Pre-Millenialism

Baptist fundamentalists are traditionally opposed to those who believe that the kingdom of God is now come upon us. In their view, this present world is ruled by Satan and things are waxing worse and worse and the days are getting darker and darker in preparation for the Rapture of the church (mostly for Baptists), the terribly seven year tribulation (mostly for everybody else), and then Jesus coming back to kill everybody who is left. Well, everybody except Israel that is. They get a pass.

While that viewpoint of the end times is well within the realm of orthodoxy and not at all restricted to Baptist fundamentalists, many in the fundy crowd have taken it in typical fashion and turned it into a license to focus all their energies on only one thing: soulwinning. For if the end of the world is nigh and people could only be a second from slipping into an eternal hell, then the only possible concern we should have is getting as many people to pray The Prayer as possible before Jesus shows up. Nothing else matters.

This explains why in fundyland most social concerns like feeding the poor and treating the sick are far secondary to this work of “getting people saved.” Unless you’re using food or medicine as bait for a gospel trap, there’s no good reason to bother with them. And anything having to do with environmental concerns is right out. Why spend time trying to save the planet when it’s all going to burn?

This reasoning also explains why a common accusation against those who are talking about scandals and evil being perpetrated in fundyland are often accused of “KEEPING PEOPLE FROM GETTING SAVED.” After all, what’s a little temporary abuse and anguish and torment? Exposing the truth will keep people away from our church and we’re the only ones around getting people to The Prayer. If you keep them from coming to our church then their blood will be required at your hand.

He that giveth to the poor…should probably be making better use of his time and money in these last days.

241 thoughts on “Pre-Millenialism”

        1. I am honored to be a proud owner of one of your butt-cushions and hope that I never do anything that will require you to take it away from me. :mrgreen:

        2. This is a temporary promotional campaign of special first comment butt cushions.

          Kim, since it is a special, first comment butt cushion, it can never be revoked. :mrgreen:

  1. many the fundy crowd have taken it in typical fashion and turned it into a license to focus all their energies on only one thing: soulwinning

    For what it’s worth, this is at least marginally better than what many other Fundies use the issue to focus their energies on: arguing about the Rapture. Some of them get so busy with their charts and Tim LaHaye study Bibles they don’t even begin to think about “soulwinning.” I know–I used to be one of those.

      1. Interpretational differences about the second coming, views on rapture, etc. were really the first things that caused me to take another look at what I believed the bible said, and what I was being told the bible said. The veil was well and truly torn when the most common reply to larger groupings of verses to provide context of a view opposed to their own was met with the standard reply “well, my pastor/parents/teachers told me ______ and I know they wouldn’t lie to me…”

      2. Yeah, I used to argue about it with friends in high school. Then I grew up. Zealous eschatology was the first Fundy building block I chucked when I got to BJU and realized everyone was fighting over something with a zillion interpretations, few of them apparently more legitimate than the others. There are doctrinal hills worth dying on, but this is not one of them.

  2. BTW, IDK if it really is within the realm of orthodoxy. It’s accepted as such since it’s so widespread, but would anything else concocted in the 1800’s, and requiring piecing together so many different prophecies & scriptures to get to be considered orthodox? IDK if it’s heresy, but it’s far from tradtional, or (I forget the term for it, but) the easy understanding of a text on initial reading, and it’s far removed from either of those.

    1. It is orthodox to the extend that it is not antithetical to any major doctrine, does not in and of itself pervert the gospel, and does not violate any of the historic creeds.

      Nicene Creed: “He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.”

      Apostles Creed: “He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.”

      1. The Orthodox/orthodox Creed:

        “He shall come again in glory to judge the quick & the dead, Whose Kingdom shall have no end. Amen.”

        The Chiliast/Rapturist Creed:

        “He shall almost come again secretly, but not technically because His feet don’t touch the ground, and snatch up those who said the sinner’s prayer with sincerity at some point, and then He shall come again again, but this time for real, to judge those who were not already taken up in coming 1.5, Whose Kingdom shall last exactly 1,000 years, and then stop, and then start again, and then shall have no end. Ay-men.”

        1. πŸ™‚

          I won’t call pre-mil nonsense heresy, but there’s quite a bit of space between that & either of the creeds mentioned. Mo summed up pre-mil pretty well IMHO.

        2. I think Reader Mo’s summary is spot-on.
          Pre-millenialism strikes me as being a lot of wild extra-Biblical speculation about future events that even Jesus said are not ours to know. It requires taking on faith a lot of very labored interpolations of Scriptures whose meaning is obscure, in many cases, or that do not seem to mean what the pre-millenialists say they mean, in other cases. That doesn’t strike me as orthodoxy.

          Yes, the ancient creeds, and some Scriptures, do indicate some kind of Second Coming, but they give no details and no timelines.

          Claiming some esoteric ability to decode that which is hidden from the rest of us is, at best, a kind of Gnosticism.

        3. Hahahaaaaa, beautiful. Made me burst out a laugh.
          It’s funny the things you always just assumed were correct because you . . . assumed they were correct.
          (Also knownas: don’t let your kid read the Left Behind series and go on to assume it’s theologically unquestionable)

    2. Apparently–and I haven’t read on this in a while so take this for what it’s worth–there was a minority of theologians in late antiquity who ascribed to something with at least a passing resemblance to modern pre-mil eschatology. But it was a late development (not unlike modern pre-mil) and never got more than token support from Christians. So yeah–not traditional by any means, despite what the Trail of Blood would have you believe.

      1. Yes–it was called Chilliasm and was very early and very prevalent. Walvoord and alot of the Dallas Theological guys have written extensively on/about it.

        It is almost identical to pre-mill except the 7 dispensations part(s).

