Lately I’ve been hearing that even white evangelicals in the Midwest are beginning to accept that climate change is a reality. Disturbingly, many still don’t think we should try to do anything about it. In the past couple of years we’ve seen Donald Trump, the filthy-mouthed, thrice-married, adulterous darling of white evangelicals in the United States, take actions such as moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem and stirring up discord among the nations, all to the approval of his religious base. The reason for all this? Where the religious right is concerned, it involves the ‘End Times.’
The concept of the Rapture was fabricated within the past 200 years. Here’s the premillennial view, followed by the historic teaching of Christendom up until modern times:
The ‘Rapture’ teaching states that faithful Christians will be secretly taken away from the earth, after which there will be a 7 year period of violence and plagues during which billions will die. Following that Jesus will arrive and set the house in order for 1000 years, and then the devil will get about 3 more years before all the ‘just’ go to heaven.
Prior to that weirdly specific eschatology, the teaching was that Jesus would return to the sound of a trumpet and all the earth would be judged. Afterwards God would reign forever over New Heavens and New Earth.
The latter view encourages people to live well, seek justice, and also share their faith. The former bends people and politics in ways that cause them to dismiss ‘short-term’ concerns like the environment and peace between nations in favor of war and oppression to instigate the end times.
The path the Religious Right is taking us down through Trump causes hardship and brings death, but ultimately no redemption because it’s based on recent and very unhealthy fiction.