by Tim LaHaye & Jerry Jenkins, Tyndale House Publishers, ISBN 1414305818, available practically anywhere Christian books are sold:
A plot summary is here.
FINALLY, the last prequel. So only one more book is left! (I’ve been reading these books for more than five years now. 😛 Though that’s nothing compared to how long the Slacktivist has been doing this. 😛 )
It’s comforting, on pages 13 to 14, to see Irene’s new Christian friends and pastor counsel her to stop nagging Rayford into getting “saved.”
Another pleasant surprise comes on page 16, when their son Raymie asks, “Mom, is Dad going to hell?” and Irene answers, “Frankly, I can’t tell where your dad is on all this. He claims to believe in God, and it’s not for us to say.”
Pages 17 and 18 inspired me to write this post on my blog, which I will copy for you here:
I’m currently reading the Left Behind book “The Rapture” for my series of Left Behind reviews. My reviews and the Slacktivist describe the bad, ungodly behavior of the Christians in the books. But what I read last night, really burns me up:
A good Christian woman, Lucinda Washington, middle-aged, who is not afraid to show her faith and is respected by all, is also Buck’s favorite colleague, a mentor of sorts.
After witnessing the dramatic, supernatural defeat of the air forces sent to decimate Israel, he comes to her office looking for answers. He plops down in a chair with his feet on the desk and she says,
“If you were my son I’d whup you upside the head, sitting like that, tearing up your spine.”
“You don’t still smack Lionel, do you?” Buck said, peeking at the photo of the smooth-faced youngster [he’s 12].
“Can’t catch him anymore, but he knows I can still take him.”
Excuse me, this isn’t set in 1950, but in 21st-century America, some indeterminate time after the present, right before the Rapture–and the book was written in 2006.
This barbaric practice should be universally condemned as child abuse by the time this book takes place. It’s already illegal in some places. And even 100 years ago, people knew that smacking kids anywhere on the head is dangerous. I go into this in great detail in these posts:
Child Abuse, Examples of Child Abuse, Hitting Kids Upside the Head is ABUSE, Slapping Kids Upside the Head Causes Traumatic Brain Injury, and …Because slapping kids on the head is ABUSE! STOP THE VIOLENCE!
And this is the woman we are supposed to admire as a great woman of God? A FRICKIN’ CHILD ABUSER????!!!!!
Here, I describe how two narcissistic “friends” turned out to be child abusers, whom I eventually reported to CPS because I could not get through to them, and who then threatened and began stalking me for calling them child abusers. One of the things they did which most enraged me, was smacking their little kids in the head.
I also unfriended some old high school classmate a while back for advocating beating children on her Facebook status. Then, a few months ago, unfriended (and eventually blocked) a girl in my social circles who said parents should beat their children.
Now, after all that, and enduring the stress and emotional anguish of being threatened and stalked for calling this child abuse, I’m supposed to read this “Christian” book and accept that a godly woman would abuse her child by smacking him upside the head? I’m supposed to like this character after knowing this? She’s just another hypocrite like the rest of the series’ Christians!
On page 26, Irene has turned into a Stepford Wife, even setting out Rayford’s clothes as if he were a child. Since badgering him into converting doesn’t work, she’s taking the opposite tactic–still manipulative, but I guess she doesn’t see that.
But it drives him crazy, because he knows her various problems with him (church, his use of time, not spending enough time with their son) are still on her mind. He’d rather argue than pretend they don’t exist.
On pages 63 to 66, Rayford explains to Raymie what many of us have realized over the years: that just because you don’t belong to a particular religion or sect, does not necessarily mean you’re going to Hell. Raymie replies,
Wow. You sound just like the people Pastor Billings talks about. People who think they have it all figured out, but they don’t really believe in Jesus.
Say what? Just because you have a different idea of who goes to Hell, you don’t really believe in Jesus? Also, Raymie’s words have a distinct vibe of “Oh, you’re one of those people,” said with a curling lip. ARGH!
And double-ARGH to the last few paragraphs on page 66:
Rayford…overheard the boy talking with Irene, who had asked how things went.
“Dad’s going to hell,” Raymie said. “He doesn’t think he is. He thinks he isn’t. But he doesn’t believe in Jesus. Not really.”
Meanwhile, back in Antichrist land, pages 71 to 74 depict a Mafia-style punishment of the family of a guy marked by Fortunato, Nicolae Carpathia’s right-hand man. It’s full of evil and angst.
Where the heck was this kind of writing in the rest of the series? If we see this along with Carpathia’s public image as a nice guy, we’ll know he’s evil. No, all we get in the first books is that Carpathia wants world peace, which doesn’t sound so bad.
But if we got more of this behind-the-scenes evil instead of endless pages of traveling itineraries and phone conversations, the first books could have been awesome, instead of dull trudging wondering when this book will end.
Find all my Left Behind book reviews here.