        1. and the Church/Israel distinction, and the Great Parenthesis in history, and the Jews thwarting God’s plan of Law salvation and proposing grace salvation to the Gentiles, and then starting back over with the Jews again.. otherwise it’s the same πŸ™‚

  3. The Rapture thing has gained such widespread acceptance in the fundie and evangelical world that unfortunately most conservative Christians assume that it is THE Biblical view. They don’t know of, and have never heard, any alternatives. Nor are they aware (as RobM suggests) that it was concocted in the 1800s by the Irish lawyer and lay preacher John Nelson Darby and popularized by Scofield and Chafer.

    It always surprises people when I tell them I don’t believe in the Rapture. They automatically assume that that means I don’t believe in the Second Coming. I have to go to lengths to explain they’re not the same thing.

    1. I went the other way–from Amill to post mill to pre mill because it is the only way to even comprehend alot of scripture. Other systems are forced to ignore or allegorize away enormous amounts of scripture.

      When I was at a certain school in Pensacola Florida I shocked people by debating and not amen-ing what was preached.

      Never woulda thought that later I would agree with the basic tenets .

      No sense in arguing about it though.

      1. I was taught pre-mill from a child, and have examined the others, but I would simply have no idea how to fit so much scripture into some of the other beliefs, it appears to me that pre-mill fits the scriptures the best, but I have no desire to argue about it with anyone. I’m having a hard time understanding why just because it happens to be a prededominant fundy belief some here just want to make it out to be a crazy belief, as though they know exactly what the future holds, sounds just like the fundies, doesn’t it?

  4. Heh. I’m a pre-milennial myself, but what you say couldn’t be more true. Surely we should always act in a Christ-like manner and perhaps even make it clear that we are available to talk about the Bible if someone wants to do so, but somehow I doubt Christ would want us to be SO focused on “soul-winning” that we overlook other aspects of being a Christian. You can reach a lot more people through kindess and generosity than by just screaming about how they’re going to hell.

    1. I had a fairly progressive Bible prof at Fundy U (he used a TNIV! Gasp!) who, when asked about eschatology in class, said, “My view on the end times: Jesus wins.” And then he moved on.

    2. I like the “surprise me” approach. It goes well with mine: “Is it possible that John just got some really bad berries on Patmos? My husband had some very similar vision once when he was really sick.”

  5. This is a facebook response to my wife’s posting the 20/20 abuse video on her page:

    “Wow! I don’t think I like being linked with monsters like that! There is no excuse for things like that, but all Independent Fundamental Baptist churches can’t be lumped together like that either.”

    I think you dealt with this being one of the three reactions you will get when you expose this stuff!
    This attitude pretty much conveys what you are saying in this post.

  6. I remember literally freaking out when I started studying this out in college. Freaking because I just couldn’t jive the pre-trib, pre-mil that I was taught all my life with what I read from the Bible. It is a scary thing when tradition smacks against Scripture.

  7. BTW Darrell, the term Rapture does not occur in the KJV. It is called the Ò€œCatching Away,Ò€ so I would appreciate it if all future posts would refer to it as such

    1. Excellent point, it was mistranslated from the KJV into the greek & latin to come up with something to then transliterate!

      Pre-Catching Away-ers unite! LOL

        1. I saw her eyeing it, but I made it of indestructible foam on the outside and on the inside, its made of the material used to make HF’s bullet-proof vest.

          It weighs 15 pounds, but it’ll last.

          (Needless to say, the arms get a work out from toting it back and forth between the different sides of the church) :mrgreen:

        2. No, there was CAPSLOCK SHIRLEY and then, Suzan.

          CAPSLOCK insisted on making her points by shouting (without preaching, of course) and then Suzan was the one who tried to make us all proper, clean-speaking people (perhaps believing she had the gift of miracles).

        3. susan, shirley … whatever. just another shouting woman. like there is any other kind. you’re all the same. HAHA

          fully expecting a limited edition, Justin Bieber cushion to be revoked for this comment

    1. that’s what i said, around age 14. i was like: ‘it is right frakkin’ there! how can you contravene that into some twisted interpretation?!’

    2. I agree. That is one passage that has revolutionized my way of thinking.
      It is amazing to read the Bible for what it says, not what I think it says.

      Fundy logic:
      In the Bible, wine doesn’t really mean wine, dancing doesn’t really mean dancing and giving to the poor means something else. Yet they claim to believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible. πŸ™„

      1. Nobody takes everything in the Bible literally. Nobody.
        Hasidic Jews come the closest (but only as regards the Hebrew scriptures, of course).

  8. Is this chart from Clarence Larkin’s “The Greatest Book on Dispensational Truth in the World”? A guy at BJU gave me that book, and I turned around and sold it for about $50 on Amazon a few months later. πŸ™‚

    1. I still have all Larkin’s books. Loved those when I was a funnymentalist. Maybe I should see what I can get for them on eBay … thanks for the idea.

    2. Oh the memories! This book was THE big thing back in the late 60s when I was young teen,just saved, and first time in fundyland. The pastor kept people’s attention with end-times stuff better than good biblical how-to-live-the-Christian-life teaching. This was sensational and mysterious. In ’92 I was visitng in a mission church service on the Navajo Rez. This chart was blown up huge for the Sunday school class. Though Navajo was the only language spoken, I had no problem following along. Talk about indoctrination!

  9. I get the teachings [b]to an extent.[/b], but the astronomical amount of time spent teaching these complicated doctrines was insane. First we would be in Revelation; then youÒ€ℒd swing by Daniel, then on to other minor prophets. A little verse here, and a little verse there, here a verse, there a verse, everywhere a verse, verse. It was all so confusing.

    70 weeks equals 70 years, but also 7000 years. Minus the years of Jacobs trouble. But JacobÒ€ℒs Trouble time was ACTUALLY measured in days. Then a trumpet would sound, but not this was the third trumpet not the sixth, so that means Ò€¦. wait a minute where were we? (BTW, now you can see where the dexterity with numbers comes from. I sat through what seems like years of this stuff)

    Then we would be taught pre-trib, mid-trib, post-trib and no-trib. We would get all the bible verses that these false doctrines used, why these verses were being taken out of context, what verses we should use to refute these false doctrines, and then the verse that proved what we were being taught was correct: I was 9 years old. OVERLOAD!

