Millenarianism why is is wrong?


#1

This is what the Church says about the concept of Christ ruling the world for a thousand years after the Second Coming

676 The Antichrist’s deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatological judgment. The Church has rejected even modified forms of this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name of millenarianism,577 especially the “intrinsically perverse” political form of a secular messianism.578 677 The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover, when she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection.579 The kingdom will be fulfilled, then, not by a historic triumph of the Church through a progressive ascendancy, but only by God’s victory over the final unleashing of evil, which will cause his Bride to come down from heaven.580 God’s triumph over the revolt of evil will take the form of the Last Judgment after the final cosmic upheaval of this passing world.581

Now I ask you WHY is it wrong to think that there will be a thousand year reign whats the harm? I’m having difficulty seeing why The Church thinks it’s not going to happen alot of the early Church Fathers like Justine Martyr believed Christ would rule the world a thousand years. It wasn’t until Augustine came along that it fell out of fashion well so what some of those ealier Fathers might be right. Someone explain all this to me I don’t get it
whats the big deal?


#2

To put it bluntly, millenarianism is too materialistic, and thus, spiritually unnecessary. Jesus has done His work on earth…He is still working, but now through His Church. When He comes again, His coming is a cosmic completion. Therefore, a 1000 year literal, manifestation of Christ as King reigning over earthly years and earthly nations is really not a completion but, in a sense, just a continuation of His work through the existing Chruch. As your quote states, the Final Judgment is seen by the Church is truly Final, and if memonry serves me well, the Church’s understanding is very profoundly more in line with the typology from Daniel to Revelation than is the modern protestant view. But I’ll leave that explanation up to those who are better with scripture than I (I’m just an ordinary guy).


#3

the primary problem I see with Millenarianism is that it directs the meaning outward instead of inward . Bad habit projecting.


#4

It is wrong because it does and has lead to the type of errors that dispensationalist millenarians fall into and espouse–that the kingdom of God is a totally future event and that the current “Church Age” is on a parenthesis in God’s plan of salvation until the “real” kingdom is instituted after the Second Coming. This efffectively means that there is no phsical manifestation of the Church on earth–only a vague “spiritual” community of believers.

As the Catechism section you cited points out, the kingdom will be *completed * when Christ comes again,

541 “Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying: ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent, and believe in the gospel.’” “To carry out the will of the Father Christ inaugurated the kingdom of heaven on earth.” Now the Father’s will is “to raise up men to share in his own divine life”. He does this by gathering men around his Son Jesus Christ. This gathering is the Church, “on earth the seed and beginning of that kingdoms”.

765 The Lord Jesus endowed his community with a structure that will remain until the Kingdom is fully achieved. Before all else there is the choice of the Twelve with Peter as their head. Representing the twelve tribes of Israel, they are the foundation stones of the new Jerusalem. The Twelve and the other disciples share in Christ’s mission and his power, but also in his lot. By all his actions, Christ prepares and builds his Church.

769 “The Church . . . will receive its perfection only in the glory of heaven,” at the time of Christ’s glorious return. Until that day, “the Church progresses on her pilgrimage amidst this world’s persecutions and God’s consolations.” Here below she knows that she is in exile far from the Lord, and longs for the full coming of the Kingdom, when she will “be united in glory with her king.” The Church, and through her the world, will not be perfected in glory without great trials. Only then will “all the just from the time of Adam, ‘from Abel, the just one, to the last of the elect,’ . . . be gathered together in the universal Church in the Father’s presence.”


#5

[quote=starrs0]Now I ask you WHY is it wrong to think that there will be a thousand year reign whats the harm? I’m having difficulty seeing why The Church thinks it’s not going to happen alot of the early Church Fathers like Justine Martyr believed Christ would rule the world a thousand years. It wasn’t until Augustine came along that it fell out of fashion well so what some of those ealier Fathers might be right. Someone explain all this to me I don’t get it
whats the big deal?
[/quote]

This Catholic Answers link on the end times should prove helpful in answering your question…

catholic.com/library/Rapture.asp


#6

I can’t for the life of me see that this passage from the Catechism refers to any form of premillenialism at all. The “millenarianism” condemned by the Catechism is explicitly defined as the view that the Kingdom comes through the progressive triumph of the Church. This is very clearly postmillenialism and not premillenialism, dispensationalist or otherwise. In fact, the reasons the catechism gives for condemning “millenarianism” are exactly the opposite of those given by Fidelis.

