Post Number: 14418
|Posted on Wednesday, May 08, 2013 - 2:41 pm: || |
You know, I'm really glad we're having this discussion. It's helping me begin to articulate some things about Adventism and these deceptive "evangelical Adventists" that I've had trouble explaining even to myself.
Here's something that I'm just putting together in my head, and it's growing in part from a conversation I had today with a dear former Adventist sister of mine who is unpacking a lot of trauma from her Adventist past. (Sounds like all of us, doesn't it?)
Here's what I'm realizing: Our Adventist worldview was completely wrong in the basic foundations. We had Jesus wrong: He was fallible and non-omnipresent and non-omniscient. He had an incomplete atonement. He was the wrong Jesus.
We had the Trinity wrong: we had a tritheism, not a Trinity. Our "three worthies of heaven" were not of the same substance. They were only united in purpose but were not REALLY "one God".
Because we had God wrong, we had absolutely no way to understand unconditional love. We had parents who believed their salvation partly depended upon our staying Adventist. Their salvation and ours depended upon our perfect obedience, and they, our spiritually blind parents, determined what that obedience looked like. From the moments of our birth we were punished for all manner of things: inconsolable crying that made our parents feel crazy; tears over getting hurt; being a burden to our frantic mothers; you name it, we were punished and often silenced...not because our parents necessarily intended to be mean or abusive, but because they themselves were bound in deception and fear.
We grew up believing that LOVE actually depended upon our doing things right. If we embarrassed or disobeyed our parents, we were punished...and often we were punished for things that were not "sins" but were simply childish weaknesses or helplessness. We grew up often being told we were loved, but we were shamed and criticized, and we learned to be fearful. Many of us even learned not to react to pain or mistreatment; if we cried, we were punished. We were taught that our emotions were flawed, and we were not to give them free expression.
So, given that from infancy on we were "hard wired" to believe that "love" was accompanied by shame and pain, we had no experience that made it possible for us to understand that "God is Love". Love, to us, meant being misunderstood and shamed unless I made my parent happy.
So, when we were told that God was Love, that His character was perfect and loving, our only frame of reference was to think: God must be above human emotion. God's love must be about God not causing pain. So we learned that a "loving God would never" punish people in an eternal hell. We learned that a "loving God" would never be responsible for any negative experience or discipline.
Since we had no way to learn appropriate boundaries without fear of pain or shame, we had no frame of reference for understanding Hebrews 12:1-12 where it explains that God disciplines His true sons; those who are not His sons are not disciplined.
So we learned that God's "unconditional love" was largely a benign love...it would not punish--Satan did that. It would never cause death--Satan (or the person himself) did that. God's pleasure with us was dependent upon our being good and obedient; if we were bad, we could expect God's blessings to be withdrawn. But "God's character" was LOVE, we were told, and to us, LOVE was not even understood.
We could only expect "unconditional love" if we were perfectly obedient and responsive; we could expect distance and emotional punishment if we were bad. And if God was LOVE in a way that surpassed our earthly parents, that would have to mean he wouldn't hurt us or abandon us if we were bad.
The problem was, there was no JUSTICE in our concept of love. We knew that the punishments that hurt us and seemed to surpass our (often unknown) "crimes" were not just. And we had no concept of a JUST God whose discipline was not unfair.
Learning that God's love is both merciful and JUST, however, has changed how I see the "character of God". He is not "love" in an Adventist sense. He is LOVE in a sovereign sense. He loves us whether we are good or bad. He died for us in the Person of the Son while we were sinners. He loved the world even though all humanity is naturally His enemy. He died for those who hated Him.
Our Adventist paradigm did not teach us this kind of love. Nor did it teach us God's justice, which is part of His love. God punishes unrepentant sin. He gives people eternal consequences; if they believe in the Son and receive His blood as payment for sin, He gives them eternal life and Himself. If they refuse to believe, He gives them an eternity apart from Him. It is just.
So, this lack of understanding what LOVE actually is colors even the most evangelical Adventist. Lee Venden's talk about a loving God is still not talking about the REAL God and His perfect love which is both merciful and just. The Adventist "loving God" is weak; He does not execute justice; He does not destroy.
When I finally understood that eternal hell is actually biblical, I felt a deep relief that I still have trouble explaining. These evangelical Adventists are just leading people deeper into syncretistic deception. Their "loving God" is a contrived god based on an Adventist understanding of love being connected with pain. Their loving god is simply a being who doesn't cause pain...either to the perfectly obedient nor to those who are evil.
The Adventist god is not the biblical Father. It's no wonder that the Lee Vendon's of the world can't produce real fruit.
