The UnPreterist: FP/Hyperpreterist “churches” and “pastors”

When I was a hyperpreterist, I took the “paradigm” in a consistent way. Hyperpreterism doesn’t merely affect eschatology. Any hyperpreterist that claims it only affects eschatology is either lying or too new to realize what is going on. Anyhow, one area I was concerned about as a hyperpreterist was ecclesiology — how church functions within “full preterism”.

For example, if all ended in AD70, then the import of Jesus hand-picking apostles to guide the Church in His absence takes on new meaning. And the “elders” over the “bunkers” of congregations waiting for Christ’s return had a specific and time-limited purpose. This seems especially obvious when reading 1 Pet 5:1-4:

“The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.”

If we are CONSISTENT with the FP/hyperpret paradigm, then the preAD70 “elders” function was to:

(1) Feed the flock among them
(2) Oversee the local congregation [not for financial gain]

And when the Chief Shepherd, Jesus appeared, in AD70 per the FP/hyperpret, then those elders would receive a crown/reward for being stewards of the local congregations over which they were APPOINTED. Who appointed postAD70 “elders” and when if ever would they get their reward???

This means [in light of a consistent FP/hyperpreterism], whatever these gatherings are today, even by FP/hyperprets, they are not churches and the men over them are NOT PASTORS/”Elders”.

This is what I argued quite strongly for and was my debate with against then hyperpret Sam Frost. If anyone wants to know why Sam Frost and his protege Jason Bradfield hate me so much, it was because of this very issue. Frost was the foremost “pastor” within FP/hyperpreterism and I challenged him on it and he didn’t come out looking so hot. At one point he even told me privately on the phone that he was about to adopt the position of the preAD70 pastors only view. He even so much as admitted the conclusion in a no longer published article of his called “Observations“. I still have the quote:

“Even the Elders in that time [pre-AD70] had authority to ‘teach the oracles of God.’ But, I do not believe, because I am a [hyper] preterist, that such ‘inspired’ authority exists today. I do not believe that God has set up yet another ‘nation’ in the new covenant that commands uniformity and punishment if uniformity is not met.” — Sam Frost from an article called “Observations” speaking of the role of pre & post AD70 Christian “elders/pastors”

Why is this an issue again? Because Sam Frost, now a year into his departure from the movement is once again stating MY POSITION:

“Of course, the Full Preterist argument is that all pastors, elders, deacons, etc was “first century” only……if some FP do not argue this (and there are many), then I would like to hear upon what basis….and when you start hearing those reasons, it is going to sound a lot like the “traditionalist/futurist” argument for the existence of local church communities today. How does one go about “establishing” a FP church?” — Sam Frost Aug 18, 2011 — source

This is why I consider Sam Frost to be a FRAUD. The man uses other people’s arguments and pretends they’re his own while yet berating the person who originally made the argument. He did the same thing with the “Covenant Creationist” FP/Hyperpreterists when he claimed he was refuting their arguments, he instead adopted them — so much so that at the time many readers were saying things like:

“Sam seems to have taken a “Partial Covenant Creation” position… Of course, the correct position is probably a “synthesis” of Tim and Sam.” (comment by hyperpreterist about Frost’s view) source

Frost has done this since I’ve known him; whether it be his “clarkianism” or his…um “whitefieldianism” — he takes other people’s arguments and acts like they are his. 

Anyway, back to the issue. FP/hyperpreterism CAN’T have a polity of any sort. On what basis? Even Eph 4:11-16 seems to portend that the role or office of “pastor/elder” would cease along with the other roles such as apostles and prophets. That the purpose for this structure was for the “perfecting of the saints” — which most FP/hyperprets will tell us has already happened. (ie no more sanctification) It seems it was “til we all come into the unity of faith” — again something hyperprets say happened in AD70. So much so that Frost once said:

“Surely, “in heaven” and in the “age to come” Christians are not still being sanctified! Here, the traditional view is again, correct. However, since we view the “age to come” as already here, it is perfectly logical to insist that we are no longer, as a Church, as the Wife of the Lamb, no[t] the Bride, are “being sanctified.” We are the Wife. The Marriage has already happened. We have been purified, made clean, and are entirely “spotless and without wrinkle.” The “perfection” of Christ has entirely been applied to the Church.” —source

Hyperpret teacher Ward Fenley was known for telling people if they asked God to forgive them, then they didn’t really believe God has forgiven everything, and thus we shouldn’t ask God to forgive us.

CONSISTENT FP/Hyperpreterism is by its very nature anti-authoritarian and anti-collective. Its congregations “fail to grow” even under the leadership of men like Don Preston (ref). Hyperpreterism is merely a movement of hostile, bitter people who hate the Church and hate “churches” — even while some of them yet attend so-called “futurist” churches in efforts to overthrow them from within.

1 comment:

Ken Galloway said…

Good stuff Roderick…keep it coming. There is no excuse for Paul setting these offices up, only to have them dismantle or be worth zilch after 70 AD


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