In a recent email exchange with pretribber David James, he claimed that believers during the seven-year period who place their faith in Christ should not be called Christians.
Yes, you read that correctly.
In classical dispensation pretrib literature, interpreters avoid using the term “Christian Gentiles” or “Christian Jews” for those who place their faith in Christ during the so-called tribulation period. They insist we should call them either “tribulation saints” or “believers.” But don’t describe them as Christians . . . that sounds too Churchy! And we can’t have that.
A couple more statements by Dave James: “Daniel’s 70th week is a return to an OT-like era—and so there will be believing Jews and Gentiles as in the OT.”
“Christians by definition are the Body of Christ, believers baptized into the Body of Christ, which doesn’t happen to Gentiles during the Tribulation.”
David James believes those who place their faith in Christ during the seven year period are “not part of the Body of Christ.” He thinks that the seventieth week of Daniel will revert back to OT times when believers were not baptized by the Holy Spirit. He erroneously believes that Paul in Second Thessalonians taught that the Restrainer is the Holy Spirit and thereby David James imposes this upon the Book of Revelation by concluding that no saints during the seven year period who believe in Christ are baptized by the Holy Spirit and thus should not be called Christians.
I think this is one of the most strained beliefs in classical dispensational pretribulationism, that we should not describe Gentiles who believe in Christ with the term Christians.
Pretribulationism is based on a flawed belief and then based on an inference which in turn is based on more inferences. This results in a panoply of confusion and distinctions without valid differences.
At the end of the day, the pretribulational system is a flawed theological system, because the Bible clearly teaches that the Church will face the Antichrist’s great tribulation before the day of the Lord’s wrath.