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The Not So Secret Rapture ^ | W. Fred Rice

Posted on 01/14/2011 5:57:52 PM PST by topcat54

Evangelical book catalogs promote books such as Planet Earth: The Final Chapter, The Great Escape, and the Left Behind series. Bumper stickers warn us that the vehicle’s occupants may disappear at any moment. It is clear that there is a preoccupation with the idea of a secret rapture. Perhaps this has become more pronounced recently due to the expectation of a new millennium and the fears regarding potential Y2K problems. Perhaps psychologically people are especially receptive to the idea of an imminent, secret rapture at the present time. Additionally, many Christians are not aware that any other position relative to the second coming of Jesus Christ exists. Even in Reformed circles there are numerous people reading these books. Many of these people are unaware that this viewpoint conflicts with Scripture and Reformed Theology.

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TOPICS: Theology
KEYWORDS: crusades; endtimes; eschatology; rapture
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
Does that make sense to you? I doesn't to the rest of us.

That is quite probably correct.

2,181 posted on 01/30/2011 6:03:17 PM PST by MarkBsnr (I would not believe in the Gospel if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so..)
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Comment #2,182 Removed by Moderator

To: editor-surveyor
. Hard to call latin anything other than the official language of all who would negate the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (Lieyers, occultists, Illuminists)

In that case what would you call Greek?

2,183 posted on 01/30/2011 6:20:22 PM PST by MarkBsnr (I would not believe in the Gospel if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so..)
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To: MarkBsnr

>> “In that case what would you call Greek?” <<

The modern expression of the language of the classical period. Greek is not an evil language, like Latin.

2,184 posted on 01/30/2011 6:24:43 PM PST by editor-surveyor (NOBAMA - 2012)
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To: editor-surveyor
. The modern expression of the language of the classical period. Greek is not an evil language, like Latin.

And what makes Latin evil?

2,185 posted on 01/30/2011 6:27:56 PM PST by MarkBsnr (I would not believe in the Gospel if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so..)
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To: betty boop; James C. Bennett; HarleyD; Dr. Eckleburg; MarkBsnr; YHAOS; metmom; Cronos; caww
But your last statement is a total non sequitur, kosta...

Hardly, betty boop. I asked you who determines if you should believe, God or man, and you answered "I do" (i.e. humans). That doesn't describe an almighty, sovereign God, but a God who depends omn human decisions. In other words, base don what you say, God is simply a provider, but you are the decider.

I will give you another chance to pull yourself our of this hole and save your face. Assuming you didn't understand my question or misspoke in haste, let me rephrase it: whose will is it that you believe, yours or God's?

2,186 posted on 01/30/2011 6:45:58 PM PST by kosta50 (Pagan prayer to Mithra: "give me over to immortal birth so that I may be born again")
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To: HarleyD; betty boop; James C. Bennett
Amen. Everyone who is called freely come to Christ

Talk about non-sequitur! And not to mention not knowing your scriptures Harley, "for many be called, but few chosen." [Mat. 20:16, KJV]*

*Of course, this appears only in other versions God didn't write that in/s!

2,187 posted on 01/30/2011 6:57:06 PM PST by kosta50 (Pagan prayer to Mithra: "give me over to immortal birth so that I may be born again")
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
"All of them witches."

Actually, we think of them as harpies...

2,188 posted on 01/30/2011 7:06:04 PM PST by MarkBsnr (I would not believe in the Gospel if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so..)
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To: spirited irish; betty boop; James C. Bennett; Alamo-Girl; xzins; HarleyD; Dr. Eckleburg; ...
Spirited: The great apocalyptic prophet Fyodor Dostoevsky observed that free will ultimately exists for just one purpose: to either accept or reject salvation by Jesus Christ

Which is another way of saying it is up to you to be saved or lost, i..e man decides his own slavation/ perdition, not God. Dostoyevsky's view basically makes God a provider and man the ultimate decider.

