Tim & Beverly LaHaye
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Tim LaHaye is the founder and director of the psychologically-oriented Family Life Seminars, Inc., now headquartered in Arlington, Texas (originally in Washington, D.C.). — For seventeen years, wife Beverly was a co-speaker with Tim for Family Life Seminars; they conducted over 350 of more than 1,000 seminars together. He is the author of more than 40 books (over 10 million copies in print) on such topics as family life, temperaments, and prophecy. Tim is also the president of Tim LaHaye Ministries, and founder of the Pre-Trib Research Center (see below). He has an earned doctorate degree from Western Baptist Seminary, Portland, Oregon. Among his books is the psychologically-oriented The Act of Marriage, co-written with Beverly, which has sold more than 2.5 million copies since it was first printed in 1976.
In 1958, the LaHayes moved to San Diego where Tim became pastor of Scott Memorial Church, a position he held for almost 25 years. During that time he also started a Christian school that developed into a 10-school system, and Christian Heritage College (founded with Henry Morris of the Institute for Creation Research) in nearby El Cajon. Tim LaHaye left the pulpit in 1981 in order to devote more time to politics and to writing. One of his most popular writing projects has been the bestselling Left Behind series of novels, written with collaborator Jerry Jenkins (see brief review later in this report and a more extensive sub-report review). He has also written so-called Bible commentaries such as Revelation, Illustrated and Made Plain; How to Study Bible Prophecy for Yourself; and No Fear of the Storm: Why Christians Will Escape the Tribulation.
– Beverly LaHaye is a nationally recognized advocate and spokeswoman on issues affecting women and the family. Voted Christian Woman of the Year in 1984 and Churchwoman of the Year in 1988, she also received a Religious Freedom Award in 1991, and in 1993 her nationally syndicated daily radio program, “Beverly LaHaye Live,” was named Talk Show of the Year. Her many psychologically-oriented books include The Spirit-Controlled Woman and The Desires of a Woman‘s Heart. She also heads Concerned Woman for America, the nation’s largest public policy pro-family women’s organization. Advocating school prayer and opposition to abortion, the organization has over 600,000 members. The LaHayes currently live in California.
– A major deception in the church today is the so-called spiritual application of pseudo-psychological temperament theory for individual personality assessment, which, in actuality, is derived from pagan and occultic philosophies. (The “temperament” can be defined as the unique mental and emotional disposition identifiable as the personality.) The study of the temperaments, which are man-centered, self-oriented, and psycho-paganistic, are being offered to the unwitting as a sophisticated, almost magical way to understand our deepest natures and our personality types. In actuality, Christians could be unknowingly lured into the occult by practicing the temperaments and other New Age personality typologies.
Tim LaHaye is the leading so-called evangelical today peddling the temperaments as Christian, and is largely responsible for popularizing its teachings in the Church. LaHaye has the following books out on the subject (as well as having developed his own personality measurement instrument — the LaHaye Temperament Analysis [LTA]): Spirit-Controlled Temperament (1966); Transformed Temperaments (1971); Understanding the Male Temperament (1977); Why You Act the Way You Do (1984). Beverly LaHaye also has written books on the temperaments: The Spirit-Controlled Woman (1976/1996) and How To Develop Your Child’s Temperament (1977). (Must reading for anyone desiring a fuller understanding of LaHaye’s teachings on the temperaments would be Four Temperaments, Astrology & Personality Testing [pp. 49-66], by Martin and Deidre Bobgan, EastGate Publishers, Santa Barbara, CA, 1992, 213 pages. The information on the temperaments detailed in this report was excerpted and/or adapted from this source.):
(a) In Why You Act the Way You Do, one can readily see the underlying astrological roots of temperament theory — LaHaye labels Christians as Sanguine, Choleric, Phlegmatic, and Melancholic, and applies this to explain why people are “locked-in” to behaving the way they do; according to LaHaye, the “strengths and weaknesses” of one’s temperament type determines how they act (e.g., LaHaye turns King David into a combination of Sanguine and Melancholic). LaHaye attempts to distinguish between temperament, character, and personality. He defines temperament as “the combination of inborn traits that subconsciously affects man’s behavior.” He calls character “the real you” and equates it with “the hidden man of the heart” and the soul. He contends that character “is the result of your natural temperament modified by childhood training, education, and basic attitudes, beliefs, principles, and motivations.” Finally, he defines personality as “the outward expression of ourselves,” which may be “the same as our character” or simply “a pleasing facade for an unpleasant or weak character.” LaHaye contends that “it is essential to know your temperament and to be able to analyze other people’s temperaments.” He further testifies that “of all the behavior theories ever devised, it [the four temperaments theory] has served as the most helpful explanation.” He has even insisted that temperament is genetic! (Furthermore, LaHaye has also attempted to validate the temperament theory on the basis of so-called handwriting experts. These “graphologists” claim that a person’s handwriting reveals his personality. However, numerous research studies have refuted these claims.)
(b) LaHaye lays the usual groundwork of temperament strengths and weaknesses, combines them with Scripture, and comes up with a foreign paradigm of man’s sinful nature and the sanctification process. While he claims to present a Biblical anthropology, LaHaye arbitrarily presents his definition of man in terms of psychological opinion rather than in terms of Biblical categories. Just as Freud believed that man is driven by unseen forces in his “unconscious,” LaHaye teaches that a person’s temperament is “the unseen force underlying human action.” LaHaye also includes Carl Jung‘s Introvert-Extrovert typology in his scheme and places the Sanguine and Choleric under the Extrovert type and the Melancholic and Phlegmatic under the Introvert type. LaHaye claims that “the four-fold classification of temperaments is still widely used,” yet even psychological theorists have generally abandoned the four temperaments typology.
(c) As a further indication of the Biblical facade through which LaHaye attempts to sanctify his teachings on the temperaments, he equates temperament with our “old nature”: “Since temperament is our ‘old nature,’ what man needs is a ‘new nature.’” But LaHaye does not teach that the temperament is to be reckoned dead or put off as the old man is to be reckoned dead and put off. He only seems to want to put off the “weaknesses,” which he calls “sin.” He wants to keep and enhance the “strengths.” Then, by a huge leap of the imagination, he turns the nine-fold Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5) into “temperament traits” of our new nature.
(d) LaHaye presents four major persons from the Bible in terms of the temperaments. In his book Transformed Temperaments, though warning people about indiscriminately using the four temperaments to describe Peter, Paul, Moses, and Abraham, he, nevertheless, turns Peter into a Sanguine, Paul into a Choleric, Moses into a Melancholic, and Abraham into a Phlegmatic. This entire business of describing the four temperaments and assigning people to categories is so subjective as to be both useless and misleading. LaHaye’s charts and descriptions make the whole set-up look factual and reliable, but these are arbitrary classifications and combinations. Throughout his later books, LaHaye adds and embellishes the lists, and even makes up a test that people can take to fit themselves into his system. LaHaye, then, leaves us with an arbitrary system of psychological theory presented by an amateur pop psychologist.
