A long-distance friend sent me an email asking me if I had read Tim LaHaye’s “Mind Siege.” My friend said:
What a tour de force on the destruction of Christian culture. Perhaps a little reactionary, but I’m enjoying the sections that walk through history explaining how things began eroding at a rapid rate back in the 19th century … .
I told my friend, in the kindest terms I could fashion, I absolutely would not read that book.
Mr. LaHaye’s worldview is part of the problem, not the solution. Here is my rather long-winded reaction to my friend:
Let me mention one major problem that LaHaye would naturally leave out of his book. Before the mid to late 19th century, Christians almost universally believed that the church would be triumphant and would gradually grow in influence over the years. They would cite passages such as Luke 13:18-21:
“He said therefore, ‘What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it? It is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his garden, and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches.’
And again he said, ‘To what shall I compare the kingdom of God? It is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, until it was all leavened.'”
But during the 19th century, a novel idea occurred, that the church would NOT triumph, but that instead its influence would wane and grow less until the end, when the church is vacuumed off the earth in a “rapture,” followed by seven years of tribulation during which there would be no faithful witness for the gospel on earth.
As this pessimistic worldview grew in dominance, the church increasingly drew inward, concentrating more on “spiritual” things and less on the passing cares of this world, since, let’s face, the world’s going to Hell in a handbasket.
So I’d say that it is the pessimistic, God-ain’t-THAT-sovereign, “Left Behind” theology of LaHaye that let the secular humanists fill the vacuum of influence and power that the church once employed.
Yep, the secular humanists get a bad rap. They wouldn’t have been able to do anything if the church hadn’t abandoned her post.