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libstaK

Even Jesus wouldn't buy "The Rapture"

33 posts in this topic

Excerpts:

HBO has just launched a new TV series based on a novel by Tom Perrotta called "The Leftovers," which in turn is based on the fundamentalist Christian idea of the rapture. Apart from the title, which suggests a refrigerator full of stale food, the series looks promising.

....

But what about the theology behind this industry?

....

The rapture concept is relatively new . it started with an Anglo-Irish theologian, who in the 1830s invented the concept. This may come as a shocker to many, but it's a fact: Before John Nelson Darby imagined this scenario in the clouds, no Christian had ever heard of the rapture.

....

The idea was popularized by Cyrus I. Scofield, an American minister who published a famous reference Bible in 1908, one that developed the idea of an elaborate series of final periods in history known as dispensations. Scofield, like Darby, read the Book of Revelation as a vision of the future, not a fiery dream of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in A.D. 70.

....

It's a problem, however, for rapture-minded Christians that the word "rapture" doesn't appear anywhere in the Bible,....

....

First, it's important to note that Jesus himself never talked about the rapture, ever.

....

Yet it's amazing how scriptures get misused, and relatively new theological ideas -- such as the rapture -- get deeply embedded in certain circles.

While the opinion piece is loosely related to the new TV Series "The LeftOvers", I really think the discussion is primarily based on the above excerpts and not the show itself, therefore I am linking it into the Spirituality Forum because the author brings up some very good points for discussion:

http://edition.cnn.com/2014/07/06/opinion/parini-rapture-real/index.html?iid=article_sidebar

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1Th 4:16

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

1Th 4:17

Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Joh_1:51

And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.

Probably "rapture" came from these scriptures.

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Oh yeah, why would a dude that had been nailed to a cross until dead, entombed for three days and then raised from the dead, believe anything as fantastic as that?

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Posted (edited)

"Rapture" is merely a descriptive noun indicating a beatific vision of communion (with God). Think of the terms "rapture of the deep" for hallucinatory visions underwater when decompressing too swiftly; or "to be enraptured" of someone, referring to the ineffable joy of human love. Even the usual capitalization of "Rapture" indicates a conceptualization of the event as pertaining to an extraordinary, supernatural occurrence. In my opinion, the exact scriptural references matter less than the general concept to many, if not most, conservative, fundamentalist Christians. Those who want to can find Bible verses to support any given theory or theology.

As a liberal, non-fundamentalist Christian, I'm not much swayed by concepts of the "Rapture." But I do see the attraction of the concept because it seems to suggest that 'believers' will escape the hardships of the "Tribulation" (another capitalized concept). However, my reading and study of scripture leads me to a trans-historical, trans-temporal understanding of those verses which seem to refer to Jesus' "Second Coming" (another capitalized concept). In a spiritual sense all Christians "meet" or are "gathered" in some spiritual form with Christ, but not necessarily in an historical sense.

A good friend of mine--middle-aged, steeped in science as a registered nurse for many years--has a card on her refrigerator showing Jesus as a great cloudy, shiny figure hovering over the top of a cityscape full of tall buildings, and a bunch of crashed cars gathering below on the pavement. The idea is that believers will be "raptured" out of their vehicles and unbelievers will crash into the abandoned cars. No amount of discussion of alternative readings of scripture could dissuade her of this rather ham-handed "concept" of the "Rapture" and "Return."

Edited by DeWitz
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The theology IS new, and the changes in Christian belief in the past century or so have been startling. The Baptists, for instance, seem to have gone from believing in Jesus as the Redeemer Son of God to "Jesus IS God." I have seen some preachers writing about "Jesus in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve" -- a position that the Early Christians (including his followers) would have adamantly rejected.

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The theology IS new, and the changes in Christian belief in the past century or so have been startling. The Baptists, for instance, seem to have gone from believing in Jesus as the Redeemer Son of God to "Jesus IS God." I have seen some preachers writing about "Jesus in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve" -- a position that the Early Christians (including his followers) would have adamantly rejected.

I'm fairly certain I've seen t-shirts and other items with a "Jesus IS God" logo..

But i won't go into the ick of Jesus merchandising, tempting as it is.

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If Jesus was around today I suspect he wouldn't know what the crazy loons who promote the rapture nonsense were talking about.

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The theology IS new, and the changes in Christian belief in the past century or so have been startling. The Baptists, for instance, seem to have gone from believing in Jesus as the Redeemer Son of God to "Jesus IS God." I have seen some preachers writing about "Jesus in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve" -- a position that the Early Christians (including his followers) would have adamantly rejected.

