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NY Times Editorial On The Left Behind Series  
User currently offlineGarnetpalmetto From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 5361 posts, RR: 53
Posted (10 years 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 1781 times:

I was just reading this NY Times Editorial reprinted in The State and thought it would make interesting discussion material. Here's the article:

http://www.thestate.com/mld/state/news/opinion/9194962.htm




South Carolina - too small to be its own country, too big to be a mental asylum.
30 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineQb001 From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 2053 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (10 years 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 1765 times:

This is just another proof that we should abolish all religions. Period.

Long live atheism, long live humanism.



Never let the facts get in the way of a good theory.
User currently offlineAlpha 1 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (10 years 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 1765 times:

Excellent article. And I think very accurately describing the way some very far on the right view the world.

I don't believe the Jesus these nuts who write these novels portray, is the Jesus that will come down on Judgement Day. I do not think Jesus was/is/will be a spiteful Messiah; after all, on the cross, he said "Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do". I don't think such a man, whom I believe is the Son of God will come down and strike all that don't see things exactly as he did. His story of the Good Samaratan is case in point.

But the point is, there are those who believe this is true, and more than a few could interpret such things as giving them the OK to treat "infidels" as if they were less-than-human. All we need to do is look at those who pervert Islam, to see what could happen with those who pervert Christianity.

This is just another proof that we should abolish all religions. Period.

Long live atheism, long live humanism.


Wrong. It only shows that ANYONE can pervert religion, and anyone can make anything justifiable in the name of God.

If you don't believe in God, that's fine. It's your life. I think you're sadly mistaken in such a belief, but it's yours to have. But don't go preaching to others that religion should be banned. I say long live God, not humanism, and I, like you, should be allowed to proclaim such a thing.

[Edited 2004-07-20 16:19:55]

User currently offlineLY7E7 From Israel, joined Jun 2004, 2234 posts, RR: 19
Reply 3, posted (10 years 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 1760 times:

All we need to do is look at those who pervert Islam, to see what could happen with those who pervert Christianity.

As long as religions exist they will be perverted by somebody.



2 things are endless: ignorance and space
User currently offlineN6376m From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (10 years 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 1756 times:

As a Catholic, I have trouble with the right wing born againers who believe in a all loving, all powerful God, but one who NEEDS our help to accomplish what he wants on earth.

I can't accept that my God who forgives my sins would hold those of a Chinese person who's never heard of Jesus in his life against them or of a practicing Muslim who lived a good life or of a Budhudist or so on.

I believe that there is one God and man's understanding of that God is affected by their environment and where they live. The God of Abraham, is the God of Mohammad, is the God of the Christians. When we try to impart human characteristics to God we deny the very supremacy of his being.

For us to understand God is at least as big of a jump as if an ant were to try to understand human existence.

-76M


User currently offlineQb001 From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 2053 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (10 years 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 1755 times:

It only shows that ANYONE can pervert religion, and anyone can make anything justifiable in the name of God.

Last time I checked, there was no such thing as an absolute truth in these matters. So, who are you to say that your vision of your faith is not perverted?



Never let the facts get in the way of a good theory.
User currently offlineAlpha 1 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (10 years 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 1747 times:

Last time I checked, there was no such thing as an absolute truth in these matters. So, who are you to say that your vision of your faith is not perverted?

I can answer that quite easily: when a religion is used as a weapon, as in this series of books, or in the arm of Islamic terrorists, they are perverting the foundation on which their faiths were created, which is on love and peace, not on inumanity towards man. I do not use my faith for worldly or political goals. These people are. And while there is no absolutes, I agree, I do believe in the certitude of what is right and wrong.


User currently offlineGarnetpalmetto From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 5361 posts, RR: 53
Reply 7, posted (10 years 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 1735 times:

N6376m - the problem is that many of these ultra right-wing fundamentalists do NOT believe in a loving God, but the God that men like Cotton Mather and Jonathan Edwards spoke of - an Old Testamentesque God who would just as soon as cast you into Hell as grant what you pray for. The problem this raises is that these fundamentalists in turn believe that only those who share their views of God will be granted admission into Heaven and are "true" Christians and, as a result, all else should be treated as second-class citizens. This is especially dangerous in two regards

1) They seek Biblical justifications for their un-Christian actions towards those deemed lesser than them (as shown in the editorial through the use of the Bible to justify slavery and Ann Coulter's never-ending call to convert all Arabs to Christianity by force)

2) They shun those around them and form insular communities. When I was going to a local Southern Baptist church with my girlfriend, I came across quite a few people who believed that Catholics were evil, not "true Christians," and, because of their worship of the Pope and the Virgin Mary would go straight to Hell. As a result, anybody who they knew to be Catholic they'd ignore at best or treat with hostility at worst. Same thing with me - many of them looked down upon interracial mixing and as a result I got my share of dirty looks both when I was alone, and when I was with my girlfriend.

