Friday, January 1, 2010

How Someone Can be Hooked by Hyperpreterism

It is not a little matter to use the word “heresy”.  Sometimes it is thrown out against something that we simply do not like or do not understand.  But the Bible defines heresy as a teaching of doctrine which is contrary to the doctrines learned from Jesus & the apostles & thus a teaching that divides Christians from real Christianity. (Rom 16:17-18).  Heresy can quietly exist among otherwise “orthodox” Christians.  An early example of this is seen in how the Judaizers were considered “believers” & actually worked with other Christians. (Acts 15:5).  So you see, it is possible to be a “believer” & a heretic at the same time.  So why were the Judaizers tolerated among the Christians?  They were tolerated UNTIL they began to CAUSE DIVISION.  Once a heresy gets to the point that it divides Christians from correct teaching, it is time to part ways.  As a matter of fact, Paul was so strong on this point that in Gal 5:12 he wished that the Judaizers would “cut themselves all the way off” — depart from considering themselves “believers”.

But worse perhaps is when people try to downplay heresy & act as if one man’s heresy is another man’s orthodoxy.  In this way they undermine truth.  They make God’s Word subjective…subject to their own private interpretation.  And in this way they often disarm the unsuspecting Christian who then puts down his armor, shield & sword & instead sits at the table to merely have a “conversation” with heresy.
Yes, I was a hyperpreterist for about 15 years but have come out of it over the last 5 years.  How can it be?  How did it hook me?
I was not raised Christian but heard the Gospel preached & read the Gospel at a low point in my life.  By 1987 I had confessed my sinful nature & need for Christ & believed.  For 12 years I attended an independent fundamental baptist congregation.  It was strongly dispensational (though no one hardly used that term).  One of my friends challenged me on the freewill/election issue.  I resisted at first like all good children of Erasmus…but eventually I was fully a Reformed Calvinistic Christian.  Here is where the hyperpreterist hook begins.
Baptistic & Reformed Christians such as many of us, have been drilled with the slogan “Sola Scriptura” — a right motto & precept indeed, but in the hands of heretics be they JWs or hyperpreterists, the slogan is used to hook a Christian into rejecting the tradition of historic Christianity (2 Thes 2:15).  Sure, sure the hyperpreterists make it look like the person is merely rejecting “traditions of men” & “errors of the institutional Church”.  Hyperpreterists often like to wrap themselves in the mantle of the Reformation, even claiming they are a continuance of the Reformation.  But in reality, the FACT is, hyperpreterism is UNLIKE anything that has EVER been considered Christian.  It is unlike anything in pre-Roman Catholic Christianity, unlike anything in Roman Catholic Christianity, unlike anything in Reformed/Calvinistic Christianity, unlike anything in Modern Evangelical Christianity.  I submit that hyperpreterism is NOT Christian anymore than JWs or Mormonism is Christian — despite all their usage of the Bible & theological terminology.
Before long, & after a Christian has let his guard down, he or she begins to have this smug feeling of finally understanding what supposedly 2000 years of Christians have not — hyperpreterism is a CONTRARY doctrine that causes Christians to divide themselves from Christianity.  Once separated from any expression of historic Christianity, the new hyperpreterist feels like his eyes are opened.  He may make comparisons about how dead his faith was before.  How he is now excited to read the Bible because it now “makes sense”.  Usually the person was a part of dispensationalism or some other convoluted & watered down expression of Christianity so when hyperpreterism comes along talking about “time texts” & “context” & “audience relevancy” — it seems like a window has been opened.  These things are not for hyperpreterism to own, but for historic Christianity to once again promote & stop with all the “purpose driven drivel” that has emasculated Christians.  As sure as men like Adolph Hitler used good things like pride for ones country & turned it into an engine for evil, so too has hyperpreterism seized upon the dust covered toolbox that should be the resource of every good theologian & instead used those tools to hook unsuspecting Christians.  Christians who merely wanted to have a real & impacting faith & instead were taken advantage of by “smooth & flattering speech”.   Hyperpreterism DUPES Christians.
So, the hook that hyperpreterism uses to plot & trick is the very things we consider honorable — that is what makes it even more despicable.  But we should not be surprised, for the Serpent did this from the beginning, coming to mankind speaking what sounds like sensible words & mankind followed the “logic” & fell.  Yet the most important & precious things in the Bible “make no sense” — at least not to our human reasoning.  Was it “logical” for a supreme being that had no need of helpers & no need of objects of love or being loved to create a universe & a planet & there upon place inferior beings?  Was it “logical” for God to not only foreknow but actually declare from the beginning the Fall of these same creatures? (Is 46:10)  Was it “logical” for God to choose a people who were the least of people & to use these people to carry out a plan He had actually declared from the beginning? (Deu 7:7-8)
Was it “logical” for God to come in the flesh & die upon a Cross for people whom He loved while they yet hated Him? (Rom 5:8)  And therein is the other hook that hyperpreterism drives into the heart & mind of unsuspecting Christians — they present it as “logical” as “exegetical”, as “scriptural” — they even quote text upon text, but so did Satan.
After a while the new hyperpreterist is surrounded by his fellow hyperpreterists.  He begins to feel a bond, a “fellowship”.  He looks back on his former faith as empty & perhaps even “uncharitable”.  He begins to disdain all things “traditional” or “orthodox”.  He begins to ridicule historic Christianity as shortsighted or even outright stupid.  I fear at this point, many hyperpreterists become hardened, their consciences seared.  No one will convince them of the errors of hyperpreterism — only by the grace of God humbling them, will they be able to break free from the cultish bonds of hyperpreterism.  And when they do break free of that heresy, they will surely see the real face of hyperpreterism — as hyperpreterists are cruel & relentless toward those who abandon thier little cult…unless you leave quitely.  Unfortunately, many that do leave end up dropping out of Christianity all together.  Many ex-hyperpreterists are now functional atheists.  I mean where else are you going to go?  If you have bought the hook that God for whatever reason was unable or unwilling to guide His Church for nearly 2000 years on a basic understanding of eschatology, then who & why would anyone want to worship such a pitiful God?  If God does this, then who is to say ANYTHING we understand about Christianity is correct?  Such a premise leaves a Christian ready to accept ANY error waiting to hook them.
In the Bible, many important things happen along roads.  The road to Damascus.  The road to Emmaus.  The road to Gaza.  For hyperpreterists, one of the toughest but most important roads to travel will have been the road to heresy & back to historic Christianity.
Again, I beg you to beware of these men & any smooth & flattering words they may utter. Don’t let yourself be duped by these heretics.  And if you are already within the hyperpreterist “movement”.  Come out of it before you too become hardened & too arrogant & too “wise in your own eyes” to listen to anyone. (Prov 26:12)
I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. Gal 1:6-8

1 comment:

davideves said...

I thank Jesus that I am not a hyperpreterist but very recently I was almost hooked.I feel very well what you say about your"eyes being opened"so as to finally understand the Bible.I even told a Christian friend I was on the verge of perhaps accepting a new belief and that Jesus was a false prophet if he didn't return in AD 70.We even got into an argument and I feel very ashamed about it now.It was a blasphemous thing to say.After studying it further then it dawned on me how all my beliefs would change in some form or another and I had a real check in my spirit.I prayed about it and did a google search on problems with full preterism and I found this site as well as others for which I'm thankful.
And as the article on your front page I was introduced to partial preterism years ago through Gary DeMar and Last Days Madness.But not until recently had I considered full preterism.
I'm seeing now what an evil snare of satan this is and where it can lead.I thank God he saved me from it before I jumped completely in.