The doctrine of the Trinity was "settled" (by debate, coercion and violence) by the end of the 4th century. God is three in one and one in three. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one, in three 'persons' (Greek, "hypostases"). The Father is not the Son; the Son is not the Spirit; the Spirit is neither the Father or Son. Of course, this ruling came to pass only after decades of debate, coercion and actual violence. Today all Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Anglicans, Presbyterians, Methodists and many more (the vast majority of world Christianity) believe that Jesus is God, in the context of the Trinity. Google "The Athanasian Creed" for a real mind-bender and tongue-twister.

Offered for background information only--I'm not interested in debating a 1600-hundred-year-old controversy.

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Posted (edited)

The doctrine of the Trinity was "settled" (by debate, coercion and violence) by the end of the 4th century. God is three in one and one in three. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one, in three 'persons' (Greek, "hypostases"). The Father is not the Son; the Son is not the Spirit; the Spirit is neither the Father or Son. Of course, this ruling came to pass only after decades of debate, coercion and actual violence. Today all Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Anglicans, Presbyterians, Methodists and many more (the vast majority of world Christianity) believe that Jesus is God, in the context of the Trinity. Google "The Athanasian Creed" for a real mind-bender and tongue-twister.

Offered for background information only--I'm not interested in debating a 1600-hundred-year-old controversy.

This is how I reconcile it: Jesus the Christ is the emanation of God as the Son or the Word - the aspect of God enacting, The Holy Spirit is the emanation of God as Wisdom, the aspect of God which enlightens and Illuminates. Aspects of God that are specific in their purpose but which carry the full force of God within them.

Edited by libstaK
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Isn't the rapture Biblicial supported? The Bible says "two women shall be in the field, one will one will taken, the other left" etc. Several verses reference this concept, though it's true that the word "rapture" itself is never mentioned.

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Isn't the rapture Biblicial supported? The Bible says "two women shall be in the field, one will one will taken, the other left" etc. Several verses reference this concept, though it's true that the word "rapture" itself is never mentioned.

I find it kind of confusing. On one hand, the bible does say things in revelations that allude to the modern idea of the rapture but at the same time it's not nearly as specific as the modern idea seems to be. Though the timing and how many raptures there will be is still debated.

It seems like the verse you quoted was more pointing to the idea that there is a limited number of people who would make it into the kingdom of heaven as did many of Jesus' parables.

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I thought it was invented by Blondie.

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Posted (edited)

Excerpts:

HBO has just launched a new TV series based on a novel by Tom Perrotta called "The Leftovers," which in turn is based on the fundamentalist Christian idea of the rapture. Apart from the title, which suggests a refrigerator full of stale food, the series looks promising.

....

But what about the theology behind this industry?

....

The rapture concept is relatively new . it started with an Anglo-Irish theologian, who in the 1830s invented the concept. This may come as a shocker to many, but it's a fact: Before John Nelson Darby imagined this scenario in the clouds, no Christian had ever heard of the rapture.

....

The idea was popularized by Cyrus I. Scofield, an American minister who published a famous reference Bible in 1908, one that developed the idea of an elaborate series of final periods in history known as dispensations. Scofield, like Darby, read the Book of Revelation as a vision of the future, not a fiery dream of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in A.D. 70.

....

It's a problem, however, for rapture-minded Christians that the word "rapture" doesn't appear anywhere in the Bible,....

....

First, it's important to note that Jesus himself never talked about the rapture, ever.

....

Yet it's amazing how scriptures get misused, and relatively new theological ideas -- such as the rapture -- get deeply embedded in certain circles.

While the opinion piece is loosely related to the new TV Series "The LeftOvers", I really think the discussion is primarily based on the above excerpts and not the show itself, therefore I am linking it into the Spirituality Forum because the author brings up some very good points for discussion:

http://edition.cnn.c...article_sidebar

Hmm, sorry to disappoint you Libstak, but the rapture Theology within the church can be traced to the 2nd century without doubt.

The author of that article did NOT do his homework.

Edited by Jor-el
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Posted (edited)

Excerpts:

It's a problem, however, for rapture-minded Christians that the word "rapture" doesn't appear anywhere in the Bible,...

First, it's important to note that Jesus himself never talked about the rapture, ever.

According to fiction writer Seucall Noman Medad, the rapture is cryptically encoded into the genetical fabric of the soul that gives those that evolved

from the Spirit and the Word the cognitive perception which allow them to understand the mystery of the rapture. Which he describes as being;

The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all those who evolved from the heaven and the earth and

cast them into the Photon reactors whereby their righteousness shall shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of his Father and save the earth from global warming.

