Your responses to: Left Behind - Using New Age Imagery to Popularize Prophecy
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New July 31
From Chris: (Another response to Dean Winchester's letter) Could not help but think of all of God's people in the dessert with Moses, and their grumbling - "Oh Lord, Manna again", complaining and grumbling because the Lord kept giving them manna. Is not His Word enough! I'm sure it is a sin to just think it is not enough, and to write such, and one must ask God to forgive us for looking always everywhere but his Word.
I could not help but think of both of you while wacthing the Ten Commandments with the kids, trying to lead the few across the Red Sea and through the dessert, and toward a closer, much closer walk with Him, while all along the way, we grumble and doubt you, wanting to go back to Egypt.
If only His people would turn their eyes and hearts and attention back to His Word, Read it, their pastors beg them every Sunday to do such to no avail. They will be satisfied if they turn from all the milk to His Word.
From Michele M.: I felt a STRONGLY that I needed to respond to something Dean Winchester wrote (next letter) to you regarding "Left Behind". He said: "Try to explain to your 4 year old they can no longer watch Veggie Tales, and you'll hear nothing but a screaming tantrum."
My answer to him is NOT TRUE!! There have been things that I've ignorantly let my daughters watch (and enjoy) that I later found out were inappropriate for Christian Children. Upon explaining to them why they shouldn't watch it anymore, they ALL THREE accepted it and never said another word about it!!
See, I've taught my 3 small girls from day one the great love that God has bestowed upon us, and if they love Him in return, they will not want to do things that are unpleasing to Him. For example, they saw a few episodes of the PBS show Dragon Tales and LOVED it. When I explained to them why it is an un-Christian show they not only didn't "throw a screaming tantrum", they GLADLY quit watching it. (My girls were 7,5 and 4 at the time.)
Yes Mr. Winchester, kids need entertainment, but NOT things that God finds offensive.
From Dean Winchester: It seems to me that you are taking Rabbi Ben Judah's vision out of context. What the whole subject was about was Tsion Ben Judah was having a vision, NOT an out of body experience.
The Bible speaks clearly of them in Acts 2:17 - 'And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I
will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.
Ben Judah is young, in his 40's, compared to other Rabbis who are in their 70's, 80's and 90's, and that means he had a vision.
Keep in mind, Dean, Rabbi Ben Judah is a fictional character, created by fiction writers. Jerry Jenkins, who did most of the actual writing, followed the pattern used by New Age visionaries and pagan authors to describe their out-of-body experiences or astral travel. I don't know if this was intentional or not. As it is, any new Christian believer familiar with New Age -- or any student who may have read similar accounts in multicultural textbooks -- is more likely to associate Ben Judah's journey with occult experiences than with Biblical truth. As a result, they begin to synthesize the different contrary beliefs and turn God's values upside down.
It seems to me that your site is grossly legalistic and fails to keep an intelligence about it. When
people read these books, they understand for the most part that it IS fiction based on The Bible's prophesy on the tribulation AND uses Biblical fact with scholarly research, not one sentence is written without it.
Fantasies and fiction -- like movies -- tend to leave impressions, suggestions and images, not logical understanding in the mind. Entertainment has a way of bypass rational thinking.
I have often asked people what they learned from certain Christian books that carry significant messages. Few can answer that simple question. The values they learned and the vicarious experience they enjoyed bypassed factual evaluation. That's one reason why "edutainment" -- entertainment as an educational tool for today's self-proclaimed change agents -- is so effective in changing a person's beliefs and values.
LaHaye and Jenkins use the bowl, trumpet and other judgements in Revelation and prophesies from other books in direct timelines and write the plots with those in mind with direct connection, in reality, once the 7 year period of Jacob's trouble (The Tribulation) hits, what these two wonderful authors wrote could possibly be mild compared to when God pours out His wrath against this wicked world.
I'm sure you are right. In other words, the fictional account distorts or minimizes the true Biblical message. It presents an alternative version that will leave a pattern in the reader's mind -- as it did in yours. You will hardly be able to read Revelation without putting the various events into the pattern Jenkins wrote into your own mind.
