Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Catholics, the Rapture, and Left Behind

Q: A lot of my friends are reading the Left Behind books. What is the Rapture? Are these books okay for Catholics to read?

A: I have actually read one of the Left Behind books. The rapture that they are talking about in the books is when Jesus comes to earth, takes all of those who were “saved” back to heaven, and left all of those who were “unsaved” behind. The rapture is not a Catholic teaching and is not biblical.

In the books, the people who don’t believe in God are given a short period of time to get “saved” and join the rest of the people in heaven. I don’t think the books are wrong for Catholics to read, but I think the main thing you have to remember is that they are fictional books. The Left Behind books are not written to be studied as the truth. They are for entertainment only.

If you would like to learn more about Catholic teaching regarding this topic, a good book is The Rapture Trap by Paul Thigpen [Ascension Press]. I found it at my public library.


Addendum: Here's an article from Catholic Commons on the rapture.