Premillennial Degeneration

Raymond Harris
Peru, Indiana

At a time when Premillennialism is making alarming gains in many denominational groups, it seems the false doctrine is steadily dying out among churches of Christ. THE EXHORTER, a "brotherhood" paper for Premillennial churches of Christ recently made some remarkably candid admissions.


An editorial, looking back over and appraising the past decade, laments the fact that their paper had been hindered in its attempts to be a news media in that elders, preachers and members in general just simply would not send in any news.

Fewer Congregations

The same editorial frankly admits that the past ten years has seen the Premillennialists decline from 117 congregations in 1959 to 82 congregations in 1969. What happened to the 35 missing congregations? Well, the writer admits that he padded a little back in 1959 when he reported that there were 117 congregations. He now tells us that "ten or more of the groups were never functioning churches." {Possibly a family or two in some town or community who held to the Premillennial persuasion.) He further points out that ten or more of the groups listed as congregations in 1959 are now struggling mission stations and that at least seventeen congregations have folded up and are no longer meeting. Then comes perhaps the bitterest admission of all. The editor affirms that two or more of the congregations are no longer listed as churches of Chris! Evidently they are now identified with denominational or interdenominational groups.

Interdenominational Trend

The writer further confesses something that has been apparent to many for a long time. The Premillennial churches of Christ are not holding the line even on basic Bible positions and practices! Also, an interdenominational trend is sweeping through their congregations. The editorial, with evident courage--and shame, acknowledges that "it is doubtful if half the preachers in premillennial churches regard baptism as essential to salvation." It is further well known that a large percentage of their preachers no longer oppose instrumental music in worship. They, in increasing numbers, are joining local Ministerial Associations and are involving their congregations in interdenominational Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas services.


Its rather strange - amazing - mystifying -but despite all the foregoing admissions by the editor of THE EXHORTER, he still just cannot figure why the amillennial (anti-millennial) brethren will not fellowship them! They do not believe Jesus is now reigning, they do not believe the church is: the kingdom, they believe Jesus will yet reign over a political kingdom at Jerusalem in Palestine for a thousand years, many do not believe baptism is essential to salvation, many accept instrumental music in worship, they join with sectarians in unauthorized worship services, and they invite denominational preachers to speak for them. Yet, we should fellowship them and bid them God speed? GOD FORBID!


The fact is these brethren are reaping what they have sown. They have gone to unbelievable lengths to defend their 1,000 year reign theory. They have been willing to scrap the very fundamentals of the Gospel of Christ rather than give up their absurd interpretations of obscure prophecies. In order to cling to their fanciful speculations they have become bedfellows with numerous denominational groups. They are high on ecumenism, and so the future will likely see them, in ever increasing numbers, merging with sectarians who likewise have set their affections on an earthly kingdom and not on things above. "They have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind."

TRUTH MAGAZINE XIV; 29, pp. 11-12

May 28, 1970