Friday, August 24, 2012

"Waiting for Armageddon": Do Evangelicals create inconsistencies inside their own moral thinking?

When I lived in Dallas in the 1980s, I heard a lot of sermons (some on the car radio) about the Rapture and the tribulations, to be followed by the Millennium.  There was a lot of debate between pre-tribulationism and post-tribulationism.
Among America’s 50 million Evangelical Christians, many believe some variation of this prophecy.  A film by Kate David, David Heilbroner and Franco Sacchi, “Waiting for Armageddon” (2009, First Run Features, 74 minutes) traces this whole faith system through its component pieces.

The early part shows some people, living mostly in the south (like Oklahoma) testifying that they think that the Rapture is near, and that their own kids won’t get to grow up and raise their own families before getting taken.  It isn’t fair, the kids think.

But most of the film talks about the tribulations, and the various ways that the final battles around Armageddon and Jerusalem may play out.  Of particular concern is the mosque on the Temple Mount. Its presence, in the minds of some people, can forestall the prophecies in the Christian Bible from coming about.
The film makes the point that owning a piece of the right real estate is like “owning the truth”.

The tribulations in some accounts would lead to total societal breakdown among those left behind.  Could these events include solar storms and electromagnetic pulse attack (EMP), the latest concern among some on the Right?

The film mentions the controversy over the "144000" who may be the maximum number of people who reign in Heaven, or the maximum number of Jews saved after the tribulations; there are many theories, but there is a suggestion that the number of souls gets "contracted" (typical link).

The theology of a film like this would seem to stand in contrast to other components of the religious right, which emphasize the problems of “demographic winter”.

The official site is here.

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