Are we being people of the truth with prophecy? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.
Lately, I’ve been troubled when I have been looking at Facebook and seeing what people are putting up. First there was the report from prophecy watch of how Isaiah 17 is being fulfilled in Syria. Today, I saw a number of people putting up something stating that Obamacare has in it a plan to put microchips in people’s hands and that this is the Mark of the Beast.
I’m going to be upfront and state my viewpoint. I have not been dogmatic about it in this blog, but I am an orthodox Preterist in my eschatology. Now naturally I do not think any prophecies are being fulfilled in this way. I am just waiting for the return of Christ and the bodily resurrection of the dead. That is something orthodox Preterists agree with. None of this means that I have anything against futurists. I happen to have many friends who are futurists, including my own wife.
My stance is always the same. I would prefer that people have the views that I have naturally, but I also prefer that if someone holds a position, that they be informed on it. Whatever position it is, at least know what it is, why you hold it, and have some reason to defend it. I have as much a problem with someone who holds the position that I do and does not know why it is that they hold it. I have a problem with a Christian who wants to defend Christianity but do so without study. Whatever position you hold, hold it in accordance with information and know how to speak about it from an informed position.
Now looking at these two events, let me take the first one. I do believe the interpretation is false, but let’s look at something. Go to your local Christian bookstore and see how many books you have on who the antichrist is. Now consider how many books are sitting in the back shelves of Christian bookstores that proved conclusively that Osama Bin Laden or Saddam Hussein were the antichrist? A friend of mine in apologetics told me on this topic that she has a book by an internationally known Bible scholar proving that Mussolini was the antichrist.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who can have several charts and graphs on how the tribulation will play out and when Jesus will come and how prophecies are being fulfilled, but when you ask them to make a historical case for the resurrection of Jesus, they don’t have a clue. Now if you can do both, more power to you. You are at least informed even if I do disagree with you. What we have is a case of majoring in the minors and minoring in the majors.
In all of this, keep in mind Jesus never once told us to spend our energy identifying who the antichrist is. In fact, he doesn’t speak about him. Jesus does spend much time talking about who He is. If you can pin the tail on the antichrist and not defend the deity of Jesus and His being Messiah and King, then you are spending too much time not focusing on the person Jesus told you to focus on and instead focusing on the person He never spoke about.
What about the second case? For this, all it took for me was just a few minutes looking at Snopes and TruthorFiction.com to find both sites said the email was false. For instance, the message on Facebook tells the section by number that mentions this document. The health care bill does not go by numbers for the section. It goes by letters. Now if I’m looking at the wrong bill, I encourage anyone to let me know.
What does that mean? It means one can do five minutes of research and see that a claim is false. What happens again when this is not done? Christians end up with egg on their faces. The rest of the world thinks Christians are gullible people who will just believe anything. Could it be that they will think that we are gullible about anything else?
Again, I don’t mind a different opinion really, but I do think we need to make sure that we are informed. We don’t want to embarrass the faith. The same goes for Preterism. I know as a Christian teacher my position could be taken more authoritatively than I attend. I would not want you to say “Well Nick seems like a smart guy and is a Preterist. I think I should be one too.” Please go and read up on it. Read up on the other viewpoints as well and come to your conclusion, and then it will be one that is your conclusion.
Zeal is good, but remember that we are to have zeal according to knowledge.