(This is Day 17 of our breakdown of the Bible’s much used, abused and misused Book of Revelation.)
Tim LaHaye and his partner in profiteering Jerry B. Jenkins–the co-authors of the all-too-popular Left Behind series of novels and movies–boast that they’ve brought millions of people to Christ through their creations.
Unfortunately, they’re right: they’ve brought millions into the Christian fold.
It’s unfortunate because those millions have come to Christ out of the “turn-or-burn” fear of a violent Jesus that LaHaye and Jenkins promote. (See yesterday’s post for more about this “violent Jesus” they believe in.)
With their kazillion-dollar franchise, they’ve led people to fear the future–to verily obsess over it–rather than respond to the call of Jesus to advance the kingdom of God by making the sin-sick world a better and healthier world.
The LaHaye-Jenkins Jesus is not the Jesus who brought hurting people to him by invitation–not the Jesus who said, “Come to me, you who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”
That was a non-threatening invitation to join the kingdom of God and enjoy a foretaste of heaven on earth, in the here and now.
The LaHaye-Jenkins Jesus is a long way from the Jesus who said to his expanding band of followers, “Do not be anxious for tomorrow. . . . Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these [good] things will be added to you.”
He didn’t spoil that invitation by saying, “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, or I will burn you alive and make you wish you had never been born.”
And yet the LaHaye-Jenkins franchise is going strong.
And their hack writing isn’t just for grownups.
The Left Behind franchise includes a line of books specifically directed at children, called “Left Behind: The Kids.”
The series is projected to include a total of 36 volumes and is aimed at children ages 12 to 16.
Titles for these “children’s books” include:
Terror in the Stadium, Death at the Gala, Escape to Masada, (the site of a mass suicide), Through the Flames, Nicolae High (it’s about kids in a high school named after the Antichrist), and so on.
Lord in your mercy, deliver us from this erroneous and potentially harmful Rapture racket.
17. Jesus brought people living in the darkness of paganism and the religious and State oppression by healing people, reaching out to the poor and marginalized, and inviting rich and poor into the light, not by scare tactics.