I was talking with my pal Don last night and the discussion quickly veered into my current religious ideas / thoughts. We covered a fair bit of ground about theology in particular. Theology is interesting as a concept since it keeps changing yet the God(s) it studies stay the same. Theology is not a way to find God… Rather it is a way of explaining God to ourselves. It is man made and thus prone to flaws and failures of logic.
In reality, we are all theologians when we even ponder ideas about God and the Bible. Some of us are, of course, better at it than others. Not that I’m trying to turn this into a war of intellectuals or anything, but sometimes people go a little over the edge with their beliefs.
Case in point. There is a book series known as Left Behind that is written by two Christian guys about the end days and the rapture. For those who don’t know, the rapture is the time that God (supposedly) will come down and take all the people who have accepted Jesus as their personal savior and leave behind (heh, now you see the cleverness of the title!) the non-believers. This is supposed to wake them up to His presence and they can then choose to start following Him or reject Him forever.
Anyhoo, even those these books are some of the worst novels ever written (in technical terms… 3 chapters of people doing nothing and driving places is NOT exciting… and no character development occurs in this span either… sigh) they managed to become insanely popular and regularly dominate the New York Bestsellers List. What is funny is how far people take the story.
Soon after the first book was finished, a video was produced by the authors with the intention of being viewed by (you guessed it) people left behind after the REAL rapture. This I can deal with. If you believe it could happen, it would be kind of mean to not leave behind a little clue for the others.
Now, the problem comes when you try and get your fiction to line up with reality and make people focus on stuff that may or may not mean anything. If you go to the website for the books (link above), you will notice in the bottom right of the page a section detailing links between prophecy and current events.
Here are this weeks “postings…”
Pray for Jerusalem (Part 1)What “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” means to a Christian Zionist.
Pray for Jerusalem (Part 2)
The Next WMD CrisisContributing editor Mark Hitchcock examines Iraq’s nuclear ambitions in light of prophecy.
Gay Marriage DeniedA look at some recent victories for those who oppose gay marriage, but the battle is just heating up.
Prophecies Fulfilled in the Church Age (part 6 of 8)A Bible study based on Tim LaHaye’s Prophecy Study Bible.
Clicking on the link to the “Prophecy Club” takes you to a suspicious looking banner with an F-16 in front of an American flag with the Earth and some fire photoshopped into the shot. The page says that it is unclear what part America will play in the end times. That being said, it definitely implies that America will be on the good guys side. Hmm…
I find this all fairly amusing since I don’t see how anyone can honestly claim that America has the world’s best interests at heart. Just go back and do some reading and see how our friends to the south have fought for “freedom and democracy.”
Chile – 1971. CIA operatives under direct supervision of Henry Kissinger are told to sponsor an attack on General Rene Schneider in an effort to keep the socialist presidential candidate, Salvador Allende, from being elected. The men hired to kidnap Schneider botched the job and ended up killing him. Allende became the president regardless but was later overthrown in a bloody coup. Why? Because socialism is evil. Even when the population votes for it. What is socialism? Well, social programs for the people offered by the government of course. If you like free health care, support services for the unemployed, publicly owned companies (how BC Ferries, BC Hydro, and BC Rail USED to be) then you are a socialist. You should kill yourself quickly for being so evil.
This is a small and insignificant example compared to other atrocities done around the world by just ONE of the many culprit nations. Even Canada has done some nasty profiteering under the guise of humanitarian work. (For more detail on Chile and another case study in Congo, click here to read my Political Science paper on it.)
Well, that was a long digression… back to me and Don…
Don mentioned how the Left Behind guys had put up a million dollars for this Prophecy Club thing to get it started. I joked that maybe they should hired a few hundred non-christians to work for the company so if the Rapture occured they would still be able to operate and bilk the chaos for money. Hmm…