Christian author Tim LaHaye died 25 July 2016, at the age of 90. Leaving a unique legacy for Christ, that largely consisted of espousing a particular eschatological viewpoint.
Making it his chief goal to educate people on the Pre-Tribulation Rapture, Tim LaHaye founded the Pre-Trib Research Center where a group of prophetic Bible scholars get together in proclaiming and discussing those few Bible verses that Pre-Tribbers use to defend their interpretation.
This is not to downplay the legacy of LaHaye, his books sold millions of copies, people heard the gospel, and people started getting excited about eschatology again. On the flipside, war lines have been drawn and dissension within the body of Christ has escalated to a place where the Pre-Tribbers feel the need to have their own club against the dissenters.
Why do we let the enemy bring divisiveness into our camps? Brethren rebuking others because they hold to a different position to them, going against the very unity Jesus prayed for in John 17.
And as much good as Tim LaHaye has done, he has spurred on the major eschatological divisiveness of our time: namely the chronology of the coming rapture of the saints and appearance of the Lord as promised in various places in scripture.
What matters is that Jesus is coming back in the flesh. Does it say that Christians are the rebuke those who have a different opinion on when that is? It says no one knows the day or the hour. Neither does anyone know if this occurs pre-tribulation or post-tribulation: all we have is opinions and attempts to fit scripture into the box of our preference.
Perhaps some have received pre-trib revelation, and some others have received post-trib revelation. Rather than calling other members of the body of Christ 'false teachers' instead it could be stated that this could be because not even Jesus knows the day or the hour, and He just gives snippets of the truth.
Maybe, the mid-tribulation (pre-wrath) view of the rapture solves all these discrepancies, because it is not quite pre-trib or post-trib, it's neither (or both). All we know is that God is not divided and He gives revelation for a reason.
Rebuking others for a view that is hardly blasphemous, since the rapture is in a fog of mystery until Jesus is revealed in the flesh, is damaging to the faith and the body as a whole. Does being pedantic about things edify others? Does it build up other believers? Or does it take away the focus from real issues and heresies that need to be addressed? Does it cause pompous arrogance to make you an affront to other believers?
I'm judging the rapture timing skirmishes by their fruit: and the fruit is rotten.
The truth is... in the end the only important thing is that Jesus is coming back soon. Isn't that enough for us? Or do we wish to be greater than our Lord Himself and know the date and the hour too?
The Bible isn't explicit about the time period of the Lord's return, it can and has been read many various ways for centuries. Let's stop being petty and concede that eschatology is a mystery waiting to be revealed. There are plenty of battles to be concentrating on now, leaving future predictions aside.
Yes, we should honour the legacy made by LaHaye, but with scepticism. It's good to have a healthy interest in eschatology, but Tim LaHaye himself shows that when it becomes obsession to the point of inciting a Christian civil war, we lose our focus on what's behind the eschatology.
We are to be declaring the second coming, not arguing nuances surrounding the second coming.
Regardless, RIP Mr. Tim LaHaye, and God-willing we'll see you on the other side.
Bridget Brenton sometimes shares things on www.101arguments.com.
Bridget Brenton's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/bridget-brenton.html