This also flies in the face of Matthew 20:16 which reads "for many be called, but few chosen." [KJV, Douay-Rheims, Russian (1876) Synodal Edition]*

*Do you believe God wrote that? It doesn't appear in other God's verisons of the Bible, such as NAB, NIV, ASV, etc!)

2,189 posted on 01/30/2011 7:26:40 PM PST by kosta50 (Pagan prayer to Mithra: "give me over to immortal birth so that I may be born again")
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To: metmom; MarkBsnr; HarleyD; Alamo-Girl; betty boop; 1000 silverlings; Alex Murphy; bkaycee; ...

Therefore, all the doctrines that the Catholic church appeals to Scripture for authority of, like the papacy, and apostolic succession, the institution of the priesthood, their ability to forgive sins, etc, are all built on unreliable documents (by your argument) and therefore are no more certain that that.”

I have not been following this but saw your post, and would like to say that the charge that the manuscripts, at least originally, are not reliable has not been the historical position of Rome, though it relegates Scripture to a secondary status of authority at best, but in recent times those who impugn the integrity of the Bible have largely predominated Roman Catholic scholarship, regarding which i provide the following overview (sorry for the bold type in some paragraphs; i cannot find why right now).

there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was divided.” (Acts 23:7)

There has been and is an ongoing divisive battle within Roman Catholicism over Bible interpretation. Very little of the Bible has been infallibly defined as the infallibility of dogmatic definitions is held to refer to the definition itself and not the arguments upon which a definitive decision may be based. The NCE explains, “The merely argumentative and justificatory statements embodied in definitive judgments, however true and authoritative they may be, are not covered by the guarantee of infallibility.” Ott states that “the infallibility of the Papal doctrinal decision extends only to the dogma as such and not to the reasons given as leading up to the dogma.” (Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, ed. James Canon Bastible (Rockford: Tan Books and Publishers, Inc., reprinted 1974), p. 200.)

The Catholic Encyclopedia further explains that, “The Catholic commentator is bound to adhere to the interpretation of texts which the Church has defined either expressly or implicitly. The number of these texts is small, so that the commentator can easily avoid any transgression of this principle. Many more Scripture texts are indirectly defined by the definition of certain doctrines and the condemnation of certain errors. (Biblical Exegesis,

While the teachings of Rome certainly restrict Bible interpretation from being contrary to Roman Catholic doctrine, the Roman Catholic commentator and apologist has much liberty to use Scripture to support Catholic doctrine, as well as in interpreting areas not officially defined. Roman Catholic apologist Jimmy Akin states that “The liberty of the Scripture interpreter remains extensive. Taking due consideration of the factors that influence proper exegesis, the Catholic Bible interpreter has the liberty to adopt any interpretation of a passage that is not excluded with certainty by other passages of Scripture, by the judgment of the magisterium, by the Church Fathers, or by the analogy of faith. That is a great deal of liberty, as only a few interpretations will be excluded with certainty by any of the four factors circumscribing the interpreter’s liberty.” (emphasis mine) Of course, “excluded with certainty” is a judgment call. (

Catholic Answers opines that “only seven passages of Scripture have had their senses partially (not fully) defined by the extraordinary magisterium. These definitions were made by the Council of Trent…” (

Also, while implicit trust* (“assent of faith”) is required for official teachings of the assuredly infallible magisterium (AIM) of Rome (which does not claim to understand all things), and she has in the past (Pope Alexander IV (1254-1261) in “Sextus Decretalium”, Lib. V, c.) normally excluded lay persons from engaging in dispute, either private or public, concerning the Catholic Faith,” and discourages “her children to read or to listen to heretical controversy, or to endeavor to discover religious truths by examining both sides of the question," as “there can be no two sides to a question which for him is settled,” (John H. Stapleton, Explanation of Catholic Morals, Chapter xxiii, 1904), as it is stated the Catholic is “sure of a truth when declared by the Catholic Church as he would be if he saw Jesus Christ standing before him and heard Him declaring it with His Own Divine lips,” (Henry G. Graham, "What Faith Really Means,"1914) yet Catholics are allowed varying degrees of dissent in non-infallible teachings of the Ordinary and General magisteriums.

