The Vice President of the United States apparently believes in a future event called the “Rapture” as he was quoted as saying that he asked Jesus to allow him to be raptured early. Foreknowledge of future events requires the psychic gift of clairvoyance, unless a surmise is being made based on conditions that seemed to lead up to similar events in the past. For instance when weather scientists predict the weather, they are basing their predictions on facts of air pressure, humidity, temperature, wind velocity, cloud formations, and so on, that have been observed to play out in predictable ways before.

A vocal group of Christians, many of whom actively amass wealth while oppressing the poor, in stark contrast to the example of Christ, believe in what is termed the “rapture doctrine.” They expect Christ to appear, in the physical atmosphere of the earth as a supernatural being, in abrogation of the laws of the physical universe. The rapture doctrine asserts that the believers’ physical bodies will be levitated supernaturally into the sky to meet a supernaturally appearing Lord. The doctrine twists the meaning of scriptures referring to the spiritual realm as applying to the material realm. The doctrine asserts that what the soul experiences at death will happen to the physical body at some random future time, an event with absolutely no precedent. Disasters have happened throughout history, but never a mass levitation of living human bodies into the clouds.

For many years I was in the movement founded by John Robert Stevens. He was great about spiritualizing the Bible passages he expounded. He talked about the parable Christ gave about the wheat and the tares. (Matthew 13:24–30:24) In the story, tares (weeds) were found growing in a field of wheat. A worker asked if he should pull them out, but was told to wait until harvest, lest the wheat also be uprooted. At harvest the weeds would be tied into bundles and burned. The wheat would be taken to the barn. Stevens interpreted this parable as addressing the like-mindedness that exists in various sects of Christianity, that binds each group together, and at the same time divides each group from all the rest. The various kooky little sects are bundles of tares waiting to be burned. Each is a clump held together by a belief in a different false doctrine.

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