You are hereThe "Emerging Church": Christianity That the Beltway Crowd Can Love

The "Emerging Church": Christianity That the Beltway Crowd Can Love

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By Virgil - Posted on 19 March 2009

by William L. Anderson

The difference between liberals and the "Emergent Church" leaders is that the emergents tend to have a somewhat higher view of Scripture (although they would not agree with evangelicals and others that the Bible is inerrant), and they tend to believe in the deity of Christ. Although they don’t hold onto some of the orthodox doctrines, nonetheless they do tend to believe that there was a real and historical Jesus who really did die and rise again. However, the thing to remember is that their theology itself is directly tied into state action to redistribute wealth. When they speak of "voting out poverty," what they mean is the election of politicians who will carry out the tasks of building a fascist society. It is a theology of fascism, and while that sounds harsh on my part, nonetheless it also is the brutal truth.Although I still read the Sojourners "God’s Politics" blog on a semi-regular basis, unfortunately for me, some of my earlier comments have resulted in my being banned from writing things there in the future. (I questioned some of their theology, among other things, and since God directs the political comments of the Sojourners cult, I guess I fell out of favor with the Almighty Himself.)

Nonetheless, until recently, I was puzzled by some of the responses I was reading. Here were people who claimed to believe in many of the basic doctrines of Christianity, yet were coming to some conclusions that I did not think could square with the historical Christian faith of the past two millennia. In other words, something did not quite fit.

It was recently, however, that I "discovered" the ecclesiastical "niche" of this group, a movement that calls itself the "Emerging Church." (It also is called the "Emergent Church.") This is a movement that has grown from discontent from the so-called "Seeker Movement" in which churches have tried to appeal to the larger population by creating "seeker-friendly" services that would appeal to people who have grown up either with no church background at all or who stopped going to church in their adolescent or young adult years. (The Willow Creek Church near Chicago and Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church are a couple of examples.)

The "Emergent" development also hails from discontent with the so-called megachurch movement in which churches have thousands of members, and Sunday services pretty much are patterned after entertainment variety shows complete with one-act plays, rock bands and an "inspirational" speech from the church’s main attraction: the pastor. Those who have gravitated to the "Emergent Church" include young people who want more "spirituality" but also have "urban" values, are allied with left-wing causes, are hard-nosed environmentalists, or who oppose the ties that many evangelicals have with the conservative wings of the Republican Party.

Read the entire article here

Virgil's picture

I will write a longer response to this article when I find some time, but this is really the kind of criticism I have tossed around for a few years, with the exception that Anderson is taking it to an unreasonable pitch, and what better way to do that than tossing around words like "fascist?"

By his own admission, Anderson does not know anyone in the Emergent Church, so he is probably repeating stuff overheard; he also does not understand that this is a conversation, leaving believers in their own contexts (baptists, presbys, catholics, etc) and encouraging conversations on things which they have in COMMON, not highlight things we all disagree on.

As far as government involvement goes, what in the heck was the Roman Empire? How quickly we forget...throughout its 2,000 years history, Christians have been involved in manipulating the government to meet their social or financial agenda, whether they were liberal or conservative.

The hypocrisy goes deep; nevermind that Jesus encouraged followers to be compassionate and put the welfare of others first. So when corporate CEOs choose to fire thousands of people in order to maintain a multi-million dollar bonus, there is something deeply wrong there; it cannot and should not be fixed by government intervention, but I am also not convinced that it can be fixed by replacing worship of Jesus with worship of free-markets.

Parker's picture

Virgil,

Think for a minute about the consequences of communism. While most liberals believe it is the great economic and social hope of society and the poor, it has never delivered good results. To the contrary, it has produced brutal dictatorships and permanent depression-level economies.

In contrast, capitalism delivers a high standard of living and quality of life by unleashing the entrepreneurial spirit of people and allowing them freedom to start businesses. The result of capitalism is that distributes the greatest amounts of wealth the to the largest possible number of people. And in capitalist countries, even the poorest have clothing, food, shelter, and emergency hospital care. That's incredible, when one compares the poor in the U.S. to the poor in non-capitalist countries.

Capitalism has been wrongly attacked by the left, and sadly many emergents lack the political and economic education necessary to evaluate such matters. They simply don't know what the differences are between capitalism and socialism. They don't know enough history to compare the regimes that are associated with capitalism vs. those associated with communism and socialism.

And, in the end, many liberal and emergent christians adopt a simple-minded but wealth-destroying doctrine that the rich are the evil people of society and should have their wealth taken from them and given to others by state mandate.

Ed's picture

Parker,
While fundamentally I agree with you, I think what Virgil may be referring to is the old argument of "capitalism" vs. "the free market." In a truly free market, one person/company has a product or service, another wants it. The one that wants it has something that the first person/company wants, and they exchange it. All of this without interference by the government.

Today's capitalism fails because it is directly tied to a Usury system, wherein governments, corporations and individuals owe their existence to "the company store," i.e., the BANKS. Our entire system is based on credit, not value. The value of things is determined not by the buyers and sellers, but the bankers who manipulate the money supply to their own ends.

Think back to the OT when someone would buy property. Any value they added to it became value added to it when they sell it. Even in the Jubilee when the property is returned to its owner, there was additional exchange based on, not on the size of the money supply (it was fixed by gold or some other "hard" commodity), the value that the seller added to it. That was market economics. What we have today is market manipulation either by governments or banks.

That's just the way I'm seeing it these days. We need a return to truly free markets.

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

Parker's picture

Hi Ed.

I agree we need to get back to markets where value is determined entirely by natural demand and supply.

I don't know that banking is a big problem. Even the current banking "crisis" was created when the government forced banks to offer loans en masse to customers that banks knew would default. But the government wanted to give home ownership to a mass segment that couldn't afford it, and in the process bankrupted the banks (all with government guarantees, of course).

But the main thing to remember is that Capitalism generates wealth and distributes it to the greatest number of people in a population. The combination of entrepreneurial and economic freedom unleashes the creative and productive potential in humanity, leading to a higher quality of life/standard of living.

In contrast, socialism and capitalism, by taking away economic freedom, place the responsibility for wealth generation in the hands of a few bureaucrats, which always results in permanent depression-level economies. Governments make horrible business enterprises. They simply aren't suited for creating wealth and innovation.

Parker's picture

Oops. I meant to say: "socialism and communism, by taking away economic freedom, place the responsibility for wealth generation in the hands of a few bureaucrats."

Ed's picture

Parker,
I don't intend to argue with you, because I agree with you, but I do have a problem with the bankers who manipulate debt and money supply.

Homes would be affordable to a larger number of people were it not for the inflationary practices of the banking industry. Low interest rates keep prices high because more people can afford "more home" (a euphemism for more expensive home). The low interest rates in turn create a borrowing binge that results in more fiat money entering the money supply which in turn adds to the inflationary pressures already existing due to the aforementioned low interest rates. It's a vicious cycle.

When I think of free markets, I think of my 13 year old son going to our neighbor's house, an elderly retired nurse, and shoveling her driveway for her, or raking her leaves, mowing her lawn and trimming her bushes. She pays him. Both are happy.

There is no government interference there YET! No regulations dictating the size of the shovel or the type of mower he can use. No regulations dictating how much she is required to pay him, or maximum of how much he can charge - THEY decide. That's free market. If she doesn't like his work, she finds someone else. If he doesn't think she pays enough, he finds someone who will. It's fair. It's righteous. It's moral.

I know you agree with me, and I with you. I just want to make sure we are not comparing apples to oranges, that's all.

