Friday, January 1, 2010

Former Hyperpreterist Todd Dennis

Todd Dennis was perhaps the main progenitor of hyperpreterism on the Internet.  Starting in 1996, he had amassed the largest “archive” of preterist & hyperpreterist materials anywhere.  Many of the now popular hyperpreterist websites had to directly lift material from his website to jump start their own.
In 2006 Todd was one if not the first modern hyperpreterist to renounce that false teaching & instead of going away quietly like hyperpreterists tell us to do, Todd seeks to undo some of the damage he directly & indirectly caused in the lives of others.

I want to here, publicly apologize & ask Todd forgiveness for so rudely opposing him while I was STILL a hyperpreterist.  To use the vernacular of the 20-30 something crowd associated with the hyperpreterist movement, I want to say, “Todd is one brave dude!” He has had to endure (sometimes alone, except for Christ), the barbs of former hyperpreterist friends who have done everything from claim he is suffering from emotional problems to saying the only reason he left hyperpreterism is due to a personal issue.  They don’t seem to want to realize that people can & do leave the cult because they realize it is a cult.

Todd has recently issued a challenge to hyperpreterists (he calls them “full preterists” so that they may receive his words a bit more readily):
“If you are of a full preterist mindset, and are hiding your views from your pastor, what good are you doing for your church or for the body of Christ? Don’t put yourself above the church. If it is the truth, then so be it: come clean and be willing to take a stand. If you are in a position of leadership, then you have all the more reason to be up front and honest. Otherwise, how long do you intend to wait? Until you have secretly converted the entire church to full preterism (as if), or until you can secure enough people to split the church over your hobby horse end times position? Now is the time to be honorable and to come clean.”
Todd seems to realize that hyperpreterism operates more like Romans 16:17-18 & Jude 1:4).  But what Todd has embarked upon lately is to chronicle as he says, “the many shocking & unbiblical statements coming from the full preterists”. And let it not be compared that non-hyperpreterists do often make such statements as well — we’re talking about ratios here.  For every 1 out 100 non-hyperpreterists making such statements, there is probably 8 out of 10 hyperpreterists making such statements & behaving with a corrupt character.
Todd started a page to examine the “regressive doctrine of hyperpreterism”.
Todd says:
It is a sad but common tendency of full preterists to treat the view as the gospel.  In fact, Don Preston often refers to “the gospel truth of Covenant Eschatology”.   Now, it is one thing to be confident that your personal theology is correct, but there seems to be a point where such statements cross a line.
For instance, it is commonly declared in articles and discussions that full preterism is based upon the Word of God ; therefore, if you don’t agree with that view then you don’t agree with the Word of God.   Likewise, it is commonly stated that Jesus taught full preterism ; therefore, if that view is incorrect then Jesus is a liar.  There are many such comments - so many in fact that those who leave full preterism often go to atheism, no doubt have been convinced of the truth of those statements.
But perhaps the most serious question Todd asks is:
He follows that question with the comments:
This may seem like an incendiary question, but it is a legitimate one.  After all, there are such things as dangerous cults, aren’t there?
To most hyperpreterists they are in denial that what they are espousing is a radical depature from historic Christianity let alone hyperpreterism being a cult.  To most hyperpreterists, Christians who question them  & their conclusions are merely “heretic hunters”, but beliefs have consequences whether those beliefs cause a person to smash planes into sides of buildings or if those beliefs cause a person to lead people away as if they were leading away “silly women”. (2 Tim 3:6)
Todd concludes with these very revealing comments:
I must admit, it took me two years of being out of the group before such thoughts even crossed my mind.   But the cruel barrage against those who left the view and - heaven forbid - had anything critical to say about it after leaving has been relentless.   I have honestly never seen anything like it in my life… how quickly people can be seen as bitter enemies for simply talking about how the Holy Spirit has led them in a different direction.   The smears and insults against very sincere people - and the methods employed to silence them - has forced me to rethink the level of danger in joining up with this full preterist splinter group.
How true & again, let’s keep ratio in mind.  Why is it that this kind of behavior affects & infects hyperpreterism more than probably any other group?  Because hyperpreterism has as its main premise an arrogant hubris that MUST believe that there has been a 2000 year conspiracy.
I hope people thinking about or just entering the hyperpreterist movement consider what Todd is saying — afterall many of the current hyperpreterists cut their heretical teeth on the material Todd put together & now he is one of the most vocal ones sounding the alarm against it.  Unless a person is operating completely from Proverbs 26:12, they should consider what they are doing.
The link to Todd’s chronicle is:
*image is an inside joke.

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