Sunday, September 12, 2010

They're Not Dead, Really

Another boring chapter I'm afraid. This one's only moderately boring compared to the last two, much in the way a kick in the gut is moderately painful compared to a kick in the teeth. I'm starting to think this is payback for giving Ellanjay kudos.

Lionel tried to pray. When he had been a phony, a kid in a Christian family who pretended to be like everyone else in the clan, it never surprised him that God seemed distant. He couldn't remember when God had seemed close. He knew that was because he had never become a true Christian, and that was also why he had been left behind.

Once again, we get the delineation between phonies and RTCs. Yet a few questions remain: if his mother Lucinda and the rest of his family were such good Christians, how come none of them could figure it out? What does it mean to be good when apparently anyone can fake it? Also, if being a RTC means saying The Prayer and accepting Scofield-Darby's interpretation of the Bible, does that mean the millions of Christians before Scofield and Darby are in Hell?

But his grief over the loss of his parents--though they were in heaven and not dead--and his horror over what had happened to his Uncle Andre, plus the sheer exhaustion of trying to figure out what to do next, had caught up with him.

Once again, the delineation between dead and raptured though there really isn't much of a difference. Usually when we say someone's with God, it means the same thing regardless of the circumstances. Gone is gone.

It was no wonder Ryan seemed angry,even angry with God. If all of what had happened was true, the way Bruce Barnes explained it--and Lionel knew it was--Ryan had to be drowning in confusion. What must he think of a God who would allow his parents to die and leave him behind while Christians disappeared into heaven?

This is the only flicker of rebellious thought we see from Lionel. Watching it is like watching a crushed insect struggle to regain its footing.

He knew it was hopeless to pray about something that had already happened, but he couldn't help pleading with God to assure him that maybe, just maybe, Andre had come to Christ before he was murdered or committted suicide. He even prayed the same thing for Ryan's parents.

Because if none of the people mentioned said The Prayer, they are roasting in Hell. I tried to find out more information about Ryan's parents at wikipedia but all the website would say is that they were "confirmed unbelievers" as if that perfectly justifies torturing them for all eternity.

But Lionel spots looters at his home and tries to get Ryan to help him, but Ryan refuses and I can't blame him. I mean, the kid's twelve; he's not Superman. What does Lionel expect him to be able to do against a bunch of looters? Just for the fun of it, I'm going to assume that these looters are a bunch of Jimmy Bats's goons.

Back to Judd and Vicki, they're heading back from the airport to Vicki's trailer park when they run into a little trouble.

One of the black leather-clad men stepped in front of Judd's car and slammed both palms on the hood. "Where do you think you're goin', boy!"

For a brief moment, I cheer because I start to think maybe we're going to have a cool Mad Max kind of apocalypse but that is quickly squelched.

Anyway, it turns out Vicki's trailer has burned to the ground and Judd demonstrates what a caring compassionate human being he is with this line:

At least, Judd thought, she knows the truth now.

And I'll leave y'all to point out the number of things wrong with that line.


Anonymous said...

The great thing about the RTC/phony divide is that almost all the true believers who read it will feel like phonies - nobody's going to have a spiritual experience (stimulation of the right bit of the brain) every time he prays. So they can all worry, and all spend more time at (and give more money to) their churches.

(As opposed to the logical thing to do, which is to say the magic words once on the off-chance these loony RTCs have something right, then go on living one's life as before.)

Somehow I don't suppose there's an RTC equivalent of the Harrowing of Hell for those who were born before the Word of Scofield. Quite the opposite, in fact!

What is so much better, intrinsically, about being Raptured than about being killed? The lack of warning or pain? You could get that in a high-speed car crash. Some superstitious trappings about the body hanging around to be buried, versus it disappearing? I really can't put a claw on this.

At least she knows the truth now. Cthulhu is coming to destroy humanity, and nobody will be spared. The most she can hope for is... To Be Eaten First.

-- Firedrake

Ruby said...

"At least, Judd thought, she knows the truth now."

I am going to be very bad and view that line, in light of events to come, as Judd's joyful realization that this cute chick now has no other choice but to BUNK WITH HIM OH YEAH I HAZ A GIRLFRIEND WITH BOOBS WOOT!!!

Apocalypse Review said...

Re-read that, too. It would have been interesting viewing the rich/poor divide, but it just became a little side scene.

What I thought was a bit egregious was the lol poor people rioting and burning shit schtick L&J put into the book series. What, Vicki hasn't suffered enough?

And yeah, Judd was being just the teeniest bit smug there.