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Alexandra DuPont Reviews LEFT BEHIND!!

Hey, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab.

What more could I contribute to a report as complete and clear as this? Miss DuPont... take it away.


It's with some trepidation that I approach "Left Behind." In case you hadn't heard, it's the movie adaptation (directed by cinematographer and TV helmer Vic Sarrin) of this mega-selling Christian novel set during the Apocalypse; it's opening nationwide this Friday after trying to build "buzz" on home video.

Why the nervousness? Well, for one thing, I'm no shill for the faith. (Used to be; lapsed in college.) That said, I CERTAINLY don't want to write yet another tiresome rant against Christians. Seriously: Those who fashionably rail against any and all persons of faith as closed-minded bigots make about as much sense as people who argue that gun-rights advocates should be shot.

So I guess I'll approach "Left Behind" as a piece of genre fiction -- specifically, as "Apocalyptic Speculative Fiction," now a booming field in Christian publishing. In a recent essay in SCIENCE magazine, David Foster Wallace addressed "the problem of reviewing 'genre fiction'":

".... [It's] a type of narrative it's usually fair to call 'the sort of thing someone who likes this sort of thing is apt to like'.... [Still,] many successful books, from Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land to Ellroy's L. A. Confidential, use sort of perfunctory genre-conventions as scaffolding for what are really complex and essentially human dramas (i.e., for literature)."

So does "Left Behind" transcend its genre, becoming a "complex human drama"? Not really, no -- but for some reason I'm loath to dismiss it utterly. Read on and you'll see why.



I'm both happy and sad to report that "Left Behind" plays like the first installment of a Sci-Fi Channel TV miniseries in which the heroes find religion.

I'm "happy" because, believe it or not, that piddling level of movie quality stands head and shoulders above most American Christian pop-culture products, which in my experience are almost uniformly shoddy. (I grew up on "contemporary Christian music," dear readers; I should know.) I'm also "happy" because Christians who can temper their expectations and handle a little violence will probably enjoy "Left Behind." It's semi-competent entertainment made expressly for them, you know?

Which leads me to why I'm "sad": To be blunt, Christians had the market on good art cornered just a few hundred years ago -- and now I have to be GLAD that they've finally made a movie that's RISEN to a Sci-Fi Channel level, with all the inherent logic flaws that implies? THIS from the people who brought you St. Peter's Cathedral!

I mean the following as constructive criticism: Christian filmmakers should be ashamed of themselves that their quality "ascent" has been this slow -- and that they have so far to go in terms of craft before they pull up alongside the "pagan" filmmakers they so roundly criticize. I'm not losing sleep over it or anything. I'm just saying to Christian filmmakers: Put up or shut up, you know?



Because, pun intended, the Book of Revelations provides some hellacious source material for any mayhem-loving filmmaker. It's the Apocalypse, baby! It's got people flying into the clouds! Flaming mountains falling from the sky! Plagues! The weeping and gnashing of teeth! Weird, multi-eyed creatures! The Antichrist! God smiting the unwashed left and right!

(BTW, "Left Behind" only features the "people flying into the clouds" bit, and that's mostly implied. There's also some mild mayhem, and only a preliminary dash of Antichrist. There are like a dozen books to go in this series. Also, the budget seems to have been quite tiny.)



The Rapture occurs -- in other words, something like 135 million Christians vanish into thin air, which plays hell with traffic. (Mostly off-camera) catastrophe ensues.

Parenthetical note on the Rapture: It's based on an interpretation of Biblical prophecy (but not the only interpretation, according to one Yale-educated pastor I know) that says God will take his Chosen to Heaven before a seven-year "Tribulation" kicks in.

The romance-novelishly named journalist Buck Williams (Kirk Cameron), the romance-novelishly named pilot Rayford Steele (Brad Johnson), a faithless pastor (Clarence Gilyard Jr.) and the rest of the world's population are "left behind" to scratch their heads and suffer. (Apparently, in the "Left Behind" universe, the "Left Behind" book and movie weren't released to tell them what happened.) Meanwhile, in a sort of evangelical "X-Files" subplot, Buck investigates an Art Bell-worthy conspiracy involving the UN, the world's food supply, two scheming bankers and a charismatic protégé (Gordon Currie) who may not be what he seems. Naturally, everything ends up sort of tying together, and most of the protagonists are converted to Christianity by film's end.



DISCLAIMER: I want to make it absolutely clear that these "props" are offered in context -- i.e., they're offered relative to the pap that's come before in this genre, which includes such reputed stinkers as "The Omega Code." To be perfectly blunt, I doubt that a sophisticated fantasy/sci-fi consumer would get much out of "Left Behind."

Still, it must be written: The performances are relatively subtle here. Say what you will about "Growing Pains" refugee Kirk Cameron, but he's aged well, exudes an earnest charm, and doesn't oversell a single line. (That said, he lacks a certain *gravitas* that I think a journalist requires, but hey -- he's a TV journalist.) And Brad Johnson (remember him from "Always"?) is solid within his limited range, particularly in conveying annoyance with his overtly Christian wife and grief over not taking her seriously until half his family vanishes. Also, Janaya Stephens is sort of adorable as Rayford Steele's nose-pierced daughter Chloe Steele (sorry, but I just love writing out all those ridiculous romance-novelish character names).

Which leads me to another "prop": The heroes of this Christian film have pieced noses, kiss women who aren't their wives, throw Bibles in disgust and knock over crucifixes. Also, characters are killed onscreen. I'm not saying that Christians need this sort of "prurience" in their fiction: I'm just saying it humanizes "Left Behind"'s characters and makes for a more charged drama. (It's always surprised me that, given the flawed characters and intense violence in the Bible, modern American Christians can't stand to put much of either in their pulp fiction. Read the Book of Judges sometime; it's like a Tarantino Biblical epic, I swear.)

Also, as with many Sci-Fi Channel TV movies, there are a couple of moments that bear watching: the sight of hundreds of fighter jets exploding and dropping out of the night sky over Jerusalem; an actually fairly creepy and sustained sequence in which the Antichrist reveals himself, then hypnotizes an entire room to cover his tracks.



Well, to torture the Sci-Fi-Channel-TV-movie metaphor a little more: As with those films, there's a certain illogical lightweightness to the proceedings that's genuinely frustrating -- especially given how far "Left Behind" otherwise elevates the pathetic Christian-thriller genre.

For example: Remember that planes-exploding-over-Jerusalem bit? Well, here's what happens around it, in deliriously short order: Buck Williams is filming a story on a new "miracle crop"; he and his interview subject see the fighter jets approaching Jerusalem; they take cover in a shack that, for reasons unexplained, houses a giant military ops center that looks like something out of "WarGames"; planes start blowing up for no reason; Buck Williams runs back outside with his camera and dish to film the mayhem; and, instantly, a room full of news-office techies are watching Buck's broadcast unfold on dozens of identical stacked screens.

Is this some sort of Israeli Air Force-funded "miracle crop"? Are cable-news personnel always sitting around in front of dozens of redundant screens, drinking coffee and waiting for unannounced live feeds? I could go on and on. It's just that sort of rapidly mounting absurdity that brings out one's inner nitpicker; MST3K would've had a field day with parts of this movie. If "Left Behind" is successful -- which is conceivable, given its widespread grass-roots support and the fact that it's actually kind of diverting -- I urge the filmmakers to caulk up those sorts of plot holes in the sequel.

I also urge them to avoid letting their protagonists become cardboard cutouts of virtue once they're "born again." I understand that one of the conventions of Christian films is that the protagonists must become Christians at the end -- it's the fundamental rule of the genre, actually -- but that's NEVER an excuse to make your characters dull. This problem particularly afflicts Brad Johnson's character.

Also, and I have to write it: The Christian pop on this soundtrack -- good heavens! It sounds like it was written by Georgio Moroder in 1985! Seriously: Remember those insipid "Titan AE" songs that overtly commented on whatever was onscreen at the moment? Same problem here.




(1) First up: To rather abruptly change gears, here's a link to the idiosyncratic Internet comic "Bruno." Its title character is a bisexual, bipolar young woman who falls into needlessly complicated relationships. There’s nothing like it online or in print. Currently, the cartoon's in the middle of an extended, deeply weird dream sequence (Bruno got hit by a car, you see), so you might want to scroll back through the archives to get an idea of what the strip's usually like.

Here's the link!!

P.S. I met "Bruno" author Christopher Baldwin once, and he told me a deeply instructive story about having his strip optioned for a movie by Jeremiah "The Avengers" Chechik.

(2) Second, Moriarty fave author Dave Eggers just finished a delightful four-part online conversation with Jonathan Lethem on the subject of "Unimpressed Persons" -- i.e., people who spend all their time dismissing other artists -- and how boring and sad and counterproductive they are. It's a bit of a read, but it's also thought-provoking and ultimately inspiring.

Here's that link!!

And yes, it rips apart exactly the sort of person I fear I am.

Go forth,

Alexandra E. G. DuPont.

Oh, and P.P.S.: I need to make a correction: My five-page comix tale "The End of Oddity" will be appearing mid-February in the back of ODDJOB #7 -- not issue #6, as previously reported. Thank you.

Readers Talkback
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  • Jan. 31, 2001, 1:42 a.m. CST

    Now THAT is a review. People take note. Alexandra is a babe. If

    by lester_long

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 1:59 a.m. CST

    Is this one also produced by TBN?

    by vroom socko

    Am I the only one who finds TBN totally outragious? First of all, their studio is this big fucking mansion, I mean gigantic. Second, the mansion and everything inside is is decorated in the most tacky style you'll ever see. The place looks like it was assemble from the contents of a Liberache estate sale. They're probably afraid to hire an intirior decorator who knows what he's doing, after all ,they're all gay, right? Still, nothing is funnier than watching Benny Hinn after a few beers.

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 2:21 a.m. CST

    This movie sounds like complete shit.

    by Wee Willie

    If Christ were alive today, to mis-quote "Hannah and her Sisters" out of context, and he saw the abominations that were commited in His name, he wouldn't stop throwing up.

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 2:23 a.m. CST

    This Lady Rocks Mightier Than Zeus

    by Jed

    I am so marrying alexandra dupont. she summed up every single reaction I had to Left Behind. I'm not a christian but they're all around me, and in force, in Orange County CA--TBN, the Godstuff cable network and creators of the Omega Code, is down the street. It's important to know the beliefs of one's neighbors? Miss Dupont, when you run out of things to review, you can just review a phonebook or something.

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 2:38 a.m. CST

    A lot less innocent then it seems.

    by Ataru Moroboshi

    Being that the author seems to be previously involved with the born-again faction of Christianity, she should have seen some of the underlying motives behind the various conspiracies in this film. It doesn't take a genius to tie the whole "UN is taking over the world" theme to the racist, xenophobic and anti-government philosophies that militia nutters like Timothy McVeigh and others follow. And the whole "international bankers" thing is a thinly veiled anti-Semitic conspiracy. Even still, for some reason I'm compelled to see this movie, or eventually read the books. I guess I'm just a sucker for apocalypse movies.

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 3:10 a.m. CST

    Very excellent review, Alexandra DuPont

    by Mr_Intimidation

    Well thought out, well-written, and well-tempered. The usually rant-mad and vulgar Mr. Intimidation is shamed.

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 5:37 a.m. CST

    It's been said, but this is how you write a review

    by Pseudonym

    Alexandra, thank you for gracing this site with this review. I won't be seeing the movie, but I have to pull my post name out of mothballs to cheer your review style.

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 5:42 a.m. CST

    The books are MUCH better

    by webspinner

    I'm about to finish book 2 of this series and have been fairly impressed. I am a Christian but I'm not a "touchy feely" Christian like most of the characters in this book, and I approached reading the books with some skepticism. However, they are a good read. They do get a bit preachy at times, but oh well. Would the world be worse than it is if there was a little more faith? I watched the first 10 minutes of Left Behind-The Movie last night and had to turn it off. It was that bad. The production values were poor, the acting was bad, the character portrayals were off. I could go on, but I won't. Read the first book and decide for yourselves.

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 6:01 a.m. CST

    i think i'm in love

    by Westrum

    that's one of the best reviews of anything I've ever read. A nutcase friend of mine had the movie, so I saw it shortly after christmas (actually, it was new year's and I was really plowed). It blew. However, I loved this review of Left Behind. I think I'm in love.