Remember this warning: "If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book." Revelation 22:18-19
need to lighten up. Charles Swindoll wrote a book about Grace killers, those who are
legalistic in nature that try and impose their own beliefs in others in fact turn people
away from Christ Jesus because the legalistic
mind only cares about their own rules and imposes them on others for opressive means.
Remember, Jesus warned us not to call what He uses to teach evil, and He also told us that if we're to follow one law that we must abide by all. That means not to wear blended cotton/polyester dress shirts, that cheeseburgers are unkosher, remember, we're told in Mosaic law not to mix meat with dairy, that you're
forbidden to eat shellfish, your sunday night surf and turf lobster and steak at Red Lobster is not allowed,
and don't forget that you're to remain indoors and pray and worship during sabbath, no driving to church.
That we as believers MUST get circumsized, and that we must become ritually clean before we approach our
spiritual leader to pray on our behalf.
That makes little sense in light of New Testament teaching. Jesus fulfilled the old Levitical laws. They don't apply to us. But the moral law does apply. Please remember that following God's wise guidelines by His grace and strength is not legalism.
If Jesus lives in you and you surrender to Him, He enables us to live by that moral standard. In other words, He does not set aside or dismiss His eternal moral standards or requirements. Instead He works in and through us to accomplish His will and demonstrate His grace. Remember Phil 2:12-13 and 2 Timothy 4:
"Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables [or myths]. But you be watchful in all things..." 2 Timothy 4:2-5
who come across your site for the first time are inundated with nothing but negativity
their favorite forms of Biblical based entertainment. Try and explain to your four year old why they can no
longer watch veggie tales, you'll hear nothing but a screaming tantrum. Tell your wife or husband that by
reading about Tsion Ben Judah's vision that they're accepting out of body experiences, and you'll only get
laughed at or called a kook.
That's true, if the person or child has been trained to complain and grumble whenever he or she fails to get immediate gratification.
As for the "negativity" - keep in mind that I am not telling you or anyone what to do. You freely came and read our article(s). We only try to help Christians follow the God they love by helping them evaluate influences according to God's Word. He told us to do that.
Did you take time to check some of our more "positive" pages?. Take a look at Armor of God, or our Fun for the family section with "Carina's Favorite Books," or the Bible Studies or the section on Preparing for Victory? I will be adding much more to encourage everyone in their walk with God.
I am a
bookworm and love to research. In seventh grade I was told my reading comprehension was
level, I am a true intellectual and scholar, I understand what I read, it's rare when I don't comprehend what I'm studying.
You may have a ministry, but by what I see, it's based on oppression and lack of contextual understanding. Before you blast something, try and engage yourself in debate to understand the author's meanings. You are allowing others to blindly follow, and that is very dangerous, that in essense turns people to follow cults, and yes, some so called funtamental churches have accomplished just that, whether they be baptist, catholic, lutheran, methodist, pentecostal, etc. When a spiritual leader says that they're the only right ones and that all others are wrong, they are parading on dangerous ground. A good spiritual leader says that the true path is to seek your eyes on Christ Jesus to get to God, that they are sinners like the rest of us and that we need only God and Jesus. Yes, they try and discourage certain things, but don't disallow it like the legalists because they know that we all still need entertainment in our lives.
May I suggest you memorize and meditate on some of the Scriptures in our section on The Names of God or Scriptures for our Times or Eternity. When the real tribulation comes with its persecution and intense pressure to conform, you need to be ready to take your stand on the Truth. Don't let fantasy or "entertainment" distract you from preparing your mind for the real battles ahead.
Notice, that I was not giving you an order -- just a loving suggestion.
Dean asked that I include his email:
From Ashley:Much of the sequence of events that comes about in the Left Behind books are assumptions by the authors, yet it is based on the Bible. I just finished reading a part in the book about the "one world faith" They called it "Enigma Babylon One World Faith" in the book and it promoted tolerance and said that your religion is right for you and my religion is right for me. It says that we are all right (which is completely impossible, but lets not get started on that lengthy topic).
Then I read comment upon comment telling you and others who believe like you (me), that we need to accept other religions. I believe one said to "open your mind."
