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Saturday, May 11, 2019

Response to Bill Dolack's "How Inspired Are The Creeds of The Church?"


By: LAZARUS CONLEY

Recently a new article came out (linked here: https://donkpreston.com/how-inspired-are-the-creeds-a-guest-article/)

This is the response to this silly article Preston decided to share of Dolack.

"It has long been a fascination– and a troubling fact – that so many believers place their faith in the creeds of the church and the early church fathers (ECF). I have encountered many believers who tell me that they don’t care what the Bible says, if the creeds say something different, they will go with the creeds! I am not exaggerating. This has happened to me many times!”

Preston starts off with something quite silly and ignorant here claiming that he’s encountered many believers who tell him they don’t care what the Bible says and only care about what the creeds say…
First off, the Ecumenical Councils and Creeds of the Church agree with the Scripture. All scholars of scripture would agree with this fact ranging from Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran, Reformed, Anglican, etc…

The only ones who disagree that the Creeds and Councils of the Church wouldn’t be scriptural would be full preterist and other various heretics who give misinterpretations of Scripture and intentionally attempt to deceive people like Preston and Dolack do.

It’s quite simple. Preston and Dolack wish to destroy and dismiss the Ecumenical Creeds and Councils because they along with scripture declare these two, full preterists, without a doubt, to be heretics.

“It has been claimed that the creeds of the church are inspired by the Holy Spirit, and thus, they are authoritative for us. I must confess that I find this to be more than troubling, and not even close to Scriptural. (Of course, one of the ironies of the claims is that many of those claiming creedal inspiration differ significantly from the very creeds that the say are inspired and authoritative!”

This was and is the opinion of the Church for RCC and EO and Anglican believers. Some Lutherans as far as I am aware hold to this too that the Ecumenical Councils and Creeds are inspired by the Holy Spirit. Where does Preston get this claim that the E. Councils and Creeds are not close to Scriptural? Acts 15 the apostles came together and had a Council. The apostles clearly laid out apostolic succession and this has been consistently taught since the Church came into existence. This is undisputed that the Church has always taught apostolic succession and it is unanimous that Acts 15 was and is an inspired Council with Creedal statements…  Now let’s get into Dolack’s part of this silly article.


“Some here – mainly Orthodox or Catholic – often appeal to the Early Church Fathers as “proof” that what happened in AD 70 wasn’t the Second Coming since the ECF looked to a yet future coming. Lance, (Lance Conley, DKP) of course, carries this to the extreme by claiming the ECF were inspired and that their writings were on par with scripture. (DKP– Note, others are claiming the same thing).”

Yes. I do fully accept that AD70 wasn’t the 2nd Coming since the ECF ALL unanimously declare that the 2nd Coming is yet a future event and AD70 was merely a judgement on Jerusalem of the Jews. One can merely see the Apostles’ Disciples and various works that this is true. The Didache (100AD) declares the 2nd Coming and resurrection of the saints as future, The Epistle of Barnabas Ch 16 declares the way the Church saw the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD (90s AD), The Shepherd of Hermas (90s AD) has the 2nd Coming as future as well. Clement has the resurrection of the flesh in 1 Clement (90s AD), Ignatius has this as well in his writings that the 2nd Coming and Resurrection are future events, the list honestly goes on and on and we have plenty of evidence historically to show this is what the Early Church in the 1st to 2nd Century believed. 

What does the full preterist have? Nothing more than their interpretation of scripture… the scripture that the Church came together in the Council of Nicea to create a formal canon whereas before that they did not have a full formalized canon due to many hundreds of years of persecution that finally ended thanks to Emperor Constantine of Rome when he converted to Christianity (which leaves another question… what does the FP consider to be inspired or uninspired as far as Scripture goes and why and how do they come to that conclusion? 

I ask this question a lot and never can seem to get a legitimate answer except for some postmodernist answers from full preterists like “I believe it so therefore it is true”). To be frank, it’s hard to understand how a full preterist can even declare themselves to have a NT canon… As I’ve asked many a time…. Why not accept Gospel of Thomas? Why not accept the writings of Buddha or Mohammad? So far, no full preterist has ever given an adequate answer to this and I assume there won’t be unless this question affects Don K Preston’s book sales or something.

“But even those who are more moderate in their veneration of the ECF still seem to view them as correct in all their doctrine. After all, they say, these are the men who had a direct (or close to it) connection to the Apostles themselves, so they must be right.”

Bill Dolack speaks ignorance here. The ECF have made some mistakes in their writings. No one ever claimed otherwise. It is not the ECF that are inspired writings. It is under the Holy Spirit and through apostolic succession that these men came together. In Acts 15 we see a great amount of debate go on the entire time with Peter and Paul over their issues at that time. They debate, they disagreed for a time, debated it through, and came to their agreement. The Holy Spirit was there at this Council in Acts 15. They came to the truth. Councils can be inspired if Acts 15 event was Holy Spirit inspired. Again this is silliness from Dolack and just plain ignorance he is spewing.

