O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
s it just me or does it seem as though too many preterists are isolated? I have tried twice to fit in at futurist churches. Twice now I have been disinvited because of my preterism--even though I was not trying to proselytize and I did not speak in opposition to the pastor. I communicated my beliefs with him alone. One pastor shunned me and kicked me out of the Kingdom (as if that's possible). The other has been more kind because my family members (futurists) also attend the church, which is very creedal and REFORMED. He wants to keep communication with me open because he is deeply concerned for my soul (he considers me part of a cult).
I am once again without a church. I will no longer attend any futurist church. I live in the Kansas City, Kansas area, but I have had a difficult time finding other preterists. I understand that Tony Denton has a directory of some kind but I have not seen it.
It seems as though there should be an easier way of connecting. I am certain that there MUST BE other preterists in an area this big. Please pray for fellowship for me. Thanks.
May you find a place to fellowship freely soon.
Since I am a partial futurist and not a full preterist I can hardly understand what you are going through, but I will share my experience nevertheless.
When I came to know full preterism there was a time I had decided to embrace it because it seemed true but I knew it would lead to lots of trouble with all my other colleagues. I attend a dispensationalist church. So I decided I would never tell anyone my beliefs. I dont know what you believed before you became a preterist, but there is great trouble and anguish in leaving futurist eschatology to accepting what has already been accomplished. I had those struggles and wish them on no man, thus I basically don't share my beliefs. Its now 8 years later and I still have great fellowship at my church.
What could have been key for me, was that I understood the devastating and unbearable effects that preterism would bring on futurists and sought to understand them rather than be understood. So perhaps when you try find fellowship in a futurist church, remember we are all Christians, don't identify yourself by your eschatology. In the 8 years I have been aware of preterism I have only shared my belief with one of my brothers. At first he rejected it out right but now he is the one trying (to no avail) to bring others to the truth of Bible prophecy. The only other time I shared my beliefs was when someone somehow forced me to come clean about my beliefs, 3 weeks down the line they said they had heard enough of my teachings, wouldnt bother try answer and that the discussion should end. I was happy to oblige and we still have great fellowship to this day.
I am not sure how you end up being kicked out of churches but be very careful who you discuss eschatology with, make sure there is a very strong relationship between you. Also don't make it your goal to convince people of this truth. Preterism is not an easy pill to swallow. At most just convey what you believe let the convincing be left to the person and his Bible.
In my experience I can have great fellowship and never discuss eschatology, I am not sure why it seems a big deal to you. When someone says something I don't agree with I correct them in my head and carry on. What does full preterism teach that is so out anyway? All Christians believe we are forgiven, have eternal life now, are a new creation, have entered God's eschatological rest, are saved, are "spiritually" resurrected, are above and not beneath, rule in this earth, are seated with Christ in the heavenlies and so on. Surely these issues can be discussed fruitfully without talking about the coming of the Lord.
What does it really change on a practical and fellowship level that some believe the dead will one day rise and others don't? I can't see it.
I guess in Bible studies there will be some points of disagreement but you will find that if you explain a verse and steer clear of text relating to the coming of the Lord, there will be minimal objections. So perhaps wisdom also helps in deciding which text to bring in an alternative view. But by and large as long as a text is not directly linked to the coming of the Lord, I find people very open to true teaching.
Anyway, that's just my experience, if it helps in anyway, good. We are primarily Christians, eschatology is secondary.
May you and your son find a place to fellowship freely in Jesus' name, amen.
Boyardee, you are absolutely correct—you do not understand. This is evidenced by your statement “Surely these issues can be discussed fruitfully without talking about the coming of the Lord.” All of those things you listed are intricately and indivisibly attached to the Parousia.
I have been a Full Preterist for over 25 years. I have attended futurist churches that entire time. “What does full preterism teach that is so out anyway?” you ask. A lot. Anyone who believes that the Lord has already returned and is not coming again and that at His coming He brought a nonphysical resurrection and THE judgment of all is rejected by the vast majority of futurists—partial or not. Most partial futurists (e.g. Sproul, DeMar, Gentry), as you claim to be, consider me a heretic!
For twenty years following my salvation, I was a dispensationalist. The truths of full preterism have cost me relationships with friends and family—not because “I” was not willing to discuss things “fruitfully” but because they would NOT.
I do not mean to be disrespectful, but you display total ignorance of Full Preterism when you counsel me not to speak of it and you think that it is some peripheral issue that can be avoided. Even partial preterist, R. C. Sproul Jr. admits that a great deal of the NT (and the OT as well as a matter of fact) deals with eschatology. If you truly understood Full Preterist (Covenant Eschatology), which you yourself admit that you don’t, you would see how it permeates so many other doctrines (e.g. soteriology, harmartiology, anthropology, pneumatology). “Steer clear of texts relating to the coming of the Lord?” That is not possibly, Boyardee. You truly do not understand. That is why you can’t see it. Eschatology is NOT secondary. One CANNOT have great fellowship without discussing eschatology. It is part of the very heart of NT teaching!
By the way, I did NOT go around trying to convert anyone at the churches I attended. I always took my concerns to the pastor. The recent pastor took the time to spend 3 hours listening to my beliefs. He concluded that I am a heretic and a cultist—no different to him than a JW. Since he requires that all who attend regularly eventually become members and since it was determined that my heretical beliefs were gravely at odds with the creeds and traditions of the church, I could not be a member and, therefore, had to leave.
Why is it such a big deal to me???? Christ made promises and he told His disciples to make promises. IF He did not fulfill those promises WHEN He said He would, He is a false prophet, His disciples are false teachers, and Christianity is a false religion. “Why is it such a big deal to me” that Christ kept His word, that He returned as He promised He would, that He brought resurrection and complete salvation, having exited the heavenly Holy of Holies in perfect fulfillment of redemption and prophecy. “Why is it such a big deal to me,” that death and Satan are defeated enemies and the hope of Israel (the resurrection) has been accomplished? “Why is it such a big deal to me” that Hades has been emptied and all judgment has been exercised? “Why is it such a big deal to me” that I AM resurrected NOW and that I will NEVER die? You really do not understand or you would not ask such a nonsensical question of a full preterist.
I will no longer refrain from sharing in kindness and love ALL that the Scriptures declare. I am finished with futurist churches and THEIR insistence on their way or the highway. Boyardee, most Christians are NOT open to true teaching that contradicts their preconceived ideas, their creeds, and their traditions. If you were actually sharing true teaching, people would reject you also.
Again, I do not mean to be disrespectful, but your uninformed post to me with its misplaced counsel made me understand more clearly the feelings of Job. Like you, his friends were well-meaning, but totally wrong in their assessment. That said, I harbor no ill will toward you. Let us all be good Bereans.
That was misplaced counsel to help you remain in futurist churches, assuming you actually wanted to remain in them.
I harbor no ill will either.
I feel for you. You know that the 'Creeds and Traditions' of churches really mean nothing. These are man made 'creeds' and man made 'tradition'. They stand the 'test of time' because certain men are afraid to challenge them. You challenged the status quo.... there fore you must be 'rejected' by 'the system'.... It is 'the lot' of a Preterist to be rejected. Wear that badge proudly.
Do you understand that the Futurests live and worship in such a physical relm, that their only HOPE, is a flesh and blood physical MANIFESTED Joshua Messiah to 'Come Back'. Jesus Christ was MANIFESTED in The Flesh for ONE reason, and that was to take away The Sins of The World and He Did that and then He went back to His True Form. Scripture says, "Hope, deferred, makes the Heart grow sick". Our hearts are not 'Sick', because (as the Apostle Paul said the King Agrippa, "I preach NOTHING but The Hope of The Fathers') OUR HOPE HAS BEEN Fulfilled. We are not under The Sin Death Cloud. All Futurests say, or seem to say that 'They' (Futurests) can and do Sin..... Christ died Once to cover The Sins of His People and His People Can Not Sin.... (Sin is the action between man and God, men...you and I, do 'Evil' all day long... but 'We' Can not Sin)
You are a better person than your 'old' minister.... You are able to say, that if I found out that the 'truths' of your youth, that I know are not really 'trues', but mans twisting of Gods Word (The Logos/Christ). Then I will search The Scriptures again and again to SEE (and Hear, by reading) What is So.
You and your husband should be as one. Not always agreeing on everything, but being together and reason together. I believe that you should go back to 'That Church'... and sit with your husband and influence others by just your presents not by your words. Pondering the teaching of the Pharesean church and expanding your Preteristm within you. You do not have to be on any speaking terms with this so called minister. Smile to his face and turn your back to him. 'Fellowship' is a false term, when it comes to such a shallow false teacher. If, and this is a big if..... you are asked AND forced to leave, then your husband damn well better Go With You and kick the dust of that church off His shoes.
Yes, I have also been given the 'left foot of rejection'..... but I did not 'leave' to worship somewhere else and after several years All of those Deacons and minister are now faded memories from that church. There are still no other 'Preterist' where I go to 'church', (my whole extended family goes there), but I have done my 'home work' and NO ONE dares to debate me about 'churchanity'. You destroy them by the inconsistencies of their own 'Creeds and Traditions' that do not live up to the New Covenant Fulfillment Age. People of churchanity do not like to be pointed out on how much that they follow The Mosaic Cultus and are Damned to Sheol for following a part of it, so 'they' must follow All of it.
You do not have to 'look' for Preterist... just talk about the fulfillment of The OLD COVENANT PROMISES of Blessings and Curses and that NOW we are living in the New Covenant Age that Has No End. The Scales will drop off of many peoples eyes and they will question 'The Creeds and Traditions' as being Wrong... I/We should Never 'HOPE FOR' something that we already have. We are The Temple of The Living God and we have eternal life, here 'in the flesh while this mortal body lives, but also now in The Spirit, forever, for His Kingdom is now in Heaven and on Earth.
I know this is a little late in coming but until you find a Church your comfortable on you may try and even enjoy Churchgoing with Pastor David Curtis of Berean Bible Church from Virginia via the internet every Sunday morning at 11am.
You and your family can plan to make time and sit in the comfort of your house and even invite family and friends to ask what they think of his teaching.
He is a truly gifted teacher and all around great guy. I have followed his teaching for years and he doesn't just stay on eschatology topics but teaches how we need to apply our Christian life in today's world and he always uses the Bible as he teaches.
Can't go wrong and maybe in a few weeks you'll have your own little house Church just like they did in Christ own days.