Adding to the copyright controversy surrounding the Christian end-time movie “Left Behind,” an author from Fort Worth, Texas, has joined the discussion questioning the accuracy of the movie scenario, based on the successful “Left Behind” book series.
Producers Peter and Paul Lalonde based their film on misleading 16th-century theology, said Steve Wohlberg, a Seventh Day Adventist, on his Web site, www.truthleftbehind.com. The site is meant to “respectfully question the Biblical accuracy of the Left Behind scenario.”
The idea of a single, devil-possessed bad guy who appears only in the future end-time period of the tribulation originated during the Roman Catholic Counter-Reformation of the 1500s with the Jesuits, said Wohlberg, author of the newly published “Left Behind Deception.” The purpose of the doctrine was to turn the eyes of Christians away from the Church of Rome, he said.
The concept of a seven-year period of tribulation is based upon misinterpretation of Daniel, argued Wohlberg, who has conducted Bible seminars in various countries including Pakistan, Russia and New Zealand.
“And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week,” reads Daniel 9:27 (KJV). “And in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate…”
Wohlberg asserted that for hundreds of years Protestant scholars, including the notable Matthew Henry and the British Methodist Adam Clarke, applied the Daniel 9:27 passage to Jesus Christ, not the Antichrist, declaring that Jesus “confirmed the covenant.” Conversely, Wohlberg said it was Christ’s sacrifice on the cross which ultimately “caused the sacrifice … to cease.”
Among the dangers that stemmed from the movie script, Wohlberg listed the notion that true believers “vanish” before the tribulation and the rise of the Antichrist, which could teach Christians not to prepare personally for Earth’s final days.
“Christians are being taught they will disappear before the Rapture, or they will have a second chance to be saved,” Wohlberg told the Baptist Center for Ethics. “This can easily lead to spiritual laziness and the putting off of one’s decision to follow Jesus Christ and build a strong Christian faith.”
Alex Smirnov is BCE’s research associate.