Not but a few weeks back, I was called a bigot on a message board b/c I told a girl that I did not agree with her Wiccan beliefs. I was not judgemental or hateful when I told her this, I just simply told her that it isn't right and that it won't get you to heaven and automatically I was a bigot b/c I didn't preach and teach the things that the world accepts. I look around now and I see the end coming. It won't be long. The wars, the focus on Israel, the locusts, the injected microchip, the pornography decision in court, the list goes on and on.
This world is sick and dying and God's not going to stand for it for long, he is going to snatch us up in the twinkling of an eye. THAT QUICK and we're gone. POOF--paradise. All I see in the world today are things that steal the glory from God. I realize that Christians are truly hated by many, I have endured their hatred on the internet and message boards and it is truly HEARTBREAKING. For example, one girl told me she was a Christian, yet she didn't believe all of the Bible, defends Wiccans, is pro-choice, supports pre-marital sex, pushes tolerance and acceptance, believes in evolution, and constantly puts down the views of Bible-believing Christians. LOOK at what we are living in. Yet he loves us SOOOOOOOOO much. Blows my mind.
Think of how wonderful he created life on earth, me and you yet we take the credit it away from Him and give it to some Bogus theory that fish decided they were tired of living in the ocean so they grew legs and walked away. We destroy precious babies and say that it is okay, these specially handcrafted gifts of God. We would let our fellow man believe in a self-destroying religion in the name of convenience. We would let them go to hell b/c telling them about Jesus is not the "cool" or "popular" thing to do. I CANNOT wait to see Jesus face to face. I tell him all the time that I await that day. Oh how much he loves you and me. I know he loves me b/c he tells me everyday.. I can't wait to meet my first love and everfaithful friend and father face to face.
What a wonderful future we can look forward to, Ashley. "Blessed is the people whose God is the Lord!"
From Judith Clark: I read with interest the two items on your site about the
Left Behind series, since I have read every book in it, so far, and also every book in
the "Kids" Left Behind, series, which I believe to be better than the adult
I, too, have had some hesitations about this series. Here are
some of the other hesitations I have had: 1-One of the main characters, who becomes a Christian after the
disappearance or rapture, makes an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate the
anti-Christ, which seems both out-of-character, and also possibly inconsistent with
faith in the word of God, which states that the anti-Christ WILL live inspite of a
fatal wound....for a while.... 2-A general, nagging fear that returns in some sections of these
books....(how much can we know about what God only will do during the
I, too, have had some hesitations about this series. Here are some of the other hesitations I have had:
1-One of the main characters, who becomes a Christian after the disappearance or rapture, makes an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate the anti-Christ, which seems both out-of-character, and also possibly inconsistent with faith in the word of God, which states that the anti-Christ WILL live inspite of a fatal wound....for a while....
2-A general, nagging fear that returns in some sections of these books....(how much can we know about what God only will do during the tribulation?).....
How much can a fictional author (even though I love reading about this) develop the events of the end times, when the Lord is going to determine these? I do not yet understand the answer to this.
3-I used to listen to Beverly LaHaye's radio program on the way to work. Usually it was quite informative and uplifting, even though I did not always agree with the general views of all of the guests on the program. One day there was a program on different temperaments that people have, which focussed on as few as four temperaments, such as 'choler' or 'sanguine'. I could not see the relationship between 'sanguine' and the traits that a 'sanguine' person was stated to have. Neither could I agree with the idea that it is Biblical to categorize people by these four categories, nor could I understand why any Christian would do so, nor could I come to terms that these characteristics were put forth in a value-free (seemingly) context. After this, I listened to Mrs. LaHaye's program much less frequently and with a much more cautious ear!
4-Of course, one obvious controversy about these books is the idea that there will be a pre-tribulation rapture. The Bible tells us that Christians will undergo much trouble and will even have to choose to be killed in order to avoid taking the mark of the beast.
Once again, I do not think that a rapture is something that we can know from reading the Bible. If the Lord will take certain people out of the way of harm, He has always done so from time to time, and thank the Lord for this! In fact, the book of Enoch (I think) states that all of the righteous people except for Noah and his immediate family, died before the Flood, and God made sure that they died so that they would not have to see what was going to come upon the earth. (WIth the exception of Enoch who was apparently taken directly to Heaven). It still seems presumptuous to me, however, to state that one knows exactly what will be done in this regard, and exactly how He will do it....
