Confirmation of Prophecy by Proxy: Audience Anticipation and Reception of the 2014 Movie Left Behind and its Relevance to the Dispensational Premillennialist Worldview

  • Author(s): Burns Andrew R.
  • When: 2015-05
  • Where: University of New Orleans
  • Media has the potential to legitimize or spread a belief system to the general public. The 2014 movie Left Behind is an example of a deliberate attempt at promoting the belief system referred to as dispensational premillennialism (DPM), or belief in the imminent rapture of Christians. Producers of Left Behind (2014) sought to promote DPM to the general public, hoping for a mass conversion. Online discussion and interviews were gathered and interpreted qualitatively. Content analysis of audience anticipation and reception show believers were as concerned with the conversion of the general public via this movie than the movie itself. Differences between the text of the movie and discussion surrounding the film provide insights into the DPM worldview. Dispensational premillennialists are observed; rejecting earthly existence as counterfeit, asserting the general inerrancy of prophecy while rejecting “date setting” practices and using the effigy of the Antichrist to criticize perceived socio-political enemies.

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