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  1. Rise Of The Righteous Army - CBS News
  2. God is in the Retails
  3. Religion, Technology, and Flight from the Flesh
  4. American Rapture

It's thus no coincidence that the most renown and hilariously shitty Rapture film of all time was titled Thief in the Night , a callback to a verse from 1 Thessalonians about when the "day of the Lord" would come. Nobody seems to know why exactly Young Thug deployed the iconic phrase as a name for one his best songs of Every sin—or even every imagined sin, due to that clause in Matthew about how thinking about fucking someone equalling adultery—must be immediately and sincerely atoned for. This can cause significant levels of psychological trauma.

Rise Of The Righteous Army - CBS News

For instance, I used to have a strict Rapture-insurance policy of an hour-or-so of worshipping and pleading forgiveness after looking at porn. Sutton says the Rapture was actually a relatively minority view until after World War II, when Billy Graham started his insensitively named Crusades in Sutton explains: "The Rapture offers hope to people and says: One, they know what's going on and why it's happening; and two, they're going to escape, they're not going to go through the Tribulation, they're going to be the ones who are ultimately going to have the last laugh and be safe with Christ while the rest of us implode and end up in this nuclear apocalyptic chaos.

By the early s, many theologians and religious leaders had started downplaying the Rapture because they'd realized that World War II hadn't concluded in armageddon as anticipated—evangelicals have quite the propensity for subpar forecasting—which Sutton says "opened the door for people to step in and create these much more popularized, much less theologically sophisticated arguments for the Rapture.

Jenkins between and In addition to the regular series, the dynamic duo authored 40 young adult books with very chill, kid-friendly names like Horsemen of Terror and The Rise of False Messiahs.

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There was also a corresponding PC real-time strategy game, Left Behind: Eternal Forces , which was so controversial due to the need to either convert or kill non-believers that it was pulled from US Department of Defence care bundles that were being sent to soldiers who were actually killing people in Iraq the developer also threatened to sue websites for giving the game shitty reviews.

You can still download the game for free here , thank god. Over to you, Waypoint. I once screened the original straight-to-DVD film for my incredibly nice uncle and watched him become visibly incensed as he quickly realized what was actually going on with the plot of the movie. For the first half-hour or so, it appears to just be a shitty but innocuous thriller about the attempted invasion of Israel and a bunch of people randomly disappearing, but is actually a brutally reductive gospel tract that positioned a ragtag crew of post-Rapture believers who dubbed themselves the "Tribulation Force" against the literal Antichrist who, of course, was the former head of the UN.

In effect, Left Behind was the series that introduced an entire generation of younger believers to the Rapture. We ate that shit up, treating it like the Talmud to our Torah. Frykholm says in an interview with VICE that many readers she's interviewed over the years described a highly "absorbed reading" of Left Behind that resulted in a very blurred line between fact and fiction, with people effectively expecting the events being recounted in the novel to soon appear on television. For while the Rapture has always served an important role in Christianity whenever believers feel they're a threatened outside group—increased reproductive rights, more immigrants, Satanists threatening to erect a statue of Baphomet the Sabbatic Goat next to the Ten Commandments on Oklahoma State Capitol grounds—Left Behind represented a uniquely militant interpretation.

That had real-world impacts. This kind of culture war greatly appealed to my sensibilities that, until then, had only found an outlet by posting homophobic and drug addict-shaming memes on my Nexopia page, which happened to be named after a song by my favourite Christian rock band the lead singer of which serves in the US Reserves.

Within days, I'd filled out an application and was on the phone with a recruiter at Teen Mania Ministries, the actual name of the organization that ran the program. We ended each phone session with a lengthy prayer. There were rumours of military-style endurance runs, literal marriage ceremonies with Jesus and even more protests against reproductive rights.

I wanted it all.

The end was coming, Christ was to return and I wanted to be seen fighting the good fight. I didn't end signing up, only realizing after a bit of cursory research that the institution was probably a cult. Thank fuck. But that didn't stop me from spending the next half-decade of my life immersed in ghoulish evangelism of some sort or another. He is dressed in a robe that is dipped in blood and his name is the word of God.

