they believe Jesus will return with a radiant body of light, just in case He needs to freshen up.
posted by jack_mo at 6:44 AM on July 14, 2006

Arn't the total number of the raptured limited to 140,000 or so?
posted by rough ashlar at 6:57 AM on July 14, 2006

One more time, sing along if you know the words:

The Rapture is not mentioned anywhere in the Bible. It was invented in the 19th century by lunatic fringe pastors.

The "end times" are discussed in the Bible only in the Book of Revelations, which, while written by a Greek in Greek on a Greek island, is not considered to be an official book of the New Testament by the Greek Orthodox Church, which would presumably know about these things. For the record, the church considers it to be a methophorical and symbolic "specualtive" work. In other words, the church thinks it's science fiction.

It is also one of many other apocalypse myths.

If you need to believe in fairy stories, please choose ones that don't endanger everyone else's life.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:09 AM on July 14, 2006

I don't get why these people want the world to end...thus killing billions of innocent creatures in the process.

Well, I think some focus on how Eschaton/Armageddon/etc. will be followed by a thousand-year time of peace, free of the sinners and nonbelievers (who'll be chillin' with their homies in hell, gettin' their dead on). A few people believe that hell will be emptied and everyone will live on earth during the time of peace (at least, that's what I vaguely remember - I sat through a few sermons on it back when I was ten), but I have no idea if that belief has any underpinnings in the Bible.

And, for others, the Rapture will be incontrovertible proof of the primacy of Christianity. The existence of God will no longer be up for debate. Go to a used bookstore and leaf through one of the LaHaye Left Behind books - you'll find 'em, they'll clog up an entire shelf. The characters are smug in their holiness and revel in basically saying I Told You So.
posted by suckerpunch at 7:12 AM on July 14, 2006

The Rapture is not mentioned anywhere in the Bible. It was invented in the 19th century by lunatic fringe pastors.

Pastabagel: I said the same thing yesterday in another thread. I think we need to take that little tidbit of knowledge on the road! Who's with me?! God, I need a car!
posted by parmanparman at 7:13 AM on July 14, 2006

From the Panacea Society page:
The power of the Blessed Water to heal and improve the well-being of the body is slow but sure, however it is not a miracle cure. In all instances the applicant should remain under the care of their doctor.

It is NOT a miracle? WTF? Does it also have side effects like headache, diarrhea, vomiting and hotflashes?
posted by c13 at 7:17 AM on July 14, 2006

I don't get why these people want the world to end...thus killing billions of innocent creatures in the process.

It's like when you were a little kid hoping that the school would burn down so that you couldn't fail the spelling test next week. If you think that the world is going to end, you don't have to worry (or do anything) about the fact that the world is falling apart.
posted by octothorpe at 7:18 AM on July 14, 2006

ewkpates, that's an impressive egg, but it pales before the awesome miraculous might of the Strong Bad onion.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:21 AM on July 14, 2006

Well, Israels gone fucking mental. Fortunately they're not picking on anyone with much of a capacity to fight back, so we're not likely to see WW3 just yet.
posted by Artw at 7:23 AM on July 14, 2006

Let's say for the sake of argument that you have been shown incontrovertible proof that the rapture is nigh and that you will be saved. Aside from trying to save all of the people you can, wouldn't the proper response be to empty your bank account and cash in your home equity to establish some post-rapture ministry? Set up a trust with a lawyer (assuming you can find a morally compromised lawyer) that will provide a ministry during the 7 years of darkness, that sort of thing.

In absence of incontrovertible proof, a bit of faith may work for some people.
posted by revgeorge at 7:34 AM on July 14, 2006

Ya know, I watched Passion of The Christ for the first time the other day. Kept an open mind, and watched it from the point of view of "it's just a movie". JC really came across as a cult leader in that movie. "Your only path to salvation is through me. Drink this wine, cause it's my blood... etc." Alot of good teachings in Christianity (and other religions), but rapture sites like this one and sites like this don't help matters much.
posted by Nquire at 7:38 AM on July 14, 2006

Loonies -- blood-thirsty, heartless, Christian loonies. Truly despicable. They forget that the ones fomenting this war are themselves Christians.

