The Great Whore Devours the New Atheism Movement
About seven years ago, it was proclaimed by the mainstream media that we were living in the age of a “New Atheism.” The New York Times bestseller lists had about a dozen books on the subject. Atheist meetings were popping up all over the country, and major celebrities were coming out of the closet—to proudly declare their lack of faith in a deity.
The movement had strong leadership: Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett. They became known as the “Four Horsemen of the Non-Apocalypse,” an obvious mocking reference to the biblical Four Horsemen from the book of Revelation. Dawkins was the science guy, Hitchens was the debater, Harris was the politician, and Dennett was the philosopher.
The New Atheism movement reached its pinnacle on March of 2012 with a Reason Rally in Washington D.C. On that cold rainy day, around 25,000 people were in attendance. The purpose of the rally was not really clear. It was mostly driven by the idea of having the “largest secular event in world history.” Who am I to spoil this alleged milestone; but a million people watching the ball drop on New Year’s Eve seems like more of a secular event to me.
Over the past four years, I’ve been greatly amused by watching this fledgling empire of Christian disbelief collapse under its own weight. The first sign of trouble was the lack of follow-up to their core anti-God message. Books likeThe God Delusion, God Is Not Great, and The End of Faith sold well by laying out all the old standard arguments that God is a meanie.
When these same authors published follow-up books that talked about the wonders of the universe and science, the public showed very little interest.
The greatest problem with the New Atheism movement is this: When you take God out of the picture, mankind will seek to deify himself. The new atheists fail to notice that our species is doomed to be under some form of “religion.”
The first group to invade the New Atheism movement were radical feminists. They demanded that sexism awareness should become a key part of the movement. They caused numerous splits by introducing the idea that a person can only be a feminist or a chauvinist. Someone defined radical feminism this way: “It’s no longer about the legitimacy of women’s original complaints, but the inherent injustice of their proposed solutions.”
The equality flood gates were turned wide open when the LGBTQ folks added their grievances to the roster of every New Atheism meeting. As the New Atheism ideals became overrun with people who had their own special agendas, the result was a movement that had very little to do with secular humanistic values. The best example of this mess is the Code of Conduct for the 2016 Reason Rally attendees:
The Reason Rally Coalition does not tolerate harassment of or by participants in any form. Prohibited conduct may include—but is not limited to—harassment related to gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, religion, sexual images in public spaces (not related to convention sessions or materials), deliberate intimidation, stalking, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention.
The 2016 Reason Rally took place June 4th on the Washington D.C. mall, and it only had around 2,000 people. Since 20,000 people visit the area each day, there is no telling how many tourists unrelated to the rally were counted as attendees. The cost of the event was $1 million; which comes to $500 per person.
The organizers of that Reason Rally would have suffered an even deeper embarrassment if the D.C. police hadn’t blocked efforts by Christian groups to proselytize to the atheists at the rally.
Author, Ray Comfort, had registered about 1,000 fellow Christians to join him at the Reason Rally to hand out copies of Comfort’s new book, and $25,000-worth of Subway sandwich gift cards to non-believers “as a gesture of Christian love.” Since the Rally turned out to be a huge bust, Comfort’s army of Christians would be hard pressed to give away all the gift cards.
I think there is a prophetic reason why atheism has fizzled out. Bible prophecy warns that the Tribulation hour will see the rise of the “great whore” religion that will join together all faiths. Since atheism doesn’t fit in with the diversity wave that has every “ism” group singing in one giant choir, it’s being devoured by the coming harlot church. The rapid evaporation of the New Atheism movement is a strong indication that the scarlet woman is putting on her make-up and about to make her debut.
“And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will show unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.
So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH” (Revelation 17:1-5).
Rapture “Mystery” Revealed
With so much controversy involving the topic of the Rapture boiling today, I thought it good to look a little closer at that event internally. That is, it might prove interesting to examine the Rapture within the Pre-Trib view to look at a divide that exists.
Mostly, preachers don’t want to address prophecy or, in particular, the doctrine of the Rapture at all. Since the call of Christ to His Church is next on God’s calendar of events, in the view of Pre-Trib proponents, ignoring this great promise of rescue from human history’s most terrible time is something that both baffles and disturbs.
We who are familiar with that great future event know, at least cursorily, the differences within the various views of when the Rapture will occur. Whether it will happen Post-Trib, Mid-Trib, Pre-Trib, etc. is sometimes hotly expressed by the various proponents. However, the vast numbers of preachers in America’s pulpits today would tell you that the Rapture is a mystery to them, as is most of Bible prophecy.
Indeed it is a “mystery” to them, because they never have opened their Bibles with the thought toward looking into the Rapture–the very thing Paul said is a ” mystery” he was showing us–that is, showing believers. They like to use the joke: “I’m a Pan-Millennialist. I believe it will all just pan out in the end.”
Again, it isn’t the hot debate between the Pre-Trib, Mid-Trib, and Post-Trib views of the Rapture I wish to address. To me, the debate is over. The Pre-Tribulation view is the only one in total context of what the Bible says about that great promise that rings true–that makes sense. Paul’s “mystery” unveiled, from the Pre-Trib perspective, is what I hope to dissect a bit.
The Scripture, of course, that sets up this great event is as follows:
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:51-52)
Paul says he is presenting a “mystery.” That is, he is dealing with an heretofore unknown matter–unknown to (not understood by) believers in Christ. And this “showing” of this “mystery” is the nuance of truth I wish to examine within the Pre-Trib view of the Rapture–the view I’m convinced is the one the Bible presents through Paul’s unveiling of this most important doctrine.
The seminaries within fundamentalist-evangelical Christianity hold mostly that the Rapture was never dealt with in anyway whatsoever until Paul “revealed” it. The most academically inclined among these will tell you that this “mystery” was never alluded to in the Old Testament. They go on to say it was never mentioned in any way by Jesus and the prophets. It is, they say, only in the Pauline epistles that the Rapture is unveiled.
I believe this is untenable, except by those who refuse to consider that Paul was “showing” the mystery–the mystery of the Rapture that had already been made manifest. He was explaining it, not just pulling it out of the hat for the first time. Paul was unveiling the Truth about what Jesus, Himself, indeed had alluded to as given in the Gospel accounts.
The first mention of this “mystery”–the Rapture–by the Lord we look at was recorded by John:
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (John 14:1-3)
Jesus said that He will “receive” us to Himself, exactly like Paul reveals in 1 Corinthians 15:51 when he says we will be changed–transformed–for flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 15: 50). That translation into Christ’s presence Paul further unveils in the following prophecy:
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 4:7)
The next words of our Lord about this “mystery” Paul is “showing” us is found in the Gospel of Matthew–in what is known as the Olivet Discourse:
But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. (Matthew 24:36-41)
Jesus further gave prophecy regarding that future, catastrophic break-in on human history as recorded in Luke 17:26-30. I think it is unfortunate that the most purely academic among fundamentalist theologians within the ranks of Pre-Trib Rapture proponents can’t see Jesus’ “mysterion” mention of the Rapture in the Gospels–the “mystery” Paul is plainly unlocking for understanding for all believers.
I believe that we are very near the moment of being the generation of believers who will be beneficiaries of that twinkling-of-an-eye moment when the Lord shouts, “Come up here!” (Revelation 4:1).