I have issues with traditional Christianity. One such issue is its Eschatology; things like Armageddon, the Tribulation, and the Rapture.
Basically, my problem is this: How can you interpret traditional Christianity’s version of the Apocalypse as anything but a victory for Satan? I’m not an expert on the subject—and perhaps, with that admission, I should refrain from commenting at all: but I’m not going to—there seem to be three elements to the Apocalypse. First, there’s the Rapture; okay, maybe in this, God has the upper hand because He rescues all those who are worthy and brings them up to Heaven. Maybe. Or are they fleeing the battlefield because they can’t handle it? Next, there is the Tribulation a period of unprecedented suffering and apostasy for the Church. Clearly, here, at least, it seems like Satan has the upper hand. Even many traditional Christians would admit that. Then there’s Armageddon, the Final Battle. Traditional Christians seem to think that because they are “fated” to win the battle (when Christ slays the antichrist) that they will win the war. But what is the result of all this? It’s the biggest battle of all human history. How many people are killed? Better yet, how many people are damned?
Let’s assume Armageddon happens tomorrow. According to estimates, there are about seven billion people on this planet. How many are Christians? How about: how many are Christians who will be saved? Let’s be generous and say two billion. Hmmm … Satan claims five billion? And that’s a victory for God? Okay, maybe God will claim people from other religions, too …… Let’s say, the good guys claim five billion and Satan claims two billion. That seems counter to what most traditional Christians expect, but we’ll go with it. Let’s examine that, for a moment.
Satan, an imperfect angel, who was driven out of Heaven, not by God Himself, but by His underlings the angels, also imperfect, is going up against an omnipotent, omniscient Being and he’s going to successfully claim nearly thirty percent of the spoils? I guess you can argue based on free will, but still; if you go up against an omnipotent, omniscient Being and you come away with anything—to me, that seems like a victory.
Combine that with all the bloodshed and horror that precedes this battle and I am feeling less and less inclined to call such a development a victory for God. To me it seems more like a victory for Satan. But, I suppose, there’s also free will, and it’s hard to figure out how to work that into the calculation. Oh, well.