Saturday, August 16, 2014


So for those of you waiting with bated breath, biting your nails wondering whether Lionel's genius plan would work, I'll go ahead and spoil it for you: it does. They do try to inject some suspense by having Judd trip and a Morale Monitor realizes he doesn't have the Mark, but both he and Lionel make it to Sabir's Magical Cab with nary a bruise.

So Judd and Lionel are still like "Oh whatever will we do? How will we get out of Israel?" while Sabir's like "We've gotta pray." But before I tell you the magical coincidence that saves Our Heroes (because the plot parts for Ellanjay's characters like the Red Sea for Israel), I wanna linger on a small part.

Y'see in a struggle with the Morale Monitor, Judd managed to knock him to the ground and last he saw him, the guy was being trampled by panicked mob. I didn't bring it up previously because I thought it, like everything else, would never be mentioned again, but to my surprise, they actually have Judd reflect on it. I know kids, I'm scared too.

Judd glanced at Lionel. “We should pray for that Morale Monitor at the hotel. I might have killed him.”
“I saw what happened,” Lionel said. “You didn’t mean to hurt him.”
“Yeah. So why doesn’t that make me feel any better?”

Now, in a well-written series, this would be delved into a little more. Judd has, through his own actions, killed someone. Yeah, you can argue it was an accident but killing is something that most humans are hardwired against so I think he'd feel some guilt regardless. But something tells me, this will be the last time we hear of an inkling of guilt from Judd.

But anyway, they call Westin and it turns out Westin caused Z-Van's plane to malfunction so it looks like Our Heroes will get out of Israel.

Now, for the fun part where we hear more about Tanya's heretical beliefs.

Tanya frowned. “I don’t understand. My dad says God’s really ticked off at the world for being so bad. That’s why he’s killing everybody during Armageddon.”
“God is angry at the evil in the world,” Vicki said, “but his judgments are to wake us up to the truth. He wants people to give their lives to him and accept his forgiveness. That’s why he sent his Son.”

Raise your hand if you can't see much of a difference between Tanya's and Vicki's beliefs because I sure can't. Both Tanya's and Vicki's god is someone so evil that the Old Testament Jehovah would blanche at. If I had to choose, though, I'd say Tanya's makes more sense. At least it's consistent with God just being flat-out pissed at everyone good and bad. Again, with Vicki's, they keep claiming God is one of love but he's doing his damnedest to kill us all so He can torture us forever.

But anyway, more on the conversation between Tanya and Vicki.

“My dad says Jesus was a great prophet. He was going to set up his kingdom on earth, but when people killed him, God left that job up to us.”
Vicki scratched her head. “Does your dad believe Jesus came back from the dead?”

Okay, starting to see where Tanya's group diverges from RTCianity, but I am still firmly on Team Tanya here. Whereas the RTCs believe it'll all just get worse until TurboJesus comes back and fixes everything for us, it's clear that Tanya believes that we must actually work to help establish Heaven on Earth.

Tanya shrugged. “I guess so. He says we all come back in some form or another. If we’ve done more bad stuff than good, we come back as an animal or some kind of plant. If we’ve done more good than bad, God lets us into heaven or we become angels.”

And here's the part where I go "Huh?" I thought that the Mountain Militia were Christian Survivalists who believed slightly different things about our Invisible Sky Daddy, not Hindus.

Further reading, it appears Ellanjay are doing a Take That once again against those who believe you can be saved through works. But it's been proven many a time not only do Ellanjay Skip Verse Ten they also ignore the entire Book of James whose central thesis is "Faith without Works is dead." You can't pick on someone for cherry-picking verses in the Bible when that's what you do!

Tanya then mentions her mom who heard the all-inspiring word of Darby and Scofield God and disappeared during the Rapture. Vicki, who never fails to exploit emotional wounds, takes her opening and starts talking to her about how God can't tolerate a single sin even though he created us and thus made us sinful creatures to begin with.

Since the chapter doesn't end with Tanya saying the magical Prayer, I'm going to assume she's still one of the Legion of the Damned, despite her desire to tell her father, Cyrus, all the stuff Vicki's telling her.

Next chapter, Vicki decides to try to convert Cyrus's entire crew. Basically she walks him through the entirety of Pastor Vernon Billings's video.

I tried, how I tried to find it, but Fred's Left Behind archives are down, and I can't. The one I was looking for was basically where Fred points out how Ellanjay cherry-pick verses from 1 Corinthians. Here's the verses Vicki points out.

