Pray that you will be among those ‘left behind’


To promote their Rapture mythology, “Bible prophecy” enthusiasts turn to Matthew 24, as read through the filter of the Scofield Bible and the lyrics of a Larry Norman song. But Larry and Scofield very clearly get that passage wrong. They’re reading it backwards. In Matthew 24, getting “left behind” is a Good Thing. [Read more...]

Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 67: ‘Selective literalism’


The point of all three of Jesus’ stories, of course, is that the kingdom of God is made up of those who do good, not those who do evil — and particularly not those evildoers (weeds, goats, Dives) who ignore the needs of the poor. To read such stories and ignore this point is perverse. To interpret them as primarily about the specific mechanics of the End Times — the role of Abraham and angels, the heat-setting of the fiery furnace — is even more perverse. [Read more...]

Could you be my little movie star?

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Now that evangelical colleges like Oral Roberts are cool with requiring students to wear Fitbits, does this mean we can move past our cultural Mark-of-the-Beast-phobia and stop having to carry around paper documentation of auto registration and proof of insurance? Also: Freeform Nephilim, jury duty, Robyn Hitchcock’s Kaddish, Nehushtan in Texas, and Winona, forever. [Read more...]

Marco Rubio and the Hebrew Congregation of Newport


To Sen. Marco Rubio, President Obama’s visit yesterday to a Baltimore mosque was “divisive.” Obama’s acknowledgement of the equal rights of religious minorities, to Rubio, amounts to “pitting people against each other.” So let’s revisit President George Washington’s 1790 “Letter to the Hebrew Congregation of Newport.” It’s really good, but Marco Rubio isn’t gonna like it. [Read more...]

There were voices down the corridor

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Ah yes, the “Hotel California” urban legend, widely embraced by white evangelicals eager to believe that the Eagles’ hit song was a detailed allegory about the Church of Satan. This applied the interpretive approach evangelicals had taught themselves for reading Genesis, Revelation, and the Sermon on the Mount — read the metaphors literally and the literal statements as metaphors. Thus a song about selling one’s soul to the music industry turns into a song about musicians actually selling their souls. [Read more...]

When white supremacy is ‘conservative’ (and vice versa)


The problem, apparently, is that Russell Moore may be a staunch opponent of abortion and staunch defender of “traditional marriage,” but he clearly does not want to be a staunch defender of white supremacy. And that apparently makes a lot of white Southern Baptists very uncomfortable. To them, if Moore is not willing to defend white supremacy, then he isn’t really representative of Southern Baptists. [Read more...]

The 15th anniversary of Cam-Cam


In 1994, John Birch Society fantasies were not welcome in Republican politics. Then, over the following decade, Tim LaHaye published a series of books devoted to teaching and spreading those fantasies — books that became phenomenal best-sellers read by tens of millions of Americans. Today, LaHaye’s Bircher ideology is a serious factor in our national politics and may prove to be a decisive factor in the election of our next president. [Read more...]

NRA: Church board meeting

A look inside the new parsonage at New Hope Village Church.

This “Tribulation Force” quartet seems to assume that they’re the leaders of this congregation even though they don’t seem to even know anyone else’s name at this church. Rayford imagines the congregation sees him as a key figure in their community even though he doesn’t even live on this continent anymore. But now he and his friends are secretly appointing a new pastor for the church — a new spiritual leader the congregation will never meet and never even be told about. [Read more...]