Friday, May 22, 2015

A Very Sincere Message to All Preterists (SHARE FREELY)

preterism image

As you know I adamantly believed and taught preterism for 15 years.  I had everything to gain by remaining within preterism. I was one of the original authors of the preterist book Dave Green/Mike Sullivan/Ed Hassert wrote.  But I removed myself when I could no longer honestly say I believed preterism.  That's when Sam Frost stepped in and co-authored.  And now we see Frost is no longer a preterist either.

I know it is difficult to  give up preterism.  We had invested so much of our lives into it.  How can we tell people..."Um... I was wrong, not just a little wrong but wrong in my entire premise".  The radical paradigm shift isn't really Christianity at all.  It is something altogether different, just as Mormonism and JWs use the bible and Christian words but aren't Christianity.

That my friends is a very humbling experience to have to admit you have been wrong for 15 years.  Who will ever trust you again?

And what do you do with the time statements?  Well, the fact is, historical Christianity (pre-Dispensationalism) ALREADY understood that the about to be/soon/at hand/within that generation/while some standing here were alive COMING of Christ was His Vindication and Glory before the Father and to the world and His enemies.  I speak not merely of Christ's ascension as some preterists have accused me; but of Dan 7:13-15, and Mt 26:64 where Christ is seen sitting at the right hand of the Power/Father AND coming on the clouds.  It was NEVER about locational movement but about status.  Jesus DID come when He said He would.  But it was a coming in glory not in the destruction of Jerusalem.

It was the Father/Landowner of the Mt 21 story that took vengeance on the sharecroppers that killed the Heir. Partial-Prets are wrong to say Jesus came back in AD70 yet will come again, and full prets have always been correct to point out the partial-prets inconsistency on that.  The AD70 event was NEVER about Jesus coming back.  It was about Him coming TO the Father in vindication and glory.  It was about Jesus declaring that yes, I AM the Messiah and now you Jews and the rest of the world will see it.  Christ's message transformed the world, so much so that the very Roman Empire that carried out His death sentence, was eventually helping to spread His message (before the rise of the Papists).

So my friends, my fellow preterists who wonder how can Roderick Edwards who was a 15 year long preterist, as adamant as any preterist, how could he have left preterism? Did he do it for self-gain? Nope!  Did he do it because he wanted attention? Nope! (got more of that while I was a pret) Did he do it so he could be in the good graces of the "traditional churches"? Nope! Still doing Bible studies in my home.  I left because I realized the premise of preterism is FLAWED.  We need not assume the time statements meant Jesus was about to COME BACK/RETURN.  That's how preterism hooks a person.  Many of us were so en steeped in Left-Behindism, once we saw the premise of preterism, it just "made sense".  We were never told that historical Christianity, pre-Dispensationalism ALREADY understood the Olivet Discourse (Mt 24/Mk 13/Lk 21/Lk 17) as the destruction of the Temple and the passing of the Old Covenant.  YET, these Christians did not conclude preterism.

Consider that preterism's real "father" is Max King.  Before him, no one really articulated it in full. Even J.S. Russell in his book The Parousia, believed in a future Millennium.  King, or at least his son Tim King are more or less Universalists -- which while I used to oppose this conclusion for preterists, now makes perfect sense.  It makes logical sense for a preterist to either become an IO (a person who really believes it is "all fulfilled" -- not for anyone past AD70). Or believe as a universalist, that since the resurrection is past, and all have been judged in AD70, all people after AD70 ultimately "enter the ever-open gates" of heaven.

Some preterists (including myself when I was one), used to claim they were just "furthering the Reformation" like Martin Luther.  That they are just interpreting the Bible without "traditions".  However, what we don't get is that Luther and the Reformers appealed to Sola Scriptura AND the "ancient faith".  The Reformers, understood the important point that God is moving within the Church -- that the Church is not just a bunch of individuals interpreting the Bible however they want.  Jesus founded a collective that He expected would believe and teach His and the apostles' "traditions" throughout the ages. (2 Thessalonians 2:15)

But along comes the Max Kings, the Joseph Smith jrs and the Charles Taze Russells of the world spouting what initially sounds like reasonable, logical, biblical "alternatives" to the traditional Christian interpretation. They gather followers, even followers that never heard of any of these men and think they arrived at their conclusions on their own.  And before you know it, the follower is in too deep to get out.  They are no longer Christian in the collective sense (I'm not talking about their salvation, that's between them and God). And when they keep taking it to the next logical step, then eventually will drop out or become open agnostics or atheists -- it is only logical, since they had to first adopt the premise that God didn't or couldn't maintain His plan among the people; people called Christians and instead arise some "alternative" view.  The conclusion is perhaps the entire thing called Christianity is bogus -- it is the logical end of the radical paradigm shift.

So dear friends, I beg you to reconsider the path you are on.  That's all I ask.  In Christ Jesus Amen -- love Roderick Edwards


JBsptfn said...

Enjoyed your post. Very informative.

What is your take on Acts chapter 1, though, when the angels tell the disciples that he will return the same way they saw him go up to heaven (which was physically)? Doesn't that suggest a future physical return?

Jody Firneno said...

Thank you for this post. I am a wife whose husband has turned from futurist to preterist last summer and he is deep in the teachings of Don Preston. I do not follow his new found belief and as a result our marriage is troubled and we stopped going to church because none of the churches around here "tell the truth". Even though it is pointless to forward this article to him (he will not read or believe otherwise) I find that alot of your testimony fits exactly in the same pattern as his. "It just made sense" is what I heard from him too. It took you years to realize it's flaws as I dread how long it will be until he realizes his mistake. Thank you anyways for posting this article. It takes alot of courage to admit you were blinded after so many years of what you considered was the truth.

Roderick_E said...

To JBsptfn on Acts 1:11, John Gill's commentary on it includes:
"why stand ye gazing up into heaven? reproving them for their curiosity in looking after Christ with their bodily eyes, who was no more in common to be seen this way, but with an eye of faith; and for their desire after his corporeal presence, which they were not to look for; and as if they expected he would return again immediately, whereas his return will not be till the end of the world:"

This implies the apostles didn't see Christ physically. Further the quote goes on... "shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven; he shall come in the same flesh, in the same human nature;"

The contrast I am making here is that we have a commentary that admits that the apostles more than likely did NOT see a physical Jesus floating in the sky, yet then interprets a physical Jesus coming back??? -- source

Even Calvin says: " But, they think they escape safe with that crafty answer, when as they say that then he shall come visibly; but he cometh now invisibly daily. But we are not here to dispute of his form; only the apostles are taught that Christ must abide in heaven until such time as he appear at the latter day."

Then about in what manner Christ will return, Calvin says: " Furthermore, it were but frivolous to move any question about his apparel wherewith he was then clothed, whether he shall come again being clothed with the same or no. Neither am I now determined to refute that which Augustine, in his Epistle unto Consentius, doth touch, (August. ad Con. Epist. 146;) notwithstanding, it is better for me to omit that thing which I cannot unfold." -- source

So if these theologians can be vague about the manner of His coming, I think I should be forgiven that I am of the mind His coming is sure, the manner is debatable.

Roderick_E said...

To Jody, I'm sorry to hear about your husband getting involved with preterism. Please keep praying for him and asking him how God can be in control yet allow for supposed 2000 years of incorrect Christianity. I realized at some point I could not claim to be a Christian and a preterist, anymore than a Mormon can claim to be a Christian no matter how much they may quote the Bible.