I’ve had these moments as a kid.
Nobody home: A young Nazarene kid thinks he’s been Left Behind at the Rapture
I was raised in the Nazarene Church in small town Illinois. Around 1970-71, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association came out with a movie about the Rapture, I think it was called A Thief in the Night. Our small youth group saw it at the local theatre. It freaked me out, to say the least.
So, about six months later I was walking home from a friend’s house. Normal day, dad should be at home from work and mom should be cooking supper… except no one was home. It was eerily quiet. I wandered through the empty house; “Mom? Dad?” Suddenly, a cold chill swept over me. Had I been Left Behind? Surely not. I believed in God, maybe I wasn’t the best Christian in the world but I was only 11, I was trying. Increasingly panicked, I ran outside. All was quiet. I started thinking about others at my church. Maybe I could find out if they were still here. I saw my neighbor, but she was Catholic, so that didn’t prove anything. I didn’t know if they would be raptured or not, but something told me probably not. So I had to find a Nazarene. The problem was, we were the only family in our town that went to the church, except for the preacher and his kids. I was increasingly frantic and panicked. My heart raced, with my mind going even faster.
Just as I was starting to run the six blocks to the parsonage, my parents pulled up into the driveway. I acted nonchalant and walked to the backyard, but the wave of relief that washed over me was quickly supplanted by an intense anger. At my parents, at the church, the preacher… and at God. That day started me on a path away from the Nazarene church. It took another 25 years, but I finally walked away and have not looked back. I have found a Christian group that doesn’t teach any of those things, and is firmly a liberal Christian tradition. I wish I would have had that when I was young.
My mother just passed away a couple of months ago, and I will never again darken the door of a Nazarene church…. or any of the other evangelical or fundamentalist churches. I believe in God and in the Bible, but I also believe that those ‘Talibaptists’ (evangelicals) are a great danger to American democracy and to the Bible itself, as their war mongering and bizarre doctrines are turning people away from the simple Gospel espoused by Jesus and encapsulated in the Golden Rule. - Anonymous