The heretical doctrine of millennialism was greatly popularised by the “Left Behind” series of novels by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. By the time Mr. LaHaye died in 2016, they had sold over 80 million copies. In 2001, LaHaye was named the most influential American evangelical leader of the past 25 years by the Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals. And he was a man who would have ties with the White House.
This “messianic drama’s” premise “has led to a remarkable alliance between Christian Evangelicals and the Israeli right. As a result, political views drawn from an apocalyptic vision – once dismissed as extremist and delusional – have not merely swept mass culture but have shaped the political discourse all the way to Jerusalem and the White House. And if they are taken too seriously, the geopolitical consequences could be catastrophic.”1
“In 1984, LaHaye helped to found the Council for National Policy (C.N.P.), a powerful coalition of billionaire industrialists, fundamentalist preachers, and right-wing tacticians.” They set out to create a strategy for the New Right. Its membership is secret, but was said to include Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson; top right-wing political strategists, Republican senators and representatives, Ronald Reagan, both George Bushes, and Cabinet members.
In 1999, George W. Bush courted evangelical support for his presidential candidacy and since the start of his presidency, Falwell says, the C.N.P. has enjoyed regular access to the Oval Office.
Those deceived by this false eschatology have had part in disrupting the peace process in Israel. “I was ambassador for four years of the peace process, and the Christian fundamentalists were vehemently opposed to the peace process,” says Itamar Rabinovich, who served as Israeli ambassador to the U.S. between 1993 and 1996. “They believed that the land belonged to Israel as a matter of divine right” and became part of a campaign by the Israeli right to undermine the peace process.
Benjamin Netanyahu used the Christian right to fend off pressure from the Clinton administration to proceed with the peace process. Jerry Falwell promised him he would mobilize pastors to resist the return of parts of the West Bank to the Palestinians. Televangelist John Hagee stirred the crowd with their end-time “rapturemania,” bringing them to a frenzy chanting, “Not one inch!”–a reference to how much of the West Bank should be transferred to Palestinian control. He also gave $1 million to the United Jewish Appeal. The peace process was thwarted, as it was again under the Bush administration.
And today again, we are facing an extremely woeful situation with multitudes dying, in part, due to false biblical teaching. All false doctrine comes with harmful consequences.
Pre-millennialism is the most widespread Christian eschatology. According to a Time/CNN poll from 2002, 59 percent of Americans believe [LeHaye’s teaching] of events in Revelation will take place. There are as many as 70 million Evangelicals in the U.S.– about 25 percent of the population–attending more than 200,000 evangelical
“That love of Israel is sometimes accompanied by racist hatred of Arabs. On several occasions, an Israeli guide on LaHaye and Frazier’s tour told the group that Arabs ‘breed like fleas’ and would soon be forced into the desert. LaHaye’s followers responded with warm laughter and applause.”
All enquoted text from Vanity Fair article