Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 11: ‘Not creepy enough’

The apocalypse described in Stephen King’s ‘The Stand’ is genuinely frightening. ‘Left Behind’ is not. This is partly because Stephen King is a better writer, but the main difference is not his skill, but his objective. When you read ‘The Stand,’ he wants you to imagine this story is happening to you. When you read about the apocalypse in ‘Left Behind,’ the authors want you to imagine this story is happening to someone else — someone who, unlike you, deserves it. [Read more…]

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NRA: Rebuilding the post-Rapture church

This puts the Antichrist on a very tight schedule. He has a strict list of prophecies that are going to need fulfilling and that timeline is non-negotiable. Within three and a half years of the Rapture, the Antichrist is going to need to be persecuting a global church and he’s going to need to be desecrating a Temple in Jerusalem. And there, on Day One of the Great Tribulation, the morning after the Rapture, neither a global church nor a Temple will exist. [Read more…]

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‘It’s the Apocalypse, Stupid’: Matthew Sutton on how ‘Bible prophecy’ and Rapture mania deform American politics

“My argument in a nutshell is that the apocalyptic theology that developed in the 1880s and 1890s led radical evangelicals to the conclusion that all nations are going to concede their power in the End Times to a totalitarian political leader who is going to be the Antichrist. If you believe you’re living in the last days and you believe you’re moving towards that event, you’re going to be very suspicious and skeptical of anything … that is going to give more power to the state.” [Read more…]

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Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 10: ‘The Hypothetical Bus’

Don’t put off re-reading this 2003 post on how “Left Behind” substitutes old-fashioned hellfire & brimstone evangelism for a tribal triumphalism that’s even worse. Sure, you could set it aside to read later … but then you might just walk out that door and get hit by a bus. And then what good would your plans to read it later do you? [Read more…]

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NRA: Rayford the Spy

These two paragraphs can serve as a metaphor for, or a summary of, the kind of religion that Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins are advocating in these books. It’s a faith that drives you to work for the emperor, faithfully and capably obeying everything the empire commands while enjoying the prestige and paychecks that come with such work. Yet at the same time it encourages you to imagine yourself as a rebellious and counter-cultural. So even though it leads you into complicity with “horrible atrocities,” you’ll be able to blithely take it all in stride. [Read more…]

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And you’ll only drink milk from a Christian cow

Some links for Buy Nothing Day, including: another bit of false prophecy from Tim LaHaye; an anti-Semitic muppet highlights problems in the Orthodox Church; saving Christmas from Kirk Cameron; and more. [Read more…]

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Happy Birthday, Hal Lindsey — still defying prophecy after all these years

Hal Lindsey turns 85 years old today. He told us that would never happen, but it just did. Lindsey’s admirers will likely celebrate his 85th birthday today without pausing to realize that this celebration disproves everything Lindsey himself ever taught them. [Read more…]

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Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 9: ‘Do Panic’

“Rayford runs into Hattie Durham. She’s still ‘drop dead gorgeous,’ but in a hysterically crying, stark-raving panic kind of way. It seems that the most significant and interesting event of the entire story has already occurred and we, the readers, were left behind. Or at least left out. (L&J rarely miss an opportunity to replace action with exposition.)” [Read more…]

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