Monday, June 30, 2008

Catholics "made up" the Rapture

So heres how it happened...ahem...according to a Protestant, who engaged said CJ in a non Religious forum, here on the old InterWebNet:

Mr. Protestant said:
"I dont want to step on any toes, but were you guys aware that the whole Rapture /Tribulation thing was made up by the Catholic church to counteract Martin Luthers movement, and the belief that was becaoming predominant among Protestants that the Pope was the Anti-Christ? I have all the historical evidence and the names of the two authors if anyone is interested."

To which I replied:
"Oy, .....yeah I'm interested....John Nelson Darby invented the "Rapture" (dispensationalism) in 1830-31 after he left the Angelican Priesthood. No previous Christian, neither Catholic nor Protestant, had ever proposed or taught such an thing. It is not the same as the Tribulation based in 1 Thes. Ch 4-5 and Revelation sources."

MP Response:
"OK, Im not sure this is the place for it, and maybe we're opening a can of worms here-but here goes..........The foundation of the rapture theory was laid over 400 years ago upon the specific orders of the Catholic Church. Every Christian needs to understand how this fabrication of error was designed to neutralize the great Protestant Reformation. If the facts of history were known by Protestants today who defend with such great emotion the rapture theory and the futurist antichrist doctrine, they would be horrified. Luther and his fellow reformers boldly identified the pope as the "man of sin," and labeled the Catholic Church as the antichrist of prophecy. In response to those charges, the hierarchy assigned two Jesuit priests to develop counter- interpretations which would turn the onus away from the Catholic Church. In spite of the fact that the two men founded opposing schools of interpretation, their theories have survived to form the basis of most modern Protestant theology today. Not only did they effectively blunt Luther's assessment of the papacy as the antichrist, but they cleverly divided and diluted the "protest" of all the churches which grew out of the Reformation movement. Modern religious observers were astounded in January, 1984, when men like Billy Graham and Jerry Falwell meekly accepted and defended the establishment of United States political ties with the Vatican. Why could those famous Protestant spokesmen see no danger in being allied with the Church of Rome? Because they are deceived, along with millions of others, by the Catholic-contrived theories of those two priests which have almost eclipsed the historic, biblical position of the Reformers. If the spiritual descendants of Luther and Wesley now had the same doctrine which they taught, not a single Lutheran or Methodist would favor any kind of alliance with the papacy today. Now let's take a look at these two Spanish priests who flooded the sixteenth century with their counter-Reformation propaganda.Alcazar of Seville applied all the beast prophecies to Antiochus Epiphanes, who lived long before the popes began to rule in Rome. His system of interpretation came to be known as the Preterist School of prophecy.On the other hand, Jesuit Francisco Rivera invented a system known as the Futurist School of interpretation. He taught that the antichrist was to be some future superman who would appear near the end of time and continue in power for three and a half years. It is his clever, unscriptural theory which has been resurrected by modern evangelical Protestant Christians. And today millions of Baptists, Methodists, Pentecostals, etc., hold this anti-Protestant concoction of the Jesuits as some kind of infallible doctrine. Yet, those same denominations claim to be faithful supporters of Protestant theology. Luther and other stalwart protestors against Catholic errors would be astounded if they were suddenly resurrected to hear what is being taught in the name of Protestantism. In the early 1800s the futurist view of Jesuit Ribera passed through certain refinements and additions, including the seven-year tribulation and the snatching away of the saints. For the first time, it was espoused by Protestant teachers who were seeking ways of reconciliation with Rome. Through the influence and writings of John Nelson Darby of the Plymouth Brethren Church in England, the new doctrine spread to the United States. During the middle and latter nineteenth century, it received its biggest boost from Cyrus Scofield, who incorporated it into the notes of his Scofield Reference Bible published in 1909."

After gaining my composure, I did a good bit of digging, confirming and happened upon the following info and responded:

"Mr. Protestant, here's where your post was copied from, word for word basically.

...which in my view is a highly political attack on Catholics today and in the past. Too bad you didnt post Catherine Andrew's appropriate response as a balance, as the site and your quote is a Catholic Apologetic site resource. I stand by the fact I stated above and Catherine Andrews response in the link. Specifically "The Catholic faith has had a line of her own would-be prophets speaking about the Last Days......The fact that certain Protestant groups borrowed from Catholic eschatology does not constitute a conspiracy on her part." Whats really more important than engaging you, Mr. Protestant, in a "chicken or egg" contest about a warmongers motives in 175 A.D. (Antiochus Epiphanes), is that Catholics today, with any reasonable knowledge of that faiths origins and practices, bear more fruit with Protestants in finding common ground and biblical basis of debate. Catholics did not make up the Rapture theory. "

(End of said lively debate.)

Notice the distinct attack language by MP in his first statement, baiting anyone to challenge him "if anyone is interested". Without regard to the narration that follows (which is opinion and not historically supported), this is a perfect example of intentional ignorance. MP read something emotionally charged against Catholicism, valid or not, and not only chose to repeat it as truth, but published it with a request for engagement!

This is the danger of a Protestant attack, and why I have a specific post category for it. We, as Catholics must research all angles before any assertion, so as not to fall into the same intellectual laziness trap. As well....we have an obligation to our Church to defend it. A non-response is validation, in the perception of the writer. This is actually the essence and primary purpose of this website.

Now, did I win him over to my point here...I couldnt tell. My motive is not to spew "Down
Goes Frasier!" at conclusion. Maybe calling out the partial source of errant info by Mr. Protestant played to the Catholic credibility...I hope so. Maybe the no fluff answer and a call for finding fruit bearing common ground will prevail. Its all I can do to leave it there for someone, just one maybe, to see a misinformed conclusion get a valid, factual response, and remain approachable.

I want to believe thats what He wants me to want, so I do.


patjrsmom said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. How wonderful that you have adopted children as well. The more time I spend in the Catholic community online, the more fabulous adoptive families I meet.

God Bless,

Anonymous said...

Nice post, but I still don't understand why the Catholic Church believes in the Rapture?

Anonymous said...

Whoops, I actually mean't, I still don't understand why the Catholic Church does not believe in the Rapture?

The Catholic Journeyman said...

Theresa I am with you and most Catholics on the mystery of the idea of the 2nd coming.

We are taught in Catholicism to see the coming in a broad sense as fulfilling our "being with Christ" or "entering the kingdom of heaven together with Christ" more as a victory than a devastating event depicted as the rapture (IE. Left Behind)

There are benefits to leaving the specifics as a mystery for my limited human imagination.

Anonymous said...

(Howdy, CJ. Saw this little snippet on the net. Reaction? Al)

Catholicism Invented the Rapture? C'mon!

Many web sites claim that a 16th century Jesuit Catholic priest named Francisco Ribera taught an early form of the famous evangelical "rapture" that reportedly precedes and is disconnected from the final Second Coming.
To see the actual thrust of this claim, Google "Francisco Ribera taught a rapture 45 days before the end of Antichrist's future reign."
But no one ever quotes even one sentence from Ribera's monumental commentary on the Book of Revelation which is said to be the source of the 45-day rapture claim.
Claimants are challenged to produce Ribera's own words on this matter. If they cannot, their names should be blazoned on the web as hysterical historians! (BTW, no other Catholic leader, including Jesuit priest Manuel Lacunza, has ever taught a prior rapture.)
Curious about the real beginnings of the same mystical "fly-away" belief (a.k.a. the "pre-tribulation rapture") that has captivated many evangelical leaders including Darby, Scofield, Lindsey, Falwell, LaHaye, and Hagee? Google "Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty."