EFCA Now Considers Premillennialism a Non-Essential
The Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA) changed its position on end times theology, voting this summer to drop the word â€śpremillennialâ€ť from the denominationâ€™s statement of faith.
Many of the 350,000 people who belong to EFCA churches still believe Jesus will return to earth to reign as king for 1,000 years, but the denomination no longer considers that doctrine essential to the gospel.
An internal document explaining the rationale for the change says premillennialism â€śis clearly a minority position among evangelical believers.â€ť Premillennialism has been a â€śdenominational distinctiveâ€ť for the EFCA, according to the document, but shouldnâ€™t be overemphasized....
Frank wrote: Brother John, There are few issues that I wonâ€™t argue in scripture, but the millennial is one of them. As you say John, people who say they take things literally differ from others who say the same thing. I am pre-millennial and my position is built around the fact that a 1,000 year period is noted over and over again. But, there are criticisms of this that I cannot answer. Lastly, I am correct!
Pilgrim, I can't say how glad I am that you are correct!
There are few issues that I wonâ€™t argue in scripture, but the millennial is one of them. As you say John, people who say they take things literally differ from others who say the same thing. I am pre-millennial and my position is built around the fact that a 1,000 year period is noted over and over again. But, there are criticisms of this that I cannot answer.
Amen Tim, I am glad to know you are heartened not disheartened by our convo. I am heartened too, bro. Here is what we studied in meeting today, and I'll break off here for a rest, as it was another long meeting.
Matthew 11:25-27 KJV (25)Â At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. (26)Â Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. (27)Â All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.
The thing is, are we of the "wise and prudent" or are we of the "babes"?
Notice that at this point, God the Father was Lord of heaven and earth. And in Matthew 28, Jesus says that all authority is given unto him (God the Son) in heaven and in earth . Temporarily, mind.
No, John, no questions, just a comment. It is heartening to know that I am not the only mortal on here, the only person who admits that there just might be the very tiniest possibility that some things I believe may not be 100 percent correct. At least there are two of us. I assume the others are omniscient. At least thatâ€™s how some of them come across.
Dr. Tim wrote: I would be very interested in learning â€śthe errors of...premillennialism.â€ť So far I havenâ€™t run across any. If Revelation 20 is not to be taken literally, then why should Revelation 22?
Doctor, we are both biblical literalists, and we both know as literalists that literally not all things in the Bible are to taken literally. Of this I am absolutely certain, and I can furnish you with a text to start you off, if you disagree with that.
We have both studied the Bible over many years, and you have believed the doctrines known as premillennialism, and I have believed the doctrines known as amillennialism. In your scheme there are difficulties, and in my scheme there are difficulties. When you look at the difficulties in your scheme you say, "I still believe in premillennialism," and when I look at the difficulties in my scheme, I say, "I still believe in amillennialism."
You say to me, "Study the word, John, and all will become clear."
I say to you, "Study the word, Tim, and all will become clear."
John UK "Yes absolutely. If I had not got a firm grasp on the truth, I would never have been able to spot the errors of dispensationalism and premillennialism."
You distilled the issus on this one, if ones holds to wooden literal dispy theology, they are almost forced to adhere to the pre-trib agenda. There is no understanding of the people of God, Jew and Gentile together in Messiah. Neil did as well in response to Jim.
Iâ€™m always leery of a denomination that props up learned men/women who wonâ€™t take a stand on the creation, the virgin birth and His resurrection and return. DTS is an outstanding seminary. Yet, with the parting of Chafer, Walvoord, and Campbell; there has been an essence of cold beans on the stove. With one element of doctrine, one must question the biblical foundations of denomination as a whole . Psst, Tim Keller is a socialist.
What a lousy excerpt you found! MacArthur is Special Pleading and adds no value. Stop following him, Scofield, and Ryrie, and read the Bible without prejudice, as Tim says.
Lindsey confidently predicted 1988 as the date of the Rapture. Surely the Bible is clear, as MacArthur says, right? Then why are you still here? If he was wrong, he deserved to be tarred and feathered as a False Prophet. But as usual, credulous "Christians" gave him a pass, like the Millerites in the 1840s.
