Friday music and Left Behind combo post

Schedule changed at the make-ends-meet night-job this week — instead of Fri., Sat., Sun. it’s now Wed., Thurs., Fri. This is actually good news, as it means the position, which was originally a short-term “seasonal” gig, will continue and I’ll get to keep m-e-m.

But it also means rejiggering my schedule for writing Friday posts here, which should work out fine … starting next week.

So, in lieu of either a Left Behind post or a Friday music game post, here’s a musical take on premillennial dispensationalist Bible prophecy. This is Southern Gospel group The Hoppers performing Larry Norman’s song “I Wish We’d All Been Ready” (the song that gave the Left Behind series its name):

YouTube Preview Image

The Hoppers recorded this in 2012. Connie Hopper noted: “I first heard ‘I Wish We’d All Been Ready’ in the early seventies and haven’t heard it performed since … but the message stayed with me through the years.”

So Larry Norman writes a song in 1972 warning that we are in the Last Days and that “there’s no time to change your mind.” And then 40 years later that message inspires a cover version.

Shouldn’t the fact that it’s now more than 40 years later cause us to question that message a bit?  It reminds me of the book-store customer in about 1994 who wanted to special-order a copy of Hal Lindsey’s The 1980s: Countdown to Armageddon. She was terribly disappointed when I told her it was out of print.

Edgar C. Whisenant’s 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988 is out of print too, but I suppose if you talk to fans of that book, they’ll continue to praise it and to tell you that its “message stayed with me through the years.”

I guess the logic is that Norman, Lindsey, et. al. weren’t wrong when they said the world was about to end back in the 1970s. They were merely premature. And so now we must be even closer to The End and now there’s even less time to change your mind and now all those people who were wrong decades ago are more right than ever.

Following that logic, I think instead of covering groovy Larry Norman songs, “Bible prophecy” fans should consider adapting They Might Be Giants’ “Older“:

It’s later than it’s ever been
And now it’s even later
And now it’s even later
And now it’s even later

And time is still marching on …

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  • Michael Pullmann

    I imagine all those 2012 books went out of print, too. Hopefully on December 23rd.

  • Jamoche

    As well as the “Y2K will be the end of everything” – saw one still on the shelves in 2001.

  • Lori

    Some of the Y2k books remained useful after Y2k came and went because they contained quite solid emergency preparedness info. A friend of mine picked up a good one for a quarter in the spring of 2000 and it was really helpful when she made up her earthquake kit and plan. That’s more than can be said for the stupid pre-mil End Times books.

  • Invisible Neutrino

    The same can be said for Howard Ruff’s omg the government is going to print so much money book* written back in 1979. He made the sensible point that regardless of disaster it’s worth having some canned food in storage and a spare set of tires for your car.

    He also made a good analogy about insurance: Insurance is what you pay to guard yourself against the accident you fully expect not to have.

    So although disaster prep may seem like $$ down the drain, if ever the Big Earthquake should hit, you’ll at least have prepared for it.

    * reading the reviews it’s almost embarrassing how this guy manage to flimflam so many people. He should’ve confined himself to writing basic disaster survival manuals. Might not have made a huge fortune that way, but at least he wouldn’t have been a huckster.

  • Lori

    The thing about money spent on disaster prep is that a lot doesn’t have to be money down the drain at all. If you chose your supplies carefully and rotate them on a reasonable schedule (which you need to do because both food and emergency water expire) there’s an upfront cost but it works out over the mid to long term.

  • fraser

    That’s what I did with hurricane supplies. A week’s worth of food at the start of the season, then eat it at the end.

  • Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

    This sounds like a viable reinterpretation of Samhain. Certainly more germane to the lives of most folks I know in today’s U.S. southeast than anything to do with culling cattle to get through the (fairly mild, actually) winter.

  • Lorehead

    The monetary base has in fact increased, but the consequences were not what the white populist crackpots thought. In particular, they tend to simultaneously worry about high inflation and be against borrowing money at fixed, low nominal rates, which is irrational.