Love ya bro,

ed

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

Parker's picture

We do agree. Ed, I can't say enough how worried I am that today's young college students have zero practical knowledge about economics and business. They have no concept of how much good capitalism does for the well being of society and the poor. It's an educational crisis that must be remedied or we'll lose our wealth to the ignorance of people like Jim Wallis and Obama. Sadly, these well-meaning folk will do more harm to the poor than they know by trading out capitalism for socialism.

America has been a hard working and highly productive country with an economic system that creates wealth and distributes it to the greatest number of citizens possible. Even the poor in America have their basic needs met--plus emergency hospital care. That's no easy feat! What other countries can say they provide this to their citizenry?

Ed, to what extent are the banking issues you mention caused by The Fed's control over the money supply and setting rules for credit and sponsorship of bad lending practices through "government guarantees"?

Local retail banks are businesses like any other business. They provide products and services that are subject to the same market forces as any other business. I suspect that the Fed creates more problems than it solves.

Ed's picture

Parker,
When I say "the bankers" I mean the banking establishment, which the Federal Reserve is the Chief Perpetrator. Yes, local banks are businesses like any other, but the whole system is based on a usury system that robs us of our wealth through inflation. The Keynesian concepts that keep people from becoming wealthy has been the predominant economic theory of the U.S. since FDR. Austrian economics (sound money; voluntary exchange of products, service and ideas; etc.) is what I support. The Banking Industry (the Federal Reserve, et al.) undermines all of these things, and is NOT our friend - they are in cahoots with the large Central Government (truly an invention of Lincoln) to keep us under their thumb.

We cannot be truly free until we divorce ourselves from the shackles of the banking industry - in my humble opinion. It is my goal to get completely debt free in the next 4-5 years (including my house), and live that way the rest of my life.

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Sadly, these well-meaning folk will do more harm to the poor than they know by trading out capitalism for socialism.

Hi Parker! Just thought I'd contribute a thought or two here from the Canadian side of the border. This whole discussion doesn't necessarily have to be of an "either/or" nature. Up here in Canada we have had socialized medical care, for example, for decades and it has really worked rather well - better, in fact (overall), than the system in place in the US. This perception is based on a variety of reports and observations from a good cross-section of working-class family, friends and acquaintances down there.

Our economy is still capitalist in nature, but we do have a blend of socialism woven into it that presents a more humanitarian face to the poor, underpriveleged and indigent in our society. This doesn't mean we don't have the same societal battles with homelessness etc. that exist in the States, but ours seem to be less severe.

Parker's picture

SSF,

Our medical care in the U.S., which is among the best in the world, still suffers from government OVER-regulation. Specifically, it's not a free-market product, which is why our prices are absurdly high and why we have to create corporate health-care plans mediated through our employers/workplaces. (As you know, our health care plans are not mediated through the federal government.)

In the U.S., if you work more than 30 hours per week, you have excellent health care mediated through your employer/workplace. If you do not work above 30 hours, or you are self-employed, you have to find another way to join into a health care group plan. Which can be very expensive.

The problem begins with government interference into the market. In the U.S., all industries that are given economic freedom produce the best quality products at the lowest possible prices---and the producers in such industries are successful growth companies. It's a win-win. But the moment the federal government enters with heavy regulation or taxation, the whole economic mechanism begins to sputter and spit and kick and break down. Prices go through the roof, quality suffers, and producers go bankrupt from the government-created burdens.

The founding American vision is that there must be separation of business and State if you want quality products, low prices, and successful growing businesses. Governments are bloated bureaucracies and they make lousy businesses.

mazuur's picture

Parker,

AMEN!! Well stated.

-Rich

-Rich

ChefTony's picture

Chef Tony

Ed's picture

replacing worship of Jesus with worship of free-markets.

Virgil, I love you and I am planning on being at TV2009 (I'm registered and got a room), but I hope this is not the kind of rhetoric that will be thrown around by the Emergent Cohort there. I for one do not "worship" free markets, I simply believe that history shows that the free, voluntary exchange of ideas, goods and services is the most moral and ethical way to do business. All other economics is enslaving and a usurper of the authority of God. A man cannot exercise the dominion that God intended if he is shackled by government and, in our present system, banks.

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

Virgil's picture

Ed, where did I say that you worship free markets?

Ed's picture

I provided the quote in my post. While not naming me specifically, the implication is plain - those that are not in agreement with McLaren version of economics are "worship(ing) free markets."

ed

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

Virgil's picture

The sentence is but I am also not convinced that it can be fixed by replacing worship of Jesus with worship of free-markets.

Ed, I am not sure what you are picking out of my words, but I am speaking in the context of providing help to those in need. Free markets still operate within the grace and providence of our Creator. Americans generally speaking have forgotten this. It is not the human at the center of free markets which provides for those in need, it's God. That should be the substance of our freedom, not the golden bull parked in front of NYSE.

Ed's picture

I can see from your statement that you are decrying the Corporate Execs who take bonuses and lay off workers. What business is that of yours? Do you buy from those businesses? If so, why? If what they are doing is so awful, why do you give them your dollars? If you don't, then what right do you have to tell them how to operate their business?

Free markets operate irrespective of your or my judgment. However, we can judge markets one of two ways: vote with our dollars, or vote with our political force. You decry both. What you propose as a solution is guilt - guilt for operating a business at a profit.

Don't get me wrong: I don't like this Wall Street bailout any better than anyone else; but what is interesting is that it is the believers in Big Government Socialism that are passing the bailouts.

With Bush Jr. the Dems rightly criticized him (although hypocritically) for his deficits (but for the wrong reason - tax cuts rather than excessive spending). So what happens when Obama, the savior of the world, gets elected. A $1.8T deficit THE FIRST YEAR. Where is Jim Wallis and Brian McLaren now? Why aren't they hollering about how this will cause undue suffering on the poor and middle class (it will)? Why aren't they "worshipping Jesus instead of worshipping socialism"?

You see, the problem isn't free market capitalists failing to worship Jesus - it's socialists like Wallis, McLaren and Obama who are worshipping the State (I know Chrisliv, the GOP does too, I gotchya, just making a point) instead of worshipping Jesus.

We need to be careful of our words. Conversations are not productive when our words accuse. But, I'm NOT in a conversation with Emergent - not at all. Especially if they are attempting to get me to acknowledge that I've been worshipping free markets, when the truth be told, it is THEY who have been worshipping a false god - the god of the state. "We have no King but Caesar" is a cry that has no business in the vocabulary of a Christian (no matter how it is worded).

Yes, King Jesus calls us to be charitable, but we are to be charitable with our own money, that which we earned. That is the message of scripture. Remember that it was the apostle Paul who said that "a man should work with his own hands, in order to have bread to eat, and enough to share with others." He never said that a man should support government policies to take wealth from those who work for it, and give it to the man who does not work. In fact, he did say that the man who does not work should not eat, and if a man does not provide for his family with his own hands he has denied the faith.

That is why I have had such a hard time accepting Emergent. Wallis and McLaren don't speak for me - never have, never will. What they are proposing is not Christian charity - it is the worship of a false god. In its current manifestation, it is Obama. God doesn't like competition.

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

Parker's picture

"Yes, King Jesus calls us to be charitable, but we are to be charitable with our own money, that which we earned."

Right on, Ed. It is no virtue to be charitable with other people's confiscated money.

Ed's picture

Yes, I'm tired of folks like Wallis and McLaren living under the benefits of a free market, all the while cursing it. It's like Wallis' bumpersticker "God's neither a Republican nor a Democrat," which to him meant "vote Democrat, otherwise you're a heathen."

