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Originally published in "The Lord's Coming Herald & Wesleyan Bible Prophecy Advocate," February Edition, 2011

The Layman’s Confusion Over Darbyite Antinomianism

We are sometimes accused of using big or unknown words in this newsletter: words like “Darbyism,” and ”antinomianism.” “I don’t understand what you are talking about,” is a common sentiment that is heard.

Our job is to educate. And it’s OK to get educated. People pay big money for a useful education in the real world. Nothing can possibly be more useful, friends, than understanding the truth about the Christian revelation. So let’s start by explaining the word “Darbyism.”

Darbyism is a system of prophetic teaching that began in the late nineteenth century, in England, by a preacher named John Nelson Darby, hence the name “Darbyism,” applies to his teachings. Darbyism was that old term originally used by a church-world not yet infiltrated by Darby’s novel end-time Bible prophecy theories. The modern term is dispensational premillennialism. While the labels may have changed over time, the teaching has essentially remained the same.

The teachings of John Nelson Darby are everywhere widely received in the evangelical fundamentalist church-world of America today, yet very few laymen in our circles actually know anything about the history of Darbyism. Understanding this history has not been a priority for the modern Wesleyan holiness movement–hence the general confusion and ignorance concerning it.

Books have been written explaining Darbyism. See the Resources menu of our web site for the titles of some of these books. Tell your pastor to take an interest in brushing up in this area of church history. A big problem is the anti-educational bias of our religious culture. I am not talking about compromising the Bible standards of holiness. I am talking about knowing what we believe and why we believe it. Education concerning Darbyism is important. Get over prejudice, and deal with it.

Related Article Links

Understanding Darbyism
The Biblical Alternative To Dispensationalism