– Left Behind, by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, is the first of 12 novels (they have recently announced three additional volumes, the first to be published in 3/05) dealing with the end times. LaHaye says that Left Behind is “the first fictional portrayal of events that are true to the literal interpretation of Bible prophecy. It was written for anyone who loves gripping fiction featuring believable characters, a dynamic plot that also weaves prophetic events in a fascinating story.” The story begins on the day that the Rapture takes place and concludes just as the Antichrist is about to assume power over the world. The story, however, is wrapped around the lives of a handful of individuals who come face to face with the fact that the Rapture has occurred. Will they come to Christ, or be taken in by the false explanations for the disappearance of millions throughout the world. And if they come to the Lord, what will it cost them?
As fiction goes, the first book in the series is relatively faithful to Scripture (at least in contrast to the fiction of Frank Peretti). Nevertheless, LaHaye’s ecumenical nature comes through as does his psychological leanings. One comment even implies that Mother Teresa was raptured! This is even more odd given the fact the book is supposed to be set several decades in the future and Mother Teresa was nearing death when the book was written (and has since died). But more importantly, one would think that LaHaye and Jenkins would recognize that Mother Teresa never received Christ by faith alone. She always clung to the works-salvation of the Roman Catholic Church. Worse yet, LaHaye has the Pope being raptured with the church! So with this series, LaHaye and Jenkins help Chuck Colson, Billy Graham, Charles Stanley and the rest of the Catholic sympathizers to further blur the clear line of demarcation between true Christianity and apostate Christianity.
Also, one wonders, with such a golden opportunity for LaHaye and Jenkins to very clearly outline the gospel of Jesus Christ to many who will read the series, but would not let a soulwinner tell them the same, why is the sound gospel of the grace of God so obscure, to the point of being absent from the books?! True, there are instances in the book of some of the characters giving a brief testimony to salvation, but even those are so weak that if a person were not looking for and familiar with God’s plan of salvation, he would never know what it means to be born again. Of what practical use is a book in the home of a lost man that does not and cannot convict of sin and show the need for a Saviour? (Source: Pastors Kevin Bier and Gary Gilley. For a detailed review of the Left Behind series, see BDM’s companion report.)
– LaHaye has made a small fortune off of his fictional books in the Left Behind series, and Hank Hanegraaff of the Christian Research Institute evidently thinks there is potential in the fiction market for his fiction, too. LaHaye fictionalizes about events related to the Second Coming of Christ, which he believes are yet to come; on the other hand, Hanegraaff fictionalizes about events from the “Preterist” point of view, which means that the events have already taken place in A.D. 70. One of the strange things about this is the fact that Tyndale House publishes both the pre-trib, pre-mill views of LaHaye as well as the Preterist views of Hanegraaff. (The only “prophecy” Tyndale seems to be interested in is whatever is “profitable.”)
This recent development has caused LaHaye to have no small consternation, if the report in the book trade magazine Christian Retailing is correct (January 3, 2005, page 1). According to the magazine, LaHaye now feels “betrayed” by Tyndale House, for his publisher has taken money made from LaHaye’s fiction to “promote the nonsense” fiction written by Hanegraaff. Another “strange” element in this matter is the fact that even LaHaye himself holds to some elements of Preterism. He imposes the views of Jewish Preterism over the Book of Daniel, for example, and this accounts for his confused ideas about the Antichrist and the Abomination of Desolation. LaHaye advocates the Jewish Preterism that the Seleucids, Ptolemies, and Antiochus Epiphanes fulfill Daniel 11:5-35, which was first taught in the uninspired Book of Maccabees by the uninspired Jewish writer. This preteristic idea makes Daniel 11:5-35 irrelevant to future prophetic events. (See Tim LaHaye’s Prophecy Study Bible on Daniel 11). It is also rather “strange” and humorous that LaHaye, who has pocketed big bucks off his fiction, which involves elements of Preterism, is now complaining about Hanegraaff’s using some of the same Preterist fiction about the Second Coming to make money off of it. Both LaHaye and Hanegraaff borrow basic Preterist ideas which originated before the first coming of Christ, being Jewish interpretations of Daniel which serve to nullify much of Daniel’s prophetic truth. (Source: Bob Ross, “LaHaye vs. Hanegraaff — Or, Truth Again Proves to be ‘Stranger Than Fiction’” [01/06/05].)
– The LaHayes have become fabulously wealthy through Tim’s authorship of the Left Behind series. So much so that the LaHayes have managed to buy a legacy for themselves — they gave Jerry Falwell‘s Liberty University $4.5 million toward a new student center; in return, the new School of Prophecy, which opened in January 2002, was named after LaHaye, and he serves as its president. Tim has also received the honor of being named “the most influential evangelical leader of the last quarter century.” This was the verdict of the Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals, located at Wheaton College in Illinois, as announced in their periodical, The Evangelical Studies Bulletin.
– For being a supposed prophecy expert, LaHaye has some real problems with his prophetical teachings in the Left Behind series. For example, in books 8 & 9, LaHaye and Jenkins teach that recipients of the mark of the beast can still be saved. In The Mark, “the Chang scenario” is developed, whereby a character receives both the mark of the beast and the sealing of the Lord. In Desecration, Chang’s dual-marking was justified in the storyline. The question about how a Christian can have the mark of the beast and still be saved has been asked many times by perplexed readers on the Left Behind messageboard, and was answered on the FAQ page at LeftBehind.com. “God looks on the heart,” says Jenkins. “He [Chang] was a believer first, and thus, always.” Notice that Jenkins did not say, “It is only fiction, so do not take it seriously.” He also did not say, “You must understand that in real life, no Christian may receive the mark of the beast and be saved.”
LaHaye and Jenkins also teach this “true Christians may deny the Lord Jesus Christ before men and still inherit eternal life” concept in their non-fiction book Perhaps Today:
“My mind rushes to the thousands of Christians savagely killed and maimed by the lions in Roman amphitheaters long ago. Their crime? They refused to bow down and worship Caesar. Doubtless some on that day cowered before their oppressors and feigned a rejection of Christ. Like those who were martyred, they will also be saved. But they will not receive the martyr’s crown their Lord wanted them to have.”
The authors are teaching that if a Christian outwardly rejects the Lord Jesus Christ, he will still be saved, though he will forfeit the martyr’s crown. They are saying that the Christians in the past who bowed down and “pretended” to worship Caesar (that is what feigning a rejection of Christ would be in that context!) would still be saved! They would not receive the martyr’s crown, but would be saved even after denying the Lord Jesus Christ before men. The authors are reassuring Christians that even if you outwardly deny the Lord Jesus Christ (as long as you don’t really mean it on the inside) and pretend to worship a false Christ, you will still be saved. This teaching is rejected by the Bible (Matt. 10:32,33; 16:25; Luke 12:8,9; Mark 8:35; 1 John 2:22,23).