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 6:04 a.m. CST

    I like quality dammit

    by Westrum

    speaking of all this christian movie bs, I think i'm about to say something that some people have thought of. Why is it that when I see something christian (we're talking movies generally) that I dislike, they just say that "it's because you're not christian". no no no my brainwashed little dumpling, I didn't like it because I enjoy quality. I DID like Scorcese's "Last Temptation of Christ" fact, it's one of the best movies i've seen in a while. I DID NOT like left behind because, as the great ALEXANDRA said, it is about par for a sci-fi channel mini series.

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 6:10 a.m. CST

    video sux, theatrical pretty good

    by floydian

    i fell asleep in the video. it was awful - but still not as bad as "The Omega Crap". the interesting thing is, though, at the premier i was on the edge of my seat... i don't know what changed, other than the graphics are a hell of alot better and its actually surround sound... chelsea noble was awful whenever she had to show emotion. she was hot, but awful. brad johnson was great, clarence gilyard was great even with his very small part. Kirk was better than I expected, and looks right for the role - but should have been better. vic sarrin's directing look (excuse the pun) God-awful on the video, but in the theater its pretty decent. why cloud ten was stupid enough to release the video first, and crop the film to the damned 4:3 aspect ratio, ill never understand. the books get alot better after the first one, and if the 'trib force' film gets a decent budget, it might could afford a good director and some good actors as additons (so many main characters come and then die in the rest of the series), maybe we'll have the first good christian film... this was the best so far, tho, without a doubt.

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 6:21 a.m. CST

    My thoughts on Left Behind (great review by the way)

    by Kikstad

    I think the fact that LEFT BEHIND has already been released on video and sold millions of copies is definitely going to hurt its box-office numbers. I mean, most of its target audience already has the movie on tape and can watch it anytime, so why would they shell out money to see it in a movie theater -- like the reviewer said, this film already has a "made-for-TV" feel to it, so even cinema buffs won't feel like "It plays better on the big-screen." I haven't seen the film yet, even though my sister is one of the millions out there already who own the VHS tape. But I've started reading the books. The story has some neat Apocolyptic speculative fiction moments, but the writing isn't that great -- too exposition and a lot of great moment's "told" to the reader rather than "shown" to the reader. (One of the key rules of good engaging writing is "SHOW, DON'T TELL.") But that one major scene that the reviewer had a problem with in the film when the Russian aircraft explode over Jerusalem is explained in greater detail in the book (although, even then, as I was reading it, it seemed farfetched and didn't really make a heck of a lot of sense -- particularly the laid-back reaction by the whole world after the incident was over. Heck, if that REALLY happened, it would be one of the most amazing and dramatic moments in history, so it would have been cool if the characters reacted that way, instead of just going on with their lives as if they had just watched another rerun of HAPPY DAYS.) Anyway, I doubt I'll go see this movie. If it's a hit I'll be very impressed. I think the Doomsday genre is an interesting one full of possibilities. And all that talk about it being "propaganda" -- hey, ALL fiction cinema is propaganda to one extent, if you think about it. The writer/director is expressing his or her ideas and trying to share them with an audience. This is America. People are allowed to do that. And we, as free thinking free-willed folks, are entitled to watch their stories and judge for ourselves. Peace out. (Oh, one more thing, the reviewer sort of belittles the Sci-Fi Channel a couple of times, comparing the production values of LEFT BEHIND to some of their older made-for-television movies -- but the Sci-Fi Channel has come a long way, as anyone can tell you who's seen FARSCAPE and FRANK HERBERT'S DUNE mini-series can tell you.)

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 6:23 a.m. CST

    Left Behind Movie

    by mysteryperfecta

    Great review. What's really ironic is that, even after she calls Christian-bashers hypocrites in the beginning of the review, many of you proceed to do just that. Good going. Ataru- I'm going to send your post to the producers of the X-Files. Grouping Christians with "militia nutters" is paranoid ad ridiculum. Who's the bigot? Westrum- Who are "they"? Sounds like a gross generalization of a group of people, based on... what? One person you've met? I've seen Left Behind- The Movie, and the review is spot on. I share Alexandra's sediments.

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 6:33 a.m. CST

    maxwell demon has issues

    by mysteryperfecta

    It's about time someone stood up and ridiculed Christian belief! Oh wait- people are always doing that. Has anybody else noticed how some people get instantly riled at the mention of Christianity? Come on, maxwell. Be more open-minded and tolerant of views that are different from yours. That's the liberal way. But maybe that only goes one way. By the way, isn't this a movie review talkback? I give Left Behind a C+. I gave the Omega Code a D. But remember, friends, the general public doesn't look at movies with NEARLY the critical eye as most of us do. My parents and roommates kind liked Left Behind.

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 7:09 a.m. CST

    Read the Books.

    by Skelator88

    I am a Christian, and I didn't like the movie. It's a shame, beacuse the books are good and the Christian film makers had a chance to bring a well running book series on film and maybe get a hold of a broad audience, but they totally blew it.

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 7:17 a.m. CST

    Horrible book-to-film translation

    by George McFly

    Just as I feared, the LEFT BEHIND movie is a jumbled, boring mess. My wife and I are avid readers of these books, and I credit the book to making me take a look at myself and my faith, ultimately leading to my acceptance of Jesus Christ. Oh, there will be some of you on here who will blast me for that, but that's expected. There's thousands others out there like myself who found God through these books. But getting back to the movie, it's horrid. My wife and I shuddered at just how much they changed from the book--I mean characters are changed completely, as well as their actions and what they do. The books take their time with the characters and their development; it's so obvious that they took major short-cuts to cram it into a movie version. I was on the movie mailing list for quite a while leading up to the movie, and I eagerly anticipated it. Now I'm so glad I didn't buy it. Had I not rented it and seen it in a theater, I probably would have gotten up and walked out during the showing. The acting is generally weak, the effects are just what you'd expect, and the story and characters are boring and a convoluted mess. Quite honestly, it's an undertaking that should never have been done. Example: in the book, when the Rapture occurs, many vehicles, planes, etc. are suddenly unmanned, resulting in mass destruction and devastation. Scenes of this are in the book, especially in and around the Chicago area. This really wasn't even translated to the movie, as it was obvious they didn't have the budget to put forth the effects needed to convey just how devastating this was. We see an accident or two, and that's about it. It should never have been done, period. However, I HIGHLY SUGGEST, if you have not done so, that you at least pick up the first book and read it. I especially suggest it if you're a little curious or confused about your faith. Remember, Jesus Christ isn't the answer, He's the ONLY answer. McFly<--

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 7:17 a.m. CST

    Christian film/culture

    by RJ Fletcher

    As a Christian, all too often I am embarassed and disappointed by the shlock put out by bad film-makers and called "Christian." While my foremost complaint is that it makes Christianity a laughingstock, that these kind of films are MST3k-fodder bad is a close second. For the most part, all "Christian" fiction authors, musicians, and film-makers are so untalented to make it in a secular arena. Luckily, a Christian ghetto of sorts exists, wherin narrow-minded people who will not buy any product unless it says "Christian" on the label (be it a movie or breathmints), eagerly gobble this crap up. The one good thing that can be said about Left Behind is that it is better than the Heresy..sorry..Omega Code, starring Casper "I'm ACTING dammit" Van Diem.

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 7:27 a.m. CST

    Religion-themed films vs. religion-generated films

    by enum

    First off, let's not use the word "Christian" when describing this peculiar subculture that has become a multi-billion industry. They prefer to call themselves "evangelical", and I would agree. Being a "Christian" does not make you "evangelical"; two great recent films about Christianity made by Christians that come to mind are "The Last Temptation of Christ" by Martin Scorcese and "The Apostle" by Robert Duvall. There have been more than a few great thinkers of the Christian faith. However, I sense that participants of the "evangelical" movement aren't able to get past the broad, cartoonish strokes of religion as taught in Sunday School, which explains the crap they are willing to produce and support. The big green felt story board, with the velcro Moses and the velcro burning bush, that Sunday School teachers used to tell Bible stories has morphed into mainstream, well-funded films. It's hardly challenging, unless you have the mind of a six-year-old...

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 7:31 a.m. CST

    Maxwell Demon is Right On

    by freethinker

    Ya know, T2 and many other films like Matrix may indeed be semi-Christian allegories, but unlike the uneducated morons of the first century and before, we don't actually BELIEVE their stories to be truth. I hate it it when people say us antichrists should be a little more "tolerant". Why? I've not seen much tolerance from them lately, especially now with their little puppet president about to use my tax dollars for their ends. Also, remember how in Bugs Bunny and many other cartoons there is always a guy who thinks he's Napoleon, and gets dragged away in the big butterfly net? Well, why is that considered crazy, but belief in Christian mythology not? Here's one more; Roman, Grrek, and Egyptian civilizations contributed much to the world during their periods of influence that remain today, yet their Gods have no believers anymore. So why are the beliefs of such wise people ignored, yet the beliefs established by ignorant desert dwellers taken as truth? Oh yeah, I'm sure the movie is shit too, just like Jesus rockers Creed.

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 7:37 a.m. CST

    I'm a Christian, but...

    by Kenway

    I am not a fan of the Left Behind books or Christian movies. They are OK I guess for maybe starting discussion. Like the Left Behind series is basically a step-by-step example of EVERY error of Millenialism, but the main thing is the message of Christianity is lost among a whole lot of gibberish. Christianity is really very simple. It's main theme is not a bunch of wacked out interpretations of Revelations. Christianity is salvation for sinners through the sacrifice of God's son Jesus Christ. If you are looking for the message of Christianity in Left Behind, save yourself two hours of bad filmmaking. The answer is as simple as this: "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23 However, that has been solved: "No matter how terrible our sin and guilt, God assures us, the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin." All one has to do is believe that and you're saved. It is that simple. Things like Left Behind just muck that up for people looking for answers.

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 7:37 a.m. CST

    the movie was Left Behind, read the books

    by eaj2000

    Great review, as everyone else has pointed out. The books are a great lesson in End times, if you are interested in learning about the Earths future. The movie was pretty lame, it needed to be longer, and the authur of the books is sueing the company who put the movie out because it sucks. Terminater movies are not a good allegory of the the christian outlook, the best one to dat eis the MATRIX. Christians are the ones who are trying to save the world who is lost in the prison of this world.

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 7:44 a.m. CST

    Christian Film

    by Nicron 99

    I just wanted to talk a little bit about the whole Christian film genre. First off, why does every "Christian movie" have to deal with the end times? Do Christians believe that the only way to effectively communicate their message is to try and convince people to "turn or burn"? I believe there is a new wave of Christians who are going to try and not dwell on that aspect, but rather try and show the side of Christianity that relates to everyone

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 7:51 a.m. CST

    Apocalypse and Alexandra

    by IrishJoe

    2 things that start with A and that i like. I cant remember the last review of Alexandras that i read but it was a rip apart that did exactly what it said on the tin in that it totally ripped apart the subject matter. She has done it again in a well balanced extremely well written and overly very pleasing read. Secondly i want the next big summer blockbuster to be APOCALYPSE OWW! directed by Kevin Smith Produced by Bruckheimer. Starring Bruce Willis as Bullet McGraw a maverick something who is on the verge of being suspended for his maverick ways that nonetheless get results. It would have Jennifer Lopez as his girlfirend and Carrie Anne Moss as his wife. Famke Jannsen could be the cold calcuating woman he works with that turns out to be bad. Anthony Hopkins plays Satan of course with DENIRO and Pacino as his disciples and Danny DEVITO as the comic relief demon. The film ends with Bruce hitting a nine iron from the bunker (*the golf ball has been specially blessed by the pope "Anthony Hopkins again"*) straight down Satans throat and saving the world. Also Jet Li, Vin Diesel and Hugh Jacman are in it as well as 250 billion dollars of special effects. Cool No but writing this beats working

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 8:20 a.m. CST

    The books are worse

    by MatrixWarlock

    I've read more than half of the books of the Left Behind series and I thought the movie was better than the book. The authors of the books are redundant and tend to address the readers as if we're idiots. The film was good, not great or fantastic, but good. I thought it made a good transition of making Buck a TV reporter instead of a writer. I personally thought that the books read more like a bad novelization of a movie.

