I Love Dispensationalists…

…just so you’ll know, I don’t have it out for dispensationalists.  Some of them are among the men and women I respect the most of all people I know on earth.

People like John MacArthur cause me to glow with pride when I see him on national television upholding the truth of the Bible and telling millions of viewers that Jesus Christ is the only way to God.  And the contribution of one of his associates – Phil Johnson – to the propagation of truth is inestimable.

Another that comes to mind is Charles Stanley, whom God has used to bring untold thousands into the faith of Christ.  I could name so many more.

I spent over twenty years as a member, teacher, preacher, deacon, and pastor of Independent Fundamental Baptist churches.  Though I have moved on to a different identity (Independent Reformed), I still hold great respect for some of those fundamental men that stood, and continue to stand, boldly against the allurements of this evil world.  All of them were dispensational – and some of them were true, great, men of God.

But I believe they are very, very wrong in their dispensational theology.  I know it hurts my dispensational friends to read this.  They may consider me to be a traitor, a liberal, an “allegorist” – but none of this is true, and I only wish they might see these things clearly.

And though I love them, I don’t know if I could work together with them in a ministry or church.  Not because of feelings – no, not that at all, for my feelings tell me to put it aside – but because of the complete contradiction that the dispensational system brings against the covenant system.  Not only that, but once someone comes to understand the role of the Church in God’s plan, you simply cannot bear the thought of the Church being made a sort of afterthought necessitated by the refusal of God’s “real” people (the biological descendants of Abraham) to accept their Messiah.

The Bible is so filled with the certainty that Christ and His Church is the fulfillment of all things promised to Israel, I don’t know how it can be missed, even though I have to admit that I read the Bible for years and missed it the whole time.

The funny thing is, when I first became convinced of the truths of the theological system commonly called “Calvinism”, I knew I had entered a completely different way of seeing and understanding the scriptures.  But even then, I never imagined that I would ever be any thing but a dispensationalists – a Calvinist, yes, but a Dispensational Calvinist, much in the line of John MacArthur. 

Only by way of a sort of academic pursuit did I come to press myself to make an attempt at understanding Covenant Theology.  Hear a little, there a little, and the whole idea began to take root.  And over a long period of time, and with much less hoopla, my change from dispensationalism to covenantalism followed the pattern of my change from Arminianism to Calvinism.  By and by, and alas, I was convinced, and am this day more convinced than ever, of the overwhelming biblical evidence and truth of that way of understanding the scripture that is called “Covenant Theology”.

To my dispensational friends I say as Paul said, “Am I become your enemy because I tell you the truth?”*

 

*Gal 4:16

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