Friday, June 23, 2006

Care For A Little Inside Dope on The Christian World?

For the secular: There exists a rather large doctrinal split between those who hold to a Pre-Tribulational Rapture doctrine (those who read and believe Tim Lahaye books) and the Post-tribulational Rapture folks who just read the Bible and see that at the Second Coming believing Christians are either Raptured or Resurrected (depending on your being living or dead) to be with Jesus. The pre folks got their ideas from a whackjob named Irving who started a cult in England almost a hundred years ago. These same folks and their descendants have added all kinds of non-biblical doctrines to the 'christian' faith. They compose around 80% of present day Protestant believers.


This LIE, this Irvingite/Darbyist invention, fabricated out of whole cloth, has very effectively CUT OFF Christians from the world and nearly curtailed The Great Commission. This doctrine is not rational. It is not biblical. It is a fairy tale and western secularists rightly disdain those who hold to it.

The faithful often ask why Christians today are under such attack here in the West. We wonder why we are the only group who deserve no guaranteed respect such as afforded every seeming minority group under the sun these days. We chalk it up to the godless nature of modern secular society. We tell ourselves that secularism is so rampant .... so infused within the very warp and woof of western society that the devil rules them and they are generally given over to their passions, greed and lusts. We believe they are corrupt and desire corrupt men to rule over them. Or at least to accede to their lascivious practices ... and so they despise us and our faith. Everywhere we look today we see good men and women being pulled down. Woe to the public figure that even mentions his or her Christian faith. It seems to be always open season on Christians. Ridicule from every angle is the accepted norm on TV, in movies and the media. Tsk tsk tsk. We click our tongues and wonder.

Are average men and women in America really that ‘given over’ in America though? People who are to a great extent often nominally ‘christian’ and still very much American, law abiding and decent? I don’t believe it. What I see is that such a huge proportion of american Christendom has withdrawn from the field and rendered themselves outcasts that society in general has begun to see them as pariahs. Average non christian folks have largely come to distrust christians and I don’t blame them.

The public face of Christianity has become Paul and Jan Crouch ... Bishop Jakes ... the ranting (almost raving) pompous John Hagee and the heretic fakehealer Benny Hinn etc, etc, etc,. Would YOU leave your kids in the hands of any of these people? How about your government? Would you, as a proud secularist ( putting ourselves in the world’s shoes ), respect this crowd when they form huge political organizations and try and tell you how to live your lives? Do we think the massive propaganda campaign typified and lead by Tim Lahaye with his foolish books has gone unnoticed by secular America? It has not ... and it has elevated the aspect of your average christian, in the eyes of the world, to about the level of a drooling moron. But then actual drooling morons are protected from any whisper of derision in today’s politically correct world. But not Christians.

Might we then turn to the quiet thoughtful public figures of the Christian world and media for solace or hope? What about Jack Hayford ... Dr. David Hocking ... James Dobson? These men do reach the world with the Gospel but only superficially because just about the time the ‘almost converted’ or at least the positively disposed, find out these men actually believe all Christians are soon to be ‘transported directly to heaven any minute now’ they suddenly remember they left something on the stove. They hear their mom calling them for dinner. They’re busy tomorrow with prior engagements .... all week actually and uh ..... “lose my number will ya?”

I can’t say that all the errors of the TBN crowd have followed from their Irvingite ways but one could make a good case for this. Once they started making things up, like the pure fantasy of a pre-tribulation rapture, why stop there? In a hundred years they went from crackpots to almost the whole Evangelical world. They became THE arbiters of Protestant doctrine. Perhaps once they perverted the doctrine of the Apostles so flagrantly regarding the very Second Coming itself they just became utterly lost. There was no twisting or human reinvention of scripture that seemed too much for them. So we see now the really fringe behavior of Kenneth Copeland ... the now deceased Gene Scott ... Joel Osteen ... men who literally make up their own gospel or preach psychology and call it the Gospel.

Then came the purveyors of Church Growth. Men practicing Madison Avenue merchandising so efficiently that within ten years they had created the mega-church and there sprang up monstrous edifices to merchandise and market their strange gospel in every American city. Several such in each of our nations largest. Of course the church growth strategies were tailor made for those who had no problem remaking The Gospel to suit men’s itching ears and shallow moral makeup. It is not surprising that the millions attending mega-churches today have no idea what the first century Christians believed and taught. That narrow way was not very marketable to modern wastrel western society.

So ... is it really a surprise that Christianity has gotten a bad name in America? No it’s not. A man has recently written a very influential book. “American Theocracy ... The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil and Borrowed Money” This man’s name is Kevin Phillips. He’s a very smart man. An excellent public speaker. I recently heard him give a speech on the University Channel on the Dish Network satellite. I was impressed with how level headed and persuasive he was. He’s doing a very good job of alarming the politicians, academics and power brokers of this land. Not just the liberal ones either. He focuses quite harshly and at length on Tim Lahaye. In his thesis Lahaye characterizes, indeed exemplifies and personifies a dangerous radical religious movement in America and the West. He believes George Bush is under the influence if not control of these religious zealots. He posits, quite correctly I believe that no conservative politician can be elected in this land without what they call the ‘Christian Right’s’ support ... these zealots who have, to the secular mind remember, crazy insane ideas. Crazy ideas and huge powerful political machines that command millions of voters.

A huge segment of american society believes similarly and this man is doing an excellent and persuasive job of giving voice to their concerns. They truly are alarmed and even see the threat as much larger than it probably is. But then who knows how bad it could get really. I don’t want to live in a theocracy. Could the mega-church-TBN-fringe-fanatic-merchandisers take their unhinged ideas that far? I doubt it but that doesn’t mean the secular world’s fears of such could not lead to drastic consequences for those who actually do believe themselves washed in the Blood of Chri

So here WE are. Our little scattered band of post-trib stragglers spread out here and there on the planet. Clinging to what we have. Trying to hang on to our First Love. Shunned by our unbiblical brothers and suspected of being one of them by the world. It can only get more interesting from here. How many of us will there be to offer a true witness for our Lord as the tribulation becomes an actual present day reality? A day not too far distant I believe.

For those interested, below are links to prominent Post-Tribulation websites:


Blogger Louise said...

Wow, what a fantastic, truthful, hard-hitting, and much needed blog! I agree with you ten thousand percent! The pretrib rapture view is one of the most groundless and dangerous fantasies of all time. While Googling you may have run across some equally attention-getting articles like "Pretrib Rapture Diehards," "Thomas Ice (Bloopers)" (the "great researcher" that Falwell and LaHaye trust!), "Appendix F: Thou Shalt Not Steal" (gross plagiarism in writings by Falwell, LaHaye, Ryrie, Van Impe, etc.!), "Famous Rapture Watchers," and "Scholars Weigh My Research"-----all composed by the historian who has discovered more of the long hidden early rapture documents than anyone else. But, thank God, many are finding out how the pretrib view began and they are finally abandoning that sinking ship! Lord bless you and your super great blog! Louise

12:10 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

Gee thanks Louise. I posted this little essay on a post-trib forum and it elicited some interesting responses. You might care to check it out.

Scroll down to the 'General Discussion' page and the post has a similar title as this essay.

2:09 AM  

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