Saturday, April 25, 2009

Apologies to my Pre-Trib brethren for this post

Often you hear Christians gasp with amazement when they hear about the peculiar doctrines of cults like the Mormons and JWs. They often exclaim "How can anybody believe that?"

Typically, they have not read enough of the cults material too understand the reasoning behind some of these false doctrines. Hence, when they actually meet real live cult followers, they are confounded and have no idea how to answer them.

These false doctrines have not been plucked from the air. They are supported by twisted readings of scriptural passages. They are invariably based on wrong methods of eisegesis. Yet the reasoning behind them makes sense. When they present their arguments, you can see where they are going.

Yet despite the smart arguments, you are still left with the thought in your head "How can anybody come to that conclusion?"

For all the great theology that has come from Dispensationalist theologians, my thoughts on the Pre-Trib rapture are still exactly the same as my reaction to the odd doctrines of the cults- "How can anybody come to that conclusion?"

I have read book after book by Pre-Trib theologians. Yet I am still baffled as to how people come to think that there is a pre-trib rapture. The more arguments that Pre-Tribbers raise, the more implausible there proposition seems to me.


MAE said...

>>The more arguments that Pre-Tribbers raise, the more implausible there proposition seems to me.<<
So I will not argue with you, Matthew, I just pray for you :-)
Just joking!
Hope, you are well and everything goes well at your job.
Greetings from a sunny Germany and God bless you,

PaulW said...

Hi Matthew

I woould include Seventh-Day Adventism's traditional doctrines of Christ's ascension into the heavenly sanctuary and work of investigative judgement as other implausible propositions. SDAs now undertand these doctrines a sense very different from the 19th century, of course - since the 1950s and 1960s they now generally expound them in such a way that they emphasise the believer's justification in Christ and assurance of salvation.

Btw, would you be with Walter Martin re SDAism (that it is a Christian denomination with aberrant teachings) or with Anthony Hoekema (that it is a non-Christian cult)?

Celestial Fundie said...

Mae, thanks. The job is going well. My project is in its early stages and needs some work, but I am getting on with it. It is puttin me off alcohol a bit though, seeing all the harm it does in some cases!

Paul W, thanks for your question. That is a good one.

My answer would be too reject the notion that you can devide groups into 'denominations' and 'cults.'

My problem with this distinction is it ignores the wobbliness of much mainstream Christianity on soteriology.

It is my belief that eternal security is central to the gospel. Thus, a good deal of mainstream Christianity either rejects this or minimizes its importance.

I had rather attend a church which believes in eternal security and which had some aberrations than attend a Wesleyan church.

I suppose that makes me rather extreme.

As regards the Seventh Day Adventists, they reject eternal security, so I would avoid them.

I do think many of their other teachings are deeply unsound, particularly their denial of an intermediate state between death and resurrection.

Thus, even if they did believe in eternal security, I would certainly avoid them.

God Bless


PaulW said...

Hi Matthew

Thanks for your honest response.

Gary said...


Have you read Zane Hodges work on the pre-trib rapture?

"Jesus God's Prophet"

His Teaching About the Coming Surprise


Celestial Fundie said...

No, I have not.

I have read his response to The Pre-Wrath Rapture (Marvin Rosenthal).

lightninboy said...

I too am a defender of the Prewrath Rapture.

Celestial Fundie said...

Good for you.

Thanks for visiting.

ukchristian28 said...

So is it your position that you must hold to eternal security to be saved?

Celestial Fundy said...

Not exactly.

I hold that assurance is essence of saving faith.

If a person has never been certain that she is going to heaven, then she has never been saved.

I think most Arminians when they were immediately converted did not think:

"I might lose my salvation and go to hell."

They probably thought:

"I am going to heaven because of Jesus!"

It is only later that they probably came to believe they might lose their salvation.

Of course, if they did they have fallen from grace and believe a false gospel, but they are not necessarilly unregenerate.

Every Blessing in Christ