Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Why Do We Demonize our Fellow Servants?

     We are pleased once again to welcome as a guest columnist on our blog, my dear friend, Dave MacPherson, a prolific author and research specialist concerning the origin of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture. It seems that brother Dave is becoming a victim of many scurrilous attacks concerning his research and the books he has written, with over 35 years of extensive study of this much debated topic. While this is probably the most contested doctrine in modern-day Christianity, it seems that rather than sharing each other’s research to enhance the church’s mission, many are resorting to the demonization of a person’s life’s work.
by Dave MacPherson

     When I think about pretrib rapture books I often think about demons.
     Take John Darby, for example. No one has ever come close to matching his literary "spectrum." His favorite caustic phrases included "the absence of spiritual intelligence," "real blasphemies," "unmingled darkness," and "unbelief and Satan." (Darby threw these phrases at those who dared to keep clinging to the only "rapture" view found in all Christian theology books prior to Scottish lassie Margaret Macdonald's history-making claim in 1830 of finding a pretrib rapture in the Bible.)
     The biting language went both ways. Soon after the birth of pretrib, British lawyer Robert Baxter joined the Irvingites (followers of Rev. Edward Irving) and adopted that new prophetic view. He abandoned it in 1833 and concluded that it was "a deceit of Satan" which had "first appeared in Scotland."
     Throughout the following decades both Darby (the master "special effects" man) and his editor, William Kelly, continued to fling such corrosive terminology at their critics.

     During 1902 Canadian fundamentalist Robert Cameron, who had been influenced by Baxter, wrote a series of articles that continued to credit the Irvingites (whom Margaret had inspired) as the first public teachers of the new endtimes view. Cameron wrote that "Dr. Tregelles, B. W. Newton and others, say there is not a hint of this [pretrib] doctrine in any writing extant, from the days of Polycarp to the days of Irving." He asked: "Do you think it wise to exalt into 'a test of fellowship' a doctrine...supported by the testimony of demons....?"

     In 1973 R. A. Huebner, uber-defender of Darby, added Darby- and Kelly-like revisionism to "demon" lingo. He quoted several writers who supposedly made the "demonic" charge. This is how my book "The Rapture Plot" portrays Huebner's "straw man" deviousness:
     "In 1864 S. P. Tregelles wrote: 'It came...from that which falsely pretended to be the Spirit of God.' (Huebner: 'In 1864, he said it came from a demon.')
     "In 1956 H. A. Baker said that pretrib came from a 'spirit.' (Huebner: Baker said it came from a 'demon.')
     "In 1957 Oswald J. Smith declared that pretrib came from 'a vision received by a woman' in Irving's church. (Huebner: Smith said it came from a 'demon.')
     "In 1962 J. Barton Payne traced pretrib to 'a woman...speaking in tongues.' (Huebner: Payne traced it to a 'demon.')"
     Huebner, in the same book, asserted that I'm another one who's been claiming that pretrib sprang from a "demonic source." For his so-called proof he reproduced a 1971 paper of mine entitled "Who Was Margaret MacDonald?"
     His conclusion was based on a statement in that paper in which I referred to "the vagaries of a Scottish lassie whose friends, according to A. L. Drummond's 'Edward Irving and His Circle' (pp. 141, 142, 146, 238, 279), included those who practised ecstatic speech, telepathy, and (shades of Satan) automatic writing!"
     Note that the occultic items had to do with Margaret's "friends" and not her! As I see it, pretrib is dangerous no matter how it's transmitted.
     For the record: I have never stated, and have never believed, that Margaret was ever, in any way, influenced by any demonic or Satanic source! Her revelation was merely her view of Scripture.
     Huebner (who is now deceased) was a retired electrical engineer who never attended college, seminary, or even a Bible school. Nevertheless Walvoord, Ryrie and some others have been taken in by Huebner's dishonest revisionism of my research and have repeated it far and wide - the evidence of which is constantly seen on the internet.
     For example, there's what I refer to as Wicked-pedia (a.k.a. Wikipedia) - a site which allows anyone in the public to edit its pages in any fashion! This has given Thomas Ice etc. a green light to constantly replace historical facts with lies including the oft-repeated lie that I have stated that pretrib (including Margaret's 1830 revelation) sprang from a "demonic" source!
     Finally, I'm thankful for my good friend Joe Ortiz whose must-read "End Times Passover" blog has allowed me to publicly expose the viciousness and venality that have long been embedded within the pretrib rapture view!


     Dave MacPherson is the author of The Rapture Plot, The Incredible Cover Up, The Great Rapture Hoax, Unbelievable Pre-Trib Origin, and Late Great Pre-Trib Rapture.