5-Might someone think as the result of reading this series, that they should not follow Christ now because they want to be involved in the 'action' shown in this book, that they want to be "Left Behind" in order to become a Christian "later"? I don't know.
6-As for the incident where a much-respected rabbi was babysitting for Chloes' young baby, and had an 'out-of-body' experience----I was irritated by this passage but don't think I have seen anything comparable in all the rest of the books.
I cannot remember---possibly the very words "out of body experience" were actually used here? Not good. However, in the Bible, John is 'transported' to a place where he can see a lot of things, such as what will take place in the End Times, and some things that are in heaven. I think that he might have been transported, rather than having dreamed this. The reason I think this, is that the Bible seems to use this wording!
Please correct me if I am wrong about this, or if there is other information.....but that is what the authors of this book may have had in mind here....(maybe)....
7-Maybe the crux of all my objections to these books is----that the main characters sometimes (but not always) seem to be painted as 'heroes', whereas all of the glory should go to God.
Alas, in spite of all of the above hesitations about these books, I have still read them all. I see that the advertisement, at least in a bookstore that I have visited. (Picture of a man's face with very demonic eyes.) I have the tentative opinion that these books can still be helpful if read extremely cautiously. I think that the examples of what various people do when about to be guillotined for not taking the 'mark' are helpful to me, at least, and what all of the characters do when faced with extremely difficult situations, are also helpful in many instances. It is also refreshing to me to read a fictional series that tries to take its basic assumptions from the Bible, rather from the secular world view that we find in so very many of the books written today, and also, in so many of the 'classics' that I read as a child (had a non-Christian world view!).
In my opinion, the "Kid's" series seems less self-centered, more plausible, and less cluttered with unnecessary incidents, such as the 'out-of-body' experience, than the adult series.
I would not want anyone to take my opinion on this. It is just a partially-formed opinion and certainly would welcome more comments (especially because I plan to continue reading the "Kids" series even though I am in my late 50's), but am not certain whether to continue reading the adults series.
Thank you, Judith, for your insights. I share your concerns but have only read The Indwelling. I have had no time or desire to read the others. But as I travel in the few weeks, I will try to read the latest one.
One reason for my reluctance to read these books is that I don't want people to plant images and suggestions in my mind about the unwritten details of God's end time schedule. He tells us that no human author can know the times or the details of end time events that He hasn't revealed in His Word. I want to heed His warning in Revelation 22:18-20:
"For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
"He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!"
From Dennis Monroe: When I sent the email to you telling of my father's out-of-body experiences before he married my mother, I had not read very carefully the extract from the "indwelling" book you included in your article (shame on me). Well, I went back and read it more carefully. The extract, as follows, is almost EXACTLY what my father told me he experienced. My father could easily have written this. He often told me how he would "race" through the universe, past the planets, etc., etc.
"He saw himself asleep on the couch.... He felt weightless, moving higher.... Though he knew he was unconscious, he had never been so attuned to his senses.... He raced through the vast universe itself, with its numberless galaxies and solar systems. The only sound was his own breathing, and to his amazement, it was rhythmic and deep.... the darkness turned to the brightest light..." From the Indwelling by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins
was one time when my father was soaring through the universe, and he was not moving
toward any light. He found himself moving toward a darkness, a blackness and a
void that was totally devoid of any light, and was unlike anything he had ever seen.
He found himself being pulled toward the void, and he could not escape it's grasp. He
became scared out of his mind, and fought with all of his might to break free of the
pulling of the void. After what he remembered as a monumental effort, he awoke
in his bed and was black and blue with bruises all over his body. This is what
my father told to me. I know my father was telling me the truth. What was the
blackness, the void that almost devoured him? I don't know, and neither did he.
The point of my telling this is that Satan can and will first disguise himself as an
angel of light, then the darkness will come. It is imperative that people,
especially Christians, understand this. Ezekiel 28:12-15 provides the following
description of Satan:
---------'Thus says the Lord God: "You were the seal of perfection, Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. 13 You were in Eden, the garden of God; Every precious stone was your covering: The sardius, topaz, and diamond, Beryl, onyx, and jasper, Sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes Was prepared for you on the day you were created. 14 "You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. 15 You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you."