– Beverly LaHaye has endorsed Rapha Hospital Treatment Centers of Houston, Texas (along with other so-called evangelicals as Jerry Falwell, Charles Stanley, and D. James Kennedy). Rapha is an organization that heavily promotes Alcoholics Anonymous, 12-Step codependency/recovery programs as a “Christian” methodology for the cure of “dysfunctional” relationships. Rapha specializes in the “treatment” of so-called codependent and/or addicted Christians by employing an amalgamation of Adlerean-Maslowian need psychology and the Bible. Rapha debuted in 1986 and claims to have treated over 30,000 psychiatric in-patients since then. Today Rapha operates 120 hospital beds in twelve psychiatric units with an annual income of more than $12 million. Rapha also claims that over 2,000 churches in the U.S. are using its materials. LaHaye is quoted as saying, “I am confident that the Rapha Hospital Treatment Centers are a gift of God for our generation. I am pleased to be able to recommend the Rapha program everywhere.” (Must reading for anyone desiring a fuller understanding of the “codependent” heresy sweeping the church today would be 12 Steps to Destruction: Codependency/Recovery Heresies, by Martin and Deidre Bobgan, EastGate Publishers, Santa Barbara, CA, 1991, 247 pages.)
– Promise Keepers is the gigantic new (1991) “men’s movement” among professing evangelical Christians. Its roots are Catholic and charismatic to the core. PK’s contradictory stand on homosexuality; its promotion of secular psychology; its unscriptural feminizing of men; its depiction of Jesus as a “phallic messiah” tempted to perform homosexual acts; and its ecumenical and unbiblical teachings should dissuade any true Christian from participating. Promise Keepers is proving to be one of the most ungodly and misleading movements in the annals of Christian history. Nevertheless, Tim LaHaye is a promoter of this ecumenical, charismatic, psychologized men’s movement as evidenced by his writing numerous daily “devotionals” for publication in PK’s bi-monthly Men of Integrity (“your daily guide to the Bible and prayer”).
– There are many ways one can be drawn into unbiblical unity with other professing believers. It most commonly occurs as men focus upon one particular issue or theological topic, which issue or topic may, by itself, be legitimate and theologically correct. Yet, that unity usually tends to set aside doctrinal differences, so that the resulting unity overall is unbiblical. (Often, the methods employed by the organization are also unbiblical.)
Such an organization was formed by Tim LaHaye in 1994, the Pre-Trib Research Center (PTRC) (originally headquartered in Family Life Seminar’s Washington, D.C. offices, but moved to Arlington, Texas in the late-1990s), made up of a “large group of prophetic Bible scholars given a sacred task of joining with others in proclaiming, teaching, defending, and applying the doctrine of the Pretribulational Rapture of the Church.” PTRC claims to have brought “together such a group of like-minded prophetic scholars, communicators, and authors to defend this very important biblical truth.” PTRC claims 70 members who hold the Pre-Trib position and have signed PTRC’s doctrinal statement. Even if one assumes that the stated purpose of the PTRC is a worthy one, PTRC’s hodgepodge of neo-evangelicals, psychologizers, and prophecy hyper-speculators (listed as members on PTRC’s letterhead) would most certainly disqualify it as an organization of “like-minded scholars” in Biblical unity (e.g., “like-minded prophetic scholars” include Ed Hindson, Kay Arthur, John Ankerberg, Chuck Missler, Martin DeHaan II, David Jeremiah, Grant Jeffrey, Peter LaLonde, David Reagan, Jerry Vines, Adrian Rogers, Zane Hodges, Robert Lightner, Thomas McCall, J. Dwight Pentecost, Charles Ryrie, John Walvoord, Stanley Toussaint, Zola Levitt, Hal Lindsey, David Noebel, Richard Mayhue, John Sproule, and Elmer Towns). This is a “dispensational ecumenism” that, in our opinion, can only go downhill from here.
– Dr. Bill Jackson, president of the Association of Fundamentalists Evangelizing Catholics (AFEC), prepared a 6/18/99 statement on “The Gospel of Jesus Christ–An Evangelical Celebration” (EC) (see the 6/14/99 Christianity Today for the full text of the EC). This document has been endorsed by Charles Colson, Bill Bright, and J.I. Packer, all of whom also signed the controversial ECT documents of 1994 and 1997; as well as endorsed by R.C. Sproul, John MacArthur and D. James Kennedy, all of whom publicly [albeit weakly] challenged and criticized them for signing the ECT documents. There are a number of helpful statements in this latest document which deal with areas which were not fully dealt with in the ECT documents (e.g., imputation is now dealt with favorably, but has been consistently opposed by Roman Catholic Councils and Catechisms). EC says, “We cannot embrace any form of doctrinal indifferentism by which God’s truth is sacrificed for a false peace.” But there is certainly no better example of “doctrinal indifferentism” than the ECT documents themselves (James 1:8)! Because ECT I stated that “Evangelicals and Catholics are brothers and sisters in Christ,” in order to be relevant the new EC document should be submitted to the Roman Catholics who signed ECT I and II. It is difficult to see how a person could subscribe to both ECT and EC. The only logical conclusion is for all who signed EC to remove their names from ECT. It also appears that the so-called “evangelical” ECT endorsers have been “let off the hook” by former critics. We believe EC will be used to rehabilitate those who erred in 1994 and 1997, without their having to admit or ask forgiveness for their error. (Source: 7/15/99, Calvary Contender.) [Other “evangelical” endorsers of EC among the 15 members of the Drafting Committee and 114 members of the Endorsing Committee include John Ankerberg, Kay Arthur, Tony Evans, Jerry Falwell, Bill Hybels, David Jeremiah, Max Lucado, Woodrow Kroll, Tim & Beverly LaHaye, Erwin Lutzer, Bill McCartney, Luis Palau, Pat Robertson, Ronald Sider, Charles Stanley, John Stott, Joseph Stowell, Chuck Swindoll, and Ravi Zacharias; also endorsing EC were hyper-charismatics Jack Hayford, Steven Strang, and Bruce Wilkinson.]
However ignorant the LaHayes and fellow endorsers may be of all this, their participation in EC makes them a party to its consequences. It is also important to note that the EC document (which is supposed to be a definitive and comprehensive statement of the true saving Gospel of Christ), never mentions repentance for salvation, and never mentions the total depravity of man (thereby leaning towards a decisional regeneration). Moreover, the EC promotes an ecumenical unity (via “trans-denominational cooperative enterprises”) with all professing believers who attest to the EC’s “essentials” of the faith. But this is not the unity of the faith taught in Ephesians. While we are instructed by Scripture to be of one mind, the evangelical today scoffs at the idea of true Biblical unity based on complete agreement with, and submission to, God’s holy Word. The only use of the word “unity” in the New Testament is found in Ephesians chapter four. It is a “unity of the Spirit” (v. 3), not of men. It is a “unity of faith” (v. 13) based on sound doctrine for which believers are to contend, not water down nor reclassify into essentials and non-essentials (Jude 3). No real spiritual unity can exist apart from doctrinal unity, and we are to “mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them” (Rom. 16:17).
