I belong to a Facebook group called “Charismatic Preterist Movement,” led by my friend, Maurice Perry. The purpose of the group is “bringing charismatic saints together who hold a fulfilled (preterist) eschatological position.” Yesterday Maurice highlighted the group description. I love the way it’s worded, and, for the most part, it resonated so much with my own outlook that I’ve decided to re-post it here:
Once again, it’s time for reformation in our church. For far too long, the seduction of dispensationalism and the futurist eschatological viewpoint has held the church captive in a state of fear, escapism, and lack of zeal and compassion for missions, ministry, evangelism and reaching the lost.
The Charismatic Preterist Movement (CPM) is a company of Christians that is dedicated to promoting Sola Scriptura, proper exegesis and hermeneutics in an effort to dismantle every lie and strong delusional tactic constructed by Satan to keep the corporate Body of Christ in a state of slumber, inactivity and perpetual hope deferred. CPM also believes that the same Holy Spirit that moved in power, signs and wonders through men and women in the 1st century church can, will, and desires to do the same today through yielded human vessels that have compassion for the lost and those that are bound.
What Do We Believe?
1. Everything Jesus said would happen, happened exactly as and when He said it would — within the lifetime of his contemporaries.
2. Everything every New Testament writer expected to happen, happened exactly as and when they expected it would — within their lifetime — as they were guided into all truth and told the things that were to come by the Holy Spirit (John 16:13).
3. Scholars across a broad spectrum are in general agreement that this is exactly how every NT writer and the early Church understood Jesus’ words. If they were wrong on something this important, how can we trust them to have conveyed other aspects of the faith accurately, such as the requirements for salvation?
4. No inspired NT writer, writing twenty or more years later, ever corrected their Holy Spirit-guided understanding and fulfillment expectations (John 16:13). Neither should we. Instead, they intensified their language as the “appointed time of the end” (Daniel 12:4; Habakkuk 2:3) drew near — from Jesus’ “this generation” (Matthew 24:34), to Peter’s “the end of all things is at hand” and “for it is time for judgment to begin” (1 Peter 4:7, 17), and John’s “this is the last hour . . . . it is the last hour” (1 John 2:18).
5. God is faithful (2 Pet. 3:9) and “not a man that He should lie” (Numbers 23:19). Faithfulness means not only doing what was promised, but also doing it when it was promised.
6. 1st-century fulfillment expectations were the correct ones and everything happened, right on time — no gaps, no gimmicks, no interruptions, no postponements, no delays, no exegetical gymnastics, and no changing the meaning of commonly used and normally understood words. Such manipulative devices have only given liberals and skeptics a foothold to discredit Christ’s Deity and the inerrancy of Scripture.**
7. What needs adjusting is our understanding of both the time and nature of fulfillment, and not manipulation of the time factor to conform to our popular, futuristic, and delay expectations.
8. The kingdom of God was the central teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ, is a present but greatly under-realized reality, and must again become the central teaching of His Church.
**As an example of point #6 above, the famous author, C.S. Lewis, taught that Jesus meant for His disciples to believe that His eschatological predictions would take place in their own time, but that He didn’t know what He was talking about:
“The apocalyptic beliefs of the first Christians have been proved to be false. It is clear from the New Testament that they all expected the Second Coming in their own lifetime. And, worse still, they had a reason, and one which you will find very embarrassing. Their Master had told them so. He shared, and indeed created, their delusion. He said in so many words, ‘this generation shall not pass till all these things be done.’ And he was wrong. He clearly knew no more about the end of the world than anyone else. This is certainly the most embarrassing verse in the Bible.” (Essay: “The World’s Last Night” (1960), found inThe Essential C.S. Lewis, p. 385.)
I appreciate a lot of C.S. Lewis’ writings, but this quote is tragic. Jesus wasn’t wrong. He told the truth. He kept His word. He did what He said He would do within the time frame He set for Himself to do it. The church is overdue for a revolution that makes it clear this is our common position.