Rapture Fever is increasingly the view of the aged.
I suggest that future Christians will either be post-millennialist, or one of the atheist/ex-Christian “Nones.”
Younger Christians, living in a escapist Rapture household – and seeing that the Rapture never occurs, no matter how bad it gets (and sick of the stress of waiting for what never happens) dump the whole thing… and feel much better, getting out from the rule of increasingly irrelevant losers.
Finding the Cure for Rapture Trauma outlines the details:
One negative comment I received accused me of building a “straw man” by arguing that dispensational and premillennial teachings lead people to complacency, indifference, and even despair in this world. I responded that the argument was hardly a straw man because it was based on real-life examples. These examples were of average Americans who had been imbued with rapture-theology and had concluded that their daughters should not get married and may not even finish high school before it happened. This is not my imagination, this is real life. And, it is not an isolated example. It is far more widespread than anything you can imagine, or than some adherents are willing to own.
And again, these are from the children of Rapture-mania Christians who decided to stay Christian. Can you imagine how many kids dumped Christianity and all its fear-driven and utterly irrelevant works, as soon as they could?
(And warmly welcomed by the secular culture, by the way?)
Life and Death and the Last Days, or Why Eschatology Matters is the key article I like to refer to, when it comes to the destruction pre-millennialism has wrought upon the church.
Christian parents wonder today why the majority of their children today leave the church when they become teenagers and never come back. I’ll tell you why. A big part is due to the nonsensical hounding upon Rapture and End Times by most Christian pastors, teachers, and parents. You’ve heard the phrase, “The economy, stupid.” The modern Christian equivalent should be “The eschatology, stupid.”
Your eschatology matters. What you believe about the future will determine much of how you live your life, and will affect much of your character.
This is the point that is so important: eschatology has very real and profound effects on your lifestyle. How you view the future determines how you plan and work both now and in regard to the next generation. If you believe the Rapture will occur in your lifetime—indeed, very soon in your lifetime—then there is no need to engage in any long-term plans, especially for peace and prosperity.
…these young ladies [who wish to marry, and have a long and fruitful life] have a more biblical view of Christianity than their parents. They want to live in the kingdom of God (as He instituted it), get married (as He instituted it), have children (as He instituted it), work (as He instituted it), and experience all He has for them to experience. In short, they want to glorify God and enjoy him forever.
But they are thrust beneath the dictatorial fear-mongering of their parents who can say nothing but “you’re not going to graduate,” “you’re not going to get married,” “you’re not going to have children.” The only thing that matters is Rapture, Rapture, Rapture. The children’s response to their parents’ view is, “It scares me.” Indeed! It scares them because the Rapture view is constant fear-mongering and denial of Christian duty on earth.
The children know better.
And Christians today wonder why their teenagers are leaving the church in droves. Your answer is right here: eschatology. They have a better worldview than their parents, and yet have never been taught how to express the correct worldview via the Bible.
They’ve been taught all their lives that the Bible goes against the long-term, family centered, ethics-centered worldview: that the Bible teaches a quick end to their lives and voids all need to plan beyond the Rapture. The parents and pastors have hounded these kids with a false message of what the Church and the Bible are, and what is expected of them. The children sense that the “fear the Rapture” message is inherently wrong, and they rightly desire to flee from it. But they have been wrongly taught that this is the message of the Bible. So, they flee from Church and the Bible completely as soon as they get a chance.
Along with this, they also flee the Republican Party (not that I support it), which their parents have also exalted as God’s will on earth, especially in regard to foreign policy. Some leave the faith altogether. We end up with a generation of leftist atheists who are just relieved to be out from under the oppressive fear-mongering, and whose behaviors are now fueled by negative emotions harbored against all things conservative and church-oriented.
The image has always been used to scare Christians away from works of charity and cultural improvement. These are derogated as far secondary to the main “last days” work of soul winning. And when they say the Christian’s job is soul winning, they mean only soul-winning, and winning only souls. Anyone who spends time implementing God’s law in the areas of education, politics, economics, family, business, charity, work, etc., will receive unto themselves the damnation of the dispensationalists. McGee followed his “sinking ship” remark by condemning those Christians who do “polish the brass” as he put it:
if they’re working on setting up new institutions, instead of going out and winning the lost for Christ, then they’re wasting the most valuable time on the planet earth right now, and that is the serious problem.…
“Christians should not redeem, govern, and judge the earth: unbelievers should!”
And then, Christians wonder why they are under the heel of these deviant, godless perverts… after pushing them into positions of power and influence!
“Satan rules this world! Everything is getting worse and worse! Men are so much more violent and racist and oppressive than before!
(Nevermind the actual crime statistics, or the dying thrashing of Islam, or the silence of the graves of Communism and militaristic Fascism. Or even the inevitable bankruptcy and sterility of secularist cultures. “Retreat! Retreat! RETREAT!”)
It’s just a dodge of Christians who don’t really believe that Christ rules with power right now; who don’t really believe that the head of the snake has been crushed, forever; who don’t really believe that the strong man has been bound; and don’t really believe that all nations are to become disciples of Christ.
Because if they did, they would have to stop hiding under their ghettos, work to bring the world under the dominion of Christ… and pay the price for the victory, as “no servant is higher than his Master.”
Most Christians would prefer to pay no price at all… or, more exactly, crawl before the atheist and lick the boot of the lawless.
For Western Christians today have decided that such humiliation is far better than ruling in Christ’s Name… and upholding His Law-Word in time and on earth, and accepting responsibility before His Throne for any flaw and imperfection in your rule (nevermind flagrant corruption and defiance!)
“Better to serve evil men than a just God!” cried out most of the Western Church.
Much as the Chosen People of old declared, “We have no King but Caesar!”
God will not destroy the Church entire… but diseased and fruitless branches will be cut off, and tossed into the flames.
And millions and millions of Western Christians chuckle quietly, as they drop their children before the intensely anti-Christian government schools. “Free Day Care beats protecting the souls of my children, any day of the week!”