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 8:23 a.m. CST

    Which is worse?

    by not_a_jedi_yet

    I'm not sure which I find more offensive--the people who blindly accept mediocre films like "Left Behind" just because they're Christian, or the idiots who bash Christianity without a SHRED of knowledge of what it's truly about. I take that back...I am completely sure. Given a choice, I'd have to say the anti-Christian sentiment reflected here represents a far more disgusting element of our society than the "fundy-scrubbed-clean Christians" who find "Left Behind" an entertaining reflection on theif beliefs. You guys throw out anti-Christian propoganda with as much (if not more) venom than the Christians you so despise. That's as hypocritical as anything you decry. Life is a search for the truth, and rather than slam the claims of ANY religion with the childish rantings I've seen here, you would do better to spend your time actually examining the evidence behind them. You'd be surprised at what you find.

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 8:26 a.m. CST

    Left Behind: The Movie

    by Doug Exeter

    Let me begin by saying that I am a Christian who loves Jesus with all of my heart. I saw Left Behind on video a few weeks ago. Not a bad movie, but not a great one. Then again, I wasn't that big on the books either. The thing is that for most of the time since film was invented, we Christians have called it evil and sinful, and have been scared of it. Now we have a new generation of Christians who are the SAME PERSON when they are in church as when they are out of church, warts and all. And this generation grew up on TV and Movies and it's natural to them to make them, see them, etc. So Christian movies are making it into the mainstream, but since we're so new, we haven't found our niche yet. It's like a writer writing what he knows, that's why I think that all the mainstream Christian movies have been about the Apocalypse. But soon new directors will come and will have new material that they want to make and they will be better at it. So I guess that it's ironic that the first mainstream Christian movies should be about The End, because it's really the beginning.

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 8:37 a.m. CST

    great review

    by abcdefz

    This is probably the most well-written review I've seen on this site. I also appreciate the kick-in-the-pants to Christian artists, but let's be fair: it might be more a problem of the marketplace (or perceived marketplace). I say this having had some experience with publishers at Christian houses. Their intent is largely to put out work which is dirivitive of successful secular formula (so we get "the Christian Black Crowes;" "the Christian Stephen King" etc.) and then mine it to death (so not only do we get seven Left Behind books, but a teenage spinoff series, and so on). A novel I wrote was turned down at two places for being "too much like real life" and another for being "a literary novel." And, at one major publishing house, the editor my then-agent spoke with turned out to not even be a Christian, so there you go. But this reviewer is correct: if only for social reasons, Christian art used to be well-funded by the elite, so we had beautiful work by Bach, art by (gay, it's reputed) Michaelangelo, and on and on. Christian sensibility permeated the work of Tolstoy, for that matter. But by now, behavior of people who love the church more than God has undermined the work of the Church (as Jesus intended), so, artistically (again, the art which is released), we're crawling to catch up. Too bad. Still, there's some good stuff out there, if you're willing to look for it: The Waiting, Black Eyed Sceva/Model Engine are terrific, some of Philip Yancey's writing is great, Pedro the Lion has released some worthy stuff, and the new Polarboy CD (4008) is one of the most joyous, flat out rock records I've heard since Petty's Damn the Torpedoes. It's like digging under the top 40 to find the good stuff used to be; hopefully, the audience will get bigger. But this Left Behind stuff is tripe. The book is so poorly written I couldn't get past the first few pages. Awful. Oh, yeah -- and where is my grace? well, hopefully I'm railing against the product more than the people....

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 8:39 a.m. CST

    Write on, Alexandra!

    by All Thumbs

    No, seriously, let's see some more reviews. I don't know if I'll ever watch "Left Behind" except to appease one of my friends who has read almost all the books in the series and is trying to get me to read them, but your review was pretty entertaining. Maybe I'll pick it up some day with this review in mind.***There's nothing wrong with being critical about Christianity, or any other religion for that matter, but the blatant intolerance and bigotry to an entire group of people is no better than the intolerance and bigotry some of you say that all Christians practice. Not all Christians are intolerant bigots who try to force people to convert. Stick to the Jerry Falwells, please.

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 8:49 a.m. CST

    Hypocrisy in action

    by Nightshot

    " interested in finding out if they could, they didn't bother to stop and think if they should." Three points if you can name the movie. This is disappointing. Freethinker.. your name is a misnomer. You and those who've posted in the same vein that you have are guilty of the least acceptable form of social paranoia in today's culture. You are bigots. Ask yourself this.. reread the other posts. I see christains saying, "We evaluate the movie based on its merits. Please be tolerant of us. Don't attack our faith." But, just as sure as calling someone a nigger, wearing a swastika, vandalizing an abortion clinic, or protesting the funeral of Matthew Shepard, you have exhibited bigotry. You have trivialized, bastardized, attacked, and demeaned an entire religion and social groups way of thinking and beliefs. You have referred to a "them" and brought to light only the most negative actions of the group. You have Attacked the way of life of Billions of individuals based on what you consider to be the tendency of what can't be more than an infinitessimal portion of ta particular whole. If I were to criticize all african americans or even said, "well most" based on the actions of Puff Daddy, while simutaneously ignoring the acheivements of men such as George Wahington Carver and Martin Luther King, I would be branded a racist. How, then, has it become acceptable to judge so many people based on negative press, while ignoring those who feed the homeless, Build homes in third world nations, and many who just live normal lives and try to be good people. Freethinker, you should be ashamed. You have proven yourself to be a prejudiced, judgemental, intentionally hurtful, closed minded person. I pose a question to you. Should I judge everyone in your social group (which obviously includes all non christians) based on my observations of you? Because if I had just said that all non christians were wrong, as you say all christians were wrong, you would say that I had just proven your point. ZAMPH!

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 8:49 a.m. CST

    The worst thing about this movie is the horrible cheesy Christia

    by Brendan3

    Sorry, but it's true. The grandeure of the Rapture is kind of cheapened by the terrible synth pop ballads that are so bad they would make Frank Stallone blush. The music kind of dragged the film down... well the music and the effects and the acting.

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 8:50 a.m. CST

    Talkback Misuse

    by Media Junkie

    Shame on you Wrathful Buddha! Haven't you read the Talkback rules that warn against personal attacks? Besides, who are you to judge what one person finds to fulfill himself and how they found it. If a book can lead a person to personal happiness then good for that person and that book. In my experience only self-important egotists talk of being enlightened, whereas real freethinkers acknowledge that their own thoughts as well as those around them may be offbase. A well-written review, by the way, though I have not seen the movie. And thanks to Enum for noting the Apostle -- an excellent film that shows that even the most "religious" people are human beings and should be held to the same standard as everyone else.

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 8:51 a.m. CST

    Pilots Named Rayford Are, Generally, Bad News

    by mrbeaks

    I've spent enough time in airport bars, seeking answers from Tom Collins, to know that the Rayfords of this world represent an acute spiritual ruination from which there is no salvation, save for Willie "Bibleman" Ames. That said, this is not the forum to wallow in my Rayford-sent misery. Great review, Alexandra! I'll keep my eye on the letters page at

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 8:56 a.m. CST

    Why does the antichrist in this film talk like Count Chocula?

    by Brendan3

    Just curious. I had to giggle everytime he spoke. It makes it hard to take seriously and the film makers should have played him more straight. Don't get me wrong. I'm not coming down on the movie because I'm antichristian or don't like the story. The story could have been told well; the film makers just made a mess of it.

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 9:02 a.m. CST

    oh boy

    by daffybastard

    Wow it's nice to finally see all the film geeks arguing over something worthwile, as opposed to who posted first concerning wether or not you can see pixels in the new jurassic park trailer or whatevers. I read the book and was embarrased to watch the movie with my recently believing girlfriend and mt friend who is currently "searching". Christianity is not a scared straight program, I don't want a bunch of angry preachers with tattoos yelling at me and telling me that my new name is peaches. I read the book of revalations a couple times too and the best part is a verse in it that warns against misinterpereting it. The whole thing was some mind trip some guy took on an island. Now I've taken a couple good mind trips on islands and if anyone ever made a movie or book out of them I'd be quite embarrased. If you wanna know about Jesus and stuff, then read the Bible or watch star wars. Most of us people in our 20s in the US were raised Christian, now wether you pulled an anakin and turned away from the code or pulled a luke and found the good side is up to you, but no one has any right to lambast anyone else concerning their personal decision concerning their own eternal future.

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 9:11 a.m. CST

    Cheesy soundtrack

    by Tacodave

    I'd just like to point out that not all "Christian" music is cheesy ala Michael W. Smith or Amy Grant or Carman. In fact, I enjoy several unknown "Christian" artists more than the mainstream ones. Ever heard of Project 86 or P.O.D.? MxPx? Sixpence None the Richer? Collective Soul? Creed? All of these are "Christian" artists, but their music is top-notch. The problem isn't a lack of good music, it's just that the producers have terrible taste. It would be like Quentin Tarantino filling a movie with teen pop groups. We would hate that music too, but it wouldn't mean there is no good pop music out there...

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 9:31 a.m. CST

    My two cents

    by DearGodMySpleen

    Being a Christian, I'll admit that a lot of Christian forms of entertainment are lacking (not in message, but in simple enjoyability). I found the Left Behind series entertaining (altough not detailed enough) and will probably be disappointed with the movie, as I usually am with most book/movie adaptations (Exhibit A: The Firm). And a quick message to TBN-bashers out there...please don't think that TBN or the PTL of the '80s is in any way representative of Christians in general. I find most of that money-grubbing stuff highly offensive, and so do most real Christians. To paraphrase Bono, "The God I believe in isn't short of cash, mister!" Sure, it's a great thing when people turn over their earnings to help others (charity is the least anyone can do considering the charity God has shown all of us), but when that money goes to funding garish luxuries like the TBN mansion or the Crystal Cathedral, it gets perverted into nothing more than greed. If any non-believers want to see a more accurate representation of an evangelical Christian organization, watch one of Billy Graham's speeches.

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 9:33 a.m. CST

    by Luke

    Isn't it strange how a talkback on a Christian film can generate so much anger? How can you say that people who say Jesus is the only answer are bigots? To beleive in Jesus is to beleive he is the only way, there's no real way to dilute that, but that's not intolerance - that's beleiveing that at the end of the day there is an ultimate truth.

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 9:41 a.m. CST

    This movie should be "Left Behind" so you can see my masterpiece

    by L Ron Hubbard

    Oh, my children, don't fall into the deceptive arms of the Christian "faith" these followers of an outdated religion are just copying my path of combining stiring science fiction with my message of truth and spiritual freedom...just like in "Battlefield Earth"!!! Which would you rather do, watch some hokey kid from a forgotten 80's sitcom battle some non-existant anti-christ, or watch the wonderfully evil John Travolta go toe-to-toe with the young, virle, oiled down Barry Pepper...saviour of the human race!?!? An epic story of kill-sticks, laz-guns, flying ship thingys and lots of explosions!!! This is the thing faith is based upon, really great sci-fi stories that you can wrap you mind around, and learn how those darn Psychologists are turning your minds into mush with their babblind and talk of how you have "delusions of grandure" and that you're a "meglomaniac" and not to mention those damn literary critics who dismiss your work as juvenile and hackneyed...what a bunch of phillisitines!!! Well, anyways, go out and rent "Battlefield Earth" today, and while you're at it, pick up a couple of copies of "Dianetics" and give them to your friends and neighbors, and if they refuse to read them, just let me know, and we'll send some of our "re-education specialists" over to give them a little "help".

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 9:58 a.m. CST

    Christian culture

    by RJ Fletcher

    I would like to say that, despite my commments above, there are some legitimately good Christian authors, musicians, etc. who break the mold and don't conform to the mass-marketed Christianity of modern America. As noted above, P.O.D., Project 86, Travail, Stavesacre, and Embodyment are some of the most talented bands I know, secular or otherwise. They are all worthy of respect because they break the mold and don't fall into the "let's copy a secular band" trap. If only we could get that same level of talent (with the same dedication to authentic, real-life Christianity) into the movie making business, perhaps some of this name-calling and finger-pointing would stop.