Medad refers to source code "Cethaybit' signifying mark 11:30. As far as myself, I am not sure what the rapture means and I certainly don't

understand any of the coded messages of religion, seems God would have a fool proof plan to me, but I can't help to think that maybe He does.

Edited by 029b10

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I find it kind of confusing. On one hand, the bible does say things in revelations that allude to the modern idea of the rapture but at the same time it's not nearly as specific as the modern idea seems to be. Though the timing and how many raptures there will be is still debated.

It seems like the verse you quoted was more pointing to the idea that there is a limited number of people who would make it into the kingdom of heaven as did many of Jesus' parables.

True. I suppose the "rapture parables" are those kind of verses that aren't meant to be taken literally. Unlike other verses which are meant to be taken literally. And some are metaphors. That can be literally by some people.

...it's all for interpretation.

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True. I suppose the "rapture parables" are those kind of verses that aren't meant to be taken literally. Unlike other verses which are meant to be taken literally. And some are metaphors. That can be literally by some people.

...it's all for interpretation.

Actually the problem with the Rapture lies in how one interprets Revelation, whether it be a literal rendering or merely a metaphorical rendering or a bit of both depending on the chapter.

My problem with the non rapture community is that they can't explain to the rest of us how the church got to heaven before Christs 2nd coming... as per Revelation 19....

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Hmm, sorry to disappoint you Libstak, but the rapture Theology within the church can be traced to the 2nd century without doubt.

The author of that article did NOT do his homework.

Can you sight a source for this from the 2nd century Jor-el?

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Can you sight a source for this from the 2nd century Jor-el?

Naturally... :)

I have provided these references a number of times before, but it does seem that the idea of a 17th Century origin is so viral that there is no combating perceptions... even on Wikipedia... the author and sole provider of all "truth"...

The Shepherd of Hermas (110 A.D.)

Shepherd of Hermas, written in A.D. 88 to 97 and published in A.D. 110

The writer, after escaping a huge terrifying beast with four colors on its head (white, red, black and gold), met a virgin in his vision. "like a bride going froth from a bride-chamber, all in white...I recognized from the former visions that it was the church." the virgin explained that she escaped destruction from the beast (the Great Tribulation) because of God's special deliverance. "Thou hast escaped a great tribulation because thou hast believed and at the sight of such a huge beast hast not doubted. Go therefore and declare to the Elect of the Lord His mighty deeds and say to them that this beast is a type of the great tribulation which is to come. If ye therefore prepare yourselves and with your whole heart turn to the Lord in repentance, then shall ye be able to escape it, if your heart is pure and blameless." After explaining to him that "the golden color stands for you who have escaped from this world," the virgin concluded her messages with, "Now ye know the symbol of the great tribulation to come. But if ye are willing, it shall be nothing."

(Escaping the Great Tribulation is what the Rapture is all about)

Victorinus (240 A.D.)

Commentary on the Apocalypse 6.14 - "'And the heaven withdrew as a scroll that is rolled up.' For the heaven to be rolled way, that is, that the Church shall be taken away. "And the mountain and the islands were moved from their places." Mountains and islands removed from their places intimate that in the last persecution all men departed from their places; that is, that the good will be removed, seeking to avoid the persecution."

Commentary on the Apocalypse 15.1 - "And I saw another great and wonderful sign, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is completed the indignation of God.' For the wrath of God always strikes the obstinate people with seven plagues, that is, perfectly, as it is said in Leviticus; and these shall be in the last time, when the Church shall have gone out of the midst."

(The Rapture means the church is taken away)

Cyprian (250 A.D.)

Epistle 55 - The Antichrist is coming, but above him comes Christ also. The enemy goeth about and rageth, but immediately the Lord follows to avenge our suffering and our wounds. The adversary is enraged and threatens, but there is One who can deliver us from his hands." It is significant that he did not write about enduring the persecution of the Antichrist. Rather, Cyprian promised that Christ "is One who can deliver us from his hands."

Cyprian Speaking of the immanency of the Rapture, wrote, "Who would not crave to be changed and transformed into the likeness of Christ and to arrive more quickly to the dignity of heavenly glory." After telling his readers that the coming resurrection was the hope of the Christian, he points out that the rapture should motivate us as we see the last days approaching. Cyprian says that "we who see that terrible things have begun, and know that still more terrible things are imminent, may regard it as the greatest advantage to depart from it as quickly as possible." Referring to his hope of the approaching Rapture, he encouraged his readers as follows: "Do you not give God thanks, do you not congratulate yourself, that by an early departure you are taken away, and delivered from the shipwrecks and disasters that are imminent?" Cyprian concludes his comments on the translation of the saints with these words: "Let us greet the day which assigns each of us to his own home, which snatches us hence, and sets us free from the snares of the world, and restores us to paradise and the kingdom"

Treatises of Cyprian - 21 to 26

Ephraim the Syrian (376 A.D.)

