Episode #13 (May 23, 2011): Raptured?

In lucky episode #13 we talk about the Rapture: it didn’t happen, but some people thought it would. How do we respond to such situations?

Show notes:

  • See Matthew 24:36 and following. Seriously. See it.
  • A Letter to Harold Camping and Those Who Expected Judgment Day by Timothy Dalrymple.
  • We talk about how there is power in our words. We need to use our speech responsibly.
  • Holy Family Parish in Saskatoon, where Andy and Jane are moving in the coming months. The parish is also building a new church, with that move expected to happen before Christmas.
  • “Jesus came to take away your sins, not your brains.” – Fr. Don MacDonald, OFM, professor extraordinaire. (Well, paraphrased, possibly, because it’s been a while since we were in class.)
  • Raptured or Not? A Catholic Understanding
  • We also talk about the importance and goodness of evangelizing and spreading the good news. It is ultimately *good* news and so we shouldn’t live in fear. Yet, in our ministry do we tend to focus on the positive or the negative?
  • It’s not what you’d expect: The Catholic Channel on Sirus/XM satellite radio. Fr Darryl mentioned Greg Willits and Lino Rulli.
  •  

    Songs of the Day: “The Last Saskatchewan Pirate” and “Jesus’ Brother Bob” by the Arrogant Worms

    Question of the Week: What is the craziest thing you’ve ever believed? And why? In other words, something that you look back on and you say, “That was kinda crazy.”

    We welcome your input! Please comment below or send us feedback at feedback@hotcupofministry.ca. We can also be found on Facebook facebook.com/hotcupofministry.

    About Andy

    Andy likes websites but never updates them. Favorite hobbies include StarCraft, brewing beer and wine, and not updating websites. Andy is married to Jane.

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    3 Responses to Episode #13 (May 23, 2011): Raptured?

    1. Adam says:

      So on the topic of Rapture, you talked about how these people firmly believed that the rapture was going to happen on May 21st and that in one case, a couple sold everything and moved to a hotel room in Florida to wait it out. My comment/question is: What is the difference between their beliefs and all other religious beliefs in the world, in that are all other religions similar to what happened to them with the exception that they may be on a longer scale than that of The Rapturites? And in the specific of Catholicism, is the religion setup just so that fact that there really is no way for any specific thing to happen that could possibly underestimate the basis of the religion itself? The Rapturites believed solidly that the world was going to end. From a purely scientific level, this was extremely silly, However, from a faith level, this was probably one of the most honorable things that they could have done, as they believed in something, and they stayed with it in the face of unsurmountable opposition. With this type of showing of believe in something that is not true (in my opinion), what would be the difference in saying that all other religions aren’t true, based on the fact that people can believe so much in something that requires nothing but blind belief?

      Cheers

    2. darryl says:

      Thanks for the feedback / questions, Adam!

      “What is the difference between their beliefs and all other religious beliefs in the world, in that are all other religions similar to what happened to them with the exception that they may be on a longer scale than that of The Rapturites?”

      The exception that exists between what I would call mainstream Christianity and the beliefs of those who followed Harold Camping is actually not in terms of the time scale involved. It is on a deeper level than that. In the scriptures we quoted (and elsewhere), Jesus specifically states that we do not and cannot know when the end will come. However, Camping taught something opposite to this: that he could and did know when the end will come. So the issue does not involve the time scale but rather involves what one can know.

      Essentially, it boils down to the mainstream Christian view that a direct, logical inconsistency exists between what Camping teaches and what Christ taught. In other words, if one professes belief in Jesus Christ and in his teachings but then disregards a teaching that was presented through a number of sources, then that belief is logically inconsistent within the framework of those teachings (e.g. see Matt. 24.36ff; Mark 13.32ff; Luke 21.34ff; etc. — different authors who report essentially the same teaching from Jesus on this matter).

      In this case, Camping is teaching that we can know the time of the end, among other things. Jesus said we *cannot* know the time of the end. Camping is therefore inconsistent with his teaching, basically lifting certain passages out of context and presenting them as the teachings of Christ, all the while ignoring passages from Christ that, in their context, directly oppose what he is trying to do.