I am not anti-government, as I know you are not either, but I am sick of the direction our government has been going for these past 8-12 years. Obama shows no signs of changing the direction either. In fact, the only change he's been about is doing what Bush was doing to the 10th power.

If one wants to make an argument for legitimate governmental function, I'm there. I personally believe that there are biblical and constitutional warrants for having an organized government (although not a centralized monstrosity over millions of people - that's what I liked about federalism); but when you begin to blame societial ills on the free market (accusing free market conservatives and libertarians of "worshipping" it) and claim the answers are to be found in bigger government (when the opposite is true), that's where I jump in with both feet into the fray.

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

Taffy's picture

As I’ve set out fully in my Threads in the “open forum”, in a BIBLICAL sense, post-Parousia there is NO SUCH THING as a ‘Christian’, ‘Christianity’ or ‘Church’ (“emergent” or otherwise). So the WHOLE premise of this view-point is FALSE. People are of course free to believe what they wish and call themselves what they will, but from a scriptural point-of-view they have no warrant to do so.

Take care, Taffy.

Starlight's picture

Taffy,

Are you espousing some form of Universalism instead?

Your article was long and tedious so if you could summarize what you are inferring more succinctly then we might understand your position with better clarity.

Norm

Taffy's picture

Hey Norm, thanks for your comment.

Yes, I agree with you that my posts have been quite long, but as there’s so much error and superstition to get through first, especially with regards to what some call ‘Christianity’ (but have no scriptural warrant for doing so), sometimes there really isn’t any other way.

Anyway, why not try reading a few of the ‘initial’ posts of my last couple of Threads as they may help “summarise” my position for you. It would be good to hear your thoughts.

Take care, Taffy.

Taffy's picture

Even though discussions about ‘Christianity’ (so-called) have NO scriptural basis, I hear it can be quite fun to have lengthy debates about the ‘Emperor’s new clothes....’ lol

Taffy.

Starlight's picture

Taffy,

With all due respect to your extensive writings I just am not inclined to study them in detail until I get a basic summarizing statement from you here on this particular posting. You jumped in here with a categorical declaration and I’m of the opinion that you can at least muster your basic premise to firm up your categorical declaration.

Since I’m pretty well versed though in the details that you discuss then I do not need to go through all the supporting material that you present at the moment. What I’m interested in is your bottom line theological position in the most basic of explanations. This will define for me whether I can agree partially, wholly or not at all upon your conclusions. If I find some of your conclusions suspect then we have something to work with without having to wade through everything. Then we can proceed and I may at that time study your work more comprehensively and you may indeed persuade me on some issues.

I also asked it you were fostering some form of Universalism which you did not address so am I to assume that you do indeed consider “All men” as universally saved?

Blessings

Norm

SuperSoulFighter's picture

This may help, Norm...

2.15 Like those who CALL THEMSELVES ‘Christians’ I also believe what scripture says, but does this make me a biblical ‘Christian’?

2.16 Well, have I been ‘sealed’ by the Holy Spirit (who also caused ‘groanings’ and yearnings after a resurrected 'body', an event that occurred at the Parousia, Rom 8:23)? No.

2.17 Has the Gospel been preached to me by those chosen men of old who were specifically appointed by God for that purpose and specially equipped for its work (Rom 10:14, 1 Pet 1:12)? No.

2.18 Do I belong to Adam’s OC Race? No. Can I leave the year 2009 and transport myself back to pre-Parousia times in order to be ‘saved’ from the ‘wrath to come’ - ‘Judgement Day’? No. (Unless I can get my hands on that car in ‘Back to the Future’ that is!!)

2.19 Therefore, in all truth and good conscience, no matter how much I’d like to, can I really call myself a biblical ‘Christian’ (and no other type exists or can exist)? No. A ‘believer’ in biblical events, yes, but NOT a ‘Christian’.

Taffy may be able to summarize his/her position in an even more succinct form, but I think that captures the essence of it, from the posts made on the forum here.

John

chrisliv's picture

Yeah,

This Taffy stuff is similar to what RiverofEgypt was promoting in the Forum section when I interacted there some time ago: That Christ's Kingdom, The New Covenant, and The Good News to all Humanity ended when it was still in its infancy, at 70 AD.

I mean, if you really want to hate Christ and negate His Kingdom, that certainly is one way to do it, i.e., tell people it was only for people who possessed Jewish DNA and who lived during the brief period between 30-70 AD.

That is undoubtedly Taffy's premise for why there are no "Christians" today, because there is no "Covenant" between God and Man, in his silly interpretation.

Of course, what we call the New Covenant is an Eternal Covenant, and was talked about, prophetically, in the Bible well-before the Old (temporary/regional) Covenant that passed away around, or even before, 70 AD.

So, it's pretty daffy to suggest that God's earliest purpose for Mankind (Gen. 3:15) was leading up to an anti-climax, for which a Divine Christ suffered and died, almost needlessly, except for a small number of ethnic Jews who lived between 30-70 AD.

And, yes, not surprisingly, I believe Taffy, like RiverofEgypt, also denies the Deity of Christ.

These guys seem to believe, or want others to believe, that God is schizophrenic.

Peace to you all,
C. Livingstone

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Agreed, Chris. This eternal, NC Kingdom was intended to have an impact on mankind as a whole - not in an all-encompassing way, per se, but definitely in terms of influence and as an enduring opportunity for man to achieve a harmonious relationship with his Creator. That's the way I understand God's Word according to the explicit statements contained therein. Nothing I've seen in terms of Scriptural support from Taffy negates those Biblically-substantiated facts.

chrisliv's picture

Yeah,

Their position suggests that God coveted Jewish DNA, and then lost all interest in it at 70 AD.

In most all of the places of the OT and the NT where "gentiles" and "goyim" is meaning non-Jews/Israelites, they redefine those kind of terms and contexts to mean lost Israelite tribes or uncircumcised Jews, if that were even that possible.

To me, their position is ridiculous.

I do remember them writing that they honestly believe their position is full of integrity.

So, I take them somewhat at their word, and think they may be more self-deceived than dishonest at this point.

Peace to you,
Christian

Starlight's picture

Chris,

You cracked me up with your pun “RiverofEgypt”

I’m still laughing at that one as it was just a hilarious play on words considering all the implications involved.

Norm

chrisliv's picture

Yeah,

I teased Rivers a few times some months back with that one. Teasing isn't one of my better qualities, and I appreciated how Rivers was such a good sport at the time.

I find it surprising easy to be suspect of the motivation for a position like that and had earlier asked if Rivers was heavily influenced by Vicktor Paul Weirwille, of the The Way International.

Peace to you,
C. Livingstone

Starlight's picture

Chris,

Yep, sarcasm is one of my evil traits as well that I need to get a better grip on. After I posted my reply to you I actually wished that I hadn’t done so because as you say Rivers has a pretty easy going persona and even though I disagree with him I still find him very respectful and courteous.

Besides it’s not unusual for those of us Preterist to get picked on in the same manner by traditionalist who like to scorn and ridicule us. So what I’m saying is I should have just kept my chuckle to myself and enjoyed your pun in private.

Norm

chrisliv's picture

Yeah,

It can sometimes be kind of endearing, in a kind of familial sense, I think, when people can tease and use humor on each other while in debate, without being malicious or trying to use personal stuff to try to give their position perceived strength.

But it does seem to be tricky to walk that so-called line.

Christ certainly had tremendous wit, and His sarcasm with the Pharisees was profound.

Peace to you,
C. Livingstone

SuperSoulFighter's picture

I agree with you to a significant extent, Taffy (I was one of the first to introduce this line of thought into Preterist circles), but I would like to bring some balance to this view in response to your forum post, and this comment in particular: 2.23 So HOW could the NC apply to any born AFTER IT? You CAN’T be ‘saved’ from something that DOESN’T EXIST!

