Welcome to the New Religion

By Samuel M. Frost, Th.M.

I have been reading and “doing” theology for well over 20 years now, and have come to a few conclusions as it regards the issue of Eschatology.  Even the Mayans, the Egyptians and the Ugaritic peoples held to a view of “end times.”  How will the world end?

We have, today, the “global warming” crowd and their citations from the Nature Goddess (Mother Nature) who is sending us messages that the earth is dying.  Now, of course, most Global Warming theorists would admit that Mother Nature is mytho-poetic.  It is more in line with Spinoza’s Deus sive natura.  God and Nature are the same thing.  Nature is a living thing, the stuff of life that animates all around, and operates on supposed quantum physics through causality, most of which happens so far out of sight (you can’t see an atom) that we now have, “invisible particles”.  Invisible force is the stuff of Mother Nature, or God.  When I say God, I don’t mean the moronic Christian god(s) often paraded around as the ancient diety of Abraham, Isaac and Moses.  This God is Nature Itself, and it is assumed in the theology of this god that nature can be rightly interpreted through the language we call, scientia – knowledge (in Latin).

Now, god, el, taos, allah, gott, elohim, theos, whatever nomenclature on wishes, is defined in the typical way as that (a neuter pronoun) which is greater than ourselves.  This is the most basic, most bottom, most level meaning.  Power greater than our own, individual selves.  Again, “power” is not defined here as the ancients (and the not so ancients) understood it.  For them, even simple lightning was a bolt from the gods who sent it.  Lightning was an act of the gods (as was drought, rain, or a sudden swarm of locusts).  God(s) were seen as ruling Nature, outside of Nature and directing Nature. In today’s myth, invisible particles which can be subject to rational computation and physics (can be reduced into a theoretical formulae with a lot of squiggly lines, numbers and Greek letters) rule Nature (we still use the word, “Torah”, “Nomos” or “Law”, the Laws of Nature).  Today’s god(s) can be known.  Well, yesterdays god(s) could be known, too, we just didn’t like what they had to say, and so reduced them to myth.

What is shared in our concept of the god(s) is the basic stuff of theology.  If there is god(s), a power greater than ourselves (call it Life Force, a non Rational Substance, but Substance nonetheless), then it must be able to communicate.  Let me again define and wrap up all the stupidity of ancient myths and “religions”: what were once seen as Rational Being(s) that operate in the world from the outside, that caused the phenomena of what we see all around us on a daily basis, is nothing more than that mindless, spiritless, force.  When a lightning bolt was “seen” as striking the earth, the god(s) were angry.  When we see the very same phenomena as those in the 13th century B.C.E. Ugarit, it is When normal lightning strikes soil, “chemical energy is stored in nanoparticles of Si, SiO or SiC, which are ejected into the air as a filamentary network. As the particles are slowly oxidized in air, the stored energy is released as heat and light.”  Nature speaks and can be understood just as the ancients understood that if there is God, or gods, they must speak or be understood.  Why have them around if we cannot access what they have to say?  Why would they even be around if they didn’t have anything to say?  Why have a concept of Nature and the Laws of Nature if Nature (Deus) cannot be understood?

But, this runs into the very problem that we have charged our ancient brothers and sisters as having, but never admitting.  Which came first, Nature (as some sort of substance that came about through that which we have yet to entirely understand) or the Concept of Unified Nature?  We speak of Nature, not Natures.  Lightning strikes in Costa Rica are no different and operate under the same mechanical equations as they do in New Castle, Indiana.  Nature appears to be a unified concept, or at least we assume it to be, and also assume that It is the Same Today, as it was Yesterday and will be Tomorrow (this is the same descriptions of the ancients god(s), too).

What it seems to be is that the new theology, science, has simply replaced the ancient ones yet has not discarded the most basic, fundamentals (there are Fundamentals of Science, as there are Fundamentals of Religions, and those who adhere to them without question are Fundamentalists, Dogmatists, etc.).  Nature is not some chaotic, non-existent entity.  To be sure, Nature does not “speak” in terms of holding a rational dialogue with a mortal.  Mohamet claimed that Allah spoke directly to him, which is just as absurd as Jesus or Joseph Smith claiming that God spoke to them.  Nature, on the other hand, does speak (if we may so employ this word metaphorically).  Ask the Global Environmentalists.  Ask the Prophets, who forewarn us what Nature is saying to all peoples: “The sky is falling!”  Nature has her own Prophets, with the vestments of ascendency in terms of the White Labcoat.

