Thursday, May 3, 2012

Why I Changed my End Time View - the Futurists and the Preterists are both wrong...partly

Long ago I became suspect of much of the teaching I was hearing from the Left Behind crowd. Futurists. Much began to sound almost weird and fatalistic. Not because of a lack of love, but because of a lack of depth and too much construing, twisting and attempting to interpret headlines into prophetic meaning that just wasn't there. People are still engaged in this quest every week on Christian TV. Jack Van Impe for example.

Several years ago I was introduced to Pure Preterism by Apostle John Eckhardt. It startled me. It's caused a deep examination of what I had been taught and believed. You can get a pretty complete summary of the preterist position here. I cut and pasted it for you. It's an ancient way of looking at much of the Bible. The Catholic Church essentially teaches this eschatological position. It's worth reading all the way thru. Convincing stuff.

Yet as I read the books on preterism, heard it preached by good men, wrestled with it, there was a thread that seems to keep showing up that disturbed me. All that the preterists say is true, but it's not the whole truth. It was too easy, lacking in faith and the revelation of the majesty of God. There is the potential for serious error in the Pure Preterist position. Error that can lead to apostasy, antisemitism and universalism. None of the good men who I know personally that teach this are any of these, but the Roman Catholic Church's use of the theology in preterism has lead to exactly those ends in history. The Roman Catholic Priest Martin Luther was a Preterist, and you need to see where that led in his view of the Jews.

There is an unmistakable pattern when you examine the scriptures that have been argued about. Deep cycles that seem to relate back to the warnings and events shown in Daniel, Ezekiel, Matthew and Revelation (to name a few). Things that happen again and again, the Devil has no new ideas. He keeps recycling his old ones. So if those warnings and predictions were valid for the days of vengeance, and they were, they are also shadows of things we have seen in history and are happening again. Patterns. Cycles.

The best explanation that I encountered comes from Ron McKenzie of Blessed Economist. He has a recent book on this. I have purchased several copies and have given them away to people open to hear truth. It's hard to have those old sacred cows cut down right in front of you, no matter if you are a preterist or a futurist. Yet if you don't face the truth, you will be in bondage.

The problem, there is an easy believeism to the futurist eschatology since there can be no counter to a not yet event; and there is a "no need to believeism" in pure preterism. I don't believe the word of God is ever void or without value. I don't believe that it exists simply as history. It exists for us to be able to spot trends, patterns and use the prophets to warn people of days to come. If we are to be watchmen, we must be aware of the schemes of the enemy. Every prophet has a responsibility to be like Elisha in 2 Kings 6:

8Now the king of Aram was at war with Israel. After conferring with his officers, he said, “I will set up my camp in such and such a place.”

9The man of God sent word to the king of Israel: “Beware of passing that place, because the Arameans are going down there.” 10So the king of Israel checked on the place indicated by the man of God. Time and again Elisha warned the king, so that he was on his guard in such places.

11This enraged the king of Aram. He summoned his officers and demanded of them, “Will you not tell me which of us is on the side of the king of Israel?”

12“None of us, my lord the king,” said one of his officers, “but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom.”

I hope if you will dig deeply you will see the error of the futurists and discard the fantasies they imply, at the same time, do not be content to simply consider the Bible a book of past events as the preterists do. There is so much more than either propound and so much less then our fantasies try to explain.

God is a spirit, we must worship him in Spirit and Truth...that includes our willingness to interpret the Word including our eschatology in Spirit and in Truth.

The truth is out there, now go find it.

Receive a lie and it will put you in chains, find the truth and it will set you free.


Anonymous said...

In what way does the preterist position (or something similar to it) lead, as you say, to "apostasy, antisemitism and universalism"? ....h.a.h.

Gene said...

Harold, If you read the whole Preterist manifesto, you run right up against a denial of Hell. Amazing. Which if you deny that, then everyone must make heaven..Right?

Then there is the position that the Jew rejected Jesus and therefore are condemned. The Luther position. It's right in the manifesto.

Third, since all this is just history and there is no impending world end, you can live like you want, apostasy.

I am very concerned with what I see in the catholic religion about this. They purgatory (universalism), Spiritual Israel with no consideration of the Jew...Antisemitism.

And Catholic apostasy is not hard to find.

Anonymous said...

AMEN GENE!! Not to mention the Pope wears the Mitre of Dagon (Philistine Fish God) on his head. Continue to be a light. Much darkness is upon us