Dispensationalism is, I think, incompatible with orthodox Christianity, but for reasons not addressed in this particular passage. Premillenialism itself is not condemned here, or anywhere else that I know of. At worst, premillenialism is (as Unknown Cloud suggests) unnecessary.

In Christ,

Edwin


#7

[quote=Contarini]I can’t for the life of me see that this passage from the Catechism refers to any form of premillenialism at all. The “millenarianism” condemned by the Catechism is explicitly defined as the view that the Kingdom comes through the progressive triumph of the Church. This is very clearly postmillenialism and not premillenialism, dispensationalist or otherwise. In fact, the reasons the catechism gives for condemning “millenarianism” are exactly the opposite of those given by Fidelis.
[/quote]

If you carefully read the Catechism quote, it condemns ALL kinds of millenarianism but especially the progressive type.

676 The Antichrist’s deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatological judgment. The Church has rejected even modified forms of this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name of millenarianism,

You are correct in saying the CCC sections I cited do not directly address millenarianism. But the question was why is it (millenarianism) so bad, and I was citing those sections to help provide one of the answers: because it is a false view of the kingdom of God, as the Catechism points out.


#8

[quote=Contarini]I can’t for the life of me see that this passage from the Catechism refers to any form of premillenialism at all. The “millenarianism” condemned by the Catechism is explicitly defined as the view that the Kingdom comes through the progressive triumph of the Church. This is very clearly postmillenialism and not premillenialism, dispensationalist or otherwise. In fact, the reasons the catechism gives for condemning “millenarianism” are exactly the opposite of those given by Fidelis.

Dispensationalism is, I think, incompatible with orthodox Christianity, but for reasons not addressed in this particular passage. Premillenialism itself is not condemned here, or anywhere else that I know of. At worst, premillenialism is (as Unknown Cloud suggests) unnecessary.

In Christ,

Edwin
[/quote]

The trouble with Dispensationalism is, that it treats the prophecies about the restoration of Israel as political realities instead of seeing them fulfilled in Christ and His Church. This means that the restoration of the Levitical priesthood in the Jerusalem Temple is in the future - the trouble is, that this collides head-on with Christian belief in the finality of Christ’s Priesthood and Sacrifice as expressed in the Letter to the Hebrews.

And that is just one of several problems ##


#9

oooh wow, good point Gottle. :thumbsup:


#10

In addition, it’s unBiblical.


#11

[quote=Fidelis]If you carefully read the Catechism quote, it condemns ALL kinds of millenarianism but especially the progressive type.

You are correct in saying the CCC sections I cited do not directly address millenarianism. But the question was why is it (millenarianism) so bad, and I was citing those sections to help provide one of the answers: because it is a false view of the kingdom of God, as the Catechism points out.
[/quote]

But it really isn’t true to say that the premillenial “millenium” takes place within history. The “history” of the Millenium takes place after the personal return of Christ in glory, which ushers in a very different kind of history. I can’t see that anything the Catechism says about “millenarianism” applies to premillenialism at all. On the contrary, the point the Catechism is making is exactly the point premillenialists make.

Gottle, I agree entirely with your point about dispensationalism. I think we need to distinguish premillenialism per se, as taught by the earliest Fathers, from modern dispensationalism which is clearly heterodox.

In Christ,

Edwin


#12

[quote=Contarini]But it really isn’t true to say that the premillenial “millenium” takes place within history. The “history” of the Millenium takes place after the personal return of Christ in glory, which ushers in a very different kind of history.
[/quote]

A “different kind of history” is still history- after the so-called literal millenium, time will still go on. time will still be marked, people will still live and die within time. History will truly ony come to an end at Christ’s definitive second coming when there will be a new heavens and earth, and we will go from “time” into eternity.


