Religious Tract Dissection by Boolean Union Studios



Today's Candidate:


Hal Lindsey's
There's a New World Coming

There's a New World Coming

1974 Fleming H. Revell Company

Uploaded July 31st, 2015



"There's a New World Coming" is a thinly veiled pastiche of the book of Revelation as seen through the lens of a Pre-tribulation dispensationalist. The story is the basic story spun by this comic special guest, Hal Lindsey. Lindsey has made a pretty lucrative career out of "interpreting" the end of the world and writing about it at great length. The graphics of the Spire comics does a really good job of showing how bizarre the entire concept really is, though.


Panel Index
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20
21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35
Conclusion


Introduction
Sean:

The Spire series of Christian Comics, can best be described as less extreme Chick Tracts with a legitimately good artist behind them. The late Al Hartley was a former artist for both Marvel and Archie comics, before suffering a bout of anxiety and going full evangelical on us. This comes as a welcome breath of fresh air after an endless barrage of Jack Chick's twisted scribblings and Fred Carter's Homoerotic Jesus fanfiction. As luck would have it, we have a "Revelations" themed comic, meaning we'll be subjected to arguably the most ludicrous book of the Bible. No sense dawdling about, let's jump right in!

 

   
   
   
   

Panel 1
Jessica:

I don't know what's scarier. That Hal sold over a million of those damn things or that people actually paid $2.95 for it.

 

Sean:

Remember that he just said "A Million in Print", that probably means somewhere there's a warehouse with about 990,000 unsold copies just lying around.


In 1973, $3.00 would have been enough for a trip to the local porno theater, complete with the old men in trench coats pleasuring themselves. Somehow, that would be a better use of your money.

 

Jessica:

Actually Hal, the ancient Hebew prophets had a pretty low batting average as well. People like you just like to say they were accurate because they wrote down a supposed prophecy in one book and then wrote that it came true in a later book. Not exactly reading entrails now is it?

 

   
   
   

Panel 2 Jessica: Worse episode of Reading Rainbow... ever.
Sean:

To be fair, you'd have to be on something in order to think Revelations is an accurate prophetic vision.

 

Jessica:

This is actually very metaphorical. Revelation HAD to have been written on mind altering substances and judging from the backgrounds here it seems our protagonists partook as well.

Let this be a warning to those of you in the audience... NEVER open your bibles to the book of Revelations lest you be sucked into a dimension where all logic is suspended. A dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind.

 

   
   
   

Panel 3 Jessica:

"There's someone else here!!!" Grizzly Adams in a bathrobe!

 

Sean:

Actually that's debatable. The narrator of Revelations is only referred to as "John". While this could be the apostle, given how many Mary's there are, there's also a very good chance it could just be some prophet named "John".


"History is moving precisely as he predicted!" Oh yeah, except for the Messiah being named Immanuel (No, "Jesus" does not mean the same thing, it's a Greek variation of the name "Yeshua"), the Nile drying up and Egypt becoming uninhabited, the bloodline of David lasting forever, and Israel being at peace with its neighbors. Complete and total accuracy there.

 

Jessica:

Pre-trib dispensationalists. You can clearly see where LaHaye and Jenkins got their ideas from.

 

   
   

Panel 4 Sean:

That's a bit of an extreme change in attitude! One minute he's all "Love thy enemy" and the next it's "Fuck you and the horse you rode in on!" Is the moral of the Bible that God is Bipolar? Because if so, that would explain so much.

 

Jessica:

Just compare the old and new testaments and you can see that the Christian god is either severely bipolar or suffering from a textbook case of Disassociative Identity Disorder.

... the great Snatch? Really? Seriously, you guys?

 

   
   
   

Panel 5

Sean:

Ooh ooh ooh! First error! The Rapture is a relatively recent doctrine, dating back to the 1830's and is not in the book of Revelations at all. The main justification for it stems from Thessalonians 4: 15-17. However, given the context of said passage it seems more likely to have been an account of what happens after the second coming, not 7 years before. In fact, some have made a very strong case for an interpretation stating that it is the unsaved being taken upwards to be discarded into Hell. Or to put it more simply: There is more precedence for Purgatory, Confession, and Celibacy in Christian theology as those at least date back to the Medieval era.