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 10:06 a.m. CST

    wrathful buddha

    by Media Junkie

    Look, an online forum is not the place to be discussing such life-changing issues as God and religion. The issue of God and more specifically religion is best discussed intimately or in a learning environment, where those involved aren't complete strangers. And of course you're not the only one on here doing this, but I spoke out against you because you specifically attacked one person. Even though George McFly or whoever it was said, "Jesus is the only answer." Did he single you out say, "Wrathful Buddha, you're going to hell."? No. Yet you turn around and single him out and ridicule him for the way in which he found happiness. That's out of line. I'm not going to get into a big argument about it, because I believe you're entitled to your feelings just as George McFly is entitled to his. Just don't go after individuals. You don't know him. I don't know you. This is a movie forum and we've jumped completely off topic.

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 10:35 a.m. CST

    Another disappointing movie adaptation.

    by emarkp

    When I started reading the "Left Behind" series, it took a bit to get past the names of the characters, some low-quality writing and get into the books. The writing got better, the characters got stronger and I found myself enjoying the stories, even though I don't agree with the premise (I'm Christian, but don't believe in the interpretation that puts the so-called rapture before the nastiness described in the book of Revelation). And then I watched the movie. All of the good dialogue of the book was removed--replaced with bad dialogue. It was always difficult to figure out where the scene was taking place (NY or Chicago). Most frustratingly, the characters were weakened and their motivations changed. In addition, the movie should have been about 3 hours long instead of a bare 1.5 hrs.

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 10:48 a.m. CST

    Left Behind...shoulda been

    by AICNRox

    Man, talk about LifeTime Television material. I don't think it will hit #1 at the box office, as "the fans" are hoping it will, even if everyone of them gets out the night it opens. By the way, you can review the movie on their official site, in the Message Board.

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 10:49 a.m. CST

    patience, we're getting there

    by Dando

    As a Christian artist, I could write enough content here to be typing for the next 20 hours. There is a lot of good issues being brought up here. In general, Evangelical Christianity sucks when it comes to artistic expression. About 100 years ago we went into retreat mode and boarded up the bunkers and issued the "fundamentals." But we are trying to make a come back. As a film lover I can't offer a lot of high praise for "Left Behind." The plot is weak. There are a lot of theological reasons why the literary value of the story is pap. But I am encouraged that people are trying. The acting is pretty good. They all do a good job with what they are given. Concerning any discussion of the Christian faith. . . I'd enjoy having a loving conversation with any one here about it. Unfortunately, like "Politically Incorrect" this is not the correct format or venue for it. . .--Hail the bigot whose prejudice is logic.

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 10:52 a.m. CST

    The Bottom Line...

    by Doug Exeter

    The bottom line is this, Christian/Secular, regardless, THE MOVIE IS NEVER AS GOOD AS THE BOOK!

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 10:57 a.m. CST


    by SCOTT1458

    oh my're everywhere dude! Where you hanging lately? Still at ABUZZ?

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 11:03 a.m. CST

    Violation Alert!

    by TorJohnson

    Media Junkie-- By singling out WrathfulBuddha for your personal attack and condemnation I find you guilty of violating the TalkBack Commandments, paragraph one, section three. We must maintain the purity of the TalkBack, a place where never is there a personal attack and never is the main topic veered away from. And a narrow-minded thing it is to veer off-topic.

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 11:08 a.m. CST

    Christianity is Stupid. Communism is Good. Give Up.

    by wash

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 11:22 a.m. CST

    The Stand vs. Left Behind

    by walker_jm

    Ok I know its off topic but the only good end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it-and-then-what-happens-next story that I have read is The Stand. Both the book and movie were great, characters were believable, and held a great good vs. evil story line. I have yet to read any of the Left Behind books but plan to as I would like to compare the two. It will likely be comparing apples to oranges but it seems to me that they are both running the same story idea. Just because King didn't write it with a Christian slant doesn't mean it didn't have the themes of repentance or salvation. As for the movie, if its only 10% better than Omega -boor me to death- Code I guess I can rent it.

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 12:14 p.m. CST

    Personally, I think the movie stinks to High Hanna and the book

    by WeirdArchives

    I can understand why the early Popes had issues with the printing press and why Islam forbids using the image and spirit of the Prophet in anything. Crap like this just dilutes and confuses the true text and intent. I feel garbage like LEFT BEHIND, TBN, THE 700 CLUB, and others of their ilk only serve to destroy Christianity and further the rifts mankind seems to enjoy making for itself when the call of brotherhood and peace are just too tempting to follow. This can only mean diaster if such dreck is allowed to continue. There's been enough damage done. Let it end now.

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 12:22 p.m. CST

    135 million Christians?

    by Theta

    And this causes worldwide panic? Give me a break! That's only 2% of the world population! It would be considered WEIRD, certainly, but not start up a shitload of wars. I think it's inflating the importance of fundamentalists more than anything else. These books are offensive in a lot of ways, not in the least of which is that they're an embarassment to people who actually follow the laws and tenets of Christianity (i.e. acceptance of others) as opposed to those who use the Bible to justify their political/social agenda. Besides, one would think a loving God would take a lot more than just Christians. As long as they lived decent lives, why not the Buddhists, Jews, Shintoists, Hindus, Catholics, Methodists...this is turning into a lengthy list. But wouldn't he be picking THEM up too?

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 12:36 p.m. CST

    Hey, mysteryperfecta.. did I mention ALL of Christianity?

    by Ataru Moroboshi

    No, I did not. I was refering to an extremeist faction of Christianity, namely the born-again/evangelical/ fundamentalist movement. I may not be too keen on Christianity, but I wouldn't cause such a terrible diservice to your average Christian by lumping them in with those nut jobs. It's pretty goddamn obvious to anyone with eyes that there are some pretty close ties between fundamentalism, ultra conservatism and militia/white supremecist groups. And this series of books SEEMS (since I haven't read these books, I admit) to be a popularized version of the rhetoric these extremist groups thrive on. Do your research. It just scares the shit out of me that we have some of these freaks running the country.

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 1:02 p.m. CST

    The books are better...

    by Brikar99

    I've read all of the ones that are out so far, and despite them being a bit preachy at times, and the extreme lack of any kind of profanity beyond "Buck swore" or "Rayford swore", and that the names are almost laughably dumb, they really are interesting books. The Antichrist is genuinely creepy, and so is the totalitarian world that he creates after the Rapture and World War 3. I recommend the books... but not the movie. Not at all. Try harder next time, guys.

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 1:28 p.m. CST

    by Chest_Rockwell

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 1:34 p.m. CST

    Damn these buttons......

    by Chest_Rockwell

    I'm a methodist. I haven't been to church in a LOOOOOOONG time. But i try to do the "right" thing in my life. HOWEVER, I fucking hate this fundamentalistc, shove religion down your throat shit with a passion. Furthermore, I also hate this shit the shrub is trying to pull with his bullshit "faith based" social programs. Either it is religion, or it aint. If it is, then you don't need to tell me anything about it, cuz i already got mine. We got so many fucking Jesus channels on my cable systems, I could kill 50 babies every day for the rest of my life and still not have enough sin in my life to warrant all this preaching going on. Christians are an ok lot, but the pushy ones HAVE GOT TO FUCKING GO!!!!! TBN, PTL, Pat Robertson, Benny Hinn etc. and these shitty movies are pushy religion (and greedy ones too), ergo, they must go. Someone said it earlier, U wanna see some moderately intelligent religious information, watch Billy Graham. I caught him on larry king one time, and was truly amazed at how NOT like a Pat Robertson type clown he is.

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 1:39 p.m. CST

    Bravo Nighshot!!!!

    by RenoNevada2000

    I must say I thhink you deserve the final word on the subject. Sure some Christians scare the bejeezus out of me, but so do some aethists, some white people, some black people and some others too. I don't blindly criticize an entire group of people based on the actions of a few ignorant souls. In my immediate family I have members of various Christian denominations and they're all wonderful people who don't give me shit about my lapsed Catholic ass. Now on words to my own disjointed rant--- It's easy to make jokes like "Christian Rock doesn't!" but only because I've never really been interested in trying it out. I'm also not into trying gay sex, but others seem to be enjoying it so more power to them. (Not that I'm equating Christianity with gay sex, so don't even think about yelling at me for that!) Though I still have to qualify my statements by adding that I'm extremely leery of our Attorney General nominee. As someone who enjoys swing and latin dancing, I just can't see any purpose for a religion to forbid dancing. That and I want someone who BELIEVES in the laws he's sworn to uphold, not someone who will uphold them because its his job. There have also been some films recently that have had uplifting messages without being preachy. "The Spitfire Cafe", written and directed by Remington Steele producer Lee Zlotoff, was mainly funded by a religious order of monks who wanted to make a positive movie that didn't preach. Also, whether you liked how he did it or not, Kevin Smith's "Dogma" also addressed matters of faith versus religion. I'm a little surprised I haven't seen him brought up here before.

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 1:40 p.m. CST

    Hey, that was a nice review, Ms. (Mrs.?) DuPont...

    by Miracleman

    ... you're definitely one of the better film reviewers that "makes the rounds" on this site. You're generally unbiased and you explain your likes and dislikes of a film coherently and concisely (and you have stupendous grammar, too, a rarity on this site! Huzzah!) Anyway, kudos to you. By the way, where can I get myself a copy of that Oddjob comic? I wouldn't mind taking a peak at that issue number 7 (hmm... "comix"... is this referring to the adult comics genre (Shazbot!), or was that just a general shortening of the word?). Anyway, you other folks on this Talkback should all start being nice to each other... get together and do something constructive, like start a little-league softball team... hold a fund-raiser for your local library... organize a food and clothing drive for your local charity... plant one of those nifty Japanese cherry blossom trees in your local park... make a movie starring Corey Feldman...

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 1:47 p.m. CST

    wow... simply... wow...

    by BigDawgKris

    First of all, I am a dyed in the wool, born-again, Bible-Toting, Christian, and for all of the nay-sayers who don't belive in Christ, I'm sorry, and I'll be praying for you, that you recieve God's wonderful gift, life. Second of all, some of you have your religion confused with Christianity, these are two very different things. Religion can be applied to lots of things, wether it be Trekkies, Christianity, Buddism, Judaism, even Wiccan, but Religion does not equal Christianity. With that out of the way, some of you don't realize that Catholics, Methodist, and even Baptists (oooh... the "B" word...) are Christians, it's all relative... Third of all... I haven't seen the movie yet... but I have read all of the books... ALL of them... and the past few I have read within days of their release... they're THAT good... I promise... the story is extremely riveting, and I know LOTS of non-Christians that throughly enjoy the books, and a few of them have found Christ through the message shared through the books, and to those who don't think that a movie (or any other media) can be good if it's "Christian" then I suggest you take a look around and open your eyes (pun intended). You call your selves "open-minded" but you can't see the forest for the trees, you see a label of Christianity, and you immediately dismiss it... Check out Project 86, POD (remember Southtown? yeah... they're a Christian band... yeah... they headlined at OzFest this year too!) Hard-Core Rock not your style? Check out Gotee records' Relient K one of the best punk bands around! Don't dismiss it till you've tried it... I tried walking in the dark, now (to use a very old quotation) I can see the light, so I can say that I've tried the other way, and I much prefer where I am now... Don't like it? Tough... you'll find out one day... when you've been left behind...

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 2:24 p.m. CST

    Take a breath everyone

    by barrymanilow

    First of all, I really have no desire to see this film. I am a Christian. Do I live it every moment of the day? No. Should I? Yes. Like it has been stated before, I am upset that most 'Christian' films deal with the end times or REVELATION (no 's'!!!!). The problem is that Christian film makers are going about it all wrong. How do we (I am a Christian film maker) expect to reach the non-believer if we make films about fire and brimstone. The key is to make quality, wholesome films if you want to change what people see. We can not expect people to see Christian films if they are into secular films (this is a blanket statement--I know). We need to make films that make people thing about what they believe and not tell them that they are going to hell (even though that is the truth that is found in the Bible).Another thing, why do Christian film makers try to make these films that require a lot of special effects when they do not have the budget to go up against what secular films are useing. We need to consentrate on the story and characters. Like it has been stated above, we need to bring a human touch to Christain films. Now to all you who are bashing Christianity. Do some studying. Do not bash what you have not studied. Yes, I have studied every major religion. I do not know who said it but they were right when they said do not judge us all based on what the extremist do. I wonder if you bash Christianity because you are stuggling with what you believe. I am not writing all of this to "save" you. I write this to tell you to atleast study the faith. Chritianity is offensive. It is not harmful though (don't even bring up the Crusades-don't show your ignorance). I am sorry this is so long but I just wanted to say my two cents. I would recomend you reading 'Mere Christianity' by C.S. Lewis (He converted to Christianity--'The Lion, the witch and the wardrobe' is a Christain book-the Lion is God). You do not have to believe. That is your choice. No one can make you believe. Just atleast do some research about the belief and then draw your own conclusions. Most people who research the faith do not bash it. They might disagree but they do not bash.

