Left Behind might actually be out in front

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Left Behind might actually be out in front

Postby rapturos » Sat Oct 22, 2005 1:49 am

This happened a ways back when we were going out to Waikiki to do street witnessing pretty much every weekend, Fridays and sometimes Saturdays also. A young man asked for prayer so we had him sit down on the low-lying wall alongside the street and we layed hands on him. I noticed that he was weeping as we finished the prayer. He told us that he was backslidden and he asked our forgiveness for his being slightly drunk. He said that he had been reading the Left Behind series and he was deeply afraid that he would be one of those left behind in the Rapture because of his failings. I have to admit that up to that point I had been very skeptical of the Left Behind series since it appeared to me (although I had never read any of them personally) that they were either pure sensationalism or a commercialization of the gospel or both. So I believe the Lord was really rebuking me that night for my unbelief, for thinking that somehow God couldn't use just about anything to get His message across to either believer or unbeliever in any way, shape, or form He chose to use. Maranatha!
Last edited by rapturos on Sat Oct 29, 2005 3:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby scrivener » Thu Oct 27, 2005 7:25 am

The books aren't very good, so your pessimism is well-founded. Sure, God can use anything, and I won't presume to tell anyone that whatever meaningful experience he or she had as a result of reading the Left Behind books was not genuine. However, I consider these books to be more harmful than helpful, as (first) they are kind of lame and (second) they are one interpretation of what might happen in the End Times and people are not reading them in that light.

Having said that, I'm glad they are touching people's lives, despite all their lousy shortcomings!
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Postby Foxen » Fri Oct 28, 2005 1:34 am

God can use anything...I mean, I have a bunch of rocks and palm trees that I pass out instead of books by Christian authors...

God can use anything, but we have responsibility to produce GOOD stuff with depth...if we are to do something, we should do it with excellence. However, I applaud Lafey (or whatever his name is) and his efforts...I mean, at the minimum, it did get people to think...likewise, in a twisted way, I applaud Dan Brown and his Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons. Some people actually think his work is non-fiction...but then again, some people think that the Left Behind series is non-fiction also.

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He hates my song

Postby rapturos » Sat Oct 29, 2005 3:19 am

Well, along those lines, I was reading a book that as I recall was compiled by John McArthur (who I respect highly) where the several article writers were lamenting the decadence not only in the depth of the churches practices and belief but even the music. And John was saying he really couldn't stand "In the Garden" because the lyrics were so sappy. Rats! I really liked that song, especially the version done by I think it was the group Hillsong on the album of the same name. Well, maybe God can use sappy anyway. The Bible does say that with God anything is possible, right?
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Postby scrivener » Sat Oct 29, 2005 10:59 am

Ugh. I hate that song.
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Postby Pua'i » Fri Dec 02, 2005 11:45 am

Fascinated with Left Behind (before it became a huge series), I bought the first book and read it. I thought that the writing wasn't gutsy enough to be good fiction, and too caricaturish (I know it isn't a real word, but let's call an adjective for today :? ) to be a tool for witnessing.

Then da buggah turned into this huge phenomenon, and I started to really check it out. Googling rapture on the internet, I found that there is this whole “pretribulation, midtribulation, or posttribulation rapture” mindset of which I had never concerned myself. Yet one might easily argue that the End Times would rank as the #1 concern of modern-day American Christians. That said, I freely confess to fully wigging out at the lucrative appeal of writing about the mana of the devil. I mean, its a whole industry!

So I stopped looking at those books. When it comes to tribulation and stuff, that final hour is one that Jesus claimed not to know. I say no sense even worrying about it... or reading about it in cheesy novels. :D

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Postby scrivener » Wed Dec 21, 2005 9:58 pm

Pua`i, you and I are clearly on the same page about this.

I wonder, though. Do you think that the fact that it's such a popular series of books is ITSELF a reason to dislike it? I know that's part of my feeling. I mean, if just a few thousand thought it was great and were really moved by this, I might have a softer spot in my heart for it, but once something becomes a defining movement, especially in the evangelical world, it is something I begin to look at suspiciously and even disdainfully.

Is it fair to hate Left Behind because it's so popular?
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Postby Pua'i » Fri Dec 23, 2005 4:08 pm

scrivener wrote:Pua`i, you and I are clearly on the same page about this.

I wonder, though. Do you think that the fact that it's such a popular series of books is ITSELF a reason to dislike it? I know that's part of my feeling. I mean, if just a few thousand thought it was great and were really moved by this, I might have a softer spot in my heart for it, but once something becomes a defining movement, especially in the evangelical world, it is something I begin to look at suspiciously and even disdainfully.

Is it fair to hate Left Behind because it's so popular?


Honestly? I'd love it if a Christian series was wildly popular/successful and DIDN'T involve devil drama. Real life is so much more interesting. Fill it with addiction and strife, overspent yuppies and shmoes trying to eke a living. Toss in some cuss words. Add a dash of sex, drugs, and rock&roll--even if it is the fantasy stuff that somebody only *wished* his/her life was that interesting. Throw in an IRS audit and a natural disaster. Add macro-economic policies that makes employment tenuous. AND do all that while trying to reconcile those times when God is granting us a minor miracle or two, alongside the understanding that His will is also responsible for us being tossed into the jar (like Joseph).

And let the faithful win the lottery. After all, it is fiction 8)

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