We decided to go see Left Behind today. Earlier I had seen an ad for it that read “don’t bring a non-believer to this movie” in an obvious “they will be converted” tone. So we decided to answer that challenge. And now I’m going to tell you why I’m still an atheist.
First, the movie really isn’t all that good. The music sounded like it was from the 90’s, and it didn’t match the scenes. The lines were terrible and sounded false. And the people didn’t behave in a manner that you would expect them to. If you were hugging your brother and he suddenly disappeared with his clothes still in your arms, would you run to the nearest hospital looking for him? I’d be trying to find out why he disappeared, not assume that he somehow stripped and ran off in the blink of an eye. Would your response to people disappearing right in front of you be to start looting? In a mall still full of people? With cops and security guards still around? It was badly written and badly produced.
Second, it seemed to try and show the horror of being “left behind” while trying to make sure that you don’t see the true horror of it. The movie suggested that if the end times were to come all the children would be raptured. But the Christians who believe in the rapture claim that children are born in sin and you have to be saved to be raptured. So why would all children be raptured? Why would the non-Christian children be raptured? How could the new born babies be raptured? Thy are born, which means they are somehow guilty of sin. And they can’t be saved because none of them could possibly accept Jesus. They couldn’t even have been baptized yet, provided they were born to parents who believe in infant baptism. Those infants wouldn’t be raptured, they would be stuck on Earth with everyone else who was left behind.
Third, a preacher said that deeds weren’t enough, you had to believe to get into heaven. None of the people left behind were particularly bad people, they simply didn’t believe. That means, to accept the story, I’d have to be okay with the idea of bad people going to heaven because they genuinely believe and good people being left behind because they genuinely don’t. What good person deserves to be subjected to 7 years of torment followed by an eternity of hell? And who in their right mind would see what God was allowing to happen and then decide that he was worthy of being worshiped?
Fourth, I’d have to accept a contradiction. Is the rapture the only way that God can accomplish whatever he’s trying to accomplish with it? Then he’s not omnipotent. Is God omnipotent? Then what is the point in the rapture?
After discussing our own reaction to such events if they were to occur, we have decided that, in the event of the rapture, we would have to conclude that Yahweh existed, but we would also have to assume that the other gods could exist as well. We wouldn’t, however, decide to “be saved” and worship Yahweh. Rather we would try and destroy his plan. First we would try and kill the anti-Christ. If we succeeded there, we would try to kill Lucifer and God. After all, they are a threat to us. They are trying to kill us. We would not submit to either side. We believe that that would be the most logical course of action in that situation.