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 2:54 p.m. CST

    In response to Miracleman's post: ODDJOB #7 will be available in

    by Alexandra.DuPont

    It's a Slave Labor Graphics publication, so make sure your local retailer has it on order; SLG has notoriously spotty distribution in comics shops, which is a shame for readers. I encourage everyone to check it out. It's an excellent title well beyond my piddling contribution. BTW, you can check out preview images from the comic at

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 2:59 p.m. CST

    Saw the video

    by fladnaG

    Crap, crap, crappity, crap, crap. The books are ok. They get better along the way. But the video movie was just crap. I couldn't finish watching it, it was that bad. Oh well.

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 3:04 p.m. CST

    A.DuP. responds: Amazing Talk Back; here's some more.

    by Alexandra.DuPont

    Wow. This may be the most intriguing Talk Back I've ever had the privilege of sparking. I just got an extremely articulate e-mail from a dear friend on the subject, and here's what she had to say (I reprint with her permission): "It is indeed interesting, especially from my non-believer perspective, and here's why: **** If it was a good movie, I'd see it. (Witness "A Hard Day's Night," which I found entertaining, even though I'm no shill for The "bigger than Jesus" Beatles.) **** I'm sure you know better than I that filmmakers in this genre have a long way to go in developing a "mainstream" product that doesn't stray from their message. I get the feeling that "Left Behind" is akin to a mural painted on the broadside of a building. Sure, it's there for public consumption, but what about it is going to make me stop my car and take a look at it for any longer than it takes for the light to change? Especially when there's a St. Peter's Cathedral . . . **** Which brings me to my next disjointed thought. These days, the Church doesn't commission artists as it did in the days of St. Peter's Cathedral. And, to my way of thinking, that explains a lot with respect to the poor quality of Christian-genre films. They need some financial backing, and why not from a deep-pocket Church? And what better way of getting their message out there? (I know it's a political mine field, and Church politics are the worst kind of politics, but still.) **** It may be, though, that the Christian-genre movie is just too difficult to make in a way that appeals to the mainstream. And I say that not because the mainstream (in this country at least) isn't interested in Christianity, but because "Christianity" in and of itself is too broad of a concept and the nuances within it are (a) personal and deeply felt, and (b) elusive to the camera. (Trying to understand the Trinity as it is explained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church made my head spin; I don't think a "Father, Son, Holy Ghost" film would be possible or helpful, unless of course, Abbot and Costello were here today.) **** Also, the talk-backer who talked about Christianity vs. evangelism has a good point, especially here in the Pacific NW, where Oregon and Washington rank #1 and #2, respectively, in the number of atheist inhabitants. In this region, our tolerance for preachy-ness seems to extend only to environmental evangelism. But, I'll bet "Left Behind" will get some rave reviews in the Bible Belt. In fact, it would be interesting to track the regional revenues. **** And, by the way, although I'm not quite understanding why when a Christian element is inherent that it becomes such a big issue for people, I think your review was skillfully diffusive. Although, I'm still wondering whether you didn't sell out a bit . . . ?"

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 3:15 p.m. CST

    Alexandra, nice work all around

    by monkeylucifer

    It's people like you who make me think that there's still hope for this site. I loved your review, and the preview of your comic work looks damn interesting....I'll be sure to pick up a copy. I really like the image of the man adressing a room full of box-headed audience members...kinda eerie and funny at the same time. Good work!

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 3:36 p.m. CST

    descent christian movies

    by mrhappy

    Hey, there are some good Christian movies like Les Miserables, and the Jesus flicks (the good ones not the crappy ones)

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 4:41 p.m. CST

    2 things

    by neveragain

    haven't seen the movie, no real plans to until i read the book, i am a christian, but i don't go to church are two quickies.......1. yes most Christian entertainment is terrible, but give me 5 years, and I'll have convinced Billy Graham to let that new film production company he is backing hand over the directing/starring rights to Frank Perretti's "This Present Darkness." my all time favorite book next to the Bible of course :-> (flame me if you wish).......#2. for all the christian bashers, a quick question, you've probably heard it before, it might have already been said here; but if you are right, there is no God, no Hell, nothing to be saved from, what have I lost? life is probably more fun than most non-christians, but what if YOU are wrong? what if God Is real, and Hell IS real, and you HAVE to be saved to avoid it? what have you lost?.........that might not mean anything to you, but if it does, I'm always willing to talk to you, email or instant messenger: CamelBilly ......just my .02

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 4:57 p.m. CST


    by StraightEdgeChik

    You know, it's funny when some people criticize religion and say, "Think for yourself," when what they really mean is, "Think like me." They criticize religion and Christianity in particular for telling people how to act but then they themselves want everyone to think like them and not believe in the "myth" of a loving God. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised though. Hypocrites come from all walks of life, after all. As for "Left Behind," I have not seen the movie or read the books and I have no intention of doing so. It just doesn't interest me. The only good Apocalypse movie I've seen is "The Stand, which someone already mentioned but how could they say it wasn't a Christian allegory? It's pretty obvious that the book and the movie are Biblical allegories. Stephen King did a wonderful job. It would be nice if there were more Christian and religion based movies that are done well but I'd rather have the Church spend money on important things like helping the poor and needy. It amazes me more that someone insisted that there aren't any good Christian artists or art. It sounds like they are automatically saying it's not good because it's Christian which is just a bigoted response. I personally enjoy bands like Creed, Delirious?, and Jars of Clay, and shows like "Touched by an Angel." It's good that there are positive influences out there among all the violence and vulfar programming that only serves to degrade humanity. If you don't like Christian music or shows then don't listen or watch them. It's your right. Just don't criticize those of us who do enjoy them.

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 5:21 p.m. CST

    ED 209

    by Tragger

    Interesting... "Think for yourselves people"... ...Of course, you just told us how to think, didn't you Ed?

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 5:23 p.m. CST

    christians in film

    by neveragain

    Hey, I'm seeing alot of people here who say they are christians in film, I would like to be able to say that in the not-so-distant-future...i've got the christian part down, now i just have to get the "in film" down, which i'm trying to do by switching schools/majors in the fall. I would like to talk to any and all christians in film, just to know what you guys think could/should be done to make better christian movies...does anyone know anything about that production company billy graham just invested in? it has actually been around a while just being given a bigger push right now..."worldwide" is the name i think...whatever, hope to hear from lots of you out there...

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 5:40 p.m. CST

    Deconstructing the whole idea of "The Rapture"....

    by Alexandra.DuPont

    Just got this e-mail from a friend in the know: "Yeah, the 'Rapture' is a really ridiculous theology invented in the USA at the turn of the century during a time when many Christian denominations, sects, and cults where being born (our church, the mormon's, Jehovah's witnesses, Seventh Day Adventist). It was a time of heterodoxy and this bizzare 'theology' spawned from that. I think it's become popular in mainstream fundamentalist and conservative denominations because, above all else, it's full of drama. Since most Christians don't know how to read the Bible, this is something that they can read at face value, at a literal level, and get excited about. After all, 'it's about you and how you are going to disappear in the clouds, blah, blah blah.' Sadly, there's much more to get excited about in the Christian life that they miss -- but its like the American audience that only wants blow 'em up flicks and would never want to watch 'crimes & misdemeanors.' You know."

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 5:48 p.m. CST

    The Real Jesus and Evangelists

    by jbreen

    Way, way back in the Enlightenment, academics and liberal clergymen realised that it might be interesting to search for a "historical Jesus," a more human figure whose intentions were more humble than the resultant and somewhat oppressive Paulian faith that grew up in his name. More recently this has seen the Q gospel idea - the supposed distillation of the real sayings of Jesus that reveal Jesus as a travelling, dirt poor preacher with a bunch of itinerant Galilean peasants following him about. Whatever your belief in this, one of the great problems of Evangelism is its complete removal from any kind of scholarship. I used to know several people who were 'born again' and they knew nothing of 1st century Judaism, Jewish/Roman politics, the Jewish Revolt, Gnostic Gospels, the Councils that weeded the many gospels down to the canon - zip, nada, nothing. It seemed then and still seems odd to me that anyone talking about Jesus as the answer knows nothing about His times, nor enough to know that there are vast swathes of the canonical gospels which are clearly later additions because they are historically inaccurate when dealing with the years in which Jesus might have lived. Those evangelists I have known weren't even aware of the 'who came first, who copied who?' arguments raging around the synoptic gospels. This is despite the fact they had read them. Inotherwords, even though there are blatantly similar wordings, exact liftings, disagreements etc. between Matthew, Mark and Luke, it is all okay because it's miraculous and therefore anything is possible. Maybe this is all just academic palaver. And maybe perhaps the saddest thing is that many of the born agains I have met are completely materialistic - they give nothing of themselves or what they own to those less advantaged. Urrrgghh. Throw in a tendency to be completely humourless and pig-headed and it's not a pleasant or entrancing mix. Whatever you stance on Jesus, at the very least He appears to be interesting, with a certain wry humour, an interest in his community and those less fortunate and an ability to talk to people about many things. Unlike my last conversation with one evangelist which went something like this: 'Hi Glen - how have you been?' / 'Have you discovered God yet' / 'Erm. Not in the same way as you I suppose. Anyway - did you see the game?' / 'You will burn in Hell. Here take a pamphlet. We speak in tongues you know.' / 'Many religions have followers who speak in tongues ...' / 'They are all mislead by Satan. We channel the direct word of God' / 'But they probably all say that too - how do you know that you are not being mislead?' / 'We channel the direct word of God. You will burn in Hell unless you join us' / 'Ha ha. Oh look - this is my stop. Be seeing ya!' No getting through. And no fun.

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 6:20 p.m. CST

    To the Violent Anti-Christians in Talkback

    by not_a_jedi_yet

    Chill dudes (and dudettes). Nice to know you all are intellectually superior to EVERY Christian who ever lived...the Harvard professors...the Oxford scholars, the Senators, Congressmen, and yes, Presidents...the authors...the physicists...and the list goes on. Could it be these people actually EXAMINED the claims of the Bible? Of course, you folks are too intelligent to do that. So go on with your pseudo-philosophical masturbation, while the rest of us make our decisions based on the evidence. If the evidence for Christianity led Mother Teresa to spend her life in slum-hells caring for the poor and lame, and the evidence for atheism led you to these hate-filled Talkback diatribes, then maybe Christianity is worth looking into.

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 6:28 p.m. CST

    I think It Great this Movie is Being Released

    by Miss Lavendar

    It may not be the greatest movie of all times but just look at the talk its created. There is nothing wrong with confronting the issues of faith and if this movie gets people to thinking and talking about the subject..great.

