The Truth Unfolds--or is it Really Fictions?
By Gary Amirault
Part of my role here is to stay abreast with what is going on in the Christian publishing industry. I read a lot of books and I get a lot of material most of you don't see, the market side of this business. I get information like the top best-selling Bibles, or Christian fiction, etc. I am sure it will come as no surprise to most of you that the leading best sellers in the Christian market are fiction.
There are big bucks in Christian fiction, so many bucks that everybody is trying to get into the act. There is a very interesting twist to this turn of events. Here are some of the people who have decided to take a crack at getting some of those Christian fiction dollars.
Charles Colson is known for his Prison Ministries, Richard Nixon Watergate episode, and for being a strong voice for bringing Catholics and Protestants together. He has been esteemed by the Evangelical community as a leader and example of declaring the "Gospel" to the world. His political background has opened doors to him that has made him well known in the Christian world. Word Publishing has announced the release of Charles Colson's novel entitled Gideon's Torch. The caption below the title reads, "Don't worry. The whole world hasn't gone mad. Just a few doctors. And a handful of terrorists. And the President of the United States." Charles Colson's name is in letters as large as the title. Under Charles's name is the name Ellen Vaughn in much smaller letters. She is probably his ghost writer.
Pat Robertson is perhaps best remembered for his run for the office of the President of the United States. He is founder of Christian Broadcasting Network, Chancellor of Regent University, and host of the popular "700 Club." He has spent many years trying to tell America how to solve the problems of the world. He has been bold in trying to influence the opinions of Americans on many issues. Word has announced another piece of fiction entitled The End of the Age, a novel by Pat Robertson. In the promo of this book we read, In his riveting first novel, Pat Robertson takes readers on a thrilling rollercoaster ride between scientific fact and biblical prophesy...the teachings and imagery of the book of Revelation come to life powerfully as Pat Robertson brings readers to "The End of the Age."
Others, like Christian financial advisor Larry Burkett have entered the race for the big Christian fiction dollar. Larry has been used in a big way in the past to increase church funds through bringing into the church money management programs. Of course, the program put church finances first. He incorporated the Mosaic tithe into his system which was unlawful for him to do, that is, if he believed the New Testament. His kind of ministry is very helpful for pastors who need more money, but don't want the job of putting on the guilt. Larry Burkett will put on the guilt--for a fee, of course. Apparently the Scripture that tells us that greed is never satisfied is true. Larry Burkett has also entered the race for the Christian fiction dollar. (If you sense sarcasm in this article, your discernment is correct, and at this stage, I am not repenting.)
To my knowledge, the next individual has not written any work he has called fiction. He was certain he was writing the truth. Those of you who have been around Christian circles for a while, will remember Edgar Wisnant's book, 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will be in 1988. A friend of mine has had recent communication with Mr. Wisnant. The discussion centered around the book and the Pre-trib Rapture teaching. This friend of mine is a Southern Baptist evangelist who has abandoned the Pre-trib Rapture teaching. Mr. Wisnant told him his publisher made ten million dollars from that little book. People sent huge quantities of money to Mr. Wisnant. One man alone sent him $230,000! The Pre-Trib Rapture teaching is a big piece of fiction portrayed as truth. It brings in huge quantities of money from the millions who seem to be easily duped.
Hal Lindsay, Billy Graham, Jack Van Impe, Charles Swindoll, and the list is endless, all of them, have made great sums of money on this teaching. Now it is also being marketed as fiction, but subtly projecting that it is truth. See how the snake slithers, squirms and slides ever so deceptively into the pockets of Christians who are looking for a quick way out.
While writing this article I was told Tim Lahaye has added his name to the list with the book, Left Behind, written with Jerry Jenkins.
The November 13th issue of Time has also noticed the rise of fictional books by leading Evangelicals. They, too, refer to Chuck Colson and Pat Robertson and well as others. There are big bucks in this market.
Incidentally, I was told by this Southern Baptist evangelist that Edgar Wisnant's publisher sold the publishing company and bought an ostrich farm in South Africa. Mr. Wisnant told my friend that if Jesus doesn't return this year, he was going to pay off all his debts. How Christian of him. People, get smart. Stop buying this Pre-Trib End-time scenario nonsense, whether they package it as prophesy, eschatology, or fiction. It really falls under the heading of Lies, with a capital L. Please, please, please, ask the Spirit Jesus promised to send you to show you the truth in this matter. The Pre-trib Rapture teaching is based upon the selfishness of man who projects his own hatred upon God. We must let the Spirit deal with our selfishness or else we will continue to be deceived by these kinds of writings. Father, please deliver us from our self-centered, quick-fix mentality that we may enter into Your labor and reap a true and abundant harvest full of true food and drink. Deliver us from our inability to see past our own noses. Cause us to see clearly so that we may escape these lies and help others escape also.