12 November 2005

And, whenever they can, they vote for it

The apocalypse, that is, for the legions of Left Behind fans.

Fred Clark is performing an excellent job of critiquing the blockbuster LaHaye & Jenkins series of dispensationalist novels. His recent Friday read along review details how the authors and their devotees gleefully anticipate their prophesized end times, celebrating the torment "unbelievers" are destined to face.

L&J believe that the rain has already started, and they genuinely desire to persuade as many others as they can to join them on the ark. (There's plenty of room, since this time they won't have to give a damn about the animals.) But they're also excited about the flood they believe is coming. They're quivering with anticipation, watching the headlines for confirmation that things are getting worse just as Noah watched the skies for the gathering clouds.

This eagerness, this enthusiasm for apocalypse, is theologically malodorous, but it is also politically dangerous. Here again are L&J and their 50 million readers cheering for entropy, celebrating calamity, wars and rumors of war as the confirmation of their desires, and railing against peace and progress as setbacks to this consumation for which they devoutly wish. They believe that things must fall apart and the center must not hold, because even now the beast is slouching toward Jerusalem.

They want this to happen. And, whenever they can, they vote for it.

Personally, I never made it through the first volume of the Left Behind series. The writing, to my taste, was dreadful and in lesser form than even a juinor high school creative writing exercise. And the whole dispensationalism deal is pure spiritual pornography, devoid of any scriptural merit. Even other dispensationalism advocates take umbrage at LaHaye & Jenkins.