Religion & Philosophy

New theory says the End Times are really upon us

It started when our friend fikshun sent along an amusing item a few days ago. His job apparently requires him to spend inordinate amounts of time surfing the Web in search of trans-weird culturalisms, and somewhere along the line he found this:

Website Lets You Send a Post-Rapture E-Mail to Friends ‘Left Behind’

If millions of Christians suddenly disappear from the face of the Earth as the opening act for Armageddon, Threat Level thinks most nonbelievers will be too busy freaking the hell out to check their e-mail. But if they do log in, now they can be treated to some post-Rapture needling from their missing friends and loved ones, courtesy of web startup YouveBeenLeftBehind.com.

For just $40 a year, believers can arrange for up to 62 people to get a final message exactly six days after the Rapture, that day when — according to Christian end times dogma — Christians will be swept up to heaven, while doubters are left behind to suffer seven years of Tribulation under a global government headed by the Antichrist.

I couldn’t stop giggling. Not because the idea is funny, which it is, but because of a little theroy that I’ve been nursing on for a few years now. Mind you, I’m not in God’s inner circle, so I don’t know this. But there are reasons to suspect.

To wit: the Rapture has already happened. This would no doubt come as a surprise to those of you who buy the blather of the superchurch preacher (superpreacher?) on your local dial. He’d be gone, right? And we’d have noticed all those empty superchurch parking lots on Sunday morning.

Silly, silly people. My best guess is that the Rapture happened in 2001. If you think about it, this makes sense. I mean, things have kind of gone to Hell since then, haven’t they? Gas prices. Weak dollar. Eroding middle class. Daily assaults on civil liberties. American Idol.

But, but – everybody’s still here, you say. Here’s how I figure it.

1: The non-believers weren’t affected, obviously. Buddhists, Hindus, atheists, agnosticators, Catholics, pagans – they weren’t going anywhere. People like the rest of the team here at S&R? Please – most of them were ticketed on the Underworld Express by the late ’80s. So nothing here to tip you off.

2: What about the Jews? Well, when the trump sounded, God’s Chosen People® got one last chance to renounce two+ millennia of folly and accept Him as their Personal Lord & Savior. Or be left behind. Very few Jews were going to let themselves get bullied by something as tacky as bad bugling and the skies splitting open, though. I suspect a few caved and were taken up, and missing persons reports were duly filed. But so far nobody has put two and two together. The ones who stayed all agreed at their weekly Zionist Conspiracy meetings not to say anything for fear it would cut into their profits.

3: The true believers dramatically overestimated their worthiness for salvation. Here’s where it got a little sticky. You know that game you played as a kid where a couple dozen of you would sit in a line and somebody would whisper a secret in the ear of the first person? Then you’d pass the secret down the line? And by the time it got to the end “President Reagan likes his asparagus with a little salt and pepper” had somehow turned into “Ronald McDonald got arrested for participating in a threesome with JJ Walker and Terri Schiavo”? Right. Well that’s roughly the deal with Left Behinder theology. (Left Behinder sounds like a position you might play in a nude cricket match, doesn’t it? But I digress.) Jesus was big on stuff like community involvement – you know, feeding the poor, ministering to the sick, etc. – and really spent very little time flogging those who disagreed with Him. He spent even less time turning “thou shalt agree with me” into a religion – that was more of a Peter and Paul joint. I guess when it came time to activate the Divine Tractor Beam He could have made some allowances if He’d wanted to, but be honest. Say you’re The Supreme Lord of Everything. You can hang out with whoever you like, right? Would you invite the Left Behinders over to Your house for all eternity?

4: The real Christians ought to be gone, though. Right? There are a few missing person reports here, too, and the authorities are looking in all the wrong places. As it turns out, though, even the Christians who are more or less tracking with God’s will had a problem. Turns out, remaining silent while a pack of frothing jackals hijack your religion and commit every imaginable blasphemy in the name of the deity you allegedly worship disqualifies you from Rapturing.

But the Great Tribulation is only supposed to last seven years, you say. A couple problems there. First, the trip from Revelation to here involves a couple translation stops and more interpretation than you can shake a stick at. God doesn’t necessarily consider himself legally bound by bad guesses. Second, the people insisting on the seven year theory are the same crowd that looks at Genesis and explains that a day for the Lord was as a thousand years. Hey, if a day is a thousand years, seven years can be 15 years.

Any other complaints? The Beast? I’m not going to go here and this list of potential candidates strikes me as borderline frivolous. I’d keep an eye on Dick Cheney, though.

So there you have it – we could be in the midst of the Tribulation and not even know it.

This Sunday, make sure to ask your superpreacher about it and let me know what he says.

9 replies »

  1. If you weren’t well on your way already, I would personally attempt to damn you to Hell for using the word “rapture” as a verb, even in satire.

    And not the fun Hell, either.

  2. I think Bony was damned by the Fall the first time. One of these days, though, I’d love to hear about how Hell changed after Dante re-imagined it from someone who was supposedly around then.

  3. I muddled through the entire “Left Behind” series and found it to be extremely bad literature, and a very difficult read. The series is written on an 8th grade reading level, and there are many parts that don’t exactly jibe with the actual written word contained in the Book of Revelations However, it does very well with it’s target audience of rural, conservative christians. Authors Tim Lahaye and Jerry Jenkins found an audience, perfected a business model, wrote the series, and got rich in the proces. It amazes me that that some people are actually looking forward to the end times. The audience that reads this tripe is an audience that I prefer not to be included with in my brand of conservatism. I’m sure that y’all have certain subsets on the left that make you cringe……we’re not that far apart when you think about it.

    Jeff

  4. Hahahaha! That was damned funny. I’m pretty sure I’d be a Left Behinder (I’d rather be a right behindher, but I digress…). Actually, I think the Rapture has happened several times already. But when God saw who showed up, he kicked em all back out and said, “Aw, hell no. Let’s try this again!”

  5. Steve Martin used to a routine that was something along the lines off “All the smart people went into outer space in big spaceships and left all of the dumb people behind. First the smart people gave the dumb people drugs that removed those memories’.
    That’s the version I favour.
    Would emails still work if the godly were taken up?

  6. my son is at a camp learning about all kinds of creation stories. The parents have the book so we can follow along and talk with them later.. now this story begs the question.. what other ‘end of the day’ stories are out there as well? I wonder…
    good grief, anyone paying into that has to deserve what’s coming to them; losing money on nothing..idiots..
    Ingrid

  7. I like your hypothesis. So, for those of us not steeped in born again mythology, what would transpire after the seven years? Please tell me it’s something epic … a puppet show, perhaps? A Jimi Hendrix concert? Jesus, dancing with the Rockettes?

    And as usual, I can’t take credit for this link. I really do work for a living. I just seem to be at a nexus of randomness and filth.

  8. The Rapture has already happened — the perfect explanation.

    On the off-chance it didn’t happen yet, I’d like to sign up for this service. If we can get these emails notarized, we’ll finally have a definitive — and legal — answer to that question all us Left-Behinders want to ask those who’ve ascended: Can I have your car?

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