– Tim LaHaye was one of the original founders (along with Jerry Falwell and other neo-evangelicals) of the Moral Majority (now succeeded by the Liberty Federation), which is one of the classic examples of “the good cause syndrome” — the persuasion that Christians can cross Scriptural lines of demarcation if the cause is good enough. (In actuality, the Moral Majority joined believer and unbeliever, Mormon and Methodist, Catholic and charismatic in an unholy union to save the country. But rather than the country being saved, the cause of Christ was damaged. The line of demarcation between the godly and the “do-gooder” was blurred beyond recognition.) [Reported in New Neutralism II, pp. 70-71.] [In 1992, Falwell’s Liberty University awarded Beverly LaHaye an honorary Doctorate of Humanities for her lifetime achievements in protecting the rights of the family.]
– Both Tim and Beverly LaHaye have a long history of extreme ecumenism. Tim has been the president of Moral Majority of California and a board member of the national Moral Majority. In this capacity he joined hands with every sort of apostasy, including Romanism and Judaism. As the head of the American Coalition for Traditional Values, LaHaye yoked together with such “distinguished Christian leaders” (his own words in 1984) as Demos Shakarian, radical charismatic head of the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International; United Methodist pastor and head of the activist American Family Association, Don Wildmon; Jim Bakker of the PTL Club; Kenneth Copeland; Rex Humbard; Robert Tilton; Thomas Zimmerman, then head of the Assemblies of God; Paul Crouch, radical head of the blasphemous Trinity Broadcasting Network; and Jimmy Swaggart. These men are as radically ecumenical and as Biblically unsound and as opposed to fundamental, Biblical separation as any you will find anywhere. Three have since been disgraced through their moral and financial corruption. Paul Crouch hates fundamentalists and has publicly cursed them. Thomas Zimmerman was at the forefront of breaking down the walls of separation between old-line Pentecostals and Romanists. For LaHaye to be the leader of this unholy, mixed multitude is wickedness.
LaHaye’s ecumenism isn’t limited to his political activities. He frequently joins hands with apostates at all sorts of ecumenical gatherings. For example, when the charismatic Rock Christian Network was launched in 1986, Tim LaHaye’s beaming face joined those of the charismatic mystics Oral Roberts, David Yonggi Cho, and Demos Shakarian, Catholic priest John Bertolucci, and others. LaHaye has appeared regularly at “Jesus” rock festivals in various parts of the country, joining hands with rock ‘n’ rollers and ecumenists, including Tom Skinner and Tony Campolo. Tim LaHaye spoke at Oral Roberts University’s 1990 Christian School Conference. He was Co-chairman of the Jerusalem ’90 charismatic conference which featured David Yonggi Cho and James Robison. In a fund-raising promotional brochure, LaHaye praised radical charismatic “faith healer” Morris Cerullo upon his takeover of the PTL TV Network/Heritage properties. LaHaye said he was glad it would not be lost “to the body of Christ,” and that because of Cerullo’s faith, the network would “continue to be used to preach the Gospel and to present positive programming” (11/1/90 & 3/1/91 issues of the Calvary Contender). What amazing blindness! (Reported in the 1/95, O Timothy.)
– Tim and Beverly LaHaye have now taken to appearing on the television shows of charismatics. — Each day of the week 4/21/03-4/25/03, the LaHayes appeared on the Benny Hinn nightly one-hour television show (“This Is Your Day”) aired on TBN. (LaHaye is not uninformed concerning Hinn’s record since at one of LaHaye’s Pre-Trib Research Council meetings someone made a presentation, including video clips, of some of Hinn’s more outlandish prophecies.) The subject matter for the week was Bible prophecy. The LaHayes spent the five hours chumming it up with Benny Hinn and allowing Tim’s latest book, Charting the End Times, to be offered as a premium to those contributing $50 to Hinn’s heretical ministry. Included in that package were end-times charts and timelines. LaHaye stood to make millions, and at the same time, Hinn would rake in the money. (Source: 5/1/03, The Christian Sentinel Report; and viewing by BDM.)
– Beverly LaHaye is an enthusiastic supporter of her husband’s ecumenical stance. Through her Concerned Women for America (CWA) organization, she is encouraging Christians to forget their differences and join hands to effect political and social change. CWA’s radical, unscriptural ecumenism was demonstrated in a CWA radio broadcast on 10/13/94. The speaker was an unsaved Jew, Dennis Prager, who was also the keynote speaker at the 1996 CWA national conference. Prager was speaking about the moral problems of America, and promoted as a solution, that all religious people of good will must come together to resist the powers of secularism. The statement was made, “All Christians must come together.” This dangerous, unscriptural sentiment was echoed by the hosts of CWA’s broadcast.
Like her husband, Mrs. LaHaye does not limit her ecumenical wanderings to political activities. She was a featured speaker at the 15th anniversary celebration of the charismatic magazine Charisma. On this occasion, she joined hands with Oral Roberts, members of the religious rock group Petra, and hyper-charismatics Charles and Frances Hunter to celebrate this dangerous, unscriptural publication. Beverly LaHaye has spoken at least twice at the annual conference sponsored by the charismatic Christian Believers United (CBU) Fellowship. Calvary Contender editor Jerry Huffman notes, “When you ask charismatics to join your political crusade, it must be hard to say no when they want you to ‘join’ their religious ‘crusade.’ Satan is subtle! (3/1/86, Calvary Contender ). (Reported in the 1/95, O Timothy.)
– Beverly LaHaye is also a member of the highly ecumenical National Religious Broadcasters (NRB), and formerly an arm of the neo-evangelical (and increasingly charismatic) National Association of Evangelicals (NAE). At the NRB’s 53rd Annual Convention in Indianapolis in February of 1996, Beverly LaHaye (through her CWA organization) sponsored the Anniversary Banquet, which was a black-tie event at $50 per ticket. She also spoke at the Women’s Luncheon at the 1997 NRB Convention.
– Beverly LaHaye is a Southern Baptist by profession. She recently took part in an ecumenical Bible commentary publishing effort by 22 Southern Baptist women and 80 women from other denominations. Some of the other unbiblical women in the project include Vonette Bright (wife of Campus Crusade’s Bill Bright), Shirley Dobson (wife of Focus on the Family’s James Dobson), Karen Mains, and Jill Briscoe. The Women’s Study Bible is purported to focus on women’s ideas and concerns. (Reported in the 11/1/95, Calvary Contender.)
– Tim LaHaye was featured speaker at the Jesus Northwest festival in 7/92 at an Assemblies of God church in Salem, Oregon. Other speakers included notorious liberal Tony Campolo, Mike Warnke, Frank Peretti, Ed Underwood (from Walk Thru’ The Bible), and over a dozen “Christian” rock/rap groups (including Petra, DC Talk, etc.). (Reported in the 3/1/92, Calvary Contender.)
– Tim LaHaye is a member of COR (Coalition on Revival), a Reconstructionist/Dominionist organization dedicated to a social gospel/activism agenda that proposes to impose Biblical standards (e.g., Old Testament law) on unbelieving peoples and institutions. Although no longer a Steering Committee member of COR, LaHaye does give the following strong endorsement:
“I commend the work of COR and its efforts to unite pastors and parachurch leaders to bring revival to their churches and reformation to their societies.”
