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RevBates.tv Global - Weekly Message To The Masses (July 24, 2005)      

         "God does not ask anything else from you except that you let yourself go and let God be God in you." - Meister Eckhart

Most of the time I am inspired to write these messages from observing people in the world around me, and this message will be  good example of that.  I was driving through Yucca Valley (California) last week-end when I noticed a group of people waving banners and yelling at people driving along the 29 Palms Highway.  The banners read, "Get Right or be Left Behind" and some just read "Left Behind."  Now, I had read some information not too long ago about this "Left Behind" cult but this was my first encounter with their "marketing" department.  The "Left Behind" series of books and videos are based on interpretations of Biblical prophecies ... however, the term prophecy as used in the Bible is very different than what the world in general interprets it to be.  To "prophesize" in the Bible means something altogether different than the "Left Behind" writers mean.  By the way, these books are novels ... in other words they are merely books written using the opinions of the writers based on Biblical information.  They are listed in the Yahoo Directory under the category of:  Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Books ... and horror they are.  The basic premise of the books is that unless we are "saved" ... or believe that Jesus Christ is our Savior ... we will be "left behind" when the Rapture occurs.  One of Stephen King's books, which are also included in this Yahoo Directory category, has a similar premise but without the religious aspect ... I believe it is titled "The Stand."  There has been a lot of money made with this series of books.  Not only is there the "Left Behind Series" ... there is the "Political Series and the "Military Series."  I almost forgot, "Star Wars" is in this same Yahoo Directory category.

       It was interesting to me that from the website dedicated to the "Left Behind" books, tapes, etc. you can click on links to read articles from christianitytoday.com (and I am not giving anyone the link) ... now, when you read these articles it really gets scary!  There are two articles written by Ruth E. Van Reken, accessible from the link, "Cults & Spirituality."  Ruth's articles are titled, "What's wrong with Spirituality?" and "The Truth about Spirituality" ... both are amazing in their opinions of spirituality.  Ruth states that spiritual writers use Biblical terms out of context and therefore mislead people ... she writes:  "The fact is, if a person has strong morals and values but doesn't embrace Jesus Christ as the only begotten Son of God, Savior, and resurrected Lord, his or her spirituality isn't Christian and cannot save." ... in her lack of understanding of the Life and Teachings of Jesus, she is unaware that Jesus, Himself, was spiritual, not religious.  Spiritual teachings focus on the "Spirit" of the Law not the letter ... Jesus often broke the Hebrew laws and even changed the Ten Commandments to two ... "Love God and love your neighbor as yourself" ... He didn't say "send your neighbor to hell if they aren't good Christians or worship God in the same manner in which you do."  In one of her articles, Ruth writes that "Jesus claimed He was God" ... this is not even true ... Jesus stated, "don't call me good, only the Father is Good."  So what does that tell us?

      Back to the books.  These books, videos, journals and all the other related items have made the authors millions.  One of the articles linked to their website chides people for wanting to be prosperous and not suffer, stating that suffering is required of God ... does the author mean that God requires some to suffer in poverty and others to suffer with millions of dollars in the bank?

        The young men waving the signs in Yucca Valley and yelling at people driving along in their cars, "get right or get left behind" ... certainly take these books seriously ... but who is right? ... isn't the idea that we can be right and someone else is wrong gross arrogance and antagonistic to the teachings of Jesus (judgment)?  And why would anyone want to follow a god that destroys everyone who questions him?  "Left Behind" is just another fear-based dogmatic "opinion" disguised as prophecy and supported by the narrowest of religious theology that in truth, denies the teachings of Jesus and the ever-lasting love that God has for everyone ... no matter what our religious or spiritual beliefs may be, or who we think our saviors are.  No one has an exclusive on the Infinite ... and those who truly love God, first ... are never intimidated by fear tactics.  If we want to truly follow God, here is one way ... as Meister Eckhart states, "let yourself go and let God be God in you" ... and you don't have to wait for the Rapture!

And So It Is!  

Maximum Love
Rev. Hank Bates

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