In mid-June of this year, I reached a critical point as I tried to process the veritable sea of deceit in which we daily walk. It seemed that anything and everything aside from God’s written word in its original language was corrupted to one degree or another.
Having grown up in the sixties and seventies, I lived most of my life (non-believer for about 2/3rds of my life, the last third as a believer) thinking that everything was hunky dory (just fine). Career, recreation, entertainment, and living the normal American life were things to be engaged in without critical thought or reflection. I did have a few concerns about things I saw when I reentered civilian life after twenty years in the military, but wrote them off as just the normal changes that take place in a culture over time.
Upon my conversion in 2001, I entered the “church” system and after some years of attending various churches my family and I became members of the PCA. This situation seemed to meet our needs in terms of coping with our culture and understanding why things are the way they are.
Four years ago, we left that denomination and have not rejoined another church. During that time, I have spent countless hours seeking to understand God’s will for his people.
I read a book written in the 15th century that catalogued the anabaptist (they don’t consider themselves “ana” which means “re” since they don’t consider the RC infant baptism as a bona fide baptism, but the label stuck so we use it) martyrs in each century from the 3rd to the 15th. I don’t believe that they had everything right (just like I don’t believe that I do), but were willing to die before caving on that issue. I liked what I saw in their emulation of Jesus as being non-violent to the point of not defending their rights or even themselves.
I spent a year looking into house churches, a year looking into missional churches, six months reading about the “harlot” church “system.” At various points I believed in the continuation of spiritual gifts, at other points I didn’t believe in that. I came to see the old covenant tithe as being nothing like we are told about it (and what it is used to justify) today.
Oddly enough, no matter what direction or how far my reading and studying took me I never stopped increasing in my condifence that God is exactly who he says he is. And throughout this time, my love and concern for fellow believers has grown.
It was after going through this learning process and seeing the level of deceit in our culture reach an astounding level that I realized none of the standard end times perspectives provided me with a suitable answer.
I saw that the world was much more rotten than I previously realized. In fact, it was reaching the point of being laughable. A year and a half ago, during the height of Covid testing with fear inducing positive rates, reports stated that hospitals and testing centers were overflowing. So I went to our local hospital’s testing center. It was a Sunday afternoon. There were about 2 miles of cones marking lanes leading up to the drive through testing center. There were a dozen or so medical workers sitting inside the drive through tent. But there were a total of zero cars in line for testing. Wait, what?
And just about a week ago were learned in media reports that over 300 pediatic covid patients had died in Florida over the span of a couple of days (now the same thing is being reported in Texas).. This report made a huge impact on many minds. But when challenged, the report was quietly removed like it never existed.
These examples are maybe 0.001% of the deceit that is bombarding our culture. And it’s not subtle. It’s bold, it’s brazen, it’s mind boggling.
Maybe I’m the dense one. But I don’t see the mainline churches providing a framwork upon which we can make sense of things and walk through our days free from anxiety.
In June of this year I reached the limit of my ability to cope with these things.
Please understand that I knew that God was allowing these things to go on. And I am fine with that. I had no lapse of confidence in God’s wisdom, will, or methods. What I needed was an updated paradigm or template through which to view all of this.
It might be difficult for the reader to understand my last sentence, and I won’t try to explain it but will just state what I was thinking at the time, which is this: I was not able to reconcile our current world and also the things that have occurred in this world over the last two thousand years with the idea that generation after generation have been and are waiting for the promised “soon” return of Jesus. Up until June of this year I was able to accept this, but that is no longer the case.
Preterism at this point was the furthest thing from my mind. I didn’t even know what it meant beyond the notion that some end time prophecies have already been fulfilled. But preterism, full preterism, is ultimately where I ended up.
As I said in my previous post, I don’t have all the answers. I have a conceptual framework that provides me with a means to process all that I see going on..
If you’re wondering if this change in perspectiive is working to reduce anxiety and bring about peace, the answer to that question is an unqualified yes. And bringing that same peace to others is my only motivation for sharing this. I don’t doubt that there are non-preterist believers walking through this world who by God’s grace little to no anxiety. But I can also say definitively that I am not one of them.
God bless you.