If these Fundamentalists see themselves as the future of America, we're in deep trouble.



South Carolina - too small to be its own country, too big to be a mental asylum.
User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21406 posts, RR: 54
Reply 8, posted (10 years 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 1712 times:

If we could get rid of superstition and fanaticism, I would have few problems with what would be left of any kind of religion...  Wink/being sarcastic

User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21406 posts, RR: 54
Reply 9, posted (10 years 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 1702 times:

Just read the linked editorial... this sick shit is really selling that well?  Wow!

Simply nauseating!


User currently offlineBoeing4ever From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (10 years 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 1698 times:

Last time I checked, there was no such thing as an absolute truth in these matters. So, who are you to say that your vision of your faith is not perverted?

Same goes for your vision, and your logic also aplies to governments. Should we abolish those as well? Interesting how you believe in freedom, yet you want to eliminate the freedom to worship.

B4e-Forever New Frontiers


User currently offlineAaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 8021 posts, RR: 26
Reply 11, posted (10 years 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 1690 times:

All I can say is these loyal disciples of the Left Behind series are simultaneously pathetically sad and royally hilarious. The sad part is they believe the bull being shoved down their throats, the hilarious part is the authors are acquiring fantastic wealth in lieu of the legions of sheep waiting to snap up their drivel.


If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
User currently offlineRegis From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (10 years 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 1686 times:

People should not write about subjects which they know nothing about and this is the case with NY Times editorial piece.

The author assumes that all Christianity subscribes to what is in the Left Behind books and believe it true. What a fool.

The Left Behind series are a WORK OF FICTION, loosely inspired on the bible and geared towards Christians, but by no means understood or accepted as Christian doctrine. Those books have a spiritual theme but with a objective of entertaining its readers, not inculcating doctrines of hate and intolerance.




User currently offlineJaysit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (10 years 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 1681 times:

"Those books have a spiritual theme but with a objective of entertaining its readers, not inculcating doctrines of hate and intolerance."

Fair enough.

However, the ideas and ideals espoused by these books are held very dearly by both the authors and a large percentage of the readers. Both authors are adherents of a very rigid and aggressive brand of evangelical fundamentalist Christianity. These books aint of the Harry Potter brand of entertainment which are entirely fiction and assumed to be such. The Left Behind Series espouse a political and religious agenda believed to be truisms by their authors.

Individuals can believe anything they want under the mantle of freedom of religion and expression, but lets see these books for what they are: not so subtle tomes espousing a brand of Christian Jihad in which Jesus is a thuggish unforgiving dictatorial lout. Very different from the kind of Jesus taught to me by the Nuns in parochial school.


User currently offlineQb001 From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 2053 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (10 years 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 1674 times:

Same goes for your vision, and your logic also aplies to governments. Should we abolish those as well? Interesting how you believe in freedom, yet you want to eliminate the freedom to worship.

My vision is not based on the interpretation of a book. It is based on dialogue, consensus, reasonable accommodation and democracy. So no, it's not radical; it's rather boring actually. I'm past the age of simplistic answers to complicated matters.

I don't want to eliminate the freedom to worship; where did you get that idea  Nuts ?

But I do have a dream, and it is that people come to realize, on their own, that religions are things of the past. They served their purpose and it's time to move on to something else. It's about time we stop worshipping mythical figures and we begin to care for real human beings - all of them, not only those who happen to share one's religion.



Never let the facts get in the way of a good theory.
User currently offlineGc From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2003, 356 posts, RR: 6
Reply 15, posted (10 years 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 1674 times:

"Last time I checked, there was no such thing as an absolute truth in these matters."

Except Jesus said, He was the truth! Although I concur that we aren't always the best ambassadors for Him, it's down to whether or not you believe what He said about Himself. His offer was follow Him, or don't follow Him, as none of us could reach the standard required to make of our backs, we weren't designed to be God ourselves. Simple as that.

I heard a great quote once, "Jesus never came to start a new religion. He cam e to initiate a relationship". that's what it's all about, God becomes man so we can identify and relate to Him, He then takes the consequences for our assertion that we could run things on our own (great job we've made of that, eh?) and still we use Him for political and violent ends. He's gonna slap a few heads down when He comes back, and some people are going to get a shock when He doesn't tip a special wink to the politicians who claim they are acting on His behalf whilst selling weapons to the highest bidder, regardless of intent, and covering up their own corruption. My last word on the subject, don't judge God by political and sociological means , He's much bigger than that.