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 6:47 p.m. CST


    by floydian

    If being good was good enough, then God would have no reason for taking anyone. The entire premise of Christianity is that we sinned - we joined with the enemy and became traitors. God is perfect. Heaven is perfect. So by sinning, and going on Satan's terms no matter of good we do will make up for us. Let's say you kill a man. Just because you go out and do a lot of good, does that make up for the crime? No. So pre-Christ sarcrifices were the way. The best of your crop. Then God sent His Son, out of love, to die on the cross and spend three days in the Hell that all of us deserve to be in - me, you, Kirk Cameron, Harry, George W., Al Gore, etc. We all deserve eternal death. God gave us a gift. If you don't accept it, don't believe it, then it really is none of my buisiness. But when people care enough about you to try and share the Truth with them, even if you see it as only their Truth or simply a lie that has gotten popular over time, you've gotta see how much they care for you. Now, yeh, there are the bigots out there. The christians who are bigots, cursing you out, judging you. The Bible says "judge not, ye that you be judged" or something to that effect. I do my best not to judge. I do mess up. I realize that I'm probably a worse person than you, and certainly millions of non-Christians around the world. But I do my best, and when I foul up, Christ is always there. The thing is, Theta, by discussing Christianity, you are doing EXACTLY what the producers wanted from this movie. It's hard to believe (I'm not being sarcastic here), but their purpose was NOT making money. Their purpose was starting spiritual discussions. Getting people to start talking about Christianity and religion so that Christians, TRUE Christians, could step in and say "Hey, we're not TBN. We don't claim to be able to heal your broken leg. We don't all have big purple hair. But we do care about you. And here is what we believe, not this crap that the Christian bigots out there put out." If any of you have questions, please don't hesitate to email me. I'd be glad to help - but I do recommend you talk with some one in your community rather than with me, but if you want me to pray for you or just give you some information or names of people who know alot more about the faith than I do, I would be glad to help. I'm probably going to get slammed for this - and that's fine. But it may help someone to start asking questions of their friends or family that are Christian, or to go to a church and just ask questions. I encourage you to do this. Also, visit the Left Behind message board. They are a great group of people there - but they can get very violent if you attack the movie. ;-) This isn't the greatest film, by any means. I'll see it Friday, and maybe once again with a group of friends, but you can count on me being at the first showing I can get into of Hannibal the next week. So go ahead, attack Left Behind because of technical things, like the awful writing and christian pop music. But please, don't critisize it because you don't share our beliefs. You don't see me critisizing Battlefield Earth for its religous influence, nor Mission to Mars. They're both terrible movies - but not because of the beliefs they present. They're awful for many of the same reasons Left Behind isn't good - the writing, etc.

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 6:55 p.m. CST

    Dirty Christians

    by FPWorm

    Christians are stupid retards. In my books, it is just as insane to believe in a popular invisible man that it is to believe in an unpopular invisible man. YOU ARE ALL SICK AND INSANE - SEEK HELP IMMEDIATELY. That goes for all stupid religions, convincing people that make believe is real and blurring that line between reality and fantasy.... If your so worried about god, kill yourself so as you can kiss his ass in person - at least then you would not be doing it around me and creeping me out big time. PS christ can shove his birthday up his ass next year.

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 7:25 p.m. CST

    Leave it to Mr. Intimidation to bring some sense to the world of

    by Mr_Intimidation

    What the hell is this? If I wanted to read a bunch of idiots go on and on about how smart or intellectually superior they are because they believe in God or don't believe in God or think the Bible is a piece of fiction or whatever, I'd have GONE TO CHURCH! I don't believe in much, never had a reason to. I could give one rat's ass about what you people believe in, but for pete's sake, why the HELL is this being discussed on a movie fan site!??????? Ugh. I'm just as sicken by religions zealots as I am by the I-hate-God-so-much I'll bash him at every chance idiots. Now excuse me while I go and vomit.

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 8:16 p.m. CST

    just a quick note...

    by barrymanilow

    Here is a qoute from 'Mere Christianity' by C.S. Lewis. "If a good God made the world why has it gone wrong? And for many years I simply refused to listen to the Christian answers to this question, because I kept on feeling 'whatever you say, and however clever your arguments are, isn't it much simplier and easier to say that the world was not made by any intelligent power? Aren't all your arguments simply a complicated attempt to avoid the obvious?' But then that threw me back into another difficulty. My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? If the whole show was bad and senseless from A to Z, so to speak, why did I, who was supposed to be part of the show, find myself in such violent reaction against it? A man feels wet when he falls into the water, because man is not a water animal: a fish would not feel wet. Of course i could have given up my idea of justice by saying it was nothing but a private idea of my own. But if I did that, then my argument against God collapsed too--for the argument depended on saying that the world was really unjust, not simply that it did not happen to please my private fancies. Thus in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist--in other words, that the whole of reality--namely my idea of justice--was full of sense. Consequently atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning." Now a quote from Bob Dylan, "You gotta serve somebody. It might be the Devil or it might be the Lord but you gotta serve somebody."

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 8:22 p.m. CST

    Know your Audience

    by Nightshot

    "I could be the walrus" You must know this one. Look, at the risk of painting a big flame target on my chest, I'm going to admit that I'm a christian. I went off earlier because of the intolerance and bigotry shown toward christians by non christians. In fairness, I feel I should address a problem shown by the christians on this talkbalk. To ths non christians: The Christians basically believe they've found a really good path to being happy, and they want people to be happy. So they try and share it, believing in earnest that they are doing the same thing as "This movie rocks, go see it!!" on a larger and more philisophical scale. Like all people, there are smart ones, dumb ones, nice ones, mean ones, whatever. If its bothersome (and I will be getting to this) they don't mean to be, they're just excited because many of them became much happier people through their faith. I'm one of these people. That being said, to the christians posting on this site for evangelical puposes: I believe in evangelism, I do.. but ask yourself, what good is this going to do? Yes, it will encourage fellow christians, but its going to alienate a group of people you want so desperately to understand you. I encourage people to share their faith, but you have to know your audience. The non christians see you as trying to shove your faith on them. They have felt this way before, and will again. In fact, I made a mistake here. I attacked freethinker. I am angered by the post, and it did seem bigoted, but I don't know this person. (Freethinker, I'm sorry. I was out of line.) Anyhow, what chrisitans want is for people to respect their faith so much that they consider it. Guys, don't shout at an angry crowd that you're going to pray for them. That isn't edifying. Instead, do pray for them, and show them that christians aren't all bible thumping doomsayers preaching damnation. Non-christians, please, these people are just trying to do what they think is right. Maybe you don't believe it is, and thats okay. BUt please consider their right to say it as being as valid as your saying your piece. (normally I would put an ironic diatribe here about the repetitive nature of AICN --screw Jar Jar.. etc. But I am impressed at the proliferation of deeper thought here.)ZAMPH

  • And hells-fuckin-yeah Mr.I...fuckin circular arguements...not worth the damned time

  • Jan. 31, 2001, 11:20 p.m. CST

    Anti-Christian Rhetoric Shameful

    by ChadM

    Ok, I'm not some Bible thumper, but some of the crap being said about Christianity is just flat out disgraceful on here. If the same thing was being said about homosexuals or blacks, there would be some big outrage, but in today's society it's more accepted to slam a group of people that try to uphold moral standards. Yes, there is such a thing as morality, but a bunch of movie dorks like 1/2 the posters on here are too busy trying to figure out how to lose their virginity to figure it out. True Christians do not HATE anyone simply because they disagree with their actions, but people like to throw around that word because it makes them uncomfortable when there is a group of people that kinda makes 'em feel bad about how they're behaving. So instead of looking at one's own life, it's easier to just lash out at the "offending" group. How sad.

  • Feb. 1, 2001, 12:53 a.m. CST

    What the hell, I'll join in too.

    by Pseudonym

    Okay, I was raised Roman Catholic, but I'm not a by-the-book fundamentalist. Some of the stuff that we Catholics hold to be absolute truths were just things some guys came up with and took a vote on (i.e., the Pope being infallible, Purgatory, etc.). I suggest that everyone that considers themselves a Christian read the Lost Books of the Bible and the Forgotten Books of Eden. These are the stuff that the early church fathers deleted from the Bible: the lives of Adam and Eve after leaving Eden, the childhood of Mary, and the childhood of Jesus (trust me, the story of Jesus' childhood is worth reading--it's very easy to see why it was left out). I for one believe that if you do in fact believe in God and worship him, you should at the very least have enough respect for Him to not believe what someone tells you about Him just because they say you're supposed to. And to both the non-Christians and Christians alike, when you start believing your personal view of the world is infallible, that's when you're in trouble. Blind faith in the righteousness of one's personal beliefs is the greatest cause of human suffering, not religion as so many of the fashionably enlightened, self-proclaimed free thinkers are wont to point out. Whether those beliefs happen to be religious or not is irrelevant.

  • Feb. 1, 2001, 12:55 a.m. CST


    by mrhappy

    Hey, I'm a Christian and i'm proud of it!!! Do you non-Christians really know what Christianity is and examined it in depth or are you just making your regular forum attacks and stereotypes? Well, I think the first thing you guys ought to know is that not all Christians, including me, are perfect and holy. None of us are. There are also Christians who have been misguided in the past, such as the all the killings in the Crusades and such. The whole reason why Christians are supposed to spread the Gospel is, well, first of all because God commands it and since we love our God we'll do it and second because we have love for everybody, even our enemies. I read these talkbacks and they are so full of hate and sarcasm. This kind of thinking leads us nowhere. Even non-religious scholars would agree that hate is the worst kind of thinking. I know its hard to believe in God from our earthly point of view but that's were faith comes in. And faith sometimes requires believing without physically seeing. Leave all your little nit-picks behind. I think all of you would agree, whether you believe it's real or not that the Bible and Jesus' story to be quite the remarkable text. Going back to all men being born into sin after Adam and Eve, in the old testament, to clear away this sin (which is basically going against God) one would have to make an sacrifice. Let me tell you what this means, back then when everyone had livestock, you would have to take your finest and most pure lamb or ox or whatever and offer it up to God because it was a sacrifice; your loss. God likes these kind of selfless acts. Here's what I found to be most remarkable. God loved us humans soo much that he sent Jesus down to Earth as his sacrifice for us. For you non-Christians out there, just try to imagine this as a fantastic story. A God, the creator, making a sacrifice of himself in order to save his creations. If that doesn't strike you as an awsome God then I don't know what will. It's always remarkable when one dies for another. For a God to die for a man is just incredible. So, we no longer need to sacrifice animals, we only need to believe in God through Jesus Christ and our sins are attoned. Any of you non-Christians want to test your way of thought ought to go straight into the lion's den and attend Church. Go ahead and make debates with people, they'd love to explain everything they know to you. Just make sure you're not going into a cult or something. And if you don't find any answers, try another Church. It's a shame to admitt, that there are good Churches and bad ones as well. Go question the Bible to them unless you're afraid. I'm sure most of you talkbackers knew it but for those who don't know the 4 spiritual laws of Christianity, well, here they are: 1. God loves you and offers a wonderful plan for your life. (go look up John 3:16, John 10:10 get your hands on a bible!!!) 2.Man is sinful and separated from God. Therefore, he cannot know and experience God's love and plan for his life. (Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23) 3. Jesus Christ is God's only provision for man's sin. Through Him you can know and experience God's love and plan for your life. (Romans 5:8, 1 Corinthians 15:3-6, John 14:6) 4. We must individually recieve Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; then we can know and experience God's love and plan for our lives. (John 1:12, Ephesians 2:8,9, John 3:1-8) Go to a Christian bookstore and pick up a 4 Spiritual law booklet for a couple of cents, there's a little more stuff in it that I didn't cover but I've given you the core. "Seek and ye shall find" -some bible verse whose location I forgot!

  • Feb. 1, 2001, 2:54 a.m. CST

    Great review, by the way.

    by Saxman

    Hey. I'm an agnostic who's done a lot of 'searching', I guess you'd cll it. I've read a lot of the explanations of Christianity on this Talkback and one thing puzzles me. Well, more than one, but you know what I mean. So God sacrificed his son, Jesus, to atone for our sins. How does that work, exactly? If I have sinned (even by someone else's rules), then why does the suffering of another person cleanse me? If I rob a bank, does someone else going to jail make it right? This is the moral problem I have with the crucifixion. I don't see how the suffering of another is moral. To me it seems like Christianity encourages me to forget my sins, to blame someone else (or allow someone else to take the blame). To me, that's not moral. I'd rather accept my sins and work them off. A couple other points: Why has everyone sinned? How do you know? Also: if Jesus was the son of God, and thus immortal, how was his death a sacrifice? He was going to be resurrected, remember? He predicted it, supposedly. So why is his death so great a deal? Grateful for any reasonable and thought-out answers. If you want to chat about this, or to try and convert me (!), feel free to e-mail me: Be seeing you.

