Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Dispensationalism's Inherent Racism

by Ken Gentry, Th.D., Director,

Built within the very foundation of dispensationalism is racism. The dispensational system sets apart the Jewish race for special favors during the millennium. Note some of their radical statements regarding the exaltation of the Jews in the millennium:

"Israel, regathered and turned to the Lord in salvation, will be exalted, blessed, and favored through this period." (Ryrie, Basis of the Premillennial Faith, 149.)

"The Gentiles will be Israel’s servants during that age. . . . The nations which usurped authority over Israel in past ages find that downtrodden people exalted and themselves in subjection in their kingdom. And these are not unsaved Gentiles: The Gentiles that are in the millennium will have experienced conversion prior to admission." (Pentecost, Things to Come, 508.)

"The redeemed living nation of Israel, regenerated and regathered to the land will be head over all the nations of the earth. . . . So he exalts them above the Gentile nations. . . . On the lowest level there are the saved, living, Gentile nations." (Hoyt, "Dispensational Premillennialism," in Clouse, Meaning of the Millennium, 81.)

"God will keep his original promises to the fathers and will one day convert and place Israel as the head of the nations." (House and Ice, Dominion Theology, 175.)

"Israel will be a glorious nation, protected from her enemies, exalted above the Gentiles. . . . In contrast to the present church age in which Jew and Gentile are on an equal plane of privilege, the millennium is clearly a period of time in which Israel is in prominence and blessing. . . . Israel as a nation will be exalted." (Walvoord, Millennial Kingdom, 136.)

"In the millennium Israel as a nation will rule over the Gentiles." (Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, in Popular Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy, 201.)

This doctrine regarding the ultimate goal of history is astounding for many reasons. I will just cite two.

First, dispensationalism contradicts the revelation of God in the OT. In a passage dealing with the glorious kingdom of Christ (which in dispensationalism would be the millennium), God absolutely destroys this concept of the exaltation of the Jewish race:

"In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrians will come into Egypt and the Egyptians into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians. In that day Israel will be the third party with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom the Lord of hosts has blessed, saying, 'Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance.'" (Isaiah 19:23-25)

Nothing in this passage allows for an exaltation of the Jew above the Gentile. It speaks of absolute, redemptive equality.

Second, dispensationalism contradicts the revelation of God in the NT. According to Paul, Jew and Gentile have been united in one body, with the "middle wall of partition" being broken down (Eph 2:11-19). Nothing in the Ephesians 2 passage appears to be temporary. This union of Jew and Gentile in one is, in fact, the goal of God's redemption in history. Paul repeatedly declares that in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, for we are all one in him (Rom 10:12; Gal 3:28; Col 3:11).

Dispensationalists long for the rebuilding of the temple and the re-establishing of its "middle wall of partition" so that the Jew can rule over saved living Gentile nations -- who will be on the lowest level. And while doing that, they want to repair the temple veil that God tore at the crucifixion of Christ. In longing for such, they desire a repeal of the new covenant and the return of the sacrificial system, which has been fulfilled in Christ (read Hebrews). (Oddly, during the millennial reign the lamb will lie down with the lion, but a priest will come by and snatch up the lamb to offer as a sacrifice, apparently while petting the lion.)

Dispensationalism is inherently racist, as well as retrogressive. No wonder some dispensationalists are rebelling against the system with their "progressive" dispensationalism! All power to the new dispensationalists, who are dismantling their own system because of its abuses of Scripture.

These and many other such systemic problems are dealt with in my third edition of He Shall Have Dominion, which's publishing arm (ApologeticsMedia) just released. Many of these types of problems will be focused on in volume 2 of The Late Great Planet Church. Stay tuned.

The Loud Verse and the Secret Rapture

A key verse beloved by all dispensationalists is Paul's statement in 1 Thessalonians 4:16: "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first." This verse is the foundation stone to dispensationalism's unique doctrine of the "Secret Rapture."

Dispensationalists hold that the Church Age will end just before the Great Tribulation, when Jesus will return and secretly Rapture his saints into heaven. Their view is not only premillennial, but pre-tribulational premillennial. This verse in Paul's letter to the Thessalonians teaches, according to dispensationalism, that the Lord will rescue his people from the world before the outbreak of the Great Tribulation. This event will be "secret" in that only believers will hear the call.

Meanwhile, those on earth, who are "left behind" will notice the Christians are gone, but will not know what happened. The Antichrist will create a lie to account for the sudden disappearance of millions of people from the world.

Unfortunately for dispensationalism, their doctrine of the Secret Rapture is not only unheard of in Church history prior to 1830 (maybe that explains why is is a secret!), but is also established on a verse that contradicts the very idea itself.

Note that this "Secret Rapture" verse is the noisiest verse in Scripture. Paul went out of his way to declare the dramatic, public nature of Christ's return. Not once, but three times he presents its public nature. Christ will descend from heaven "with a shout." In case you miss that, he adds: "with the voice of the archangel." And if you slept through all that, he adds: "with the trumpet of God."

1. The shout. Here he uses a word that speaks of loudness. He could have used the word for "command," if he had not wanted to emphasize its audible nature. Look anywhere in Scripture: a "shout" is always used as a publically audible, dramatic sound.

2. The voice of the archangel. This is not simply a voice of a lowly angel (if there be such!), but the voice of a mighty archangel, the "ruling" (arch) angel. Again, the emphasis falls on the dramatic nature of the voice. It is not a "still, small voice," but "the voice of the archangel."

3. The trumpet of God. Like shouting, a trumpet emits a loud, publically audible sound. In fact, when the Israelites surround Jericho, they are commanded to both shout and blare trumpets to publically show that the walls of Jericho will fall at their audible "command."

How can a "Secret" Rapture be founded on such a dramatically public sounding? If I were going to create a new theology, I certainly would try to make it at least appear to match the verse upon which it is based. The Antichrist will really have his work cut out for him, when he tries to lie about such a dramatically public blaring sound. Perhaps he will use the whole phenomenon to impose a world-wide noise ordinance on all men and nations.