Q. Our pastor is doing a Q&A on Sunday nights, answering questions that have been anonymously submitted by church members. Most of the questions pertain to end times. Being an a-millennialist, he started the Q&A tonight by saying that some people study end times too much, and that it’s very unhealthy to do so. I know that many seminaries have moved toward an allegorical approach to scripture, but why do some pastors seem so irritated with people that hold to a pre-trib view? I mean how can studying prophecy be unhealthy?
A. I frequently hear from people who find themselves in the uncomfortable position of being better informed about Bible prophecy than their pastors. This is especially true in the denominations. When I was born again, I at first thought of myself as a missionary to the denomination I had belonged to for nearly 40 years. Then, in one of the few times I’ve heard the audible voice of the Lord, He quoted the first part of Rev. 18:4 to me. As I was walking up to the entrance of the building one Sunday morning, He said, “Come out of her my people!” That’s all He said, but I took it as a sign that the running debate I’d been having with the pastors over prophecy had come to an end, and I became a non-denominational Christian.
I believe there are many seminary educated pastors who have come to believe that what they were taught about prophecy (if anything) is not consistent with Scripture. But as employees of a denomination that clings to a non Scriptural view, they feel duty (or contractually) bound to uphold it. Pointing out passages that conflict with their official position can be embarrassing or frustrating to them.
Other pastors, who haven’t confronted this yet, may feel threatened when a member or members appear to have an excessive interest in the End Times. They see it as something that can become divisive, a challenge to their authority, or a distraction from their program.
If your pastor appears teachable, then by all means help him. If not, and it becomes a problem, then look for a place where the teaching conforms to the Bible.