Friday, January 1, 2010

How To Leave Hyperpreterism

Can you imagine a person renouncing Mormonism or JWs and yet remaining in those “congregations”?  Can you imagine a person making a profession of faith and remaining in sinful states (such as a prostitute, a drunkard, a thief).  There is a reason that after Jesus healed and restored people that He would tell them “Go and sin no more!” (John 5:14, John 8:11).  It wasn’t that He believed the person would never have sinful actions but that they should no longer be identified with the sinful-state from which He saved them.
As people begin to wake up to the un-christian nature of hyperpreterism we will begin to see more people leave the hyperpreterist movement.  It is a difficult thing to do to be sure.  Leaving hyperpreterism isn’t like forsaking one theological position for another. Hyperpreterism isn’t merely an “alternative option” no matter how many times you hear a hyperpreterist leader try to claim that.  It is a radical paradigm shift that has its tentacles into every part of a person’s doctrine, life, and being.  Separation from such a situation doesn’t come easy.

What makes it worse is how hyperpreterists respond when someone leaves.  The responses range from attacking the person, to claiming the person couldn’t have possibly been a “preterist” in the first place, to trying to paint it as if the person can forever straddle the fence between heresy and Christianity.
When I first considered leaving the hyperpreterist movement — a movement to which I dedicated 15-years of my life, I had false starts in that I would move in the direction of leaving but would think in the back of my mind; “Maybe if I could just synthesize some different form” or “Maybe if I just stayed away from the liberal hyperpreterists”.  So, during that time, many things I said and did were surely contradictory.  When I finally got up the nerve to REALLY leave the hyperpreterist movement I knew it had to be a clean break. I couldn’t leave any vestiges of “Roderick the hyperpreterist”.  I immediately removed myself from all hyperpreterist webites/forums (to this day some hyperpreterists say I “ran away” like I was afraid).  I deleted over 10 years worth of hyperpreterist articles and material I had produced.  Keeping any of that would be like Jesus telling me to “Go and sin no more!” yet me keeping some of that sin-identity around.
Today, I see people trying to leave hyperpreterism and hyperpreterists still responding the same way; some attacking, some claiming the person could not have possibly ever really been part of the movement, and some acting like the person can inhabit heresy and Christianity at the same time.
For the person trying to leave, they may want to think they are going to leave the movement differently — as if their own “methods” are going to be more “gracious”.  As if they will maintain that hyperpreterists are “brethren” and carry on Christian relationships with them and treat their arguments as if they are valid.  But after it is all said and done, reality will need to be faced — hyperpreterism is a heresy.  It is not Christianity, and to love those still within it is to NOT buddy up with them, nor treat them cruelly but certainly we should call heresy what it is.  It is not a mere “alternative option”.
Lastly, what is amazing is the lengths hyperpreterists go to paint hyperpreterism as a pinnacle of theology and then turn around and treat a person who is leaving it as if it is no big deal.  Well, if something is the truth it is a big deal what is done with it.  This is the reason REAL Christians get upset when a person exchanges historic, biblical Christianitiy with something like hyperpreterism.  So, when hyperpreterists act like it is no big deal when a person leaves the hyperpreterist movement, hyperpreterists are actually unwittingly admitting hyperpreterism isn’t anything to fight for — it is no big deal, it isn’t the truth, it is just a “theological option” as if the hyperpreterist suddenly becomes a subjectivist.  This should be an eye-opener to the person leaving hyperpreterism.
Finally, I know I have amassed the reputation as the “meanie anti-hyperpreterist” but folks, look at it for what it really is:  I have NEVER questioned the salvation of a hyperpreteterist (that is God’s right alone). I have NEVER questioned their mental state.  I have NEVER even said I don’t “like” any hyperpreterist — not even the ones that have sought my demise.  Although ALL of these things and worse have been said and done to myself, Dee Dee, and others that have left or opposed the movement.  In truth, I actually CARE about many within the hyperpreterist movement.  My “method” of addressing the REAL problem of arrogance offends some people but in reality the problem with most hyperpreterists isn’t first their erroneous doctrine but their egos.  So many, especially within the leadership express themselves as “little Luthers” out to reform the world.  They thumb their noses at everyone and everything that has ever been historically Christian (not just the “creeds”).  They are ready to lead a revolt against the very foundations of Christianity, not just “tweak” it here and there.  So, if we don’t first deal with such a person’s root problem, then it doesn’t matter if they renounce hyperpreterism — they would still have an arrogance problem.
To leave hyperpreterism a person must “put to death” the old hyperpreterist they were.  They cannot stand forever between two views, nor can heresy ever have concord with Christianity.  The longer friends let a person think they can straddle the fence, the more damage is being done not only to the person leaving the movement but to the people who have left the movement already.

No comments: