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Max Kingism: An Unkingly Heresy

By Stephen Wiggins

religion, articles, christianity

In 1878 James Stuart Russell, a denominational preacher, wrote and anonymously published a 567-page book entitled The Parousia: A Critical Inquiry into the New Testament Doctrine of Our Lord's Second Coming. The thrust of this whole literary endeavor was a desperate attempt to show that the Scriptures teach the second coming of Christ "with its connected and concomitant events," such as the resurrection of the dead, the judgment day, the end of the world, etc., took place during the first century at the destruction of Jerusalem and downfall of Judaism.

Nine years later, in 1887, an unaltered second edition of the same volume (with the exception that the author's name appeared on the title page) was made available, wherein the author confessed that his views had not met with "ready concurrence" from the reading public. In other words, most Bible students rejected Russell's newfangled notions as being nothing more than false and fanciful hallucinations of a misguided brain, being as they were without a shred of biblical support.

In 1971, 93 years following the publication of Russell's original work, Max King, a preaching brother from Warren, Ohio, published The Spirit of Prophecy, wherein he set forth essentially the same conclusions as his sectarian counterpart. Read from Russell first: "We conclude that the parousia, the resurrection, the judgment, and the last day, all belong to the period of the destruction of Jerusalem" (p. 126).

Now hear King:

There is no scriptural basis for extending the second coming of Christ beyond the fall of Judaism. ... The second coming of Christ is associated with numerous events that have a direct bearing on the consummation of God's redemptive purpose, such as the judgment, the resurrection, the end of the world, and the establishment of the eternal kingdom (pp. 105, 155).
Here, both authors clearly affirm that Christ's second coming, along with other eschatological phenomena, was fulfilled in A.D. 70 with the fall of the Jewish state. The difference between what Russell and King are saying amounts to the same difference as twiddle-dee and twiddle-dum.

But now here's the funny. When C. D. Beagle, father-in-law to Max King, wrote the introduction to King's book he stated, "I am certain a whole new view of the Scriptures will open up before you." Bah! Don't these boys know there's not a thing under the sun new about this unkingly heresy they're trying to palm off on the brotherhood? Why, it is nothing more than an old, worn-out, and oft-refuted denominational blunder of a century before - regurgitated tommyrot which reeks of a rancid sectarian stench from toe to top - repudiated and rejected many times over by sound and sensible students of the Book. You will please excuse me when I choose not to swallow this spiritual strychnine as suicide of the soul has never appealed to me.

Even if the stuff were new, as the Kingites take pride in spouting, this would only prove it is a Johnny-come-lately, too modem to be anything kin to scriptural truth of the apostolic kind. What? You say King will tell me that the resurrection is past already, as there were some in the first century teaching the same? O.K. Let's see what inspiration says about it - "And their word will eat as doth a gangrene, of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; men who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already, and overthrow the faith of some" (2 Tim. 2:17-18).

See? It's not new. But like a sassy, old woman prancing around in a miniskirt, King thinks he'll get some lookers if he can dude up his ancient heresy in chic garb of the 20th century. But we know better.

Published September 1993