  • Feb. 1, 2001, 7:26 a.m. CST

    Why, why, why, must you folks force me to respond...

    by Kikstad

    I despise ignorance. I'm a Catholic with a Masters degree and a lifelong movie buff, so I'm smarter than all of you suckers, so listen to me! Okay, seriously... To all you non-Christians who mock my faith, hey, I understand that it stems from bitterness at seeing right-wing extremists trying to cram their belief system down everyone's throats. But spewing forth angry and ugly words and condemning an entire religion that millions of people in this world believe in just isn't the answer. Folks, if some of those statements above were made about non-Christian religions or other lifestyles, you'd all be rising up in outrage (and rightfully so) at the close-minded hate. Now, I also think some evangelists go too far (most of them not through any malicious intent, but a lot of it from misguided methods that usually backfire and cause more harm than good.) I became a Christian because the teachings of Yeshua (whom the Greeks called "Jesus Christos") really moved me. Over the years, my faith in the story of Jesus has been a bedrock for me in times of trouble, and has really saved me. But a lot of people miss the big picture and don't really explore their faith and what Jesus was all about. His three-year mission is truly the "greatest story ever told" and He didn't convert people by pointing a finger in their faces and screaming "you're all going to burn in hell unless you do what I tell you to do." People started following Him because the things He DID and said moved them and inspired them. He ate dinner with prostitutes and tax-collectors and outcasts. He didn't point out all their flaws and imperfections, He merely told them them parables and stories in which they could relate and then they came to HIM and He healed them without judgment. As a Catholic, I believe in the mantra that Paul writes, in which he tells us that the world will know that we are Christians by our love. It's sad to see so many non-Christians today equate Christianity not with love but with intolerance. Peace out. (Getting off my soap box now and heading back to the movies...)

  • Feb. 1, 2001, 7:58 a.m. CST

    Just one question for the bible toters

    by Chest_Rockwell

    Where did all the water go after Noah's flood?

  • Feb. 1, 2001, 8:53 a.m. CST

    An answer

    by Kikstad

    Where does any water go after any flood? Chest, you missing the point of the story. So many people nitpick biblical tales and try to disprove them rather then seeing what the message of the story is all about. (And so many true-believers are blinded by literal interpretations of the Bible that they too miss the message.) If Noah was a historical figure, a major flood in the region where he lived could have appeared to him and the people of his time as "a Flood that covered the whole world." Chest, are you one of those people who asks annoying questions during movies, like "How did that gadget fit in Batman's utility belt???" Quit being such a grouch. Peace out.

  • Feb. 1, 2001, 11:55 a.m. CST

    Sounds like whining to me....

    by Chest_Rockwell

    Oh, i know where the water goes after "any" flood. But according to the bible, this was a bit more than just "any" flood. If it covered the whole earth, as the true book of god's word says it did, then we are talking 5 miles plus of water ON TOP OF WHAT WE ALREADY HAVE. THAT, my friend is a shitload of H2O. Either the bible is God's word or it aint. Either it is all true (god's word, like many seem to believe) or not. There are MANY other instances of questionable material in the bible, I'll just leave it to the flood for brevity's sake. If u wanna talk "message" of the bible, i can give it to u in this talkback in two words. Ready? Here it is. BE NICE. Live your life the best YOU can. That doesn't mean going around trying to "convert" others, as the evangelicals seem to be hung up on. And that doesn't mean u have to give $$ to Pat Robertson or any other con man in a robe. Like i said earlier, i have nothing against christians per se. Like i also said earlier, I'm a methodist. I don't get to church as much as probably should, but i try to live my life the best i can. I DO have a problem with being preached to, especially by people who don't seem to know much except for what is in the bible, and sometimes not even that very well. I can read the bible, and interpret it for what it is worth, and what it means to me. I'll be damned if i'll have Jerry Fucking Falwell give me ultimatums and Pat Robertson being the media whore he is (remember, he had those two murdering parents, Jon and Patsy "I Killed My Daughter" Ramsey on his show to hawk their book and espouse their strong "faith" in the lord, busting my chops for $$ so they can get a new wing on their mansion. Religion should, imo, be a personal relationship with WHATEVER god u choose. MY personal relationship has no bearing on Pat Robertson, and his relationship, should likewise have no bearing on me. But there he is, preaching and whining away about Clinton or Democrats or Libertarians, or anyone else who doesn't see fit to fill his coffers with cash. Fuck those charlatans.

  • Feb. 1, 2001, 2:06 p.m. CST

    quit putting ALL christians in the same box

    by benincio

    Frankly, I am more than ashamed of some of the people who call themselves Christians like many in Christian contemporary music and the huge hair people on TBN. They give Christians a bad name with their poor presentation of christianity while at the same time only caring about donations in which they seem to never cease asking for. As a believer myself, I must appologize to those of you who only see christians as these types of money grubbing baffoons. I have not read the left behind series and don't plan to see this film which really should not be associated as a soley "christian" film because it is only loosely based on the biblical narrative found in the book of Revelations. I can assure everyone here that there are better messages of christianity in today's " secular" films.

  • Feb. 1, 2001, 2:39 p.m. CST


    by mrhappy

    On where the water went, dude, he's God, you think he needs some technical process to make the water appear and disappear? God just makes it happen because he's God. He created the universe. All he had to do was think and it appears and disappears. Chest, I think you need more spiritual development because I don't think God would encourage swearing and hate. You want to know the REAL message of the Bible is? "... "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: "Love your neighbor as yourself." All the law and Prophets hang on these two commandments." -Matthew 22:37-40. Number one, its love God. Number two is love others. Also, Christians are supposed to spread the gospel and evangelize others out of love of God and their fellow man. God commands us to spread the gospel. And if we love him and others that much we will obey his wishes. I myself would love to see everybody in heaven and be brothers and sisters in Christ. That is why Christians are supposed to evangelize. I perfectly understand how some of you get your reasonings to loath TV evangelists. Not all of them have been straight and my heart grieves for them.

  • Feb. 1, 2001, 2:46 p.m. CST

    Good points, Chest...

    by Kikstad

    Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell certainly do not speak for me as a Christian. But hey, I'm a Catholic who still questions the "infallibility" of the Pope. (I don't think the Crusades, the Inquisition, indulgences, the condemnation of Galileo, etc. were right.) But I also think my religion serves a lot of good. And I think you can believe in the Bible without taking every word "literally." That doesn't mean that I view the Bible as any less "true." And it doesn't mean that I'm picking and choosing what I like in the Bible to agree with, and disagreeing with what I don't like. The Old Testament says I can't eat pork, but I dig bacon and eggs for breakfast. I don't think that makes me a bad person (although my vegetarian sister might disagree.) However, I don't condemn those of other faiths who choose not to eat that. Just like I would hope that no one condemns ME when I choose not to eat meat on Fridays during the season of Lent. Bottomline, I think there's a lot of truths in the Bible. I'm not trying to preach, I just don't like seeing people trash the good book or well-intentioned religions because of the extreme behavior of a minority of fanatical believers. Peace out. (By the way, Franco Zefferelli's JESUS OF NAZARETH was a fine mini-series, better than a ton of movies past, present, and future. If you haven't seen it, check it out on DVD. Awesome cast, great score, terrific cinematography, and full of drama. You don't have to be a Christian to enjoy it.)

  • Feb. 1, 2001, 3:51 p.m. CST


    by FPWorm

    You must have missed my post - it condemned all crazy religions. Christians, Satanists, Krishnas, Scientologists, Wiccans, whatever - they are all insane. Just because Christianity is a popular cult doesn't make it any less a cult. I have no problem with people living in a fantasy world, but when it starts to interfere with my life, it is exactly my right to belittle them. I am incredibly bitter that I had to listen to 'As clean as they wanna be' when all I wanted was to be dirty... and I don't like that the cafeteria in my building only serves fish on fridays. And i hate reading about young women and babies being sexually mutilated. Religion promotes xenophobia,& how many wars has it caused? You can say that it doesn't promote racism and prejudice - but how could so many white supremists possibly be so wrong? Religion is like communism, it's a nice idea but it will never be properly executed because humans are too greedy.

  • Feb. 1, 2001, 5:52 p.m. CST


    by Weasel

    I loathe religious extremists of all faiths. I especially despise Christianity, yet I still feel a powerful need to sleep with Christian singer Jaci Velasquez. Somebody explain this to me. Please.

  • I hate to be one of those people, but I am, and I never would be tempted in the slightest to watch a movie made from such awful books. The writing is so bad that I haven't even worked myself up to objecting to them theologically.

  • Feb. 1, 2001, 6:37 p.m. CST

    FPWorm and Weasel...

    by Kikstad

    Worm, I respect your opinion, but disagree with your theory. Just because people misinterpret the Bible and use it to support or condone their ignorance, hatred, intolerance, and evil deeds, doesn't make the source material worthy of scorn. Just because some sick twisted nut decided to murder John Lennon doesn't make the Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger a book to be condemned. And Weasel -- I confess, I agree with you about Jaci Velasquez. She's a hottie. Peace out. Oh, and Worm: sorry about the Fish. :)

  • Feb. 1, 2001, 7:26 p.m. CST

    Still sounds like preachy whining

    by Chest_Rockwell

    Uh, Mr. "God can make the water go away" u should prolly spend more time in chemistry class and less time in bible study. "God" as u call him, can NOT violate the laws of the universe. Water does not just disappear. Matter (water) has to go somwhere. Matter is finite. Where is the water? If u come back with some equally ignorant tripe like, "the bible says so," then u can go shoot yourself in the head right now, cuz we don't need u muddying up the future gene pool. Listen closely. The bible is a somewhat historical document with gobs of philosophy thrown in. Some of that philosophy is good, some other is bunk. Uh, MY church has nothing to do with converting and evangelizing and ramming christianity down infidel's throats. AAMOF, i don't thing i've EVER heard anything remotely related to going out and "spreading the word" in all my years there, inlcuding all my time as a kid when i went to church about 90% of the sundays. R U telling me i'm going to hell if i don't start converting people? If so, i'm sure i'll see u there too and we can continue this conversation. Robertson and co. (and now the shrub too) are the types who make these clown movies and try and pass them off as legit, when in fact, they are just veiled attempts at swelling the attendance at church on Sunday morning. I'm done with this topic.

  • I'm with saxman on the Christ question. Where was the sacrifice? He's part of the Trinity right? And sad as it may seem, I'm going to cite Star Trek V, so you may want to skip the rest of this post. You remember that part where Kirk says something along the lines of "I want my pain. I need my pain"? Well I want/need my sin(going by the Christian definition of such...I don't actually believe in the concept myself). Everything I have done is part of who I am, the bad no less than the good. And what is this taking away of sin? Is it as though it had never been done? Can I remember it? These things would fundamentally change who I am. "I imagine a unerversal improvement would be something very like death."--Kim Newman...There's a reason we tend to put all Christians in one basket. Because you guys do it yourselves. Question: are some nazi's more nazi than others(OK so that's rhetorical)? Should they not be condemned because they were socialized to be that way by their environment(and another)? No. By associating oneself to hypocrisy one approves it by inaction(to veeery loosely paraphrase Hobbes there). FP, if your out there, what's wrong with Wiccans? I suppose their beliefs may seem odd but their religion is the antithesis of what you hate. You should read the Wiccan Rede, it's short, won't take long. "An it harm, do as thou will." And all the Wiccans whom I have met follow it. Love that analogy though, I've always said the same thing myself.

  • Feb. 1, 2001, 9:12 p.m. CST


    by kojiro

    "An it harm NONE, do as thou will." Apparently...I'm a retard.

  • Feb. 1, 2001, 9:27 p.m. CST

    No, it's *not* anti-Semitic (Spoilers)

    by Wormboy

    Granted: The stuff about bankers is very reminiscent of the "classic" anti-Jew sterotype. Spoilers on the books below. BUT, I don't think *anyone* who reads the series could possibly think it's remotely anti-Semitic. I mean, really--not only is the single-most important Christian in the book, Tsion Ben-Judah, Jewish, but the authors interpet the "144,000 witnesses" from Revelations to be Jewish converts who are a massive evangelical force. Whatever faults the series may or may not have, anti-Semitism is not one of them.

