Archive for end times

The practical results of Marriage redefinition

Posted in For God with tags , , , , , on September 9, 2017 by cavalier973

So many here in the United States enthusiastically supported the Supreme Court’s decision to “legalize” so-called “marriage equality”. They either did not expect or did not care that legally changing the definition of marriage would result in social upheaval. Here is what is going on in Great Britain following their own rejection of definitional marriage.

I imagine that persecuting faithful Christians, Jews, and Muslims is a feature, not a bug, to those who want to impose their version of Newspeak with regard to marriage and sexuality. I even expect, eventually, that laws will be passed to seize the children of religious people, to “protect” the children from their parent’s “bigotry”.

My message to those proponents of marriage redefinition (and gender redefinition, etc.): you will win on this issue, in the short term. Longer term, though, will see your devilry utterly crushed. Not a threat, not a promise, just an observation. Your only hope is to repent of your unbelief, and call on the name of Jesus Christ. His sacrificial death on the cross paid for your sin–and sins–and you do not have to experience God’s holy wrath. I don’t think you have much time, either. Soon, the Church will be gone, and your slim hope for salvation will most likely be through martyrdom.

I’ve been listening to Chuck Missler’s series on the Book of Revelation, and it’s been quite encouraging. I’m not sure I agree with everything he says, but his lectures line up with my own understanding of Scripture, and so I am enjoying them.

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Another post on Preterism

Posted in For God with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 24, 2013 by cavalier973

Someone commented recently that the “rapture/escape teaching does more to dishearten believers than any ploy the world the flesh or the devil might devise.”  Yeah!!! wait…what?  “The world, the flesh, and the devil” aren’t as effective as Scriptural teaching in disheartening believers?  Because the “rapture/escape teaching” is derived from Scripture, not from philosophy or theology.  Oh, that’s right, I forgot; all the promises relating to Christ’s second coming have already been fulfilled by the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, which is why we’ve not had wars since then, and the Church has been triumphant from that day to this, and everyone in the world  is a follower of The Way.  Oh, that hasn’t happened, either, has it?  In fact, things seem to be getting very much worse.  So…either the Preterist Jesus is a liar, or he’s too weak to fulfill the promises he made, or he’s not even real.  Here’s the hope the Preterist Jesus offers:  “Find a happy place in your head, and go there.  Because I’m not coming back.  Don’t look for me; look to yourselves, and enjoy the kingdom of God that I promised to build after my return to earth.  Because, you know, I already came back in A.D. 70 with the Romans when they destroyed Jerusalem.  All that nonsense in John’s book of Revelation about half the world’s population dying from war, famine, and disease were fulfilled by the destruction of a single city.  The Millenium is now.”

A link.

Quite frankly, any doctrinal scheme or theory which depends for its very life on assigning a particular date (or date range) to the composition of a NT book should be dismissed out of hand on that basis alone. [Note: dating related to establishing first century human authorship is quite a different (legitimate) matter than that of dating related to establishing some doctrinal scheme or theory.] In total contrast, recognizing, heeding, taking to heart the Futurism of the book of Revelation, does not depend at all on whether it was composed at some particular pre or post-70AD date; rather, Futurism is based on a genuinely plain, normal, literal interpretation of “the words of the prophecy of this book” (with all due allowance for genuine figures of speech and symbols)—in accord with the vast connected whole of God’s prophetic truth (2 Pet. 1:20). Preterism, however, depends for its very life, not only on the particular date (pre-70AD) which it conveniently, arbitrarily, and groundlessly assigns to the book of Revelation, but also on its departure from a genuinely plain, normal, literal interpretation of “the words of the prophecy of this book,” a scheme which is inherently forced to mysticalize/alchemize the God-breathed book itself—in isolation from the vast connected whole of God’s prophetic truth.

I prefer to keep my eyes on Christ, and on His return, which is what Scriptures say we should do.

Preterism, FTW!!!!….wait, what?

Posted in For God with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 5, 2013 by cavalier973

Most folks are familiar with the Rapture Bunny version of eschatology, thanks to LaHaye and Jenkins’ Left Behind series of novels.  Jesus raptures the true believers, and seven years of literal hell-on-earth follow, culminating in Christ’s return to destroy the statists of the world and free mankind from the evils of satanic government (my interpretation).  A one thousand-year period of peace and prosperity follows, after which there is a sort of “mini-tribulation”, where Satan is released from his prison and leads an army of unbelievers against the City of God, and suffers final defeat.  A new heaven and new earth follows.

This is really not a popular end-times theological stance, despite the permeation it has enjoyed in media and popular culture.  There are large swaths of the Church who reject pre-tribulationalism for a variety of reasons.  There are, for example, the “post-tribulationalists”, who believe that the Church will suffer God’s judgement along with the World, as a sort of purifying effect.  The “post-millenialists” believe that the Millenium happens first, then the Tribulation.  “Pre-Wrath” proponents believe in the Rapture of the Church, but not until the Tribulation is almost over.  “Mid-Tribulationalists”, as the name implies, believe the Rapture will happen half-way through.