Again, ECFs are not inspired. Ecumenical Councils and Creeds are inspired by the Holy Spirit.

“Yet, the point the pro-ECF crowd misses is that there were serious errors happening in the church even while the Apostles were still alive. Paul talks about this (Acts 20:29-31, 35). So the question is this: if errors were occurring during the apostolic period itself, why do some people today believe the ECF’s were incapable of error? And if they did make errors in their interpretation of scripture, could the Second Coming be one of them?”

By Dolack’s logic here, no one managed to get anything right because they were all in error until he was born, picked up a bible (that the Church gave him), and figured it all out what no one else could for 2000 years… Joseph Smith and other cult leaders and cults have said the same things. Don’t drink the Kool Aid.

No one has ever claimed that the ECFs are incapable of error but is Dolack really going to claim they are all wrong? Yes. He very much is which is completely ridiculous. This would mean that the disciples of the apostles that are even written in Scripture like Clement were all morons and incapable of figuring out that the 2nd Coming was past… This is nothing more than a conspiracy theory with less proof for it than flat earthers do trying to prove the earth is flat.

The problem for the full preterist is, in order to try and cover their argument for silence, since they have not a single person or historian or etc. to back up their claim that Christ came in 70AD and that was the 2nd Coming, they must be willing and have to call every single ECF erroneous about the 2nd Coming because not a single ECF ever once agrees with the full preterist. They must claim that not a single ECF in the history of the Church, not the apostles’ disciples, not those ECFs that came together to put the canon together for the NT, absolutely none of them were able ever to come to this “truth” that the full preterist claims that Christ came back in 70AD and that was the 2nd Coming and the resurrection of the dead. By Dolack’s logic they clearly were all complete stupid, ignorant, pathetic, and perhaps mentally retarded knuckleheads if Dolack were correct. Thankfully, praise God, Dolack is wrong and nothing more than a conspiracy theorist with the burden of proof on all accounts for his claims, and can only appeal constantly with an argument for silence because there are no proofs whatsoever for the claims of full preterism.

“Lance has mentioned literally dozens of times the “creeds and councils” as his evidence of what constitutes Christianity. But the simple fact that they even had councils negates Lance’s claim that the ECF were 100 percent right (and that anyone throughout history who disagreed with them was wrong).”

This claim against me makes zero sense and I’ve never claimed the ECF were always 100% right about everything… I’ve declared the Ecumenical Councils and Creeds are 100% correct though.

“We know that the 1st Council of Nicea, after much debate and arguing, condemned Arianism, and the 1st  Nicene Creed was adopted. We also know that later councils at Antioch (341), Sirmium (357), and Constantinople (360) sided with Arius’s view, and all previously accepted creeds were rejected. And then in 381 at Constantinople, Arianism was again condemned, and an updated Nicene Creed was issued. These men discussed, they argued, they debated. If they had been inspired, why did this happen? Why weren’t they all of one mind?”

First, aside from the 1st E. Council he named off that list, none of these other councils nor creeds that came about were ever accepted by the Church. They are not Ecumenical Councils nor ecumenical creeds. Bill displays his complete ignorance of Church history here loud and clear. Arianism was a dangerous heresy that spread rapidly across Rome and other areas and the Church fought them. Bill seems to be ignorant about all this or intentionally trying to mislead the reader. The latter is more likely. Had it not been for the Nicene Council and Nicene Creed, had it not been for St. Athanasius and St. Nicholas of Myra and many other great and godly men, Arius’ version of Christianity might have been what we’d have today, where people would be teaching that Jesus was essentially a demigod like Hercules. Praise God we don’t have that silliness!

“Who was right? The majority?” 

For many centuries actually Arianism was the top dominant dog in the fight against Nicene Christianity. Even the Emperor of Rome after Constantine promoted it at one point. At another point, all the patriarchs except for Rome’s were espousing Arianism. What happened eventually was the truth won as it always does and the Nicene Christians defeated their Satanic foes and under the 2nd Ecumenical Council and so on, Arianism and other heresies that flourished saw their demise to good and godly men!

The world could in fact be majority full preterist and the Church would still be the one in the right and all full preterist be damned for their heresies. Bill’s charge reeks of postmodernist arguments that conspiracy theorist and atheist all push to try and argue against the Church. This shouldn’t be surprising though coming from a non-Christian like Dolack and a non-Christian like Preston who feeds this garbage.

“Was ECF Origen right when he said the Holy Spirit was a created being? Was ECF Jerome right when he said Mary was a perpetual virgin, and therefore Jesus’ “brothers and sisters” were really cousins? Was ECF Epiphanius right when he denied perpetual virginhood but declared the “brothers and sisters” to be previous children of Joseph?”

