Season 1, Episode 2: Family Meeting
Arnold woke up and got ready for school. The exam he was about to take would play a major role in his grade-point average. He had to make sure that he was taking his life and future seriously.
Arnold ate breakfast. He noticed his mother and father talking in hushed tones. They seemed frightened.
"Excuse me, Mom and Dad, but what are you two talking about?", Arnold asked.
"We were just wondering if it were possible for us to publicly announce our beliefs in preterism", Arnold's mother, Hannah Collfield, said.
Silence fell at the table.
"It's too dangerous", Arnold said. "Do you know what the Christians will do to us? Think about the consequences."
"Arnold's right", said Ernie Collfield, Arnold's younger brother who was the middle child. Ernie was twelve years old.
"If we tell people about where our true devotion lies, we'll earn backlash like anything", Ernie said. "The Christians might even turn violent."
"That's true", said Hubert Collfield, Arnold's father. "But how much longer can we remain silent and in hiding?"
Arnold had to admit his father had a point. But it wasn't like telling the Christians how mistaken they were would miraculously change their minds. They were adamant and stubborn. To convince them would take a miracle.
Arnold finished his breakfast and walked to school, which was only five blocks away. He had to wonder what the consequences would be if anyone found out that his whole family were preterists. He was sure that it would not be pleasant.
Arnold tried to focus on studying for his exam later that day. This was serious.
Arnold went to the library to study.
As Arnold was revising, Josh Nippon approached the table. Josh was on the school's football team, just like Arnold was.
"Hey, Arnold", Josh said.
"Oh hey, Josh", Arnold said.
"Arnold, do you want to come to a youth group meeting that my church is hosting? It would be cool if you saw what it was like."
Arnold knew that Josh was a Christian, seemingly committed to his beliefs.
Arnold had to squirm his way out of this.
"Thanks for the offer, but I have plans", Arnold said.
"Are you sure about that? Jesus could return at any moment."
Arnold wasn't sure that if he told Josh that Jesus had already returned in 70 AD, that the latter would have believed him. He decided to wait until later to do that.
"I'm absolutely sure."
"You know, there are several girls in our youth group. I could hook you up with one of them."
Arnold knew that Josh wanted him to join his youth group so badly. He didn't want to come, but he also didn't want to hurt Josh's feelings.
"Thank you, Josh. But there's no need to go through all the trouble."
Josh looked disappointed.
"Well, if you ever change your mind, you know where to find me."
As Josh left, Arnold was wondering how Josh would react if he found out about his beliefs in preterism. The words written the Bible were not written to anyone in Pittsburgh, or anyone living in the twenty-first century in general.
If Arnold told these people how he honestly felt, he already knew they would harshly criticize him. He didn't want to think about how much embarrassment he would be put through if anyone found out he was a Preterist.
Arnold wasn't stupid. Being a Christian before the year 70 AD was certainly not a comfortable experience. All of Jesus's original 12 apostles except for one were all horrifically slaughtered. At that time, Christianity was the greatest thing to happen to the world. In the present day and age, there were 41,000 different Christian denominations, and they all disagreed with each other.
Arnold knew that no matter what he said to convince these Christians how wrong they were, nothing he said would change their minds. They were so dedicated to their beliefs. They were too arrogant to realize how wrong and mistaken they were.
He decided to just focus on studying for his biology exam.
Bradley Roosevelt was in history class. Normally he had gotten along well with his history teacher, Warren Priest, during his seventh-grade year. Bradley was smart enough to pay attention and not say anything that would get him into trouble.
But that day, things seemed to change.
"All right, class", Mr. Priest said. "Today, I brought Bibles for all of you to read. Everything in the Bible is completely accurate and true. We need the Bible in our daily lives."
Bradley agreed that all the statements written in the Bible were accurate. But he also knew that the Bible was not written to the people that were born after 70 AD. Nothing written in the Bible was for Bradley or for anyone else in that classroom.
Mr. Priest didn't seem to think that way.
Bradley knew this wasn't right. Wasn't there a rule about separation of church and state? The first amendment of the United States constitution allowed everyone to express freedom of religion. Bradley also knew that no one was allowed by law to force other people to agree with their religion. He knew he had to do something about this.
"Um, Mr. Priest?", he asked, raising his hand.
"Yes, Mr. Roosevelt?", Mr. Priest asked.
"Isn't it against school rules to force us to read Bibles in class? What about religious freedom?", Bradley asked.
Mr. Priest seemed more angrier than he had ever seemed before.
"Mr. Roosevelt", Mr. Priest said. "You will do exactly what I say and what I order you to do. You will obey the rules I instructed. Christianity is the only way. The Bible is the Word of God."
"No, it isn't!", Bradley shouted.
"Excuse me?", Mr. Priest snarled.
"The Bible is not the Word of God. It wasn't even written to any of us in the first place."
"That's it!", Mr. Priest shouted. "You will serve detention today after school, Roosevelt. Let this be a lesson for anyone that tries to interrupt my lesson with blasphemy."
Mr. Priest then looked at all of the students in the classroom with an angry stare.
"Now start reading the first chapter of the Bible. NOW!", he shouted.
The students then started opening the Bibles in order to avoid further conflict.
Calvin was in gym class. He and his classmates were playing dodgeball against each other.
After the game, one of Calvin's classmates stopped him.
"Hey, Calvin", Terry Buckley said.
"Hey, Terry", Calvin said.
"Calvin, do you want to come to church with us? We're hosting a concert."
"No, thanks", Calvin said, trying to be as polite as possible. "It's not really something I'm interested in."
"Oh, okay", Terry said.
As Terry walked away, Calvin had to wonder if he would ever tell Terry about his beliefs in preterism.
Dahana had to wonder how much longer he could go without being caught by his parents. He wished he had been born in a Preterist family. That way he wouldn't be in this position. It was like God didn't seem to care.
Dahana only hoped that he could find other Preterists that could support him should the worst-case scenario occur.