Is this true or hyperbole? "The doctrine of the pre-trib rapture is under attack in the church like it's never been before."

Sowen

Well-Known Member
I've heard this claim a few times online, but I don't know if it's true as I've been a Christian for only about a year and half, so I've no clue what the church was like before that. (I can't get answers locally because prophecy isn't taught.)

So, for those who've believed the pre-trib doctrine for years and attend churches where this belief is taught, is it true? Has your local church or believers you know changed their views or expressed doubt in the pre-trib doctrine?

If it's true, to what extent is it true? Has there been a major shift in the church towards not believing in the pre-trib doctrine? Is this shift specific to a region or is it global?

Thanks
 

athenasius

Well-Known Member
Hi Sowen, it's a great question. I've been around a bit as a Christian, in many churches over the years, with personal contacts in many more. It's TRUE, very very true. No hyperbole at all. Sad but true.

Back when I was 14 and my mum died, in 1970 you'd find that most churches who believed the Bible were in agreement with the Pre Trib position.

In fact some church historians have said that since Israel came back in 1948 there was a great increase in that Pre Trib Dispensational teaching. It WAS the norm, the standard amongst most Evangelical and Fundamentalist churches for decades.

My mother's dad was both a lawyer and an amateur theologian and he wrote for one of the older Dispensational Pre Trib journals, I think it was Bibliotheca Sacra and corresponded with Lewis Sperry Chafer (one of the bright lights of the Pre Trib movement) and Grandfather was part of the group of Canadian Presbyterians who were dispensational, and trying to keep the Reform theology group from taking over. (they eventually did but Grandfather and many others held the line for many decades)

Then some time in the mid 80's the Pre Trib teaching that everyone held to, started to fall into disrepute because of some stupid false prophets who insisted on date setting. 88 Reasons for Christ to return in 1988 was one. Some people felt that due to Hal Lindsay's insistence on 40 years being a generation, that he was date setting too, and it was a fine line that I think he didn't cross, but certainly there was a lot of expectation that the Lord would return by the end of the 80's.

When that didn't happen there were a lot of disappointed people who began to listen to some of the teachings from the Reform theology people-- the Calvinists, Rushdoonys' group,,, the "young restless and reformed" group, and they were teaching a new thing that was actually an old thing. Preterism (the teaching that all prophecy was fulfilled in 70-90 AD) and A-Millennial (no millennium, this is it, we are in it, and till we take the world for Jesus, He isn't physically coming back --is that teaching in a nutshell) teaching took hold.

At the same time a bunch of heretical teachings from the discredited Latter Rain movement (from the 40's) started to gain some traction over in the Vineyard group where John Wimber and many influential leaders were beginning to teach Dominionism, which can be summed up as A-Millennial's evil twin-- it teaches the Church must become Joel's Army and take control of the 7 mountains of culture, dominating the world and forcing the non Christians (and Christians who don't agree with them) into submitting to their authority. That didn't take long to infect a large chunk of the charismatic movement and it's part of the theology behind such groups as the New Apostles Reformation (C. Peter Wagner), Mike Bickells' International House of Prayer in Kansas City, the Spiritual Warfare movement etc. They teach that the church will eventually take over ant THEN when the Church has pounded the godless hordes into submission-- then Jesus comes back and the church hands HIM a gift of the world submitted to their authority. (IN THEIR DREAMS I SAY!)

I was in one of those churches at that time, in the 90''s and I remember cheerfully referring to the Rapture and being told firmly to put a lid on it, because not everyone believed that nowadays. That came from the prayer leader who was a big fan of Dominionism and Mike Bickle.

And somewhere around the 90's MID Trib teaching began to take hold. Jacob Prasch and others have pushed it, but it's another oddity-- it's very works oriented, that we can show the Lord we love him by surviving an endurance contest for the first half of the Tribulation till he comes. They've become VERY grumpy with Pre Trib people in the last 10 years, it's like we offend them by our beliefs and they get really odd. Some of them in Jacob's camp, produced a film attacking the Pre Trib Rapture with a bunch of weird lies that don't even make historical sense.

A few decades later and more than a few idiots who persist in setting dates in spite of what Jesus said, we have a lot of opposition within the church to the Pre Trib Rapture position. YouTube has not helped. On the one hand, you can get good teachers on YouTube like Dr Andy Woods, but then there's a boat load that could sink the Ark filled with the strangest most date setting stuff, all with their little white boards and markers at the ready to show you just why they are right. With every false prophecy date that comes and goes, they go at it again. The flood of evil coming from YouTube is pretty bad, and a lot of it involves date setting or other non Biblical stuff that brings Christianity a bad name and prophecy teaching in particular.