The New Covenant, in essence, represented the establishment and foundation of an eternal KINGDOM. That Kingdom was typified in the OC Israelite "world/Kingdom" which was imperfect. It was possible to become a full citizen of that OC "world/Kingdom" as a proselyte throughout its history, and I believe the same holds true for the NC Kingdom in its eternal state. In other words - modern 'Christians' are, in essence, NC Kingdom spiritual proselytes.

I don't hold to the view that there is no legitimate application or usage of the term 'Christian' today. I think an NC Kingdom citizen - one who adheres to the underlying principles of Christ's teachings and Person via their new, spiritually-endowed nature within them - is one who is devoted to the Christ who established that Kingdom and continues to rule as its Sovereign as a member of the Triune Godhead.

I read through your case against the idea that the New Covenant applies to anyone today etc. and I must confess that I remain unconvinced. I'll respond in greater detail on that forum post, but I don't see the Scriptures specifying the various conditions for identification as a Christian that you set forth. You summarize your position in the following terms:

2.15 Like those who CALL THEMSELVES ‘Christians’ I also believe what scripture says, but does this make me a biblical ‘Christian’?

2.16 Well, have I been ‘sealed’ by the Holy Spirit (who also caused ‘groanings’ and yearnings after a resurrected 'body', an event that occurred at the Parousia, Rom 8:23)? No.

2.17 Has the Gospel been preached to me by those chosen men of old who were specifically appointed by God for that purpose and specially equipped for its work (Rom 10:14, 1 Pet 1:12)? No.

2.18 Do I belong to Adam’s OC Race? No. Can I leave the year 2009 and transport myself back to pre-Parousia times in order to be ‘saved’ from the ‘wrath to come’ - ‘Judgement Day’? No. (Unless I can get my hands on that car in ‘Back to the Future’ that is!!)

2.19 Therefore, in all truth and good conscience, no matter how much I’d like to, can I really call myself a biblical ‘Christian’ (and no other type exists or can exist)? No. A ‘believer’ in biblical events, yes, but NOT a ‘Christian’.

In the Scriptures you've included as support for your position, there is NO indication that only those who directly experienced the preaching and teaching of the original apostles/disciples could consider themselves to be true Christians (in the Biblical sense of that term). I think you're imposing your own view on the Scriptures rather than permitting them to speak for themselves.

Is there such a thing as a legitimate "church" of any kind today? No. I agree with you there. The NT Church - Christ's exlusive Body and Bride - were the only true Church in history and were taken to dwell forever with Him in heaven back in the First Century. But do the citizenry of the eternal, NC Kingdom of Heaven still exist on this planet today? I believe they/we do. And to refer to ourselves as Christians is not unBiblical, in my view.

JM

Taffy's picture

Hey John, thanks for stepping in and copying some of my thread in for Norm. I’m not sure that this little bit is sufficient to outline my main arguments, but thanks anyway.

Your whole “modern 'Christians' are, in essence, NC Kingdom spiritual proselytes” thing, I’m afraid is erroneous from beginning to end. I showed at length that the NC could ONLY apply to those who were under the “curse” of the Covenant made with Adam, a Covenant that passed way at the Parousia, being superseded FOR THEM with one established on firmer foundations.

NOT ONE PERSON has been able to argue against this in my thread, with sense and maturity that is (which sadly puts people like chrisliv out). Your welcome to hop over there and have a go if you like.

You said: “This eternal, NC Kingdom was intended to have an impact on mankind as a whole - not in an all-encompassing way, per se, but definitely in terms of influence and as an enduring opportunity for man to achieve a harmonious relationship with his Creator..”

Agreed. I have said nothing different to this. In fact this is EXACTLY what I have said because that’s the ONLY thing that ties in with scripture. If you could only leave it at that, we’d be on the same wavelength.

You said: “I don't hold to the view that there is no legitimate 'application' or usage of the term 'Christian' today.”

But whether you or I think there can be “application” of the term ‘Christian’ or not is irrelevant. Those who were called such in scripture were those who were waiting to be "saved" from the “wrath to come” on account of the Covenant they had breached (Rom 5). After they had been “saved” from it they became the ONLY NC Kingdom citizens and began entering that heavenly place at the Parousia.

I have fully shown that being “devoted” to the Man Christ Jesus post-Parousia (which can only be a good thing) is NOT the same thing as being a NT Christian, nor does it qualify one as a Kingdom citizen.

Sorry, but it’s my view that it’s you who will not allow scripture to speak for itself, imposing on it what you WISH it said. However, it clearly shows that the Covenant had NO application to you or I.

You said: “(the Church) were taken to dwell forever with Him in Heaven back in the First Century...”

Agreed. That’s ALL I’ve been saying all along. Individuals saved from the “curse” of their father Adam’s sin (which is all the Church consisted of) were the ONLY ones to be taken to gather around God’s throne. This does NOT suggest I don’t believe in God nor that man doesn’t have a ‘soul’ (but more on that in a new Thread I hope to post soon).

But then you said: “..to ‘refer to ourselves’ as Christians is not unbiblical, in my view.”

Your comment here says it all. All people can do today is “refer to themselves” as ‘Christians'. But for those of us whose prime concern is what scripture says, there is NO warrant for doing so.

But if it’s what makes some people feel happy, then hey, why not?

Take care, Taffy.

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Hey John, thanks for stepping in and copying some of my thread in for Norm. I’m not sure that this little bit is sufficient to outline my main arguments, but thanks anyway.

You're welcome, Taffy! No problem.

Your whole “modern 'Christians' are, in essence, NC Kingdom spiritual proselytes” thing, I’m afraid is erroneous from beginning to end. I showed at length that the NC could ONLY apply to those who were under the “curse” of the Covenant made with Adam, a Covenant that passed way at the Parousia, being superseded FOR THEM with one established on firmer foundations.

We're fundamentally talking about a Covenant between God and man. The imperfect nature of the Old Covenant involved, among other things, an ethnic and genetic/racial limitation. It was primarily physical and ethno-centric. It was invested with its own, ultimate demise at its very inception (Deut. 28, etc.). By contrast, the New, eternal Covenant in Christ is primarily spiritual - its very foundation (and foundational generation) being in heaven.

Yes, you are right that for the First Century, pre-Parousia believers there was a superceding of the Old Covenant by the New, and various aspects of this process were very unique to THEM. I agree. But I still don't see anywhere where the Scriptures specify that the label "Christian" could only apply to that generation of Christ's followers.

NOT ONE PERSON has been able to argue against this in my thread, with sense and maturity that is (which sadly puts people like chrisliv out). Your welcome to hop over there and have a go if you like.

I will, later this week.

Agreed. I have said nothing different to this. In fact this is EXACTLY what I have said because that’s the ONLY thing that ties in with scripture. If you could only leave it at that, we’d be on the same wavelength.

We are, for the most part, very close to being on the same wavelength.

But whether you or I think there can be “application” of the term ‘Christian’ or not is irrelevant. Those who were called such in scripture were those who were waiting to be "saved" from the “wrath to come” on account of the Covenant they had breached (Rom 5). After they had been “saved” from it they became the ONLY NC Kingdom citizens and began entering that heavenly place at the Parousia.

Now here's where we approach the crux of the matter. Biblical soteriology and its relationship to our current spiritual experience. I completely agree with you concerning the exclusive nature of the salvation experienced by the pre-70 AD saints (including their redemption per Heb. 9:15). If you take a look at my old article "De-Universalizing the Gospel" you will find that I take a position very similar to yours here. I also agree that the saints of that period who were saved as members of Christ's Body/Bride pre-Parousia Church (along with the resurrected saints preceding them) were the ONLY NC Kingdom
citizens OF THAT TIME PERIOD. But SINCE then, the Kingdom has flourished and grown in this realm as a result of God's providential preservation of His Word - the historical documentation of the establishment of that eternal Kingdom - providing continuing access via spiritual proselytization to that Kingdom. I see clear evidence of that dynamic both in the Scriptures and in real life. I see an ongoing spiritual regeneration occurring even yet, that appears to be related very closely to that experienced by the saints of the New Covenant Kingdom. The core Truth in this remains Christ and His Person.

I have fully shown that being “devoted” to the Man Christ Jesus post-Parousia (which can only be a good thing) is NOT the same thing as being a NT Christian, nor does it qualify one as a Kingdom citizen.

As a point of curiousity, is there any particular reason you refer to Christ as the Man Christ Jesus, Taffy? Are you emphasizing his manhood vs. His own (and God's), clear testimony to His identity as God also? No, being a NC Kingdom citizen today is, indeed, very different from being an NT Christian. I agree with you there completely. We don't have the same inheritance they had, for example. Nor are we saved from the "wrath" they anticipated within their lifetimes. All very true. We are NOT "redeemed" from the Old Covenant Law like they were. Also true. But we still have entered into a Covenant relationship with the God of Israel by faith in Christ Jesus resulting in our acceptance into that Kingdom and receiving the mark of that citizenship within our hearts.

Sorry, but it’s my view that it’s you who will not allow scripture to speak for itself, imposing on it what you WISH it said. However, it clearly shows that the Covenant had NO application to you or I.

I remain unconvinced, Taffy, and yes...we'll let the Scriptures speak for themselves on that point.

Agreed. That’s ALL I’ve been saying all along. Individuals saved from the “curse” of their father Adam’s sin (which is all the Church consisted of) were the ONLY ones to be taken to gather around God’s throne. This does NOT suggest I don’t believe in God nor that man doesn’t have a ‘soul’ (but more on that in a new Thread I hope to post soon).

This also does not mean that future generations of people could not be added to their number as those purged of an Adamic nature resistant to God's, with His own, new Nature implanted within them.

Your comment here says it all. All people can do today is “refer to themselves” as ‘Christians'. But for those of us whose prime concern is what scripture says, there is NO warrant for doing so.

People are certainly welcome to identify themselves according to whatever terminology most accurately expresses their understanding of themselves and their relationship to God, but yes - some of this terminology is Biblically erroneous (not including the label "Christian", but certainly that of "Jew" and "Israeli" as misused in our world today, as well as numerous pastoral terms exclusive to the NT Church alone).

But if it’s what makes some people feel happy, then hey, why not?

Because it also has the tragic side effect of causing people to misunderstand themselves and their true relatonship to God. If a label is wrong, short-term happiness is not an adequate compensation, long-term.

We certainly have a few items of interest to discuss here, Taffy! I like your overall perspective in many ways. Let's continue this dialogue in a profitable, intelligent manner.

John

Taffy's picture

Hey John, a question and an observation.

When did the Covenant that God made with Adam and those “IN” him, end? (If you need help, see Heb 8:13 and Rev 20:14.)

Christ indicated who the “citizens” of God’s ‘heavenly’ Kingdom would be. (NOT ‘earthly’ Kingdom by the way, Christ’s people were to meet Him in the “air”, NOT earth, and there ALWAYS be with Him, 1 Thess 4:17). That is, “many” from the covenant-bound “ethnos” of Adam (from Abel to the “end”, Heb 11). And NONE, but them (which included Israel’s patriarchs):

(Matt 8:11) I say to you that MANY will come from east and west and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Once the “end” came at Christ’s Parousia (Matt 24:14/1 Cor 15:24), show me ONE scripture that supports anyone who claims that they can be “saved” after it? (“Salvation” being the CORE of what it meant to be a TRUE Christian, Titus 3:5, i.e. THEY were “saved” from the “wrath” that came at Christ’s return, Ac 17:31/1 Thess 1:10.)

Take care, Taffy.

SuperSoulFighter's picture

It's interesting that you continue to identify the "First Covenant" as some sort of agreement made with Adam, Taffy. I don't see any formal Covenant made with Adam on par with that made with the Nation of Israel via Moses, in Exodus through Deuteronomy. In fact, when God pronounced the Curse upon Adam (post-Fall), there was no accompanying agreement required from Adam at all. It wasn't really a "covenant" in the truest sense of that term. He had God's Will in relation to his fallen state imposed upon him with no option but to accept his fate as decided by God. This includes the promise of the woman's seed who would ultimately crush the head of the serpent. So I'm really wondering what you're referring to here. It's really very clear in Romans 8 that the First Covenant to which God is referring is that made with Moses and the Israelites at Mt. Sinai (Heb. 8:8,9).

Nowhere did Christ limit the citizenry of the Kingdom to those who would "meet him in the air" (per 1 Thess. 4:17) exclusively. Yes, this "gathering" of the pre-Parousia saints you've identified in these Scriptures is all very accurate and true - but nowhere do I see POST-Parousia saints excluded from joining their number spiritually, both in this life and in the hereafter.

I agree with you concerning the exclusive and unique nature of the salvation experienced by the pre-Parousia saints, Taffy. But nowhere do I see the Scriptures expressing the idea (including in the texts you've presented above) that a Christian is solely a pre-Parousia person saved and redeemed from within (or out of) the OC "world" system. Certainly, their spiritual experience had many elements unique to them (including predestination/election) but it also involved certain very significant commonalities shared by Kingdom citizens today. I find it curious that you identify their pre-Parousia salvation as being "the CORE of what it meant to be a TRUE Christian". Let's examine that a little further in the light of Scripture.

22 Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. 23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also. 1John 2:22,23 (NKJV)

15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. 1John 4:15,16

1 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. 1John 5:1-3

9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son. 10 He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. 11 And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God. 1John 5:9-13.

Are these things true, Taffy? The Scriptures certainly do not seem to limit these professions of belief and their results to that generation alone (not even when you check the context, which I anticipate you will do as a faithful steward and student of the Scriptures).

As Rom. 10:17 puts it so well, "17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Faith having its source in God's Word inevitably results in a spiritual rebirth into His eternal Kingdom. Your attempts to limit this Kingdom citizenship to that generation exclusively fall short of the actual Scriptural statements pertaining thereto (according to my examination of them thus far anyway).

Your thoughts?

John

Taffy's picture

Chrisliv, you said: “This Taffy stuff is similar to what RiverofEgypt was promoting in the Forum section when I interacted there some time ago: That Christ's Kingdom, The New Covenant, and The Good News to all Humanity ended when it was still in its infancy, at 70 AD.” And that I “hate Christ”, “negate His Kingdom”, God only saved those with “Jewish DNA”.

Sadly, these comments show that you have not read my posts. However, you feel qualified to tell others what they say!! A sure mark of a fanatic I’m afraid, and fanatics CANNOT be reasoned with, no, not even if one were to rise from the dead and scream truth into their face.

You have DELIBERATELY perverted my views and yet you call yourself a ‘Christian’! ha, ha....

Actually, I said that the NC and KOG STARTED in AD70, not for you or I, but for those who needed to be “saved” from the “curse” of the Covenant made with their Common Ancestor/Covenant Head, Adam, i.e. pre-Parousia individuals.

Sripture shows that only ONE Race were covenanted to God, the lineages of Adam UP TO the Parousia when the 1st one was replaced by a new and better one for THOSE people (Heb 8:13).

