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Any day now…really! (The Rapture)

“The Rapture” is one of the most often used fear tactics used by Christian believers in order to scare unbelievers into repentance. You see, the way some people interpret the Bible there will be a point in time when Jesus calls up all the living and dead believers to heaven, they call this event the Rapture (The term itself does not appear in the Bible). Now, there are many different beliefs as to when this is supposed to happen, there are Pre-tribulation believers that believe that it will occur prior to the 7 year Tribulation prophesied in the Book of Daniel as well as post-trib and mid-trib and even more theories/beliefs that I can’t remember from my Christian days.

The problem with this whole “Rapture” deal is that it has supposed to have been coming soon…2000 years ago. In fact Jesus said that he would come back before some of the disciples died in Matthew 16: 27-28.  Clearly Jesus was either confused or wrong. So why is it, after all these years, people still trust that this man is God and is coming back to earth for them? Some people go so far as to predict the date or time frame of this glorious event:

  • This Site has gone so far as to predict that the actual rapture will occur this Fall of 2009(Just a few days ago they said it would happen today, Wednesday November 11th 2009 but they changed it earlier today). The site includes plenty of warnings to repent, lots of fear mongering here
  • Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins wrote the wildly popular Left Behind series of fiction books to explain how they believed eschatology would play out  in the near future, including the rapture where all the Christians disappear randomly leaving behind their neatly folded clothes – Kirk Cameron even starred in two movies based on the book series a few years ago.
  • Video’s have been passed around among the Tea Party elite (and other groups of fundamentalist/Republican half-wits) that claim to prove that President Barack Obama is the Anti-christ, which means that the rapture must be coming soon. Here’s one such video (don’t laugh too hard, people actually believe this stuff): Click for video.

It’s a sad reality, really, that people are living as if Jesus will show up in the clouds tomorrow especially after 2000 years of fruitless anticipation and preparation.  These types of claims should be met with the same skeptical eye as any other unsubstantiated claim and utterly rejected  in the likely event that they turn out to be just another control mechanism of faith.

One more thing…if the Rapture does happen, can you imagine how wonderful our world would be? All that superstition just floating away with Jesus in the clouds? I can’t wait!

False Piety and Prayer

“I’ll pray for you!”

We atheists hear that a lot. Whether it be in public or on the Internet, Christians often feel an overwhelming desire to declare there intention to pray for someone at any given opportunity. More often than not I believe that this is simply a display of piety and an attempt at letting those around know that they are “good god-fearing Christians”.

Let’s look at something the Bible has to say about prayer:

Matthew 6:6  KJV:  But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

Now, I know that in Acts 20:36 Paul knelt down with the body of believers and prayed quite openly,  but this is in the presence of other like minded believing people – when you are out in a public place I truly believe that the Bible commands you not to make a public show of your prayers – either by announcing your intention to do so or by making flagrant displays of prayer.


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Religion vs Relationship

Recently I put one of my infamous controversial Facebook statuses up that garnered a bit of a response. Some of the responses got me thinking about the subject matter of this post. Here is the status I put up that day:

I rejoice when others doubt the myth and misery of Christianity. I know the pain that pursuing the non-existent can cause a person and it makes me glad when someone escapes it!

I was inspired to put this up when I got to thinking about the rejoicing I would do when I was able to successfully share the “gospel” of Christ with someone and how glad that would make me. I remembered Luke 15:10 which states, “Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.” (KJV) and began thinking about all of the trouble, confusion, and pain that comes with living in the Christian faith.

One of the responses I received was from a local youth pastor of one of the larger Baptist churches in our small town. I’ve met this fellow before, but we really don’t know each other in any way beyond that of a passing acquaintance, he is good at what he does and has always come off as a very nice guy so I am in no way attempting to start beef with him – this is just something I have heard before that I wanted to take the opportunity to address for the edification of my Atheist and Christian friends. Here is what he said:

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Angry At God?

AngryI and many of my Atheist cohorts have been accused over and over of being “Angry at God”. Ray Comfort even recently used our supposed hatred as evidence that we each know that God exists intuitively….seriously, read it here. Since this is occurring with some frequency right now I feel the need to try to deal with the assertion as effectively as possible. The initial reaction of most Atheists is that the assertion is silly, “How can I be mad at a God that does not exist”. I, of course, agree entirely with this but the fact does remain that myself and many of my peers are mad at something…It just isn’t quite what Ray Comfort and other Christians may think.