In the 4th Century, Ephraim the Syrian wrote a small work titled, Antichrist and the End of the World. This and other works were published in A.D. 376. His works remained relatively obscure in their own languages (he was fluent in several languages) through the centuries. Only recently were they translated into English.

We ought to understand thoroughly, there my brothers, what is imminent or overhanging. Already, there have been hungers and plagues, violent movements of nations and sins, which have been predicted by the Lord. Prepare ourselves for the meeting of the Lord so that He may draw us from confusion which overwhelms the world. Believe me, dearest brothers, the coming of the Lord is nigh. Believe me because the end of the world is at hand.

Because all saints and the elect of the Lord are gathered together before the Tribulation which is about to come, and are taken to the Lord in order that they may not see at anytime the confusion that overwhelms the world because of our sins. And so, brothers most dear to me, it is the eleventh hour and the end of this world comes to the harvest and [to the] angels’ hands awaiting the empire of the kingdom of our Lord.

When, therefore, the end of the world comes, that abominable, lying and murderous one who is born from the tribe of Dan [comes] . . . conceived from the seed of man and from a most vile [woman] mixed with an evil or worthless spirit.

Therefore, when he receives the kingdom, he orders the Temple of God to be rebuilt for himself, which is in Jerusalem; who, after coming into it, shall sit as God in order that he may be adored by all nations.

Then all people from everywhere shall flock together by him, and the holy city shall be trampled on by the nations for 42 months. [This is] just as the holy apostle says in the Apocalypse, which becomes three and a half years—1,260 days.

Then, when the three and a half years have been completed, the time of Antichrist through whom [satan] will have seduced the whole world, after the resurrection of the two prophets, in the hour which the world does not know and on the day which the enemy or son of perdition does not know, will come the sign of the Son of Man. And coming forward, the Lord shall appear with great power and much majesty with the sign of the word of salvation going before Him.

The references to being taken away before seeing Tribulation is what the Rapture is all about. The words may be different the idea is exactly the same.

You can access Victorinus' works at the Christian Classics Ethereal Library website, I have provided the direct link to the page. The reference is in Chapter 6 and it is in verse 14.

As for Cyprian here is the link to the Treatise in Question. Treatise VII verses 21 to 26. Epistle 55 is HERE.

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Posted (edited)

Naturally... :)

I have provided these references a number of times before, but it does seem that the idea of a 17th Century origin is so viral that there is no combating perceptions... even on Wikipedia... the author and sole provider of all "truth"...

The Shepherd of Hermas (110 A.D.)

Shepherd of Hermas, written in A.D. 88 to 97 and published in A.D. 110

The writer, after escaping a huge terrifying beast with four colors on its head (white, red, black and gold), met a virgin in his vision. "like a bride going froth from a bride-chamber, all in white...I recognized from the former visions that it was the church." the virgin explained that she escaped destruction from the beast (the Great Tribulation) because of God's special deliverance. "Thou hast escaped a great tribulation because thou hast believed and at the sight of such a huge beast hast not doubted. Go therefore and declare to the Elect of the Lord His mighty deeds and say to them that this beast is a type of the great tribulation which is to come. If ye therefore prepare yourselves and with your whole heart turn to the Lord in repentance, then shall ye be able to escape it, if your heart is pure and blameless." After explaining to him that "the golden color stands for you who have escaped from this world," the virgin concluded her messages with, "Now ye know the symbol of the great tribulation to come. But if ye are willing, it shall be nothing."

(Escaping the Great Tribulation is what the Rapture is all about)

The nature of the Rapture is not described here, only the fact that through repentance we may escape from this world - death is also an escape from this world. Additionally this is not a bible quote.

Victorinus (240 A.D.)

Commentary on the Apocalypse 6.14 - "'And the heaven withdrew as a scroll that is rolled up.' For the heaven to be rolled way, that is, that the Church shall be taken away. "And the mountain and the islands were moved from their places." Mountains and islands removed from their places intimate that in the last persecution all men departed from their places; that is, that the good will be removed, seeking to avoid the persecution."

Commentary on the Apocalypse 15.1 - "And I saw another great and wonderful sign, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is completed the indignation of God.' For the wrath of God always strikes the obstinate people with seven plagues, that is, perfectly, as it is said in Leviticus; and these shall be in the last time, when the Church shall have gone out of the midst."

(The Rapture means the church is taken away)

It does not state how this will be, I have a bigger imagination than these guys, a nucleur bomb could take away the church and move mountains too.