Do yourself a favour; don’t tell people what others believe until you first know yourself. Then you won’t appear such a fool. If you feel this unfair, show the readers ONE place where I “denied the deity of Christ” (because I can show you a WHOLE thread where I argued in favour of it). So go on, produce just ONE place. Then I will retract my assessment of you. If you can't (and you won't!), demonstrate to everyone how much of a ‘Christian’ you really are and apologise for your lies.

Until you do, please keep your finger over your foolish lips.

Virgil's picture

Taffy - I would like to ask you to tone down your comments and post here if possible...I understand that you are arguing passionately something you feel strongly about, but let's try to do so in a better and more respectful way.

Taffy's picture

Hey Virgil, I fully understand your request and will certainly try to do as you’ve asked.

My disappointment has been that after spending MUCH time and effort setting out my argument and asking others to carefully consider it so that we can enter into 'meaningful' discussion, I then get someone who has not read any of my posts DELIBERATELY misrepresenting my position. In fact saying I’m promoting the COMPLETE opposite to what I’ve said.

Very frustrating!! But I appreciate your point about there being a “better” way, so thanks.

Take care, Taffy.

Taffy's picture

Chrisliv, whilst I wait for you to either show me where I have “denied the deity of Christ” or present me with an apology, consider another one of your lies. The one about me apparently saying that God “only saved those with Jewish DNA”.

What do you think my Thread, “Melchizedek and the Unity of the Faith” was all about??? Was Melchizedek a “Jew”? My whole thrust in this Thread was to dispel ROE’s Israelite-only delusion.

But once again, even though you didn’t have the maturity to enter the discussions in this Thread or consider my arguments, you somehow feel qualified to tell others what it is I believe. Incredible!!! An old saying comes to mind, “Aint nutin’ more dangerous in all d world than a fool with a cause.”

I’m sorry, but individuals like you waste people’s time and bring shame and disgrace not only to discussions boards like this, but to your religion as well. Aren’t ‘Christians’ (ha..) told NOT to lie, Eph 4:15. (I rest my case about so-called ‘Christianity’.)

Taffy.

Taffy's picture

Hey Norm,

As far as your question is concerned about do I believe in “Universalism”, I would have thought that as I’ve outlined scripture as clearly showing that there’s no such thing as a ‘Christian’ or ‘Christianity’ post-Parousia, that this answered it. But if it didn't, the answer is NO.

From cover to cover scripture has ONLY to do with Adam’s covenant-bound Race. A Covenant that “passed away” on the “last Day” (Heb 8:13/Rev 20:14). At Christ’s return Adam’s ENTIRE Race were “saved” from the “grave”, but NOT all were “saved” from “wrath”. Some of THEM were “raised” on that “Day” to be “citizens” in God’s ‘heavenly’ (NOT earthly) Kingdom (Eph 2:19), and others as its “outcasts” (see Matt 8:12). Also:

(Jn 5:28-29) Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which ALL (Adam’s ENTIRE Race) who are in the ‘graves’ (it wasn’t just the Israelites whose ‘bodies’ slept in the “dust”!) will hear His voice and COME FORTH—
THOSE who have done good, to the resurrection of ‘life’, and THOSE who have done evil, to the resurrection of ‘condemnation’. (“These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power..” 2 Thess 1:9, see also Christ’s warning about the upcoming fate of the Sodomites, Matt 10:15).

I hope to post a new Thread concerning some of this when I can find the time to do so.

Take care, Taffy.

Starlight's picture

Taffy,

Well I guess that I will need to study your work a little more in-depth and get back with you at some point. As Virgil says lets all try to tone the rhetoric down and enter into meaningful dialogue.

I do have these questions for you though; if there is no such thing as a Christian in the strictest sense then who actually has relationship with God in this world? Does the Islamist have the same standing with God as the rest of us since they believe that Christ was just a prophet and taught some good things? Does their allegiance to the God of Abraham put them in the same sphere as those who worship under the banner of Christ?

Should a child born to those believers/Christians who survived the AD70 Parousia live under a different relationship than their parents did. How does the parent of those children explain to them that they were once Christians but after AD70 no more?

I guess though you are saying that God leaves us all to our own designs after AD70 and walks away from any covenental relationship.

Norm

Taffy's picture

Hey Norm, thanks for your message.

You said: “I guess that I will need to study your work a little more in-depth and get back with you at some point..”

Please do, because I feel that if others had done so BEFORE telling people what I believe, we most definitely could have a “meaningful dialogue”. Also, I think that if you do you’ll find answers to some of the questions you've asked me.

As SuperSoulFigher said, he and I agree on many things to a “significant extent”, so I’ll quote him in answer to your “relationship with God” question:

“This eternal, NC Kingdom, was intended to have an ‘IMPACT’ on mankind as a whole - not in an all-encompassing way, per se, but definitely in terms of ‘INFLUENCE’ and as an enduring opportunity for man to achieve a harmonious relationship with his Creator..” - Well put.

You said: “I guess though you are saying that God leaves us all to our own designs after AD70 and walks away from any covenental relationship.”

Even if He did, who are you to shake your fist in His face and say He’s unjust (I merely use Paul’s argument here from Rom 9). And what of the masses of humans who lived throughout the earth LONG BEFORE Adam came on the scene in 4,000 BC, and the many who lived far from him when he did appear (Australia, etc)? Was God unjust to them also? Is He not free to do as He pleases?

Anyway, I hope to post a new Thread concerning some of this when I find the time to do so.

Take care, Taffy.

Starlight's picture

Taffy,

As I started reading your article it seems that one issue jumps out at me immediately. You are correct that Moses or his scribes wrote in a poetic manner and because of that we naturally miss many of the nuances of the Hebrew story.

What I see as possibly an oversight is that you fail to discern how Moses and the prophetic writers use the language to describe peoples, nations and languages. Many think that Gen 1 and 2 are speaking about real animals in these stories but further investigation reveals that these animals are descriptions by the Hebrew of the surrounding peoples. Adam was first introduced to the animals to find a helpmate but those (Gentiles) being pagans and living in darkness were found not suitable. Instead the helpmate was drawn out of Adam’s side which is poetic language to say that during the first covenant Adam/Israel was an inclusive membership and excluded the Gentiles.

What we also find though is that in Daniel 7 there is a prophecy that says the saints would be given the kingdom and all other dominions would serve and obey them. This doesn’t mean rule them in the manner of a self serving master or lording it over them but one of ruling the peoples of the world through service to them. This would be accomplished by living in the new spiritual everlasting kingdom in which all believers live through the Spirit instead of through Adam/Israel’s fleshly means.

(Dan 7:26) But the court shall sit in judgment, and his dominion shall be taken away, to be consumed and destroyed to the end.
27 And the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven SHALL BE GIVEN TO THE PEOPLE OF THE SAINTS OF THE MOST HIGH; their kingdom shall be an EVERLASTING KINGDOM, and ALL DOMINIONS SHALL SERVE AND OBEY THEM.'

In Gen 1 we also see the establishment of these peoples in Day’s 5 and 6 and in Day 6 which corresponds to the last day. These last Days are before entering the Sabbath Rest Seventh Day (Heb 4) so we see again the proclamation that these animals will enjoy covenant blessings through those whom God ultimately imbued with God’s full Spiritual Image. This is a theme found throughout the scriptures and its climax occurs when Peter in Acts 10 sees the sheet of animals coming down out of Heaven and is told to Eat. This is simply Hebrew language that the Jews would recognize was about bringing the Gentiles into fellowship with the Jews.

(Gen 1:27) So GOD CREATED MAN IN HIS OWN IMAGE, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and HAVE DOMINION OVER the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and OVER EVERY LIVING THING THAT MOVES ON THE EARTH."

(Col 3:10) and have PUT ON THE NEW SELF, which is being renewed in knowledge AFTER THE IMAGE OF ITS CREATOR.

So you see very briefly there is a part of the story that you seem to have been missing because you may not have grasped fully all the Hebrew metaphorical language and did not realize that there was a plan to include the Gentile world of darkness and offer the benefits of Adams transformed Covenant as the New Inclusive Covenant that reaches out and heals the Nations. (Rev 22)

For further verification of how scripture utilizes animals as Gentile peoples read Dan 4 and Ezek 31 and how the animals and birds lived under the shade of those Kingdoms. Also in Ezek 17 we have the prophecy of Christ/kingdom being planted as a tree in which the Birds come to nest. This metaphor is picked up by Christ in Matt 13:32 where he describes his Kingdom as one in which the birds come and make their nest in its branches.

Taffy the scriptures are a daunting challenge and they will eat us all up and spit us out if we get too far out front and try to develop insights from a less than complete understanding of the scriptures. I know because it happens to me constantly when I find that I’ve made some inroads in understanding but I’m always surprised when I have to step back and revamp something I thought I had my mind around. It becomes a humbling experience and I hope is teaching me tolerance for others in their own journey of understanding the scriptures.

Blessings

Norm

Starlight's picture

Taffy,

Let me follow up with a couple of more observations from your articles. Let’s start with the judgment of Rev 20 in which the Old Covenant body was to be judged. Many people suppose that that is a future judgment but as you correctly noted it took place in 70AD. What was the purpose of it? Well according to Paul in Phil 3:21 the old “body of humiliation” was being transformed into the “body of Glory” which most Preterist recognize as the “body of Christ”. The Old body of Death was fading away but Paul in 1 Cor 15:49 says that Adam’s body of Death was where those whom he was speaking to at one time resided. But he also says that we will bear the image of Christ as well.

“And as WE HAVE BORNE THE IMAGE OF THE EARTHY,
WE SHALL ALSO BEAR THE IMAGE OF THE HEAVENLY.”

Paul is speaking of what he previously said in Phi 3:2 and infers in Rom 7:24.

(Php 3:21) who shall fashion anew THE BODY OF OUR HUMILIATION, that it may be conformed to THE BODY OF HIS GLORY,

(Rom 7:24) Wretched man that I am! WHO SHALL DELIVER ME OUT OF THE BODY OF THIS DEATH?

Taffy this all ties into a corporate bodily understanding of Paul’s “body motif” which is going to be purified at the AD70 Judgment of those who previously made up the “Body of Death” namely Old Covenant Israel. Paul tells us though in Rom 9:6-8 that not “all” Israel is of the physical lineage.

(Rom 9:6) But it is not as though the word of God hath come to nought. For they are not all Israel, that are of Israel:
7) neither, because they are Abraham's seed, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.
8) That is, IT IS NOT THE CHILDREN OF THE FLESH THAT ARE CHILDREN OF GOD; BUT THE CHILDREN OF THE PROMISE ARE RECKONED FOR A SEED.

The Hebrew writer also tells us that many will not enter the Sabbath Rest of God (Heb 4) and so what we have at the Judgment throne is a final end times purifying of the Covenant body so that it is the pure bride of Christ. So those who now encompass the Body of Christ represent only those who are true and faithful. And there are no more dogs. (Rev 22:15)

BUT WAIT! WHAT ABOUT THE GENTILES?

Well what does the White Throne Judgment speak about them?

(Rev 20:12) And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.

13 And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done.

Taffy did you notice that the Sea was under Judgment also at the same time? You know who represented the Sea don’t you? Yes the Gentiles were under judgment as well. The Sea gave up their Dead just as Israel (Death and Hades) gave up their Dead. Those Gentiles outside the promises and covenants of Israel (Eph 2:12) also had to be purified at this great judgment day as they were being brought into the “body” by Paul.

(Rom 2:12) For as many as have sinned WITHOUT LAW SHALL ALSO PERISH without the law: and as many as have sinned under the law shall be judged by the law;

This all gets back to my previous post in which the Gentiles were bystanders to this covenant of Adam/Israel from the very beginning but they were not without hope as their promises were based upon the fulfillment of Israel’s promises by God. Now Post AD70 there is now no Jew or Greek, neither male nor female or slave and master in the consummated and purified Body of Christ. What you see as a finished product is indeed true but it was finished with doors wide open for an everlasting Kingdom for those who seek to enter into living a life created in God’s spiritual Image.

(Rev 21:24) And THE NATIONS SHALL WALK AMIDST THE LIGHT thereof: and THE KINGS OF THE EARTH BRING THEIR GLORY INTO IT.
25) And THE GATES THEREOF SHALL IN NO WISE BE SHUT by day (for there shall be no night there):
26) and they SHALL BRING THE GLORY AND THE HONOR OF THE NATIONS INTO IT:

Taffy, I may be off on some of my points because I believe we are all working through all of this very complicated story and there may be some changes that I will eventually make but I do believe though that I stand on pretty solid ground about the inclusion of the Gentiles from Adam’s creation. I would just caution you to also be open minded to the idea that you may run across something’s that could change your focus and eventually your conclusions. My purpose today was not to convince you because that is something only you can do for yourself. Instead my focus was to present to you some positions that may challenge you.

Blessings

Norm

Taffy's picture

Hey Norm. Yes I had missed them so thanks for the nudge.

You said: “Many think that Gen 1 and 2 are speaking about real animals in these stories but further investigation reveals that these animals are descriptions by the Hebrew of the surrounding peoples.”

The circumstances surrounding Gen 1 (‘animals’, etc) very likely include BOTH some real, LOCALISED events (and I stress the word LOCALISED), which in turn were LATER used by God’s prophets mainly for ‘symbolic’ purposes (in order to describe the ‘peoples’/'ethnos' of Adam for example, Ac 10, ‘imagery’ I'm well acquainted with thanks). I could expand on this further but it will take us off track. Adam did indeed keep himself apart from the peoples he lived amongst and the WHOLE of scripture is taken up with the story of his OWN Race, right down to the Parousia.

Your constant equating of Adam with Isareal is confusing? Adam was was a ‘type’ of Christ, NOT Israel (Rom 5:14), as well as being the Common Ancestor of MANY ‘nations’ (Gen 10, Ac 17:26, etc), Israel being but one of them. They were to be given the greatest place/responsibility within God’s Kingdom because they were His ‘servant’ to the 'nations' (Isa 49:3). But yes, I agree with you, their fellow adamic descendants (those of “one blood” with them) were to be blessed ‘through’ their ministry TO THEM (Rom 15:16), as I’ve shown at length in my Threads.

You said: “What we also find though is that in Daniel 7 there is a prophecy that says the saints would be given the kingdom and all other dominions would serve and obey them.”

Agreed. Israel was to be the ‘heart’ of the Kingdom of God, the 'jewel' of adamic 'ethnos' in the eternal, ‘heavenly’ (NOT earthly) Kingdom of God.

You said: “This would be accomplished by living in the new spiritual everlasting kingdom in which all believers live through the Spirit instead of through Adam/Israel’s fleshly means.”