    1. I always had a hard time not laughing at the people would would heatedly debate whether the seals/trumpets/bowls were simultaneous, or sequential.

    2. Shoes – your description reminds of the mental gymnastics and scripture twising that would take place to prove that Jesus was not crucified on a Friday, like those evil Catholics believe.
      It was really on a Wednesday. Or was it Thursday? I can never remember. :mrgreen:

      1. As far as I know most fundies that claim it wasn’t Friday say it was Wednesday. I’ve heard there are Thursday crucifixion people, I’ve never met one.

        1. And they all think they are such deep thinkers for realizing that Friday @ 6PM to Sunday @ 6AM isn’t 72 hours.

        2. They do exist, I grew up in just such a church. Even included the 6 hour fast mid-day when Jesus hung on the cross.

        3. OK, so Wednesday I can understand (that is technically three full days in there) and Friday is also quite reasonable, but Thursday? Where is the logic in that, or are those sorts just trying to be different from everyone else for the lulz?

        4. @Annie Moose: Thursday to Sunday is three days. (At any rate that was my “logic” back when I was a fundy teen. 😳 ) I believe I’ve heard entire “sermons” preached as to why Jesus died on a Wednesday/Thursday.

      2. it was ok to celebrate Jesus birth on December 25 every year but by golly, don’t you dare say he died on a Friday. And HOW on earth is Resurection Sunday calculated? (we Cannot, we Will not call it Easter, for that is a pagan holiday, unlike Christmas … oh wait)It IS ok for R.S. to beon a totally different day every year, even in a diffferent month, but remembering he died on Friday …. oh heck no!

        1. lol Christmas and Easter both are part of the Church calendar that fundies don’t recognize.

      3. Even though the Bible clearly says friday. I think the word is actually, literally “pre-sabbath” in the Greek. The day before the Sabbath. One idiot even told me “There are two Sabbaths in that week.”

        1. It’s not as idiotic as it sounds. I don’t think the Wednesday crucifixion people are correct, but the Jewish high holy days fall on whatever day of the week they fall on and are generally considered “high sabbath” even though they may or may not be on Saturday.

        2. Paraskevi (or something like it) is Friday, and it means “day of preparation”. Savvaton is Saturday and is, of course “Sabbath”. Kyriaki is Sunday which means “The Lord’s Day”.

          It seems this Thursday crucifixion business comes up every year during the week before Western Easter.

          (quick side note: wanna annoy a fundy? tell them that the day they celebrate Easter is determined by the Vatican’s calculations. Then remind them that the Eastern & Oriental Churches have a different way of determining the date of Easter. Then ask them why their pastor decided to celebrate according to the Pope’s calendar. Now run.)

          Anyway, like the trail of blood and the kjv only movement, it’s just a bunch of fundies trying to sound like they’re not anti-intellectual rubes devoid of any historical precedent or context for their beliefs and/or practices.

        1. i just spent the last five minutes cross-eyed.

          i always hated those magic eye things. i just see blotches.

        2. For real? I just made that up. If someone actually sees Bieber I would be amazed. For the record, I’ve never gotten a magic eye thing to work either, it just sounded funny to me.

        3. I can’t see a doggone thing in those Magic Eye pictures.
          Oh, shoot, I said “doggone.” I’ve got to watch my language.
          Oh, fiddlesticks, I said “shoot.”
          Dadgum it, now I said “fiddlesticks.”
          … Uh- oh, now I said “Dadgum.” …

        4. That’s IT, Gary. I can’t f***in’ sit beside you and your damn language. I’m taking my f***in’ butt cushion and moving it to the OTHER side of the church.

          I’m just tired of the damn shit.

          πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

          (good goshamighty, where’s the Lifebuoy?)

    3. It 3 or 4 takes a mental cramps to figure all these models out, and they still criticize Covenant Theologians for interpreting prophecy allegorically (à la James, in Acts 15:16).

    4. Shoes, well put. I was a around the same age. Mental gymnastics at best. I now think the confusion WAS the point. Thinking through that flim flammery was like running in knee deep sand.

  10. On the chart under “War in Heaven”, it looks to me like Michael is casting a giant hedgehog out of heaven. He looks a bit concerned.

    (Upon enlarging the chart, the hedgehog’s face resolves itself into the dragon’s tail.)

    1. I know that’s supposed to be a dragon. Most of the stuff on this (and really all the end times charts I’ve ever seen) look more like Rorschach test ink blots than whatever they are supposed to be. I like zoomed in on that dragon 300%, and if someone didn’t tell you that was a dragon, I don’t know how you would know it was.

  11. As a complete recovering fundy, now a 5-point Calvinist that believes in amillenialism – this was the hardest thing for me to let go of – because growing up, the rapture/tribulation was mentioned daily in my life.

    And the nugget about not helping the poor and sick is completely true. I never heard of churches doing service projects until I was out of fundy circles.

    1. This Catholic has the same problem! Our church doesn’t believe in a rapture at all, but I’m always having to remind myself of it.

      The hardest part is that no one understands it anymore when I joke about how I must’ve missed the rapture.

  12. Margret McDonald??, J.N.Darby, C.I.Scofield, Clarence Larkin, Tim LeHay, John Hege…. Can all of these be so wrong?? (**any body take that comment seriously and we’ll step out back for some ear boxing**)
    One of the Uglies church splits I have ever witnessed and had the misfortune to have been a part of, was over this very subject. The bi-vocational “pastor” used the Pri-trip/pre-mil “Baptist” doctrine to run off a teaching elder and solidify his grasp on the church. In the name of doctrinal purity he made a power play that was just un-believe-able.
    Because of that I gave up on the whole escatology thingy.