“‘But let me tell you a wonderful secret God has revealed to us,’” Cyrus read. “‘Not all of us will die, but we will all be transformed. It will happen in a moment, in the blinking of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, the Christians who have died will be raised with transformed bodies. And then we who are living will be transformed so that we will never die. For our perishable earthly bodies must be transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die.’
“‘When this happens—when our perishable earthly bodies have been transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die—then at last the Scriptures will come true:’
“‘“Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
’“‘For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. How we thank God, who gives us victory over sin and death through Jesus Christ our Lord!’ ”

Now that you've read that quote, let me give you a bigass quote where I quote 1 Corinthians chapter 15 in its entirety so you can see the broader context of those verses.

The Resurrection of Christ

15 Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

9 For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. 11 Whether, then, it is I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.

The Resurrection of the Dead

12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For he “has put everything under his feet.”[c] Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28 When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.

29 Now if there is no resurrection, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized for them? 30 And as for us, why do we endanger ourselves every hour? 31 I face death every day—yes, just as surely as I boast about you in Christ Jesus our Lord. 32 If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus with no more than human hopes, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised,

“Let us eat and drink,
for tomorrow we die.”[d]

33 Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”[e] 34 Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame.

The Resurrection Body

35 But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?” 36 How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37 When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. 38 But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body. 39 Not all flesh is the same: People have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. 40 There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. 41 The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor.

42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.

If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”[f]; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. 48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we[g] bear the image of the heavenly man.

50 I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”[i]

56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Forgive me for the bigass quote and forgive me for not saying it as eloquently as Fred, but the broader context of 1 Corinthians 15 should make it clear that Paul wasn't speaking of RTCs being able to magically cheat death by being bamfed into Heaven by God in the last days; he was speaking of Death plain and simple, and he makes it clear it's coming for everyone.

For those of you wondering, I'm ignoring Judd and Lionel for a while. Vicki's a snark goldmine right now.

If you're wondering, Cyrus doesn't immediately take the bait, which makes me fangirl him. I don't love him the way I did Taylor :sniff: :sniff: but anybody who doesn't immediately kowtow to the tribbles is all right by me.

Cyrus put his fork down and looked at the others. “You all know that Beelzebub is at work in the world, and he has his disciples spreading doctrine of demons. I’ve taught you from the beginning that God punishes the wicked. Our job is to do the right thing. And I think the right thing is to keep this little Jezebel locked up where she can’t hurt anyone else.”

Vicki tries harder quoting again from the video, using Ezekiel 33:11. Don't worry, no bigass quotes this time.

“The God we pray to is a jealous God. He’s angry at people for their sin.”
“But don’t you see,” Vicki pleaded. “God hates sin, but he loves people enough to die for them. Remember the parable Jesus told about the son who went away and wasted all his father’s money?”
“The Prodigal Son,” someone behind her said.
“Yes, that’s it. But one of the main points of the story Jesus told was the love of the father for his rebellious son. He waited and waited, and when the boy finally came home, he didn’t punish him. He prepared a great feast and welcomed him. That’s the kind of love God has for every one of us if we’ll accept it.”

Vicki neglects to mention in the Tale of the Prodigal Son that the Dad didn't pitch the rebellious son into Hell if he refused the feast. She also neglects to mention that in the story, the Dad didn't unleash a series of horrific disasters in order to get his son's attention. In short, you fail, Vicki!

Cyrus has Vicki and Tanya hauled off. Tanya says The Prayer, gets the Zod-Mark, and that's where I'll leave you for this week. Sorry again for the bigass quote, but stuff needed to be said, dammit!


Firedrake said...

I've certainly never heard of Christian Survivalists who follow reincarnation; they seem in general to be the usual Godncountry types who wouldn't recognise a heterodoxy if it sidled up to them and said "homoiousion". I think The L&J Collective is tweaking them here specifically to try to put some doctrinal distinction between them and the Good Guys.

Anonymous said...

What's really awkward is Judd's suggestion to pray for the morale monitor because he killed him... If that really is true, the morale monitor is in hell. What would you be praying FOR, exactly? That he gets sent to a little patch of eternal damnation that is a mere 5000 degrees rather than 10,000? Guess that's why they don't delve any further into it...


Firedrake said...

Froglet, I suspect the only valid prayer in that situation would be "please let him have had a last-minute conversion to the side of Right". It's very Heisenbergian: you cannot know whether any given person is in Heaven or in Hell, so it's valid to pray that they're in Heaven.