A Welcome Yes to Thomas Ice
We have been notified on Social Media by a Calvary Chapel Pastor, whom I frankly had never heard of, named Joseph Bell in Indiana that you have challenged me to a debate regarding the rapture.
Thomas, while I would have appreciated a direct debate invitation either from you or from your Pre-Trib Research Center instead of one relayed second hand by Mr. Bell, I am frankly delighted to accept. I am cordially willing as a fellow Pre-Millennial believer in the Rapture to accept this invitation via Mr. Bell to debate you in a video live streamed debate at a neutral venue regarding your contention that the ‘Great Apostasy’ is the rapture in support of your Pre-Tribulational timing position with which I respectfully disagree. Our dichotomy, of course, is the timing of the rapture; not its solid reality.
If what Mr. Bell has relayed is indeed from yourself, can either you or your Pre-Trib Research Center contact our American Moriel office and we shall get to work at arranging the debate. There is no need to communicate through Mr. Bell as I know nothing of him (apart from what I have just been informed) and prefer to deal direct.
For the record however, I am most certainly interested in your debate challenge (if it is authentic and Mr. Bell is speaking on your behalf on Social Media) and it is with personal appreciation that I note you issue such a debate challenge instead of resorting to the cowardly and unbecoming slanderous sniping of a Paul Wilkinson who actually denounces those not placing the rapture where he does in the course of prophetic events, stating that they “do not love Jesus Christ”. Following Mr. Wilkinson’s slander one would have to conclude that non Pre-Trib figures from Charles Spurgeon to A.W. Tozer to Dr. Walter Martin to Ray Comfort, to David Pawson to Marv Rosenthal and so many others – do not love Jesus Christ as Paul Wilkinson has stated on film. Thus, while I am disappointed that your Pre-Trib web site posted his slanderous and defamatory diatribe, that is no cause for personal hostility between us. We should just debate our differences in doctrinal theology as you propose in a Christian manner devoid of vitriol and personal contempt.
Mr. Bell from Lafayette, Indiana unfortunately hypocritically resorted to a circumlocution dance not responding to the documented facts I raised concerning John MacArthur’s Pre-Trib position that people can take the mark of the beast, worshipping the antichrist, and still be saved. He likewise completely ignored my citation of David Reagan’s published annihilationist Pre-Trib position that there is no such place as eternal hell. He again did not address my objections to Tim La Haye’s support of the self proclaimed antichrist Sun Yung Moon attempting to organize 300 Evangelical leaders to go to prison in solidarity with Moon upon Moon’s felony conviction. Nor does he address my disagreement (and Mark Hitchcock’s and many other of your fellow Pre-Tribulationists) that the Great Apostasy of 2 Thessalonians is not a great falling away but instead the Rapture itself. Instead he just avoids the issues presented and dismisses it as ‘character assassination’. I find this Sanhedrinesque hypocrisy and intellectual dishonesty of circumventing the issues stated and resorting instead to an ad hominem attack … most troubling coming from a supposed pastor who should be an example.
I was just advised additionally however that it was at Mr. Bell’s church that you stated during a Q&A that you did not accept that the rebirth of national Israel or the events of 1967 to be fulfilling of prophecy but merely possible stage setting events. This view that you espoused at Mr. Bell’s church of course was not the view of Chuck Smith or of the majority of Calvary Chapel pastors and we both know many Pre-Tribulationists who would decline to agree with you.
Be these things as they may I indeed look forward to debating you and I would welcome the presence of an independent Hebrew and an independent Greek language professor as moderators should you so desire.
Thomas, you know I have always valued and endorsed your excellent refutation of Dominion Theology and Reconstructionism and be assured there is no acrimony on my own part between us. I just do not understand why you did contact myself or Moriel directly instead of announcing your challenge on Social Media by the surrogate voice of Mr. Bell.
Sincerely in Christ,