01.17.2009 – The Rapture Scared the SHIT out of me
Growing up, as I did, in an Evangelic, Pentecostal, Christian church, the single most talked about topic in sermons, conversations, and presentations was the Rapture. The Rapture is the future event that is Christ coming back from heaven to whisk away all believers into an eternal life with him. It’s to be this glorious event that no one in the world will be able to deny happened as a vast majority of the population of the planet will suddenly be gone.
I remember seeing artist renditions of the event throughout my years in church. They would often show Christ in the sky over a Metropolitan area. Many Christian pseudo-spirits flying upward into the sky. Along with car and plane crashes (being as their drivers and pilots are suddenly now gone). So, obviously the people ‘left behind’ would be left with a world in chaos.
This event is supposed to be the pinnacle of Christian belief. The ONE goal that every single Christian looked forward to and longed for. So, you would think that I, as a Christian at that time, would be looking forward to that as well. Quite the contrary really. It scared the living shit out of me. Even though I knew in my heart I was a saved soul and would be swept away with the others. The mere thought of being here to witness such a thing struck terror in my heart. Now, why on earth would that be?!??!
I have a couple of theories. One was, as a child, you ‘screw up’ often. Little lies about not spilling the milk. Or taking your sister’s Amy Grant tape (LOL). Well, I always had in the back of my mind “what would happen if I did something like that and then IT HAPPENED! Man, I’d be left behind with the rest”. To a child, who can’t possibly grasp the magnitude of that concept, it’s a horrifying possibility.
Also, and this goes back to one of the reasons that I believe I am atheist, I have NEVER in my entire life experienced anything that I would concider super-natural. And I would imagine that seeing/being a part of something like that would seem extremely out of the normal realms of life on earth…and thus…as an unknown…terrifying!
It got to the point that I would pray that I would reach certain milestones in my life before this would happen. I wanted to get through high-school first. Wanted to get married first. I wanted kids first. All things things that are normal for anybody to want out of life, I found myself begging to be able to do because I was so afraid that I’d never get to live life on earth that long.
There were a handful of times that we would hear about these evangelists who claimed to know when it was going to happen. I specifically remember. 8.8.88! That’s right…August 8th, 1988. My whole family was convinced, because some quack evangelist ‘prophesised’ it, that the rapture was going to happen then. It’s ridiculous. All my life I’ve heard: “We are in the last days”. “The lord is coming back soon”. “Look at the signs of the times”. The signs of the times were always ‘wars and rumors of wars’. Well, you know what? There have been wars for thousands of years. We are just apparently paying attention to the ones happening during OUR lifetimes.
If there’s one thing that I regret more than anything else, it’s that I don’t feel like I got the opportunity to live my life to the fullest as a child, teenager, and young adult. And it’s because of that oppressive dogma that was shoved down my throat and BURNED into my mind. It’s something I’ve come to terms with in my adulthood…but something I think I’ll always regret.