Beverly LaHaye resigned from COR in 1989, but stated in a 12/89 letter that husband Tim was remaining “on the board of the Coalition … using this position in hopes of influencing them” (cf. 1 Cor. 15:33)! [In a personal letter dated 6/3/93, Tim LaHaye claimed to have resigned from COR “four or more years ago” — yet, as of early-1990, his name was still on COR’s letterhead as a Steering Committee member.] As an indication of what the people affiliated with COR believe, the following is from a brochure announcing the 12th Annual Northwest Conference for Christian Reconstruction. Does not the following sound like a different gospel? (All emphases added):
“The Christian Reconstruction movement believes that the Bible contains not only a message of personal salvation through the blood of Christ shed on the cross, but also a comprehensive law structure which is alone able to provide a just basis for society. It is committed to the view that sovereignty and thus government belong to God, and that all delegated government, whether to family, church or state (civil government), is to be exercised in obedience to the law of God’s covenant. Furthermore, salvation involves every aspect of man’s life and thus also the relationships he sustains to the world around him. The exercise of dominion in accordance with the terms of God’s covenant is therefore basic and vital to the Christian faith. To neglect this is to deprecate the extent of Christ’s victory at Calvary.“
That LaHaye has no problem identifying with this movement is a bit disconcerting to say the least. (For details of COR’s unbiblical strategy for “taking the world for Christ,” see COR’ documents titled A Manifesto for the Christian Church, Forty-two Articles of the Essentials of a Christian World View, and Twenty-five Articles of Affirmation and Denial on the Kingdom of God. These three documents, along with COR’s 17 Sphere/World View Documents, make up what COR calls its “20 COR World View Documents.”)
– Being a member of a hyper-Calvinistic organization like COR, one might be surprised to learn that LaHaye’s theology is Arminian. Much like Dave Hunt, LaHaye rejects the sovereignty of God in salvation. Dave Hunt and Joseph Chambers (Gail Riplinger’s KJV-Onlyist friend in North Carolina) are now promoting an anti-Calvinist Symposium, using a publicity blurb from LaHaye. Tim is quoted as saying, “Calvinism comes perilously close to blasphemy,” attributes it to “Greek humanism,” and alleges that “the God of Calvinism is a far cry from the God of the Bible” (End Times, January 2002, p. 16).
– The extent to which men like Tim LaHaye will go in furthering the social gospel is truly amazing. LaHaye held the paid position of chairman with Sun Myung Moon‘s now defunct Coalition for Religious Freedom (CRF). (Moon is the founder of the Unification Church, and is the self-proclaimed Messiah to the world. He teaches the particularly vile heresy that not only did Jesus fail in His earthly ministry, but that He had sex with the women who followed Him.) (Reported in the November 1990, Omega-Letter and the 1Q96, Religion in Politics.)
In June, 1985, CRF held several rallies, one of which was in Washington, D.C. There LaHaye urged the over 300 men and women present to support Moon by voluntarily going to jail with him for a week if allowed to do so by authorities. “Not that I agree with his doctrine,” said LaHaye. “Not that I agree with what he teaches, because many of us don’t know what he teaches. We have only read about it in the paper and you know how much we can trust the papers.” (Evidently LaHaye is unaware of the many books and research papers made available by Christian cult investigators. Certainly the newspapers aren’t the only source of information.) Other so-called evangelicals that served with LaHaye at CRF as executive committee and/or advisory board members were Don Wildmon (founder and president of the social activist American Family Association), Marlin Maddoux (Point Of View nationwide radio talk show host), Paul Crouch (TBN Network’s infamous founder), Hal Lindsey, James Robison, Jimmy Swaggart, and D. James Kennedy (author and pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida) — an agenda of social activism certainly makes for strange ecumenical bedfellows. [In a personal letter dated 6/3/93, LaHaye claims to have never received any pay for his stint as CRF’s “temporary chairman for a month and a half.” LaHaye seems to be saying, “It’s okay to serve on the Board of an apostate organization as long as you don’t accept pay for it.”]
LaHaye’s involvement with Moon is particularly vile. In 1985, Carolyn Weaver, writing for Mother Jones Magazine, exposed the fact that LaHaye had received substantial funds from Moon’s aid Bo Hi Park. This was discovered in a tape of a dictated thank you letter from LaHaye, thanking Park for a contribution in excess of $500,000. LaHaye would not admit or deny the receipt of the contribution, instead he attacked the source of the information. (Reported in the 1Q96, Religion in Politics.)
– Moon held a Washington Family Federation for World Peace conference in late-1996 that attracted a gaggle of famous “evangelical” speakers, including Christian Coalition executive director Ralph Reed (now a political consultant), Family Research Council president Gary Bauer, and Concerned Women for America president Beverly LaHaye. Moon and his fourth wife also addressed the conference, which attracted 1,500 participants from around the globe. When asked in a personal letter why she would speak to a Moonie front group, Mrs. LaHaye responded that she found out only a few days before the event that it was a Moon-sponsored event, but that “it was too late to back out [so] I decided I would have to see it through and use it as an opportunity to share the true Word of God …” She also claimed that both Bauer and Reed were caught in the same dilemma. “So the three of us tried to be a true witness for Christ in this event.”
Beverly LaHaye’s “explanation” for speaking at the gathering does not stand up to scrutiny. The LaHayes have had a relationship with the Moonies for years (see above); they are very well aware of all the Moonie front groups, including the Family Federation for World Peace. But let’s assume she is telling the truth in her letter, and really was ignorant of the group to which she was going to speak. But she admits she became aware of it “a few days before the event,” so why couldn’t she cancel? Why was it “too late to back out”? Even so, in what way did she use her appearance “as an opportunity to share the true Word of God and God’s standard for the family marriage”? Did she specifically address the fact that the Moonies are a blasphemous cult and an abomination before a holy God? Hardly. In every account of her remarks that have been made public, she makes not one reference to the gospel.
LaHaye also remarks that Gary Bauer and Ralph Reed “were caught in the same dilemma.” Not according to Reed. When asked why the Christian Coalition chose to associate with Moon, spokesman Mike Russell said, “They’re working to strengthen the family and so are we. Ralph doesn’t agree with every organization he speaks to.” Nor according to Bauer either; Bauer said, “I don’t see why Christians should censor themselves out of any forum in which our perspectives can be heard.” At least these two ecumenists are willing to tell the truth. From their statements, you can see that neither Reed nor Bauer make any claim of being ignorant of the Moonie sponsorship of the event. Why was Beverly LaHaye such a dupe when the others were so knowledgeable? The fact is, Beverly LaHaye was caught with her hand in the cookie jar, and now she’s making excuses like a 2-year old — “Momma, I didn’t know there were cookies in there until five minutes ago, and then it was too late to back out.” (Moon has been known to draw speakers with honorariums exceeding $100,000; perhaps that is why “it was too late to back out.”)