 

Jessica:

This seems to point out the main purpose of the Rapture myth. In the same way Christianity exists because its adherents are afraid of the oblivion after death the Rapture exists so they don't have to fear death either.

 

Sean:

"Just like Larry Norman's great song!" Probably the biggest lie in the whole comic, I've heard music with more feeling and soul at funerals.

 

   
   
   
   
   
   

Panel 6 Sean:

"Christ is the Unfathomable Source that keeps every atom from literally exploding!"
....
...
...


*Incoherent sounds of rage* No. That would be the fundamental forces. Specifically a combination of the Strong Nuclear and Electromagnetic forces. While this may have been a relatively new theory in 1973, the following decades have served only to reinforce it, pretty much coming as close to absolute proof as we can get. This page serves as a textbook example of the classic "God of the Gaps" fallacy (So much so that Jack Chick still clings to this dumb theory). Greater men than I have commented on this, so here's Neil DeGrasse Tyson's own take on it. If you REALLY wanted to equate God with an unfathomable force, you should have stuck with Gravity since, y'know, that one's still baffling.

 

Jessica:

"Jesus said no one will know the exact day or hour."Which is why so many professed Christians have proclaimed a specific day or hour over and over again.

 

   
   
   
   

Panel 7 Sean:

Alright, I apologize for the lack of sarcasm and wit over the next two pages,  but I feel the need to systematically debunk every "prophetic" claim I can. Feel free to chime in if you spot something I missed dear readers.

  • While Russia is still a world Superpower, they've since reconciled with Israel, and are in fact on better terms with them than they are with the United States and the European Union.

  • There is no Arab confederation, certainly not one forged from a unified hatred of Israel. While we do have a begrudging alliance forming over there right now, it's out of a common animosity towards ISIS.

  • China currently has about 2.5 million active military troops. This is barely more than 1% of this estimated figure.

  • Modern New Age "Occultism" is mostly a hodge podge of traditional Shamanistic beliefs, Hermeticism, and general pseudo-spiritualism. It has very little to do with the ancient practices of Babylon, which in reality weren't any more dark than their contemporary Bronze Age peers. I'd argue less so, since they didn't believe in an eternal paradise awaiting for them after death, and as such tended to value life more than certain other faiths....

  • Humanity has always taken solace from their woes in Narcotics. From the Blue Lotus of Ancient Egypt, to the Native American Peyote dating back to roughly 8000BC. Hell, animals get high all the time.

  • Here's a quick list of revolutions throughout History. The so called "increase" is mostly due to our better record keeping abilities nowadays coupled with easier access to military grade weaponry and communication.

  • Globally speaking, there has been about 230 non-consecutive years of peace in the last 3500 years. It's really hard to point to a time where there hasn't been at least one war going on.

 

Jessica:

The return of the Jews to Israel was something of a self-fulfilling prophecy. After all the horrible things they went through in the Holocaust they were kind of given Israel as a place they could all live. Too bad it pissed off a LOT of Palestinians at the same time.

 

   
   
   
   
   
   

Panel 8 Sean:
  • There is no increase in Earthquakes. It's simply a case of more people settling in Earthquake prone areas coupled with better record keeping and advancements in the field of Geology.

  • You just explained that the famines we suffer are due to a population boom. It's a rare instance where the evangelical preacher debunks themselves.

  • Plagues like the Black Death, the Spanish Flu, or the Plague of Athens? Yeah, these are a reoccurring problem, hardly limited to our current era.

  • We are nowhere near a one world religion, let alone a one world Government. The UN barely manages to keep itself together, and even the smaller scaled EU is facing internal squabbling.

  • The United States may have its issues, but surprisingly, we've been able to hold it together. There's no indication that its superpower status will collapse anytime soon, it may be lessened, but that's hardly the same thing.

  • Violent Crime is actually lower than it was back in the 70's.