  • Feb. 1, 2001, 9:38 p.m. CST

    Where did the water go?

    by Wormboy

    Good question. But it's not like people haven't given any answers. I doubt there's a single creationist organization that *hasn't* proposed at least minimally-plausible explanations. You can find one at "". has a section trying to answer various flood questions: Caveat: Don't assume I agree with everything or anything they say--I'm Christian, but my views aren't dictated by any group or individual.

  • Feb. 1, 2001, 10:11 p.m. CST

    Let me get this straight--

    by Wormboy

    If I understand some of you correctly, you're offended at the notion of Christians believing Jesus is the only way--in other words, that they think, say, Buddhism, is based on incorrect views about reality. You're offended at the notion of absolute truth. Why? What is it about religious truth-claims that differs from any other truth-claim? It's correct, or it's not. If two religions make mutually-exclusive claims, they can't both be right--not in the same way. Jesus cannot be both the prophesied Messiah and not the prophesied Messiah--Judaism and Christianity cannot both be right. Etc, etc. And please don't tell me that Christianity, Hindu, Islam, Wicca, and any other religion *are* all right because their moral teaching is similar. The moral code of a religion is only a part of its worldview--an integral part, but not the only important part. Either the world is monotheistic, pantheistic, polytheistic, or atheistic. If you're going to pick any, it has to be one and only one. You also seem to be offended at evangelism. Again, why? What's wrong with someone trying to persuade someone else that Christianity is right? I've never seen an defense of that idea that made any sense without assuming that Christians are wrong--that it's a matter of life and death, being with God or being separate, heaven and hell. The very notion explicitly surpresses free thought and discussion. Moreover, the most morally bankrupt, unloving thing anyone could do would be to keep quiet while they see a friend or a family member or a total stranger walk away from a loving, all-important God. OK, so you disagree--you think God doesn't exist, or that everything is God, or He's not what Christians claim. What's your point? So disagree. Why would you try to stifle the opinions of others? Bigotry and intolerance cannot--or should not--be defined as any attempt to convince someone about religion. It's wrong to force your views on others--it's not wrong to talk about those views with a loving, considerate attitude. If some people act with hatred, it speaks only of them--not me, or anyone else.

  • Feb. 1, 2001, 11:24 p.m. CST


    by mrhappy

    The visciousness in this forum is like dealing with a bunch of mad dogs. Chest, I don't know why its hard for you to theoretically believe that a God who created the whole universe and the world possibly the mastermind behind these laws of physics could make miracles like having the water disappear. The only whining I'm hearing is coming from you. So your church doesn't encourage evangelism huh? Do they also tell you to hate other Christians as well? Right, I'll bet you go to church... the church of Scientology!!!!(humorous remark, humourous remark) Really, I don't profess to know it all man. But I know enough. One of the cores of becoming a Christian, is just through John 3:16, and i'm not talking about Austin 3:16. John 3:16 says "God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life". Maybe you were asleep during your church lessons or you forgot the information they were teaching you because if you turn to Matthew 28:16-20, you will read about The Great Commission, which was basically Jesus commanding his disciples to go and make disciples in all nations, baptizing them and all that stuff. With the knowledge I have, I don't know the exact procedures of what happens when one gets judged. So I don't think neither you nor I have the wisdom to know the outcome of a Christian who accepts Jesus and then goes about to violate the Bible's teachings. I'm not ramming anything down anybody's throat you quote me on any instance where i'm ramming something down someone's throat. I don't want to pressure people, I merely want to lay things out on the table. Man, I know how these talkbacks are, everyone wants to be right and make their point through attacks and swearing and cussing and all that stuff. Have I ever cussed out anybody yet? Do I show the malice of everyone else? I'm not saying I'm perfect or anything; I too can get angry. But you won't see me ever spitting out some the vile crap that most people do. And if you're done, Mr. Rockwell, I'm done with you too.

  • Feb. 2, 2001, 12:31 a.m. CST


    by mrhappy

    Ya try to be nice to someone and.... anyway, kojy, baby, it was a sacrifice because Jesus was God's only son. He was God's firstborn and God allowed Jesus to end up being killed on the cross. At any time, don't you think God could have bailed out Jesus from those who persecuted him? Or like Chest, do you not know the definition of a miracle?If you don't see that as a sacrifice then explain why. And on the Star Trek thing, why do you need your pain? Just because it makes up who you are? I can accept that. I'll get back to that but let me make this point first. I don't know if this is biblically based so if you EDUCATED, REAL, and SOLID Christians out there want to correct me or explain things better, go ahead and you fakers out there, don't even try ok? Picture this ANALOGY-meaning this does not literally happen, on one side you have two scorecards, the sin scorcard and the blessing scorecard. When you accept Jesus Christ as your lord and savior and confessed that you have sinned, God wipes the sin scorecard away. Ummm now that doesn't mean you try to forget it or don't remember it or anything. In fact some people even speak of their sins during their testimonies. (Testimonies are when a Christian goes in front of a large group and say how Jesus came into their life). When Kirk says he needs his pain I don't think he's saying he loves pain or anything, correct me if i'm wrong since I haven't seen the movie in a while but he's saying he needs his pain because its who he is?? Well, now you know Christians don't make it a point to forget thier pain. Not only that, what makes you think Christians don't feel pain???? Christians can still feel the pain. And man, is it painful!!! However, I think Christianity can also ease the pain during or after you experience it. Forgiveness is also an important part of Christianity. So, you can say you remembered back when you did all that immoral stuff but you learned from it and run a new life now; a life dedicated to Christ. Also, obviously you're going to change, what do you think conversion means anyway? I feel its a change for the better, at least if you CORRECTLY follow the scriptures teachings as they are meant to be, I would think you'd turn out to be a good humanist at best. And could you explain what you mean when everything you do is just you and not good or bad?? So if you go kill an innocent person, that's not bad? I know its difficult to define good and bad at times but this is ridiculous. I'm not going to B.S. you, I don't really understand what some of those quotes mean, could you elaborate more on them? And no, I don't put all Christians in the same basket. Some may do that but I don't and neither do you if don't want to. Of course some Nazis are more Nazi than others. First you would have to determine the criteria for being a Nazi and then those who match the criteria more are more Nazi. Hitler is more Nazi than Schindler. Its the same with everything, some Democrats agree with Democratic principles more than others. To categorize everybody into such generalizations would be stereotyping. On the condemning of social environment thing, that is something I know little about, but for those people who Christianity hasn't reached yet, sadly they're probably condemned. It shouldn't be a question of should it be or should it not be. That's reality, some people die unneccisary deaths. You also lost me on the hypocrisy statement and Wiccan thing. And if you're going to respond, please, do it intelligently and don't cuss!! I respect you now I ask you for some mutual respect.

  • Feb. 2, 2001, 1:41 a.m. CST

    Countering with syrup

    by Saxman

    Thanks to everyone who e-mailed me (eight at last count); I'll respond over the weekend. To mrhappy: accepting that Jesus was God's son (for the moment), it still seems kinda convenient to me. Plenty of people go through pain to get their reward, and while I agree that three days of extreme torture is unimaginable pain, my mind still boggles slightly at the idea that one man being tortured somehow saves the universe. It's nice, but I don't get it. I guess what you need is faith in the Bible's explanation in order to understand - and that I don't have. But I am with the Christians on the floodwater thing - if God created the universe and the laws that control it, presumably he isn't bound by them. I'm more interested in the moral implications of Christianity - if you start arguing about physics, you come up against the "omnipotentce factor" pretty damn fast. Peace.

  • Feb. 2, 2001, 8:38 a.m. CST

    T2: the ultimate apocalyptic film?...

    by coytuck

    i'm not an advocate for LEFT BEHIND or anything the christian right stands for, but i do find it interesting that so many intellectuals use these corny films as a sounding board to denounce someone's faith in God. again, i'm no bible thumping zealot by any means. i haven't seen the inside of a church since i got married in '93 and at least twice that time before that. now that i have "qualified" myself as a true secular layman, i want to point out that i find max demon's choice of T2: Ultimate Edition fascinating. not that he calls the film the best film on the apocalypse, but it's obvious he prefers that to conventional christian yarns (still a great choice max. i own T2 too). it's only that from the first Terminator film to T2, they're both a part of the same story. the christian telling of the apocalypse. some of you may think i'm on crack, while some are yelling "no shit, sherlock." so for those who think i partake of the pipe, let me point out a few facts: in Terminator, sarah connor is visited by a guy from the future who warns her of the end of the world, tells her of a son she will have a son who will save the world, john connor (J.C.). strangely enough, sarah's knocked up by this guy, who then dies, meaning she's pregnant by someone who no longer exists (remember, if you come from the future and die before you existed... figure it out), which in bilblical references is called "the immaculate conception." my point? my point is that to dismiss these films as religious, in a way is to dismiss the very stories you hold in such high regard. THE MATRIX? pretty obvious references there. most religious based films do suck, but some (THE OMEN I & II, ROSEMARY'S BABY, THE EXORCIST, etc.) are pretty damn good films. there's an old saying "you don't have to lift the lid to the sewer to know that it stinks." then again that's a sewer. we're talking movies. i won't see LEFT BEHIND. not because it's a religious based movie. i judge seeing it as i do all movies i consider. "does this look like something i give up my money for then sit for two hours?"

  • Feb. 2, 2001, 2:12 p.m. CST

    Its been real fun eveyone

    by mrhappy

    See, its people like Saxman that make it all the worthwhile. And for some little remarks on what coytucks talking about, I too find it interesting that these debates come out of corny movies as well. (I for one have seen the Left Behind video and though its intentions and morals mean well, I gotta agree its a "Sci-Fi channel production") But did you the trailers for other movies? MR T. was going to be in them!!! That's awsome, sucka!!! But we're hardly talking about the movie anymore. I also don't understand time travel too much since the only training i've had is from the Bill and Ted university of time travel. I don't feel that anybody has or ever will time travel because I would figure that during the whole universal timeline, somebody would eventually screw up the whole universe by now and it hasn't happened. I also feel that way with intelligent life on other worlds, if there's some billions of civilizations out there, we'd have at least seen them by now. And there's too much going against it to buy into a saucer traveling billions of miles to Earth to conduct ludicrously sloppy studies in hiding when they could just go to a library and figure all that stuff out for themselves. And if they want to be descrete about it, they've got a lot to learn about descretion. You'd think these people would have perfected cloning by now and clone all the test subjects they need. If they want to know more about medicine, go to medical school!! Learn the language and go abduct a book! It'll be the key to understanding everything. I guess there is no intelligent life out there, they're all retards!!! Those time and alien views are my own by the way and are not necessarily representitive of the Christian perspective. Anyway, its been a great talkback everyone and I hope I cleared up some misconseptions. "Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven." Matthew 5:10.

  • Feb. 3, 2001, 3:18 p.m. CST

    It's True

    by CrapHole

    I'm a christian and the entire christian culture is so candy coated. I'm so sick of it. For a while I was really into contemporary christian music but it just follows what's popular..once I heard bands sounding like n'sync and backstreet boys..I was through with it. But there is some great christian music out there..theres an entire sub-culture of it. No candy coating either..check out Tooth and Nail record label..or Blacklight record label

  • Feb. 7, 2001, 10:10 a.m. CST

    One G-d

    by Alonzo Hawk

    I found this movie very offensive. Why can't christians just accept that Jesus is not whom they claim him to be. And that there is more than one path to the one living G-d.

  • Feb. 15, 2001, 5:03 p.m. CST

    Talk about left behind.......

    by JerkwadLoser2001

    Typical. We should have expected as much from the general public. As soon as the word 'christian' is applied, everyone frowns and automatically assumes it's going to be crap. It's sickening how, in a society that's all about 'tolerance' and 'understanding' and 'nonjudgmentalism', you people still spit on the faith that founded the country you live in. To be expected from a society that lacks any kind of common sense or morality. But I digress. I'll remember to feel sorry for you people when you're the ones who are left behind for taking such important subject matter as a joke.

  • March 5, 2001, 12:05 p.m. CST

    Typical Christian

    by Alonzo Hawk

    Why don't you just accept the fact that Jesus just isn't who you say he is. By the way, I won't be left behind. I'm not an Idoloter like you Jerkwadloser. I hope Jesus the Jew can forgive your pagen arrogance.