In the previous article we wrote about modern postmillennialism, an integral part of the Christian Reconstructionist movement. This type of postmillennialism is very different from the older postmillennialism of the Puritans and far more dangerous. Our difficulties with this type of postmillennialism are the subject of this article.
First, then, this type of postmillennialism devalues the preaching of the gospel. Action in politics and economics, etc., is at least equally important as the gospel for the coming of the kingdom. So, too, the victory of the kingdom is not so much in the salvation of men through the gospel, as in Christians taking dominion over the whole of society.
Second, this postmillennialism also devalues and trivializes the church. Believing that the kingdom is something beyond and greater than the church, the church is no longer viewed as the chief object, next to Christ Himself, of the Christian’s affection (Ps. 122:6; Eph. 1:17-23). Nor is the gathering and preservation of the church the main goal of the Christian’s life and work (Ps. 122:9; Col. 1:21-29). For many, the church is only a training ground for Christian involvement in politics, economics and other areas of social life.
This trivializing of the church leads: (1) to a great disinterest in matters of church government, worship, and doctrine; and (2) to a kind of ecumenicalism – a willingness to join with those whose teaching may be completely unbiblical. After all, the main thing is not the church, but the kingdom, something beyond and greater than the church.
Those who hold to this form of postmillennialism, therefore, often accuse the church of failing in her calling from very early on in her history, for though the church has faithfully preached the gospel and sought the salvation of sinners, she has not taken dominion over all of society. In this, they say, she has failed miserably.
Third, this type of postmillennialism undermines a faithful Christian witness. With its emphasis on the necessity of political action and involvement in various areas of social endeavor, the witness of the ordinary Christian as he lives his life honestly and faithfully in his own God-given place is undervalued. The most important thing is not being a good witness, even in digging ditches, in order to be used by God for the salvation of others, but to be involved politically and in other ways.
Fourth, this type of postmillennialism represents in many cases a new type of legalism with its emphasis on the law. Those who expect the kingdom to be realized by the bringing of all men under the dominion of law, really think that the law will do what the gospel fails to do. They forget the weakness of the law (Rom. 8:3).
Finally, this type of postmillennialism, with its emphasis on a millennial kingdom that will have its primary realization in this world, tends to become a religion that “minds earthly things” (Phil. 3:19). This one finds among the adherents of this view denials of the resurrection of the body, of heaven as a real place and as the final home of believers, even of the ascension of Christ to heaven, which is, of course, the guarantee of all the believer’s heavenly hopes.
- Volume: 7
- Issue: 26
Rev. Ronald Hanko (Wife: Nancy)
Ordained: November 1979
Pastorates: Wyckoff, NJ - 1979; Trinity, Houston, TX - 1986; Missionary to N.Ireland - 1993; Lynden, WA - 2002Website: www.lyndenprc.org/sermons/
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