  13. The argument FOR the Rapture’s “newness” is that “the seals are being broken, more is being revealed as the last days are upon us …”. Hear this ALL the time.

    See Harold Camping for more details! :mrgreen:

  14. After seeing this chart I had to go digging through my closets until I found my notebooks from my classes at Fundy U.
    I had to reproduce one of these charts by hand for an exam! The drawings, the verses and the mental gymnastics.
    I did not do well on the test. That is probably due to the fact that I never quite understood the plot.

    When I was a kid we had prophecy conferences at our church occasionally. Some man came one year with a chart like this one except it was wall-sized. He hung it up and spent the whole week teaching from one end of it to the other.
    It was so dry many of us were concerned that a spark of static electricity would set his sermons ablaze uncontrollably.

  15. The last fundy church I was a member of (before leaving the movement altogether) was a bit more moderate than some. We supported a missionary who dropped his pre-trib position and was studying other positions. He lost a lot of support from fundy churches, but our church raised his support to let him know that we believed that eschatology shouldn’t be an issue of separation.

  16. I loved this doctrine when we finally moved to a church that had it. The church I went to until I was about 14 insisted that Christians would endure most if not all of the tribulation and then be raptured right before God wipes out the earth. It terrified me to think of endjuring all of those plauges and persecution.

    1. But we are never promised a “comfortable” Christian life. The Pre-trib doctrine is promising that you will not have to endure any pain and suffering, just *snap* and you are living the good life… I can’t find that anywhere in scripture. God’s people have always suffered through the trials and tribulation just like everybody else. So this idea that Christians will get a free pass while the world suffers is rather disingenuous, and misleading to what it is to live the Christian life.

  17. We had a end-times chart in our Awana JV room. The illustrations were abominable.

    Out of naive post-fundy ignorance, I must confess that I have not explored alternate theories to the pre-millennium viewpoint. Can anyone tell me what are the main reasons for throwing this theory out, and what resources would you recommend for learning the basics about other theories?

    It’s been really hard since I left fundamentalism (in my head, haven’t left the church yet) figuring out these things. I’m not sure how I feel about the Bible in it’s entirety, which pretty much changes the rest of my views as well. Not trying to be heretical, but there’s no use in lying about it since God knows anyways. May as well explore the options available.

    1. Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem is a great resource.

      It is a big book, but it can be used as a reference for questions like yours.

      It’ll help you (or anyone) understand the differing end times views as well as answer your questions regarding whether scripture can be trusted.

    2. Out of naive post-fundy ignorance, I must confess that I have not explored alternate theories to the pre-millennium viewpoint.

      Book recommendation:

      Pocket Guide to the Apocalypse by Jason Boyett

      Best short summary of the subject. Covers all the Christian end-of-the-world beliefs and their histories in a short, clear, and humorous way.

  18. Even thinking about this makes my head hurt. The only thing that can get fundies more riled is to ask if Adam and Eve had navels.

    Ah, and good old Daniel. “America is the kingdom of iron and clay! We’re in the end times!” Really? The only kingdom I know for sure that the Bible ever named was Nebuchadnezzar’s as the gold kingdom. And don’t get me started on the preaching about how a thousand years is as a day to God, and since 2000 years have passed on earth, only two days have passed to God and now WE’RE IN THE THIRD DAY and the Rapture will come on the third day just like Jesus rose on the third day and . . . oh man. Now I need Tylenol. Thanks, Darrell.

  19. In my case, premillenialism was one of the first things to go – actually, it might have been the “start of the avalanche”. First premillenialsim, then authoritarianism, then a realisation of the importance of the Sacraments etc etc…

    but it took a post-millenial Calvinist to start convincine me – not that I readily admit it, since I’m an Amillenial Lutheran now… πŸ˜›

    And, not to derail the discussion, but the last thing to (finally) go: Young – earth creationism. πŸ˜‰

    1. I maintained my belief in Young Γ’β‚¬β€œ earth creationism for the longest time, thinking it was just the right thing to do. Then one of my Bible profs (the TNIV guy; I’ve mentioned him before) challenged me on it. He asked me, “Does the Gospel fall apart if the Genesis narrative isn’t literal?” I realized that the significance of the Creation account in Genesis isn’t HOW God created everything, but that God CREATED everything. How He did it frankly doesn’t matter.

        1. I agree. I don’t see how calling the first part of Genesis a myth doesn’t open the rest of Scripture up to the same criticism.

        2. Actually, the absolute literalist interpretation is more of a modern thing -one can go to the Fathers and find many non-literalist approaches: See Augustine, Origen, St Macarius, St Basil, St John Crysostom, St Ephraim the Syrian, as well as their Jewish contemporary, Philo of Alexandria.

          Augustine wrote:
          Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of the world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he holds to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion.

          Origen wrote:Ò€œ4.3.1 Now what man of intelligence will believe that the first and the second and the third day, and the evening and the morning existed without the sun and moon and stars? . . . I do not think anyone will doubt that these are figurative expressions which indicate certain mysteries through a semblance of history and not through actual events.Ò€

          The problem is that folks want to read the Scripture with 21st century American eyes, instead of with 13th Century BC Near-East eyes – all the way to first century Greco-Roman eyes. Big difference.

          I apologise for the long post… πŸ™‚

        3. “Ò€¦.hmmÒ€¦it kinda does though doesnÒ€ℒt it?”
          Uh… no, it doesn’t.

          “I donÒ€ℒt see how calling the first part of Genesis a myth doesnÒ€ℒt open the rest of Scripture up to the same criticism.”
          I’m a little disappointed, PW. I didn’t say the Creation narrative should be resigned to myth-status. There’s a very clear difference between choosing to interpret an account as figurative (ie. making the operative message of the creation account the fact that God created the world, not HOW He created it) and treating it as myth. Someone said a little earlier that “there are theological hills worth dying on, and this isn’t one of them.” I think that applies here too. When it comes down to determining what’s essential, I think it’s more expedient to accept the Genesis account as a figurative retelling meant to point us a big God rather than a historical narrative.

        4. @Mark Thomas, I think you were replying to seminarywife not me, Pastor’s Wife! (Unless PW stands for something cool that I don’t know about. I always have to look up FTW and IMO because I’m a little slow on all the internet jargon!)

        5. Ack! PW! My mistake! I just saw “wife” and hurriedly replied on my way out to a rehearsal. It was such an uncharacteristic thing for you to say, I should’ve realized it wasn’t you! 😳

  20. I believe in a pre-trip/pre-millenial rapture but who is to say that we are close to the last times? Anyone from any era can take their current events and somehow fit them into bibical propecy. It could be another 500 years before the rapture or even longer. And who is to say that times are worse now then they have ever been? Today people live longer and have healthier lives, are for the most part safer, there is more wealth to be had and we are free to worship as we choose. Yes, there is great wickedness, suffering and injustice throughout the world but is this the worse it’s been?

    If what the Bible says is true and if Jesus is truly coming again what difference does it make if He comes in my lifetime or not?

    1. I have had some interesting discussions based around what you just said. Mainly the idea that “now is worse than ever.” IMO more is being done in the name of Jesus now than ever before. The IFB doesn’t like that because 98.4% of that isn’t being done by them.

      1. Kind of reminds me of a church in my hometown that had 2000 souls saved one year…..and two baptized. Soulwinning numbers are a great way to avoid helping people who have needs.

        98.4%? I did not know the number was that low. πŸ˜€

    2. Jason, you’re reading my mail. I believe exactly like you. If there is to be a Rapture, I highly doubt it will be in my lifetime, but if so, great!

      What I can’t stand is when people start talking about THE END TIMES… like we should all jump under our beds. They’re scared of EVERYTHING.

      Personally, I don’t believe I’ll be here when the Antichrist is revealed, nor will I for a lot of the nasty stuff. So, when people like to scare me with Boogey Man stories, my usual response is, “Good, enjoy it. Sorry I can’t make it.”

      I know not everyone agrees with me, so please, if you don’t agree, please don’t sit on me.
      :mrgreen:

      1. I remember people saying we are in the end times since I was in Jr High in 1984! It gets a little tiresome after a while. Besides, it seems as if prophecy for some becomes an end unto itself. It is intresting to study but when you get right down to it all of it is speculation.

        And no, I have not been reading your mail. Who do you think I am? An IFB pastor? πŸ˜€

        1. That’s just what I say when someone is thinking like me. Sometimes, I’ll say, get out of my brain!!! :mrgreen:

        2. I can top that, Jason.

          Imagine running a Left Behind Fever of 105 back in the Eighties, then discovering old End Time Prophecy books in used bookstores that said exactly the same thing, just tying it to forgotten news items in the Forties. Or the Thirties. Or the Twenties…

          All citing these forgotten current events as PROOF that THIS IS IT!!!! “All the End Time Prophecies are Being Fulfilled Evan As We Speak!!!!!!” Circa 1950.

          (Then there was the Seventh-Day Adventist End Times book. Cited the same chapters-and-verses, but came to a completely-different conclusion; for Pre-Mils, SDAs have a unique and bizarre End Times choreography.)

          That was a big factor in breaking my Left Behind Fever.

    3. If you want to know if we are in the end times, read the stuff that Hal Lindsay and some of his allies wrote in the 1970s, and his and their predictions for the 1980s and 1990s. Compare with what actually happened in those years.

        1. i used to LOVE gene scott. i could care less about what he said, in fact i’d usually mute it an listen to music. the great part was his crazy outfits, him smokin away, and the insane commercials when it cut to give me money time.

          i liked his ship captain hat the best

        2. I didn’t know Gene Scott was “late.” Did he die?

          “Doctor” Gene Scott’s show used to be on nearly all night on an obscure UHF station in Texas. Some of my “freak” friends liked to watch it for Dr. Gene’s sheer hallucinogenic glory. Watching him was like being on drugs, only cheaper and safer.

        3. Ah, Gene Scott.

          “NOW GIT ON THOSE TELEPHONES!!!”

          Back when I lived in Garden Grove and had my first cable hookup, one of the channels was a 24-hour Gene Scott channel. After burning out on that new sensation MTV (twelve Twisted Sister videos an hour will do that to you), I used to keep the TV on Gene Scott. Mostly just to see what this maniac with the funny hats would do next.

          “Kill some piss-ants for Jeesus,
          Grind ’em right through the floor;
          Kill some piss-ants for Jeesus,
          Then kill one piss-ant more!”

          In many ways, Gene Scott was everybody’s Crazy Uncle. You didn’t want him watching your kids, but you’d always invite him to the reunion just because he was so colorful.

  21. I’ve always taken the “We’ll find out when we get to heaven” approach, but Fundies will actually insist that your eschatology line up or your salvation is in doubt. My home church actually dropped a missionary for was said to be over eschatology. “Say what?” To me the point of eschatology is *that God wins* not the how or the exact details. What you choose to believe is fine by me as long as I don’t *have* to believe that.

    Good work Darrell on linking their views of end times with their practice. It really is true. If the world is coming to an end why protect the planet? And if you can’t get saved once the rapture happens who cares what Phelps did we need to win souls to Christ. Thank God Phelps isn’t the way to salvation. Thank God that it isn’t the IFB that leads the way. We come to God through Christ and his work on the cross. Fundies don’t have a the corner on that market.

  22. “Today people live longer and have healthier lives, are for the most part safer, there is more wealth to be had and we are free to worship as we choose. Yes, there is great wickedness, suffering and injustice throughout the world but is this the worse itÒ€ℒs been?”

    Do you watch too much Fox news and listen to too much Rush? The twentieth century was one of the most violent, bloody, murderous times in the history of the world. Millions of people lost their lives due to oppressive governments. Today in China your phone calls can be cut off if they hear you utter any words such as “freedom.” The same things goes for your emails. Much of the Internet is blocked.

    Jason, I don’t mean to pick on you personally and you are just some guy out there in cyberspace whom I don’t know. But you are representative of why I don’t put too much clout in the doctrines of former fundamentalists who have now supposedly “seen the light.” It’s like you’ve all been blinded and are as ignorant and gullible as the poor saps who listen to NPR and make it their life’s goal to end climate change through carbon taxes. I hate to break it to you, but international bankers do control the world, there is more violence recently than in years past, we have a good chance of going into hyper inflation in the relatively near future, and Obama is not the best friend of the American working class. (Neither are many Republicans or Fox News. There is much propaganda coming from the right news organizations as well as the left.) I like much of what you guys say, but you’re a joke when it comes to the state of the world or current events. You have such disdain for conservatives (in the theological as well as political realm) that you guys are all gullible and have turned into ignorant clowns when it comes to being able to talk about world affairs because you have embraced Al Gore and George Soros and their ilk in your rush to run from all things conservative. You run from reality and fail to see that globalists do conspire to control you and the world because you don’t want to be even seen as remotely close to one of those “ignorant, redneck, fundamentalists” who believes that just maybe the world is not one big love fest.

    “If what the Bible says is true and if Jesus is truly coming again what difference does it make if He comes in my lifetime or not?

    I think you make a good point here!

      1. Perhaps some of you bright folks can help this ol country boy out, but do any of you know of a time when any other country slaughtered 4000 boys and girls a day through abortion and thought is was a good thing and called it a woman’s right to choose. None come to mind.

        The U.S. will pay for this wickedness!

        1. See? It’s this kind of “better-than-you” attitude that gets you trolled. I’m giving you the benefit of fair warning this time…

        2. uh, yeah. Read 2 Kings 21:15-17, “because they have done what is evil in my sight and have provoked me to anger, since the day their fathers came out of Egypt, even to this day.” Moreover, Manasseh shed very much innocent blood, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another, besides the sin that he made Judah to sin so that they did what was evil in the sight of the LORD. Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh and all that he did, and the sin that he committed, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah?”
          2 Kings 24:3-5
          Jeremiah 32:34-36, “But they set their abominations in the house, which is called by my name, to defile it. And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin. And now therefore thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning this city, whereof ye say, It shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence;”

          Quantity in number does not equate to level or degree of sin.

        3. Anyone get a count of the kids/firstborns God killed at the first Passover? I’d think you should mourn them as well, no?

      1. A friend of mine was once asked, “Do you listen to Rush Limbaugh?”
        He answered, “No, and I don’t jab red-hot needles into my eyeballs, either.”

        1. I just discovered this site around yesterday and I think it’s pretty interesting. I don’t claim to be a bright guy or anything and am just a common Joe like most people. One thing I’ve noticed at this site is that I think you guys read too quickly and totally miss the boat and because of that you completely misconstrue and misunderstand what people are saying. For example, that guy a few posts back didn’t say, “Don’t you listen to Rush Limbaugh or Fox News?” He said, do you listen to TOO MUCH Rush or Fox. Ahhh, I think he was saying that Rush and Fox are NOT his favorite shows. You guys immediately misread it and thought he was a fan of Rush and Fox. It’s just like that evangelist that punked you guys about Y2K. Someone linked to a post by an evangelist who used Y2K to make a funny, witty point. But some of you guys again totally didn’t get it and thought the guy was actually a believer in Y2K.

          Like I said, I make no claims to be a very bright guy and am not trying to come across the wrong way πŸ˜† , but can some of you slow down and actually read the posts so you can understand the nuances and the witty rejoinders without taking the conversations into a completely different orbit because you misunderstood it? πŸ˜†

    1. :mrgreen: I’m with Sten on this one. We don’t know how bad it is people. Wake up! Oh how I long for days of The Plague. Stupid modern medicine took that fun away. And man do I miss the Crusades. Who needs door-to-door when you can just kill them if they don’t convert. What about life expectancy? I’m going to live to average age of 72. Oh how I yearn for the 1800’s when the average life expectancy was 45. And to think the last 6 years of my life have been such a curse. :mrgreen:

      Yeah, times have never been worse. Read a 6th grade history book Sten.

        1. ***humbly accepts the prize***

          Wait, there is a prize isn’t there? Isn’t there?

          :mrgreen:

      1. I agree with Mark. That was a great post.

        Shoes has a good point too–fifty years ago, people were preaching that the End Times (TM) were coming immediately (and the USSR was the Beast or something, I’m sure), and… well, it hasn’t come yet.

        Doesn’t the Bible say that no man knows the day or the hour of Christ’s return, anyway? If so, why are we still arguing over it? We should be living the same way no matter if he comes tomorrow or won’t come for a million years. Sure, things might look bad right now, but I’m sure preachers in the Black Death (there were IFB menagawd back then too, right? Or am I confusing them with plague rats? :razz:) thought that meant the end times had come as well. Or the Diaspora, or the fall of Constantinople to the Turks, or the end of the western Roman Empire…

        1. Oh, Annie, now you’re bringing logic into it. That takes all the fun out of eschatology.

      2. My whole fam loves this “the world is getting SOOOO bad”. You ask for what is going on now that is worse than what was going on 50, 100, 500, 1,000 or 3,000 years ago (don’t wanna go 10,000 or 100,000 years ago), and can’t come up with anything now that is actually worse, just know that it is getting worse and nothing can prove otherwise.

        I don’t care for Penn Jillete’s world view much, but he said somewhere (I don’t think it was on the Showtime BS show), but some movie or talk show where he was waxing existential that: there are 2 things that are always true everywhere of all people: 1) the world they live in is improving, and they believe it is getting worse. You’d have a really hard time disproving that, with a few exceptions.

        1. I really like Penn Gilette. I’m not an atheist but I have learned much from atheists. I credit them with getting me mostly out of my fundy mindset. Also, I think god can speak through a nonbeliever. Yeah, I’m pretty radical.
          But mostly I;m just thankful that you all handled this response so well. I do not have the energy after a weekend of 20/20 debate and fallout.

      3. Hah! Scorpio FTW! Best reply so far!

        I hear that “but the world is getting so bad: wars and rumours of wars, etc.” argument all the time. It’s crazy. The world is so peaceful and lovely compared to the past. To say that NOW is worse than before and that this somehow proves that the Rapture is coming, is nuts.

        I do like that song though: “Two men walking up a hill. One disappears and one’s left standing still….I wish we’d aaaalllll beeeen readddddyyyyy!” Makes me laugh every time!

        Has everyone seen that ‘Egyptians riot while a ghostly Horseman of the Apocalyse rides though’ video on youtube yet? Of course, it’s been disproven, but there are still people posting it all over Facebook as real, “no matter what the Liberal Media tries to say!!!1!”

        1. Something to remember:

          Larry Norman sang “I Wish We’d All Been Ready” as a tragic lament.

          NOT the crow of triumph you hear so often nowadays.

      4. Why do I always find interesting web sites way too late and just discover interesting conversations when everybody else has already forgotten about them?

        This is a fun website that has interesting and often funny conversations. Although it’s hard to be “funny” about this topic because it’s so somber. I realize you were being sarcastic, but I think that guy actually had a good point. When else in the history of the world did millions upon millions of people die from all over the world other than WWI and WWII? When else in world history would evil men have the power and technology to kill millions (exact figure I suppose no one knows) of people in such a small geographic area as Cambodia the way Pol Pot did? How many us of realize how today so many people live in dire poverty in all areas of the world in conditions Americans wouldn’t even tolerate overnight as a tourist? Someone mentioned medical advanced. How’s the War On Cancer coming along? I’ve known more people who’ve died of cancer in last 5 years alone than I ever thought I would. And AIDS? That’s a dead issue in America and no longer the hot cultural topic it was in the 80’s. But how many people realize that AIDS is alive and well and has killed millions more in Africa than it ever did in America? Do we really know how many innocent civilian Iraqis American soldiers have killed in Iraq since 2003? I certainly don’t know, although some estimates are in the hundreds of thousands. And that’s not even including the military deaths of any side.

        I don’t think this is a topic to laugh or joke about because it’s such a sad topic and nothing to make light of. I just wanted to agree with that guy and say he had a good point. It does seem juvenile and schoolboyish to argue back and forth about “our time is better/worse than X time.” And I’m not even going to get into the debate about the rapture, timing, etc. The only thing I’m responding to is the apparent ostrich-like suspension of reality that these are “the best of times.” Maybe it is for some of us who have been successful in the West. But we really are ignorant, ugly Americans if we think the rest of the world lives that way.

    2. in no way am i an ostrich with my head in the sand. Is the world perfect today? nope. BUT imagine what they were saying in the 20’s after WWI, prohibition begining to crumble, organized crime and the Mafia. I am sure we could pick any 10-15 year period in history and find some MAJOR issues occuring that could be tied into end-times theology.

    3. BTW, I don’t think anyone has any doubts who he meant when he said “international bankers who control the world”, right? That’s kind of a hallmark card from you-know-who, no?

    4. “Do you watch too much Fox news and listen to too much Rush?”

      No, I’m a bleedin’-hearted liberal. :mrgreen:

      But, you’re RIGHT, Sten the TROLL! Good gosh, I think I’ll go stock up my fridge and hide, because after all, the sky is going to fall and there’s no hope for us!

      Except…

      There is…. and He said He’d NEVER leave us nor would He forsake us.

      My faith isn’t in the government, the news, or my retirement plan, it is in Christ. He has always and will always protect me, guide me, and love me. I don’t fear what the world can do, because… He hasn’t given me the spirit of fear.

      And, if fear doesn’t come from God… where, pray tell, would it come from?

  23. I don’t think people in America realise how American Pre-mill Disp is. When I came to England, I couldn’t find anyone who had even heard of the Rapture except as a weird thing some particularly weird Americans believed in. * I know Darby was English, but the Plymouth Brethren are a tiny fragment of the Christian community in the UK. When my Schofield was damaged in a car wreck (I wasn’t hurt but boy did I wonder what I’d done wrong) I could not buy a replacement in the UK except on Amazon, imported.

    I tried to explain it to friends and they were utterly baffled at how a few dozen odd lines from different OT books and Revelations,had been scrunched together to come up with it.

    It might not be unorthodox but it’s virtually unknown outside the US.

    1. Nitty Nora, although that is generally true, PMD’ism is much more common in South Africa, where I grew up. But I think part of that is because of the influence of a particular Pentecostal Group that was started by two – wait for it – American guys back at the start of the 20th Century. Of course, the siege mentality hat white folks lived under there from 1948 to 1994 proved to be fertile ground for PMD’ism. πŸ˜‰

      1. You are probably right that where there have been a lot of American Baptist fundy missionaries, there are probably Rapture believers, but that only proves that the whole Rapture schtick is American through and through.

        I was glad to see the back of it, no more waking up on the night, when it was really quiet, wondering if everyone else had gone and left me for Satan. I can’t be the only kid who snuck out of bed to check Mom and Dad were still there.

  24. Some people have already said things similar to this, but my opinion on the rapture, creation, and other things that people LOVE to argue about is, “I think we’ll all be surprised.” I don’t think there’s any harm in wondering about things like that, but to argue and make it a crucial issue, when NOBODY can know the truth but God, is ridiculous. I say, God can and will do things however He wants to, and He can’t be limited to only what our simple human minds can understand! Okay, I’m done πŸ˜€

  25. What I heard was that when the trumpet of the Lord shall sound and time shall be no more, and the morning breaks eternal bright and fair; when the saved of earth shall gather over on the other shore, when the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there…

    (I am surprised that I still remember the words!)

    (Now I hope that the rest of you will have this annoying tune stuck in your head for the rest of the day like I do!) πŸ˜›

        1. Actually, I’ve enjoyed singing it for years, As a chruch pianist, I love adding triumphant chords and arpeggios on the chorus: “When the Roooooooooooll…[doodly, doodly, doo on the keyboard] is called up YONder!!!”

          That said, the melody is very old-timey sounding, but in a church setting, singing with gusto, I enjoy it. On my own, not as much.

  26. The thing that baffles most pre-tribs I talk to is this, What if you are wrong and Christ comes back to the earth? He has to be the anti-christ and you reject Him. It happened before. I like to leave my options open.

  27. I haven’t been a pre-miller in years (and never fully bought into it when I was fundy – I just didn’t know that there were other positions), but I *still* occasionally have “Rapture terrors.” I had one the other day and had to forcefully remind myself that I don’t even believe in the Rapture. πŸ˜•

    1. I was infected with what’s now called “Left Behind Fever” in the Seventies, with the Gospel According to Hal Lindsay.

      I didn’t stop having flashbacks like a Nam vet until the late Eighties, and I still refuse to look out of a kitchen window in a certain direction at the sky.

  28. I am not going to read through all of these, however I want to deal with one thing.
    As much as feeding the poor and taking caring for the sick are wonderful and right things to do, the marching orders of the church is to proclaim the gospel.
    That in itself also disagrees with the Fundy desire to ‘win souls’. We are not commanded to ‘win souls’. In fact in fundyism, the preaching of the gospel has been replaced with ‘win souls’. If you look for Darrell’s post on youtube of J.R. Rice’s seven sins, you will notice that he blatantly changes to idea of preaching the gospel to soul winning.
    I have been soul winning(ugh), and have watched others ‘soul win’. It rarely, if ever, presents the gospel properly.

    now back to the rapture comments
    πŸ˜€

    1. Sorry, this comment got eaten by the spam filter and just now resurfaced.

      I’d say that I think that the ideals of “preaching the gospel” and “feeding the hungry” are not opposites. In fact, feeding the hungry is very much preaching the gospel — even if it’s not explicit “soul winning.”

      1. Wasn’t it John the Baptist who sent some friends to ask Jesus who He was? And Jesus replied (paraphrase), “Well, hungry people are being fed, sick people are being made well, paraplegics are walking, and blind people have their sight–so what do you think?”

    2. And when “Can You Top This?” comes into play, “Soul-Winning” becomes nothing more than “Who Has More Notches on their Bible?”

      And after becoming a notch on half a dozen Bibles, you start to wonder if it’s all been BS from day one.

  29. I am not sure the Bible has one consistent eschatology. It seems to have eschatologies. One major problem is that so much eschatology is built upon apocalyptic books like Daniel and Revelation, or apocalyptic passages like the “little apocalypse” in the synoptics. Apocalyptic was a tract for the times for a persecuted people and generally anticipated the imminent intervention of God. The apocalyptic writings had to do with their own time primarily (160s BCE for Daniel and the end of the first century CE for Revelation). The book of Daniel anticipated the end in it’s day and the book of Revelation (making use of Daniel) did in its day. Many Christians have done the same subsequently making use of both books.

  30. I have been taught all the different options of the tribulation/millenium, and am pre-trib/pre-mil.

    I guess I get aggravated with Christians who are overly obsessed with end times stuff. If people were more concerned with living like Christ, would it matter if the “end” is nearer?

    I don’t think you can honestly witness to someone until you have met their physical needs, or made sure their needs are met. And I don’t see it as bait if it’s a consistent display of God’s love and not a one time thing. (Isn’t that scriptural?)

    I don’t witness to people b/c of the rapture. I share my faith with people b/c I desire for them to know God. But I’m more concerned that people observing my life see Christ rather than hear about Him from me.

  31. I hold to the “accept the weaker brother but not to doubtfull disputations” school. Such issues as millenialism, eternal security, Pre-Post-Mid rapture may be fun to explore but are “doubtfull disputations”. Is your salvation any more or less secure in actuallity regardless of what you believe about it? If you are genuinely saved are you going to be left behind because you have the wrong idea about whether or not there is a rapture? If Christ reigns in your heart does what you think about the millenium really matter? The key thing is Christ and him crucified and raised for our redemption.

  32. Γ’β‚¬ΛœThe Rapture is a racket.Ò€ Jim Bakker
    Convince millions of Christian that Jesus might return soon, tell them it is pointless to save for retirement, instead of putting their money into a 401K or IRA, put it in the offering plate instead.

  33. Well i dont understand what you dont like about what Pastor Schaap Said. I have many uncles in my family who have let their wives run the household and it is embarassing, christian and non christian. The men look like little boys asking for permission to buy themselves some clothes. the kids have grow up to be irresponsible losers who cant take care of their families.I LOVE that my husband is the head of our home.He treats me with respect and cares for my family. I beleive your wrong about us not caring about anything but soulwinnin. yes it is important foro us to. IT depends on your Pastor but, since i have been attending our church *yrs. we have never turned anyone away who needed FOOD clothes, and soemtimes to pay a bill.And, most times they were just passing through town or heard we help people. We have men who go to homeless shelters, prisons. I am sorry you dont like that we dont have a big sign saying we recycle or have a homeless shelter at every church so you can be happy. So what church did you go to that you got your feeling hurt because someone didn’t shake your hand as soon as you stepped out of the car?

    1. This just made me laugh really loudly.

      People are staring at me now. I’m typing really loudly like I’m saying something important so they’ll leave me alone.

    2. The space bar is your friend. Please.
      An apostrophe here or there would be nice.
      And the spelling…oh spelling schmelling. You keep it real girl.

      1. It’s so incredibly laced with spelling & punctuation errors, I don’t think it can be fixed. Just have to start over from scratch. Totally irreparable!

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