Monday, May 18, 2009

Last of the Series on Dispensationalism

What I have been talking about is called Kingdom Eschatology! This is the belief that basically we don't have to experience the world coming to a harsh and crashing end, that the world doesn't have to go to hell in a hand basket. That we as Christ followers do not have to fear anything, in part because we have power over dreadful things and in part because nothing worth fearing is going to rise up and destroy us (i.e. antichrist). Don't quote me as saying that no bad things will effect us. Christ is very clear, "Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also" (John 15: 20).

So why is this a big deal? Many of my brothers and sister in the Lord have been apart of an ideal that is not accurate and is only less than 200 years old (Dispensationalism). It wouldn't be such a big deal to let inaccuracy remain except it causes irrational and unfounded behavior. I see in the Church at large having a fear of change. Not in its beliefs or understanding, but a fear of change in things small and large. Again, not the older generation being afraid of carpet colors and new songs, but generation against generation, christian against christian. Political preference has become a huge issue and salvation is concerned for on issues of no concern in that area. As vague as this sounds, that's the feeling that has entered the church. There seems to be a haze of uneasiness and discomfort and so we as people resort to extremes. We demonize those things we don't understand and create factions. This seems to be the picture of the Church in the last few decades and even centuries.

Kingdom Eschatology believes that we get to partner with the Almighty God through Christ to advance love and grace, the likes of which has never been seen, that of which we have been shown. It believes that we can make a difference in the world for good and overcome differences in the world forever by living out the resurrection and finding strength in its power. Fear has no hold. Death has no hold. And "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: 'For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.' No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8). Praise the name of Jesus! We are free! And not just free from this or that but "if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed" (John 8)

Some other things that Kingdom Eschatology (which is part of Partial Preterism) combats:
~"That Israel still has unfinished business and will be absolved later."
~~~The Church is God's business and in it all are one and complete. "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." (Galatians 3:28-29)
~~~We are the real children of Abraham and the new Israel. The new covenant is forever and the Old will never exist again. "By calling this covenant 'new,' he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear" (Hebrews 8:13, Romans 9-11).
~~~This is an important distinction because it means we don't have to support Israel right or wrong. We can condemn their actions that violate Human Rights. Though we are always to pray for the peace of Israel, that peace does not have to come by violence.
~"Matthew 24 is not fulfilled"
~~~Of course it has and most of the early church fathers believed it had in 70 a.d. and suggest otherwise is to assume wrong things about the new testament writers and Christs words.

Some problems with Kingdom Eschatology:
~ It maintains an earlier date for the writing of Revelations than most are comfortable with. It would have to have been written before 70 a.d. whereas it has been assumed as late as 90 ad and this is the current belief. This isn't necessarily the date that has been historically agreed upon and church fathers haven't found this to be a huge problem, but it is worth noting.

I am glad to be done with the series but would love to continue the conversation. I know I have expressed these ideas as factual and the end of the line, but know that I am still exploring and will continue to explore. If I come across anything that fits all the facts more than this, I will begin to explore that. Leave comments if you have questions or just want to converse about ideas. All opinions are Welcome!

Blessings and Peace!

2 comments:

  1. Jaymes, I have really enjoyed your writings on Dispensationalism. I'm also glad that I now have a name by which to call these extreme and unfounded beliefs by. Thank you for your fair and honest words. I have one problem with this post, and it may have been a slip, but you wrote "Revelations" with an S, when it seems to me that Revelation is about Jesus, who is the revelation of G-d to humanity. Right? Otherwise, thank you again for your well thought out and researched words. Have you read Jesus for President?

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  2. It totally is Revelation, thank you for the correction. This is correction is an important one because it isn't "revelations" about things but you are correct it is a revelation about our Lord.

    You should definitely read more books on it as I am still exploring it. Bless you for your encouragement...

    Here are some videos that really helped me! They are long and he is way more hardcore than I am, but very informative: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DdoUrUNjcns&feature=PlayList&p=575D8D024DC8491A&index=0&playnext=1

    Blessings and Peace!

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