Jan 11 2012
Church History 201: Let's Scare All the Kids to Death


You missed this. You're too young and cool and stuff.

But in the 70s, a rising consciousness swept through evangelical churches.  They all became aware, simultaneously:  We still have some little kids here who aren't thoroughly traumatized.

Enter the heroic people behind "A Thief in the Night", which was a movie shown me, my feet yet dangling beneath the pew.  It's about something called the "rapture".  

I suddenly remembered it, again, when some listeners to the show sent me a photo from their awesome "Thief in the Night Party".  I immediately started singing the song, "I Wish We'd All Been Ready", written by the great Larry Norman, that was in the movie.  It's a song about how I've been "left behind", and how it's too late, now, to do anything about it, for all eternity. 

And it's sung in the movie by, as I recall, a guy with a creepy smile and a creepy big red afro.  And lo, there were many creepy close-ups as he sang, creepily, with his creepy big red afro, "You've been left behind..."    

I learned a LOT from that movie:

1)  Ronald McDonald is going to escort me to Hell.

2)  If I ever walk in a room, and it's empty, but something's "on" -- like a kitchen radio -- it's because everyone's been taken to heaven except me, and now it's too late, and I'll never see my family again.  And how YOU doin'?

3)  Anyone driving a white van is trying to snatch people.  (Probably true, actually.)

4)  ...and they're from the U.N. (Also probably true.)

5)  The more pronounced the sideburns, the less likely one will be raptured.

6)  In the end times, the evil guys masquerade as harmless, good guys, and they'll subtly do this by wearing a red armband.

7)  ...and then holding me down as they tattoo my forehead.

8)  I don't really want to go to McDonald's anymore, but

9)  I think Grimace, who was nowhere to be seen in the movie, will be raptured.

10)  Little kids like me can watch movies in church, as long as they're blood-curdling frightening.