In my last few posts, I have shown a variety of problems with and have offered a number of arguments against Dispensationalism or rapture theology. In this post, I want to offer one final critique of that ever so problematic belief system. Here, I want to mainly address the issue of prophecy. The proponents of rapture theology (a.k.a. LaHaye, Jenkins, Van Impe, etc.) seriously misread the Bible when it comes to this subject.
Basically, there are four sections of the Bible that when it comes to prophecy, they, like a broken record, play over and over and over (especially Van Impe): Mt. 24, Mk. 13, Lk. 18 and Revelation. For some reason (because they have a certain agenda), they treat these four sections of the Bible as futuristic “prediction” sections. In other words, when they read and teach from these passages, they do not read them in their ancient contexts (e.g. as seeing into the near future or immediate context back then). Instead they treat these passages like they were never written to or intended for the original, ancient audiences but rather that they were intended for people of modernity—21st century Americans. I must ask, what is this but the height of modern arrogance? For example, they tend to argue that Revelation was not written to call the early Christians to turn from idolatry and to worship the One True God, but rather it was written directly to us 21st centurions.
Often, the argument Dispensationalists use is: “If Revelation isn’t about the end of the world in our times, predicting events in our times, then why is it relevant?” Well, that is quite a silly question. The rest of the Bible never predicts anything specifically for our times today, does that render it all irrelevant? Of course not! Just because it isn’t predicting modern day wars and things does not mean it is irrelevant. Surely, John the Seer would not have told a number of first-century Mediterranean congregations, in code-like language, that in the future there would be flying scorpions that would come to be called helicopters. This is not only unthinkable but incredibly ridiculous and forcing the Bible to say something it never tried or intended to.
While I could go on all day about that, suffice it to say that as I’ve shown over the last few posts, this is just another way they twist the Scriptures and end up teaching falsehoods. One of the most trouble aspects about it all though, is that the rapture theologians are increasingly using their misinterpretations of the Bible to achieve political ends. For example, people like Tim Lahaye and John Hagee have tried repeatedly to become involved in the political affairs of Israel. Why? They want to usher in some imaginary Armageddon. They believe that once the Jews and the Temple are restored in Jerusalem, the final battle will start. And because they want Christ to return as soon as possible, they are trying to get the Temple rebuilt so the war will commence. I might add here, and you will know this if you keep up with politics, that the president of Iran has a very similar apocalyptic outlook. Doesn’t it frighten you when this sect of Christians is saying essentially the same things as fundamentalist Muslims? It should!
Because of their tangled up views of how to understand Biblical prophecy, rapture proponents are often war-bent. But why not, if they’re going to be raptured up and saved from it all; they have nothing to war about, so, bring on the war and kill as many people as you need to in order to get the Temple rebuilt!!! I should point out at this juncture that most rapture theologians also believe that there are 2 peoples of God: The Jews and The Christians. Indeed, many of them, such as John Hagee, teach that Jews are the only people in the world who do not have to accept Christ as Lord and Savior. In fact, they go even further and suggest that Jesus is not the only fulfiller of prophecy but the Jews are too. Now, I am by no means anti-Semitic but friends, this teaching is just about as un-Scriptural as it gets! All must accept Christ.
Finally, it should not be surprising that one of the most popular belief systems in America right now (funny how all over the rest of the world Left Behind really isn’t nearly as popular!) has duped so many people. This theology is a wolf in sheep’s clothing; it makes a mockery of God, of Christ, of how to understand prophecy and really, just the Scriptures in general! It is high time for Christians today to learn how to read the Bible and understand it correctly so that we can not only know these falsehoods when we see them but to lay them to rest so that they don’t lead the masses into violent and even heretical actions. Once and for all, let’s dispense with Dispensationalism and leave behind Left Behind.