Should Churches Require All Members to Affirm Pretrib and Premil Views?

Andy Naselli —  April 30, 2013 — 5 Comments

Short answer: No.

Longer answer: I tried to unpack this in a radio interview on 7/14/2009: Are Millennial Views Essential? I had recently highlighted (1) Tom Schreiner’s move from an amillennial to a premillennial position and (2) Mark Dever’s argument that it’s a sin to sever cooperation with other believers over certain types of eschatological issues.

Even longer answer: Peter Hubbard, teaching pastor of North Hills Community Church in Taylors, South Carolina, wisely walked his church through this issue in September 2009. Up to that point the church had required members to affirm a pretribulational rapture and premillennialism, but the elders agreed that it was wiser to change that policy. Even though the church still teaches premillennialism, it does not require that members hold that view, and the elders themselves are not unanimous on their tribulation views. For example, Peter Hubbard is historic premillennial (i.e., posttribulational). I recently listened to the three sermons in which Peter addressed this issue in September 2009, and they are full of wisdom about how dogmatic we should be about some aspects of eschatology:

  1. Jesus Is Coming! A Family Chat | MP3 | notes | 9/13/2009
  2. Is the Rapture at the Return? | MP3 | notes | 9/20/2009
  3. The Millennium | MP3 | notes | 9/27/2009

Related:

  1. Why You Should Not Be Dogmatic about All of Your Convictions: Lloyd-Jones on Silk Stockings, Baths, Radios, and More (Peter Hubbard uses this quote in the first of his three sermons above. Listen from about 3:20 to 5:15 in the MP3.)
  2. Ten Books Schnabel Recommends on the End Times

5 responses to Should Churches Require All Members to Affirm Pretrib and Premil Views?

  1. This is anecdotal, but it’s still a fact. Older Christians in traditional dispy churches are reluctant to give this up because they think it means their church is going soft on the Bible. Younger Christians will give it up in a minute. See the Ev Free new doctrinal statement, which though exceedingly minimalist, yet found room to mention premillennialism, mostly out of respect to the older saints. This will change in about 10 years.

  2. Andy, helpful stuff here, especially since I was just teaching on millennialism on Sunday. I made the point that membership did not require agreement on this issue. However, I notice you limited the discussion to Pre-Trib and Pre-Mil. Would you hold the same for the other two main positions? I confess ignorance too as to how the various Presbyterian denominations would handle it but wonder if you know.

  3. David Anderson May 1, 2013 at 10:33 am

    Andy, thank you for your blog. It’s very helpful. I have often wondered what the eschatological views of D.A. Carson were. I had heard through the grapevine that he is Historical Premil because “he simply can’t get past the OT passages.” but I wanted to verify it with you (or him!) And also Mark Dever. I was surprised to hear he is Amill, not Historic Premil. Is that true?
    thanks

Leave a Reply

*

Text formatting is available via select HTML.

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>