– Apparently, activism runs in the family — Beverly LaHaye is founder and chairman of Concerned Women for America (1979), an ecumenical social activism organization for professing Christian women (CWA has in the past featured Roman Catholic and charismatic speakers), touted to be the “nation’s largest women’s organization” (over 600,000 members). Mirabella magazine (2/93 edition) said Beverly LaHaye “has surpassed Phyllis Schlafly in importance and continues to gain an audience through a monthly magazine [Family Voice], video tapes, and a syndicated call-in radio show [Beverly LaHaye Live (weekdays) and This Week With Beverly LaHaye (weekend) — founded in 1988 and now heard on approximately 100 “Christian” stations, reaching over 750,000 listeners], all financed by CWA’s $10 million annual budget … Beverly LaHaye Live was named the National Religious Broadcaster’s Talk Show of the Year” for 1993 for exhibiting “outstanding achievement in stimulating and leading the discussion of moral, political, social and religious issues relevant to the Christian community.” (Reported in Tim LaHaye’s 5/93, Capital Report.). CWA employs a paid staff of 33, including legislative specialists and field operatives. Beverly LaHaye has also authored two women’s books, Who But a Woman and The Restless Woman. [Corporations helping to bankroll CWA include: PepsiCo, Levi Strauss, Avon, American Express, Sun Company, United Bank of Denver, and GEICO. (Reported in the 1Q96, Religion in Politics. )]
LaHaye recently announced the appointment of Sandy Rios as president of CWA. Rios is a Chicago radio talk show host, musician and singer, and mother of two grown children, one of whom is severely disabled. Rios says she has a heart for those often overlooked in the cultural battle for the soul of America. “Mrs. LaHaye … taught us a lesson in founding CWA to show that the radical feminists do not speak for mainstream American women. … Young people and minorities can and must have a voice in promoting the effective Bible-based values we share. I want to help Mrs. LaHaye reach out to make sure those voices are heard too.” Rios relocated to metropolitan Washington and begin with CWA on October 15, 2001 (10/15/01, Calvary Contender).
– The Concerned Women For America ministry website sells books that send the message that the Harry Potter phenomenon can advance the kingdom of God:
“In What’s A Christian To Do With Harry Potter? you’ll explore the valid concerns some Christians have about the series, sort out the fact and fiction at the center of the debate, discover biblical answers that may surprise you, and learn how you can tap into this powerful cultural phenomenon to help advance the kingdom of God.” (Emphasis added.)
The Harry Potter books contain real, black magick satanism, and even include human sacrifice. If God’s people believe fellowshipping with devils in any form can be used to advance the kingdom of God, then they are literally being set up to believe that the antichrist is God. It is also disturbing that Connie Neal’s countering-Harry-Potter-critics book entitled The Gospel According to Harry Potter is also sold on the CWA website.Why would CWA sell books that counter Christian opposition to Harry Potter and possibly win Rowlings more readers?
– Even Beverly LaHaye’s entanglement with the Coors Brewing Company proved to be embarrassing — Coors extended health benefits to homosexual employees’ partners. LaHaye’s CWA has long accepted Coors’ money, which has hindered the CWA from tackling alcohol-related issues. [Alcohol is the nation’s number one “drug problem,” accounting for over $100 billion in economic costs and 105,000 deaths each year [8/17/92, Christianity Today. )] (Reported in the 9/15/96, Calvary Contender.)
– Beverly LaHaye is also a supporter and signatory of the (now defunct) Williamsburg Charter Foundation (WCF), an ecumenical amalgamation of professing Christians, humanists, atheists, New Agers, Eastern religionists, etc., whose stated goal was religious pluralism and tolerance in education, but all the while promoting a new one-world religion. Other “evangelical” signators and/or supporters with Beverly LaHaye were James Dobson, Chuck Colson, and Billy Graham. [WCF no longer exists, but the curriculum has been passed on to a “new” organization, “The First Liberty Institute,” an organization headed up by New Ager Dr. Charles C. Haynes. (First Liberty at George Mason University was originally designated as “national teacher training and outreach center” for the Williamsburg Charter Foundation.)]
– Beverly LaHaye’s endorsement appears on the book cover (along with James Dobson’s) of The Natural Childbirth Book. Also on the cover is a picture of the occult yin/yang symbol. It appears Mrs. LaHaye needs to scrutinize her endorsements more closely.
– Tim and Beverly LaHaye also appear to have also thrown-in with the charismatic fasting and revival crowd. Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, fasted 40 days during the summer of 1994, during which he claims to have received a “prophecy from God” that a mighty revival is coming. He then issued a call for hundreds of liberals, charismatics, and new-evangelicals to gather in Orlando 12/5/94-12/7/94 to fast and pray for revival. An Invitation Committee made up of a hodgepodge of 72 liberals, new evangelicals, and charismatics was formed. Included were: Robert Schuller, Charles Colson, E.V. Hill, Jack Hayford, JamesDobson, W.A. Criswell, Charles Stanley, Paul Crouch, Luis Palau, Bill Gothard, Pat Robertson, Kay Arthur, and Larry Burkett. CCC’s Bill Bright cites “a great sense of urgency to link arms and unitedly call upon God for help in the spirit of King Jehoshaphat (2 Chr. 20).” This ecumenical “linking” is in the “spirit of Jehoshaphat” indeed, but the Jehoshaphat of 2 Chr. 18 (instead of 2 Chr. 20) where he “linked” with wicked King Ahab and incurred the wrath of God. (Reported in the 11/15/94, Calvary Contender.) [Another three-day “Fasting & Prayer” conference was held in 11/95 in Los Angeles; it attracted 3,500 “evangelicals” and charismatics. The Invitation/Host Committee for this event included most of those listed above, plus Dick Eastman, Chuck Smith, Bill McCartney (Promise Keepers), Tim and Beverly LaHaye, Shirley Dobson, Paul Cedar (E-Free), Ted Engstrom (World Vision), Joseph Stowell (Moody), and Joseph Aldrich (Multnomah). A third conference was held 11/14/96-11/16/96 in St. Louis. New additions to the Host Committee included Max Lucado, Henry Blackaby (of Experiencing God fame), Loren Cunningham (YWAM), Greg Laurie, Dennis Rainey, Randy Phillips (Promise Keepers), Josh McDowell, D. James Kennedy, Howard Hendricks, and Neil Anderson. (Conferences have been held every year now, but there is an uncertain future with Bill Bright’s August 2001 retirement from Campus Crusade, and with his death in 2003.)]
Biblical Discernment Ministries – Revised 1/2005
Tim LaHaye (with Jerry Jenkins)
The Left Behind Series
The Left Behind series of novels about events following the Rapture has been a phenomenal commercial success. The authors are Jerry Jenkins, writer-at-large for the neo-evangelical, psychologized Moody Bible Institute, and Tim LaHaye, well-known author (over 40 books), “noted authority” on Bible prophecy (e.g., Revelation Unveiled), and promoter of the heretical “Four Temperaments” theory.
