Rayford also looked forward to meeting his heroes from the Old Testament. “We do get to interact with those guys, don’t we?”
“Absolutely,” Chaim said. “In Matthew 8:11 Jesus says, ‘Many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.’ ”
Sarah! Sarah! How did it feel to be sold off to two other men by your husband?
Oh, hey, Isaac, how did it feel to almost be murdered by your father? Isaac? Isaac? Remember the attempted murder?
David! I just met this really cool guy. Let me introduce you to Uriah the Hittite. Oh? You’ve met? Ha ha ha… you’re both in heaven. Awk-ward.
But they don’t get to have those awkward conversations because Jesus has to honor all of the New Testament saints who don’t get scripture quoted at them by Jesus. Jesus fast-forwards through all the non-famous people. God. Partiality.
Finally, the ceremony ends and Jesus scripture quotes some more. Wow. Is that fucking irritating. It shouldn’t be that hard to write dialog for Jesus. Is this some taboo like drawing Mohammed is for some Muslims? Do they think it’s blasphemy to have Jesus say, “Hey, everyone, thanks for coming. Be excellent to each other and let’s party on!”
“Yea, verily, I say to you that whosoever doth believeth the son, shall haveth eternal lifeth in himeth…”
Have I mentioned these books are fucking terrible?
But finally Jesus closes his King James Bible and releases everyone from his mental control so the new Christianbots can move and say “hi” to their dead or living relatives and friends. Rayford gets to meet with his first wife.
“Hi, Rafe,” she said, smiling.
“Irene,” he said, holding her. “You’re permitted one cosmic I-told-you-so.”
And really that is the central theme of Evangelical Christianity. Hell, Lake of Fire, Rapture, Tribulation, it’s all one big chance for Evangelicals to say, “I told you so!” to the rest of us.
Rayford turned and there was his son, suddenly full grown. He scooped him in a tight embrace. “Even you knew the truth that I didn’t,” he said.
“I can’t tell you how great it is to see you here, Dad.”
But if you weren’t here, I’d still be blissfully happy because God programmed me that way.
He would be happy. He wouldn’t ask Jesus for mercy for his father. He wouldn’t care that Jesus had sent his father to a place of eternal torment. He would be blissfully greeting other people completely at peace with the idea that his father was suffering forever.
Also, does anyone else find it a bit creepy that his son was 10 when he was taken by God. Now he’s fully an adult. He’s an adult without any of the experiences or knowledge of adulthood. He’s essentially a child in a man’s body.
That’s just a bit weird.
To me that implies that there is no more growth. No more evolution of your personality. You can’t change because you’re locked into this form forever. You’re frozen.
Rayford’s first wife, Irene, meets his second wife, Amanda.
“I was so afraid this would be awkward,” Rayford said.
“Not at all,” Irene said. “I didn’t begrudge you a good wife and companionship. I was so thrilled that you both had come to Jesus. You’re going to find that He is all that matters now.”
Seriously. This is not heaven. This is not healthy. This is a cult. Is this really what you think God created humanity for? He needs a bunch of blindly devoted robots saying how awesome He is forever?
I half expect Spock and Kirk to show up and “ruin” this “utopia” by showing that the object of their blind devotion and obsession is just a computer.
There is no growth here. No adventures. No great story that is only beginning. There is just Jesus. No room in the heart for anything else. People don’t matter. Only Jesus.
Does anyone really want that? Because that seems a lot like I’m going to be lobotomized and have my humanity and will and essence fundamentally altered so that I will lose everything that makes me me.
A better author can and has made heaven sound far more attractive.
“And as He spoke, He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”
Life is your prologue. Who knows what happens afterward, but the story continues. The adventures continue. You are still you. You still get to live. To breathe. To play. To thrive. To exist as you forever enjoying growth, evolution, change, learning new things, experiencing new things.
That makes me long for heaven. That makes me imagine a better country. That makes me hope to see Aslan’s kingdom.
Left Behind just makes me wish we could do away with God and the devil because either choice sucks.