Tim LaHaye: Left Behind Series

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Time to discuss them here, if anyone is interested. Has anyone read them? I hear they are anti-Catholic. They are all the rage among Evangelicals, who swallow his Rapture Theology hook, line and sinker.

I have a lot of disdain for this fanciful type and simplistic nonsense. It is the ultimate in Bible Belt anti-Catholic blather. A good book which counters all this is “Will Catholics be Left Behind?”
I watched the movies for the first two books, the theology is all wrong but the movies were very well done for low budget productions.

What impressed me the most is the author NAILS the nature of evil in the modern world.

I didn’t see any anti-catholicism in the two I watched, perhaps that is later in the series.
I would hesitate to call them anti Catholic. One of the key figures in the book is a man who was a formal cardinal I believe, but in the series it also talks about that there were a great number of Catholics that were “raptured”.

As books go, the stories aren’t to bad, but they are a bit strained at times. The end times theology of LeHaye and Jenkins is of the Darby school, and has the usual flaws. My father and I have been reading them mainly because we keep getting them as gifts!

All in all, mediocre stories with bad theology.
I actually enjoyed the books for a while, but then they got stale. The theology is all wrong, they are marginally anti-Catholic (more blatantly so if a person is already anti-Catholic I suppose or expecting it, I am not and was not so I probably missed a lot of it.) But they were really poorly written and made not believing in God til it was “almost” too late seem like fun so they weren’t even good evangelical tools… after all, who’d want to miss all that excitement. :rolleyes: [some sarcasm there] I think they might have gotten some people thinking about God, but then in the wrong way or confused them or even scared some people away because they didn’t know what was right and became more afraid of being fooled. So, while at first I thought they were entertaining, by the end I kind of got turned off and stopped thinking they had any value because they just sent the wrong messages.
Tim LaHaye has a long history of anti-Catholicism. He went to Bob Jones university, which is vehemently anti-Catholic. Here’s a relevant Catholic Answers article…

[False Profit

Money, Prejudice, and Bad Theology
in Tim LaHaye’s Left Behind Series

by Jimmy Akin
I read the books and currently have one sitting on my shelf, only partially read.

A friend of mine at work, a Catholic convert to Baptist religion introduced them to me and actually lent me several books. They prompted several discussions on the faith and I found myself defending Catholicism…and realized that although I was non-practicing, I actually understood the faith more so than she did.

I did find the books to be disturbinging anti-Catholic, but just the same, they prompted me to flee back to the Church for 2 reasons:
  1. I realized my immortal soul was in jeapordy as a result of my separation from Jesus Christ
  2. I couldn’t stomach the misconceptions about the Catholic church.
What did I see that was anti-Cathoilic? Well, first of all, Catholics which were “sedevacantists” were the ones who were raptured. In other words, if they were Catholic but did not accept Vatican II; The Pope in the book became the head of the One World Religion which fostered the anit-christ; all the remaining Catholics either became tools of the anit-christ or if they were “intelligent” they accepted Jesus Christ as their savior and became believers to the author’s satisfaction.

There were no Catholics in the Left Behind series; they were really Protestants, and anyone aligned with the Pope at the time was pretty much condemned to hell as they clearly aligned the Pope with the antichrist.

The Pope in the books was Liberal and I believe would never have become Pope in the real world. They did have a Pope lined up, but he was pushed out as a result of the antichrist’s work (am I remembering this correctly) so to do the authors justice, if the Pope in the book had been JP2, I believe he would have been raptured.

In any case, there is a very thin line. I’ve considered writing a letter of thanks to Tim LaHaye to thank him for directing me back to my faith and the Church, but for some reason I don’t think he would consider it good news!

