Christian Critics Struggle to Love Left Behind

Left Behind is currently rocking a 12 percent on MetaCritic, which makes it one of the most unlovable movies of the year. The Los Angeles Times, Entertainment Weekly, Chicago Tribune, and New York Daily News all gave it a big fat zero, but a handful of religious critics worked hard to find some positivity. Here are a few of my favorite quotes:

Bob Hoose from pluggedin.com managed to give it four out of five plugs:

Left Behind doesn’t leave us with an altar call. Nor does it leave your knuckles white after you watch the disaster unfold. But you can’t watch it without wondering what’s up with your own spiritual condition.

“The content is not objectionable” isn’t exactly a rave review, but Left Behind picked up three out of four stars from Movieguide.org.

Not all Christians expect the pre-tribulation Rapture presented in the movie, but most do expect the Second Coming of Jesus. To its credit the movie profoundly presents the question “are you ready?” The script and execution could have been better, but the content is not objectionable, and the message profound.

Raphael Vera’s review on christiananswers.net is nearly 1600 words long and is punctuated with 3.5/5 stars. But how many of those stars were “for effort”?

“Left Behind” is a decently made, taut and suspenseful drama with enough humor to keep it interesting, but the small budget, by Hollywood measures, gives it a small screen (TV) quality that is occasionally hard to ignore. Messaging, however, is excellent (as far as it goes), and it made me wish this had instead been produced as a year-long TV series, as I do believe it deserves high marks for effort, though slightly lower for execution.

Christian Hamaker from crosswalk.com was brutally honest:

While those constraints keep the new Left Behind from ever rising above mediocrity, the film is, for a while, tolerable. Then comes a horrendous final 30 minutes, which play like a bad TV show. Theological quandaries, never given detailed exploration amid the confusion experienced by the passengers on Ray’s plane, yield to stock disaster-movie tropes and an absurd finale. Although the filmmakers seem to think they’ve delivered a genuinely terrifying conclusion, the only frightening moment is an utterance from one surviving character: “I’m afraid this is just the beginning.”

Here’s an actual quote from dove.org’s review:

“Left Behind” (2014) has earned five Doves from The Dove Foundation, our best rating. It is entertaining, suspenseful, and will motivate viewers to examine their own lives.

Jackson Cuidon from christianitytoday.com “tried to give the film zero stars, but our tech system won’t allow it.” So, the movie ended with one star (out of four). Though, the user reviews place the film’s score at three out of four stars.

But my favorite review came from a MetaCritic user who successfully employed the phrase “down on Christianity.”

The movie was obviously not on a big budget and had some of the cliche “action movie” stunts in it, but overall the movie was very good. If you are down on Christianity, you will most likely rate this movie low. If you love Jesus, you will most likely like it.

The Bible’s Greatest Hits – Week 48: Matthew 24:1

The Bible's Greatest Hits - Title ImageHello everyone and welcome once again to the Bible’s Greatest Hits. I hope you’re all doing well on this fine Wednesday afternoon. If not, I’ve got a verse waiting for you at the end of this post that’s sure to turn your week around for the better. But first, let’s talk about “faith healers”. I’ve got a half dozen articles in my inbox about a child rapist in Kashmir who disguised himself as a faith healer in order to run a brothel disguised as a seminary. Many of the articles refer to him as a “fake” faith healer, which leaves me wondering what a real faith healer is. Moving on, the sexual assault trial of a faith healer who has already been convicted of sexual assault is being delayed in Quebec. I’ll leave you to read the details at your leisure. I bring all this up not to ruin your otherwise fine day, but just to reiterate that faith healers are at best misguided, at worst malicious predators who prey on people at their most vulnerable. Go to a doctor instead. With that out of the way, it’s time for some Bible!

And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.

Matthew 24:1

Oh really, there’s a temple there?! I had no idea because I was too busy leaving the temple. That’s for pointing that out, guys.

Is this where I sign up to be a militant lady-atheist?

Gentle reader, I must confess that I find it entertaining to browse the delightful bastion of circular reasoning known as Conservapedia.  The entry on “Atheism and women” is especially fun, because it is chock-full of dire statistics and warnings.  If you skim over the dullsville statistics on how much less appealing atheism is to the ladies, you will find some delectable morsels that go straight to the heart of what really matters to the XX chromosomal crowd.