User currently offlineGarnetpalmetto From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 5361 posts, RR: 53
Reply 16, posted (10 years 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 1667 times:

Regis, the author, who I believe is Christian himself, makes no such assumption. Rather a large segment of Christianity, specifically evangelical protestants believe in the type of armageddon that the authors of the Left Behind series describe. The only fool is you for not reading the full editorial -

I often write about religion precisely because faith has a vast impact on society. Since I've praised the work that evangelicals do in the third world (Christian aid groups are being particularly helpful in Sudan, at a time when most of the world has done nothing about the genocide there), I also feel a responsibility to protest intolerance at home.

Should we really give intolerance a pass if it is rooted in religious faith?


Sounds like he acknowledges the good Christians do. What worries Kristof is this newest variant of "The Great Awakening" that provides for increasing intolerance in religion coupled with the surge of evangelical Christians in politics. Read some of his other op-ed pieces to understand what I mean.



South Carolina - too small to be its own country, too big to be a mental asylum.
User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21406 posts, RR: 54
Reply 17, posted (10 years 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 1652 times:

I wouldn´t have a problem with some random splatter story, rarely sold in the darker corners of the more dingy specialty book stores.

But when this kind of thing is becoming a million-seller, is closely connected to religious fanatics with the somewhat less-than-bright commander-in-chief of a nuclear superpower being a close associate and talking about divine voices telling him to go to war, then it does become a problem!

If the quotes from the editorial are even halfway correct, these books represent exactly the two problems I have with many forms of religion: Superstition and fanaticism.

Difficult to believe that that´s supposed to be related to the same religion that´s based on the new testament...


User currently offlineMD-90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 8502 posts, RR: 12
Reply 18, posted (10 years 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 1651 times:

The author of the NYT article is merely a typical anti-Biblical Christianity liberal who worships his true gods of Multiculturalism and Moral Relativism.



I can answer that quite easily: when a religion is used as a weapon, as in this series of books,

Dangerous, eh? Big grin Badly written, too wordy and overlong, boring in parts, yes, but dangerous, no.


I don't know of any "fundamentalist" who really believes that Israel must be preserved at all costs so that the rapture will happen sooner rather than later. Like we can influence events in any way. It will happen when God wants it to happen, and not a moment sooner. Even Jesus doesn't know when it will happen.




N6376m - the problem is that many of these ultra right-wing fundamentalists do NOT believe in a loving God, but the God that men like Cotton Mather and Jonathan Edwards spoke of - an Old Testamentesque God who would just as soon as cast you into Hell as grant what you pray for

Not so. They believe in the God of the Bible, and that means the entire Bible, not just the OT.




Just read the linked editorial... this sick shit is really selling that well?

Simply nauseating!


Hmmm...that's the type of response that I would expect of a demon. Not that I'm accusing anyone of being possessed by demons or anything.



Jaysit, the series is FICTION. The Bible (preferably the King James) is the only source of Christian doctrine.

but lets see these books for what they are: not so subtle tomes espousing a brand of Christian Jihad in which Jesus is a thuggish unforgiving dictatorial lout.

Sounds to me like you've never read any of them. I've read every single one except for the very last one, and I know that what you've written is wholly inaccurate.


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21406 posts, RR: 54
Reply 19, posted (10 years 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 1643 times:

MD-90: Hmmm...that's the type of response that I would expect of a demon. Not that I'm accusing anyone of being possessed by demons or anything.

I see you´ve got the superstition part alive and "well"...  Insane

But sorry, when the author really turns Jesus into a splatter monster that spills guts and bodyparts, then "sick shit" is the mildest possible expression that I can apply to this kind of perverted garbage.

I wouldn´t call myself a christian in the conventional sense of the word, but that´s simply revolting.


User currently offlineMD-90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 8502 posts, RR: 12
Reply 20, posted (10 years 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 1634 times:

Like I said, I haven't read the last book (the next to last one was dreadfully written. If I hadn't been listening to it on my drive to Connecticut I wouldn't've finished it).

User currently offlineSleekjet From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 2046 posts, RR: 22
Reply 21, posted (10 years 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 1631 times:

First of all, I find it interesting that folks who espouse a literal view of the Bible are labelled "fanatics". That's a poor label to use in this case.

Secondly, MD-90 is correct when he asserts that the God of the OT is the same God of the New Testament.