And, with all religion, there is a way to appease the god(s) through sacrifices. Nature is reacting to the people of the earth in terms of the effect of that which people do.  Since people are behaving badly (emitting carbon dioxide, breeding without any constraint, artificially combining hybrids of natural food substances which Nature has Provided for us), then Nature reacts.  If people changed their ways and repented of their carelessness, then Nature would withdraw from her wrath.  All of this, of course, is entirely blind on the part of Nature, who is not a Being that thinks.  Nature is a substance, a living substance, but a non-rational substance.  It would seem, then, that human beings are simply looking out for themselves in this creation of Nature.  God didn’t make man.  Man made God.  Nature didn’t “make” Man, either.  Man simply was stirred up out of the Stuff.  However, Man now recognizes that the Stuff of which they came is greater than they are, and must now submit to the Stuff, else the Stuff wipe them out.  Man has taken the Stuff and virtually deified it, placed it above them, and is its servant and protector.  By the Revelation of It’s Laws, man can live a life with the promise of a future, which is what Eschatology is all about.  These Revelations are communicated through the Prophets, the Scientists in their White Coats who, alone, are able to decode the most finest of fine particles of Nature and relay that information back to the masses.

What we have here is nothing more than the ancient religions.  The difference, if it really is one, is that the ancient fundamentalists believed that they were interpreting the signs placed before them by living god(s) –gods who thought, had a mind, etc.  But, as we now know, what was the god of lightning, is now just, lightning.  A tornado is just a tornado, and not the “finger of god.”  Yet, Nature is telling us something, so we are told by the Preachers and Teachers.  If Nature is God and God is Nature, and religions are based off an understanding (misunderstanding), then the form of religion has not changed, even though the content has.  I doubt that religion, which is nothing more than collective attention(s) to a set body of laws and ideas and, thereby, acting in accordance with such laws and ideas (Ethics and Morality), I doubt that religion was a concern to Australopithicus afarensis or Homo habilis.  Man’s brain has evolved, and with that, so have his ideas (his imagination).

What puzzles this philosopher is that if Nature is blind, without intellect, and only Substance, and religion is the product of power combined with fear by the few who seek to rule the many (might as well throw Government in there, too), then is not the cultus of Nature the same, or at least operating under the same fundamentals?  And, if these fundamental structures are simply evolutionary products rooted in self existence (survival, to live and continue to live, which is innate to certain substances), then the question naturally arises: who gets to exist?  If we have come to believe that that past myths and superstitions about gods and virgins are impediments to survival (which is why we wish them all gone), then the same can be said of the Concept of Nature.  “Nature” does not “exist”.  It is a “concept” merely rooted in one thing and one thing only: survival.  One cannot say that from Australopithicus afarensis to Homo sapien, and while now in this stage, from Myth to Enlightenment (human history), we have a true grasp of Nature!  There are billions of years left (at least before the Sun eventually burns out and we simply freeze to death).  This consideration leaves open the thought that what may be seen as reliable today, may be a mere myth in 10,000 years.  Just as what was once thought of as the god Marduk thundering from heaven is now thought of as nonsense.
This needs qualifying.  Nature is not nonsense, or sense, it is what it is.  Our understanding Nature as we evolve changes, not Nature.  But, this runs into the problem of contradicting our most Fundamental Law/Revelation: the uniformity of Nature as Constant according to its Laws, the same yesterday, today and forever (well, not forever, but you know what I mean – Eternity is the stuff of the old myths – Nature has told the Prophets that sustainability is not eternal – regardless of population, or carbon emissions, or recycling 2 litre bottles to save the earth, it’s gonna end).   We are not changing Nature if we obey her rules and she stops warming our planet as a result.  What we are really staving off is the End coming sooner, rather than later.  However, if our concept of Nature is changing (as it most certainly appears to have done) and today it is seen as forwarding our progress, then perhaps in about 15,000 years (from Enlightenment to Even Better Enlightenment in human history) what is seen as Enlightenment now will be thrown off as absolute stupidity then.  There is no observation or logic that can assuage this.

It seems, then, that perhaps we are no better off than our ancients in terms of structuring the world around us with categories of Power above, Invisible force, Knowledge of the Few to the Many, making Sacrifices to appease or change the Effects of Nature, Telling People What to Do, and Fundamental Law.  After all, we still have murder, poverty, unfathomable misery, unspeakable acts of cruelty, entire stupidity of the hordes of Homo sapiens, disease.  If the model of Power Structure borrowed from our ancient myth-makers does not work, then maybe that’s the next step: how do we get outside the Power Structure altogether? Maybe the Power Structure itself is wrong.  There is no “top” and there is no “bottom.”  There is no “high” and there is no “low.”

Author: Samuel M. Frost, Th.M.