To answer: I’d have to relook this claim of Bill’s about Origen but Origen was condemned as a heretic. If he said the H. Spirit was a created being he would be wrong as the Trinity is uncreated.
Was Jerome right when he said Mary was perpetually a virgin? Absolutely! Jesus had what we would call step-brothers and step-sisters today from Joseph’s first marriage to Salome. This is well documented in Church history. Whether Bill wants to believe this or not is up to him but that’s what the Church has taught.

I assume he’s referring to St. Epiphanius of Salamis? If so, he did not deny the perpetual virginity of Mary and in fact defended it as St. Jerome did.

Again, ECFs are not infallible. The Ecumenical Councils and Creeds are.

“An exclusive reliance on the ECF (or the creeds of the church, DKP) to determine what scripture says is courting disaster. Yes, there was much good that came from them, and we need to accept that. But there was also much error.”

This quote is just silliness Dolack pulls from the mouth of Preston. They have to dismiss the works of the ECFs because not a single one supports their conspiracy theory that Christ came back in 70AD…

He makes some quotes by some people I’ve never heard of named Kennedy and Cramp? I’d wager if I did a Google search that Kennedy and Cramp would both not be full preterist and would both condemn Preston and Dolack as foolish heretics. So let’s move on to the next part.

“Here are some examples of things the ECF added that are not found in New Testament scripture:

Infant baptism (practiced by the RCC, Eastern Orthodox, and various Protestant denominations)”

This charge is laughable. The Church from the get-go held to infant baptism. And the Church has always argued it is scriptural and that through scripture and oral tradition that the Church has always baptized infants. Polycarp, one of John’s disciples, was infant baptized.

History is definitely not on Dolack’s side here. If Dolack and Preston want to refuse to admit that there were entire families that were baptized together in the Scriptures which all tradition states had had children and infants, well, what can I say? It’s a denial of the obviousness that scripture shares in Acts 16:33 and a denial of the obvious history that’s shown to be accurate about what the Early Christians believed. The Church cared about infants and children too just like the Jews did with circumcision. The children were just as much part of the community and faith as the adults were. Baptism was seen in the Christian’s minds as a form of circumcision.

In ancient Judaism, male infants were circumcised at 8 days old and thus made members of God's people Israel. Baptism in the NT was the equivalent to the OT circumcision and was the Christian's entry/initiation into God's people. If the Jews made their children part of the faith why the heck would the Christian families reject this?

In other words if the Jews had NO issues about circumcising an 8-day old infant, thus making him part of God's people before Christ's Incarnation, then why would Christians have had an issue with baptizing an infant and making him a part of God's people afterwards? Furthermore, is Bill going to stupidly argue (because this is a ramification of his false theology that rejects infant baptism) and insist that salvation is based on the person's capacity of mental awareness and accountability for salvation? Cause if so, is he going to argue that mentally incapacitated people cannot become a part of God's people? If so, by implication, mentally incapacitated people cannot be saved which I would disagree with and ask what kind of God would do that. But aside from that, history is completely against Dolack here too. But since when has a full preterist ever cared about historical data except for Josephus? (who also doesn’t share that Jesus came back in 70AD either FYI)

Briefly, in 100 AD Apostle John died. In 155 AD Polycarp (John's apostle) died. Polycarp was born in 69 AD right before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD and was a disciple of Apostle John himself (and associate of Apostle Philip). He said this at his execution: "86 years I've served Him, and He never did me injury. How can I blaspheme my King and Savior?"

This means and has always been noted that the saint is claiming to have served Jesus for 86 years, therefore following that he was baptized as an infant. Another place, we are told that Polycarp was baptized by none other than the Apostle John which means he was baptized in 69 AD or very shortly after 69 AD. Case in point, with St. John and Polycarp, we can prove conclusively baptized infants. 10 years later or so after Polycarp’s death we have Justin Martyr who was quoted to have said this:
Justin Martyr: "Many, both men and women, who have been Christ's disciples from childhood, remain pure and at the age of 60 or 70 years." (A.D. 110-165)

Infant baptism is biblical and has been historically proven to be true. So Bill’s point here is disproven and just plain foolish. But let’s continue with this foolishness where he is going to continue trying to deny history and clearly deny infants of Christ, for which Jesus says not to deny children of Him. Those that do Jesus says “It’d be better for him to have a millstone hung around his neck and to be thrown into the sea than to cause one of these little ones to stumble” (Lk 17:2).

"Baptism of a new believer only after a waiting period (as seen above, sometimes a very long time, DKP)”

Yes. After many heresies came into the Church and there were less persecutions thanks to Emperor Constantine, the Church was able to begin teaching more and since more people were coming into Christendom, they instituted catechisms as any rational, normal person would do. Catechisms did not always last a long time. Catechism has always depended on when the laymen and priests/bishops decide the catechumen is prepared adequately. Becoming a Christian is actually a bigger deal to the Church then Preston and Dolack probably grasp being they aren’t Christians. Christians are giving their life up to follow Christ. The bishops and priests wanted the catechumen to fully grasp what they are becoming when they partake of the Eucharist. These and many more things I could go on about with Christendom are things that heretics like Dolack who worship their own god in their own image would never comprehend. For more information about Christianity’s catechisms and etc., I highly recommend St. Cyril’s Catechism Lectures or if you want something easier to read, buy a cheap The Orthodox Church by Fr. Kallistos Ware (some books will be titled Timothy Ware).