It also does not state that it is a Rapture or even an event that occurs in one instant.

Cyprian (250 A.D.)

Epistle 55 - The Antichrist is coming, but above him comes Christ also. The enemy goeth about and rageth, but immediately the Lord follows to avenge our suffering and our wounds. The adversary is enraged and threatens, but there is One who can deliver us from his hands." It is significant that he did not write about enduring the persecution of the Antichrist. Rather, Cyprian promised that Christ "is One who can deliver us from his hands."

Cyprian Speaking of the immanency of the Rapture, wrote, "Who would not crave to be changed and transformed into the likeness of Christ and to arrive more quickly to the dignity of heavenly glory." After telling his readers that the coming resurrection was the hope of the Christian, he points out that the rapture should motivate us as we see the last days approaching. Cyprian says that "we who see that terrible things have begun, and know that still more terrible things are imminent, may regard it as the greatest advantage to depart from it as quickly as possible." Referring to his hope of the approaching Rapture, he encouraged his readers as follows: "Do you not give God thanks, do you not congratulate yourself, that by an early departure you are taken away, and delivered from the shipwrecks and disasters that are imminent?" Cyprian concludes his comments on the translation of the saints with these words: "Let us greet the day which assigns each of us to his own home, which snatches us hence, and sets us free from the snares of the world, and restores us to paradise and the kingdom"

Again no mention of how this "departure" is to manifest itself.

Treatises of Cyprian - 21 to 26

Ephraim the Syrian (376 A.D.)

In the 4th Century, Ephraim the Syrian wrote a small work titled, Antichrist and the End of the World. This and other works were published in A.D. 376. His works remained relatively obscure in their own languages (he was fluent in several languages) through the centuries. Only recently were they translated into English.

We ought to understand thoroughly, there my brothers, what is imminent or overhanging. Already, there have been hungers and plagues, violent movements of nations and sins, which have been predicted by the Lord. Prepare ourselves for the meeting of the Lord so that He may draw us from confusion which overwhelms the world. Believe me, dearest brothers, the coming of the Lord is nigh. Believe me because the end of the world is at hand.

Because all saints and the elect of the Lord are gathered together before the Tribulation which is about to come, and are taken to the Lord in order that they may not see at anytime the confusion that overwhelms the world because of our sins. And so, brothers most dear to me, it is the eleventh hour and the end of this world comes to the harvest and [to the] angels’ hands awaiting the empire of the kingdom of our Lord.

When, therefore, the end of the world comes, that abominable, lying and murderous one who is born from the tribe of Dan [comes] . . . conceived from the seed of man and from a most vile [woman] mixed with an evil or worthless spirit.

Therefore, when he receives the kingdom, he orders the Temple of God to be rebuilt for himself, which is in Jerusalem; who, after coming into it, shall sit as God in order that he may be adored by all nations.

Then all people from everywhere shall flock together by him, and the holy city shall be trampled on by the nations for 42 months. [This is] just as the holy apostle says in the Apocalypse, which becomes three and a half years—1,260 days.

Then, when the three and a half years have been completed, the time of Antichrist through whom [satan] will have seduced the whole world, after the resurrection of the two prophets, in the hour which the world does not know and on the day which the enemy or son of perdition does not know, will come the sign of the Son of Man. And coming forward, the Lord shall appear with great power and much majesty with the sign of the word of salvation going before Him.

The references to being taken away before seeing Tribulation is what the Rapture is all about. The words may be different the idea is exactly the same.

You can access Victorinus' works at the Christian Classics Ethereal Library website, I have provided the direct link to the page. The reference is in Chapter 6 and it is in verse 14.

As for Cyprian here is the link to the Treatise in Question. Treatise VII verses 21 to 26. Epistle 55 is HERE.

And yet when someone we love even today passes on, we state that they are "taken from us" or "taken to soon" or that they have "returned to Heaven" or "returned to the Lord". The distinction that the rapture will occur as it is claimed in modern day christianity is that we will be taken along with our living bodies directly into Heaven, this is a pronounced leap from the indeterminate nature of the faithful's removal from tribulation that these speakers you cite have stated at all.

Edited by libstaK

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The doctrine of the Trinity was "settled" (by debate, coercion and violence) by the end of the 4th century. God is three in one and one in three. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one, in three 'persons' (Greek, "hypostases"). The Father is not the Son; the Son is not the Spirit; the Spirit is neither the Father or Son. Of course, this ruling came to pass only after decades of debate, coercion and actual violence. Today all Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Anglicans, Presbyterians, Methodists and many more (the vast majority of world Christianity) believe that Jesus is God, in the context of the Trinity. Google "The Athanasian Creed" for a real mind-bender and tongue-twister.

Offered for background information only--I'm not interested in debating a 1600-hundred-year-old controversy.

I know you said you weren't interested in debating the 1600-year old controversy, but you also noted taht you're offering "background information", and I'd like to submit that your information is in grievous error. You stated that the doctrine was settled at the end of the 4th century after a process of "debate, coercion, and violence". I'd like to submit that only one of these is true, and that even this one that is true is not so much as "debated" rather it is "discussed and universally agreed correct". Firstly to the one point you are correct on - debate. There was debate. At Nicaea, every doctrine put on the table was debated before suggesting whether it was a true doctrine or not. On this vote, the 298-2 vote in favour of Jesus' divine nature (and triune persona) is evidence that the belief was so widespread that whatever "debate" that occurred was minimal.

Now to the second and third of your statements, coercion and violence. I will agree that centuries AFTER the doctrine had been codified that the doctrines were then spread through coercion and violence. Sects who disagreed were declared heretical and subsequently hunted down and then either killed or forced to recant. But during the Council of Nicaea itself, there was no coercion or violence in this regard (at least none that I am aware of, if there are writings from that time that do indicate that violence and coercion took place, I'll re-examine my position - I'm no historian and don't claim expertise in this area). The closest one could come to allegations of "coercion" is that the two dissenting bishops who voted against Jesus' divinity were exiled for their vote. However, this is questionable as to whether the bishops knew this would happen (aka, "vote this way or else we'll make life difficult") or whether it was simply a reaction to such an overwhelming majority vote (aka, "so many of us universally agree, perhaps it would be best to ensure stability that these two bishops leave us for now"). There is no historical evidence that I know of that suggests the bishops were forced to vote any particular way. And regardless of what actually happened it's also worth noting that the dissenting bishops were welcomed back with full pardons ten years later, neither of which (as far as I know) recanting their stance on Jesus' divinity.

As I said, in the centuries after the Council of Nicaea, things went south and the Church rose up and began coercing and committing violence to get people to believe their dogma. But the actual process of the doctrines such as the Trinity are not marred with "debate, coercion and violence" as far as I am aware. Just thought I'd point that out to ensure that the "background information" on the situation is truly accurate.

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@PA--The book which influenced me to assess some early councils and synods as having been, at times, coercive and violent, is Philip Jenkins' Jesus Wars, New York: Harper Collins Books, 2010. I am incorrect in citing the 4th century; most of Jenkins' citations are from the 5th century onward. My only point here (apart from the dating of the doctrine of the Trinity) is that the history of the early church is filled not only with saintly desert fathers, but also with manipulators, war-mongers and those unafraid to foment violence. I think that we Christians have more credibility when we discuss church history "warts and all."

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@PA--The book which influenced me to assess some early councils and synods as having been, at times, coercive and violent, is Philip Jenkins' Jesus Wars, New York: Harper Collins Books, 2010. I am incorrect in citing the 4th century; most of Jenkins' citations are from the 5th century onward. My only point here (apart from the dating of the doctrine of the Trinity) is that the history of the early church is filled not only with saintly desert fathers, but also with manipulators, war-mongers and those unafraid to foment violence. I think that we Christians have more credibility when we discuss church history "warts and all."

I agree, and it seems that your source also agrees that the formation of the doctrine was not a result of debate, coercion and violence - though as I said, I would agree that after this time the church did indeed do such. Since we seem to both agree with the content being post-4th Century, then I see no reason to disagree further. Best of wishes :tu:

~ Regards, PA

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Hi libstaK, before I answer your post here, I would dearly like to know whether in your view, the same idea stated differently is somehow a different idea because we don't use the same wording?

The nature of the Rapture is not described here, only the fact that through repentance we may escape from this world - death is also an escape from this world. Additionally this is not a bible quote.

I sincerely beg to differ because the idea is there even if the term itself is not used, somehow people think the term MUST be used and no other term can be applied, but this is like saying that soccer is not football.

The nature of the Rapture for all attentive people on the subject is only one, we, the church are not going to experience the Great Tribulation.

Go therefore and declare to the Elect of the Lord His mighty deeds and say to them that this beast is a type of the great tribulation which is to come. If ye therefore prepare yourselves and with your whole heart turn to the Lord in repentance, then shall ye be able to escape it, if your heart is pure and blameless.

I sincerely do NOT know how you can equate this text with death in any way whatsoever, It could be considered that you are stretching the plain meaning to fit that which is not mentioned in the text, since the text does not in any way speak of death, but rather the church escaping the Great tribulation and according to the bible there are only one known way to do that. We call it by the term we use today, the Rapture. Considering death as an escape, actually defeats the entire purpose of escaping, does it not? It becomes contradiction. How can one escape something by dying? Dead is dead, there is no escape in that. The whole point of escaping, is doing so alive...