Thirdly, some have trouble seeing God doing anything violent or destructive to the human race. But the Bible says, "Behold the goodness AND severity of God." In Matt. 7:13, Jesus says the path taken by most people will be wide and lead to "destruction". Not "being lost" or "unhappiness", but "destruction".

We all might agree that if we could choose, we would select a God that saves everyone. But we have no choice except to trust that His Way is best. And personally, He has never failed me.



II Cor. 4:17-18
User currently offlineRedngold From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 6907 posts, RR: 45
Reply 22, posted (10 years 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 1616 times:

As a reader of the Left Behind series, I can tell you that from the start, Mr. Kristof is working on a false premise.

The latest is Glorious Appearing, which has Jesus returning to Earth to wipe all non-Christians from the planet. It’s disconcerting to find ethnic cleansing celebrated as the height of piety.

He terms the judgement of Christ "ethnic cleansing." It is not ethnic cleansing; anyone from any race, culture, or geographical location can be a Christian. The same applies to non-Christians - any race, culture or geographical location. Time and time again, throughout the Left Behind series, we meet characters from all walks of life who either become Christians or choose to take the mark and are lost. Of the main characters within the Christian fellowship at the end, we have:
Rayford Steele, a caucasian American left-seat pilot (rated for everything up to a 747);
Ming Toy, a Chinese security guard;
Hannah Palemoon, a native American nurse;
Gustav "Zeke" Zukermandel Jr., a slow-thinking American guy who's got a big heart and a knack for makeup and credential forgery;
Rebekah, a Jewish convert from within Israel;
Dr. Chaim "Micah" Rosensweig, a Jewish scientist who developed a formula to sustain agriculture in desert environments;
as well as many other characters along the way or at the end who are African-American, Greek, Argentinian, Hispanic, and from every place in life from early childhood to late in years.

You can find more information at www.leftbehind.com about what's really in the books. Jerry Jenkins himself says that it would be blasphemy to say Heaven will be all white-skinned. http://www.leftbehind.com/channelinteract.asp?pageid=987&channelID=79 scroll down to "Whites only?"

I'd be willing to bet this guy didn't read the book; that he's only read those quotes that other people fed him in protest.

Is it easy for me to stomach the idea that some of my friends and family might not be in Heaven with me? Absolutely not. I ache at the thought that some people I love and cherish might not make it. But that's not for me to decide and I hold out hope that they will also find the right path and accept the full love and mercy God intended for all who truly believe in Him. What I do know is this - Heaven will be an awesome place, and even if I have some sorrow for those who are not there, it will pale in comparison with the joy of being in my Creator's presence.



Up, up and away!
User currently offlineSantosdumont From Brazil, joined Dec 2003, 1201 posts, RR: 4
Reply 23, posted (10 years 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 1592 times:

MD-90 wrote--

The author of the NYT article is merely a typical anti-Biblical Christianity liberal who worships his true gods of Multiculturalism and Moral Relativism.

And Tim LaHaye is merely another one-dimensional myopic religious zealot who helped found the Moral Majority -- that well-known fount of tolerance that has its roots in the racist Southern Baptist movement of the mid 20th century that (successfully) urged many public schools in Virginia to close or become private "academies" rather than have to desegregate.



"Pursuit Of Truth No Matter Where It Lies" -- Metallica
User currently offlinePROSA From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 5630 posts, RR: 5
Reply 24, posted (10 years 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 1585 times:

The author of the NYT article is merely a typical anti-Biblical Christianity liberal who worships his true gods of Multiculturalism and Moral Relativism.

Given that his surname is Kristoff, he's probably Jewish - in other words, condemned to eternal damnation unless he converts to Christianity. It's not hard to see why the books bother him



"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
25 Jaysit : "Sounds to me like you've never read any of them." I have. And they're pure undiluted trash feeding on a hideous premise of "us" (right wing Christian
26 PROSA : As a reader of the Left Behind series, I can tell you that from the start, Mr. Kristof is working on a false premise. The latest is Glorious Appearing
27 Sleekjet : Concerning the legitimate question posed by PROSA: In Acts 10, Cornelius is described as a moral, upright, generous guy with loads of integrity. But s
28 Jaysit : "It's dangerous for us Christians to get into the judgment business." And yet "Christians" have made that a big industry...
29 Sleekjet : Jaysit: Well, Christians can and can't be in the judging business. It is not our job to make the final determination of someone's destiny. On the othe
30 Mdsh00 : On the other hand, it IS our job to "go into all the world" and spread the gospel. Unfortunately it is often attempted to be spread in sometimes rude
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