Biblical Prophecy & The Rapture Are Under Attack
Are Under Attack
Is The American Church
Turning Away From Bible Prophecy?
The Alpha-Omega Report.
There is a quiet, but developing schism within organized Christianity over the issue of Biblical Prophecy. It’s been quietly developing for decades since the end of World War 2. Mainstream Protestant denominations have however, steered away from understanding Biblical Prophecy since the Reformation.
Martin Luther essentially washed his hands of Biblical Prophecy at the very outset with reservations about the canonicity of the book of Revelation and candidly admitting that he did not understand it nor did he think any one would until the “end times” assuming it was canonical after all. He was not alone. Many other Reformers felt the same way.
Down through the ages, the Biblical prophetic writings have always been more or less, sidestepped. Only in America in the 19th century did a segment of Christianity begin to grab hold of those writings and study them in detail. This trend developed in the face of liberal theologians in Germany who were working overtime to minimize and discredit key elements of the Bible.
The liberal influence has since slowly worked its way into mainstream American churches over the past 10 decades. The liberal viewpoints started making inroads first with the orthodox, mainline denominations but the rise of such men as Dr. L. S. Chafer, and Dr. John Walvoord, both leaders of Dallas Theological Seminary kept the liberal mindset in check against Evangelical and Fundamentalist churches in America. That influence began to wane somewhat with the passing of Dr. Chafer. It has diminished slowly since then, but perhaps now beginning to accelerate with the passing of Dr. John Walvoord five years ago.
Yes, the fictional novels in the “Left Behind” series have been popular, but overall, the Evangelical wing of the American church is showing further signs of joining liberal American Christianity in turning its back on Biblical Prophecy.
The rise of “Mega-churches” and the influence of men like Rick Warren are working to minimize Biblical Prophecy studies and interest in the doctrines of Biblical Prophecy.
Some of this loss of interest is due to many zealots engaged in date-setting, particularly on the issue of the Rapture. The dates come and go and Biblical Prophecy is discredited. The “believing” church become subject to ridicule not only by an unbelieving world but by liberals and now by many so-called “Evangelicals.” Many of the Mega-churches are taking their cue from men like Rick Warren and simply avoiding prophetic issues or deriding the notion of literal fulfillment.
The heresy of Preterism (prophecy already fulfilled in the 1st Century) is growing in popularity among Protestants and Evangelicals. Belief in the idea of the Rapture is under attack from not only Liberals, and Evangelicals, but also further suffering from arguments from within the ranks of literalist interpreters of Prophecy.
Yes, within the shrinking ranks of us who think Biblical Prophecy is valid and is in process of fulfillment, we find further schisms over issues of when the Rapture will occur.
Some opinion polls seem to suggest a lot of American Christians believe in Biblical Prophecy, but those polls can be thoroughly deceiving as other opinion polls have shown just the reverse, particularly on the issue of the timing of the Rapture.
The arguments between Pre-tribbers, Mid-tribbers, Post-Tribbers, and Pre-wrathers has become so nauseating that it has caused many outsiders to simply reject or disregard Bible Prophecy completely. This very fact, is perhaps the central reason why as Publisher of “The Alpha-Omega Report” I refuse to post any articles on the issue of the timing of the Rapture as absolute 100% dogma.
The Rapture, cannot be absolutely proven 100% on when it will happen from the Scriptures. One can be 50% or 70% or 90% or even 99% certain, of one of the various theories and still be wrong, yet all too often, heated arguments develop among genuine believers over the “when” of the Rapture. These kinds of heated arguments are exceedingly destructive to the cause of the Gospel and Jesus Christ. It needs to be stopped, but it can only be stopped if everyone involved realizes the damage being done, and that the arguments on all sides are rooted in spiritual pride and arrogance as well as ignorance of the facts. The facts are – not one theory can be proven 100% as absolute in regards to the “when” other than that it is a future event yet to come at some point within the prophetic passages.
As an example of the damage being done, Reuters Newswire Service is running a story on its newswires about the views of Christian America in regards to Biblical Prophecy. The article suggests that “moderate” (read “Evangelical”) Christian churches and members in America are beginning to turning their backs on the idea of Biblical Prophecy fulfillment, particularly the idea of “the Rapture.”
Barbara Rossing, A Lutheran “minister,” has written a book that attacks Biblical Prophecy and the Rapture. She says “The rapture is a racket.” Her book is entitled: “The Rapture Exposed.” Rossing is not merely some radical woman author. She is a professor at a Lutheran Seminary in Chicago. She’s beginning to garner a host of media attention since her book was published in 2004. TV and Film documentaries feature her as some sort of “prophecy expert.” Rossing has risen to become a key leader within the Lutheran denomination with the kind of academic credentials so beloved by mainstream media. She holds a Masters of Divinity degree from Yale and a doctorate from Harvard.
Between her book and numerous articles opposing a literalist view of Biblical Prophecy, she seems to be spearheading an effort to turn American Christianity away from sound Biblical exegesis on prophetic passages. No doubt, if one examines her theology closely, one will find numerous other heretical views if not outright blasphemy. Regardless of that aspect, she seems bent on persuading Christianity to disregard Bible Prophecy in a literal manner.
She is not alone in her efforts. There are others also joining with her in a campaign to change Evangelical Christian doctrines on Bible Prophecy and to isolate and slowly reduce Fundamentalist teachings on literal prophetic fulfillments.
The most persuasive arguments of these Liberal efforts revolve around the issue of the Rapture. It is at the core of their attack on Biblical Prophecy and a literal interpretation of the Bible in general. Inroads are being made in part, because of the schisms and heated debates on the issue of the timing of the Rapture. Such animosities are turning-off many church goers as well as unbelievers. It truly is a poor testimony for the Gospel. Liberal theologians are now taking advantage of it, to convince church-goers everywhere to quit taking a literalist view of Bible Prophecy.
No doubt, we can all look for a growing trend of disbelief about Prophecy from within the Church’s more moderate wing and perhaps, eventually even into the Fundamentalist wing of the American Church. If so, it will only further confirm the prophecies themselves which predict such thinking. Remember what Jesus asked: “… when the Son of Man cometh, will He find faith on the Earth?”
[ See the Reuter’s Newswire story on the Rapture controversy and the changing views in America – ]