Leave Left Behind Behind

This is only serving as a study break today. Yeah, I admit I just had a half hour pizza break, but since then I’ve been grappling with a printer situation that has left me all but happy. So it’s 11:40 and I haven’t started studying for a major final tomorrow. No big deal (Oh wait, my parents read this sometimes!)—after all, I just need to review. Yeah, that’s it. Review.

You know what burns me? Marketing. I suppose it’s one of many things. But I feel like going off on a tirade, and that’s my victim tonight. Yesterday while surfin’ the web I came across the Left Behind web site. For those of you who haven’t heard of these too-popular books, they’re a series of end times fiction. Basically your Christian version of a John Grisham series. If he wrote a series. Fast paced plot, characters worthy of Tom Cruise, and absolutely no literary value. That’s basically what the Left Behind books are. I think God has called us to something greater. Not only that, but they vehemently support a pre-tribulation view of rapture, ignoring the idea that we’re only humans and don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. Sure, we have the Bible, but it doesn’t exactly spell it out for us. Sure, it talks about the future, and gives us some great clues. But to say this is exactly how it’s going to happen is foolish. The main point of argument here is between what’s called pre-trib, mid-trib and post-trib, all beliefs that only vary on when the rapture occurs in relation to the tribulation (I know I’m getting a little theological on ya, but bare with me). My basic point is that these books are endorsing one of these beliefs as solid truth—these beliefs aren’t worth basing your faith on. Heck, the idea of pre-tribulation rapture is only a few hundred years old.

It just shocks me that some people want to take this book series and turn into a major movie production and try to show Hollywood that Christian films can succeed. Now I have no problem with good, moral movies, but I do have a problem with a movie that is trying to represent Christianity with a belief that is anything but universal. Not only that, but let’s just scare everyone into accepting Jesus with visions of Armageddon.

But what I find worse than all this is the marketing. Not only is this a seven book series, but they’ve already spun off a ‘teen fiction’ version of the books. And on the ‘Left Behind: The Movie’ web site, you’ll find these two phrases, “Will you be ready for the moment of truth? TO ORDER, CALL 1-800-XXX-XXXX.” Yep, they’re right next to one another. Is that implying that in order to know the truth of Christ you have to buy a T-shirt?

Sometimes I’m embarrassed to admit that I’m in the same category as some of these people. And we wonder why people laugh at Christianity.

(Hey, over Christmas break I may be just bored enough to devote an entire web page to the ramblings above! So stay tuned.)

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