Samuel M. Frost has gained the recognition of his family, peers, colleagues, church members, and local community as a teacher and leader.  Samuel was raised in the Foursquare Gospel tradition and continued in the rising Charismatic Movement of the early 1980’s.  While serving in local congregations he was admitted to Liberty Christian College in Pensacola, Florida where he lived on campus for four years earning his Bachelor’s of Theology degree.  It was there under the tutelage of Dr. Dow Robinson (Summer Institutes of Linguistics), and Dr. Frank Longino (Dallas Theological Seminary) that he was motivated to pursue a career in Theology.  Dr. Robinson wrote two books on Linguistics, Workbook on Phonological Analysis (SIL, 1970) and Manuel for Bilingual Dictionaries: Textbook (SIL, 1969).  It was under these teachers’ guidance that Frost entered into his Master’s studies, being granted a scholarship for Greek I and II at Pentecostal Theological Seminary, accredited, in Cleveland, Tennessee (adjunct of Lee University).  Frost completed his study under Dr. French Arrington, who used the text of J. Gresham Machen, New Testament Greek for Beginners. Frost studied Hebrew for two years under Dr. Mark Futato (author, Beginning Biblical Hebrew, Eisenbrauns, 2003) and Dr. Bruce K. Waltke (author, An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax, Eisenbrauns, 1990) at Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, Florida. With combined credits from PTS and RTS, Samuel completed his Master of Arts in Christian Studies and Master of Arts in Religion from Whitefield Theological Seminary in Lakeland, Florida under the direct tutelage of Dr. Kenneth G. Talbot, co-author of the well reviewed work, Hyper-Calvinism and Arminianism (Whitefield Media, 2005) with Dr. Gary Crampton (and Foreword by the late, Dr. D. James Kennedy).  Dr. Talbot also oversaw Samuel’s Dissertation, From the First Adam to the Second and Last Adam (2012) earning him the Magister Theologiae (Th.M.) degree.  He also helped put together A Student’s Hebrew Primer for WTS and graded exams in Hebrew. Samuel’s studies lead him into an issue in the field of Eschatology where his scholarship and unique approach in Hermeneutics garnered him recognition.  Because of the controversial nature of some of his conclusions, scholars were sharp in their disagreement with him.  Frost’s initial work, Misplaced Hope: The Origins of First and Second Century Eschatology (2002, Second Edition, 2006 Bi-Millennial Publishing), sold over four thousand units.  While arguing for the Reformation understanding of sola Scriptura as defined by the Westminster Confession of Faith, Frost’s book launched a heavily footnoted argument for a total reassessment of the doctrine known as the Second Coming of Christ.  The conclusion was that the events of the war of the Jewish nation against their Roman overlords in 66-70 C.E. formed the New Testament authors’ eschatological outlook, and went no further than their own first century generation; a view otherwise known as “full” or "hyper" Preterism.  Internationally recognized Evangelical author and speaker Steve Wohlberg remarked, ‘On the “preterist” side today…we have such influential leaders as Gary DeMar, Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., David Chilton, R.C. Sproul, Max King, James Stuart Russell, Samuel M. Frost, and John Noe.  To these scholars…the beast is not on the horizon, he’s dead” (Italics, his)” (End Time Delusions, Destiny Image Publishers, 2004, page 133).  It should be noted that only Noe, King and Frost supported the “full” Preterist position. Thomas Ice and co-author of the best selling Left Behind series, Tim LaHaye, quote Frost’s work, Misplaced Hope, as well in their book, The End Times Controversy: The Second Coming under Attack (Harvest House Publishers, 2003, page 40).  Dr. Jay E. Adams, who single handedly launched “a revolution” in Christian Counseling with his work, Competent to Counsel: An Introduction to Nouthetic Counseling, (1970, Zondervan), also wrote an analysis of Frost’s work in Preterism: Orthodox or Unorthodox? (Ministry Monographs for Modern Times, INS Publishing, 2004).  Dr. Charles E. Hill, Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, wrote of Misplaced Hope that Frost, “attacks the problem of the early church in a much more thoroughgoing way than I have seen” (When Shall These Things Be? A Reformed Response to Hyper Preterism, Ed. Keith Mathison, Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing, 2003, ‘Eschatology in the Wake of Jerusalem’s Fall’ p. 110-ff.).  There were several other works as well that took the scholarship of Frost seriously, like Ergun Caner in The Return of Christ: A Premillennial Perspective, Eds., Steve W. Lemke and David L. Allen (B&H Publishing, 2011). Because of the controversial nature of Frost’s conclusions on these matters, it was difficult to find a denomination within the Church-at-Large to work in terms of pastoral ministry.  That situation changed when Samuel was called by a Bible study group in Saint Petersburg, Florida to found a congregation.  