“Great cathedrals (Acts 1:13, 1 Cor. 16:19, Romans 16:3-5, Col. 4:15)”

I don’t expect a full preterist to worship God in any setting except dirt I suppose. I read Acts 1:13 and have no clue what Dolack is trying to argue here. We can worship anywhere. The Church and scripture has always taught that. The Orthodox Church under Soviet rule in Russia often had to do Divine Liturgies outside and would worship at the bare minimum usually as far as luxuries or “great cathedrals” went. If we can use something to honor God we do. Our “great cathedrals” are an homage to God when we can do them. I’ll even use my own personal experience as an Orthodox Christian right now and tell you that the parish I attend is literally a house that has been converted into a make-shift parish. Our parish doesn’t take in much money and we often use it to help the less fortunate in our area and others like an Orthodox orphanage we help in Africa. We as Christians make do with what we have with our faith. Always has been that way. Whatever his point is with “great cathedrals” seems to be purely garbage statements.

1 Cor 16:19? Romans 16:3-5? Col 4:15? Churches can be houses like the ones in Asia were. What is Dolack trying to argue here? That we all have to worship in dirt huts? The Church was persecuted for centuries and when they were out of persecution began to commune publicly and were thus able to create beautiful cathedrals for God. They didn’t have to worship in dirt huts any longer or hide in homes. There is nothing wrong with having worship in your home, a dirt hut, or a “great cathedral”.

"Pews;”

This one is laughable to me knowing that until quite recently, the Orthodox Church didn’t much use pews until around the 1800s due to Western innovations. We still often don’t. I also don’t see anything unbiblical or biblical about pews. For the most part, the Orthodox Church actually stands throughout the whole Divine Liturgy, and usually it’s only the ill or elderly that are in pews in many of our parishes (depending on what parish decides to do with their space I suppose). I’m not sure what Dolack has against pews or chairs but if one wants to read a really big book, The Stripping of The Altars by Eamon Duffy is a very history-laden book on the Reformation and the fight between Catholics and Protestants.

“Icons; stained glass windows”

I assume Dolack is going to argue icons are evil? Or something? Iconography is found all through Judaism and Christianity from the get-go. We find it in the catacombs and early churches even before Constantine. We have icons because they tell our Christian faith and our Christian history. Unlike full preterist heretics like Preston and Dolack, we as Christians refuse to forget our history and refuse to forget the people that came before us that fought and lived and bled and died for our Christian faith.

"Incense” 

Tobit has incense. OT uses incense. NT they did use incense as an aid to worship when they had incense. Revelation has incense in the middle of worship. Revelation was one of the models Christianity used when they worshipped. To match the heavenly model of worship found in Revelation with our earthly models, we used incense. This has always been the case historically. Read a book. Stop with the ignorance perhaps? The Early Church used incense from the beginning. Get a clue. 

“Praying to Mary; Praying to saints; Statues and icons”

Judaism had prayer for the dead. 2 Maccabees has it. Christians believe the saints are alive in Paradise right now. If I can ask my friend, who is a believer, to pray for me, then I can also ask the saint who is alive in Paradise. The Church has taught this always too that this is possible because of the Holy Spirit. There is latria and dulia. Latria belongs to God alone. Dulia is honor that is given to the saints. There is also nothing wrong with giving honor to Mary or the saints. They are worthy of it. As far as statues and icons go, we have also always had iconography (statues, paintings, icons). There is nothing wrong with this. For centuries til the printing press, iconography was extremely useful in helping aid people to keep the faith and tell the stories of the Church that have been passed to us orally and traditionally and scripturally. We have many iconographies for example of Noah and the Flood and the Apostles and Christ Himself. We aren’t Muslims. We are Christians. Dolack should probably read Eamon Duffy. Maybe he’d learn something then about how he has let himself be influenced by Islamic influences with his iconoclastic statements that anything about statues and icons is wrong because so far his statements reek of complete and total ignorance.

“Crossing one’s self”
Show me where this is unbiblical. This sounds like if I said brushing your teeth was unbiblical because it isn't in Scripture. You'd think I was being stupid if I said that. And that's what's going on here. The practice of doing the cross has been done since the Church began. Tertullian references the practice among Christians. The Church did it often to publicly profess and stand in agreement with the Church’s Divine Liturgy and the parts where we do prayers. It's something the Church has done to show their faith. 

Is Dolack next going to call people that do sign language and say “Amen” in sign language evil? Really starting to come across as desperate and ridiculous.

“Holy water” 

A blessing, as it is a prayer, is sacramental. Holy water was taken from the holy baptisms where the water is blessed, as it is a sacrament. I don’t expect Dolack to comprehend anything when it comes to sacraments.