I have a coworker, a converted Catholic to some Protestant faith…he doesn’t see the anti Catholicism…but then again, he left the faith so obviously he has already been misled and will not identify lies about the Church very accurately. 😦

Anyway, I guess what it comes down to is that I’m here because of those books. They’re hokey but do nail down the nature of evil, so I will give them that.
I find it ironic that “Bible Christians” will accept doctrines invented in the 1800s and take all of these books as if they were Scripture, when its all based on a few misinterpreted verses and desire to belong to some “secret club.”
Character Zero:
I find it ironic that “Bible Christians” will accept doctrines invented in the 1800s and take all of these books as if they were Scripture, when its all based on a few misinterpreted verses and desire to belong to some “secret club.”
Unfortunately, that “secret club” has appealed to more than we would like to believe. Although, I have yet to grasp the logic and appeal.
I think this is a very American phenomenon. It’s got pizzazz and market appeal. It’s new and improved. I mean, where else would theology center around people disappearing from their cars on the freeway? Also, notice that the elect are instantly swept away, with no suffering or sacrifice. Instant gratification and no nasty martrydom!
If you’ve read some of the Left Behind series and thought they were somewhat exciting (at least at first, maybe – though I agree the theology is all wrong), I have some wonderful alternatives.

Bud McFarlane, Jr. has written three great Catholic novels that are available through his website at www.catholicity.com. They are exciting, interesting and theologically sound! And he only asks for a donation for them.

Pierced by a Sword is the first, followed by Conceived Without Sin, then House of Gold. I would recommend reading them in order as some themes run throughout, although I’m sure you’d enjoy them in any order!

Also, the rapture is not Catholic teaching (maybe that’s already been said). Revelations, in part, is an unfolding of our liturgy at Mass! Scott Hahn has a great book – The Lambs Supper (I think that’s right) that is also most interesting and exciting. We already participate in the heavenly liturgy (in part) at each Holy Sacrifice of the Mass – how much more exciting can you get!! 😃
What I saw, again in the movies not the books, that really impressed my was the author’s potrayal of the seductive and deceptive nature of evil.
I didn’t see a Pope become the anti-Christ, that was not in the movies I watched. The anti-Christ is the Secretary General of the UN. He uses the language of ‘tolerance’ and ‘diversity’ to smother opposition and justify outrageous abuses of power. Basically the world gives him more and more power because he sticks to a message of ‘world peace’ and ‘unity’. It’s BRILLANT in that respect. I think too many people expect Lucifer to be obviously evil, to walk around with horns and tail. The anti-christ of the movies I watched was handsome, charming, bright and even appeared very humble - on the outside of course.
The other aspect of the story that began to take shape was the teaching of secular humanism as the one world religion. I could really see the message of the secular humanist movement and it’s natural conclusion. That religion is ‘divisive’ and ‘intolerant’. This message is being taught today in most public schools and nearly all universities, so kudos to the author for exposing it for what it is.
i guess i should start off by saying that i’m a protestant minister who is researching the catholic faith. so take what i say with a grain of salt (although, i was raised catholic i found my faith in Christ in another denomination but now i am struggling with issues that might bring me back to the catholic church, mainly the eucharist). anyway, i have read all but the last two and didn’t find anything anti-catholic. i also think the theology is not right. in the first book, the pope is actually “raptured”. it is one of the few cardinals that are left that takes the reigns of the “church” but as he is not considered a believer in the book the evil he does is not directed at the catholic church as i see it. although some could take it the wrong way, i don’t think it was meant to be anti-catholic despite where lahaye went to college and his past writings. i think more good has come from them than bad. they have gotten people to think about eternity and their lives here on earth a little more. we can fix the doctrines later. also, lahaye’s theology is not as widespread in protestant circles as the books suggest and most Christians can see past the errors he puts forth. overall, they are okay :ehh: :yawn: books. i only read them because so many people were reading them and i wanted to know what they were all about because i was getting questions on them. please know i’m not defending these books just trying to provide some insight.
Hey Bengal fan,

I would agree with you except to say that those who are already anti catholic use the books to say see, see, the Pope (albeit a unraptured cardinal) is the tool of the anti christ. But I do think they do bring some people to Christ.

I am a revert. The Eucharist is what brought me back to the Catholic Church. That and Matthew 16:18. Either He held the church from the Gates of Hell or He didn’t. If He didn’t, why bother being a Christian of any denomination.