The books have more than doubled both the profits and staff of Tyndale House Publishers (Wheaton, Illinois). More than 65 million copies have been sold (over 75 million counting the graphic novels and children’s versions), generating more than 650 million dollars in sales since first published in 1995. Twelve volumes are now in print. The seventh, The Indwelling, released in May of 2000, pre-sold 1.4 million copies before it was even released (total sales of 2.9 million as of 2/04), and some stores opened at midnight to long lines of fans. It immediately hit number one on the New York Times bestseller list. The same was true for the eighth volume, The Mark (3 million total sales as of 2/04). The ninth volume, Desecration, published in 10/01, had a first printing of 3 million, the largest-ever print run for a “Christian” novel. Book number 10, The Remnant, was released in 2002 with a 2.75 million print run. Book number 11, Armageddon: The Cosmic Battle of the Ages, was released in April 2003, and book number 12, Glorious Appearing, was released March 30, 2004.# [One must question LaHaye’s true contribution to the writing of these books. Pentecostal Evangel interviewed LaHaye on May 28, 2000, and this is LaHaye’s declaration regarding the place of Scripture in the Left Behind series: “As the series enlarges, I give Jerry an outline of the Scripture for each book, and he hangs the story on the outline.”]
In addition to the more than 65 million Left Behind series books, Tyndale House has sold more than 10 million related items, such as computer screensavers, postcards, calendars, board games, music, apparel, and collectibles. There is a Left Behind kids series (Left Behind: The Kids — 34 books published with sales of more than 10 million — targeted at 10-14 year-olds), an audio series, two movies, and a television series that premiered in 2003. The Left Behind website attracts more than 60,000 hits a day.
There is a serious problem with fictionalizing Bible subjects. Fiction, by its very nature, is not truth. At best, it goes beyond truth and reality. It is not wise to fictionalize the Bible. The Scriptures tell us exactly what God wants men to know, no more and no less, about future events. “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law” (Deut. 29:29). The Left Behind series goes far beyond what the Bible says, and instead, speculates about things God has not said. Revelation 22 warns about adding to or taking away from the Words of God in prophecy. Why would that warning not apply to the Left Behind series? One can argue that the books are only fiction, but will the intermingling of Bible truth and fiction not leave wrong impressions in the minds of people? Will the average reader be able to tell truth from fiction?
The fictionalizing of Scripture is an egregious offense in and of itself, but the theology presented in the books is intolerable (despite the publisher’s claim that “The series is guaranteed to be theologically sound.”). Following are just a few examples of the unscriptural things found in the Left Behind series:
(1) Large numbers of relatives and friends of Christians are saved after the Rapture occurs. This sends the message that it is possible to wait and get saved later. But the Bible never offers such hope. Second Thessalonians chapter two describes the coming of the Antichrist, and it plainly states that those who are left behind who have rejected the truth will not be saved, but will be deluded by God Himself.
And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; BECAUSE THEY RECEIVED NOT THE LOVE OF THE TRUTH, THAT THEY MIGHT BE SAVED. AND FOR THIS CAUSE GOD SHALL SEND THEM STRONG DELUSION, THAT THEY SHOULD BELIEVE A LIE (2 Thess. 2:8-11).
While it is true that many people will be saved during the Tribulation (i.e., Revelation 6:11; 7:14), it would appear that these are people who did not have opportunity to hear the Gospel before the Rapture. There are multiplied millions of people in the world today who have not heard a clear and true presentation of the Gospel. While we do not know enough perhaps to be dogmatic about exactly who will and will not be saved after the Rapture, it is irresponsible on the part of the Left Behind authors to present a position on this that at least appears to be directly contrary to 2 Thessalonians 2:8-11.
(2) The books feature the formation of a “Tribulation Force” to resist the Antichrist. There is nothing like this even hinted at in the Bible.
(3) Prayers to the dead is taught in one of the books. During the funeral for a Tribulation-era pastor, one of the leaders of the Tribulation Force is depicted as praying to the dead man (vol. 3, Nicolae, p. 315).
(4) New Age/occult out-of-body experiences are encouraged. One of the characters in The Indwelling has an elaborate and richly detailed out-of-body experience (OBE); LaHaye glorifies OBE as a good way to pray. LaHaye’s OBE account is identical with OBEs described and marketed by countless New Agers on the Internet and in myriads of occult based books (vol. 7, The Indwelling, pp. 232-248).
(5) Satan is in charge of the weather. One of the key figures in the Left Behind books is the supposed leader of the 144,000 Jews. In book four, he sends out a message to believers throughout the world via the Internet and makes the following statement: “Eons ago, God the Father conceded control of earth’s weather to Satan himself, the prince and power of the air” (vol. 4, Soul Harvest, p. 232). The Bible does not say that Satan has been given control of the weather. When the Bible mentions thunder and hail and such things, it refers to them as coming from the hand of God (i.e., Job 38:22-29; Ps. 77:18). Psalm 104 describes the various aspects of this present creation and attributes the control of everything to God. Satan is not called the “god of this world” because God turned the world over to him, but because mankind in general has rejected God and believed the serpent’s lie.
(6) One of the very questionable doctrines the Left Behind series teaches is that at the time of the rapture pregnant women will suddenly become un-pregnant (that is, the unborn babies will be taken in the rapture and will leave the unsaved mother, who is left behind, many pounds lighter!). A rapture for embryos! (vol. 1, Left Behind, pp. 46-47).
(7) The Christians in the books make major decisions based on their intuitions and human reasoning rather than on Bible precepts. For example, two of the heroes of the Left Behind series become romantically involved. Though they discuss the matter and wonder if it is God’s will, they get married and have a child in the midst of the Great Tribulation, with no apparent consultation of the Scriptures. First Corinthians 7:29-35 would have settled their question. Another example of this is the decision made by two of the members of the “Tribulation Force” to work for the Antichrist, one as his pilot and one as the head of a news magazine. They question the propriety of their decision, but instead of consulting the Scriptures, they “feel” it is God’s will. One would think that 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 and Revelation 18:4 would easily have settled that question.
(8) Easy-believism and low moral standards are promoted in the Left Behind series. Based on a bathroom scene where the hero, Buck, gets converted, it appears all that is needed to be saved is mental assent to God’s existence. Then when Buck uses his credit card to embezzle and steal from his boss, this “Christian” deems all okay because the theft is for the cause of Christ (and his boss is the Antichrist). Then in Tribulation Force, Buck expresses his embarrassment at having to admit to Chloe that he is still a virgin at age 30. In Nicolae, Buck tells Verna, an admitted lesbian, that “My Bible doesn’t differentiate between homosexuals and heterosexuals.” Also in Nicolae, Rayford becomes “angry at himself” for trying to persuade Hattie to not have an abortion, and later apologizes to her for hurting her feelings (p. 195). Later Chole, sounding like a Planned Parenthood counselor, tells Hattie concerning her abortion, “These are personal decisions only you can make,” and that even if she aborts her baby, “we won’t love you any less,” nor will God, who loves aborters unconditionally, “regardless of what we do” (p. 248). Later in The Indwelling, Chloe considers killing herself and her son, and Tsion wonders, “Is this a sign of faith or lack of faith?”
(9) Female Bible teachers are acceptable. Book three has two female members of the “Tribulation Force” trained to teach the Bible to mixed groups of people (vol. 3, Nicolae, pp. 354,355). Contrast this teaching with 1 Timothy 2:12.