There is a fascinating view of eschatology that is becoming quite popular of late: Preterism.  This view asserts that all Bible prophecy has already been fulfilled, in one way or another, and that all we have to look forward to is Christ’s return (if that; it’s possible, of course that He already returned).  Worried about the Tribulation?  Stop it!  The Tribulation happened way back in AD 70, with Rome’s destruction of Jerusalem.  What about the Anti-Christ?  That was Nero, Silly!  So, no worries, Mon!

Wait, what?

I have found that Preterism is quite popular with people who hold to two theological stances: the Reformed Tradition (also sometimes known as Calvinism) and Dominion Theology (which says, more or less, that the Church is responsible for bringing about Christ’s kingdom on earth).  There may be Preterists who hold to either one or the other of these views, but in my experience Preterists are usually proponents of both stances.  I point this out because I think preterism flows naturally from these two dogmas.  If it is the Church’s responsibility to bring Christ’s kingdom on earth, then what’s the point of the whole “Rapture-Tribulation-Millenium” paradigm?

There also seems to be a sort of “anti-anti-intellectual” movement for preterists.  That is, they are embarrassed by the garish nature of the pre-trib crowd, and so want to distance themselves from the “rubes” who don’t really know how to study the Bible, or something.  I don’t have any specific evidences for this idea, just a feeling I get from reading the preterist arguments against pre-trib theology.

For myself, I’m definitely in the Rapture Bunny camp, for the simple reason that Christ compared the last days both to the time of Noah and the time of Lot.  In both instances, God rained judgement down on the World, but He took care to remove His people from having to experience the judgement themselves.

Southern Baptists and Calvinism

Posted in For God with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 6, 2012 by cavalier973

Recently, a group of prominent members of the Southern Baptist Convention signed a statement “affirming the traditional Southern Baptist view of salvation” and rejecting a group they are calling the “New Calvinists”.  The worry seems to be over alleged aggressive promotion of the Calvinist theology to become the standard theology of the convention.

I don’t know why they are worried.

Most Southern Baptists will always agree with the parts of Calvinism they like (eternal security, original sin) and reject the parts they don’t like (limited atonement, irresistable grace). 

For myself, I don’t really care if I have had a hand in my own salvation, as long as I get into heaven.  The appeal of Calvinist theology is its logical consistency, based on how Calvinists interpret certain portions of Scripture (and hand-wave other, seemingly contradictory passages).  It seems to be the preferred theology of seminarians.

Here’s a brief rundown of Calvinistic theology (as if you didn’t already know this):
1. Total depravity of man.  Not that man is as evil as he can possibly be, but that man is always destined to fall far short of perfection–which is the standard if one desires to commune with a Holy God.
2. Unconditional election.  God elected certain people to receive His gracious gift of salvation before time began, and thus before anyone could do anything to earn His notice or favor.  The “Foreknowledge” part of Predestination does not mean that God “saw who would believe in Him, and so elected them to salvation.”  His election is according to His purposes, which we cannot know.
3. Limited atonement.  Christ’s sacrifice on the cross is only sufficient to redeem those who were elected to salvation.  There was no provision made for the salvation of the non-elect.
4. Irresistable grace or calling of the Holy Spirit.  Those who are part of the Elect will without fail become believers.  They have no choice in the matter; or, perhaps, they will always choose belief, just as the non-elect will always choose unbelief.
5. Perserverance of the saints.  Those who are called by God to be part of His Elect will perservere in the faith until God calls them home.  One can tell if another is really not a Christian if the other person turns away from the faith or fails to keep pursuing a righteous lifestyle.

As I say, I have no beef with God picking me for salvation without my having a say in the matter.  But the Calvinist doctrine seems to throw some serious slander against God’s character.  One must, for example, assume that God is a bit malicious, to offer salvation to people He never intends to actually save.  He commanded His followers to spread the Gospel to the world, and so offers salvation, then snatches it away again.  Not that the unelect really care, according to the Calvinist worldview.  They’re perpetually unredeemed, so they really have no idea what they are missing.

Calvinists themselves can be as insufferable as any evangelistic atheist.  Salvation is more dependent upon one’s acceptance of Calvinism than one’s acceptance of Christ, it seems.  Part of this attitude stems from having a truly logically consistent theology that appears to have strong Scriptural support.

My advice is that, if you are not a believer in Christ, and for some reason think that you can’t be saved because you are not part of God’s elect, simply ask Him to change your circumstances.  He exists outside of time and space;  He can always go back to the beginning of the world and pencil your name in.

A critique of Calvinism:
http://www.faithalone.org/journal/1995ii/Congdon.htm

An article on how eschatology (view of the endtimes) informs soteriology (view of salvation):
http://www.faithalone.org/journal/2002ii/anderson.pdf

This last article is interesting to me, as I am one of the scorned “Pre-tribulationalist/Pre-millenialists”.  It does seem that Calvinists (at least, prominent Calvinists like R.C. Sproul) tend toward amillenialism or even preterism.  I think they enjoy the idea that God wants Christians to take over the world.