Thus, the condemnation of “private interpretation” (erroneously derived from 2Pt. 1:20) does not prevent one from having much liberty in employing verses to support RC doctrine, but only forbids one from interpreting it contrary to official Roman Catholic doctrine.

Furthermore, even official definitions (the infallibility of which is understood to mean more than exemption from actual error, but even exemption from the possibility of error) are open to some interpretation. As expressed by authorities such as Cardinal Dulles,

Every papal or conciliar definition or condemnation leaves a certain margin for interpretation, so that private judgment has to complete what public pronouncements left unstated... Once a thesis or treatise is censured, "theologians employ themselves in determining what precisely it is that is condemned in that thesis or treatise; and doubtless in most cases they do so with success, but that demonstration is not de fide." (Avery Cardinal Dulles, SJ, Magisterium: Teacher and Guardian of the Faith, Professor at Fordham University and Professor Emeritus at The Catholic University of America, [Sapientia Press: Naples, FL, 2007], 42-43)

A well known examples of ex cathedra statement that has required interpretation would be that of the Unam Sanctam of Pope Boniface VIII (1302), requiring submission by every human creature to the Roman Pontiff for salvation, but teachings after Vatican Two affirm salvation can be found “outside its visible confines,” for those "who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized” “are united with Christ.” (;

How many statements of all that has been taught is open to interpretation, as there is disagreement over how many infallible papal statements have been made, from 20 or less to many more.

How much is open to some interpretation is another issue, and while certain theologians such as Hans Kung have been disciplined (after much long-suffering) for going too far, this is rare.

In addition, while basic conformity of Catholic teaching is normally assured by the Nihil Obstat (Latin phrase meaning that 'nothing stands in the way”) and Imprimatur (from Latin, “let it be printed”) for publications dealing with faith and morals such as will be used as textbooks, or fore public prayer, Roman Catholics have complained that this has not prevented some “stamped” publications with doctrinal error from being printed, while Roman Catholic literature abounds that have not this stamp of approval.

All of this relates to a matter that is of particular concern to conservative Catholics, which is the predominantly liberal Roman Catholic Biblical scholarship since Vatican Two (1962-65). That council “had been summoned by Pope John XXIII not to create new dogmas but to update the pastoral procedures of the Church, to remove anomalies and the unnecessary accretions of many centuries, and to restore the image of the Church in the eyes of the world.” (Bernard Orchard, O.S.B.

The predominate issues in regard to Biblical scholarship were and are inerrrancy and interpretive methodology. The first conflict is whether the “for the sake of our salvation” statement in the papal encyclical Dei Verbum “the books of Scripture firmly, faithfully, and without error teach that truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the Sacred Scriptures." (Vatican II DV 11) refers to all of Scripture or only those which are directly salvific in nature.

Akins explains that “Basically, there was a huge, behind-the-scenes fight at Vatican II about plenary inerrancy. The traditional Catholic teaching--which prior popes had said was infallible--is that Scripture has unrestricted inerrancy. That is to say, any time Scripture makes a factual assertion then, properly understood, it's guaranteed to be true...the present wording of Dei Verbum was worked out, and assurances were given that the formulation--which was still not entirely satisfactory--was not to be understood as excluding the unrestricted inerrancy of Scripture. But there were problems: While the final formula didn't exclude the unrestricted inerrancy of Scripture, it didn't mandate it, either. The formula could be read more than one way, with the clause about our salvation either serving to explain the purpose for which God put his truth in Scripture or limiting the scope of the truth which God inerrantly put in Scripture. (

