One Column Page
and responsive to boot
by TJ Smith
This article appeared in the 2021 Fall issue of Fulfilled! Magazine
Remember those Chick cartoon witnessing tracts from the 1970s and 80s? Those small booklets with that tiny print? (Good thing I’m already saved, because now I can’t even read them!) True story: those Chick tracts had an impact on David Curtis’ faith. This was decades ago, but he was so inspired by them that he threw a keg party and handed out dozens to his friends. I’m sure he was all stoked, excitedly watching his friends and hoping to see them at any moment begin to cry and hit their knees in repentance. Sadly, he watched them throw those tracts in the trash can and drop them on the ground. It wasn’t working! What was going on? Apparently, David had a divine appointment with Chick tracts. Chick Publications has sold over 900 million of those little booklets.
Yesterday I found two of those tracts on our kitchen counter. Obviously, someone thought Maria looked “lost” and handed them to her. Maybe tracts worked back then, but do they still? I have no idea. I do remember passing them out to people when I was young, but I never got a follow-up report. Maybe I should have put my phone number on the inside, but then they might have called. (What?! Actual discipleship? No way, Jose!)
That got me thinking about a continual theme in preterism: “How Then Shall We Live?” It has been the theme of several conferences, and books asking the question: “So, this side of AD 70, how do we carry on daily life and be a witness?”
It is a great question, as this is the attack and condemnation of the futurist camp: “Y’all” (In Texas) or “You all” (in the South) “Yooz guys” (aliens) are stealing my hope of glory! You have no hope for the future! You heretics have nothing to look forward to!” We’ve been trying to determine what this truth means in the modern-day and future of our faith. At the Texas Conference, we had a break-out session with each speaker moderating a group and discussed our personal experiences for sharing not only preterism, but the saving victory of Yeshua. Then we printed the results and read them the next morning. It was a fun, productive exercise.
Now, my two “topics”: Pastor Michael Miano of Blue Point Bible Church, and Danny McBrayer of Fort Worth, Texas. Pastor Miano is having his annual Conference October 8-10. The topic will be “Not One Stone Left: Restored & Complete,” which will focus on how the New Covenant transitional event improved, resolved, and perfected everything in the kingdom. I have followed Michael’s ministry and this guy is on target. He is constantly working to share and impart his understanding to others. He keeps 2-3 websites going at all times and wrote a foreword to one of my books—He is a true soldier. This year I will be joining Michael as a guest speaker along with: “Everyone’s Grandpa” brother Glenn Hill; “Young Gun” Pastor Daniel Rogers; and that “Master of Muscular Mayhem!” Ward Fenley (I loved wrestling as a kid . . .). For more information, log on to www.bluepointbiblechurch.org.
The other “topic” I mentioned was Danny McBrayer. Danny and I go back to the late 1980s when we attended church together. While I was a futurist back then, Danny was at least ‘Amil,’ so he was further along. I eventually wound up full preterist, but Danny continued to study and pray over the years and within the past year has become “full” pret and is loving it. I would tell him how once he “bought into the program,” Scripture would come alive again as he viewed it through a different lens. Danny is fired up and recently contacted me about wanting to go “full metal jacket” with the message. We pow-wowed about it over a couple of days, and he is turning his plan into action. Much like the booths that Ed Stevens and others have hosted at Theological Conferences to share preterism, Danny is on the same track but with a twist: he will be setting up a booth at Music Festivals, Arts & Crafts Shows, Custom Car Shows, Gun & Knife Shows, handing out free water (although beer would probably work better!) along with information and books. Yes, I already contacted Don Preston and he has plenty of those “Can God Tell Time?”, and “Did Jesus Really Say That?” booklets that Danny is going to procure. Since Danny is in the Fort Worth, Texas area, I sent out an email to other D/FW preterists and already have five volunteers willing to roll up their sleeves and help out.
This is great news! I have felt for years that going to those with little or no theology is better than trying to pry bad doctrine from the hands of angry John Darby devotees. There is a harvest of millennials out there hungry to hear the good news that they aren’t the “terminal generation” and there is hope for a future. A future which the church has been incapable of expressing these past 18 months, (more like 18 centuries) unless you think the mark of the beast, chip implants, earth-scorching destruction, alien invasions, the Annunaki and the antichrist taking over is good news. You probably enjoy paper cuts too.
Back to those little tracts. It would be great if Danny had a tri-fold brochure with highlights, verses, resources, links, and other “to the point” information. Hopefully they won’t end up in the closest trash can at the Fort Worth Livestock Show and Rodeo!
This is where you come in! I would like to Crowd Source this tri-fold brochure for sharing preterism. Remember the old adage “K.I.S.S.” (keep it simple, stupid)? If you had to keep whittling down and editing the concepts, verses, and main points of Fulfilled Covenant theology, what info would be left? And how would that look on a simple, full color brochure? Would it have a QR Code people could scan on their phones to lead to a website for more resources and information? Maybe an email “hotline” where they could correspond with someone to answer questions?
What information would be on it? Would it take the offensive tactic of dismantling the futurist view that the end of the world is not coming? Would it stay “past-historical,” focusing on Scripture and Josephus? What essential info would you include if you only had 15 seconds of someone’s time? Plan out a concept, edit it down to a concise presentation, and send a power-packed statement that could be included. Remember, non-believers will be reading this too, so Josephus and timelines may mean nothing to them. If you are a cartoonist, maybe we could create our own Chick tract? (For starters, let’s shoot for an 8.5 x 11” sheet of paper that can be folded into a brochure.)
I love Danny’s grassroots “taking it to the streets” approach. It’s exciting to see others reach out on a personal level with a message to those who may have never heard the Gospel. Thanks to the Yancey’s, The Simpson’s, and Gary Cole for volunteering to man the booth (or is it “person the booth”?). And thanks to Danny McBrayer for being bold enough to go mix it up in the trenches! If you would like to hang out with other friendly, loving preterists in the D/FW area and join in the fun, contact Danny at McBrayerspiano@gmail.
Once the brochure is created, we can provide a digital version for preterist webmasters to upload on their sites. Then site visitors could download it and join the fight. Either way, it is exciting being a party to the creation of a “boots on the ground” style tract that can be quickly put into people’s hands (speaking of parties, I wonder if David Curtis has any more of those Chick tracts?). Hope to see you in October at Blue Point Bible Church. Until next time, TJ.
Use UnderstandingTheBible@yahoo.com for your brochure submissions.
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