#13

[quote=Gottle of Geer]## The trouble with Dispensationalism is, that it treats the prophecies about the restoration of Israel as political realities instead of seeing them fulfilled in Christ and His Church. This means that the restoration of the Levitical priesthood in the Jerusalem Temple is in the future - the trouble is, that this collides head-on with Christian belief in the finality of Christ’s Priesthood and Sacrifice as expressed in the Letter to the Hebrews.

And that is just one of several problems ##
[/quote]

wow, great point


#14

If the Church rejects this notion of a 1000 year earthly reign of Christ (i.e., within history), but people stubbornly cling to it anyway, they’ll open themselves up to mistaking the rule of the Antichrist (i.e, the “intrinsically perverse” political form of a secular messianism) for the rule of Christ. That’s my take on it.


#15

Here is the biblical argument that a premillenialist would typically use. I am not saying that I agree with it, but it must be considered:

[font=Calligrapher][font=Arial Narrow][size=3]Premillennialism: [/font]The belief that in the future Christ will come and set up his kingdom on earth and reign for one-thousand years (also called Chiliasm, Gk. “thousand”). [/font][/size]
[font=Arial Narrow][/font]
[font=Arial Narrow]Adherents: Historic Premillenialists: Early Church Fathers, Covenant Premillenialists, Millard Erickson, George Ladd [/font]
[font=Arial Narrow][/font]
[font=Arial Narrow]Dispensational Premillenialists: Nelson Darby, C.I. Schofield, Dallas Seminary, Gleason Archer [/font]
[font=Arial Narrow]Arguements:[/font]
[list=1]
*][font=Arial Narrow]The most natural reading of Rev. 20 suggests that there will be a one-thousand year reign of Christ on the earth. No other scenario can do justice to this passage.[/font]
*][font=‘Times New Roman’][font=Arial Narrow]It was the view of virtually all the early Church Fathers (pre-250). Irenaeus believed in a future millennium and he received his views from the writings of Papias, who was an acquaintance of the John the apostle.[/font][/font]
[/list]


#16

[font=Times New Roman][font=Arial Narrow]Cont. . .[/font][/font]
[font=Times New Roman][font=Arial Narrow]3. History tells us that the Church’s subsequent rejection of Premillennialism was both reactionary and motivated by unchristian worldviews.[/font][/font]

[font=Times New Roman][font=Arial Narrow]Montanists: A heretical group who believed in the continuation of the God’s direct revelation, claiming that Montanus himself was the promised Paraclete, was militantly premillennial, preaching radical withdrawal from the world in preparation for the coming of the New Jerusalem. The early church rejected the Montanists as heretical. As a consequence, most believers reacted negatively to this movement and wanted to distance themselves from all their teachings.[/font][/font]
[font=Times New Roman][font=Arial Narrow]Origen: Was a student of platonic philosophy believing that the physical world was representation of the perfect in Heaven. Christ’s reign became a spiritual reign rather than a physical reign. [/font][/font]

[font=Times New Roman][font=Arial Narrow]Conversion of Constantine: With the Christianization of the Roman Empire, the belief in a apocalyptic end to the world became less plausible seeing as how the Church was ruling on earth at the present time.[/font][/font]

[font=Times New Roman][font=Arial Narrow][/font][/font]
[font=Times New Roman][font=Arial Narrow]Augustine: Converted from Premillennialism to Amillennialism when he became disgusted with the Premillennial emphasis on earthly and material indulgence. This evidences Augustine’s influence by Platonic philosophy of Gnostic Dualism (an undue separation of the spiritual world and the physical world ).[/font][/font][font=Times New Roman] [/font]


#17

[font=Times New Roman][font=Arial Narrow]Cont. . .[/font][/font]
[font=Times New Roman][font=Arial Narrow][/font][/font]
[font=Times New Roman][font=Arial Narrow]4. The Millennium is necessary for God to fulfill His promises to Israel (only Dispensational Premillennialism).[/font][/font]
[font=Times New Roman][font=Times New Roman][/font][font=Times New Roman][font=Times New Roman][/font][/font][/font]
[font=Times New Roman][font=Times New Roman][font=Arial Narrow]5. Although while Christ was on the earth, the kingdom of God was present though the advent of the King, Christ makes it clear that He did not set up his Kingdom during this time, but that it was still yet future.[/font][/font][/font]

[font=Times New Roman][font=Times New Roman][font=Arial Narrow][/font][/font][/font][font=Times New Roman][font=Times New Roman][/font][/font][font=Times New Roman][font=Times New Roman][font=Arial Narrow]Acts 1:6[/font][/font][/font]

[font=Times New Roman][font=Times New Roman][font=Times New Roman][font=Arial Narrow]“So when they had gathered together, they began to ask him, ‘Lord, is this the time when you are restoring the kingdom to Israel?’ 7 He told them, ‘You are not permitted to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority.’” (Obviously the Kingdom had not been set up yet or Christ’s answer the the Apostles’ question is meaningless).[/font]

[font=Arial Narrow][/font]
[font=Arial Narrow]Matt. 6:9-10
[font=Arial Narrow]“So pray this way: Our Father in heaven, may your name be honored, may your kingdom come [notice, it had not come yet], may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” [/font]

[/font][/font][/font][/font]Hope this helps.

Michael


#18

:A “different kind of history” is still history- after the so-called literal millenium, time will still go on. time will still be marked, people will still live and die within time.:

I’m not sure about that. Growing up as a premillenialist, I got the idea that people would not die during the Millenium.

: History will truly ony come to an end at Christ’s definitive second coming when there will be a new heavens and earth, and we will go from “time” into eternity.:

I’m dubious about the idea that finite creatures can ever exist without some kind of time. If St. Gregory of Nyssa is correct, we cannot not change, and heaven consists of our continually growing toward God’s infinite perfection. That implies time. I think you are stretching the point of the Catechism to make it cover something that it simply isn’t concerned with. I don’t think premillenialism was on the radar screen of the authors of the Catechism.

Besides, why do you get to define what premillenialists believe? I used to be a premillenialist (I still have some leanings toward non-dispensational premillenialism, though I can’t really see much difference between it and certain kinds of amillenialism), and I looked forward to the personal return of Christ as the consummation of history.

The context of what the Catechism is saying is that “history” is the time in which the Church exists in pilgrimage on earth. The Catechism rightly condemns the idea that the reign of Christ is something that will result from the efforts of the Church in history. That is its point. It’s ridiculous to stretch the condemnation to cover premillenialists, since what the Catechism is primarily condemning is exactly what premillenialists most hate and oppose. The whole point of premillenialism is that the reign of Christ is a sovereign intervention of God in human history, not something that grows organically out of the efforts of the Church. Augustinian amillenialism is far closer to the view condemned by the Catechism than premillenialism is.

In Christ,

Edwin


#19

I think it would be helpful for one of the pro’s to step in on Michaelp’s points…


#20

Well, I will follow this up with some arguements from the amillennial perspective. They seem strong as well.

**Amillennialism: **The belief that there is no literal millennium, but that the millennium is symbolic of a present reality realized through Christ’s reign in Heaven and within the hearts of believers.

Adherents: Origen, Augustine, Roman Catholic Church, Reformers, L. Berkhof

Arguments for Amillennialism:

  1. The New Testament convincingly suggests that the kingdom of God was introduced with the coming of Christ.

Matt. 12:28

“But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.”

Mk. 1:14-15

“Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’”

Mk. 9:1

“And Jesus was saying to them, ‘Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power.’”

Mk. 12:34

“When Jesus saw that he had answered intelligently, He said to him, ‘You are not far from the kingdom of God.’”

Lk. 17:20-21

“Now having been questioned by the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God was coming, He answered them and said, ‘The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.’”

  1. Christ said that all authority had been given to Him, therefore He is now reigning from heaven and in the hearts of believers.

Matt. 28:18-20

“Then Jesus came up and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’”

  1. The kingdom of God is ultimately found, not a thousand-year millennium, but the new heaven and new earth. Therefore, there is no need for a millennium, even if you believe that there are promises to ethnic Israel yet to be fulfilled. They can all be fulfilled on the new earth.

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