To the Editor,
Christians need to be able to overcome all petty divisions. There are likely to always be some divisions that amount to cultural distinctions that are good and normal. For example, if church “a” has public ministers with special robes and church “b” does not care for that, this is not something to upset folks a great deal. By contrast, the fact that atheists and religious anti-christians are not facing much opposition in the churches of the United States of America has a cause … and part of that cause is related more to Bible prophecy than we are willing to imagine. The popular views of Bible prophecy among American Christians in the last century has had a powerful effect, in my opinion, that can only be reversed by more and more Christians possessing the moral courage to study what is called “preterism.”
Preterism is dangerous, if separated from the whole of Biblical teaching: it is an incredible blessing, if studied from the vantage point of having first read through the entire Bible several times, with, hopefully, some readings in one setting of whole books of the English Bible (I am speaking here as a simple Christian whose cultural life is limited to being an American citizen without any foreign language competence). The first book in our Bible, Genesis, can be better appreciated and understood for all Christians, both as God’s holy inspired Word, and as covenantal literature, if we would read it all on an afternoon, possibly, on the Lord’s Day. My ability to consider an interpretation of the early chapters of Genesis that I now am persuaded fits with Scripture as a whole was facilitated by reading Genesis through in several hours, rather than just piecemeal. Others might have better ways, but I believe that this helps immensely, as something to try once, for those who preach and teach, especially!
Rejection of preterism is FAR MORE DANGEROUS than preterism in its worst extremes! Why? Because, it forces religious politics to replace Biblical reasoning, so that it becomes unacceptable in the house of God for a Christian to be honest about passages of the Bible. For example, when our Lord told His first century disciples that He would come in His kingdom in their natural lifespan, and that their generation would not pass away until this happened, the politically correct rejection of preterism forces a lie to prevail in preaching and teaching, which cannot help but affect other areas of Christian attitude and behavior. Rejection of preterism creates the same religiously correct environment in the houses of Christian fellowship that exist politically in the larger culture, because of leftwing Hollywood lies! Honest conversations are hard to come by in American politics because of this. It starts in church!
Preterism does not have to be fully embraced to be a major blessing to the reading of all areas of the Scriptures. Many Christians could never embrace it, regardless of how close they came, because it contradicts some things that are drilled so deeply in their psyches that it cannot respond to logic nor reason nor anything short of a miracle. But, preterism studied with as much of a fairminded attitude as a Christian pastor can come up with will reverse many things that devastate the potential good influence on the culture, including even politics, that Christians could have for the salvation of our nation! Included in these benefits would be the enormous energy toward building stronger marriage covenants, stronger family households, stronger communities, and discerning whose philosophy is most beneficial among leaders seeking our support in the public square would almost automatically follow from shifting away from a natural senses view of Christ’s coming in His kingdom to one that sees Him reigning over the nations with full authority in heaven and earth. If Christians quit supposing that God has centered His prophetic word around the modern Middle East, and realize that the Great Tribulation was the first century Jewish-Roman War, this alone would refocus Christians on recovering our society from the pits! We can think right now and have a great nation 100 years from now!
Christians should reject fanaticism, whether preterist or anti-preterist. My own assessment at the present time is that bigotry against preterists and preterism is doing unbelievable injury to the cause of Christianity and its ability to challenge the malignant growth of anti-Christian bigotry and atheistic arrogance in an effective way. Preterism will empower and equip the people of God to think independently and to apply truth to the problems we face in century twenty-one. Much of what is called “conservative, Bible-believing” Christianity is just locked into unhealthy religious political correctness as what is labeled “liberalism.” Why, because conservatives want a form of literalness that the Holy Spirit never inspired and liberals want to please whatever the neopagan cravings of the unbelieving elite want! Preterism opens the heart and the mind of sincere Christians to appreciate so many, many areas of how the whole Bible is an amazing covenantal communication, with language that progressively harmonizes with itself from the Book of Genesis to the final Come Lord Jesus. To disagree is OK, but reject is harmful.
Paul Richard Strange Sr,.