I will pray for you on your journey. It won’t be easy. There are several books out there with stories about Ministers who converted to the Catholic faith. You can find them on this site.
God Bless
I got fed up with Left Behind years before I even thought about becoming Catholic. They are poorly written, and most of the pages are filler. A great critique of Left Behind, and Rapture/Prophesy theology is Will Catholics be Left Behind by Carl Olson. He was raised Fundamentalist and grew up believing all that. Among other things he deals with the history of the rapture movement back to its roots in the theology of John Darby. Another good critique of rapture theology is RAPTURE The End-Times Error That Leaves the Bible Behind by David B. Currie. Currie discusses their history some, but the bulk of the book focuses on the proof texts rapture preachers cite to proove their beliefs. It’s a thick book, but the font is large, and it’s an easy read.
**We just have to remember that they are fictional… this is not Catholic. These are fictional stories to get the public going on the End Times… but they are not real. **
The anti-Catholicism in the books is subtle. It’s not in the form of hateful words or anything like that. It boils down to the claim that the only Catholics who got “raptured” (including this unnamed pope) were only “raptured” because they essentially rejected Catholicism. So only the Catholics who are really protestants are Christian in the minds of the authors.

There was a good article in Envoy a while back (and I think an extended version of it was on Carl Olson’s website) that was basically just an email dialog between Olson and LaHaye. The anti-Catholicism of LaHaye is not so subtle in that correspondence. It is even quite “Jack Chick-like” at times. Bottom line is that if you are a believing Catholic, Tim LaHaye firmly believes that you are not a Christian but a follower of a Babylonian mystery cult that just incorporates a few elements of Christianity.

(Another good book on the subject is Paul Thigpen’s The Rapture Trap.)
SarahSmile said:
**We just have to remember that they are fictional… this is not Catholic. These are fictional stories to get the public going on the End Times… but they are not real. **

This is true, but we also have to know how to refute the real heresy on which the fiction is based.
I think the heart of the matter is that these series focuses on Escathology. If you really examine more closely, this “left behind series” is misleading so many people to believe that Christ will come to snatch the faithful and “come again” to judge the world. This sums up the whole series and I may conclude it to be “HERITICAL.”
Hello. Bengals Fan, I do hope you find your way across the Tiber and in the open arms of Christ in the Eucharist. My prayers will be combined with you as you search. Trust too, that the whole communion of Saints and Angels look wantingly with the Father, as he gazes across the field of separation, waiting to rush out to greet His son as he returns home. There is a banquet awaiting you upon your arrival back at the fathers house.

Gosh, the thought of returning Catholics really overshadows the original intention I had of using my recent education to shear open the rapturists theology and expose it for what it is.

The three books I have read on this matter are “The Rapture Trap” - by Paul Thigpen, “Rapture: The End Times Error that Leaves the Bible Behind” - by David Currie, and as mentioned in a previous posting, “Will Catholics be Left Behind”- by Carl Olson.

The Left Behind Series is littered with subtle Anti-Catholic sentiments. Its like the pleasant veneer covering that hides a malicious surface. I recommend that you all read some information from the Moody Press or check out a Scofield reference Bible. Gray’s Home Bible Comentary has some atrocious information in it as well.

“But thats NOT the Left Behind series” and we are talking about the series. Well, if you cared to examine further, you would see where La Haye and many of his accomplices have played intergal roles in authorship, financincing, and promotion of those very anti-Catholic materials I have just mentioned.
LaHaye, coming from Bob Jones U., automatically makes him anti-Catholic. His series is based on Pre-Millenial Dispensationalism. According to Mr. LaHaye, there will be a Pre-Trib Rapture of all “Christians”. This leaves out - conveniently - Catholics, whom he does not consider Christian, Muslims, Hindus, or anyone else who doesn’t believe the way he does. I might also add he more or less took the concept for his series from a book written in the early 1970’s by Salem Kirban - 666 (see link below).


LaHaye is cashing in big time on this, and will continue to do so as long as people believe. I watched one of the movies myself, and thought some, if not most of it was poorly made and kind of corny. But, understand, if you’re not well grounded in your belief, it will be easy to buy into this. I had to go back and read the Church’s position, in addition to what other leading apologists were writing.
I watched the interview LaHaye gave Morley Safer on a 60 Minutes segment earlier this year, and LaHaye went so far as to tell Safer he - Safer - wasn’t going to be included in the Rapture.
Guess Tim’s been given the power to bid and loose…

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