Christ Covenant Church was established in 2002 operating under the principles outlined by Presbyterian historian James Bannerman’s work, The Church of Christ: A Treatise on the Nature, Powers, Ordinances, Discipline, and Government of the Christian Church (Banner of Truth Trust, 1974, original, 1869).  By-Laws and a Constitution were drawn up in the strictest manner for what was considered an “Independent” establishment of a Presbyterian Church, granted that a “call” was received and recognized by Presiding Elders duly ordained from existing and recognized denominations.  Two Elders, one ordained in the Reformed Presbyterian Church (Mike Delores), and another ordained in the Presbyterian Church of America (Dr. Kelly N. Birks, now deceased) tested and reviewed the call, ordaining Samuel on October 20th, 2002, the Twenty Second Sunday after Trinity.  Proper forms were submitted to Tallahassee, Florida with the stamp of a Notary Public Witness.  Christ Covenant Church (CCC) functioned as a local church for five years with a congregation as large as 30 members.  Frost was gaining recognition after Misplaced Hope had been published in January of that year, and conferences were hosted that included debates with another prominent "full" Preterist educator, Don K. Preston.  CCC hosted best-selling authors, Thomas Ice, and Mark Hitchcock from Dallas Theological Seminary; and Dr. James B. Jordan (Westminster Theological Seminary), well-known author/pastor in Reformed theological circles.  Frost was invited for the next several years to speak at over 25 conferences nation-wide, was featured in articles and an appearance on local news in Tampa for one of CCC’s conferences.  The Evangelical Theological Society also invited Samuel to speak at the Philadelphia conference (Frost is currently a Member of ETS as well as Society of Biblical Literature). During this time Samuel had submitted one more book, Exegetical Essays on the Resurrection of the Dead (TruthVoice, 2008; repr. JaDon Publishing, 2010); and co-wrote, House Divided: A Reformed Response to When Shall These Things Be? (Vision International, 2010).  Frost also wrote several Forewords for up and coming authors who were influenced by his teaching materials, as well as cited many times in books, lectures and academic papers.  However, because of certain aspects of Hermeneutics and Frost’s undaunted commitment to scholarship (with always a strong emphasis on the personal nature of devotional living to Christ), several challenges to the "hyper" Preterist view he espoused finally gave way, largely due to the unwavering commitment to Samuel by the Dean of Whitefield Theological Seminary, Dr. Kenneth G. Talbot, who continually challenged him.  In what shocked the "hyper" Preterist world, Samuel announced after the Summer of 2010 that he was in serious error, and departed the movement as a whole, along with Jason Bradfield, Assistant Pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church, Lakeland, Florida .  Christ Covenant Church had dissolved after 2007 while Samuel continued as a public speaker and writer, largely due to reasons that would unravel Frost’s commitment to "hyper" Preterism as a whole. The documentation of Frost’s departure was published by American Vision’s Founder, Gary DeMar, with a Foreword by Dr. Kenneth L. Gentry.  Why I Left Full Preterism (AV Publishing, 2012) quickly sold out its first run.  The book was later republished under the arm of Dr. Kenneth L. Gentry and is sold today (GoodBirth Ministries Publishing, 2019).  Dr. Keith Mathison, Professor of Systematic Theology at Reformation Bible College in Sanford, Florida, endorsed the book as well.  Samuel has gone on to write, Daniel: Unplugged (Kindle/Amazon, 2019); The Parousia of the Son of Man (Lulu Publishing, 2019); God: As Bill Wilson Understood Him, A Theological Analysis of Alcoholics Anonymous (Lulu Publishing, 2017).  He is also active as a certified Chaplain with the Henry County Sheriff’s Department, Indiana, and enrolled with ICAADA (Indiana Counselor’s Association on Alcohol and Drug Abuse) working directly under Dr. Dennis Greene, Founder of Christian Counseling and Addictions Services, Inc.  Frost’s passion is in the education of the local church on various issues and occasionally works Pastor Alan McCraine with the First Presbyterian Church in Lewisville, Indiana where he periodically is called upon to give the sermon.  He also is working with Redemption Life Bible Church with Pastor Tyler Jackson in New Castle, Indiana.  Samuel, with his wife, Kimberly, helped to establish Heaven’s Bread Basket food pantry that donates food items to local families in need once a month – a ministry of the Session of First Presbyterian Church. Samuel has four children, one step-son, ages sixteen to twenty-eight and has worked part time at Ace Hardware in New Castle, Indiana for over five years.  He has a solid reputation in the community, and has performed marriages and funerals.  He also sits on the Board of the Historical Preservation Committee in New Castle.

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