The related and second aspect is that how the the historical-critical method of interpretation is to be used, with liberals adopting the JEDP theory, which denies Moses overall authorship of the Pentateuch, despite the Scriptural testimony, (Ex. 24:4,27; Lv. 1:1; 7:37-38; 8:36; 10:11; 14:1-2; 26:46; 27:34; Num. 4:37,45,49; 9:23; 33:2; Dt. 31:9,22; Josh. 8:32; 14:2; 20:2; 21:2,8; 22:9; 23:6; Jdg. 3:4; 1Ki. 2:3; 8:53,56; 2Ki. 14:6; 2Chr. 23:18; 33:8; Neh. 9:14; Mk.7:10; 10:3–5; 12:19,26; Lk. 5:14; 16:29–31; 20:28; 24:27, 44; Jn. 5:45–47; 7:19, 23; Acts 3:22; Rm. 10:5) and which authorship the Pontifical Biblical Commission in 1906 recognized, but which, along with the authors of the individual Gospels being truly those named by Tradition, Ratzinger seemd to allow room for discussion. (;

It is not my intent to examine this extensively, suffice to say that as a result of this controversy, Bible interpretation within Roman Catholicism can range from those who deny Old Testament stories of conquests and miracles as being actual historical events to those who presently hold to geocentrism. This degree of disparate understandings has led some evangelical apologists to contend that, at least to some degree, “The Catholic apologist must use his own private interpretation to determine what the meaning of Roman Catholic teaching is. The conservative and liberal Roman Catholic can read the same document and come to two differing opinions.”

However, the conservatives clearly have history on their side in contending against certain aspects of liberal scholarship, the weight of which partly depending on whether any degree of dissent is allowed to papal encyclicals, and Humani Generis (20) requires general submission to them. Regarding Genesis, Pope Leo XIII Arcanum Divinae Sapientiae stated, "We record what is to all known, and cannot be doubted by any, that God, on the sixth day of creation, having made man from the slime of the earth, and having breathed into his face the breath of life, gave him a companion, whom He miraculously took from the side of Adam when he was locked in sleep.


Perhaps the most notable example of the modern liberal interpretive school is seen in the officially approved commentary in the New American Bible (NAB), the official Bible of the U.S. Conference of Bishops (who own the copyright) and for Catholics in America. EWTN says, “There is only one English text currently approved by the Church for use in the United States. This text is the one contained in the Lectionaries approved for Sundays & Feasts and for Weekdays by the USCCB and recognized by the Holy See. These Lectionaries have their American and Roman approval documents in the front. The text is that of the New American Bible with revised Psalms and New Testament (1988, 1991), with some changes mandated by the Holy See where the NAB text used so-called vertical inclusive language (e.g. avoiding male pronouns for God). Since these Lectionaries have been fully promulgated, the permission to use the Jerusalem Bible and the RSV-Catholic at Mass has been withdrawn.”

Note: while the U.S. Conference of Bishops support liberal scholarship, they are not as regards sharing their translation, forbidding any part of the NAB to be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner. “ However, in America the “Fair Use” provision clearly allows the degree of purpose of what follows

Conservative Catholics themselves have criticized the NAB for many things, including numerous historical accounts in the Bible to being fables or folk tales, among other denials, including that of texts used by some to support Roman Catholic teaching, and the translation's use of gender inclusive language while not distinguishing sexual sin from general immorality.

I myself first became aware of the basic liberal bent in the NAB when reading the notes in the NAB, St. Joseph’s medium size, Catholic publishing co., copyright 1970, which states that "The Bible is God’s word and man’s word. One must understand man’s word first in order to understand the word of God." ("A Library of Books," p. 19)

It goes on to “explain”, under “Literary Genres” (p. 19) that such stories as Gn. cps. 2, (creation) 3, (the Fall) 4:1-16 (Cain and Able); 6-8, (Noah and the flood) 11 (Tower of Babel) were allegorical, and that Balaam and the donkey and the angel, were fables, while Gn. 37-50 (Joseph), 12-36 (Abraham, Issaac, Jacob), Exodus, Judges 13-16 (Samson) 1Sam. 17 (David and Goliath) are stories which are "historical at their core," while overall the author simply used "traditions" to teach a religious lesson

All of which impugns the literal historicity of the O.T. overall, even though Jesus referred to many of these and other such stories as actual historical events (Adam and Eve: Mt. 19:4; Abraham, Issac Exodus and Moses: Acts 7; Rm. 4; Heb. 11; Jonah and the fish: Mt. 12:39-41; Balaam and the donkey: 2Pt. 2:15; Jude. 1:1; Rev. 2:14)

