garnetpalmetto
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NY Times Editorial On The Left Behind Series

Tue Jul 20, 2004 11:08 pm

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.
 
Qb001
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RE: NY Times Editorial On The Left Behind Series

Tue Jul 20, 2004 11:15 pm

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.
 
Alpha 1
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RE: NY Times Editorial On The Left Behind Series

Tue Jul 20, 2004 11:18 pm

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]
 
ly7e7
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RE: NY Times Editorial On The Left Behind Series

Tue Jul 20, 2004 11:20 pm

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
 
N6376M
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RE: NY Times Editorial On The Left Behind Series

Tue Jul 20, 2004 11:28 pm

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
 
Qb001
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RE: NY Times Editorial On The Left Behind Series

Tue Jul 20, 2004 11:28 pm

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.
 
Alpha 1
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RE: NY Times Editorial On The Left Behind Series

Tue Jul 20, 2004 11:35 pm

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.
 
garnetpalmetto
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RE: NY Times Editorial On The Left Behind Series

Wed Jul 21, 2004 12:00 am

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.
 
Klaus
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RE: NY Times Editorial On The Left Behind Series

Wed Jul 21, 2004 2:31 am

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
 
Klaus
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RE: NY Times Editorial On The Left Behind Series

Wed Jul 21, 2004 3:53 am

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

Simply nauseating!
 
Boeing4ever
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RE: NY Times Editorial On The Left Behind Series

Wed Jul 21, 2004 3:59 am

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
 
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Aaron747
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RE: NY Times Editorial On The Left Behind Series

Wed Jul 21, 2004 4:06 am

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
 
Regis
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RE: NY Times Editorial On The Left Behind Series

Wed Jul 21, 2004 4:12 am

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.


 
jaysit
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RE: NY Times Editorial On The Left Behind Series

Wed Jul 21, 2004 4:22 am

"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.
Atheism is Myth Understood.
 
Qb001
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RE: NY Times Editorial On The Left Behind Series

Wed Jul 21, 2004 4:26 am

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.
 
GC
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RE: NY Times Editorial On The Left Behind Series

Wed Jul 21, 2004 4:26 am

"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.
 
garnetpalmetto
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RE: NY Times Editorial On The Left Behind Series

Wed Jul 21, 2004 4:32 am

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.
 
Klaus
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RE: NY Times Editorial On The Left Behind Series

Wed Jul 21, 2004 6:23 am

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...
 
MD-90
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RE: NY Times Editorial On The Left Behind Series

Wed Jul 21, 2004 6:28 am

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.
 
Klaus
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MD-90

Wed Jul 21, 2004 6:49 am

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.
 
MD-90
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RE: NY Times Editorial On The Left Behind Series

Wed Jul 21, 2004 7:11 am

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).
 
sleekjet
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RE: NY Times Editorial On The Left Behind Series

Wed Jul 21, 2004 7:47 am

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
 
redngold
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RE: NY Times Editorial On The Left Behind Series

Wed Jul 21, 2004 9:41 am

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!
 
santosdumont
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RE: NY Times Editorial On The Left Behind Series

Wed Jul 21, 2004 11:48 pm

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
 
prosa
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RE: NY Times Editorial On The Left Behind Series

Thu Jul 22, 2004 12:16 am

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"
 
jaysit
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RE: NY Times Editorial On The Left Behind Series

Thu Jul 22, 2004 12:26 am

"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 zealots) versus "them" (everyone else).
Atheism is Myth Understood.
 
prosa
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RE: NY Times Editorial On The Left Behind Series

Thu Jul 22, 2004 12:28 am

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.

What about people who live honest, upright, moral lives, yet for whatever reason do not embrace Christianity? Condemning them is a form of "cleansing" that's just as odious as racially or ethnically based cleansing. The way I look at things, the life you lead is far, far more important that the particular creed you follow.
"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
 
sleekjet
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RE: NY Times Editorial On The Left Behind Series

Thu Jul 22, 2004 1:44 am

Concerning the legitimate question posed by PROSA: In Acts 10, Cornelius is described as a moral, upright, generous guy with loads of integrity. But still there was something missing: he had not been baptized into Christ. By the end of the chapter, he and his group had been baptized.

It's dangerous for us Christians to get into the judgment business. That is God's business and He will use the ultimate wisdom to handle it. Our job is to share and witness and do the best we can to lead folks to Jesus. Their eternal fate (and ours) is for God to decide. However, as surely as I live and breathe, I'm heaven-bound:

"By his great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and to an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you." (I Pet. 1:3-4)
II Cor. 4:17-18
 
jaysit
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RE: NY Times Editorial On The Left Behind Series

Thu Jul 22, 2004 1:52 am

"It's dangerous for us Christians to get into the judgment business."

And yet "Christians" have made that a big industry...
Atheism is Myth Understood.
 
sleekjet
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RE: NY Times Editorial On The Left Behind Series

Thu Jul 22, 2004 4:12 am

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 other hand, it IS our job to "go into all the world" and spread the gospel. Of necessity, that means rendering judgments, pointing out error and the like.

IITim 3:16 says that scripture exists "for reproof, for correction".
II Cor. 4:17-18
 
mdsh00
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RE: NY Times Editorial On The Left Behind Series

Thu Jul 22, 2004 4:14 am

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 ways to those that do not want to hear it or those that have already heard it.


Edit for bad grammar

[Edited 2004-07-21 21:15:13]
"Look Lois, the two symbols of the Republican Party: an elephant, and a big fat white guy who is threatened by change."

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