[Editorial comment by Joe Ortiz]

     The topic of demons has surfaced as never before in history. Movies like Angels and Demons (the sequel to the big hit movie The Davinci Code by author Dan Brown) have brought greater attention to demons, as have books by authors LA Marzulli, Paddy Herron, Stephen Quayles and Tom Horn (to name a few), whose research into fallen angels and the Nephilim phenomenon has captured a new audience which heretofore paid short shrift to Satan and his demonic forces. Those in the know recognize that Satan’s time is running short and he is now pumping the bellows to the raging furnace of the ominous paranormal evil looming in the horizon that will soon strike unparrelleled fear in the hearts of mankind. In the past, most of us viewed the devil as a cute little character with horns and a tail and a pitchfork that many of us even dressed up like on Halloween. Theologians who are keenly aware of the role demonic forces have played in the past, and who recognize that their fiery dart attacks are on the increase, know full well that any enmity or acrimony amongst fellow Christians lay in the truth of the scripture that states, For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places, (Ephesians 6:12)
     Yet, I’m sad to report that many Christians are irresponsibly labeling the works of other Christians solely to get an upper hand with their audience by tagging their material as being demonic. That is a very dangerous game they play, not recognizing they are actually falling into a satanic trap they will regret further down the road.
     Level-headed discussions about theology should ensue with an open heart and mind to hopefully increase knowledge for all of us who have chosen to participate in this worthwhile arena. A healthy discussion (which includes sharing information and scripture that affirms and confirms their polemic) is a good thing, as Proverbs 27:17 states: As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
     It is a pity that so much contentiousness exists amongst theologians when they find themselves not necessarily agreeing with another’s point of view. Rather than calmly sharing their respective studies, way too many are too quick to condemn and dismiss the other person’s respective information, to at least read it before doing so. Just imagine how much more successful the church would be if members were to share their respective research, rather than dismissing (with self-centered pride) the new knowledge that is fast emerging as we get closer to the return of Jesus Christ. Do we not have the same agenda, which is to bring greater glory to God through our respective efforts and contributions?
     Matthew Henry, in his commentary on Proverb 27:17 offered us great advice about our conversation with fellow Christians, especially in regards to our theological discussions, one that would behoove us to follow, rather than to miss important messages God is revealing to various people from all walks of life, but intended for one body:
     “This intimates both the pleasure and the advantage of conversation. One man is nobody; nor will poring upon a book in a corner accomplish a man as the reading and studying of men will. Wise and profitable discourse sharpens men’s wits; and those that have ever so much knowledge may by conference have something added to them. It sharpens men’s looks, and, by cheering the spirits, puts a briskness and liveliness into the countenance, and gives a man such an air as shows he is pleased himself and makes him pleasing to those about him.
     Good men’s graces are sharpened by converse with those that are good, and bad men’s lusts and passions are sharpened by converse with those that are bad, as iron is sharpened by its like, especially by the file. Men are filed, made smooth, and bright, and fit for business (who were rough, and dull, and inactive), by conversation. This is designed, 1. To recommend to us this expedient for sharpening ourselves, but with a caution to take heed whom we choose to converse with, because the influence upon us is so great either for the better or for the worse. 2. To direct us what we must have in our eye in conversation, namely to improve both others and ourselves, not to pass away time or banter one another, but to provoke one another to love and to good works and so to make one another wiser and better, (Matthew Henry, Commentary on Proverbs 27:17).”


For more information about the author’s two books, The End Times Passover and Why Christians Will Suffer "Great Tribulation" please click on Joe Ortiz ~


Anonymous said...

Should I say that you latest "End Times Passover" blog has thoroughly demonized me? Seriously, I can see that a lot of thought has gone into it including the excellent editorial thoughts at the end by Joe Ortiz. Not only is the subject impelling and invigorating, but it is extremely timely in light of world conditions, what with entire nations seemingly "on the brink" of economic collapse! Why oh why do American Christians keep on devouring the usual nonsensical pretrib fare issuing from TV and internet preachers when they would be much better off and more informed and prepared for what's ahead if they were to discover the real merit in your great blog? Amber

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this blog of yours which proves that we can be hurt by that (or by those) which we can't see with our natural eyes. Which is why we need spiritual eyes and need to keep them on Jesus. Clara

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Joe and Dave, for your most interesting, informative, and impelling words. The really amazing thing is that there are still those who fervently believe that the church (especially the American branch) will suddenly, without warning, be whisked off earth before anything really terrible happens. Boy, are they in for a rude awakening!
His blessings on you, Andres