  • Jamoche

    This was in the computer books section and wasn’t one of the useful ones :)

  • Ruby_Tea

    Yeah, Left Behind emergency advice would be interesting: “be sure to work for the AntiChrist so you can drop his name and beat traffic jams when disasters occur.”

  • arghous

    Awesome. It would have all sorts of useful tips:

    Make $$$ running a Kinko’s franchise.

    Find sweet pennies-on-the-dollar NY apartments, tricked-out SUVs, etc., — and when to sell.

    Secret cookie codes, and disinformation through flowers.

    Audiophonics that catch only the incriminating voices.

    Which water tanks are best for concealing bunker construction.

    Nikes are not just shoes — what you need to know.

    Do you have your Chicago escape routes memorized? Which roads will be packed and which empty.

    How to Gain Friends and Sell Them Out.

    Righteous condescension techniques.

    How to be figurative, allegorical, or metaphorical — literally!

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Don’t forget the product placement ad for Land Rover.

  • Naked Bunny with a Whip

    Probably a computer error.

  • Panda Rosa

    I’m old enough to remember the kerfluffle over Comet Kohoutek and how that was the Comet Of The Century as well as a Sign of the End Of Things. Hard to find any of the books on said comet even in the Free bin at flea markets.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    I remember the Comet Kohutek Rapture Scare. (Rio Hondo Jr College, Whittier, 1974.) You mean it was more than just a local rumor?
    The version I heard was that the comet would reflect the sunlight so “the sun and moon’s light would increase sevenfold” as Was Prophesied in Isaiah.

  • MikeJ

    Every single day could be the end of the world for you. And if I’m dead, then the rest of the supporting cast might as well be, or so goes the thinking anyway.

    I prefer a different take: Enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think.

  • Ross

    “My life, and by extension all of yours, is over”

  • Mr. Heartland

    “Now I will destroy the whole world!”

    The Mormons have already invented a whole new Abrahamic religion that puts White Americans at the center of the universe. there’s no need to gum up Protestant Christianity with all this puerile Dada nonsense.

  • glendanowakowsk

    Hey, don’t you know it’s all foma?

  • aunursa

    The Official – Left Behind Movie Facebook page
    10 minutes ago



    241 people like this.

    Cea ******* I’m praying the rapture would have already taken place but if not and The Lord tarries, I’m there!!! Use this film Lord Jesus to draw many to you
    8 minutes ago via mobile

    Chauntia ****** So excited, God bless you, God bless you, God bless you!!!!!!!!!
    7 minutes ago via mobile

    Sarah * ***** Still having a hard time seeing Ashley as Chloe.
    7 minutes ago via mobile

    Susan ****** Incxredible series…hope the movie lives up to high expectations!
    4 minutes ago

  • The_L1985

    That’s a bit scary.

  • Launcifer

    Eh, well, some people want to see a Led Zeppelin reunion tour, other people want to see the universe destroyed by a petty and spiteful godchild. Different strokes and all that…

  • Panda Rosa

    Any way to combine the two?

  • Abel Undercity

    I refuse to live in a Universe that can be destroyed by Robert Plant.

  • Ross

    Well, there’s one thing I have in common with the fans. I too am praying that the end of days comes in time to prevent me from seeing this movie.

  • Jamoche

    Since it’s also the music post – “Praying for the end of time so I can end my time with you”, Meatloaf, Paradise by the Dashboard Light

  • aunursa

    Lori *** I have the entire collection of the books and the way the world is today…it’s all happening like in the book of Revolations. JMO
    2 hours ago [in reply to Cea]

    Betty Jo ********* I am praying that if this takes off in the theatre that we can get a TV series going Pray everyone for God’s great bowls of mercies to pour out upon all involved
    13 minutes ago

    Tanya ****** Will check it out, but loved the 1st w/Kirk Cameron. Wonder how close they will stick to “important” plot lines
    about an hour ago via mobile

    John ***** By next spring the only people watching this movie could be those who are left behind. Sobering thought.
    about an hour ago via mobile

  • Dogfacedboy

    “God’s great bowls of mercies!” is my new favorite catchphrase.