Agreed again. ALL ‘believers’ from Adam’s Race, from Abel onwards (Heb 11), were to be ‘raised’ into God’s everlasting, ‘heavenly’ (NOT earthly) Kingdom on the “last Day”. This was the “unity of their faith”. The ONLY ones who were included in Adam’s Covenant and its renewal by Christ (Adam's greatest Son according to the flesh, Lk 3), whaich was established on a firmer foundation and “better promise” (Heb 8:6), were those who were “IN” him. (As shown clearly by Paul in Rom 5 and 1 Cor 15). That is, no one but those of the “one blood” Paul referred to in Ac 17:26. They are the ONLY ones “walking in the light” of God’s heavenly Kingdom now having been redeemed from the “curse” THEY, NOT US, were under.

Thanks for your numerous warnings about “trying to develop insights from a less than complete understanding of the scriptures,” etc. Which I agree with. Once one ‘properly’ appreciates the central importance of the 'Covenant Headship/Common Ancestry' of Adam and its link to the generation of Christ (something Paul kept coming back to), a much clearer “understanding of scripture” follows.

Take care, Taffy.

PS As to your second post, I will answer it better in a new Thread which I hope to post shortly (but I’m up to my ears in work right now). But please remember, the “we” Paul referred to in ALL his letters wasn’t you or I, but himself and his readership (something ‘Christians’ regrettably have a hard time with). And those under the “curse” of “death” wasn’t just national Israel but ALL those “IN” Adam when he sinned, i.e. his ENTIRE Race.

Listen: “Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses (and consider ALL the ‘nations/ethnos’ that came from Adam during that time, e.g. Gen 10), EVEN OVER those who had NOT sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam...” Rom 5:14, “..for as “IN” Adam ALL die..” 1 Cor 15:22. ALL as in ALL, not ‘some’. His ENTIRE Race was brought under the “curse” of “death” when he fell NOT just national Israel (who didn’t appear on the scene until many, many centuries later).

You said: “ I stand on pretty solid ground about the inclusion of the Gentiles from Adam’s creation.” I agree. The ENTIRETY of adamic ‘ethnos’ right up to the Parousia were included in God’s plans and now they ALL abide in God’s heavenly Kingdom, some in “glory” and others in “misery”. (Once again, as I’ve shown at length in my Threads.)

The position you hold now I took note of quite some time back but soon moved on from it because it's my belief that it falls short of the biblical message when taken as a 'whole'. You are of course free to disagree with me, we’re all entitled to our views. However, my hope is that after studying my position further you will see that we’re not very far apart in many of the conclusions we've reached.

Starlight's picture

Taffy,

I appreciate the straight forward discussion that you are presenting so I’ll rejoin into the discussion again hoping that all will be more careful with our passions in addressing each other.

Yes, I agree that we have many common understandings and I appreciate some of your recognitions and conclusions that you bring up but not all. I obviously can’t address all of your issues here but I’ll attempt to reinforce my earlier position to demonstrate that the Everlasting Kingdom of the Saints that they inherit is the transformation of the old Covenant after purification or Judgment.

You are correct though that equating Adam with Israel can be confusing. More accurately Adam as you noted is the head and Eve is the wife representing the Body of Israel. Christ supplanted Adam who died and Eve married a new husband (Rom 7:1-4) as she is the mother all the living. Paul demonstrates that the Gentiles though were never married to the Old Adamic husband and will be presented as a Chaste VIRGIN BRIDE to Christ. (2 Cor 11:2)

Adam/Eve/Israel did keep themselves separate as best they could or wanted to. But their spending 70 years amongst the Nations during captivity was a prelude of life amongst the Gentiles and set the stage for them to go forth into the Nations under Paul.

That previous Daniel verse is where the quote arises from that speaks of their spiritual descendants having dominion over the Gentile nations or Dominions. This is not just a precursor arrangement for a temporary foray for dominion over the Beast and his realm but “Their Kingdom shall be an EVERLASTING Kingdom”. I do not see therefore the ending at AD70 of the EVERLASTING KINGDOM IN WHICH was given to the saints of the Most High.

(Dan 7:26) But the court shall sit in judgment (JUDGMENT SHALL BE SET ASV), and his dominion shall be taken away, to be consumed and destroyed to the end.
27 And the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven SHALL BE GIVEN TO THE PEOPLE OF THE SAINTS OF THE MOST HIGH; their kingdom shall be an EVERLASTING KINGDOM, and ALL DOMINIONS SHALL SERVE AND OBEY THEM.'

Taffy, here is the bottom line as expressed by Paul in which he states that the two (Gentile and Jew) are made one but if you notice it was by THE ABOLISHING OF THE LAW OF COMMANDMENTS which was not consummated until the Parousia. As I have stated previously the Judgment was a purification of the Old Adamic Covenant so that it was transformed totally into the New Covenant, it was not new as much as it was RENEWED. (Rev 21:1 “new” from Greek kainos meaning new - especially in freshness)
Paul clarifies for us though that believing Gentiles outside of Israel’s scope were merged into this Newly transformed Covenant along with the faithful Jews.

(Eph 2:13) But now in Christ Jesus YOU (Gentiles nv) who ONCE WERE FAR OFF have been BROUGHT NEAR by the blood of Christ.
14) For he himself is our peace, who HAS MADE US BOTH ONE and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility
15) BY ABOLISHING THE LAW OF COMMANDMENTS expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself ONE NEW MAN IN PLACE OF THE TWO, so making peace,

Paul also states in Col 3:11 that the believing Jew, Greek, Barbarian, and Scythian were all to be found in Christ Kingdom of the Saints. The 1st Century understanding of who the Scythian were appears to paint a picture of those outside the realm of the Mediterranean world of the OT picture of the Nations and seems to include those peoples that were not necessarily named in the OT writings. Paul appears then to be including all peoples known and even those who were unknown and on the fringes of the Roman world.

(Col 3:11) Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.

So the prophecy of Dan 7:26-27 which declares the Judgment and then the inheritance of the Saints will according to Paul include only those believing Jews and Gentiles as the Saints in question. They will rule in the everlasting Kingdom in the Spirit under Christ Headship once Adam/Law has died. This Everlasting Kingdom did not consummate until AD70 and so it is still in effect today as it is an everlasting one.

I would appreciate your presenting how my interpretation of these scriptures would not hold forth in the manner that I just presented especially the specific declaration of the everlasting Kingdom of the Saints with Christ as the Head.

(Eph 1:22-23) And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to THE CHURCH, WHICH IS HIS BODY, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

(1Co 12:12-13) For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

Blessings

Norm
PS. Taffy, the “all” being spoken of in Rom 5 and 1 Co 15 pertain to an “all” believers in Context very similar to Paul’s “all” Israel in Rom 9. We have to be careful IMO using Paul’s covenantal use of “all” in an exclusive all humanity contexts. That is a deep discussion for another time.

Starlight's picture

Taffy,

I decided to respond again since the discussion has improved. Have you missed my reply here to you?

Norm

Ed's picture

Taffy,
Actually, while certainly Chris leapt to some conclusions that were erroneous, I do agree with him in the similarity between your view and that of ROE. Both maintain that post-parousia there is no such thing as "Christian." That is what I believe Chris was alluding to.

I agree with you that Chris made an error, but whether you acknowledge it or not, there are similarities here. Another is the whole "common ancestor" argument. Although you make that ancestory date from Adam, ROE starts it at Jacob/Israel. Other than that, it seems to be a racial (DNA) argument.

One reason that I have not interacted with you on the forum thread is not because of your overwhelming evidence for your position, but your overwhelming abundance of information in each presentation. To be honest, I don't have the time to either read all your stuff, or answer every point.

I appreciate that you have done much study on the subject, but I cannot agree with your conclusions, and I don't have time to waste in attempting to answer your claims. I'll leave that to people who have nothing else to do all day...

ed

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

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