This is the moment the Rapturists eagerly await. The magnitude of death and destruction will make the Holocaust seem trivial. The battle finally begins. Those who remain on earth are the unsaved, the left behind—many of them dissolute followers of the Antichrist, who is massing his army against Christ. Accompanying Christ into battle are the armies of heaven, riding white horses and dressed in fine linen.

God is in the Retails

Frazier points out that Christ does not need high-tech weaponry for this conflict. Once Christ joins the battle, both the Antichrist and the False Prophet are quickly captured and cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. With its highly figurative language, Revelation is subject to profoundly differing interpretations.

As we walk down from the top of the hill of Megiddo, one of them looks out over the Jezreel Valley. In fact, one of them has especially strong ideas about when they will take place. If such views sound extraordinary, the people who hold them are decidedly not. For the most part, the people on the tour could pass for a random selection culled from almost any shopping mall in America.

There are warm and loving middle-aged couples who hold hands. There are young singles. One couple even chose this trip for their honeymoon. A big-haired platinum blonde with a white sequined cowboy hat adds a touch of Dallas glamour. And while their beliefs may seem astounding to secular Americans, they are not unusual. There are as many as 70 million Evangelicals in the U. Most of these churches are run by pastors who belong to conservative political organizations that make sure their flocks vote as a hard-right Republican bloc. A fascination with Revelation, the Rapture, and Christian Zionism has always been a potent, if often unseen, component of the American consciousness.

More than three centuries ago, Puritans from John Winthrop to Cotton Mather saw America as a millennial kingdom linked to both the apocalypse and ancient Israel in a divine way that prefigured the Second Coming of Christ.

Religion, Technology, and Flight from the Flesh

America was to be the New Jerusalem, the Redeemer Nation, a people blessed with divine guidance. On the Internet, raptureready. In the 60s, how you felt about the Beatles and Rolling Stones, marijuana and LSD, and civil rights and the Vietnam War told people whose side of American society you were on.

Bush are equally reliable gauges through which evangelical Christians today can distinguish friend from foe. The books represent the apotheosis of a culture that is waging war against liberals, gays, Muslims, Arabs, the U. As a result, political views drawn from an apocalyptic vision—once dismissed as extremist and delusional—have not merely swept mass culture but have shaped the political discourse all the way to Jerusalem and the White House. And if they are taken too seriously, the geopolitical consequences could be catastrophic. The city of Jerusalem has a profound significance in the traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

And to all three religions no place in Jerusalem is more full of apocalyptic and messianic meaning than the Temple Mount—the massive, ,square-meter platform, 32 meters high, built by King Herod as a base for the biggest and most grandiose religious monument in the world, the shining white stone Temple of the Jews.

To Jews, the Temple Mount marks the holy of holies, the sacred core of the Temple, where Jews worshipped for centuries. Beneath it, Orthodox Jews believe, is the foundation stone of the entire world. The Mount is the disputed piece of land over which Cain slew Abel. It is where Abraham took his son, Isaac, when God asked him to sacrifice the boy. And messianic Jews believe the Mount is where the Temple must be rebuilt for the coming Messiah.

American Rapture

To Christians, the Temple is where Jesus threw out the money changers. Its destruction by the Romans in 70 A.

But Moshe Dayan, the venerated Israeli defense minister who won the battle, soon voluntarily relinquished control of it to the Waqf, a Muslim administrative body. As a result, the Temple Mount is one of the most explosive tinderboxes on earth. A visit to the site in September by Ariel Sharon inflamed tensions that soon erupted into the second intifada. To evangelical Christians, the Mount is an elemental part of messianic theology, because a complete restoration of the nation of Israel, including the rebuilding of the Temple and the reclaiming of Judea and Samaria, is a prerequisite to the Second Coming of Christ.

Likewise, to Orthodox Jews, nothing is more important to their messianic vision than reclaiming the Temple Mount and rebuilding the Temple—yet no single event is more likely to provoke a catastrophe. No one knows this better than Yitshak Fhantich, an independent security, protection, and intelligence consultant who spent 28 years in Israeli intelligence, many as head of the Jewish Department of Shin Bet.