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Dispensationalism

April 13, 2009

I know, it is Easter time and I’m thinking about dispensationalism. What are your thoughts on the theology?

I personally think it has done much to confuse the purpose of Christianity over the years. The tribe of my youth had a decidedly dispensational mindset. One of the ideas of Dispensationalism is that in each dispensation there is a different set of rules to please God. In essence your faithfulness to God is measured by your ability to focus on whatever set of rules existed during your dispensation.

I still remember the time I was asked to teach a young man who wanted to be baptized. I was handed a box with Jule Miller filmstrips and a set of books. I went over and walked him through the material, they wanted to get it done by Easter. julemillerfilmsff01

What I saw was dispensationalism on full display. Here is how you keep score during each dispensation. Here is how God spoke to man during each time period. Here is what you need to do under the current dispensation to be saved.

It was an interesting experience, simply not true. It was also a recipe for legalism and misguided efforts. It was easy to ignore much of what God had to say at any time because that was under a different dispensation. It also took much of the heart out of the story of God working amongst man.

God’s sense of justice for the poor and oppressed seemed to fall under a different dispensation. God working among his people by the Holy Spirit in powerful ways, different dispensation too. The idea had a total lack of understanding for the big picture.

Paul made it clear in the letter to the Romans that no such dispensation exists. We are grafted into Abraham and are his children (Romans 11). It is far from some new period of time, we are actually connected to one that is very old.

So much thinking is colored by this in the church of my childhood that it seems at times impossible to get people to think differently. To get people to see the church develop. To see how God has consistently dealt with his people. That God’s expectations have never changed.

I suppose it would be easier to create some new set of rules for the current times. The only problem would be God hasn’t changed. What he wants his people to be involved with has never been different. His working in the world has not lessened, if only we understood there are no dispensations.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 14, 2009 4:39 pm

    Darrin,
    I am sorry I haven’t stopped by in a while.
    I am still suffering with severe migraines and can only blog on days that I feel up to it.
    I think this topic has always confused believers.
    I think it is a sad theory.
    I believe when God is please he is please.
    We can’t do anything to please him more or less.
    He doesn’t love us more or less because of who we are or what we do.
    God love is bigger than we can wrap our minds around.
    You did a great job with this topic.
    You do a fantastic job with your blog.
    I always learn so much from your writting Darrin.
    You have a talent.
    Have you thought about writting a book perhaps? Just curious?
    Please keep me in your prayers as I continue to have nuerological tests and migraines.
    Love ya, bro! 🙂

    • April 14, 2009 5:35 pm

      Preacherman,

      Sorry to hear that. You are in my prayers. I don’t get out in the blog world as much as I used to either and I have nothing but work to blame.

      Thanks for your kind words. How are finances?

  2. April 15, 2009 1:27 pm

    Thank you Darin for asking brother but God is providing and continues to provide. I thank God I am now on my wife’s insurance. Still have a few medical bills that we owe prior to insurance but God will provide, always has and always does. God is so God even in the misted of so much pain and trials. 🙂

  3. April 15, 2009 5:32 pm

    Preacherman, I just knew at one point you needed a hand in that area and knew I should ask.

    I hope things are going well. I know it has been a struggle but your faith is an inspiration to many.

    Keep up the fight brother.

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