[Second update: Calvary Chapel Pastor David Guzik Cancels Plans for the Rapture Debate]
[Update: Mr. Guzik contacted me and expressed an openness for a debate. There is no commitment at this point, since he will be oversees just before October 10. So I have suggested that I can come to Santa Barbara on a day that is convenient for him in the beginning of 2015. I will keep you posted on any developments. I am encouraged to find a pretribulational exponent who is open to having meaningful interaction on this important issue.]
Mr. David Guzik,
I am encouraged that there are winds of change happening within Calvary Chapel churches in recent years, with many rethinking their pretribulationism and embracing the prewrath position.
However, there are many, especially CC pastors such as yourself, who are still affirming pretribulationism (although, some pastors are breaking pretrib ranks). Recently someone sent me your sermon on the rapture you gave at Calvary Chapel Santa Barbara. I watched it and was disappointed because I thought it was a really bad defense of pretribulationism. The reasons you gave for it were fallacious, basically aping traditional pretrib arguments, and perpetuating a fundamental presupposition of confusing the great tribulation with the day of the Lord. You also said (admitting that it is an emotional argument) regarding pretribulationism: “It just feels better…” I find it disconcerting that any pastor would convey to his people that one’s feelings may have any merit in discerning Divine truth. And immediately after you said this you stated that people reject the “pretribulational rapture for actually very bad reasons.”
Mr. Guzik, I would like to invite you to a public debate on the rapture question.
May I propose a thesis: The Church Will Face the Antichrist Before the Rapture. I would take the affirmative, and you the denial. I think a three hour debate is sufficient. I can propose a debate format if you accept the invitation. The debate will of course contain rebuttals and a cross-examination period; accordingly, the audience is benefited from actual dialogues and not just monologues since it often brings out more substantive discussions. And an experienced moderator is preferred.
I will be speaking at a Bible prophecy seminar on Saturday, October 11th in Diamond Bar, California. Santa Barbara is two hours away. I am willing to make it convenient for you and I will drive to Santa Barbara and we can have the debate at your church on that Friday evening, the 10th. I do not make it to California that much, so this would work out well.
I believe debates are a God-glorifying medium of interaction for truth-lovers. Meaningful interaction is a good thing and is beneficial for God’s people, holding Christians accountable for their theological claims. “The first to state his case seems right, until his opponent begins to cross-examine him” (Proverbs 18:17).
Mr. Guzik, this will be an opportunity for you to defend publicly your pretribulational beliefs in front of your people and the larger viewing audience for years to come. I am willing to put my prewrath claims under your cross-examination. I hope you are willing to do the same with yours.
I would like to see this debate happen since I am confident that when the pretribulationism and prewrath views are presented side-by-side for others to evaluate, the prewrath position is seen to be the most viable, biblical position.
I hope the same confidence that you express in your pretribulational sermon below will also be shown in accepting this invitation to defend your rapture view in a public debate with me.
May this event take place for the faith-building of the people of God and for the glory of our Lord Christ.