Strange Doctrines Within Hyper Preterism
Throughout the history of Christendom there have many denominations spring to life and fade away. Some of those are still with us. Thousands of personal ministries and their branches have exponentially exploded onto the scene in the twentieth and twenty first centuries. These are not simply churches being planted by the preaching of the gospel as it is being spread. These are ministries that began very small but grew into mega ministries most of which disappear but some refuse to vanish and go away. The damage these ministries do to the name of Christ and His Church can be devastating.
Harold Camping is one example out of thousands. Camping was an adult class teacher at Alameda Christian Reformed Church for several years. He also had a radio program called Family Radio which drew in millions of listeners from around the world. According to Westminster Seminary the elders at Alameda finally put an end to it and so Camping and his followers left Alameda and formed their own Christian Reformed Church. (see at the end for link to Westminster) Camping is most famous for his failed “end of the world” prophecies. His latest, before he died, the end was supposed to come in 2011. Camping used math and some weird form of biblical numerology to calculate his dates. Camping was not an ignorant man when it comes to mathematics. He earned a B.S. degree in civil engineering from University of California, Berkeley 1n 1942 and worked as an engineer for a US government contractor during the war.
The knowledge of mathematics helped Harold Camping formulate his end times date setting. Never mind he was always wrong, he insisted the Bible contained hidden mathematical formulas he and other could find to know for certain when the Lord’s return and the end of the world would come. Camping passed away in 2013 and his CRC is vanishing away. We don’t hear anymore from his prophetic books or writings or sermons because they all, each and every one of them, failed. But believe it or not he still has a small following and his CRC is still with us to this day. Harold Camping could have used his intelligence and education for good. He knew the Bible very well and yet he used his knowledge and his ability to manipulate numbers and twist the scriptures for his own benefit, he did much damage in causing blasphemy against the Church. As Westminster pointed out in their 1st article on Camping, His education guided his way of understanding the scriptures. He read the scriptures as a mathematical or scientific textbook, and it came out in his failed prophecies. Harold Camping led many well educated people away from the gospel of Christ because of his obsession with convincing the world when Christ would come. His life’s work will forever be known as one failed prophecy after another. The prophets of God were 100% correct. Harold Camping’s prophecies were 100% wrong. Biblical Christians knew Camping was a fraud and a huckster, but Biblically knowledgeable Christians never were his target audience. He depended on his audience being scripturally illiterate and intellectually lazy. He felt that his audience and followers should leave theology up to him and he would even do the math.
That brings me to the strange doctrines coming from other weird figures in the Hyper Preterist, Max King movement. Remember how Harold Camping believed the Lord is coming soon and it is up to us to decipher when? In similar fashion the Hyper Preterists believe the Lord came in A.D. 70 and it’s up to Christianity to reinterpret the scriptures in a way the Church never has so that the new and improved interpretations align with the A.D. 70 doctrine. The Resurrection for example. Forget everything you thought you knew when you read 1 Corinthians 15. Don K Preston will tell you everything you knew about the future resurrection is Wrong! You and I were not around for the resurrection and therefore we are not part of it. And since we missed the resurrection, we also missed the judgment. But let’s stay on the topic of the resurrection for now. As Hyper Preterists teach it, the resurrection is not the individual immortal glorified body as we thought Paul was teaching, but is a resurrected Israel, a corporate body. The Hyper Preterists claim it is Israel who was resurrected, and is not meant to be interpreted as the resurrection of fallen humankind on the day of judgment.
Let’s take a look at 1 Corinthians 15, the most notable chapter in the bible concerning the resurrection although this is not the only bible passages concerning the resurrection. And when I use the term “the resurrection” I am using the term in context of how the bible uses “the” resurrection as the last resurrection before the judgment. Paul writes this in verses 1 through 6,