  • Jim Roberts

    My understanding is that it comes from a charismatic intepretation of Luke 1:78, where “tender mercy of our God” is rendered more literally, if less literately, as “God’s many bowls of mercy.”

  • Dash1

    The Greek in Luke 1:78 has the word for “bowels,” not “bowls.” So Betty Jo, above, must take her place with the nice lady who misinterpreted Jesus’ “suffer the little children to come unto me” (“suffer” = “permit”) as “suffer ye not your little children,” meaning “don’t do things that make your children suffer.” I don’t recall what those things were, but they may have had something to do with making them learn science in school.

    The late Kage Baker was right when she said she used to teach Elizabethan English as a second language.

  • Jim Roberts

    She certainly was.

  • Sue White

    Goodness gracious, great bowls of mercies!

  • reynard61

    Am I a bad person because I read that as “bowels of mercies”? (Heck; even if I am, I don’t really care…)

  • aunursa

    From BYU: Bowels of Mercy
    The link to the 15 page-PDF is on the right side of the page.

  • Dash1

    Actually, you’re being accurate. “Bowels of mercy” is from the King James Version As Originally Spoken by Saint Paul, Not To Mention God. I don’t know offhand whether this was an expression in the 16th century, i.e., whether they used “bowels” much as we might use “guts” or “gut feeling” today, or whether it was an attempt to translate a Greek or Hebrew expression locating certain emotions in the belly. (And right now I can’t be arsed [nyuk nyuk] to look it up.)

  • AnonymousSam

    Genesis 43:30 did it too. “And Joseph made haste; for his bowels did yearn upon his brother: and he sought where to weep; and he entered into his chamber, and wept there.”

    Very few other translations mention anything of the sort aside from the Darby Translation, which is almost worse: His bowels burn for his brother.

  • SororAyin

    “His bowels burn for his brother.”
    Poor guy. They didn’t even have Pepto-Bismol back then.

  • reynard61

    “Goodness, gracious; great bowels of fire!!!”

  • Amaryllis

    I vaguely recall– and I can’t be arsed to look it up either– that in Hebrew the word for “womb” and the word for “compassion” are closely related.

  • christopher_y

    17th century, if it’s the KJV. I don’t know if it was a common expression either, but a few decades later Oliver Cromwell famously wrote to the Synod of the Church of Scotland, “I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible that you may be mistaken” (good advice for all of us, most of the time, by the way). So the expression was certainly around.

  • Dash1

    Try though I might, I cannot resist the opportunity for a linguistic geek-out.

    Strictly speaking, 16th century. The KJV was completed and issued in the 17th century (1611), but the translators would have learned their English in the 16th century. And to add to that, they were being consciously archaic. And borrowing heavily from Tyndale’s Bible, which was early 16th.

    And, short answer, there are examples of “bowels” for “emotions” going back at least a couple of centuries before the KJV. So it was apparently a thing.

    Here endeth the geek-out.

  • Matt

    I read that as “God’s great bowels of mercies…”

  • Fanraeth

    I misread it as bowels at first.

  • Panda Rosa

    Great Big Bowls Of Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts…

  • Albanaeon

    “Great bowls of of mercies?”

    Must be using a definition of “mercy” I was previously unaware of, since locusts, plagues, and fire seems a little contrary to the basic idea.

  • AnonymousSam

    A short while ago, someone linked to an article where a Calvinist preacher was stating that God’s mercy, love and patience are enshrined in the fact that the Reprobate are granted a short stay on Earth instead of just automatically going to Hell at the instant of creation. His mercy is in not torturing them immediately and in letting the Elect see them for their disgusting vileness so they could be assured that, yes, they did deserve to be tortured for eternity and how merciful God must be not to just torture everyone for all eternity instead of just 99% of the population.

    It’s safe to say there are a lot of people who don’t really understand the idea of mercy. At all.

  • FearlessSon

    “God’s great bowls of mercies to pour out upon all involved,” reminds me of Cartman trying to make Christian songs by taking love songs and replacing references to the object of love with Jesus. He ends up with lyrics like, “I want to get down on my knees and start pleasing Jesus, I want to feel his salvation all over my face.”

  • SororAyin

    That reminds me of one of Christian Piatt’s Church Sign Fails posts. The sign said, “The way to get to the top is on your knees.”

  • Thomas Stone

    I misread Tanya’s as saying that she hoped that she wondered how close the movie would stick to the important plot lines, all of which took place via mobile, which would show shocking reading skills

  • Boze Herrington

    this could be even better than Sharknado

  • Lori

    Congratulations on the continuing ability to make ends meet. I know what a big deal that is.

  • Persia

    For real, I’m happy to put up with a little inconvenience for Fred to get steady paychecks.

  • SisterCoyote

    Most definitely seconded.

  • Sue White

    I’m still a little disappointed he didn’t get my old job. I think he would have enjoyed meeting the local nuts. :-D It wasn’t a bad gig, really. But after 4+ years of what was meant to be a temporary job, I was just tired of it.

    Keep making those ends meet!

  • Chris Doggett

    Just because it’s factually wrong doesn’t mean it can’t be fun and funky.
    Exhibit A

    If we’re kicking around “the world is ending” music, there’s a lot more on the theme of “nuclear war will destroy us all” than “Jesus is coming! (everyone look busy!)”
    Exhibit B

    And the obligatory entry.

  • Fusina

    And here I thought the obligatory entry was this one:

  • Amaryllis

    Or you could just combine the two ideas

  • Panda Rosa

    AAAA-MEN! Now that is catchy!

  • flat

    you know I came to one conclusion: there is emergency preparation and there is emergency preparation.

  • aunursa

    It reminds me of the book-store customer in about 1994 who wanted to special-order a copy of Hal Lindsey’s The 1980s: Countdown to Armageddon. She was terribly disappointed when I told her it was out of print.

    Well, she could have selected Are You Ready or 1994?, both by Harold Camping.

  • Eric Boersma

    “I first heard ‘I Wish We’d All Been Ready’ in the early seventies and haven’t heard it performed since … but the message stayed with me through the years.”

    Someone hasn’t been listening to their dc Talk…

  • MuseofIre

    In music news, I urge everybody to see 20 Feet from Stardom, a wonderful (if unevenly paced) documentary about backup singers. Really put faces and stories behind many of the iconic tunes of my youth.

  • Worthless Beast

    You souldn’t necessarily judge people who want out of print apocalypse-books as nutters. Maybe they just like reading this stuff for a lark – the same kind of bile-factination that draws so many to LB. Maybe they like to collect strange things.
    I collect animal skulls and I try to be a nice person most of the time. That’s not too nutbars, is it? If I need something new to collect, defunct “prophecy” books might just be a fun thing.

  • AnonymousSam

    Especially when establishing patterns of human thought and behavior. A bit ago, Invisible Neutrino linked me to a 1915 ad against women’s suffrage. Among the evil people cited as supporting it? Socialists, union workers and Mormons. The defenders? “Christian civilization.” For bonus points, it even uses underhanded doublespeak: “Woman Suffrage is a WOMAN’S question. The Suffragists demand that MEN shall FORCE the burden of politics upon ALL WOMEN Without the Consent of Ninty Per Cent. […] Woman Suffrage is part of the Feminist Movement …”

    We haven’t changed all that much in 98 years and I think a large part of that is the fact that things like this get swept beneath the carpet. I have to wonder if the US would have leapt so readily to go to war against Afghanistan and Iraq if more people had been taught how the Spanish-American war got started. Now we’ve entered a state of politics where it’s considered treasonous to acknowledge that the US has made grievous errors in judgment which caused great harm to innocent people — I can only imagine how this is going to affect how such errors in judgment are taught in future history classes. My guess is “what errors in judgment?”

    (j_enigma, I’m really hoping your book doesn’t turn out to be prophecy…)

  • Alix

    Maybe they just like reading this stuff for a lark

    I know I do. And, heck, not just recent stuff; this “the end of the world/this world is just around the corner” mentality has been around for, quite possibly, as long as mankind.

    Nothing puts things in perspective quite like that, really.

  • caryjamesbond

    You know, the most quoted Bible verse against this sort of soothsaying is the one about how no man knows the day nor the hour…..

    So couldn’t you indefinitely postpone the rapture by every night, at 11:59, saying “Tomorrow is FOR SURE the day!”

    hmmmm…..I think I have a story idea…

  • Mark Z.

    Sure, you could. And then when the Rapture happens tomorrow, surprise! Turns out you didn’t know the day after all!

  • MaryKaye

    This is the logic puzzle or paradox variously called the Unexpected Hanging or Unexpected Quiz. As an academic, I usually think of the quiz version. I tell my students there will be a pop quiz this week but they won’t know when. A student reasons: if Friday arrives without a quiz, we’ll know it’s on Friday and it won’t be a surprise. So it can’t be on Friday. But then, if Thursday arrives, since we know it can’t be Friday …. and rules out all five days, at which point I give the quiz on Wednesday and they are surprised.

    I have never been able to get my head around this one: in particular the Friday logic does seem to be correct, but I don’t think it generalizes to any other day; and yet, if you believe the Friday reasoning then I can even give the quiz on Friday and you will be (in a somewhat different way) surprised. Perhaps “surprised” is inadequately defined.

  • banancat

    When I was a pre-teen I actually thought of this as sort of a logic problem. I predicted the day would come when nobody on Earth had explicitly predicted it, like it would be a trigger or a readied action. But then that gets kinda circular kinda fast.

  • Onymous

    The Church of Sub-Genius has taken the vary elegant approach of claiming that the calendars are wrong (due to conspiracy and/or mistakes) and the world will end on july 5th 1998 as scheduled. Whenever exactly july 5th 1998 happens.

  • P J Evans

    There’s still a “Minneapolis in ’73” bid for the World SF Convention. They’re either very late or very early, but they’ve been around since at least 1971.

  • Alden Utter

    So the Church of Sub-Genius was in charge for scheduling “Community”?

  • WingedBeast

    I went to the page of this song. I found people praising the singers. I found one person for whom the song “touched my heart”, another who called the song “blessed”, and another who’s soul was stirred (I presume not to as a call to oppose the evil of the being who would do this to people who had simply not guessed the right religion).

    What, in the wide though insufficient world of beep worthy expletives, does that say about the souls, the hearts, and the blessings involved?

    Can I send this bowl back? The mercies have gone rotten.

  • glendanowakowsk

    Yeah, and there’s something so creepy about the way she sings about these terrible things with a huge smile plastered on her face.

  • Will Hennessy

    That was a hell of a combo, Fred, absolutely deadly. Sidelong pun definitely intended.

    And I first heard dcTalk cover the song in roughly 1997(?) so either I was way more in-tune with Contemporary Christian Music than these gospel people (possible, but unlikely), or they’re simply fulla crap.

    Hell, I covered the song more than a decade ago, which should point to the hilarity of that continuing message.

  • SororAyin

    Songs about the end of the world are a favorite of mine since I am a doom metal fan, although I don’t really any that make reference to the Rapture. These are probably the three best that I know of:
    “Doom over the World” by Reverend Bizarre
    “Electric Funeral” by Black Sabbath
    “Into the Void” also Black Sabbath
    I’ll always have a soft spot for “Electric Funeral” since that is the song that persuaded me to take up guitar playing myself.

  • skybison

    I’ve never believed in the rapture but I do find Larry Norman’s song to be very good. I’ve always thought it would great as a theme song for a tragic villain, someone who does terrible things but belives deep down that it’s all for the greater good.