As for this not being a bible verse, that is not what this particular post of mine was created for, you and others seem to believe in the idea that the rapture was invented fairly recently, and as such, is a modern and even fallacious argument, this text demonstrates that the idea of escaping the Great Tribulation was part of the early church beliefs and that was its intent as a historical nail in the coffin in that false premise people are spreading around.

The text is unequivocally clear that the church escapes the Great Tribulation and not by death. If it were, what you would be stating for the record, is that the entire church is massacred in the Great Tribulation, every single member. Is that what you are saying? Is that what this text is describing?

It does not state how this will be, I have a bigger imagination than these guys, a nuclear bomb could take away the church and move mountains too.

It also does not state that it is a Rapture or even an event that occurs in one instant.

Except for the fact that the text is from the 2nd century and repeats much of what the 1st text states, it makes no mention again of the entire church dying or being killed but rather escaping the Great Tribulation. So if not by dying, how?

Enlighten us please, as to what the author of these words meant? How does the Church escape the coming time of trouble that literally kills off most of the human population of this planet?

Critique is easy, providing a coherent alternative, now that is a challenge I would like to see you resolve.

Again no mention of how this "departure" is to manifest itself.

Did it ever occur to you that everybody who was part of the church was clear on how it would happen and thus no detailed explanation was necessary? It is the same explanation that is scoffed at by the article you posted.

And yet when someone we love even today passes on, we state that they are "taken from us" or "taken to soon" or that they have "returned to Heaven" or "returned to the Lord". The distinction that the rapture will occur as it is claimed in modern day Christianity is that we will be taken along with our living bodies directly into Heaven, this is a pronounced leap from the indeterminate nature of the faithful's removal from tribulation that these speakers you cite have stated at all.

No it is not, because the bible clearly states that this is exactly what will happen, unless you want to go the figurative route, which is quite a leap in itself, but it is what mainstream Christianity, (which doesn't exactly pay attention to its own Holy texts) decided to do anyway, so it wouldn't be a surprise, but it does create a major contradiction in the bible itself. How are we, the living believers to be changed in the twinkling of an eye, when he appears to us in the clouds, if there are no longer any Christians around because we are all in heaven when he actually does come?

I would like to know how those people who do not accept the rapture belief explain themselves when we read Revelation 19 that unequivocally states that the entire church is in heaven and shouting Glory and honour to the Lord, dressed in white, ready for the Wedding of the Lamb. We, the church, are the bride, we are all there! No-one is left out and yet, there we are in heaven. That means that there are no members on earth at that moment... and yet.... Christ has not yet come.

7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. 8 Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear." 9 Then the angel said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!' "

He comes later, in verse 11...

11 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean.

And guess what, we all come with him, we are the armies of Heaven, dressed in fine linen, white and clean.

Explain to me how the church got there?

There is only one explanation.... the Rapture.

How does the entire church escape the Great Tribulation?

There is only one explanation.... the Rapture.

As I said earlier.... death is not an escape by any means of the word, It can be seen as a release, but never as an escape. The texts I quoted never spoke of death, even in an oblique way, so to go fetch that as the prime foundation of those texts is literally diluting their meaning since they destroy the notion that the rapture is a modern belief.

Edited by Jor-el

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I agree, and it seems that your source also agrees that the formation of the doctrine was not a result of debate, coercion and violence - though as I said, I would agree that after this time the church did indeed do such. Since we seem to both agree with the content being post-4th Century, then I see no reason to disagree further. Best of wishes :tu:

~ Regards, PA

Regards and best wishes to you, PA. --Dewitz

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Hi libstaK, before I answer your post here, I would dearly like to know whether in your view, the same idea stated differently is somehow a different idea because we don't use the same wording?

I sincerely beg to differ because the idea is there even if the term itself is not used, somehow people think the term MUST be used and no other term can be applied, but this is like saying that soccer is not football.

The nature of the Rapture for all attentive people on the subject is only one, we, the church are not going to experience the Great Tribulation.

There are a great many million who are not going to experience the Great Tribulation - they have all already passed over.

Go therefore and declare to the Elect of the Lord His mighty deeds and say to them that this beast is a type of the great tribulation which is to come. If ye therefore prepare yourselves and with your whole heart turn to the Lord in repentance, then shall ye be able to escape it, if your heart is pure and blameless.