In explaining away the Bible's attribution of Divine sanction to wars of conquest, it states,

"Think of the ‘holy wars’ of total destruction, fought by the Hebrews when they invaded Palestine. The search for meaning in those wars centuries later was inspired, but the conclusions which attributed all those atrocities to the command of God were imperfect and provisional." ("Inspiration and Revelation," p. 18)

Regarding the Gospels, it only allows that the slaughter of the innocents by King Herod, was “extremely probable,” and that people leaving Bethlehem to escape the massacre, is equally probable, but outside the historical background to this tradition, the rest is interpretation.

Its “Conditioned thought patterns” (p. 20) hermeneutic also paves the way for the specious argumentation of feminists who seek to negate the headship of the man as being due to condescension to culture, a very dangerous hermeneutic, and unwarranted when dealing with such texts as 1Cor. 11:3.

It additionally conveys such things as that Matthew placed Jesus in Egypt to convince his readers that Jesus was the real Israel, and may have only represented Jesus giving the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew, to show that Jesus was like Moses who received the law on Mount Sinai. For in "Reading the Gospels, one should distinguish historical facts from theological elaboration." ("The Gospels," e. p. 22)

It further states,

The Church was so firmly convinced that the risen Lord who is the Jesus of history lived in her, and taught through her, that she expressed her teaching in the form of Jesus’ sayings. The words are not Jesus but from the Church.”

Can we discover at least some words of Jesus that have escaped such elaboration? Bible scholars point to the very short sayings of Jesus, as for example those put together by Matthew in chapter 5, 1-12”

It also explains,

You may hear interpreters of the Bible who are literalists or fundamentalists. They explain the Bible according to the letter: Eve really ate from the apple and Jonah was miraculously kept alive in the belly of the whale. Then there are ultra-liberal scholars who qualify the whole Bible as another book of fairly tales. Catholic Bible scholars follow the sound middle of the road.

The NAB has gone through more than one revision, some of the following is taken from a Roman Catholic apologist who quotes form the 1992 version and is likewise is critical at the liberal scholarship behind it (though he elsewhere denigrated Israel as illegal occupying Palestine) .

The footnotes regarding the parting of the Red Sea informs its readers that it didn’t actually happen. Rather, the Israelites crossed over the Sea of Reeds which was “ probably a body of shallow water somewhat to the north of the present deep Red Sea.” Thus rendered, the miracle would being Pharaoh’s army drowning in shallow waters.

It likewise explains as regards to “the sons of heaven [God] having intercourse with the daughters of men,” (Gen. 6:4) “This is apparently a fragment of an old legend that had borrowed much from ancient mythology.” The NAB footnotes go on to explain the “sons of heaven” are “the celestial beings of mythology.”

The current edition will not use render “porneia” as “sexual immorality” or anything sexual in places such as 1Cor. 5:1; 6:13; 7:2; 10:8; 2Cor. 12:21; Eph. 5:3; Gal. 5:19; Col. 3:5; 1Thes. 4:3; but simply has “immorality,” even though in most cases it is in a sexual context.

It is a slippery slope when historical statements are made out to be literary devices, and Muslims have taken advantage of the NAB's liberal hermeneutic to impugn the veracity of the Bible,

One of the changes i have noted between the 1970 NAB and the online version of today, is that the former has “justice” (which perhaps the social gospel Catholics preferred) over righteousness in such places as Rom 4:5,6, and that David “celebrates” the man..., while the online NAB has “But when one does not work, yet believes in the one who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness. So also David declares the blessedness of the person to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:”

On the other hand there are Catholics who only sanction the Douay-Rheims Bible, yet a Roman Catholic apologist criticizes them.


