Peace, Peace, When There Is No Peace

Connie W. Adams
Akron, Ohio

The February, 1969 issue of The Exhorter, a paper published in Hammond, Louisiana by brethren of the pre millennial persuasion, carries a front page article entitled "A Plea for Unity on the Blessed Hope." I assume it was written by Richard Ramsey. The article is an appeal for those who do not accept premillennialism to accept them as faithful brethren, and to open the pulpits of those who are known to all congregations to be premillennialists.

The writer seems to be elated over a statement made in an article by Norman Bales in Firm Foundation, January 21, 1969 in which Dwight Moody is quoted as saying "I never preach a sermon without thinking that possibly the Lord may come before I preach another." He then proceeds to say that while Bales and those he calls "amillennialists" expect the judgment to take place at the second coming, while he and others like him expect many other things to happen between the coming of the Lord and the judgment, that now the essential point is agreed upon, "namely that the Lord may return immediately and that we should be looking for Him and waiting for Him."

I do not know where Ramsey has been all these years, but those he calls "amillennialists" have never denied that the Lord might come at anytime and that we ought always to be ready to meet him. We object to premillennialists teaching falsehood when they say the New Testament taught the imminent return of Christ when Paul plainly said, "Let no man deceive you by any means; for that day shall not come except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition" (2 Thes. 2:3). We object to men setting dates, and acting like they know when the Lord will come.

But Ramsey wants to know how many congregations now will open their pulpits soon to premillennial preachers and asks, "Whom or what are you afraid of?" I cannot speak for anyone but myself, but I would be afraid of the harmful effects: to the faith of God's people from such a man teaching such doctrine as is carried on page two of the same issue of The Exhorter, by H. C. Winnett. He does not know how to distinguish between what is literal and what is figurative. He takes Old Testament passages fulfilled in the first coming of Christ and projects their fulfillment to a later age. He tells us that Christ will sit on David's throne, the throne of his glory, when he descends from on high whereas Dan. 7:13,14 and Acts 2:29-36 show that he received a kingdom when he ascended and that he sits now on the throne of his glory, the throne of David. He further states that we dishonor God when we regard unfulfilled prophecies as figurative and not literal. If Ramsey agrees with Winnett on this point, then I cannot understand why they would want to have company with brethren who are thus dishonorable.

I am afraid of any system which demotes, Christ right now from the throne of his glory, which perverts prophecy, which teaches the Jew to glory in his flesh inasmuch as he is to be the recipient of yet special blessings from God, apparently on terms other than the gospel, which he already has, and which bends the whole Bible like a pretzel to fit into a misconceived notion of the reference to "one thousand years" in Rev. 20.

I am afraid of any system which has compromised the truth with the purveyors of error like the premillennial folks have done for years.

I am afraid of teachers who will press their theories to the disturbance of the body of Christ, and who, by means of smooth tongues, fair speeches and a mask of piety will deceive the hearts of the faithful. Everyone has not yet forgotten the intensity of the battle over these issues, and how much carnage was wrought when those of this persuasion did have free access to the pulpits of the land. They taught their destructive theories and then sweetly berated brethren who were courageous enough to expose their errors.

If any of the brethren are foolish enough to be taken in by their appeal, then get set, for the battle will have to be fought over again. It is not a dead issue, and brethren who are not prepared to meet this error need to get ready. I will meet Ramsey, Winnett or any other representative man of their persuasion on a fair basis in Akron and also in Hammond. These brethren already have my booklet on "Premillennialism" and so have an idea as to how to prepare to meet me. Let us have a public discussion of these issues and thus all interested parties can come and study for themselves. That is one way a premillennialist can speak in the pulpit at Brown St., but I will be there to answer him when he finishes. Then they can let me stand in their pulpit and have the same right to expose me. In the language of Brother Ramsey, "Whom or what are you afraid of?"

April 1969