I sincerely do NOT know how you can equate this text with death in any way whatsoever, It could be considered that you are stretching the plain meaning to fit that which is not mentioned in the text, since the text does not in any way speak of death, but rather the church escaping the Great tribulation and according to the bible there are only one known way to do that. We call it by the term we use today, the Rapture. Considering death as an escape, actually defeats the entire purpose of escaping, does it not? It becomes contradiction. How can one escape something by dying? Dead is dead, there is no escape in that. The whole point of escaping, is doing so alive...

If there is trouble in the world but we are not where the trouble is, then we escape being a part of that trouble - being spared or escaping the Great Tribulation would not require us

to be anything or anywhere else than we are. Considering death of the human body as an end of existence would negate the possibility of escape, but we know it is not the end.

As for this not being a bible verse, that is not what this particular post of mine was created for, you and others seem to believe in the idea that the rapture was invented fairly recently, and as such, is a modern and even fallacious argument, this text demonstrates that the idea of escaping the Great Tribulation was part of the early church beliefs and that was its intent as a historical nail in the coffin in that false premise people are spreading around.

The idea of the bodily rapture is recent - it has not been viewed this way throughout history within the churches.

The text is unequivocally clear that the church escapes the Great Tribulation and not by death. If it were, what you would be stating for the record, is that the entire church is massacred in the Great Tribulation, every single member. Is that what you are saying? Is that what this text is describing?

Escape can happen in a great many different ways is what I am saying.

Except for the fact that the text is from the 2nd century and repeats much of what the 1st text states, it makes no mention again of the entire church dying or being killed but rather escaping the Great Tribulation. So if not by dying, how?

Is Jesus dead? Yet he died on the cross. Did any of his disciples escape dying on this earth? Yet they are seated with him in Heaven.

Enlighten us please, as to what the author of these words meant? How does the Church escape the coming time of trouble that literally kills off most of the human population of this planet?

Therein lies the problem doesn't it? What the author meant is open to interpretation.

Critique is easy, providing a coherent alternative, now that is a challenge I would like to see you resolve.

Why do we have to have an alternative to an unresolved mystery? The point is that the current theory is being bandied about as fact, and it is not. That does not mean that alternate theories have to be presented, it only means that the correct interpretation remains a mystery.

Regardless, my alternative is that those souls who are not to suffer the tribulation will not be on earth when the tribulation begins. They will be in heaven, like so many before them and like the 100,000 martyrs who are given "new robes" and told to wait until their number is complete in Revelation before the tribulation begins. Alternatively, they will be imune to the effects of the tribulation going on around them - that is also possible.

Did it ever occur to you that everybody who was part of the church was clear on how it would happen and thus no detailed explanation was necessary? It is the same explanation that is scoffed at by the article you posted.

How did they know? Did no one explain it to them? If it was explained to them why did they not explain it to others?

No it is not, because the bible clearly states that this is exactly what will happen, unless you want to go the figurative route, which is quite a leap in itself, but it is what mainstream Christianity, (which doesn't exactly pay attention to its own Holy texts) decided to do anyway, so it wouldn't be a surprise, but it does create a major contradiction in the bible itself. How are we, the living believers to be changed in the twinkling of an eye, when he appears to us in the clouds, if there are no longer any Christians around because we are all in heaven when he actually does come?

I would like to know how those people who do not accept the rapture belief explain themselves when we read Revelation 19 that unequivocally states that the entire church is in heaven and shouting Glory and honour to the Lord, dressed in white, ready for the Wedding of the Lamb. We, the church, are the bride, we are all there! No-one is left out and yet, there we are in heaven. That means that there are no members on earth at that moment... and yet.... Christ has not yet come.

7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. 8 Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear." 9 Then the angel said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!' "

He comes later, in verse 11...

11 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean.

And guess what, we all come with him, we are the armies of Heaven, dressed in fine linen, white and clean.

Explain to me how the church got there?

There is only one explanation.... the Rapture.

How does the entire church escape the Great Tribulation?

There is only one explanation.... the Rapture.

The same way the 100,000 martyrs in the new white robes got there and every one already there ......

As I said earlier.... death is not an escape by any means of the word, It can be seen as a release, but never as an escape. The texts I quoted never spoke of death, even in an oblique way, so to go fetch that as the prime foundation of those texts is literally diluting their meaning since they destroy the notion that the rapture is a modern belief.

Jesus never spoke of death - even in an "oblique" way either. Yet he did die ..... and he knew he was going to, even on the cross he advised the thief who had repented that he would be with him "this day" in heaven, yet physically on that day of his death occurred on the cross.

In revelation also, it does speak to death the 100,000 martyrs in the white robes, awaiting the fulness of their number and the church joining them. This matter of "new robes" seems to be quite repetative - in fact the entire church is going to be provided with white robes.

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