My only other comment is something I've said to several door-knocking" envangelists tempting me to join them in "heaven": if being "saved" means "receiving eternal life", and if during that "eternal life" I would, out of politeness, be obliged to have conversations with each and every other of the millions of "saved" persons, not just once, but many, many times, and since an eternity is an infinite amount of time, therefore that seems to imply that I would have an infinitely long dialogue with each and every one of those idiots forever and ever: then THAT SOUNDS LIKE HELL TO ME! Reading their comments for less than five minutes was quite enough "eternal life" for me. You can count me among the "unsaved", thank you very much.

I always remember the immortal words of the Talking Heads: "Heaven ... is a place, where nothing ever happens."
posted by mooncrow at 7:39 AM on July 14, 2006

You know what? Screw your rapture. I just read through the posts on that link again, and I'm getting really ticked off.

In my experience, a lot of born again/saved Christians, including the President, got that way as part of a rehab program to quit drinking, taking drugs, gambling, beating their wives, starting fires, etc. I hear someone say "I accepted Christ as my personal saviour" and I immediately try to guess what their addiction was.

But hey, if that's what it took to get you clean and you feel better about your life, great, more power to you and congratulations. It is a "personal" saviour after all.

Until they decide the outcomes of elections and exclude sections of the population from things as pedestrian as marriage.

But am I the only person who thinks that's a pretty weak reason to believe in God, because He helped you quit drinking? What about all the mysteries of the universe, of human emotion etc.? None of that meant anything to you? But now that you don't drop $200 a weekend on SoCo and Schlitz, you're suddenly a fucking theologian?

Are you so goddamn weak that all of the other reasons to straighten your life out, the risk of losing your families, killing yourself etc, didn't work for you, that you needed the master of the universe to descend from time out of space to rescue you?

Oh wait, He was testing you, is that it? If that's true, you failed and continue to fail. Your faith the in the all powerful creator of the universe was shaken by cheap liquor. God, how utterly, mind-bendingly pathetic. And what a fantastic way to avoid taking personal responsibilty for your actions and weaknesses so that no one can call you on it.

A lot of us never needed a program to get us off anything. We weren't addicted to begin with. We can indulge in something every now and then without it taking over our lives. There are people who might drop acid once a decade, or have some wine over dinner, and still lead normal lives. How does that fit into your world view? Are they going to hell?

I guess we can never be saved, because we never screwed up so spectacularly that we needed God to bail us out. I guess we're condemned to contemplate the meaning of life and death for our entire lives, because we weren't lucky enough to be alcoholics.

I firmly believe there are vast sections of this country that need to have Thorazine added to their water supply.

"I acknowledge a higher power". You should. It's called regular people.

posted by Pastabagel at 7:45 AM on July 14, 2006 [9 favorites]

Heh, bravo Pastabagel & mooncrow. That cracked me up.

I always get the wiff of the brimstone from Hale-Bopp and Heaven's Gate when I hear rantings about the 'rapture.' What kills me is that they don't see the irony when fantatics put other cults/religous organizations down.

"I don't get why these people want the world to end...thus killing billions of innocent creatures in the process. Seems like Jesus would frown upon such feelings?"

Because they're selfish and cowards. They don't want to die so much as see everyone else suffer while they benefit. I've always believed that anyone who vigorously claims to be working for (any) god, ultimately is working for evil.

posted by eatdonuts at 8:00 AM on July 14, 2006

They're fans of G. Gordon Liddy and Michael Weiner Savage; what's not to like?
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:15 AM on July 14, 2006

And here's a greatest hits compilation of Rapture Ready posts from Something Awful.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:17 AM on July 14, 2006 [1 favorite]

I like the photos of bin Laden and the Israeli flag on the masthead of the website.

