Friday, October 30, 2009

Thought and more thoughts...

This is an "e-mail" conversation/discussion I'm currently involved in with a friend of mine. J. is a very lovely, generous Christian woman, who'm I've known for about 12 years. We met at the Interdenom. church and being both interested in writing, I think we 'hit it off' in many ways. She's a very good author and is currently working on a book, which I've read part of the manuscript, and it's a good 'evangelical' work. I've no qualms about that at all. That's not a point of contention at all. It's only a sad reality that there are so MANY different 'brands' of Christianity.

We've had our share of disagreements over the years, even as evangelicals, though not as many as the past 5 since I've become an ardent, practicing Catholic. (NOT Pelosi style!) This seems to possibly be another disagreement. I wrote her a reply just a while ago, and it's my hope that it won't be misconstrued, but "Truth is Truth." I'm posting it only to ask my readers if they've had to deal with this particular topic. It didn't start off to be about the Rapture, per se, but it's quickly gone that direction, since she wrote what she wrote in her e-mail a few days ago. I had to mull over my reply and pray, as I prefer to do these days, rather than just 'sounding off' in a quick rebuttal, or retort. I did more praying at Mass this a.m. about it and this is how I've replied to her prior email, which was about the 'strange times' we're living in, (no disagreement there!) and how the 'strange times' have brought, to her mind, book #1 in the "Left Behind" series. She thought I'd taken her mentioning the LB book/series a bit 'too seriously.' Here's my reply:

Hi, J.

Maybe I did take it more seriously than I should have. Probably a little 'hyper-sensitive' about how the CC is maligned in that work of fiction (and in a plethora of other fiction/non-fiction titles) by a sadly misinformed author. Therefore, the mention of his book was just "unsettling."

With regard to the rapture:
"Whether someone is "open to the rapture" or "not" wasn't my concern, necessarily, but stated that way, it's quite a curious thought, J. and it begs an honest, truth-seeking question: "Does it matter what Christians "believe" (or are "open to") about the rapture, or not?"

If it doesn't matter, (in the end) then why believe/teach it at all? If it does matter, then a whole lot of Christians are in quite dire straights to be so ignorant, are they not? Does the Lord really leave it up to us, as individuals, to "pick and choose" regarding such (important or unimportant) things and then to bicker about them, add infinitum, in 33,000+ various/diverse denominations, spreading like a cancer around the globe,with some ending up like Jim Jones' cult?

If Jesus sent us the Holy Spirit, as we know he did, to lead and guide the Church INTO ALL TRUTH...then he must have left "One body" on this earth, with the final 'say'...a "final Authority" to query and settle such contradictions and disputes. In fact, He did...

The Magisterium.

Here and here is the Catholic perspective on the Rapture. You may or may not agree with it, I may or may not agree with it, but that's the whole point. WHAT IS TRUE? What's worthy of our belief, our time, our energy? The doctrine of the Rapture only came into the forefront in the mid 1800's. 1800 years AFTER Christ instituted the Church and sent the Holy Spirit to "lead her and guide her into all Truth and keep her safe." It [Rapture] seems more like a 'dart of division" from the enemy of our souls, in his ancient attempt to "divide and conquer" the Church- he's doing a 'bang-up' job, I have to say. But we take comfort and place our hope in knowing the "gates of hell will not prevail against her. Halleluljah!

I'm not picking a fight here. A confrontation and a verbal "e-duel" is not my aim, or my current attitude. Seeking the Truth is.

We're to worship in Spirit and in Truth. That's all I'm saying.

In Christ,

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