Articles from April 2009

Left Behind: Tribulation Force Review–Part 3


Previous parts

On p. 67 of TF, it is made clear as day that not only are the Catholics left behind for not believing in Luther’s doctrines, but those who don’t believe in premillennial dispensationalism (the complicated, convoluted system of doctrine, only about 100 years old or so, which includes the Left Behind-version of the End Times) are left behind:

[The congregation of Bruce’s church] were drinking this in [Bruce’s interpretations of Revelations], and they wanted more and more.  Clearly Bruce had been in tune with what God was showing him.  He had said over and over that this was not new truth, that the commentaries he cited were decades old–

*snort*–Decades?  Oh, my gosh, you mean the commentaries were written in the 20th century?  So old!

–and that the doctrine of the end times was much, much older than that.

About 100 years old, yes.

But those who had relegated this kind of teaching to the literalists, the fundamentalists, the closed-minded evangelicals, had been left behind.

All of a sudden it was all right to take Scripture at its word!  If nothing else convinced people, losing so many to the Rapture finally reached them.

Na na na na na!  Don’t believe in a literalist interpretation of the Bible?  You’re left behind!  Believe the Church will have to go through the Tribulation and not get Raptured?  You’re left behind!  Don’t believe Revelations is meant to be taken literally?  You’re left behind!

It’s not enough to believe in Christ–You also have to believe the right doctrines!  Don’t agree with the evangelicals?  You’re left behind!  Don’t agree with our version of doctrine?  You’re so stupid it’ll take a Rapture to convince you!

On page 65, I started a tally of how many times the authors wrote “Buck was struck”:

On p. 65, “As Bruce plunged ahead, Buck was struck” (ooh, the double entendres!) “that the last speaker he had heard who was so captivating was Nicolae Carpathia” (that’s the Antichrist, the Beast, by the way).

On p. 110, “Buck was more struck with Steve’s appearance than with Carpathia’s.”  (It’s too easy to start with the slash humor here.)

Then on p. 342, “Buck was struck by their ragged robes” (those of the Two Witnesses, Eli and Moishe).

Meanwhile, I was struck (though that does not rhyme) with something else on p. 65: “Would [Bruce] tell this [church] body that he believed he knew who the Antichrist was?  In a way Buck hoped he would.  But that might be considered slander, to publicly finger someone as the archenemy of almighty God.”

That doesn’t stop people from doing so.  I’m aware of Popes, Mikhail Gorbachev and, now, Barack Obama being publicly fingered as the Antichrist.  There are probably many others as well.

On p. 79, Buck is actually considering being “just friends” with his potential love muffin Chloe because “Who pursues a relationship during the end of the world?”

Anyone who knows he/she only has 7 years left in which to follow his/her heart’s desire, that’s who!  Any red-blooded 30-year-old virgin who knows he only has 7 years left in which to have nookie, that’s who!

On p. 208, we have to wonder about the utter stupidity of Buck’s boss, who actually thinks that anything involving Israel, anything happening in the Holy Land, automatically goes in the Religion section of the newsweekly.

Would he put suicide bombings, the peace talks in Israel, or news analyses showing how Israel is at the root of so much conflict in the Middle East which now extends to the rest of the world–Would he put those things in the Religion section????

Being allied with Israel, right or wrong, is one reason why the terrorists hate us and plane-bomb our cities, because they hate Israel; does that belong in the Religion section?

On pages 275-279, we read about all the religious leaders of the world coming together, hammering out their differences, deciding to work together and promote a New Agey-view of religion (“Whether we believe God is a real person or merely a concept, God is in all and above all and around all.  God is in us.  God is us.  We are God”), deciding to believe in the basic goodness of mankind….

The Muslims agree to move the Dome of the Rock so the Jews can re-build their ancient Temple on the original site…. The nations have agreed to one currency, total disarmament (except for the UN’s cut) and peace….

Yeah.  Riiiiiiiiiight.  I see that happening in this universe.  This must be the universe in which Bill and Ted’s Excellent music puts an end to war and poverty, aligns the planets and brings them into universal harmony, etc. etc.

P. 280 has one of my favorite passages.  It’s fun to read this one out loud as if it were a passage from a bodice-ripping romance novel.  I have bolded the parts which especially deserve a husky voice and raised eyebrows:

Yet in his anxiety over meeting Carpathia face-to-face, [Rayford] did not want to look past the ordeal of confronting Hattie Durham.  Hattie was waiting when he stepped off the elevator. He had hoped to have a moment to get the lay of the land–

Would that be Hattie?

–to freshen up, to take a deep breath.  But there she stood in all her youthful beauty, more stunning than ever because of a tan and expensively tailored clothes on a frame that needed no help. 

Now switch from your porn-star voice to the voice of an Old-Time Religion, Bible-thumping, fire-and-brimstone preacher, complete with a drawled “eeeeeviiiiil”:

He did not expect what he saw, and he sensed evil in the place when a flash of longing for her briefly invaded his mind.  Rayford’s old nature immediately reminded him why she had distracted him during a wintry season of his marriage.

He prayed silently, thanking God for sparing him from having done something he would have regretted forever.

Is that your old nature in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

Oh, yes, a beautiful woman inspiring a flash of longing, is a sign of evil in the place!

So, the sex drive disappears when you get saved?  The natural attraction of man to woman becomes part of the “old nature”?  How do you carry on the race that way?

To be continued….

My entire review is here.