John MacArthur wrote: .... Does the end matter? I think it matters. I think it matters to God. It matters to me. It matters to me to understand what God has said about the end. It's the whole point of everything else. It's the whole point of the beginning and the middle. The end is as divinely designed as the beginning. And God has given us massive amounts of revelation in the Scripture about the future. It has to matter to us. In fact, some say nearly one fourth of Scripture is prophetic. God filled the Bible with prophecy and much of it looking to the end. Did God do this but somehow mumble? Did He do it and somehow muddle it so hopelessly that the high ground for Bible students and the high ground for theologians is to recognize the muddle and abandon the perspicuity or the clarity of Scripture on that subject? Is that what God wanted us to do? To look at it and say, "I can't figure this out, let's forget it?" There are whole denominations that are instructed not to teach on the end times. You would assume that they're confused because the Bible is confusing. And if the Bible is confusing, then God Himself is confused. [ ] ....
excerpt from, "Why Every Calvinist Should Be a Premillennialist, Part 1"
James Thomas wrote: John 6:45, Isa, 54:13, Isa. 2:3, Micah 4:2 all say He will teach us of His ways. I believe Him!
Amen, I believe him too!
Isaiah 54:13-17 KJV (13)Â And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children. (14)Â In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee. (15)Â Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake. (16)Â Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy. (17)Â No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.
Now please, everybody, all together now: I BELIEVE THESE TEXTS!
Peace, perfect peace. In the midst of turmoil, peace. Why, good sir, should this be so? Och aye laddie, ye ken that the Lord he is the sovereign God.
Dr. Tim wrote: One reason people donâ€™t have a firm knowledge of doctrine is because they are lazy and uncommitted to personally searching the scriptures. They would rather have Spurgeon, Gill, Matthew Henry or someone else tell them what the Bible means than to take seriously their personal duty to learn it for themselves.
Paul charged Timothy to war a good warfare according to the prophecies which went before on him. Traditions from the fathers were shown to be lies from doing just that. Those prophesies Paul refers to are cited by NT writers numerous times and are expounded upon by them in their context. Instead of making attempts of reconciling the prophets to traditions they instead revealed those vain jangling traditions as false and enlightened Paul to call things that were gain to him, dung.
John 6:45, Isa, 54:13, Isa. 2:3, Micah 4:2 all say He will teach us of His ways. I believe Him!
If John were being forthright he would truthfully say his discovery of â€śerrorsâ€ť of premillennialism and dispensationalism came at the hands of men he read or heard not from some â€śrevelationâ€ť that suddenly hit as he was reading his Bible.
Dr. Tim wrote: 1. Well put, Johnâ€”and no doubt well advised. 2. My point of course is that before we turn to others for their take on scripture, we should first become thoroughly grounded in it ourselves. 3. We can never spot error if we donâ€™t have a firm grasp on the truth.
1. Thanks doc.
2. Yes, if it is possible, we ought to do that.
3. Yes absolutely. If I had not got a firm grasp on the truth, I would never have been able to spot the errors of dispensationalism and premillennialism.
Tim, if you focus on the eternal covenant between the Father and the Son, all thinking on the endtimes will smooth out like warm butter on a coconut.
Well put, Johnâ€”and no doubt well advised. My point of course is that before we turn to others for their take on scripture, we should first become thoroughly grounded in it ourselves. We can never spot error if we donâ€™t have a firm grasp on the truth.
Dr. Tim wrote: It isnâ€™t difficult to get a proper understanding of the end times, John, or of any other biblical doctrine, if one will but take the following steps: 1. Get saved. 2. Read the Bibleâ€”not what Dr. Bottlestopper says about the Bible, but the BIBLEâ€”all the way through again and again and again and again and again, asking the Holy Spirit to guide you into all truth. 3. In addition to reading the Bible, study the Bible thoroughly. 4. Memorize portions of scripture. 5. Meditate on the Word. 6. Above all, decide beforehand to believe everything in the Bible, whether you understand it or not. One reason people donâ€™t have a firm knowledge of doctrine is because they are lazy and uncommitted to personally searching the scriptures. They would rather have Spurgeon, Gill, Matthew Henry or someone else tell them what the Bible means than to take seriously their personal duty to learn it for themselves.
It was all going so well, for the first six points, but then came 'that' conclusion. I'm sorry Tim, but I cannot possibly listen to a word you say, and that is on your own recommendation.