This is not the generally accepted picture of a beast with horns. Falling into the New Age line of thinking (it is not really new age at all, it is no more than the old lies repackaged for the present time) will at first appear to be wonderful, and inviting, peaceful, the answer to all of your problems, etc., etc., but sooner or later, the darkness will come, the blackness, and if you are ever able to escape it, it will only be by the Grace of God. So why not seek His Grace now, and leave the New Age alone! RBC Ministries has a very good booklet entitled "What in the World is Satan Doing?" http://www.gospelcom.net/rbc/ds/q1001/ that describes the lies of Satan very well.
The Armor of God, America's Spiritual Slide and The Nature and Tactics of Satan
Thank you, again, Dennis, for sharing your insights. They help us understand the nature of this battle. I would like to remind everyone to find other helpful information at:
Dennis Monroe: I read your piece on the book "Indwelling" by Tim LaHaye. Even before reading your article, I had purposely avoided these books, knowing that they had a New Age flavor to them. I knew this somehow (by His Grace) and I have never read even one word of any of this series of books.
It is the same thing with the new and very popular book about The Prayer of Jabez. I have a dear Christian friend that has read this book, and she said that she though it was good, until I pointed out what was wrong with it from having read your article on it. Fortunately, the Holy Spirit was at work and she instantly saw the truth in what was wrong with it. While there certainly is nothing wrong with the original prayer of Jabez in and of itself, the book of course twists it into the thinking that "here is the answer that you have been searching for to solve all of your problems." This thought process, of course, takes you away from what should be your real and daily focus, which is the face of Christ, and not any other person or thing.
In reference to the out-of-body experiences, my grandfather on my father's side practiced the "black arts", as they are called. This man worshipped Satan and brought into the family all kinds of evil entities. He personally did all kinds of evil acts, some of which were so heinous, I rarely tell them to anyone, because most people, even seasoned Christians, will not believe it. He also died with a pronounced look of sheer terror on his face, most likely because he saw where he was going, even before his last breath. I do not know this for certain of course, because he did not speak before he died, and God does not directly reveal such things, but this was my father's observation of what happened.
I could tell you stories that would make your hair stand on end. I still battle with the effects of this man's evil ways, even now. My father and his sister had many out-of-body experiences, and from my father's descriptions, these experiences were much the same as what is described in these various books. He told me, however, that the day he married my mother, who was a Christian, he was no longer able to do it.
I thank the Lord that I have never experienced anything like this, and that He came and rescued me from all of this. I somehow knew at a very young age that if I chose to do so, I could have pursued the black arts, as my grandfather practiced, and could have had great power in doing so. However, Jesus was there way back then, and I renounced all of what my grandfather stood for, and I now belong to the Lord, for which I am forever grateful. I have only touched upon a very small bit of what I could put down on paper regarding the past of my father's side of the family. This may even sound crazy to you. I can assure you it is not.
The evil is very powerful and is very much alive. I have personally felt the presence of it, and it is a pure and absolute hatred of God and anything that has goodness in it. However, the love of God, through the Cross and Agape of the Lord Jesus, broke the power of evil. I love the Lord more and more each day. He has been so kind to me.
I must share an answer to a prayer with you. Quite some time ago, I was feeling not particularly grateful to the Lord for all that He has done, and I did not seem to have a very good appreciation for what He did on the Cross for us. I told Him this in prayer and asked if I could know more about what He experienced on the Cross. I thought that I was asking to be more "in touch" with the agony He went through.
Well, a short time ago, He answered me. It was not at all what I expected. I was expecting to learn more about the "agony" of it all. I do know that the Lord did go through untold agony while on the Cross, but that is not what He expressed to me. Here is what He returned. While on the Cross, Jesus had every right to call in legions of angels and to command them to destroy the earth and everything on and in it. They would have done so if He had ordered it. He was grossly rejected, humiliated, beaten, disfigured, spat upon and hated with a level of hatred that can only be conjured up by evil.
What did He do? He destroyed nothing, except sin, and He looked down upon the hatred, and all of the people there who hated Him, and with a love that no man can truly know or express, He said "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." This is what He did, this is what He showed me. This is the essence of the man Jesus, the God-man. The Lord is lovely!
Thank you, Dennis, for your insights and warnings. I thank God for His beautiful life in you.