I noticed it took another down turn in popularity when the Seeker Driven Church Growth industry took over the ordinary churches around here in the early 2000s. Rick Warren (Purpose Driven books etc) and others like him in the Emergent group decided that prophecy in general was something to be avoided at all costs. I was still teaching it in the Ladie's Bible Study at a local Baptist church we used to go to, but I was getting one or two of the ladies (mid Trib) very upset by doing something that 30 years earlier would have been so routine as to not cause any ruffled feathers.

From the 70s when it was the norm to now where it's become the minority, and a minority that is routinely ridiculed and subjected to a lot of anger, hatred and outright lies.

It's my birds eye view of the decades in church.
 
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Sowen

Well-Known Member
Wow.

I’ve seen the hate for pre-trib online but not in person.

Thank you so much for the church history lesson on the decline of pre-trib doctrine in the church. I really appreciate it.

The decline happened so fast—just a few decades. It’s shocking how fast it fell, or perhaps it’s more accurate to say, how fast people fell away from it.

Wow. I know I said that already, but I can’t get over how quickly the change happened. Now I’m wondering if this is related to 2 Thessalonians 2:3.

One final note, I’m looking forward to shaking your grandfather’s hand some day. Also, I kinda nerded out when you mentioned Bibliotheca Sacra and Lewis Sperry Chafer. :D
 

JSTyler

Well-Known Member
Absolutely, imo.
Good opinion :thumbup

We're told to keep our eyes on the heavens for Christ's imminent appearing. Everything, the false teachings, false teachers and their ear-tickling doctrines that athenasius so clearly delineated in her post boils down to "don't look, don't trust, don't believe, and faith in the dirt." screams the exact opposite.

Something about being the odd man out feels right these days.

 

athenasius

Well-Known Member
Wow.

I’ve seen the hate for pre-trib online but not in person.

Thank you so much for the church history lesson on the decline of pre-trib doctrine in the church. I really appreciate it.

The decline happened so fast—just a few decades. It’s shocking how fast it fell, or perhaps it’s more accurate to say, how fast people fell away from it.

Wow. I know I said that already, but I can’t get over how quickly the change happened. Now I’m wondering if this is related to 2 Thessalonians 2:3.

One final note, I’m looking forward to shaking your grandfather’s hand some day. Also, I kinda nerded out when you mentioned Bibliotheca Sacra and Lewis Sperry Chafer. :D
you are most welcome. Grandfather's name was Clive A Thomson and he wrote 3 articles that I know of, one in October 1939, July 61, and July of 66. He died in 1968 I think. He was a big fan of Darby, many of the Dispensational teachers of the 20s-60s and Chafer with whom he had a few correspondences over the years. He taught me to memorize scripture by shoving a square of dark chocolate under my tongue whenever I got a verse or a passage right. He loved God's Word with a passion. I was 12 when he died, but I look forward to being with him again. I'm pretty sure he'd love meeting you too. He loved his fellow brothers and sisters who loved the Lord with the same passion as he did.

I totally agree that decline happened so fast I wouldn't believe it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, heard it with my own ears. And yes it really is 2 Thess:2:3

I remember hearing someone say with great satisfaction that after 1948 you didn't hear much of that nonsense of A-millennial teaching any more, and the Preterist idea that prophecy was all over by 90 AD was dealt a severe blow. I can't remember who it was or I'd tell you. But that was a long time ago now.

And preterism and the amillennial positions have recovered strength and numbers again, and been joined by the Dominion theology as well as other odd stuff all of which hates and opposes Dispensational teaching and the idea that prophecy IS being fulfilled today, particularly the sign of 1948 when Israel came back into being after 2 millennia of Jewish diaspora, wanderings and persecutions. The fact that the Jews remained a people is a miracle of no small size. Then they regained their language and did that about the same time as the Zionist movement got going, which again was just a bit before WW 1, when the Ottoman empire would crumble and the guy that supplied explosives to Britain for her war effort was awarded the right to have a homeland for the Jews in the BALFOUR declaration.

It's really stunning to think of it because it all seems to happen so fast. But people forget. even what happened last week is gone from most people's minds. yet God is moving thru history and prophecy is happening in front of us.
 
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JSTyler

Well-Known Member
I remember hearing someone say with great satisfaction that after 1948 you didn't hear much of that nonsense of A-millennial teaching any more, and the Preterist idea that prophecy was all over by 90 AD was dealt a severe blow. I can't remember who it was or I'd tell you. But that was a long time ago now.

And preterism and the amillennial positions have recovered strength and numbers again, and been joined by the Dominion theology as well as other odd stuff all of which hates and opposes Dispensational teaching and the idea that prophecy IS being fulfilled today, particularly the sign of 1948 when Israel came back into being after 2 millennia of Jewish diaspora, wanderings and persecutions. The fact that the Jews remained a people is a miracle of no small size. Then they regained their language and did that about the same time as the Zionist movement got going, which again was just a bit before WW 1, when the Ottoman empire would crumble and the guy that supplied explosives to Britain for her war effort was awarded the right to have a homeland for the Jews in the BALFOUR declaration.

It's really stunning to think of it because it all seems to happen so fast.
But people forget. even what happened last week is gone from most people's minds. yet God is moving thru history and prophecy is happening in front of us.
I've first-hand witnessed, in many conversations, the responses to FACTS like this. It's typically done with a dismissive wave of the hand, a pish-posh followed by anger and "But muh allegory!" followed by more anger and more waving of hands.

It calls to mind those old tin boxes with colorful lithograph scenes, the kiddie sized hand crank and spring loaded lids. You'd wind them to hear the plincky sounding music, knowing that at some point the clown would pop up with a surprisingly loud clunk. It'd be colorful, bounce and bob around, might give you a momentary startle and even a furtive laugh. But in the end, it's all just a gewgaw, some gimcrackery, a showy flare of sound and color, designed drama meant to distract the easily fooled or entertained. Fake clowns for gullible clowns. Historical slight of hand.

In my mind it all comes down to the same thing. Selective optics, narrow minded cause and effect, the same sort that can ignore or forget history, forget Biblical truth and doctrine, cuz' they have T.R.A.D.I.T.I.O.N!

It also calls to mind the end of "The Last Battle" by C. S, Lewis, "The dwarfs are for the dwarfs!"
 

Lookingup83

Member
I know that I read a lot of negative things regarding the belief in the Rapture online. So much so that at one point I questioned the belief myself. The amount of hatred toward it is growing, and for no real reason for the hatred. We are grouped up with the date setters and nuts now. My friend is a post tribber, I try not to bring up the rapture at all around her. The last church I went to didn't preach about it either.
 

crossnote

Well-Known Member
I've heard this claim a few times online, but I don't know if it's true as I've been a Christian for only about a year and half, so I've no clue what the church was like before that. (I can't get answers locally because prophecy isn't taught.)

So, for those who've believed the pre-trib doctrine for years and attend churches where this belief is taught, is it true? Has your local church or believers you know changed their views or expressed doubt in the pre-trib doctrine?

If it's true, to what extent is it true? Has there been a major shift in the church towards not believing in the pre-trib doctrine? Is this shift specific to a region or is it global?

Thanks
What is true is there has been a defection from the pre-trib view BUT when you ask amillennials and preterists a detailed account of their view (how it lines up with Scripture), they are only vague. Their end times identity is built on their attacks against the pre-trib position because they don't have one of their own. It's just like the atheists whose identity is formulated by their attacks against theism.
 

JSTyler

Well-Known Member
What is true is there has been a defection from the pre-trib view BUT when you ask amillennials and preterists a detailed account of their view (how it lines up with Scripture), they are only vague. Their end times identity is built on their attacks against the pre-trib position because they don't have one of their own. It's just like the atheists whose identity is formulated by their attacks against theism.
Sorry about the delay in getting back to the great point you make.

I completely agree with you. You can't pin them down to anything aside from vague constructs of flimsy eisegesis and selective application of their magic ingredient, allegory. The closest I ever got to finding a trail in the misty labyrinthine mess of their doctrines had something to do with Daniel 10-12 based in a single selection from codex vaticanus or codex alexandrinus. I gave up when my head started to hurt too much from all the mental gymnastics my meager brain had to perform to connect the various and sundry dots.

I did however, leave a bread trail in my passing and was able to escape pretty much unscathed aside from time that would have been better spent watching grass grow or paint dry.
 

crossnote

Well-Known Member
Sorry about the delay in getting back to the great point you make.

I completely agree with you. You can't pin them down to anything aside from vague constructs of flimsy eisegesis and selective application of their magic ingredient, allegory. The closest I ever got to finding a trail in the misty labyrinthine mess of their doctrines had something to do with Daniel 10-12 based in a single selection from codex vaticanus or codex alexandrinus. I gave up when my head started to hurt too much from all the mental gymnastics my meager brain had to perform to connect the various and sundry dots.

I did however, leave a bread trail in my passing and was able to escape pretty much unscathed aside from time that would have been better spent watching grass grow or paint dry.
I like your poetic wit.
The best (and most) I could decipher after years of their teaching on eschatology, was that 'Jesus is coming back (sometimes that wasn't even literal) and then would Judge the earth' ...after that, they would spend the remaining time on the dangers of Marcionism (the very thing they were practising by ignoring multitudinous prophetic passages from the OT).
 

JSTyler

Well-Known Member
I like your poetic wit.
:biggrin2 Wit? I don't often hear or read that in reference to me unless is proceeded by dim- :biggrin2 They do say that even a blind squirrel can sometimes find a nut.

The best (and most) I could decipher after years of their teaching on eschatology, was that 'Jesus is coming back (sometimes that wasn't even literal) and then would Judge the earth' ...after that, they would spend the remaining time on the dangers of Marcionism (the very thing they were practising by ignoring multitudinous prophetic passages from the OT).
That reference you make, (I had to look it up to joggle my memory) Marcionism, seems to be rearing its ugly head a lot lately, I hadn't even considered it in this context. Interesting! I've seen it in the red-letter cult that's swept through many of the UM and contemporary "churches" around here. I wonder if the two are similarly linked somehow.
 

ItIsFinished!

Well-Known Member
Want to know how I got saved? A local radio show was mocking the rapture. I was about 40 and had never heard of it. A few web searches lead me to RR and I learned so much here. So much more than the calvinist church I grew up in.
That is awesome my friend.
I am so glad you received Jesus Christ as your Saviour.
This site here in my opinion is the best site on the internet.
This is where I come to fellowship and get my news.
It has been an absolute blessing.
So many well thought out , intelligent, Scripturally grounded brothers and sisters here who's love shines through.
I said it before and I'll say it again, it is of no coincidence that we are here.
I stumbled upon this site when I was in the hospital for 4 months and it truly blessed me and made my stay there bearable.
May the Lord bless you Cindy and give you wisdom and clarity.

Praise our precious Redeemer.
 

Cindy S.

Well-Known Member
That is awesome my friend.
I am so glad you received Jesus Christ as your Saviour.
This site here in my opinion is the best site on the internet.
This is where I come to fellowship and get my news.
It has been an absolute blessing.
So many well thought out , intelligent, Scripturally grounded brothers and sisters here who's love shines through.
I said it before and I'll say it again, it is of no coincidence that we are here.
I stumbled upon this site when I was in the hospital for 4 months and it truly blessed me and made my stay there bearable.
May the Lord bless you Cindy and give you wisdom and clarity.

Praise our precious Redeemer.
Thank you so much.
 

ItIsFinished!

Well-Known Member
What is true is there has been a defection from the pre-trib view BUT when you ask amillennials and preterists a detailed account of their view (how it lines up with Scripture), they are only vague. Their end times identity is built on their attacks against the pre-trib position because they don't have one of their own. It's just like the atheists whose identity is formulated by their attacks against theism.
Their view DOESN'T line up with Scripture whatsoever.
However the pre-trib removal of the Church absolutely does.
It is in COMPLETE harmony with other Scripture.
The Scriptures clearly teach a pre-trib removal of the Church and a literal 1,000 year reign of Christ.
 

crossnote

Well-Known Member
:biggrin2 Wit? I don't often hear or read that in reference to me unless is proceeded by dim- :biggrin2 They do say that even a blind squirrel can sometimes find a nut.



That reference you make, (I had to look it up to joggle my memory) Marcionism, seems to be rearing its ugly head a lot lately, I hadn't even considered it in this context. Interesting! I've seen it in the red-letter cult that's swept through many of the UM and contemporary "churches" around here. I wonder if the two are similarly linked somehow.
Very well could be. Them and Andy Stanley (Charle's son) with his propensity to chuck the OT, seem to be cut from the same cloth.
 
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