Tim LaHaye, Dies at age 90
As reported by numerous outlets already, the famous Tim LaHaye suffered a severe stroke recently and has passed away at age 90. No doubt he has a life that will be honored and remembered.
Many of the DOTB readers are not old enough to remember when Haye-day of the Left Behind series. Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins authors a series of end-times books in the 90’s that virtually every Christian alive either read themselves or had to discuss with other Christians. The series spawned movies, video games, and picture books.
Dr. LaHaye and his wife, the former Beverly Ratcliffe, were two of the most influential evangelical leaders of the late 20th century, forming what Time magazine once called “the Christian power couple.” The duo defended traditional family values in a radio show and later a weekly television program and became national political figures in the late ’70s after organizing several pioneering evangelical political organizations.
While preaching at Scott Memorial Baptist Church in the San Diego suburb of El Cajon, Dr. LaHaye formed Californians for Biblical Morality, which encouraged evangelicals in the state to become politically active. The group drew the attention of televangelist Jerry Falwell, who enlisted Dr. LaHaye to help form the Moral Majority organization that supported Republicans Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush before dissolving in the late ’80s.
Falwell told Time magazine in 2005 that the impact of “Left Behind” on Christianity was “probably greater than that of any other book in modern times, outside the Bible.”
Dr. LaHaye was a prolific writer — in all, he wrote more than 60 nonfiction books on Christian topics ranging from the biblical creation story to the end of days — but had been hesitant to try his hand at fiction without the help of a collaborator.
Jenkins, who had mainly co-authored the autobiographies of sports stars, helped him shape the story of pilot Rayford Steele, who turns to God after the Rapture and leads a group of born-again Christians against the Antichrist. The devil, in this case, is an internationalist politician from Romania who seeks to strengthen the United Nations and unite the world’s economies under a single currency.
Published by Christian publisher Tyndale House, “Left Behind” (1995) — along with books such as John Hagee’s “Final Dawn Over Jerusalem” and movies such as “The Omega Code” (1999) — was part of a wave of apocalyptic Christian books and films released at the turn of the millennium.
Writers such as Dr. LaHaye and Jenkins, University of Wisconsin history professor Paul Boyer told the New York Times in 1998, were “cashing in on the public preoccupation with the year 2000.” “The message,” he added, “is that you can’t do anything about what’s happening in the world. The larger pattern of prophecy is unfolding, but you can save yourself, so accept Christ today, and you will be among those who are Raptured. You will be saved.”
Many reviewers likened “Left Behind” and its sequels to the pacing of Tom Clancy pageturners, although the novel’s literal interpretation of the Bible and its violent conclusion, in which Jesus returns and kills those who are not born-again, were condemned by many mainstream Christian scholars and critics.
Controversy over Tim LaHaye’s other views
Views on liberals and secret societies
While he is celebrated over his end-times books and preaching, he is also known for being a fundamentalist and a conspiracy theorist. Among his critics he is known for promoting the idea that the Illuminati is running the world. In addition, he labels other secret organizations as secretly pulling the strings of the world’s leadership and largest events. Among them are the Trilateral Commission, NAACP, ACL, and claims that the liberals are being used by such groups. He also demonized Harvard, Yale, United Nations, the Democratic party, the State Department, Rockefeller Group, Ford Foundation, and a number of supposed liberal media outlets. LaHaye is, perhaps, one of the few famous figures that finds a way to tie in liberalism with the Illuminati and not many have followed in his footsteps, excepting Pat Robertson and some other TBN elites.
Views on The Gays
LaHaye released a series of writings in the 70’s about gay culture and published a book called The Unhappy Gays which was later changed to What Everyone Should Know About Homosexuality. He also tried to link homosexuality with 16 pernicious traits, including “incredible promiscuity,” “deceit,” “selfishness,” “vulnerability to sadism-masochism” and “poor health and an early death.” He speculates those who accept gays are so unhappy and those who practiced Old Testament capital punishment on gays are more “cruel and inhuman.” He has called the book “a model of compassion.”