God the being does not exist, I think I have made that understanding abundantly clear here, however God does exist in another way. God is an idea, a concept, and an institution – three intangible things in one, the true Holy Trinity. These things make me angry, these are the things at which my aggression is truly directed. I am mad at God  because the idea of God makes me sick, the concept of his requirements for man are intolerable, and the institutions that represent him are dangerous.

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Atheistic Evangelism

atheismLet’s face it, the New Atheism is a major movement now. We have our prophets telling people to “come out” of our Atheistic closets, Atheist conventions happening, and even Atheist Apologists defending the science of evolution against the fantastic ideas of “Creation Science”. We have gone from an unheard minority to a powerful force in the world and our numbers are growing. Only time will tell what our movement may  become, but one thing is for certain, we are here to stay.

I come  from an evangelical Christian background where my main goal in life other than “seeking gods face” was to “lead people to Jesus” . Maybe this is just me, but for some odd reason, I feel just as urged to spread the “gospel” of Atheism as I did to spread the “godspell” of Christ. I can’t fully explain it, but I imagine it comes from my desire to see people freed from the bonds of religious servitude, indoctrination, and guilt…I feel free and I want others to feel free. I suspect many of my peers feel much the same way, which explains at least in part why there are so many Atheist bloggers popping up and so many Atheists joining religious discussion forums and talking about religion so openly (Some trolling and others trying to be productive members of the forums).  Even if they don’t admit it, my Atheist peers want to leave their mark on this world in an attempt to improve it to the best of our ability, seeing as how we only have one life and no eternal life to look forward to we often attempt to make the most of what we do have rather than hoping for something after we die.

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Debate & Discussion: Heresy

Crazy Eye Crowley

My ole budy Guy Vestal over at HeresyToday.org has decided to start an old fashioned mailing list for Religious discussion. I am going to be helping him moderate it and we want people from every religious background to join up…so please…do so…it should be lot’s of fun!

To join just go HERE and fill out the info. We are looking for anyone from any background…Wiccans, Christians, Zebras, Atheists, Theosophists, Raelians, etc etc etc…

Religulous

religulous1Bill Maher’s Religulous recently came out on DVD, I rushed to get it as soon as it came out just in case one of our freedom loving local fundies decided to buy them all out so no one would be exposed to it’s deceptions (please read into this a ton of sarcasm). I wanted to see it in theaters but I couldn’t find a theater with the balls to show it within 100 miles and for some reason the Torrent sites were empty until just recently.

The film was good, I think my favorite part was when Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) stated (in response to a question about the talking snake in Eden) “You don’t have to pass an IQ test to be in the US Senate”.  The look on Maher’s face, and the corresponding look on Pryor’s face was priceless…silence was the only necessary response. Probably the most honest thing any politician outside of Ron Paul has said in a very long time.

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Talk of the town

mban605lI think I have dealt with this before on this blog, but things seem to have escalated around here at my small Georgia town. My wife and I seem to increasingly be the subject of random conversation with people that we don’t even really know.

To be completely honest, one of the things that prompted me to start RagingRev and move my blog from Livejournal was that the rumor mill was running wild around these parts. My former Pastor approached me at the gas station one day telling me that he heard I was in to “Satanism” and things like that, at the time I wasn’t entirely comfortable with the title of Atheist but once I settled into those shoes I felt the need to dispell some of the ludicrous things that were being falsely derived from my Livejournal at the time. Quite simply put, someone (I don’t know whom) read a few of my entries wherein I express an interest in the Occult, and decided that I must be a Satanist…how silly!

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Morality and God

Are morality and god interdependent?

In other words, can morals exist outside of the spectrum of theism?

Or, in other other words, is god the originator and defining substance behind morality?

Recently myself and the Rev. Russ Troester had another long chat, this time we touched on the subject of belief in god essentially being the basis for morality (forgive me if I am putting words in your mouth Russ, this is the understanding I have). Since we often talk during the end of my work day I had to cut the conversation off kind of abruptly (always when it starts getting good eh?) in order to drive home.

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Extimony Rebuttal

A friend of mine responded to my Extimony via Myspace mail…First will be his post, then mine follows

From: David
Date: Aug 22, 2008 12:27 PM


Thanks. You really put a lot of thought into that and I enjoyed the insight. Moreover, I applaud your objectivity, but I’m a little thrown by the way one of the biggest beefs with God you mentioned is allowing humans to doubt. IMHO, Doubt is purely an emotional state of mind influenced by logic.

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