Why Christians Should (Not/Never/Please Don’t) Use The Left Behind Movie For Evangelism

Below is an exhaustive list of all the reasons Christians should use the Left Behind movie as an evangelistic tool to convert unbelievers to Christianity:

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Yeah…so, here’s the thing: 

Uh. Yeah…No.

 

Tomorrow, the long awaited dreaded remake of the Left Behind series will be released in theatres. Over the past several months, there’s been much chatter among Christians about how great this movie will be as an Evangelism tactic, logic which flows from the same stream of thought that says a nuclear arsenal is important for world peace. At the forefront of such endorsements are sentiments such as those expressed by Duck Dynasty’s Willie Robertson who praised the film saying:

“…opening the door to unbelievers has never been so much fun.”

But anyone who’s read the books, seen the first movie or seen the trailer for this movie has to wonder what on earth Robinson is talking about. The Left Behind series depicts masses of people dying, planes crashing, apocalyptic terror and wrath descending upon the earth, and- have you not heard?- Nicholas Cage staring down the screen at regular intervals. What, exactly, is Robinson’s definition of “fun”? It all sounds a bit terrifying to me.

I’ve already written (rather long-windedly) about some seriously dire implications of the Left Behind series that all Christians should consider. But theological differences aside, I always take serious issue with any Evangelical tactic that is based primarily on fear. The idea of filling a room with people who don’t believe in God so they can witness a depiction of all the peril and terror they will face if they don’t convert to Christianity is just short of being classified as an emotional Crusade. It’s psychological manipulation, forcing people to make a decision based on the potential of dire consequences.

Furthermore, the basis of Christianity is not a fear of God. True, it is necessary. But do not forget what James says: even demons know God exists and shudder; even demons have a fear of God- but it doesn’t do them much good.

Because fear does not propel someone to give up everything they have and follow a lonely rabbi into the pits of poverty and despair. Fear does not prompt someone to be meek, a peacemaker, and humble to the point of self-denial. Fear does not propel you to take up your cross and follow Christ.

On the other hand: love does.

Christ never used fear as a persuasive tactic. Rather he utilized real, transformative, and relevant love. Love that was present, love that was selfless and humble with dirty hands, tired eyes and a crown of thorns.

The Left Behind series doesn’t depict such love but trades it for violence and wrath. Again (lest I be misheard) God will judge. But blunt, in-your-face proclamation of the coming judgment is not the means of conversion portrayed in the gospels or acts of the early church. And its foolhardy, to say the least, to utilize it as such now.

If you want to go see the Left Behind movie on Friday then cool, fine, go for it. Grab popcorn, a slushie, find a babysitter, have a ball. Personally, I’d sooner spend my time and money on an underwater basket weaving class than this movie… but we can still be friends.

But please, I beg of you: don’t turn to your non-Christian co-worker and ask if they wanna hang out then buy them a ticket. Don’t let your non-Christian friend’s one view of Christianity this weekend be one that instills fear; don’t let their one perspective of the Christian God be witnessed through a lens of wrath, violence and pain. And for heavensakes, please don’t call that “fun.”

Or at least don’t believe that this is something that will produce true love for God, true conversion to his flock. Because love, not fear, is what wins people to Christ, it always has and it always will.

So save your money, save your time, and spend it one something else. If you must see the movie, fine- but please, leave your friends behind.

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Other Articles On Left Behind:

TF: How Not To Do Evangelism- Slacktivist

The One’s We ‘Left Behind’- After Lunch Theism

5 Things To Consider Before Taking The Left Behind Movie Seriously- Formerly Fundie

 

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Why Christians Should (Not/Never/Please Don’t) Use The Left Behind Movie For Evangelism

  1. I would have assumed the potential for cheesiness and poor acting would have been reasons enough to avoid it, but you make an excellent (and fairly obvious) point I never even considered. Good post.

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