You are hereThe Blasphemous Malignancy Known as Futurism
The Blasphemous Malignancy Known as Futurism
I have deliberated for a considerable length of time over how to approach this subject in a way that’s not considered completely disrespectful to my fellow Christians who are non-Preterists at this time and yet at the same time remain forthright and sincere in my presentation of the actual nature of Futurist Christianity. As Preterists we have been accused of being “heretics” and “heterodox” which is true in terms of the “orthodoxy” established in later, post-AD 70 “church” doctrine. The peace of heart and mind I enjoy in accepting those labels is offset by the awareness that my immediate family members and friends who are still immersed in Christian Futurism (enshrined in all denominations and sects within the broad parameters of “Churchianity”) are burdened with – and psychologically enslaved by – notions, beliefs and ideas which are not only false, but actually represent a direct assault on the character and integrity of God. Futurists believe and promote ideas about God and His Kingdom that are not only unBiblical and heretical (in the truest sense of that term) - they are blasphemous. And that is an extremely serious charge.
There are many texts that troubled me (and continue to trouble me) in this regard, as I began to become aware of the horrifically distorted, erroneous nature of futurist Christian beliefs when considered in the light of a contextually accurate treatment of the Scriptures. One of the most troubling features of this situation is that, supposedly, spiritually reborn Christians are directly guided in their understanding of God’s Word by the Holy Spirit. It is unthinkable and inconceivable that God the Holy Spirit would permit Christians to continue in such blatantly false delusions based, supposedly, on His Word and even deliberately prompt their understanding to continue in this direction. The other troubling aspect of this reality is that futurism does involve, I believe, a psychological and spiritual malignancy that has a self-destructive, weakening, debilitating effect on those committed and devoted to it.
One of the Scriptures I have pointed out to various futurists as a prime example of this is found in Hebrews 9:23-28. It reads as follows, in the NKJV, “23 Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; 25 not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another— 26 He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. 27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, 28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.” There are so many things in these verses that could be discussed at considerable length – including the rest of the context in this chapter and the preceding ones. What stands out to me, though, in the immediate context alone, is that – clearly - the spiritual economy and system of the Mosaic Covenant “world” (cosmos) is solely in view here (as it is in the rest of the book of Hebrews) and that the “appointment” exclusive to the Israelites/Jews of that First Covenant “world” to die only once (in contrast to the reincarnational death cycles of other people - more on that another time) included Christ’s death for “many” (not ALL of humanity)and His reappearance to THOSE WHO EAGERLY WAIT FOR HIM. That last sentence in particular really troubles me, and it should deeply concern every Christian who claims to love God and His Word. It makes me angry in fact. I am angry because Christian futurist ministers, theologians and lay people consistently claim that Jesus Christ did NOT “appear a second time apart from sin, for salvation” to those First Century Christians who awaited his return with greater eagerness and intensity than any Christians have anticipated it since. This Scripture was written to THEM and for THEIR encouragement and…guess what? God’s a trickster, according to futurists. He likes to play games with human language and trick people involved in a faith relationship with Him according to a psychologically and inferentially deceptive scheme known, blasphemously, as “immanency”. This means that in order for Him to ensure faithfulness and continued love for Him on the part of His followers, he must keep everyone on a short leash, expecting the Return of Christ and Great Day of Judgment for hundreds and thousands of years. Generations of Christians come and go eagerly anticipating His Return and still God dangles the proverbial carrot of “some day” and “no man knows the day or hour” so “remain watchful and vigilant” etc. etc. This is a direct violation of His Word, His Promises and the Character He reveals to man in the Scriptures as being His own. In essence, if God did NOT fulfill the promise of Hebrews 9:28 to those First Century Hebrews, within the lifespan of their generation, then He is NOT the God of Israel, but a liar and deceiver and the Scriptures are invalid and a fraud. THAT is the blasphemous nature of futurist Christian belief, regardless of how they may try to sugar-coat and soft-peddle their own inconsistencies and blatant disregard for context.
Futurist Christians have distorted the meanings of terms like “world”, “end of the ages”, “sin”, “judgment”, “appointment/appointed”, “salvation”, etc. Their phony time-lines and interpretive mishandling of prophetic time statements are fraudulent and lead to various forms of psychological, spiritual and, ultimately, physical distress. Their system of faith is a lie and those who learn to love, promote and defend it become liars, unwittingly, themselves. I am reminded of Rev. 21:23-27, “23 The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. 24 And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. 25 Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). 26 And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. 27 But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.” And Rev. 22:14,15 “14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. 15 But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.” On the basis of these texts, I don’t see a place in the Kingdom of Heaven (or the heavenly City of Zion) for futurists who remain committed to the blasphemous, malignant lie of a future expectation of Christ’s Return and final establishment of the Kingdom of Heaven including its full manifestation. The fact that all of those things occurred approximately 2,000 years ago makes all modern “Christian” expectation of those things at some point in the future, essentially, a continuous, repeated slap in God’s face. They unwittingly disparage and discount all that He accomplished in Christ and in Christ’s Body (His First Century Church). They unwittingly, ignorantly blaspheme His Nature and Character and “worship” Him as being no better than Satan the Deceiver.
These are troubling, harsh words – but I believe these things must be acknowledged, both by ourselves and other Christians, in order to begin to resolve the discrepancy between the clear statements and teachings of the Scriptures, and so-called “orthodox” Christian doctrine and belief.
Serving the Truth,