31. The Left Behind Series
This fascinating series of books is a mass of literature by prophecy scholar Tim LaHaye and writer Jerry B. Jenkins. The prophecy that Mr. LaHaye studies revolves around the Book of Revelation – the final book of the Christian bible. The Book of Revelation was written by John of Patmos, as the apocalypse literature needed to complete Christianity’s worldview. John was an exile on the Isle of Patmos, historic home of many varieties of hallucinogenic mushrooms, especially the Fly Agaric mushroom.
I recommend a read-through of this fascinating, trippy text – which, according to fundamentalist Christians, is completely true.
Here’s a nice excerpt:
Also before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal. In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings.
Ok. Now let’s move onto the real subject of this post. Left Behind. This series of 12 books garnered a lot of attention when the first came out in 1995. I was required to read this first book, entitled Left Behind, for a class on Religion two years ago. I was so drawn in that I literally couldn’t put the book down. I didn’t go out. I didn’t sleep. I might not even have eaten. I just read.
ABOUT THE RAPTURE.
In a quick summary, the Left Behind series try to put biblical apocalypse prophecy into a (semi)believable setting in our world. The book starts with Jesus rapturing his True Church up to heaven – as those believers who are truly Christian disappear from the world in one instant. This event causes great distress worldwide, making way for Nicolae Carpathia, the Antichrist, to rise to power and, ultimately, WORLD DOMINATION.
In the face of this loss, four characters realize their mistake in not coming to Jesus and welcome Jesus into their lives. These characters are
Rayford Steele – commercial pilot and thinker extraordinaire
Chloe Steele – Rayford’s daughter, fiercely independent and educated at Stanford
Bruce Barnes – brilliant pastor, scholar and mentor
Cameron “Buck” Williams – critically acclaimed reporter, famous for “bucking” the rules.
These four team up to form the Tribulation Force, intending to fight the Antichrist and convert the ignorant until Jesus returns after the Tribulation – in seven years.
Now. These books are not good. The characters are one-dimensional. The writing is simplistic and the plot is dumb as shit. And they are the most intriguing trash I have ever read. I read all 12 books. ALL 12! I read them at a rate of about 1 a day. And these books are racist, ignorant, and blindly insistent on creating some reality out of the crazy ass rantings of John of Patmos. And they get crazier and crazier as they move toward book 12 and stop trying to cater to the general public.
Read them. Buy them used on Amazon so you don’t give those crazy fuckers any more money. But missing out on Left Behind would be a crime to the part of your brain that craves empty calories, reality TV and caramel-coated popcorn.