I would be happy to consider your thoughts, just as I have considered those of Dr. Ice.
As I read your letter, these things occur to me:
A clarification first: The words “most probably” were simply a paraphrase of Dr. Ice’s own words in his conclusion: “The fact that apostasia most likely has the meaning of physical departure is clear support for pretribulationism.” My conclusion is somewhat different.
While your response seems to reiterate your original statement, it does not generally address, scripturally, the specific components of Dr. Ice’s reasoning. For example: How would the Thessalonians be able to differentiate between this apostasy and all the others mentioned in the list of scriptures given ? Why was the definite article used in this sentence, when unnecessary, and what does it’s use signify ? Why did the King James (the only version I use) change the word to mean Apostasy when the previous Bibles had interpreted the noun “Apostasia” to mean Departure? What about the fifteen times the word is used in verb form, where it most often does NOT refer to apostasy. If one goes with the majority meaning as indicating the preferred meaning, shouldn’t the word then be determined to mean “Departure” regardless of which part of speech is used ? What about the many different Greek terms Paul uses in First Thessalonians to describe the rapture---couldn’t this be another ? And, very importantly, how does the word, if used to mean apostasy, give comfort to the Thessalonians, as is Paul’s intent in this Second letter ?
You quote Dr. Ice’s statement about the “strong possibility” that apostasia means The Departure (Rapture), which clearly indicates that he is not dogmatic, as some are, in this interpretation. Yet further in your letter you state that "he insists...”(that the word means Rapture). This latter statement would seem to misrepresent his position.
When you are discussing the possibility of a “general DEFLECTION,” you miss the exact point Dr. Ice was making: the definite article would NOT be used if speaking of a general apostasy. The definite article references something specific. (book=general, The book=specific)
As far as the establishment of the definition of a word based on its use twice, that falls under the generally accepted rules of hermeneutics, and you would have to take that up with your local hermeneutics committee. Because a word is used in its primary definition twice (or even two hundred times), that does not exclude it from being used in its secondary definition, and remembering two is the number of time it is used as a noun. If we look at the verb useage, we have fifteen times it is used, three of these fifteen refer to Apostasy, while at least six times it refers to Departure. .
Regarding the President: this seems like an aside, but it is important to delineate that while he and much of the entire world may take credit for all the offenses you have listed, being guilty of those does not make one antichrist. There is a clear definition of antichrist presented by John, which is the measurement to be used (and that the President may qualify under that definition is another subject entirely)
1 John 2:22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.
1 John 4:3
And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
2 John 1:7
For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
As far as he who restrains departing from the midst (being removed as the stopgap, in the manner of Leonidas or Archimedes at the Siege) that seems very possible. Yet, if one interprets this as the removal of the Holy Spirit, which many Christians do, then the Church will be withdrawn simultaneously, as Jesus said the Spirit would abide with the Church forever (John 14:16). In that case, interpreting the verse to mean the removal of the Holy Spirit would necessitate implicating the Rapture, which would occur at the same time and which would bring us right back to the word Apostasia defined as Departure.
I believe that Apostasia is used as a double-entendre, meaning both 1) Apostasy and 2) The Rapture (Double-entendre: Merriam Webster Dictionary 1: ambiguity of meaning arising from language that lends itself to more than one interpretation).
Many biblical prophecies have dual meanings and dual fulfillments, and in the literal pretribulational eschatological position, I find no conflict between the thoughts that a worldwide state of apostasy (modern definition, Cambridge Dictionary: the act of giving up your religious or political beliefs and leaving a religion or a political party) is developing at the same time the Rapture occurs.