Posts Tagged ‘a thief in the night’

Rapture theology has been a hot topic in the United States for almost 200 years!  That’s a long time for a person, a short time in church history.

If you knew me, you would know that for more than twenty years I have been explaining to young people that the doctrine of the rapture is new in church history, is fairly localized in its popularity, and is not specifically taught in Scripture.   You might have heard me raise the question whether those who are “left behind” in Luke 17 are the wicked or the righteous.

But when this remake of the movie “Left Behind” got close to release, here is what has been bouncing around in my mind. Why are we so worked up about this movie? Why is there a race in social media for many Christians to debunk this movie? Why is it suddenly important not to be “left behind” in our public denunciations?

Will this be a good movie?  I don’t honestly know.  And I’ve discovered people have a lot of criteria for deciding what makes or doesn’t make a good movie. Here are a few I’ve heard.

  • It made me cry
  • It made me laugh
  • It made me feel something
  • It didn’t have any sex in it
  • It didn’t have violence
  • It didn’t have more than 5 swear words in it.
  • It had a good story
  • It had great special effects
  • The acting was believable
  • I heard it was good

Personally, I’m a worldview guy.  It’s the worldview of a movie that matters to me more than anything else.  That means I’m going to love movies like “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy or “Its a Wonderful Life” but be troubled by the message of  impactful movies like “Meet Joe Black” or “Saving Private Ryan.”   (I can hear the comments beginning already!)   I may be inspired and encouraged, but I don’t expect hobbits to give me  a treatise on redemption or look to a young boy to teach me about heaven.

I don’t happen to agree with the theology of the movie, Left Behind.  But I feel no need to denounce it.  I was positively influenced as a young boy to wrestle with the condition of my soul by a similar movie called “A Thief in the Night.”  As I look around me today, what really has me thinking is….what is the worldview of Christians that would rather race to publicly denounce a movie than engage in thoughtful conversation around a potential cultural event about end times and sin and a returning Savior?  Who is our audience?  Do we think that our theological purity proclaimed on social media is going to create an atmosphere of mutual respect, genuine seeking for truth and thoughtful dialogue?  Or do we care?

Are we just so anxious to be right that we don’t care who gets “left behind!?!”