It was back in the late ‘80s early ‘90s. I was sitting in my study working on a few things. Back then, we had an old IBM II desktop computer. The kind with the floppy disk and a CRT monitor. Not sure how much memory it had, but if it was a couple megabyte I’d be surprised. I believe we paid over $4,000 for it new! Yep, four grand!
It was late in the afternoon and I received an email. You may remember…the AOL kind. When I got around to opening the email it was from a good friend and a member of my Life Group. The email had a file attached. He wanted me to read something he wrote (he was a professional writer – that is he got paid to write). I took some time and read the file. Once I started I couldn’t walk away from it. It was amazing.
I finished reading and sent him back a note telling him how much I loved the piece and it was sure to be a success. The following Sunday morning in our Life Group, I told the group about the piece one of our members had sent and told them flat-out, “This could bring more people to Christ then the 4 Spiritual Laws.” I was convinced I was right.
It was several months later and his book hit the bookstores and immediately started flying out the door. In no time, it was a runaway best seller.
The book — Left Behind by Jerry Jenkins and Tim LeHaye.
Jerry, my friend who sent the file that day, is still my friend and I expect many of you know or at least are moderately aware of the phenomenal success of the Left Behind series. Next week (Oct 2014) the original Left Behind book will be released as a movie starring Nicolas Cage.
I’m excited for Jerry. He has worked hard for his success. What bothers me is this. There will be preachers from around the country that will attack Jerry, Tim and the “theology” of the movie (and book) because they don’t agree with the authors’ stance on the second coming of Christ. Why would they choose to do that? I don’t know of anyone who has a firm grip on the details of the second coming and the pre, post, or a-millennial positions. That is, one being right and the others flat wrong. Many think they do and that’s fine. But there’s little value in attacking those you disagree with.
Let’s be straight up. The book series was NOT about theology. They were novels based on one man’s understanding of scripture and a novel writer’s ability to craft that into story. It’s the same with the movie.
If the movie causes people to question what the second coming of Christ is all about – isn’t that a good thing? If the movie causes people to begin looking within and asking “Will I be left behind?” Isn’t that a good thing? It’s NOT about the theology of the second coming, it’s about the second coming period
Perhaps you don’t agree with Jerry and/or Tim LeHaye. Perhaps you don’t agree with the “Left Behind” premise. That’s fine. But supporting faith-based films, even if they aren’t the touchy-feely-leave-the-theater-with-a-warm-heart, is a good thing—isn’t it?
I’m not attempting to defend Jerry because he’s my friend. I’m simply attempting to explain it’s not about theology. It’s about helping people come to a personal and saving relationship with Jesus Christ. If this film does that, it’s a good thing—isn’t it?