  • The "Nuclear Family" is a relatively recent invention. Historically speaking, marriage was a political or business arrangement and Children were an obligation to continue one's lineage. To quote the late Frank Herbert:  “Think on it, Chani: the princess will have the name, yet she'll live as less than a concubine - never to know a moment of tenderness from the man to whom she's bound. While we, Chani, we who carry the name of concubine - history will call us wives.”

Jessica:

The United States isn't in the Bible anywhere due to it, you know, not having been discovered yet.

What exactly would they teach in the "Alternatives to Marriage" course? Do you take that one for credit or is it one of those bogus community college classes?

For details on what I just said, read this other book which I also wrote! It will totally prove I am right.

 

   
   
   
   
   

Panel 9 Sean:

If the contents of this scroll are supposed to be secret until the end times, why do we have the book of Revelations?

 

Jessica:

Here also we see how "The Rapture" is a spattering of half baked interpretations taken from Revelations, Daniel, Thessalonians and who only knows what other books that could be shoe-horned in to support whatever these people want them to say. It's not very honest if you ask me.

 

   
   

Panel 10 Sean:

Error number 2! Always a good test to see if someone's actually read the Bible; ask them about the Anti-Christ. Yeah, turns out the reverse messiah, spawn of Satan, Damien Thorn or Nicholae Carpathia character is not  in the Bible. The word is mentioned on <link> four occasions </link>, however according to each of them, the term refers simply to someone who doesn't believe in Christ. To a certain extent, this makes both of us Antichrists. Most of the traits associated with the common depiction of the "Anti-Christ" are actually lifted from The Beast a colossal 7-headed, 10 horned, lion/leopard/bear hybrid adorned with crowns that emerges from the ocean. While I do love Omen's 1 and 3, I seriously want to see a Biblical Apocalypse film with the literal Beast, because that would be pretty damn awesome. But yeah, that's a serious revisionist take on Revelations, which says nothing about a humanoid political figure acting as a false messiah, and an awful lot about a giant monster that terrifies the whole world into following him on account of; he's a friggin' GIANT MONSTER!

Also, that passage is referring to the first of the four horsemen. Not even the Beast.

 

Jessica:

"NO-bama" is the Anti-Christ! Everyone loves him! Make sure that all politicians are hated and despised so that we can rule them out as candidates for this made-up classification that isn't even in our source book!

 

   
   
   
   
   
   
   

Panel 11 Sean:

Is anyone else... unsettled by how those Chinese men are drawn?

 

Jessica:

False peace? There is either peace or their isn't. If there's no war or conflict then that is ACTUAL peace, you guys.

 

Sean:

Funny how Hal Lindsey interpreted the first horseman as the so called "Antichrist" but just associates the second with war. Selective cherry-picking at its finest.

 

 

 

   
   

Panel 12 Sean: .... The third horseman is Famine, not economic disaster.
Jessica:

How is the revived Roman Empire the "Common Market Nations" whatever that even means?

These people hate the idea of nations working together for the same reason they hate the concept of Ecumenicalism. As long as people fight against peace as a primary tenet of their dogma we aren't going to achieve widespread peace anytime soon.

 

   
   
   
   
   
   

Panel 13 Sean:

What, a meteor shower? Pshhh! You wanna talk about terrifying sights from outer space, lemme tell you about Gamma Ray Bursts.

 

Jessica:

Looks like fireworks to me.

 

   
   
   
   
   
   

Panel 14 Sean:

If you think it's hard being a Christian (Over 70% of the US population) you have a serious case of persecution complex.


"An H-Bomb!" How does that passage in any way describe an H-Bomb? There's no mention of the mushroom cloud or radiation, plus they do not turn the sun black nor the moon red. The earthquake's about as close as they get, and even then that's more of an above ground shockwave than a literal tremor of the tectonic plates.

 

Jessica:

I know this is the mid-70's but we have things a bit more powerful than H-bombs now. I doubt we'll just drag those things out of mothballs for the sole purpose of fulfilling your whack-a-doodle prophecies.

Also, the word "atmosphere" does not appear in Revelations. There's mention of sackcloths, but not the atmosphere. Again, due to it not having been discovered yet.

