When ABC News questioned the Department of Defense regarding Operation Start Up and the game “Left Behind: Eternal Forces” after Max Blumenthal’s article, the DOD blinked. I’ve heard descriptions of the game, prayed they weren’t true, and didn’t really think it deserved my attention. The real concern is that users would be encouraged to think of nonbelievers as either potential converts or expendable points. Well, yeh, duhhh! This is a real worldview people! There are many Christians who are just that black and white in their approach. They are about God’s business and after the rapture, its pray or get the shaft! After the rapture there won’t be no more decid’n! The decision is made for you! How convenient! Depending on your having been educated and having picked the right world view, you are awarded the role of judge, jury, and executioner for God. Wow. Guess God would never be anti-death penalty after all.
But the real trouble I have with this game is that its audience is ready-made. Watch the trailer and hear Tim Lahaye himself say:
“I think it could be, for that generation of young people that are into video games, the number one most power vehicle for their hearts and minds that’s been invented in our lifetime.”
It is that kind of hubris concerning a product, that surety regarding his message, that is so indicative of this Rapture Ready message and merchandising. Before this game young people’s hearts and minds were just lost. Now with the game we have hope! Let’s call it what it is. Tim Lahaye has had dispensationalist Christians manipulated now for over thirty-five years. All that work, based on fear-mongering, jingoism, and a band-wagon approach to faith that lends itself to an easy reward mentality, is paying off with a generation. It’s inspirational indeed, as long as you get right now and get it right now, (as this ad says at the end) “this Christmas don’t be left behind.”