Pre-Trib Hypocrisyby Dave Macpherson
Note: Dave Macpherson is a Christian researcher specialization in the fallacies of the pre-tribulation rapture theory.
Yes, hypocrisy! Hypocrisy tied to pretrib rapture leaders as well as to the pretrib rapture view. (You can't believe how many "pretribbers" have told me over the years that they either have doubts about pretrib or don't even believe it - but they promote it anyway!)
Pretrib icon C.I. Scofield could be hypocritically double-minded. In a 1921 letter to his daughter Abigail, who had a financial need while then living in San Luis Obispo, California, he advised her to pray to a Catholic saint:" ...why don't you seek the special intercession of the San Luis in whose mane-town you live?" (This entire letter is in Joseph Canfield's classic work The Incredible Scofield and His Book published by Ross House Books.)
But a dozen years earlier in his Scofield Bible (p. 1346) he had begun predicting a future reign of "apostate Christendom, headed up under the Papacy"!
Many evangelicals are still unaware that during the 1980's Hal Lindsey proudly announced that two of his daughters, Robin and Jenny, were then enrolled at Gonzaga University, a Jesuit Catholic school. (The Jesuits were originally Catholicism's arm to terroristically infiltrate and destroy the growing Protestant Reformation.)
But years earlier Lindsey's There's A New World Coming (pp. 58, 103) stated, and continues to state, that the "dominant church" of the "Middle Ages" which "bound the people to image-worship, superstition, and priestcraft" is the "prostituted form of Christianity" that will eventually become "the Antichrist of Rome"!
I still have a letter I received dated Nov. 14, 1971 and signed by a William T. Bruner. Here's the eye-catching part:
"I was brought up to be a strong Pre-Tribulationist. In fact I never even thought that the other view was worth inquiring into. When Dr. Bob Jones called me to teach in the Bob Homes College one of the first questions he asked me was, whether I held to this view, and of course I said Yes. But while I was professor of Greek New Testament at the Bob Jones University, 1949-1955, one of my colleagues, Robert Besancon, happened to ask me if I had ever read anything on the Post-Trib side. I had to confess that I never had. He recommended two little books by Homer. I read them and was truly astonished to find that the Post-Trib view is the simpler, more Scriptural, and more reasonable of the two. So I am now a Post-Tribulationist. Very interestingly, though, there was at that time on the BJU faculty a great scholar, Dr. Charles Brokenshire, who could teach 25 languages and every subject in the School of Religion. But he was a Post-Tribulationist. Dr. Jones considered him worth more that any other faculty member, perhaps worth more than all of us put together. During the school Year 1954-55 Dr. Brokenshire died. After he died Dr. Jones went before his faculty meeting and announced that from that time on he would be true to his old-time promise to the Christians of America that he would strongly emphasize the Pre-Tribulation doctrine of the Second Coming of Christ and that he wanted all his teachers in the School of Religion to stand in favor of that doctrine!"
Well, it's apparent that the first Dr. Bob had been playing the role of hypocrite! (Dr. Roland Rasmussen, pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Canoga Park, California, can verify the late Dr. Bruner's letter. As a BJU prof then, Rasmussen was at the same faculty meeting.)
Several years ago my wife and I found ourselves chatting on the BJU campus with one of its best-know profs. We were astounded when he admitted that even though that school publicly promotes pretrib, professors can privately hold to differing rapture views as long as they retain at least a premill outlook!
The year 1973 found me handing out posttrib literature on a Kansas City sidewalk to delegates going into the annual conference of the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches. It was easy for them to react by saying bluntly "We're pretrib!" and just as easy for me to say just as bluntly "Not only is pretrib not in the Bible, but it isn't in even your GARBC statement of faith!" After I widely aired their hypocrisy, they added pretrib wording to their official statement during a following conference so that their doctrine could finally begin practicing what the GARBC "doctors" had long been preaching!
A Dec.31, 1983 letter written on Southeastern College of the Assemblies of God stationery by one of their profs, J. Bashford Bishop, contained these shocks:
"Thanks for the book. [I had given him my 1983 book The Great Rapture Hoax.] I'll do what I can to circulate your book through our Assemblies of God [who], as you know, are opposed to Post-tribism. Make a point of getting acquainted with Joseph Flower, our General Secy, at headquarters in Springfield. He and I were schoolmates and both of us were Post-trib then and ever since. He would be glad to discuss with you the subject - a real man of God.
We'd been doing research there in Springfield, Missouri that winter and soon enjoyed two hour-long chats with Flower, the No. 2 AG leader. Secretaries outside his open office door could easily hear everything discussed. I asked how he could hold to a non-approved rapture view. He replied that AG ministers are required to uphold pretrib but privately can believe any other rapture view. When I remarked that such a rule encourages hypocrisy, Flower sheepishly agreed. Incidentally, those chats took place several years before any of the hypocrisy-filled scandals having to do with Bakker and Swaggart,