Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Not Funny at All

Before we begin, I have to say that this will be my last Wednesday post for awhile. College starts next week and I should probably devote more time to my studies. I will continue Sunday posts, however.

Anyway, Ryan's chapter starts slow and dull like everyone else. Part of the reason is the way Jenkins writes this book. So far we got Judd waking up and realizing it's the rapture, then it's Vicki's turn, then Lionel, and now Ryan. It's practically the same story told over and over again.

Ryan's chapter is better written than most of the book. Basically he wakes up and finds a note and a message from his mother saying that she's gone to O'Hare to check on his father's flight. So he turns on the news to find out what's going on. There's a fairly decent description of all the chaos going on. Apparently, it's not beyond the imagination of a hack to portray this. My only objection is this: if the disappearances happened around 11 at night, which was when Ryan heard the sirens, shouldn't the chaos, the looting and etc., long have touched Ryan's neighbourhood?

As he watches the news, a list of all the people aboard the crashed planes at O'Hare comes through and Ryan sees his father's name on the list. Then he gets a call from the police about his mother.

"Son, I hate to tell you this over the phone, but your mother didn't make it. The county morgues are full, so one is being set up at Maine East High School in Park Ridge, not far from the hospital. You'll want to get someone to come over here in a day or two for identification, but don't try to come right away.

So in one fell swoop, Ryan has become an orphan all because God can bamf people out of their clothes but he can't apply the brakes. See this is what bugs me most about these rapture stories. Supposedly this is supposed to be God trying to get the non-believers' attention, right? Granted there are all kinds of problems with that, but if that's so, then why doesn't he apply the brakes? There are now people roasting on a spit in Hell all because of that. They never had a chance.

He wonders briefly if this has to do with what Raymie told him. Except Raymie's spiel about God, never mentioned the Rapture so nice work, Editors. But he comes to this conclusion:

Ryan had no idea, but he was going to try one thing. Ryamie's church was less than a mile away. Ryan wasn't in a hurry. He just wanted to walk and think and cry. If anyone was left at that church, Ryan might be able to find some help.

And that help at the church is going to tell him that his parents, for the crime of being non-believers, are currently in hell, roasting on a spit. They're going to tell a twelve-year-old boy who has just lost his parents that they don't even get the comfort of the ressurrection. And I'm afraid there's nothing funny about that at all.


Mink said...

*winces* This really doesn't sit well with me. You make an excellent point about 'taking up the faithful but not applying the brakes.' It might be nice that God will wait until you're no longer in a position where your sudden disappearance will kill someone... but the term 'In The Twinkling of an Eye' kind of speaks against this.

Plus, LeHaye and Jenkins REVEL in the chaos caused by the disappearance of the RTCs. It's... stomach-churning, sometimes. Like they're pointing and laughing. "You're gonna get yours soon, hah hah!"

I'm going to go read some Salvation War. It's JUST the thing for recovering from seeing just how much like less-than-animals some RTC writers liek LeHaye and Jenkins view the rest of humanity.

Amaryllis said...

Well, I guess you can't begin a Tribulation by pulling your punches, so to speak. People are supposed to Suffer, dammit, not think they'll get any favors from God any more. He's had Enough of you ungrateful humans! You had your chance!

It's really heretical, when you come to think of it: God is supposed to be Infinite in his attributes, but the PMDs apparently make an exception for Patience. Limits apply, there.

No doubt Ellanjay would just remind us that "in the midst of life we are in death." That is, you never know when your moment will come, there's always the chance of the proverbial bus, so you'd better get right with God right now. Death during the Rapture is no different from death at any other moment, so there's no reason for God to go out of his way for anyone.

I agree, though, that Ryan is not likely to find any comfort in that idea. And we already know what little help "Raymie's church," which is to say Bruce Barnes, is going to be to anybody.

College starts next week and I should probably devote more time to my studies.
Summer is ending already? Where did it go? I swear, it vanishes faster every year.

Anyway, good luck with school. Study hard and have fun!

Anonymous said...

As I understand it, your classic pre-trib heresy says that the Rapture is IT, the last chance - if you weren't ready, you're damned. Which, while being hateful, is at least consistent: there's no point worrying about people who are left behind, because the worst thing possible is happening to them anyway. That's actually a reasonable scare-doctrine: convert NOW or you could run out of time at any moment. It's the hypothetical cosmic bus.

But, as even L+J were able to realise, that doesn't make for great books; everyone is damned, after all. So they introduced this new heresy, that it's possible to get a sort of second-class salvation after the Rapture, which brings in the Rapture-as-warning idea - but, being hacks, they didn't think it through, and so we have all the people getting damned because they were unlucky - because all their flight crew were RTCs, or because they were in traffic in an RTC-heavy area.

-- Firedrake

Redwood said...

It might be nice that God will wait until you're no longer in a position where your sudden disappearance will kill someone... but the term 'In The Twinkling of an Eye' kind of speaks against this.

You know, God is omnipotent - he could do this. With some subtle advance manipulation, arrange the airline schedules so all the planes, by seeming coincidence, are on the ground at once. And all the Christians have minor engine trouble just beforehand, causing them to pull over to the side of the road and stop. And then, when all the planes are grounded and all the cars are stopped, then the Rapture happens - in the twinkling of an eye.

Or have the Rapture happen on Christmas or Easter or something so that RTCs are all in church or at home instead of driving/piloting.

No, all these plane and car crashed due to Raptured pilots/drivers are solely because God is an asshole.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't even have to be that subtle. This is the same continuity in which God smote the combined might of the Russo-Ethiopian arsenals from the sky in order to save Israel. It wouldn't be any more difficult for him to miraculously land/ pull over any unmanned vehicles safely.