Friday, January 1, 2010

Eschatology Matters?

Perhaps some people will think that eschatology doesn’t matter. After all, we are often told eschatology is too vague, too symbolic a thing to worry about. Let people teach whatever they will –God will sort it out in the end. Yet is this how the Bible tells us to interact with doctrine? As if it doesn’t really matter.

Some of you know that PreteristBlog has some outstanding issues with Gary DeMar’s tacit support of hyperpreterism. We have tried to get DeMar to see that he is fostering & causing many people to adopt hyperpreterism & as you’ll see further in this article, even the hyperpreterists say this themselves. So, I would like to share an email I had recently written to a person that wondered it DeMar’s association with hyperpreterism mattered…since DeMar has done great work in other areas including defending a constitutional mindframe & for combating dispenationsalism. This article has been adapted from an email so the flow is more personal in nature & I will sometimes use the pronoun “you” since I am addressing a specific individual.


The DeMar situation presently is much as you said, a matter of “guilt by association”. So many people want to overlook this issue as if associations cannot be held against people. Those who don’t think associations matter, will almost use an anti-McCarthyistic argument to get to people to ignore “guilt by association” — but it is very UNbiblical to ignore the association factor. After all, humanity has been all made guilty by our association with Adam, though some people deny the entire existence of Adam — yet they are still guilty. The Bible also says our associations matter –

Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits. — 1 Cor 15:33 NKJV

Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character. — 1 Cor 15:33 NIV

What conversation would we be having in these emails if DeMar was having Mormons or JWs on his radio show (as he has with hyperpreterists) & not even telling his audience that they were Mormons or JWs? What kind of conversation would be be having if DeMar was often credited for being one of the main people that caused people to accept Mormonism or JW teaching, though he himself does not actually accept it (as hyperpreterists often tell us)? What kind of conversation would we be having if all attempts to get DeMar to actually clearly call Mormonism & JWs anti-Christian were met either by Gary claiming he doesn’t have time to address it, or doesn’t feel the need to address it, yet all the while still hanging out & interacting with those groups as if they are validly Christian?

You see, association DOES matter. We Christians of all people SHOULD understand this but we have been lulled into the false premise that it doesn’t. Perhaps it is from the many years of the false teaching from nicey-nice preachers who depict Jesus as some Jewish first-century hippie that ran around the Judean countryside hanging around unrepentant tax-collectors & prostitutes while he just “loved” everyone indiscriminately. — No sir, THAT is not the Jesus of the Bible. The Jesus of the Bible came to those same tax-collectors & prostitutes & told them to REPENT & SIN NO MORE — no longer be identified/associated with the “old man”. (see this link). Jesus even told the man in John 5:14 that if he did return to his old self that “a worse thing” could come upon him. Jesus was serious about our identities. DeMar is allowing his identity to be whored around by the hyperpreterists. They love to say, “Look! Look! DeMar is a big name & he accepts us so we can’t be all that bad” (see here). No sir, Jesus did NOT hang around UNREPENTANT people — the people who were converted USED to be those things.

1 Cor 5:9-11 says…

I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. 10 Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person.

As you see, this ISN’T just about hanging around or not hanging around “sexually immoral people” but about Christians not willy-nilly accepting other people who claim to be “Christians” (anyone named a brother) who does not act like a true Christian. Certainly, you must see that hyperpreterism proposes teachings that are CONTRARY to the Bible AND CONTRARY to ANYTHING that has EVER been considered Christian. Hyperpreterism ISN’T associated with historic Christianity but is more like Mormonism & JW in that it MUST redefine every aspect & historic Christian interpretation. For hyperpreterism to be accepted, a person must first say & agree that the Sovereign God of the universe has been unable or unwilling to rightly guide His Church for nearly 2000 years. This is the height of arrogance!!! Yet DeMar lets his name, his association be proffered by this group.

Christians have been so lulled into thinking we have to “accept” others, that we ignore Scripture:

And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 2 Cor 6:15

Yet DeMar would have us “accept” & “accord” with hyperpreterism as if they too are “believers” in the same Christ & the same Church as preached by the apostles & as followed by nearly 2000 years of Christian history. Hyperpreterism is CONTRARY to every sort of Christianity that has gone before, be it pre-Roman Catholic, Roman Catholic, Reformed, or Evangelical. Hyperpreterism is NOT Christian anymore than Mormonism & JWs — and those groups ALSO quote the Bible & pretend to be corrections to the “errors” of historic Christianity. DeMar wants us to not say anything about his association — even his tacit endorsement of THAT???

Rom 16:17-18 tells us…

Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. 18 For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.

You see, “division” comes not from Christians “squabbling” (I like to call it “contending for the faith” — Jude 1:3) but rather divisions happen in the Body of Christ when people teach doctrines that are CONTRARY to the doctrine which Christians have learned…learned from Jesus, learned for His handpicked apostles…learned from 2000 years of historic Christianity. Hyperpreterism is certainly contrary to all of that. Yet DeMar wants us to “accept” them as posing valid questions & ideas. Would DeMar urge Christians to open their doors to Mormons & JWs & accept their teachings as valid? Then why does he ask us to open are hearts & minds to hyperpreterism as if it is valid? Rather, the Bible calls us to MARK/NOTE such people who teach contrary things, that cause division & then avoid them.

We have appealed to Gary in the same manner as we have appealed to you here in this email, yet Gary responds with: “Why am I obligated to respond to Dee Warren and Roderick Edwards?” (source)

That’s the problem, DeMar doesn’t feel the need to respond at all except to continue letting himself be used to foster hyperpreterism. Hyperpreterists are happy that Gary doesn’t openly accept hyperpreterism because if he did, his “ministry” would be essentially be over. One hyperpreterist even recently said:

I really don’t get all uptight about Gary DeMar, Hank Hanegraaff and James Jordan coming to espouse a completely full Preterist position. In fact I would say they are more effective where they position themselves now. These guys could be reaching more folks with the truth of the Preterist understanding than the rest of us combined. ” (A hyperpreterist saying DeMar has done more to reach people with hyperpreterism than even the hyperpreterists themselves — source)

Another tactic of hyperpreterism is to try to make it look like what someone believes & advocates is no one else’s business — we see this from Virgil Vaduva the leader of the largest hyperpreterist website:

I’ve had many conversations with people about Gary’s eschatology. There is no need for any one of us to condemn, confront or force Gary to explain in public what he believes. He doesn’t have to do any of that for us or any other human and he doesn’t owe anyone an explanation. Whether he is a partial or full preterist, Gary DeMar is doing amazing work with his ministry. I am certainly not arrogant enough to condemn him for holding to whatever eschatology he is holding to. His life to me speaks volumes about his faith. (Virgil Vaduva — source)

Yet, in a blog entry called “Eschatology Matters”, DeMar wrote: “Eschatological ideas have consequences, and many Christians are beginning to understand how those ideas have shaped the cultural landscape.” ( source)

Isn’t that also true of hyperpreterism? Doesn’t the ideas of hyperpreterism have “consequences”? Yes indeed sir! Yet DeMar turns a blind eye to this & claims he neither has the time or the need to address the very thing he is fostering.

This is why I do not respect DeMar. He seems more a “leader” out to puff up his own ego rather than protect the Body not just from dispensationalism but also from its evil late-born twin, hyperpreterism.

Feel free to share this email with ANYONE, especially your supporters & including DeMar himself.

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