The Friendly Atheist blog notes that the world of film is being treated to yet another take on the Christian rapture. (Didn’t the Left Behind media empire beat that horse to death?)
Anyway, watching the horrible trailer for what will undoubtedly be a horrible movie made something occur to me for the first time. According to the dominant doctrine among evangelicals, the rapture is supposed to usher in a seven-year period of hell on earth — the likes of which have never been seen — known as the Great Tribulation. If the trailer is any indication, this latest movie sticks to the script, depicting the post-Christian world as being full of non-believers behaving badly. There is rampant violence and all manner of debauchery because, of course, all the good people are gone.
But here is what I thought as I watched the terror unfold: um, no… I don’t believe it would happen that way, at least not in America and in other places where there has been a strong Christian influence on the culture. In fact, just the opposite would occur.
Think about it. If you are a non-believer who is nevertheless familiar with the doctrine of the rapture as I am, what would be your reaction if suddenly every Christian were to disappear from the face of the earth? There would be no bodies left behind. Just — poof! — and they’re all gone. (The snarky part of me wants to say that we’d all throw a big celebration party, but not really.)
I would be terrified, wouldn’t you? My first instinct would not be to run out and start looting and shooting at people. As soon as the realization hit, I think I would get down on my knees. Literally. Because that would be the one thing that would convince me that the God of the Bible is real. I think the churches would be packed. I think everyone would be weeping and begging Jesus to save them. I think there would be a Holy Ghost revival that would make the so-called Great Awakening look like a drunken orgy.
I’m not kidding about this. I mean, if all the Christians disappeared without a trace, what other explanation could there possibly be other than a supernatural one? And if it could be shown that it was accurately predicted by the Bible, what other explanation than that the Bible is true?
So God, if you’re listening, here’s my advice: don’t put it off any longer. There are probably about 5 billion people who are going to hell unless you take drastic action. Send your boy down to get your people right now, and you can save maybe half of the heathen, maybe more.
But I’m not holding my breath.