Some of you know that my day job is at the Coming Home Network as their Communications Coordinator. Each week, we poll our community members about various things that they believed before becoming Catholic. You can find examples of their responses here and here.
I thought this week’s question might be of interest to readers of TFBJ; it goes as follows:
“What are some things that you used to believe about the end of the world, based on religious convictions you formerly held, or perhaps still hold?”
Personally, during my high school years in the mid-nineties, I believed in a mishmash of different ideas, inspired by apocalyptic works from people like Grant Jeffrey, John Hagee, Tim LaHaye, and Hal Lindsay. At various times, I held to some of the
-The Mark of the Beast would be the final stage in a cashless society, where a chip containing a person’s entire “cloud” could be implanted subcutaneously. Christians whorefused to have their entire lives put on a microchip and implanted would be sent to concentration camps or executed.
-The rapture would take all of the world’s best Christians, leaving nonbelievers and nominal believers behind. After the rapture, one of two things would happen: A) there would be a seven year period of natural disasters that would cause some people to rely fully on God, and others to curse him, and then Jesus would return and get whoever converted during that tribulation period, or B) Since every believer who had the Holy Spirit had been raptured, there would be nobody left to preach the Gospel, and the world would get a 7 year preview of Hell before Jesus came back and turned the whole thing over to Satan for all eternity.
-The modern state of Israel was the fulfillment of all of the Old Testament prophecies about the New Israel, and any enemy of a policy of Israel’s government was an enemy of God and would be on the wrong side of the battle during Armageddon.
-That the Antichrist was already alive, and could be any charismatic leader walking among us who seemed a little off, especially one who was also trying to promote peace and reconciliation. Some candidates I remember being tossed around: Yasser Arafat, John Paul II, the Dalai Lama, Ross Perot.
-I never REALLY thought that the Roman Catholic Church was the Biblical whore of Babylon. I instead thought that the United States of America, being the global superpower of my lifetime, was the kingdom prophesied against in Daniel and Revelation.
What about you, TFBJ reader? What have you believed about Biblical prophecies regarding the end of the world, and which ones do you now think were perhaps a bit misinformed? Feel free to share in the comments, or come on over and join the community forum at chnetwork.org!
Photo Credit: Me again. That’s my book.
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