PRETERISM: A TRUTH WITH EXCELLENT CONSEQUENCES
My,my, I never thought I would be able put a label on all the discoveries I have been making in regards to the Truth. Yet, it is clear to me that where my studies have led me, I would now be considered a Preterist. I had never even heard the word before I was accused of being one, when I started writing about fulfilled prophecies and spiritual interpretations. And actually defended myself against being called one, once I found out what it did mean.
I now am thrilled to have found others that have come to the same conclusions I have, and have spent much time in research and writing and sharing what they found out.
I have found a very outstanding article by Larry Siegle, entitled “Preterism: Pure Christianity or Dangerous Cult”. In this article he lists the characteristics of a cult and compares them with the characteristics of Preterism. It is the characteristics of Preterism that I want to share first here. This list describes exactly what I have come to find as the way to know the Truth.
Here is the list, with some of my comments, and the full article can be found at:
CHARACTERISTICS OF PRETERISM
Below is listed some of the distingushing characteristics of Preterism
1.) Preterism has no “charismatic” leader or founder, and the view has been present, in varying degrees, for hundreds of years–it is not something “new” or “recent” in its development.
2.) Preterism claims no “new” revelation to those who are leaders and encourages each person to study the Scriptures for themselves.
(Yes! This is so important! Find out for yourself!)
3.) Preterism accepts the Bible alone as its “authority” plus nothing else.
4.) Preterism looks for “consistency” in the translation and usage of words given by the Holy Spirit to the inspired writers of the Bible and believes that the context determines the meaning of a word.
(So much that is being preached is taken out of context and timings twisted and confusing to understand. When one sees the true timing on all the events suddenly every verse makes sense and falls into the context in which it was uttered.)
5.) Preterism encourages people to use proper principles of interpretation and that each person is responsible for “accurately handling the word of truth” (II Tim. 2:15).
6.) Preterism as an approach to the “end-time” is founded among members of many groups and is not considered to be a “matter of salvation” for those who do not embrace the view.
7.) Preterism is represented by a diversity of viewpoints, most of which hold to “orthodox” views relative to the Trinity, the Deity of Christ, the nature of Hell and other fundemental doctrines accepted by the “historic” church down through the centuries.
8.) Preterism contends that salvation is “by grace through faith” (Eph. 2:8-10), and not on the basis of human “works” or the need to somehow “earn” the favor of God.
9.) Preterism recognizes that it is not the “popular” view at this time, but makes no assumption of superiority because of opposition to their understanding of fulfilled Bible prophecy.
10.) Preterism encourages systematic Bible study methods, proper exegesis of passages and encourages people to decide for themselves based upon the evidence.
Now, here are some comments and his list of a cult’s characteristics:
DOES THE SHOE FIT?
Recently there have been some who have made the attempt to lump the teachings of Preterism into the same category as Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, Herbert W. Armstrong, and every other false “ism” that comes along. Is preterist doctrine just another “made in America” doctrine, too “new” to be true? Are those who have accepted the Preterist view in danger of being “lost” because of this doctrine? Are Preterists actually Christians in the “Biblical” sense of the term, or are they members now of a dangerous “cult” that denies the fundamentals of “the faith which was once for all time delivered to the saints” (Jude 3)? Do Preterists use the same conversion “tactics” of the “cults” to subvert the faith of the unsuspecting and the weak?
CHARACTERISTICS OF A CULT
Almost all of the groups that are either “cults” or engage in “cultic” beliefs and practices have similar characteristics:
1.) Founded by a “charismatic” leader (C.T. Russell, Joseph Smith, Ellen G. White, Herbert W. Armstrong).
2.) Founded on the basis of some “new” revelation given only to the leader or leaders of the group.
3.) Founded on the basis of the Bible plus some other “authority” to unveil “new truth” as it becomes available to the leaders or organization.
4.) Founded on the need to redefine words and to twist passages to “fit” into their unique systematic theology.
5.) Founded on the principle that the Bible must be understood in the light of the “unique” interpretation of the leader or leaders.
6.) Founded on the belief that they are the “only” true religion and that they alone will be saved because they alone have discovered the “truth.”
7.) Founded on the rejection of doctrines such as the Trinity, the Deity of Christ, Hell, Salvation by Faith etc.
8.) Founded on the basis of “works” in order to “earn” their salvation, with absolute obedience to the leadership required.
9.) Founded on the basis of a “persecution complex” that rejoices when people are opposed to their teachings as confirmation that they must have “the truth.”
10.) Founded on the use of “secretive” methods of introducing their doctrines to unsuspecting people.
Other common traits could be listed, but the above represents a “general” description of what constitutes a “cult” in practical fact.
Wow! The second list sounds like the characteristics of many mainstream churches today!! Anther great example how truly different the Truth is from Religion!!
I just have to add some thoughts from another article because it states so well what finding out for myself has meant to me…as it led me to becoming a Preterist.
“Because those who have pure and honest hearts and who have a deep love for the Lord and devotion to His word will continue to study and as long as study continues so also will preterism. There is no place left for futurists to hide. There is no corner of the Internet where their feeble lines of argumentation cannot be answered. There is no place where the spirit of Truth will not find them and uncover the nonsense they continue to peddle.
A hundred years from now the discussion of this and many other blogs, websites and whatever the “next” step in technology is, will be HISTORY. However, HISTORY and the passing of time are the futurists worst enemies! With each passing day the reality of broken promises and failed predictions becomes more vivid than ever. Larry Siegle, Dee Dee Warren and Roderick Edwards will be long gone, but NOT the message. Preterism will continue to grow and eventually fill the hearts and minds of believers everywhere. One day historians will wonder how it could be that ANYONE ever accepted the fantastic doctrines upon which the house of futurism was built. I will not be around to say, “I told you so” THEN, so I am going to avoid the rush and tell you NOW.
No “cultic movement” here. None whatsoever.
Amen to that!
JESUS IS ALL AND EVERYTHING!!!