  • Theo Axner

    Chris Doggett: If we’re kicking around “the world is ending” music, there’s a lot more
    on the theme of “nuclear war will destroy us all” than “Jesus is coming!
    (everyone look busy!)”
    Exhibit B

    Or we could combine them both, like the Louvin Brothers did all the way back in 1952 with The Great Atomic Power. This is probably my favorite apocalyptic song for sheer weirdness. :D

  • Amaryllis

    That was apparently something of a minor trend, back in those days. As well as this song and the one I linked to earlier, consider the lyrics — unfortunately(?), no one seems to have loaded it to Youtube– of Jesus is God’s Atomic Bomb: (1950)

    Oh, it can kill your natural body
    But the Lord can kill your soul
    That’s why I know Jesus
    Oh, Jesus is God’s–I declare–atomic bomb
    Oh, yes

    Jesus is God’s atomic bomb
    Proudest papa that ever was
    Jesus is God’s, His atomic bomb…

    (as cited in the Atomic Platters collection of Atom-Age songs and other pop culture)

  • LoneWolf343

    Speaking of Left behind, has everyone seen the latest poster for the upcoming movie? Isn’t that that laziest, ugliest movie poster you have ever seen?

  • m11_9

    Where’s the series number? Is this a re-do of LB1 from so many years ago?

    Ashley Tisdale from High School Musical and other Disney works? Nicholas Cage?

    I could write questions about this all day…

  • LoneWolf343

    It’s a reboot. Where have you been?

  • m11_9

    somewhat rhetorical, but this is just so weird I worded it that way. Who is the audience? This series is so old that spending even more to make a better Hollywood level version is just a waste.

    The original LB audience that ate this stuff up 10 years ago have moved on to whatever the latest craze is. This is a financial disaster, IMO.

    I see that they had to wait and wrestle the rights back due to a poor production the first time.

    I hope the producers are being paid by L-J to do this, rather than paying L-J for the rights. The rights are worth less than zero.

  • Lori

    I could have photoshopped up a better poster than that, and I’m crap at photoshop.

    ETA: Whose stupid idea was it to aim the jet right at the high rise building, and was it deliberate or just unbelievably dense?

  • LoneWolf343

    A simple color filter would have radically improved the picture. At least the subjects would look like they were actually part of the setting. Oh, and apparently that girl is a midget.

  • Lee B.

    Just what is it makes today’s apocalypses so different, so appealing?

  • Bob

    The colours are all wrong on the girl and the plane. They’re clearly not a part of the setting. But I like the fact that Chloe is the focus of this poster- is this a sign that she’ll have more agency in the film and there’ll be more focus on her bravery journeying home alone at the start of an apocalypse? Or did they just think ‘needs more sex apeal, lets put a girl on the poster and make sure she shows some leg’?

  • fredispathetic

    Guess you didn’t have any living scapegoats to slay today, or you just got tire of nailing Orson Scott Card to the cross. Yeah, let’s make sure everybody understands clearly that Larry Norman was an evil homophobic Nazi whose music must be banned to guarantee the purity of our thoughts. In fact, we’d better check his tomb to make sure he’s really dead, then exhume him so we can kill him again. You should get a TV series, Fred: “Show Trials of the Dead.”

  • AnonymousSam

    Pointing out that a song said we were living in the last days forty years ago and that we’re obviously still here today = calling someone an evil homophobic Nazi whose music must be banned. Interesting.

  • Fanraeth

    *yawn* Not even slightly amusing. Nice try, troll.

  • Panda Rosa

    You do realize someone is going to want to make that.
    Anyone familiar with the Cadaver Synod?

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    So Larry Norman writes a song in 1972 warning that we are in the Last Days and that “there’s no time to change your mind.” And then 40 years later that message inspires a cover version.

    At least the cover version made an attempt to sing it as Larry had — a Tragic Lament, not a Cry of Triumph.

  • Pacal

    Didn’t Jesus say something about the end coming has a total surprise and that no one will know when it comes except God. If that is the case then all these people thinking they know the end is coming means it isn’t coming.