My recent reading of Bill Young’s book, Churchism In The Church Age, left me thinking the absurd notion that he hates the very purpose and culmination of God’s plan – the church. Go ahead and read Ephesians 3:9-12. In a rather frustrated, aggressive, and yes, a bit arrogant of a way, Mr. Young seeks to detail that by and large, the “…Words of God have been rejected and replaced by traditions of false religions which first began in the 300 AD period”.
Teachers, Preachers, & The Ecclesia
It would seem that Mr. Young has wandered into the “rapture theory” of AD 70 in his making the following point, “All of God’s teachers or preachers were removed from the earth by 70 AD and after the Resurrection was completed God chose no more preachers. If He has chosen any other person or persons to speak for Him we would be able to find it written in His Scriptures because God has never left His people in dark”. It may be his failing to understand the Corporate Body View (CBV) within Preterism that has left him thinking it was all meant to be wrapped up in AD 70. Now, instead the “consummation of the ages” was to bring the living and the dead into the “one body” so that through the church, God would be seen and praised “all in all”. Again, either Mr. Young misunderstands the “goal of the ages” or hates the goal of the ages. Not to mention, Bill Young seems to think the “calling out” was a periodic thing, rather than God’s goal through the ages and thus he makes the following statements:
“If the “Ecclesia period” has passed in fulfillment along with the Law, then what are we doing today?”
“The world has accepted “The Church” as the avenue to eternal life, the way of salvation, but without any evidence to support such a conclusion from the Words from heaven found in the Christian Bible”.
The good news is that Bill Young has knowledge of and seems to be in agreement with “fulfilled Bible prophecy” and clearly sees the problem with futurism. He writes;
“There have been so many predictions about Christ’s return that to compile such a list together would be to compile man’s misunderstanding and ignorance of Scriptures and there would be many, many volumes”.
“There are a few now who go by the name “Preterist” who have rejected the false teachings of Churchism concerning “the end times” of Christ coming soon in our near future”.
Forsake the Assembly
In his book, Mr. Young writes, “When it comes to knowledge and understanding, our greatest errors in life come from the lack of good information”. I couldn’t agree more. God’s people were destroyed for their lack of knowledge and for having a zeal for God that was without knowledge (cf. Hosea 4:6; Proverbs 19:2; Romans 10:1-3). Yet, I believe these words should convict Mr. Young. In 1 Thessalonians 5:21, Believers are exhorted to “prove all things” and “hold fast to that which is good”. It would seem that in his hasty effort to attach the Institutional Church, Mr. Young has failed to consider that just maybe many of the traditions put into effect (as flawed as they might be) are the result of men of God (just as he assumes himself to be) studying and proving what might be good and beneficial for the people in the church and their neighbors.
For example, Mr. Young cites the following two texts and makes the following assertions which demonstrate his ignorance:
In Acts 11:28-29, we read of how the church at Antioch sent money to the church at Jerusalem. Mr. Young goes on to say, “Was this money collected for a church? No, it was collected for those in need…Following the example God left us, we can lay aside 10% or what we can every first day of the week to give to the poor and needy and thereby lay up treasures in heaven”. It would seem that Mr. Young with his ‘isolationist attitude’ has missed the benefit of how strong groups can be and the blessing of 501c3 status when it comes to giving and helping others. So true is the sentiment that ‘we are stronger together’. Also, to be clear, the money in Acts 11:28-29 was collected for a church – “the brethren at Jerusalem’.
He also makes mention of 1 Corinthians 16:2 (which is letter to a corporate group of believers – a church), and says, “However, it does not mention any coming together to accomplish setting aside their money for the needy saints”. Again, it is written to a church, so that by necessity demands “a coming together”.
Young writes, “Read John 4: 21, 23-24 of what Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well concerning the future of physical earth worship”. Or….what Jesus was actually saying is that there will not be a designated location of worship, but rather true worship of gathered Believer’s wherever they are (which surely doesn’t omit gathering together). Actually, the text says that time “now is” meaning it would contradict Hebrews 10:25, where the Believer’s of that time are specifically told “not to forsake gathering together”.
God’s Good Creation
The bad news, along with Mr. Young’s seemingly rejection of what God says was the “eternal purpose”, he also has seems to maintain some other false paradigms. For example, Mr. Young seems to think we must still obey the 7th day sabbath of the Old Covenant?!?!? Surely a good understanding of all that Scripture points to would help Him realize our rest, our Sabbath day, is found in Christ Jesus.
Also, Mr. Young in his private reading rather than gathering with a group seems to hold to a strange interpretation of Genesis creation. He writes, “…this world since Adam and Eve was never intended to be a place to love. We should not appreciate or love this miserable world that Adam and Eve’s sin left us. It is eternity that we should look forward to for a much better world”. It would seem that not only has Mr. Young miscategorized the goal of the end, but has also misunderstood what happened in the beginning. The story of Adam and Eve is how ‘covenant death and sin’ plagued the people of God, and that God would build Bible prophecy upon that story to lead to redemption in and through Jesus Christ. The Church is the living reality of everything Adam and Eve failed to be. I wrote a blog about this a while ago, detailing how the Church (the Body of Christ), and every individual church (local members of the Body), are the deposit of life. You can read that blog at this link – https://mianogonewild.wordpress.com/2019/04/23/the-church-as-the-deposit-of-his-life/
I had put off reading Bill Young’s book for quite some time and I am glad that I did. It was depressing and a bit contradictory to read of his issues with “church salvation”; church control”, and “church collection”. He depreciates the thinking men and women of God throughout Church history. Yes, as he writes, “They all came from the creative minds of men after AD 70”, which is not entirely wrong. I just happen to know, see, and believe in God’s eternal purpose – the Church- as a reality that has continued to be shaped and formed, and reformed, by those who “… see and read what we have received from Him, His spoken Words written”. The Church is the product of men and women of Church history doing exactly what Bill Young says Believer’s should be doing, not the antithesis, despite his failing to appreciate and see the benefit of it.
“So what do we do with ourselves today?…We must endeavor to discover from the Scriptures what are our duties and obligations as sons of God”.
(BTW, Bill Young’s confusion and depreciation is all the more reason why this year at the 7th Annual Fulfilled Bible Conference at The Blue Point Bible Church is focusing on what the goal of the end was. Surely many within Preterist circles, as well as Christianity in general, can grow in their understanding of what the goal of the ages was and what we can do to see the continued growth and productivity of what God gave us as His eternal purpose – The Church).
Written by: Michael Miano