“Altars”

Altars are very biblical. Read the OT. Read the NT too where Christ has an altar in the Revelation. We model the NT worship on earth as it is in heaven. This is not rocket science. We have been doing the Eucharist and worshipped liturgically since the beginning of the Church. Ergo, we’ve always had altars.

“Ringing bells during a service”

How, may I ask, is this unbiblical? Bells were rung often to signal to the Christian villages when to come to the parish for worship so everyone would be there on time and be able to partake in their Christian faith. It is an aid to our faith. Like texting your friend to remind them when to come to church. Dolack is grasping for straws here and this is getting stupid.

“Calling the building “the house of God”
Churches are houses of worshup to worship God in. Ergo, they are His house. We can worship anywhere though. Not sure what he is going on about here except that he's just trying to come up with the most absurd things he possibly can?

“Christian assemblies run by one man”

Is he talking about the Roman Pope here? I have no idea. The Orthodox Church is not run by one man (aside from Christ of course). Maybe a bishop? Who knows? He probably doesn’t comprehend the way the Church views hierarchy which wouldn’t be surprising. A layman can stop a patriarch, bishop, priest, or deacon in the Orthodox Church in the wrong. Always has been that way. Maybe he’s talking about Rome? I have no idea.

“Confessions only given to one man (or one class of men)”

Again. What? Is he saying confession is wrong? Or is he saying confessing to a priest is wrong? If it’s the latter, it is not wrong. When in confession, before we discuss this with the priest, who is a representative for Christ, the High Priest, who is eternally God and eternally physically human being, we confess our sins to God. This is also a sacramental duty of all Christians to confess sins whether aided by a priest or not.

“Non-participation by those in attendance (1 Cor. 14:26)”

I’m really not sure what he is talking about here… We in the Church are often encouraged to take part in all the services of the Church. We sing the Psalms in Church. We teach the doctrines of the Church, We speak in many different languages, we have revelations about God and have interpretations for scriptures and people of different tongues. Everyone is encouraged to participate in our worship. If they weren’t that parish would be in trouble.

“Communion wafers (Acts 2:46-47)”

Orthodox Christians use bread and wine for the Eucharist. We don’t use communion wafers. This may be the only part of Dolack’s stupid article that I might agree with. Use bread and wine for communion when partaking of the Eucharist.

“A clergy/laity divide”

Not sure what he’s talking about with this. Not all are called to be clergymen but we encourage it. It’s strongly encouraged to be a monastic, a Reader, Altar-person, a deacon, a priest, special vote for bishop but we also encourage good priests to be bishops as well, etc. The only “divide” would be what internal problems one makes against each other. In the Church we are all a family. The clergy/laity are all family members in the Church as far as that is concerned and that’s how they should all be treated. As family. And being family we protect our family from heretics that seek to harm and lead our family astray. This is why Councils and Creeds were installed in the first place by the apostles and their successors. To keep nasty people like Bill Dolack and Don K Preston who spread vile heresies and blasphemies against God and seek actively to push people into the lake of fire at the Great Judgment from doing so. May these heretics repent and pursue the One True God.  

“A hierarchal system of clergy”

Laughable. Not all are called to be priests in the sense that not all are capable or able to do the Divine Liturgy and etc. other tasks in the Church and for the Church and her peoples. We keep to hierarchal structures (which are present even in full preterist circles FYI. Don K Preston being a FP leader) as anyone does. The apostles kept to one too. The apostles were superiors to their disciples (this doesn’t mean their faith is inferior; Peter makes that quite clear in 1 and 2 Peter).

“And worst of all, KILLING IN THE NAME OF CHRIST. None of these things can be supported by scripture yet they were instituted by various ECF’s over the first several centuries. (Even Luther and Calvin advocated violence against “heretics”- DKP)”

For one, he never actually shares which one he talks about… Second, government institutions are blessed at times to go to war to protect country and nation and even the faith of the people from forces of evil. Is he talking about St. Augustine’s Just War Theory? Who knows? Luther and Calvin are not church fathers. Reformers may disagree with me on that but it is what it is and I’m ok with that. And readers should know if they don’t that I do deeply respect Lutherans even though I do disagree with them. I’d agree Calvin was wrong to have people killed but I also regret to inform Dolack that Calvin and Luther and the Roman Papacies at certain points in the West were what’s called an ethnarchy and were basically, at least in Rome and Calvin’s cases considered kings (rulers in any case) and were the sole civil authority having to make decisions they saw as best and fit during what were times of actual war. This is not an excuse for their atrocities. It is just something to point out. The same is true of some cases when Byzantium went to war and killed invading Muslims (ultimately Byzantium lost the war though against Islam and the Ottoman Empire just so everyone knows). Rome defended itself at one point in the Crusades as well against Islam. Is it wrong to murder? Yes. If it is a just war though? It is perfectly ethical to stop an enemy that will do more damage to others. The goal if one is honest with those wars (for the most part in Rome’s case) too was self-defensive purposes and if we’re honest we have some of our nations still standing because Islam was held back from invasions by the actions the Papacy and etc. took in times of war. No one who is Christian wants to kill just to kill. All life is sacred obviously but there is justification to go to war at times and defend your family and home. Matter of fact, after war, at least in Orthodoxy, we required our men who had been in wars to go to the monasteries for a time, like a period of cleansing similar to how Moses and Israel’s men had to do when they went to war. This allowed the men to come to grips with what they’d had to do, come to a fuller repentance, and focus their energies back to God instead of war.

