Previous parts

On pages 354 and 355, not only is the idea of the Global Community’s “individual freedom for all” treated like a bad thing (somehow tied in with “One World One Truth”), but it is assumed to mean perversion.

For example, the GC sponsors a dance troupe doing a “lascivious routine.”  And on page 356, Jerusalem is filled with “bars, strip clubs, massage parlors, brothels, pagan sanctuaries, and fortune-telling establishments” that are not seedy or pushed aside to a certain part of town, but in the middle of everything and with no black doors or “labyrinthine entrances.”

Rather, while the rest of the Holy City seemed to crumble for neglect and lack of manpower, here were gleaming storefronts, well lit and obvious to every eye, proudly exhibiting every perversion and fleshly evil known to man.

Which is quite a sad commentary on the morals of the various religions which inhabit Jerusalem, since it was made clear previously that Jews and Muslims were not included in the Rapture.

I also wonder–having never been there–if Jerusalem has these things now, or if it’s assumed that even Israel will have these things and sink into desperate perversion despite being singled out by God during the Tribulation.

On page 368, in Eli’s sermon, we see once again that the Left Behind books are proclaiming all those of other religions to be condemned, based merely on religion, not actual sin, that one of the biggest sins is not being a Christian.

I am not arguing with them that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life, but that Eli and Moishe are saying that only Christians will be saved.  This way of thinking is not only un-Orthodox–since no man can claim to know how God will judge each person, whether Christian or not–but apparently based on total depravity, a Calvinist concept which is foreign to Orthodoxy.

Only God knows what is in the heart, and only God can say who will be saved.  But these books draw a line of us vs. them, with only the right-believing Christians on the side of “us” and “them” being everyone else who is condemned in the plagues.

When Moishe takes over on page 369, he says,

The Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.

Gah!  My inner editor is cringing right now!  Do we really need so many “ungodlys”?

On page 370, we find Rayford stalking the Antichrist at a huge GC gala with a “light ankle-length robe” and “the Saber” carried “deep in an inside pocket.”  I have sudden visions of a Jedi stalking a Sith.  But the Saber is actually that terrible gun he’s bought.

He felt a tingle from the back of his head to his tailbone, knowing he was carrying a high-powered weapon with kill power from hundreds of feet away.

After having been so eager to do this thing, he now pleaded with God to spare him the task.  Would he be willing to follow through and kill Carpathia if God made that clear?

No, Rayford, no!

On page 371, Mac hatches a plan to fly, by himself, the Antichrist, either into a mountain or “cut the power and let gravity take over.”  No, Mac, no!  You remind me of a suicide bomber!

On page 373, Leonardo Fortunato goes on the stage at the gala to make a speech, as the MC.  We read that, of his speech,

Every phrase elicited enthusiasm, making Buck wonder what planet the crowd was from.  Did no one hold the leadership responsible for all the death and grief?  The population had been cut in half in three and a half years, and these people celebrated?

I wonder how he expects them to hold the leadership responsible for the plagues, most of which have been natural disasters–or, shall we say, acts of God.  And does he really think the people believe Carpathia caused the demon locusts or the invisible horses?

On page 374, the Deputy Pontiff of Enigma Babylon One World Faith refers to the “one-gender deity in whom we all rest and who also rests in all of us.”

I wonder why the emphasis on one gender.  Aren’t most gendered deities only one gender?  Unless you have a hermaphrodite deity, or–with the Christian God–a genderless deity, it’s either a god or a goddess.  And, of course, there are many in the Christian faith who consider God to be male–isn’t that one gender?

The Deputy Pontiff’s announcement: Pontifex Maximus Peter the Second has just died suddenly.  She calls it a virus, but we know he’s been murdered by the ten sub-potentates.  And Carpathia has just hypnotized the crowd to see it as no big deal.

Our beloved Carpathia murders Eli and Moishe with his own Saber, and we are treated to various descriptions of their rotting corpses, kept exposed to the elements, birds, animals and bugs as the Gala carries on around them for the next few days, until they rise again.

Must we keep getting such gruesome descriptions?  In these books we get to read the details as people are killed and bodies rot, but we don’t get much of anything about the appearances of characters, courtships, or anything else that would be worth describing.  It’s almost like death porn.  😛

Carpathia is assassinated, but Rayford is so confused that he’s not sure if he pulled the trigger or if it was somebody else.  We won’t find out who did it until the next book.

Now on to the next book in the series.

[September 2010]