 

   
   
   
   
   

Panel 15 Sean:

Given the Dark Ages and the decline of the Arabic world, I'd be more inclined to say that the Gospel is often the direct cause of troubled times.

 

Jessica:

"God will save all who repent." But I thought once you were dead and had proof that there wasn't any chance? Also, aren't most Christians going to be martyred during the Tribulation?

 

   
   
   
   
   

Panel 16 Sean:

So does that make the Kurds, Native Americans and Blacks God's chosen people too? Because each of those ethnic groups have been shat upon pretty hard.

 

Jessica:

Written by a JEW!!! All those Jews down in Jew-ville!

That seems pretty anti-Semitic to me.

 

   
   

Panel 17
Sean:

Completely ignoring Hitler's strong Catholic background and faith, the Spanish Inquisition, the massacres of Jews during the Crusades, Edicts of Expulsion and the blaming of Jews for the Black Death... Yeah, all in the name of Jesus.

 

Jessica:

What about all the anti-Semitism arising from the labeling of the Jewish people as "Christ Killers?" Is that from Satan, too?

 

   
   
   
   

Panel 18 Sean:

Uh... Drug Related occult activities? Citation needed please, that passage only mentions "sorcery". Plus, isn't "Rampant Immorality" kind of a broad term? Although in the interest of fairness, the Bible does get specific, it labels fornication as one of these 4.

 

Jessica:

 

 

   
   
   
   

Panel 19 Sean:

Wow, 1973 and already we have a denial of man made Climate Change.

 

Jessica:

 

 

   
   
   
   

Panel 20 Sean:

Wait a second, if God "Stepped Back", why does Revelations 8:7 (The very passage Hal's referencing) speak of Angels heralding these catastrophes with trumpeting?

 

 

 

   
   
   
   

Panel 21 Sean:

A perfectly trisected sky? That would be kinda cool to see.

 

Jessica:

I love how paranoid everyone was during the Cold War. It's hard to believe unless you lived through at least part of it.

Hope I'm not dating myself too much there.

 

   
   
   
   

Panel 22 Sean:

Okay... Babylon's pretty damn hot. Not gonna lie. She can ride my seven headed beast anytime.

 

Jessica:

Seven is a little excessive. How about four?

OOOOHHHHH... "demon contact!"

 

   
   

Panel 23 Sean:

So the Whore of Babylon (actually in Revelations) shacks up with the Antichrist (Again, not in the Bible at all)... does this mean the comic could be considered Biblical Slash Fanfiction?

 

Jessica:

The antichrist is dressed like Monty Hall here. Hopefully that will make him easier to spot.

 

   
   
   

Panel 24 Sean:

Except for the rotary blades, the landing gear, the shape, the fact that they're vehicles and not creatures... I'm pretty sure that passage was referring to literal giant armored locusts. Again, that would be way more awesome.


Ooh, I just love this part about the Euphrates! It (unintentionally) perfectly demonstrates the classical mythological influences of the Bible. The Euphrates held a special significance to the Ancient Sumerians, as it was the cradle of their whole civilization. Hal here's claiming that the entirety of Genesis took place around this area, in a way he's right; this was the land of Gilgamesh, the ancient king and hero of the oldest written story. Much of the Bible lifts directly from the Epic of Gilgamesh, such as the Great Flood, the Snake stealing immortality away and a great horned beast unleashing devastation upon the world... Hell, there is much to suggest that Abraliham came from Uruk, Gilgamesh's city.

 

Jessica:

The first murder? Wasn't that Cain? I'm pretty sure that wasn't in Eden.

 

   
   
   

Panel 25
Sean:

The Jordan Valley isn't anywhere NEAR the Euphrates, unless you count the fact that they're both in the Middle East. Given his grasp of Geography and history, I'd imagine Hal would bomb at "Are you smarter than a 5th grader?"

 

 

 

   
   
   
   
   
   

Panel 26 Sean:

Covering your face wouldn't do jack against 100lb hailstones falling to Earth at terminal velocity. Your head would most likely splatter. Chalk up "Basic Physics" as another entry into things Hal Lindsey doesn't understand.

