First, I must say, when you write me through the contact page, it is best to give a salutation and signature to your email, otherwise I typically do not even read emails that do not contain these basic and respectful elements to a letter. I receive scores of emails (many that are “drive-byes” with an agenda, which I tag it as spam) throughout the week and can only reply to a handful a week.
In addition, it is best not to start your letter—as James C. Morris has done recently—with the following: “The only things yoy [sic] have proved here are [sic] your ignorance of the doctrine you are resisting and your own carelessness in analyzing the teachings of Irenaeus.”
I do, however, want to respond to a point in his email that is illustrative of how many pretribs abuse the early church fathers.
Morris, in responding to my recent blog post arguing that Irenaeus teaches that the church will face the Antichrist, writes:
Pre-tribbers teach that these “tribulation believers” are not part of “the church,” and call them “the righteous,” to distinguish them from ourselves. And they teach, as standard doctrine, that the great tribulation will indeed be “the last contest of the righteous,” And that when “the righteous” overcome in this period, they will be “crowned with incorruption,” Exactly as Irenaeus said. – James C. Morris
This is a fanciful pretrib criterion that says, “if one applies an event to the church, then they must use the one word description: church.” So if an early church writer uses the terms the righteous or saints, then he is not referring to a member of the church but rather to post-rapture “tribulation saints” (the number of counter examples where the early church writers used these terms to describe members of the church are so many).
Morris and others use a deus ex machina, which is church-father twisting. They will say that clear statements of believers being persecuted by Antichrist is describing, not the church, but saints who come to believe on Jesus after the rapture; hence, the so-called “tribulation saints.”
Not only is this a most desperate attempt to maintain pretribulationism, it fails on a number of other levels: