Pre-tribulation Dispensationalism, (PTD)
One; causes dissociated or double-minded conduct among its adherents and
two, is a poor witness
to the lost world because they observe PTDist Christians claiming one thing
with one breath and acting is if what they just said isn’t actually true. I
have had personal conversations with Christian leaders in which they claim with
one breath that it is important to have a positively transformative effect on
society, culture, politics, etc., when in the next breath they unabashedly
stated that none of it will last – tomorrow; all the work Christians have done, all the
work they themselves do on behalf of God, all the work they believe they were
called to do by God Himself will disappear – all of it will be destroyed in
the blink of an eye with the sound of a trumpet. They actually believe God
calls them to be victorious and have a transformative effect here and now but
God also has decided that they’ll all eventually become impotent and powerless
in the face of evil because God has willed it to be that way.
Often pastors saying they are glad when things go wrong in societies both local and afar. They actually report with delight that they are glad when the efforts of supposedly God-directed Christians go awry because that failure means the end is close at hand. Consider how many pastors went from vehemently fighting against homosexual marriage to zealous delight in “knowing” the end was close at hand. You can turn on Christian radio any day of the week and throughout the day hear pastors encourage and exhort gospel-involvement here and now and by shows end tell the listeners the world is going to hell in a hand basket any day now and there’s nothing they can do because God has decreed it that way.
The world sees and hears all this and they use it as an excuse not to believe. I’m the first to acknowledge that one excuse is as good as another in the mind of the lost. Their hearts are darkened and their thoughts are futile so one self-lie compared to another isn’t particularly important when it comes to the need for God to change hearts when we preach. The problem is this: we are not here solely for the purpose of proselytization. We are here to make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and teaching them Jesus’ commands. Critics of the critics often ask “Has that happened yet?” as some perverse form of post hoc apologetic and they do so apparently completely oblivious to the fact that the Great Commission hasn’t yet happened. The world sees us trying vainly and hypocritically asserting the Great Commission all the while watching as we do so with our next breath saying, “The Great Commission will never be realized. Jesus commanded us to preach but his Father has already commanded destruction. Jesus said we would prevail over the gates of hell but his Father had already determined we’d be an impotent double-minded lot who would need rescuing from our own failure as the defeated enemy, Satan, manages to foment one more radical resistance that will destroy God’s creation.
The net result is the abdication of any credibility we might have. Go and search the scriptures for what they say about integrity and the importance of being people of integrity, people who not only mean what they say but people who have integrity in and between thought, word, and deed. Understand that the kind of eschatology PTDers preach lacks both internal and external integrity. Since its inception it has led to…
1) Decade after decade of false prognosticators, including date-setters (all the while saying no one can know the day),
2) Inconsistent preaching wherein victory in Christ is declared, gospel change is promoted societally, culturally, politically, economically, academically, etc,, all while imminent destruction is taught.
3) Inconsistent and often times blatant contradictory, or on occasion foolhardy behavior (like selling one’s home) is manifested as a consequence of this inconsistent or contradictory preaching.
4) Division within the body! If there is a removal-from-earth rapture then we amils and post mils and historicists Christians are going be leaving with the PTDers, but that would never be known by the way we’re often treated. We’re often called names and our salvation is called into question.
5) Poor stewardship of God’s creation. If we’re going lose this battle in which we’re now involved and God will later renew the earth then it really doesn’t matter whether or not the planet is trashed. It can be trashed in neglect or with a fiery onslaught of nuclear explosions and lasers from space. The destruction is okay because it’s all in God’s plan for us to any day now say “Good-bye” to all the work we’ve done for God in Christ.
6) Hermeneutic hypocrisy. One of the core tenets of PTD hermeneutics is literal reading of prophesy. They boast in this but do not practice it with any consistency.
7) Deceit, either willful or in ignorance. Many a PTDer will argue that this early church father or that early church father asserted PTDism and they’ll rely on mentions of “dispensation” to support that claim but the facts of history are clear: early writings on dispensations were always in the context of covenant, not the new meaning Darbyites give the term. This is what they teach and this is what their acolytes learn and in turn preach because their acolytes don’t know any better. They think what they’ve learned is the truth because men of God taught it to them.
8) Compromises in long-held core church doctrines. Again sometimes this occurs willfully and sometimes in ignorance. It doesn’t seem to dawn on many PTDers that by separating Israel from the church and arguing a future history God has for them that they must practice before they are converted a works-plus-grace soteriology is being argued. By teaching the radical future destruction of Israel they are anti-Semitic. By teaching the defeat of the church they are over-turning centuries of ecclesiology. By claiming Jesus cannot rule from afar but will rule from afar and then rule here and then rule from afar not only are the inconsistent but their Christology is corrupt. Their god is a god of victory who on one hand directs victory-living while simultaneously requiring defeat and destruction. Understand what this means, folks: Theology, Christology, ecclesiology, and soteriology are each and all fundamentally changed by PTDism and they are either ignorant of these real consequences or teaching it unabashedly leading others to do the same… while the lost world watches. For eighteen centuries the church, even amidst the differences in eschatology, was united in these four doctrinal arenas but PTDism boasts in its differences (heresies, imo) and fervently teaches them to others. Josheb, CARM forum. :