Fact #1: I grew up believing in the Rapture.
Fact #2: I no longer believe in the Rapture. Really, I don’t.
Fact #3: When I walk into a mysteriously empty room or a quiet home, my first (subconscious) instinct is still to check the floor for heaps of clothes and other telltale signs that people have been raptured. Because old habits die hard. Also because the Left Behind books were my best friends for a while in high school.
Now that I’ve gone and mortified myself in front of the entire blogosphere, let me share something less self-revealing 🙂
A few weeks ago, I had the chance to read the new and revised edition of Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick’s Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy. I love the subtitle: “Finding the Way to Christ in a Complicated Religious Landscape.” And I love that the book lives up to the subtitle, too.
The Rapture has always been one of those things that complicates my own personal religious landscape–the landscape of my life, looking back, and the religious landscape I share with friends and family.
Years ago, realizing I did not actually believe in the Rapture anymore was the beginning of the end for me. The end of the fundamentalist-leaning Christianity I had grown up with and clung to in college. At the time, I could not have said why the Rapture and the strange apocalyptic brew I was surrounded by felt wrong to me, but it did.
And it was also the beginning, the beginning of a long journey–toward Orthodoxy, yes, but even more than that toward a more integrative, defragmented, whole worldview that made it possible for me to embrace Orthodoxy in the first place.
I wish I could have told my younger, confused, Rapture-questioning self that there was a more healing way through faith than fire and brimstone. I would have told her to look for Christ, to look for His Church. And perhaps to spend less time looking for heaps of left-behind clothes.
I would have showed her this infographic, too, but infographics weren’t invented back then so I’m showing it to all of you instead. 🙂