How’s THAT for name, eh?
It was coined by a rather intemperate fellow by the name of James Lloyd. And, he makes a cogent case for using the name, so I’ve decided to adopt it myself. It’s pithy, accurate and more than a bit snarky – which is why I like it.
(My apologies to my Jewish audience. But, I gotta do this.)
Now, I stumbled across Lloyd’s website because I was doing a bit of research into where the whole idea of the Pretribulation Rapture Theory arose. Sometimes, knowing where something comes from tells you a bit about what’s wrong with it.
Our tale starts with an occultic bible study group in the early 1800s that practiced levitation, in Glasgow, Scotland. A 15 year old girl apparently had trouble levitating, so decided to go one better by doing the whole trance/vision/prophecy thing.
Let me quote from HisFaith.org:
The doctrine can be traced back to 1830, the very year that two strange events happened in Scotland. First, a 15 year old girl in a TRANCE uttered what is believed to be the original idea of the pre-tribulation rapture of the Church. Nearly simultaneously, a nearby Scottish pastor named Edward Irving began teaching this brand new idea that the Church would be raptured prior to Tribulation. (Note: Some scholars believe Irving had been working on this “doctrine” at least three years earlier.)
No matter its origin, it is WIDELY DOCUMENTED that before the year 1830 NO Christian leader had ever even heard of the doctrine of a pre-tribulation rapture. Clearly, prior to 1830 the Church taught that Jesus would return at the END of the tribulation period, AFTER going through Tribulation, as the Bible obviously teaches.
By the way, this 15 year old girl I speak of is named Margaret McDonald. She was a Scottish teen-ager and met with an OCCULTIC group that studied the Bible. Among other occultic practices, they practiced levitation.
As I stated, about the same time, a Scottish pastor named Edward Irving began teaching the concept of a pre-trib rapture in his “charismatic” church. Many believe that he may have got the idea from Miss McDonald. Others say that she got the idea from him. It is a moot point, because this new pre-trib rapture doctrine was soon brought to America by another pastor named John Nelson Darby. Most scholars are in agreement that he probably “stole” (and even further expanded on) the idea that he heard from Irving.
Here’s a link to the page.
I did some digging, and it’s true. There is no record of anyone, anywhere mentioning anything remotely like the Pretribulation Rapture Theory before 1830.
It was picked up by a fellow by the name of John Darby, who handed it off to C.I. Scofield – who went on to create the Scofield Reference Bible. And, when you have a bible where you are told exactly how to think about a passage, as you read it… well, it’s going to have impact. In fact, people are going to tend to accept it as literal fact. (After all, it’s now in the bible, right?)
And yes, bending the bible to your own interpretation is just WRONG.
There’s another problem with the Rapture Cult.
Anyone who even so much as mentions that it might be okay to disagree with the theory of the Pretribulation Rapture, gets unceremoniously booted from whatever pulpit he’s speaking from.
A friend of mine, who will remain nameless for more reasons than you can know, was once summarily ejected from a bible conference for entertaining the thought that a disagreement on WHEN the rapture would occur… well, that it just wasn’t grounds for a break in fellowship. Organizers of the conference immediately met in an emergency session and booted him out – asking him to never return.
That’s cult thinking, plain and simple.
Let me go on to add one other point.
Everyone in the Rapture Cult says that the next ‘big thing’ is the rapture. Nothing, they say, will happen before then.
That is completely mystifying. How can you believe that everything will go along swimmingly until ‘boom’ we all disappear in a flash of pixie dust. And, only THEN do bad things happen?
Does anybody read history, anymore?
Something like 25 million Christians were murdered by the Catholics in Europe alone. The Muslims wiped out the Christians in North Africa. Before all of that, we were crucified by the Romans.
Is there ANY time in history where Christians weren’t terribly persecuted?
And, you don’t think that it’s going to happen again?
Dontcha think that we’re due for a spot of trouble?
Especially since we seem to have corrupted ourselves so thoroughly?
And, don’t get me started on what you have to do to the bible to actually make the Pre-trib theory actually WORK. (More on THAT tomorrow)
Let me end with this one idea – from a bit of scripture at the END of the bible:
18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
How can you make the above verses work, if the rapture happens BEFORE the tribulation?
I certainly can see how they work, if the rapture happens during or after the tribulation.
Think about that for a moment.
Here are a few sources that I stumbled over in the few hours that I had to research the history of the Pretribulation Rapture Theory:
And then, there’s the aforementioned wild man, James Lloyd: