Is it possible for the followers of Christ to debate vigorously but in a loving way? It doesn’t always seem so to me. In my dealings with End Times proponents, I’ve encountered the most hateful attacks. I can expect that from militant atheists but friendly fire from those who claim the name of Christ wounds me deeply.
When I attended a spiritually incestuous house church, the leader taught the doctrine of the post-tribulation return of Christ. We all believed that we would have to go through the great tribulation mentioned in Revelation. Anybody who taught that the rapture would come first was considered a heretic.
There was also a time when I believed that the rapture would happen, then there’d be seven years of Tribulation. Christ would come after that and set up a semi-golden age. Then there would be a worldwide rebellion which Christ would put down. Only after that would all the wicked people be consigned to hell forever.
There was also a time in my life where I gave up on Christianity in favour of science. I enjoyed the thought that my poor vision was merely a result of faulty genes and not some sort of punishment from an angry God. What I didn’t consider is that survival of the fittest is a cruel and pitiless process. It gave the Nazis and Eugenics movement the justification to sterilize or eliminate the less fit individuals of society, even folks like myself.
Having gone through all these stages, I find the partial preterist position to be the most logical one, plus it corresponds with the historical view of the Bible. Scripture was written to those people to whom it was written, not to us as if we were any sort of special people. Therefore the prophecies of Daniel and other Old Testament prophets came to pass long before we arrived on the scene. Only The return of Christ has yet to happen.
Though I hold this position, I don’t condemn those who believe differently. After all, we all believe that Christ will return as the angels at his ascension proclaimed. Sadly, such condescension hasn’t always been shown to me. In my e-mail box have come some of the worst vitriolic attacks I’ve ever experienced. Can’t we Christians agree to disagree agreeably?
Because I believe in understanding the scriptures, I’ve written a book about how I was first misled and then guided to the truth. How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Visit Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Powell’s Books for details.