      There is another issue with the notion of a rapture, in that it is also a twisting of the Scriptures. The rapture theology suggests that, before the end of time, Christ will come and take up faithful people to heaven. Then more time will pass where everyone left behind undergoes tribulation. Then there is 1000 years of peace on earth. Then the end comes.

      This particular teaching is actually pretty new in the context of the Christian faith and I don’t have the time to get into it here. But the article linked in the show notes does give a great explanation as to the problems with the rapture theology. (Again, keep in mind, that the argument being made by the article / the Catholic Church + other mainstream denominations is how the rapture is logically inconsistent with the teachings of Christ.)

      The link is here: http://www.americancatholic.org/Newsletters/CU/ac1005.asp

      “And in the specific of Catholicism, is the religion setup just so that fact that there really is no way for any specific thing to happen that could possibly underestimate the basis of the religion itself?”

      The interesting thing is that we, as Catholics, do in fact believe that specific things will happen at some point in time; but we just don’t know when that will be. We believe that this world will not last for ever (which is something science does support, at least on a geological time scale), and Jesus promised his return at the end of time; we believe that our bodies will not function for ever and that we will meet him face-to-face at the end of our lives; and we believe that we also meet our Lord in a number of ways here in this life: in the Eucharist, in the word being proclaimed, in nature, and when we gather together for worship, for example.

      Archbishop Thomas Collins wrote a nice (and short-ish) article on that: http://www.iamthird.ca/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/The-Rapture-Archbishop-Collins.pdf

      Also feel free to check out the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraphs 668-679 for a bit more detail on what the Catholic Church teaches about the subject.

      “The Rapturites believed solidly that the world was going to end. From a purely scientific level, this was extremely silly, However, from a faith level, this was probably one of the most honorable things that they could have done, as they believed in something, and they stayed with it in the face of unsurmountable opposition. With this type of showing of believe in something that is not true (in my opinion), what would be the difference in saying that all other religions aren’t true, based on the fact that people can believe so much in something that requires nothing but blind belief?”

      I agree (and we talked briefly about it in the episode) that the followers of Harold Camping showed an admirable adherence to their beliefs in the face of opposition — even if I do not agree with their position and think that it is fundamentally inconsistent with what Jesus taught.

      If what we believed as Christians was “nothing but blind belief” then it would also be intellectually irresponsible to believe in it. So I think the more fundamental question is, “How can we believe what we believe?”

      It is a question that has a number of levels to it: belief in God / deity / higher (infinite) power; belief in a personal God; belief in a God who has revealed himself to creation and to people; belief in a God who has even revealed himself to us in human form, who lived, taught, died, and rose again.

      As far Christian belief in Jesus goes, my personal belief goes in a couple of directions: personal experiences of peace and love from God, especially in prayer and during some more difficult moments (which are admittedly much more difficult to describe), and the study of the people of Israel and (especially) of the early Christians.

      With the early Christians, what always amazed me is how much their experience of Jesus and his death and resurrection changed them. The gospels and other writings describe people who came from many different walks of life – fishers, a tax collector, teachers, a doctor, etc. They walked and talked with Jesus, who taught them different things, who told them that the Father and he were one, who did different miracles, and who was put to death and rose again. These disciples couldn’t hold in what they had seen and heard and shared it with others, even in the face of great opposition. Many of them gave their lives for this. This unbroken progression of proclamation and teaching has continued through to this day – founded upon those witnesses of Jesus.

      As you could probably imagine, this question gets complicated very quickly. Fortunately there are many people who have thought and written far more eloquently than I have done… I am certainly willing to offer some book titles if you’re interested!

      Thanks again for your feedback!

    3. Travis says:

      Excellent comments the both you of you! I’m going to comment on something completely different. Speaking responsibly. I don’t make homily notes. I was told by an African that someone who uses notes is not prepared, whereas someone who does not use notes, shows that he is prepared enough to not use notes. I don’t speak extemporaneously; rather, I have prepared my homily enough that I can deliver it sick or no.

      In regards to Mr. Camping, I don’t preach on things I know little of. And if I do, I tell people that I know little of it. Then I accept correction. For shame on Mr. Camping for using his power to affect peoples lives in such a destructive way. Even when Jesus challenged and admonished people, it always worked out for their betterment and the salvation of their soul.

      AWESOME PODCAST LOVED EVERY SECOND 😀

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