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Since the spread of Christianity and the formation of Christian churches, many individuals have ended up being hurt by the church.
In some cases, the church has not been standing on biblical principles and that has led to traumatic experiences for those on the receiving end. These events have led to multiple examinations of the heart within the church and led to movements such as the Great Awakenings, revivals and growth within the persecuted church.
At times, individuals who are not anchored in Christ have been unable to full comprehend or understand a topic or subject within the Bible, and have been led astray by the devil's influence. The Rapture is one of those topics that the devil has created fear and uncertainty in many people when they were young, and are claiming it affects them now as adults.
These events can lead to feelings of rejection, bitterness, anger and sadness because they were not instructed properly or they refused to conform their societal beliefs around the Bible.
There is no one sweeping answer that can solve a falling away from the church, but attacking the Bible and Christ will not resolve any issues that stem from a departure from the gospel.
CNN interviewed a popular TikToker, April Ajoy, who has experienced "religious trauma" brought on by the fear that she might be left behind by the Rapture.
This is a sad tale for many 'exvangelicals' as they are calling themselves. After two minutes into the article, a Christian grounded in the Word of God would tell her that she should not have been raised in fear. This is a stumbling block for many who grew up afraid of a vengeful God who did not exhibit grace, love and mercy.
This experience with the church has led many to attempt and "deconstruct" Christianity. Some have done so in healthy biblically-based ways, while others have not and accepted certain societal norms such as homosexuality as acceptable.
What CNN does is try and discredit the Rapture as a whole. There are no parts of the Bible to be discredited, yet the media outlet attempts to subtly cast doubt on its existence.
First it tries to downplay the Rapture by claiming it "is not prevalent in Catholic or mainline Protestant denominations like Episcopalians or Presbyterianism, and is most commonly adhered to in evangelical and fundamental churches."
Their source for downplaying? A former Baptist pastor named Darren Slade who left Christianity behind.
Much like a recent NPR article trying to justify transgenderism in the Bible, CNN does not offer any expert opinion for the biblical event but only in favor of their talking point.
Second, the article attempts to blame the fear in many young Christians over the years on fictional works like the "Left Behind" series. It even references "a graphic execution scene" from the movie "A Thief in the Night." Their claim is that these depictions are so violent and anxiety-inducing that people can suffer from "religious trauma" for the rest of their lives. Yet hyper-violence plagues television, social media and movies, yet CNN makes no correlation to that.
The examples that Slade, Ajoy and CNN use have a continuous theme: They are not at all based on a foundation of the Word of God, but one of fear and trepidation.
The fear within these individuals is so bad, Slade claims he was "diagnosed with complex PTSD" due to rapture anxiety.
The devil is the one who operates in fear, not the Lord. The fruit of the Spirit exhibits peace, and not fear. Satan doesn't want these people to fully understand the revelations that the Bible has to offer Christians.
The devil continues to attack these people using this misguided fear to keep them away from the peace that Jesus has to offer, and Ajoy admits to still feeling this terrifying fear to this day. She is right in what she told many of her followers:
"To people who are going through this, who are questioning, I want to say there is no fear in love. You shouldn't have to be afraid of the answer."
That is so true. There is no fear in God's love. But there is fear in the devils' tactics to deceive and keep people from church community and understanding of God's Word.
God offers healing to those who were taught incorrectly and led astray by false teachings, but the devil will continue to use fear and distrust to keep them lost. Those hurt by a church need prayer and love to recover from these types of experiences, because shaping the Word of God to fit one's own narrative or agenda leads down a path away from God, not towards Him.
James Lasher is a Copy Editor for Charisma Media.
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