“It is undeniable that error was ongoing during the time of the Apostles. Luke writes in Acts about the “Pharisees who believed” who had a large following (Acts 21:20). These men sought to place burdens on Gentile converts, something Paul strongly opposed. Acts 20:24 makes clear that the Pharisees were from the Jerusalem church but, according to James, “they had no such instructions from us.” Here we have believers, zealous believers, preaching the gospel according to their understanding of it. They weren’t bad men, they weren’t wolves in sheep’s clothing. They were simply wrong (even though it’s likely that the Jerusalem church would have sided with them if Paul hadn’t complained), and needed to be corrected. So, if error existed in the church while Paul, James, Peter, and other Apostles were still living, why do so many Christians today deny the possibility that error existed in the church ten years later? Twenty-five years later? One hundred years later? Even an Apostle, Peter, was wrong in his actions (Gal. 2:11-16) and was fiercely rebuked by Paul. Peter led others astray, including Barnabas, and who knows what damage may have resulted if Paul hadn’t stood up for the truth.”

Here, Dolack tries to argue that because some people were wrong at this time that obviously that means everyone else in the ECFs were wrong… problem is… Peter got corrected. The correction happened and the Church kept correct doctrine. Not a single time in church history did a full preterist exist and come up to any ECF, even one counted a heretic, and aim to correct any of the disciples of the apostles or etc. so on that came after… So not a single person was correct until 1970s when Max King and 90s when Preston came along? Please spare me this silly, contrived conspiracy theory that holds no water.

“In later years, Ignatius taught that the bishop (such as himself) was the only one who could officiate at baptisms or communion. This flies in the face of apostolic teaching.”

Not at all. The apostles did the baptisms. Apostle title didn’t just apply to the 12. It applied to about 70 actually. Clement as a matter of fact was one of the 70… (Synaxis of the 70). Through apostolic succession, their disciples did baptisms too. Also, historically, one needs to be aware of this too because Dolack is giving you a huge half-truth. The bishop/priest/deacon distinction took a while to become formalized because before, when Ignatius was bishop, Christianity was a LOT smaller than when Constantine decriminalized Christianity and it grew like wildfire causing bishops to give this over to priests more-so. Later, the presbytery and deaconate also began to distinguish more roles formally in order to help the growth of Christendom become smoother.

Dolack quotes some guy I’ve never read who claims:

“As a general rule, the ancient church fixed three years for this preparation [for baptism], supposing the candidate, whether heathen or Jew, to be competent to receive it.” Then claims: Yet, in the New Testament accounts, men and women were baptized immediately after their profession of faith.”

Yes. When Christianity was smaller and had less need for longer catechisms, to prepare the new catechumen to become a Christian, they were able to do catechism faster and instruct faster. When Christianity grew this became more of a challenge. Especially during Constantine’s reign when Christianity was decriminalized and Christianity grew, forcing catechisms to be longer in order for the newcomer to Christianity to be properly instructed. This is not rocket science.
Dolack keeps quoting some dude named Cramp who insinuates that the ECFs were probably evil because they were all “confused” and “enveloped in darkness”.

Dolack makes this claim that: “I had [a long heated exchange] with Lance in which he repeatedly minimized the atrocities committed against millions of people (during, but not limited to, the Inquisition).

Which Inquisition? Many a time, the people chose the RCC to be inquisitioned rather than the secular authorities because they were fairer. And no one claimed otherwise that the Inquisition wasn’t bad. He claims I minimalized it but this is false. He made that claim because I said there were and have been worse atrocities committed in the name of religion. Dolack is simply blowing hot air and trying to make some attempt to claim full preterism is a-ok, is not a heresy, all so he can feel better about himself leading people to the lake of fire where he is heading should he not repent of his heresy. Plain and simple. I also am not RCC. I am Eastern Orthodox. I’ll let the RCC defend themselves. He seems to think the RCC and EOC are the same. They aren’t. If we were the same, the Great Schism wouldn’t have happened. Duh. 

He claims: Lance referred to this [the Inquisition] as ‘some sketchy moments’, ‘a few hiccups’, and ‘miniscule’. 25 million dead”. Maybe if he screams it people will listen? Yes. I said these words. The RCC was involved in some sketchy moments and did make and still do make quite a few hiccups and when compared to other various atrocities around the world across the vast expanse of history, yes, 25 million, as big a number as that is, IS as I said miniscule. Again, Dolack is blowing hot air. The Inquisition started roughly at 1231 AD and lasted 700 years give or take. Over 700 years, that’s roughly 36,000 (rounding) people a year being tried and executed.

In only 69 years, the USSR managed to kill about 2 million people. Genghis Khan managed to wipe out an estimated 40 million or more people in only his lifetime. Had the USSR or Genghis Khan been given 700 years we could probably get similar numbers or even more horrible numbers, especially out of the Khan. I was comparing history is all that happened. This again shouldn’t be surprising from someone who is a full preterist who takes history and flushes it down the toilet to further his conspiracy theories. Dolack seems it is clear to have a knack for taking things way out of proportion and making a lot of hot air and steam.

“In fact, the OC had a hand in the deaths of “no fewer than one hundred thousand Paulicians” from AD 832 to AD 846, according to Cramp (page 76). “Imperial cruelty at length provoked retaliation and revenge. The Paulicians took up arms in defense of their families and their homes. The transition from self-defense to active rebellion is easy, and the Provinces of the East were convulsed with civil war, for all the miseries of which the persecutors were responsible.” (Baptist History, Cramp, page 77)…

Dolack pulls a half-truth here. Byzantium did go to war with the Paulicians absolutely! In the 7th Century they were a group of Gnostic religion movements and they had an actual military presence and political influence in Asia Minor. They were never a part of the Orthodox Church to begin with. This was also a time period where people took their faiths much more seriously than people like Dolack would do today. Many of the cases I found about the Paulicians were the Empire dealing with uprisings and other problems. There were even trials so they could clear some of these people of their supposed crimes against Christ and His Church and Byzantium. We have the Paulicians committing atrocities too here like Karbeas’s successor, Chrysocheres who devastated many cities in 867 and got as close as Ephesus and took many priests as prisoner (Wikipedia).

“And why did the OC target the Paulicians?” 

Byzantium, not the Orthodox Church as a whole, targeted the Paulicians. Of course the Orthodox Church would declare Paulicians a Gnostic heresy as they rightfully should have. Byzantium did what any empire would normally do against an uprising group with political influences and rising military powers. To protect the nation of Byzantium, they took them out. From simple Wikipedia searches one finds there isn’t that much information on this sect. Could they have been actually violent? Seems possible. Were they actually more than just a religious threat to Christendom? Seems possible. Violence happens. People sin. Nations do bad things sometimes. Some people do bad things in the name of Christ. John Humphrey Noyes, arguably a full preterist, had tons of cult places created where he had children be taken from their parents and when they became teenagers all for his sick sex cult doctrines of free love and other hogwash doctrines, be molested by the older men and women, all so he could have sex with whoever in the community he wanted to have it with. No one is immune from evil and wickedness. Not even full preterist, though some are stupid enough to deny sin happens anymore and claim there is no such thing as sins and that we are free to do whatever we want.

“But here was their distinction: they withdrew from the Greek Church because that church had abandoned the high ground of gospel truth and spiritual worship. They asserted the right and duty of searching the Scriptures, and would admit no other rule. They abhorred saint-worship. They would not adore the cross, nor bow down before images. They abjured the ecclesiastical hierarchy.” (ibid., page 78).

All I’ve gathered is a Baptist of some sort (I have nothing against Baptist personally btw) who is an iconoclast to begin with, declares the Greek Church was evil and abandoned the Gospel truth… I’d bet money the Paulicians weren’t full preterist and that Cramp wasn’t either. I’d also bet money the Paulicians would have had full preterist executed for their beliefs as well since they were with a military might.

“More than one hundred thousand people killed for refusing to follow un-scriptural commands of the church’s leaders. How incredibly sad.”

Byzantium is again not the Orthodox Church though yes the Church was very involved with the nation obviously. Islam kills way more people every year than 100,000. The bias is clear from Cramp when he says they believed in saint-worship and bowing to images and abjured the ecclesiastical hierarchy. The Orthodox Church has never believed in saint-worship and there is a whole theology behind iconography that Crump probably doesn’t comprehend and Dolack certainly will not comprehend. I’ll just refer the reader to read St. John of Damascus on this topic. Again, it probably had less to do with the religious part though that played a role (probably) and had more to do with the fact that the Paulicians were causing uprisings and warring against Byzantium’s people from what I can tell. Either way, yes, life lost is sad. But it shouldn’t matter for a full preterist if they were honest since the physical body doesn’t matter and in their eyes keeps everyone from going to be with God.

“Of course, the various Protestant movements are just as guilty, though they have “only” 500 years of atrocities to account for, compared to the 1,000 to 2,000 years of persecution perpetrated by the RCC and Orthodox churches.”

Like I said earlier, no one is exempt from atrocities being committed. Everyone in the history of mankind has done so. Dolack however is just spewing his hatred of all things church-related being he’s a full preterist heretic trying to lead others to the lake of fire with him and Preston.

“The attitude of violence continues today when people like Lance say that all “heretics” should be struck dead by God, or that they should do themselves a favor by committing suicide. I reminded him of the passage in Luke where James and John ask Jesus if they should “command fire to come down from heaven” to destroy the Samaritans who rejected Jesus.”

Yes. I did say if they do not repent of their heresies and their wicked vile ways against God, that all heretics should be struck down dead by God or should do everyone a favor and commit suicide because that way they will not spread their evil any longer and will not be guiding anyone else to the lake of fire with them. I take my faith seriously. I do pray and hope for repentance for the heretics like Dolack and Preston. However, God should strike us all dead when we go against Him. Thankfully, He doesn’t usually due to His loving kindness and mercy on us sinners. I stand by my statement. I should’ve been struck down when I was a full preterist as well. I was spreading vile blasphemies against God by teaching that garbage and I was leading people straight to the lake of fire with me. Praise God I got out of it! May all full preterist repent of their heresies like I and many others have and may they come to the One True God!

“We are not to have the spirit that calls for God to destroy men’s lives. That is clear in scripture. And the centuries-long history of violence perpetrated by the RCC and OC (and later, many of the Protestant denominations) is a black mark on Christianity, and reveals a fundamental error that began with the ECF and continues to this day. But while the organized churches (RCC, OC, and Protestant) fell into darkness with their horrible attacks on those who interpreted scripture differently from them, there were groups of Christians who did not fall into the lie that violence was acceptable for Christians, such as the Mennonites, Quakers, the Amish, the Church of the Brethren, and Hutterites. Menno Simon, founder of the Mennonites, said that the sword had no place in Christian life, and that only the Sword of the Spirit was needed to protect the church. Throughout history, many who were branded as heretics were what we would call today “Bible believing Christians.” The sad fact is that their actual words were suppressed by the RCC and OC, and the unproven accusations against them became “truth.””.

Dolack tries to make a case that heresy is a-ok plain and simple. Tries to claim that the RCC and OC are all about violence which isn’t actually true at all. He’s basically just trying to assert that you should believe everyone instead that is counted a heretic because you can’t trust the Church because they’re all evil apparently. I can guarantee though that if everyone became a full preterist tomorrow there would still be creepy sex cults, a bunch of murders, rapes, thievery, and etc. atrocities committed in the name of full preterism. They would form their own hierarchies, do evil, and then Dolack would likely make some excuses for it. There is no excuse for spreading lies and being in heresy at the end of the day. Jesus clearly says it would be better if they’d tie a millstone around their necks and drown themselves for leading people and especially little ones astray. And I stand by that being true.

Dolack then tries to claim some canon from the 2nd Council of Nicea… which is kind of funny simply because he doesn’t understand how the Church’s canons are to be understood but I digress. Maybe pick a book up some time that isn’t biased and pushing for the heretics to keep spreading lies and guiding people to the lake of fire? Thanks.

“None of this is intended to denounce the ECF as apostates. Far from it. These men had such faith in the Lord that most of them died horrible deaths rather than renounce Christ. But this faithfulness and zeal did not inoculate them from error. And a small error built upon results in a large errors.”

As I’ve said before, Dolack believes the ECFs were ALL wrong about the 2nd Coming until 1970s when Max King came along to share the “truth” of full preterism. Might as well claim Joseph Smith or Mohammed were truly prophets of God while he’s at it. This is nothing more than classic tactics from a member of a cult.

“And if the ECF – through their misinterpretation of scripture – introduced errors such as infant baptism, praying to Mary, and a silent laity, isn’t it also possible that their interpretation of scripture relating to the Second Coming was wrong?”

We’ve shown why he was wrong about that earlier. We don’t pray to Mary. We ask her to pray for us. “Mary, Mother of the Son of God, pray to God for us” for example. We don’t believe Mary is dead. She is alive in Christ as are all His saints. The laity is definitely not silent. Infant baptism is not a misinterpretation of Scripture at all. It’s biblical and found immediately in our history as well. Dolack is nothing more than a charlatan trying to pull people into the abyss with him. His claim forces everyone until Max King comes along in 1970 to be wrong about the 2nd Coming which is ludicrous and completely insane and asinine at best. He has nothing to prove his claims that Christ came back in AD70, he’s made absurd claims in this article, has straight up lied about me in this article, and has done nothing more than to prove what a heretic he truly is. May God have mercy on Don K Preston, Bill Dolack’s, and all full preterists’ souls and help them all repent of their blasphemies against Christ.

For some educational videos I have listed these below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQdg8wOhGwI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SuCA9kZ12tI&list=WL&index=6

https://youtu.be/caiXMhbJ01g 

Matthew Chapter 22-28

[Chapter 22] Christ talks in parable to them more while the Pharisees and Sadducees are already pissed off at Him. 22:1-14 - The King has a ...