*In the past the cathodic church had excluded (open to interpretation) lay persons from normally engaging “in dispute, either private or public, concerning the Catholic Faith,” (Pope Alexander IV (1254-1261) in “Sextus Decretalium”, Lib. V, c.) or publicly making 'a speech or teach, thus investing himself with the dignity of a teacher,” (Quinisext Ecumenical Council, Canon 64) and her attitude has been said to “forbid her children to read or to listen to heretical controversy, or to endeavor to discover religious truths by examining both sides of the question," as “there can be no two sides to a question which for him is settled,” (John H. Stapleton, Explanation of Catholic Morals, Chapter xxiii, 1904), for it is stated that the Catholic is “sure of a truth when declared by the Catholic Church as he would be if he saw Jesus Christ standing before him and heard Him declaring it with His Own Divine lips,” (Henry G. Graham, "What Faith Really Means,"1914)

**"The signature of a bishop in your Bible assures you that opinions, expressed in footnotes and introductions, reflect what is generally accepted as sound doctrine in the Catholic tradition." NAB published by the Catholic Book Publishing Co., New York, 1986. Nihil Obstat, with the Imprimatur from the Archbishop of Washington:

2,190 posted on 01/30/2011 7:53:43 PM PST by daniel1212 ( "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out," Acts 3:19)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg; MarkBsnr; Cronos

You may have MarkBsnr mixed up with Cronos. MarkBsnr has not had any unattributed posts pulled.

2,191 posted on 01/30/2011 7:56:09 PM PST by Religion Moderator
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To: daniel1212

Thank you for all the work on that.

(Citations noted)

2,192 posted on 01/30/2011 8:08:02 PM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
You know

Reading the mind of another Freeper is a form of making it personal.

Discuss the issues all you want, but do not make it personal.

2,193 posted on 01/30/2011 8:11:37 PM PST by Religion Moderator
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To: Cronos; caww

Yeah, well, the thing about that reincarnation stuff that no one has been able to answer yet is: if there is no personal god, and all things go on and “karma” determines who goes on to the higher planes, then WHO IS KEEPING SCORE???

2,194 posted on 01/30/2011 8:45:58 PM PST by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to him.)
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To: boatbums

Spoil sport.....

2,195 posted on 01/30/2011 8:48:28 PM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: MarkBsnr; Quix
Scripture does not show God predestining anyone to damnation. God desires all to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Tim. 2:3-4).

This truth is acknowledged by all Orthodox, Copts, Catholics, Armenians, Assyrians, Lutherans,Anglicans, Methodists, Pentecostals.

only the followers of Calvin have the unscriptural view denying that the love of God is there for all sinners. No one goes to hell because God pre-damns him.

The ones who do, resist the Holy Spirit's work: Act 13:46; 7:51; Matt. 23:37
2,196 posted on 01/30/2011 9:42:48 PM PST by Cronos
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To: metmom
Thank you so much for sharing your insights, dear sister in Christ!
2,197 posted on 01/30/2011 9:51:01 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: kosta50

Yes, there are many religions claiming their own truth is “THE” truth...and believe they have it. So someones wrong...they cannot all be right..... Thus people do search to discover where the truth truly is. (I don’t include Islam in that as they do not have that option.)

It is difficult for those who are not Christian to understand as much as it is for Christians to explain why they have determined Christianity answers it all.

But in Christianity ‘we have Christ within us’....not out there somewhere beyond the blue. And that’s the major difference between Christianity and other religions.

Muhammed is dead....Joseph Smith is dead....etc. etc. We have a risen savior. ..... All which He said He would do He did....all which He says He is HE is.....and all which He says He will do you can, with certainty, know that He will do in the future.

It really is quite simple when you get right down to an encounter with Christ...and when it is each individuals time...they know it.

2,198 posted on 01/30/2011 9:52:38 PM PST by caww
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To: betty boop
Actions speak louder than words.

Indeed, sometimes actions speak so loudly, I can't hear a word they're saying.

2,199 posted on 01/30/2011 9:54:37 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: betty boop
Thank you so much for your great analysis and insights, dearest sister in Christ!
2,200 posted on 01/30/2011 9:57:04 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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