Dispensational Defeatism

Dispensational Defeatism

Compiled by Mike Warren

 "We preached defeat, and we got it!"

Dispensationalists' own admissions of their defeatist outlook:

"In fact, dominion - taking dominion and setting up the kingdom for Christ - is an impossibility, even for God. The millennial reign for Christ, far from being the kingdom, is actually the final proof of the incorrigible nature of the human heart, because Christ Himself can't do what these people say they are going to do. . . ." - Dave Hunt[1] 

"I just can't buy their [postmillennialists'] basic presupposition that we can do anything significant to change the world.  And you can waste an awful lot of time trying." - Harold Hoehner of Dallas Theological Seminary[2] 

"God sent us to be fishers of men, not to clean up the fish bowl." - Hal Lindsey[3]

"You don't polish brass on a sinking ship." -J. Vernon McGee[4]

"It's a question, 'Do you polish brass on a sinking ship?' And if they're working on setting up new institutions, instead of going out and winning the lost for Christ, then they're wasting the most valuable time on planet earth right now, and that is the serious problem in his thinking." - Peter Lalonde[5]

"North and other postmillennial Christian Reconstructionists label those who hold the pretribualtional rapture position pietists and cultural retreatists. One reason these criticisms are so painful is because I find them to be substantially true.  Many in our camp have an all-pervasive negativism regarding the course of society and the impotence of God's people to do anything about it.  They will heartily affirm that Satan is Alive and Well on Planet Earth, and that this must indeed be The Terminal Generation; therefore, any attempt to influence society is ultimately hopeless.  They adopt the pietistic platitude: `You don't polish brass on a sinking ship.'   Many pessimistic pretribbers cling to the humanists' version of religious freedom, namely Christian social and political impotence, self-imposed, as drowning men cling to a life preserver." - David Schnittger[6]

"The present age is one in which the gospel is preached to all the world.  Relatively few are saved.  The world becomes, in fact, increasingly wicked as the age progresses.  The premillennial view... presents no commands to improve society as a whole." - John F. Walvoord[7] 

"We will never be able to redeem  society" - H. Wayne House and Tommy Ice[8]

"But if Bahnsen is complaining that when people are converted from postmillennialism to premillennialism they quit trying to establish the kingdom, he is correct. . . ." - H. Wayne House and Tommy Ice[9]

Dispensational Defeatism observed by others: 

"Your guess at the number of the beast, your conjectures concerning a personal antichrist - it seems to me to be the veriest drivel to be muttering about an Armageddon - forgive me, I count them but mere bones for dogs; while men are dying and hell is filling, generation after generation of them have been proved to be in error by the mere lapse of time." - Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892) 

"It would be easy to show that at our present rate of progress the kingdoms of this world never could become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ. Indeed, many in the Church are giving up the idea of it except on the occasion of the advent of Christ, which, as it chimes in with our own idleness, is likely to be a popular doctrine. I myself believe that King Jesus will reign, and idols be utterly abolished; but I expect the same power which turned the world upside down once will continue to do it. The Holy Ghost would not suffer the imputation to rest upon His holy name that He was not able to convert the world." - Charles Spurgeon 

"David was not a believer in the theory that the world will grow worse and worse, and that the dispensation will wind up with general darkness, and idolatry. Earth's sun is to go down amid tenfold night if some of our prophetic brethren are to be believed. Not so do we expect, but we look for a day when dwellers in all lands shall learn righteousness, shall trust in the Savior, shall worship thee alone, O God, `and shall glorify thy name.'  The modern notion has greatly damped the zeal of the church for missions, and the sooner it is shown to be unscriptural the better for the cause of God. It neither consorts with prophesy, honours God, nor inspires the church with ardour. Far hence be it driven." - Charles Spurgeon[10]

"And it is precisely this change in thinking, from premillenialism to postmillenialism, under the influence of Christian Reconstructionism, that has made possible the religious right and the political mobilization of millions of otherwise fatalistic fundamentalists." - Fredrick Edwords and Stephen McCabe in The Humanist[11]  

 Amillennialists Join the Dirge: 

"Amillennialism agrees with premillennialism that the Scriptures do not promise the conversion of the world through the preaching of the gospel." - Robert Strong[12]

 "Premillenarians believe the world is growing increasingly worse, and that it will be at its very worst when Jesus returns.  Amillenarians agree with the premillenarians on this point." - William E. Cox[13]


[1]  Dave Hunt, "Dominion and the Cross," Tape 2 of "Dominion:  The  World and New World Order" (1987) published by Omega Letter, Ontario,  Canada. cf. Dave Hunt, Beyond Seduction: A Return to Biblical Christianity  (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1987) 250.

[2]  "Is Christ or Satan Ruler of this World?," Christianity Today, 43.

[3]  Quoted by Dr. Kenneth Gentry in forward to Joseph R. Balyeat's Babylon,  8.

[4]  Ibid. 

[5]  Peter Lalonde, "Dominion: A Dangerous New Theology," Tape 1 of "Dominion:  The Word and New World Order"

[6]  David Schnittger, "Christian Reconstruction from a Pretribulational  Perspective" (Oklahoma City, OK: Southwest Radio Church, 1986) 7.

[7]  John F. Walvoord, The Millennial Kingdom (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1959) 134.

[8]  H. Wayne House and Tommy Ice, Dominion Theology:  Curse or Blessing  (Portland, OR: Multnomah Press, 1988) 130.

[9]  Ibid., 341-342.

[10]  Charles Spurgeon, The Treasury of David: An Expository and Devotional  Commentary on the Psalms, (7 vols. Grand Rapids, MI: Guardian Press,  [1870-1885] 1976, vol. 4) 102.

[11]  Fredrick Edwords and Stephen McCabe, "Getting Out God's Vote:  Pat Robertson and the Evangelicals," The Humanist (May/June 1987) 10.

[12]  Robert Strong, The Presbyterian Guardian, (January 10, 1942).  Quoted in Greg Bahnsen, "The Prima Facie Acceptability of Postmillennialism," 65.

[13]  Willaim E. Cox, Amillennialism Today  (Philadelphia: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 1966) 5.  Quoted in Greg Bahnsen, "The Prima Facie Acceptability of Postmillennialism," 65.

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