Of course, there are no pictures of Bush, Cheney or Rice.
posted by wfc123 at 8:22 AM on July 14, 2006

I too am soooo excited!! I get goose bumps, literally, when I watch what's going on in the M.E.!
I'd like to go on record as saying that these people need to have their copies of Left Behind confiscated and jammed up their asses.

Words fail.
posted by verb at 8:29 AM on July 14, 2006

“But now that you don't drop $200 a weekend on SoCo and Schlitz, you're suddenly a fucking theologian?” - posted by Pastabagel


I’m of several minds on the matter. Part of me is rational and understands that political events are simply political events. That the mysteries of the universe, even the mundanities of the universe are immesurably more fantastic than any biblical miracles (walking on water...huh....neat...howabout the SUN! billions of ergs of energy all the time just pouring out into space, magnificently complex display of photons, electromagnetism, gravity....or - Mozart! incredible melding of emotion and intellect and skill anyone can experiance any time vs. flashy display of defiance of the laws of physics only viewed by a small group and irreproducable, etc.), part of me understands the mystical/theatrical side of the human experiance and I know the depths behind the concepts (which makes the simplistic innanities all the worse: ‘Hamlet is about a guy who doesn’t want to kill his stepdad. That is good. We should all accept new family members.’)
and part of me would really welcome the bloodthirsty slaughter.

I mean I’d be pretty frustrated* if the ‘real’ rapture - as these folks define it does come - I’ll be the one on the red horse slitting gullets with the sword.

*steve martin: “What if you died and got to heaven and it was pearly gates and cloud like everyone said? Wouldn’t you feel stupid?”
posted by Smedleyman at 9:16 AM on July 14, 2006

Fortunately they're not picking on anyone with much of a capacity to fight back, so we're not likely to see WW3 just yet.

Au contrere, mon frere. Israel is hinting that it might take a swipe at Syria. Iran has said if Israel takes a swipe at Syria, all hell be breaking loose. That means life in the shitter for our troops in Iraq will be getting even shittier, plus a whole lot more.

The fuckwad fundies, both here and there, are going to get us all killed.
posted by kgasmart at 9:21 AM on July 14, 2006

Iran has said if Israel takes a swipe at Syria, all hell be breaking loose.

Well, there are unconfirmed rumors floating around today that the US strategic bombers are up in the air...
posted by c13 at 9:30 AM on July 14, 2006

I know it's weirdly funny to say this, but AMEN.
posted by grubi at 9:34 AM on July 14, 2006

I wonder what those on some of the other religious boards are saying?
posted by rzklkng at 9:37 AM on July 14, 2006

Christ has stood us up 60 times already.

For an omnipotent deity, he's not very reliable.
posted by futility closet at 9:39 AM on July 14, 2006

Let's plan to arrange some crashed cars, clothes, etc. outside a smug church some Sunday morning, and have someone stagger in and say "She just disappeared in a ball of light!" The congregation, on coming outside, would think the Rapture happened, and that they weren't included.
posted by paddbear at 9:39 AM on July 14, 2006

Iran wpould have to violate US airspace to attack Israel, I don't really see that working out too well.
posted by Artw at 9:57 AM on July 14, 2006

From futility closet's link: Numerology: If you divide 2,000 by 3, you will get the devil's number: 666.66666666666667.

I love how PRECISE the devil is. Two-thirds must be the Devil's Fraction.
posted by grubi at 9:57 AM on July 14, 2006

I can't wait for the rapture.
posted by dobie at 9:58 AM on July 14, 2006

After poking around those forums a bit more, I'm wondering something: do these people find themselves getting locked up a lot? I mean, if they had to have a psychiatric evaluation for any reason, they'd be involuntarily committed within five minutes of opening their mouths.
posted by jack_mo at 10:15 AM on July 14, 2006

Hmmm. In the immortal words of St. Jeff: "God is a place where you wait for the rest of your life."

I hope they don't mind if i concentrate on other things whilst I wait...
posted by 1f2frfbf at 10:48 AM on July 14, 2006

There's a crackpot in everything. That's how the fright gets in.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:12 AM on July 14, 2006 [1 favorite]

+ jack_mo, on perpetually immanent rapture, I remember the church my family attending in the 80s going on and on about it. They wouldn't give a data, but the number of times I heard congragation members and even my mother exclaim in quiet, almost awed words "We're living in the end times."