(10) Book 4 teaches the error of infant baptism. In volume 4, one of the key characters of the series is pregnant with the child of the Antichrist! She wants a member of the Tribulation Force to be the “godmother” of the child (vol. 4, Soul Harvest, p. 390). That is language, of course, which pertains to the unscriptural practice of infant baptism.
(11) Books 8 & 9 teach that recipients of the mark of the beast can still be saved. In The Mark, “the Chang scenario” is developed, whereby a character receives both the mark of the beast and the sealing of the Lord. In Desecration, Chang’s dual-marking was justified in the storyline. The question about how a Christian can have the mark of the beast and still be saved has been asked many times by perplexed readers on the Left Behind messageboard, and was answered on the FAQ page at LeftBehind.com. “God looks on the heart,” says Jenkins. “He [Chang] was a believer first, and thus, always.” Notice that Jenkins did not say, “It is only fiction, so do not take it seriously.” He also did not say, “You must understand that in real life, no Christian may receive the mark of the beast and be saved” (cf. Matt. 10:32,33). [LaHaye and Jenkins also teach this “true Christians may deny the Lord Jesus Christ before men and still inherit eternal life” concept in their non-fiction book Perhaps Today — see LaHaye report for more details.]
(12) The pope is raptured away! The books depict the Roman Catholic pope as a saved man who is taken away in the Rapture. This is perhaps the most serious and dangerous error in all the books. It encourages the ecumenical movement and its powerful back-to-Rome emphasis. It adds support to the false ecumenical concept of “evangelical Catholicism.” Of course, for any pope to be saved, he would have to reject what his own church teaches. The Roman Catholic Church dogmatically teaches that works and sacraments are necessary to salvation, and that man cannot be saved by the grace of Christ alone. So with this series, LaHaye and Jenkins help Chuck Colson, Billy Graham, Charles Stanley and the rest of the Catholic sympathizers to further blur the clear line of demarcation between true Christianity and apostate Christianity.
In summary, the Left Behind series may be tolerable fiction, but it is definitely intolerable theology, and thereby, must be rejected by true Christians.
* This report (and the Notes below) was excerpted and/or adapted from the following sources: (1) “Left Behind: Tolerable Fiction, Intolerable Theology,” 6/28/01, FBIS; (2) “Left Behind: One of Satan’s Latest Wiles,” Raymond Blanton, The Perilous Times, Feb/Mar 2001; (3) “Should We Promote the Left Behind Theology,” Christian News, 2/23/04; and (4) The “Left Behind” official Internet web site (3/04 & 1/05).
Note#1: Books in the Left Behind series thus far: Left Behind, Tribulation Force, Nicolae, Soul Harvest, Apollyon, Assassins, The Indwelling, The Mark, Desecration, The Remnant, and Armageddon, and Glorious Appearing (released by Tyndale in March, 2004). [In late October of 2004, Tyndale announced three more book titles to be added to the series — two of the new books will be set prior to events depicted in the original book, while the third will conclude the series. The first new volume, The Rising, is due March 1, 2005.] The Left Behind: The Kids series, geared to 10-14 year-olds, includes 40 titles. So convinced is Tyndale that the Left Behind series has dramatically changed lives, it conducted a nationwide search for photos of readers whose lives had been influenced by the series. Winners pictures were used on the cover of These Will Not Be Left Behind, a book released in 2003; it features testimonials of those who have made “faith decisions” after reading the series: “With over two-dozen real life stories of Left Behind series readers, this book chronicles the miraculous way that God has used the series to change their lives” (3/04, Left Behind web site).
Note#2: In July of 1999, co-author Tim LaHaye filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court against Namesake Entertainment, the Kentucky-based firm that originally bought the film rights to Left Behind, and Peter and Paul Lalonde’s Cloud Ten Pictures, claiming breach of contract and requesting unspecified damages. LaHaye sought to have the original contract voided so that he can control the film rights to sequels and children’s video spin-offs. At the time film rights were sold in 1997, fewer than 100,000 books in the Left Behind series had been purchased, and some believe the suit was an attempt to renegotiate the terms. LaHaye’s suit alleged that Namesake representatives pledged to spend $40 million on a major motion picture that would be released in theaters before January 2000, the time when the public was most interested in the millennium. Namesake reportedly was unable to interest a major Hollywood studio in the project, and with its option for the film rights due to expire, contacted Cloud Ten. (According to the contract, Cloud Ten owns the rights to future Left Behind films.) LaHaye claimed the companies breached their contract by making a film of lower quality than promised (they spent $17.4 million instead of the originally agreed to amount of $40 million). LaHaye’s suit also states that he has been “caused … to suffer ’emotional and mental distress, including anxiety, worry, mental anguish and sleeplessness.’” Apparently, LaHaye’s “all-inclusive” contract with Namesake and Cloud Ten will also cost him millions in potential revenue from the planned movie of the Left Behind: The Kids series. (Fighting the pain of this potential revenue loss, Tim and Beverly LaHaye still managed to scrape together enough cash to give Jerry Falwell‘s Liberty University $4.5 million toward a new student center; in return, the new School of Prophecy, which opened in January 2002, was named after LaHaye, and he serves as its president.) The question one has to ask is: “If Tim LaHaye is primarily concerned for lost souls and the imminent return of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, why is he suing for more money? Does he plan to take it with him, or does he fear being ‘left behind’ and needing it?” [In March of 2003, the Federal judge in the case dismissed all of LaHaye’s claims.]
Note#3: In addition to many of the same doctrinal problems with the Left Behind books, we have a couple more problems with the Left Behind I film/video. (A second video was released in 2002 — Left Behind II: Tribulation Force.) The most serious problem is that the GOSPEL of our Lord was LEFT BEHIND in this film (actually LEFT OUT!). There was no gospel presented anywhere in the film. The name of Christ is mentioned only three times in the film (during about a one-minute segment, a scene where a video was being played to explain the rapture; the video was prepared by a pastor prior to the rapture with the hope that it would help people to understand what was happening after the rapture). Apart from this, Christ’s Name is never mentioned. When people pray to be saved, it is in the most general terms (“God, please forgive me”), and invitations to salvation are also very general (“You need to believe in God”). There is no mention of the cross (Christ’s substitutionary death), no empty tomb (the Resurrection), no emphasis on the sinfulness of man (man’s total depravity), and no clear presentation of the terms of salvation (God’s sovereignty in salvation). Any religious person who “believes in God” would probably think that they have met the conditions. Also, some of the music in the video was horrible (“Christian” rock music of the worst kind). At the end of the video, after the movie was completed, there was a review of some of the scenes in the movie with rock music in the background, along with some scenes of a “Christian” rock group performing with typical body movements and awful facial expressions as they sang a song called, “The Midnight Cry,” which was not even worthy to be called music. (Source: “LEFT BEHIND: The Gospel Being LEFT OUT,” George Zeller, The Middletown Bible Church, Middletown, CT; Zeller also viewed Left Behind II, and found it much less objectionable than the first film, albeit still with major problems.) [Return to Text]
Biblical Discernment Ministries – Revised 1/2005