Dispensationalism Is a Destructive Doctrine

Dispensationalism Is a Destructive Doctrine - John Nelson Darby
John Nelson Darby (1800-1882)

Dispensationalism is a destructive doctrine for those of us trying to convince people that the Bible is the word of God. Dispensationalism maintains that in the future, God will fulfill to the nation of Israel the promises He made to ethnic Israel in the Old Testament. That includes the restoration of David’s throne with world dominion in Jerusalem.

Dispensationalism developed from the teachings of John Nelson Darby in the 19th century. Since then, various preachers and authors, including D. L. Moody, C. I. Scofield, John Walvoord, and Hal Lindsey, have advocated, advanced, expanded, and modified the doctrine. Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, various denominations, and creationist organizations embrace forms of dispensationalism.

We have recently learned about Steve John, a former member, and teacher of the Seventh Day Adventist denomination. He has a blog called “Gospel Reflections,” where he discusses the errors in their teachings. Use the link below to read his article “Challenges in Embracing Dispensational Theology,” where he discusses dispensationalism’s theological problems.

On a very practical level, we need to understand that God’s promises have always been conditional. We see this in Deuteronomy 28, where God tells ancient Israel the blessings that will come to them if they keep His covenant and follow His instructions. In 14 verses, God tells them the good that will come if they obey the covenant. Then, in verses 15 through 68, God tells them of the bad things that will come if Israel does not keep the covenant.

This conditional principle is carried into the New Testament, where Jesus says the temple would cease to exist if they continue to break the covenant. In A.D. 70, the temple was destroyed. In John 4:21-24, Jesus tells the Samaritan woman that the time was coming when worship would not be in Jerusalem or on Mount Gerizim. The concept of God’s kingdom being spiritual and not a physical kingdom on Earth is difficult for many to accept, but a careful study of the Bible clearly shows that it is true.

Dispensationalism is a destructive doctrine that places time restraints on both the past and the future. Supporting the nation of Israel with the expectation of world domination is contradictory to taking the Bible literally. Suggesting that Earth is only 6000 years old is another product of dispensationalism, putting the Bible at odds with common sense and all the scientific evidence. It is sad that so many Christians, including many in the Restoration Movement, have embraced this denominational teaching, which destroys the faith of many young people.

— John N. Clayton © 2023

Reference: “Challenges in Embracing Dispensational Theology” by Steve John.