 

Jessica:

After the Rapture no one gets saved. That's part of YOUR theology, Hal!

 

   
   
   

Panel 27 Sean:

Ugh... Mullet Jesus. There's no greater way to show your underlying Eurocentric views than with the depiction of a Israeli carpenter as a Billy Ray Cyrus stand-in.


 

Jessica:

"Don't tell my cross. My achy-breaky cross. I just don't think it'd understand."

 

Sean:

Yeah, no. If everything that was outlined in the Book of Revelations came to pass (Preferably literally) I'd start singing Gospel like Bede in an instant. This fallacy that we "choose" Hell over Heaven is ludicrous. Show me tangible proof that isn't dependent on a pre-existing bias, and then we'll talk.

 

   
   
   

Panel 28 Sean:

Wait, this part always confused me. So when we die we go to Heaven (Just roll with it), but then we're brought back to Earth in our old physical bodies to rule it for a thousand years before going back to Heaven? Why would anyone want that? You're dragging people from their eternal reward in the greatest paradise down to a scorched, irradiated planet covered in rotting corpses.

 

Jessica:

Apparently everyone will be bodily resurrected in their Sunday finest to boot.

 

Sean:

"Look at all those who turned off God!" Most of whom either never heard of God due to the way Christianity was spread via word of mouth (Think isolated tribes in the Amazon or Africa) or worshipped him the wrong way, or got it wrong because every other religion has about as much/more proof (There is more evidence for the actual existences of Muhammad and Buddha), or just didn't believe because all they had to go on was a collection of Bronze/Iron age myths cobbled together from the leftovers of other contemporary mythologies. Yep, they totally deserve to be thrown into literal Hellfire for all eternity.

 

   
   
   

Panel 29 Sean:

URGHHH!!!!! THIS! THIS SHIT RIGHT HERE! THIS is the biggest fallacy of the whole  book! If you're living in a utopia where Jesus Christ and other immortal beings walk around all the time, why the Hell would you reject this?

 

Jessica:

You have to choose without all the information. It's like getting the $10,000 and the new Lexus but deciding to trade it all in for what's behind Door Number One. A decision without all the facts isn't a very fair decision.

 

   
   
   
   

Panel 30 Sean:

Nice to see Curly here (I don't think we've ever had names for these three) has somewhat of a conscience. Though the tone of the comic still implies this is a good thing.

 

Jessica:

No one else seems to care. Parents, spouses, children, friends, coworkers all burning in eternal hellfire. But it's cool! You'll be in Heaven. Riiiiiight.

 

   
   
   
   

Panel 31 Sean:

No, no he did not. That's pretty blatantly meant to be Celestial Fire, something that had been used in many previous books in the Bible.


And here's the core of their irresponsibility: The notion that Jesus Christ will just magic up a new Earth free of pollution and strife. Much like the spoiled rich kid who crashes their new Ferrari and gets their parents to buy them a new one.

 

Jessica:

That's pretty brazen considering how these people often fight environmentalism tooth and nail.

 

   
   
   

Panel 32 Sean:

If it seems like a Fairy Tale, it probably is.

 

Jessica:

If it seems like a drug induced fever dream, it probably is.

 

   
   
   
   

Panel 33 Sean:

"All you need to do is come!!!" Phrasing!

 

Jessica:

Jesus Christ! The Thirst Quencher!

 

   
   
   
   

Panel 34 Jessica:

You can slap down all the random adjectives you want, it won't make this P.O.S. any more tolerable.

 

 

 

 

   
   
   

Panel 35 Sean:

Two whole dang pages of Advertisements for your own work. I miss the X-Ray glasses ads.

 

Jessica:

Ooohhhh... the Gospel Blimp sounds like a real page turner. We'll have to check that one out. Not.

 

   
   
   

Conclusion
Sean:

Well, this was a very refreshing change of pace. Actual good artwork coupled with a fully illustrated account of the most ridiculous chapter of the Bible. There will certainly be more Spire comics to come... but for now stay tuned, there's a little piece we need to, ah, take care of first.

 

   
   
   
   

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Last Modified: October 14, 2016

 

 

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