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The charming visage above is that of one John Nelson Darby, the Anglo-Irish preacher who discovered hidden in the Bible (that is, invented out of thin air and fairy farts) the doctrine of the Secret Rapture.

 For those unfamiliar, this is the doctrine espoused by many Protestants that states Our Lord will return to Earth shortly before the rise of the Anti-Christ and rescue all the good (read “saved”) Christians from the seven-year butt whooping the rest of the Human Race is about to receive, both at the hands of the Anti-Christ and, in the last days, at the hands of God himself.

This is the same doctrine espoused by a very nice, though condescending man, from the Bible Baptist Church, with whom I lately had a discussion.  What follows are the best parts:

He: If you were to die right now, are you sure you would go to heaven?

I: Well, thankfully I just went to Confession yesterday, so, yes.

:

He: There is to be a Rapture.

I: Not according to the Bible.

He: It’s in the Bible.

I: It is a doctrine contrived by a preacher in the 19th century to explain his own interpretation of the Bible.  It has nothing to do with the Bible or 1800 years of exegesis.

He: Well, it says here in Paul (passage saying the dead shall be raised.)

I:  But what about the Seven years, or the Thousand Years?  Or before or after the final judgement?  Where is that in Paul?

He: It isn’t, it’s in Revelations.

I: What does one have to do with the other? 

:

I: Did Christ found a church?

He: Yes.  But it backslid and was destroyed 70 years later.

I: Seventy years?  Why would I worship a god whose church only lasts 70 years?  Zippo has a better guarantee than that on its lighters.  I should rather worship Zippo than your god.

:

I: There is to be a literal thousand years?

He: Yes.

I: But not a literal Body and Blood of Christ.

He: No, that’s absurd.  You can’t eat Jesus’ toe or finger.

I: I think it is no less absurd that your contention that mankind will live in mortal, decaying bodies for 1000 years, than live on earth forevermore afterwards.  The Catholic belief in the Real Presence is no more physically impossible than your belief in the eternity of matter.  It is science-all matter is energy, and all energy is moving toward entropy.  To preserve it forever would take a miracle.  Just like making the substance of bread into Christ would take a miracle.

:

[This last one’s a hoot.]

He: Did you know that Cortes murdered thousands of Indians in Mexico because they wouldn’t convert to Catholic [sic]?

I:  Did you know that the Calvinists cut the throats of every Catholic man, woman, and child they could get their hands on in converting Zurich?  I would ask that, if we keep talking about this, we not blame one another’s religion for the accidents of civil history . .  .

He: I’m not talking about religion, I’m talking about Christ.  See, I am not a religious man . . .

I:  That’s it!  We cease talking!  You have confounded me with the English language!  Your novelty is unbound! Good night, sir! 

Thanks, Darby, for giving comfort to so many, that they may avoid the sufferings due Christians (as imitators of thier Lord and Savior) and have the assurance that they will feast in hevean while God abandons, then plays out the foretaste of Hell, on earth.

WAC

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