by Dave MacPherson

First, let's explain "rapture" and then "index."

Many Christian Right members in America believe in an imminent "rapture" (a coming of Christ that reportedly happens SEVEN YEARS BEFORE the famous Second Coming to earth).

The "great tribulation" in the Bible is said to occur during those seven years. Therefore the rapture is viewed as a "pre-tribulation" event and reportedly gives believers the hope of being taken to heaven, without dying, and thus escaping the traumatic seven-year period on earth.

The "Index" (as in Todd Strandberg's "Rapture Index") lists 45 "precursors" (events on earth reportedly acting as signposts pointing to the rapture, and showing how close the rapture is).

And here's where the mad theology comes in. The Rapture Index "precursors" (including "Antichrist") are on earth even AFTER the point in time for a "pretrib" rapture, are fulfilled DURING the seven-year tribulation period, and actually point to ONLY the (post-tribulation) Second Coming to earth and not to any sort of "pre-tribulation" coming - a concept that NO church before 1830 ever taught!

Promoters and merchandisers of pretrib rapture theology have claimed in recent years to have found a few individuals before 1830 who supposedly taught a "pretrib" rapture or coming - but none of those promoters has ever found any ORGANIZED CHURCH teaching or even hinting at such a doctrine before that date. If you will go to Google or other search engines and type in "Deceiving and Being Deceived" (one of my earliest internet articles), you will see how groundless the claims are for certain pre-1830 individuals that have been dredged up. Even if a few pre-1830 persons DID seem to teach a pretrib rapture, why would pretrib promoters want to side with them instead of siding with the 99 percent who obviously DID NOT embrace a pretrib rapture view?

If you're interested in this subject, you can visit engines like Google, Yahoo, or MSN and type in "Pretrib Rapture Diehards" (the long-covered-up history of "pretrib" teaching), "Famous Rapture Watchers" (the only "rapture" view held by all churches before 1830), "Thomas Ice (Bloopers)" (the level of scholarship often seen in "pretrib" circles!), "Open Letter to Todd Strandberg," and "Appendix F: Thou Shalt Not Steal" (scandalous plagiarism in writings by Falwell, Dobson, Hindson, LaHaye, Ryrie etc.; such thievery has long characterized pretrib rapturists beginning with Darby (and his contemporaries), Seiss, and Bullinger in the 1800's and continuing with later members of the Christian Rewrite such as Lindsey, Unger, Jeremiah, Carlson, Tan, Missler, and Van Impe!).

If you'd like to go even further in your research, you can obtain my 300-page book "The Rapture Plot" (my greatest collection of documentation on pretrib rapturism's bizarre 19th century development) by calling 800.643.4645.