+ Pastabagel, although you're rather harsh I think you've got something there.
posted by JHarris at 11:42 AM on July 14, 2006

I thought parmanparman's comment in yesterday's thread made an important point when he quoted Rev. Stott's use of "escapism" to describe rapture doctrine. That word sums up the impulse toward this kind of thinking perfectly, IMO.
When I was in middle school, I had a friend whose family belonged to a fundy church that believed the the rapture was going to take place in May of 1979. She invited me to a service where we watched this intensely freaky movie called A Thief In The Night (referenced further here). Watching a movie in church struck me as sacreligious at the time, but much more distressing for me was being surrounded by adults who had utterly given themselves over to this childish, willful singlemindedness. These were local grown ups I'd been taught to respect, and here they were, as shiny-faced and enchanted by this ghastly film as toddlers at a circus. Needless to say, when June came many of them were devastated. Imagine watching your sweet old granny and her bridge club crashing after a massive coke binge- I felt sick for them. I think they just wanted to feel really safe, for once and for all.
Anyway, the next year the rest of the country escaped into Reaganism, so they were just a little ahead of the zeitgeist.
posted by maryh at 11:55 AM on July 14, 2006

I kinna want there to be a rapture just so these god-awful christians will be gone
posted by mmrtnt at 12:32 PM on July 14, 2006

A much better movie is The Rapture from 1991 with Mimi Rogers and David Duchovny. A little dated, but still an amazing movie.
posted by fungible at 12:34 PM on July 14, 2006

fungible- I liked The Rapture a lot, but that kid who plays the daughter has to the whiniest child actor ever. I cheered when Mimi finally sent her to meet Jesus.
posted by maryh at 12:50 PM on July 14, 2006

I am excited beyond words that the struggle of this life may be over soon and I can finally be FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!

I get the distinct feeling there's a lot of unhappy people on Rapture Ready.
posted by mmrtnt at 1:02 PM on July 14, 2006

They'll feel stupid when they get eatenby Cthulhu.
posted by Artw at 1:14 PM on July 14, 2006

The post rapture survival guide is cute: "There is no dominant nation to provide leadership to the world, thus the stage is set for a man to arise out of the masses to unite the world as dictator."
posted by Smedleyman at 10:00 PM on July 14, 2006

I thought parmanparman's comment in yesterday's thread made an important point when he quoted Rev. Stott's use of "escapism" to describe rapture doctrine. That word sums up the impulse toward this kind of thinking perfectly, IMO.

Exactly. In bumper sticker terms, life sucks and then you die. Who wouldn't want to escape that?

I don't begrudge these people their (seeming) delusions. I do not want them to force them on me via political means, however.

Satan has worked hard to divide men and women and have them at war with one another, and because of this, the violence between men and women has dramatically increased.


The world dictator (anti-christ) himself will not have the normal sexual attraction to women and may be asexual.

jonmc might be right. Morrissey is the antichrist.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:00 PM on July 14, 2006

The IMDB comments for A Thief in the Night are fun. I particularly liked the reviewer who thinks it's a nine star movie, but also thinks "the personal computer and internet" were "29 years away" from 1972.

Oh, and that the war in Vietnam was over in '72. Which must have come as a surprise to the 27,000 US troops who were still there, the people flying the Operation Linebacker II bombers, et cetera.

You know, I'm finding the whole parallel-Christian-universe thing increasingly plausible. Literally. As in, there actually is a parallel universe in which all of the things they believe are true, and no doubt history has taken some different paths in that universe, while remaining very much the same overall 'cos obviously all the same characters have to be around but with beards.

Surely ephemeral things like Web message boards would be some of the easiest places for the two universes to cross over, allowing the occasional IMDB post or, indeed, whole Web site to appear in a world where the things it says don't quite make sense.
posted by dansdata at 1:23 AM on July 15, 2006

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