We all know the ladies are big on marriage, so thankfully, Conservapedia focuses on:

  • Atheism and marriageability — Atheists are a minority, and since people tend to favor partners who share their values, it sucks to be an atheist, because you will be Forever Alone.
  • Atheism and rates of marriage in the United States — Dear heavens above, depending on the study cited, anywhere from 37% to OVER HALF of atheists never marry.  Ladies, are you listening?
  • Atheism, marriage, and suicide — Obviously, if you’re a lady, biologically programmed to value marriage above all else (duh), these dire marital prospects can be pretty depressing.  The fairer sex suffers from a greater predisposition toward depression anyway (because you are not a man, silly).  If you somehow manage to overcome the inherently unappealing nature of atheism, ladies, you’re setting yourselves up for suicide.  Are you really willing to take that risk?

The logical breakdowns that are presented as support for these headers are straight from the Vizzini School of Logic (“…in studying you must have learned that man is mortal, so you would have put the poison as far from yourself as possible…”).

But wait, there’s more! [Read more…]

The Bible’s Greatest Hits – Week 27: John 4:32

Hello all and welcome to this post-War on Christmas edition of The Bible’s Greatest Hits. I hope you all survived the gluttony, in-laws, and other such terrors. Speaking of terrors, it appears that Creation Today, Eric Hovind’s  webcam diary, has joined up with some other reality denialists to create a 3D film of the book of Genesis using the same techniques as James Cameron’s Avatar. So, there’s that to look forward to. Elsewhere, a jury found that “faith healing” is a bit of a misnomer when the subject dies and voted unanimously to award the victim’s family $100 million. But enough of that, on to today’s verse!

 

But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of.

John 4:32

 

Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

The Bible’s Greatest Hits – Week 25: 2 Kings 12:12

Welcome everyone, and a happy 12/12/12 to you all. I hope on this fine day that none of you have been taken prisoner or otherwise incapacitated by your participation in the annual War on Christmas. Look to the horizon, the end of the conflict is near! In other news, atheism is punishable by death in at least seven countries around the world and scientists have algorithmically recreated ancient yeast proteins which brings the score to something like Science: 1.2 million Creationists: 0. To celebrate 12/12/12, I’ve chosen today’s verse simply because it is the 12th verse of the 12 chapter of the 12th book of the Bible, enjoy!

And to masons, and hewers of stone, and to buy timber and hewed stone to repair the breaches of the house of the Lord, and for all that was laid out for the house to repair it.

2 Kings 12:12

Wait, so even God has to do home repairs? You would think he could hire someone to do that for him.

The Bible’s Greatest Hits – Week 18

Hey everyone, it’s Wednesday (for a couple more hours) and time again to delve into the Bible and find a treasure to help us get through the rest of our week. I hope you are all having a much better go of it than I am this week; I’ve been nursing a nasty cold the past couple days. I don’t have a whole lot else to say today, so let’s jump right into the verse!

 

And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs.

Genesis 21:15

 

That seems like a rational thing to do.

Batman vs The Jesus

The Bible’s Greatest Hits – Week 5

Happy Odin’s Day everyone! I hope you’re all doing well. If not, I’ve got some great advice for you from the Word. Solomon was, of course, the wisest man to ever live and that’s important to consider when reading something that God directly inspired him to write. I mean, why bother inspiring a bunch of nobodies to write your book when you can have the wisest person alive? Anyway, I’ve got a verse for you all from Ecclesiastes 7 today. According to the running tally that my trusty King James graciously provides me with, it’s the 666th chapter of the Bible. I’m sure that means something.

 

Do not be excessively righteous and do not be overly wise. Why should you ruin yourself?

Ecclesiastes 7:16

 

Wait, that’s actually terrible advice Solomon. And, aren’t you supposed to be like really wise?

The Bible’s Greatest Hits – Week 4

Well folks, another week, another Wednesday, and another piece of blessed wisdom from the Boss. I hope you’re all having a wonderful week so far, but if you’re struggling I think I can help you out. I’ve got a verse here from 3 John that’s gonna put so much pep in your step the DEA will be knocking on your door mere minutes after you read this beauty. So, be ready for that. Just have them read 3 John 13 and they’ll know exactly what’s going on.

 

I had many things to write, but I will not with ink and pen write unto thee.

3 John 13

 

I expect some emails from Jesus will be arriving shortly. Better check my spam folder.

Bible’s Greatest Hits – Week 2

We all know that the only thing God loves more than animal sacrifice and nationalism is America. Since most of you heathens are likely sacrificing animals in order to celebrate American nationalism, I think you and God will get along just fine. I don’t know what any of that has to do with Isaiah 32:5, but I sure hope this verse helps you get through your grueling holiday.

The vile person shall be no more called liberal, nor the churl said to be bountiful.

Isaiah 32:5

 

Right on!