Post Number: 27
|Posted on Wednesday, May 08, 2013 - 4:59 pm: || |
Colleen, I resonate with a lot you said, but I cannot wrap my mind around a God who would burn someone forever no matter what the crimes...or for no crimes other then not believing in Jesus. I don't think my grandmother ever accepted Jesus...yet she was the only unconditional love I ever knew. How does a blip in time of sin or righteous acts that are filthy rags equate to eternal suffering? That's suppose to be justice? None of us even asked to be born into this sin crazed world. Just too unreasonable. If it's unreasonable to me who is made in God's image, how much more unreasonable would it be for Him? I know so many friends who will have nothing to do with Jesus because of this teaching. There just has to be more then what is seen on the surface of eternal burning hell.
Post Number: 14421
|Posted on Wednesday, May 08, 2013 - 11:21 pm: || |
Kathy, would you want there to be no justice for an unrepentant person like Hitler, for example, who got pleasure out of torturing other human beings? Or think about the Rwandan atrocities a few years ago. Think about it from the other "end"...the victims of violence who have no voice who are tortured with no one to rescue them or heed their cries.
But totally aside from that, Scripture tells us that we are by nature objects (or children) of wrath (Eph. 2:3). We are born dead in sin, citizens of the domain of darkness (Col 1:13). We escape only by an act of God's grace when He transfers us to the kingdom of His beloved Son. We are all born condemned (John 3:18). It is believing in the Lord Jesus that changes us from dead to alive.
We do not go to hell because of petty sins. Humans go to hell when they refuse to believe in the only Son of God who paid the price for their sin. It is unbelief that keeps people in spiritual death.
We're not born "neutral" and then choose either life or death. We are born dead. We don't actually have choice until we believe in the Lord Jesus.
People who refuse to believe do atrocities to others. People who believe are transformed by the indwelling Holy Spirit and the word of God.
Post Number: 1311
|Posted on Thursday, May 09, 2013 - 3:51 am: || |
If I might enter this discussion .... Kbuhler ....
I remember feeling strongly as you do about God's love and the need to almost defend it ... eternal burning hell seemed like an affront to what I understood to be God's love .... And I'll tell you - I was going to defend God's love against those that seemed to deny or taint it with an eternal burning hell ....
How do you understand the Old Testament Biblical stories where God directly told the Israelites to "destroy completely" women, children and whole groups of people? As an Adventist I couldn't figure that out ... It didn't fit the paradigm of a loving God and an absent hell? Things just didn't add up in my mind? Something didn't fit?
Switching gears and going back to Colleen's original post .... Do any of us really understand love? Seriously? We are born sinful - deserving of death eternal - objects of God's wrath, because of sin .... Then when we become born-again - Do you think we change completely in how we behave? I haven't - sad to say .... Yes, spiritually I have been transferred from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of God's beloved Son ... but physically, emotionally ... I'm still a work in progress .... I'm still learning how to love ... and fall short often .... So when I place a Holy, Righteous God Who's very essence is love - into my puny brain and say He has to act like I perceive in my incomplete understanding of love - I have just made God into my image - as incomplete as it is ....
God's love is beyond our ability to completely understand in our continued state of growth ... unless someone here has reached perfection ....
That is one part ....
So I need to go to scripture to understand that which I emotionally can't get ....
In my mind the doctrine of hell is intricately woven into the very fabric of the doctrine of grace and salvation. I do not fully understand "unconditional love" until I realize I am born an object of wrath and completely unlovable in my sinful state .... I can't ever earn God's love - I can only receive His love and grace and payment for my sin - that is "unconditional love"....-
In my mind hell is to protect us from those who would continue to profligate sorrow and sin - and a just response from a Holy Righteous Judge .... according to Romans - no one is without excuse ... all are given an opportunity to receive Christ and humble themselves to an unconditional love ... how that works is another mind-bender - but I have to accept it if I am to fully accept the Bible ....
Hard to grasp when we have loved ones that we are not sure are saved .... so it causes us to be continually on our knees for them .... And according to scripture the Lord is patient and long-suffering so that none should be lost ....
Just my thoughts ...
Post Number: 331
|Posted on Thursday, May 09, 2013 - 6:00 am: || |
I was reading a Christian fiction novel, which is pretty good, but at one point, one of the characters makes the point that God is completely justified in punishing people for rejecting His Son's sacrifice on the cross. And while I get what the author is saying, hell is not a punishment for rejecting the cross. The cross is the remedy for hell! And that's totally different. We already deserve to go to hell. If we reject Jesus, it doesn't matter if that makes us more worthy of hell--we're going anyway.
I heard a great sermon by Matt Chandler on how great and awesome God is, and he speaks about this idea that these little sins that we commit don't warrant hell.
I highly recommend listening to the whole series here: http://www.thevillagechurch.net/resources/sermons/#series-sort_the-cross
The earliest sermons are at the bottom of the list.
Post Number: 67
|Posted on Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - 8:27 am: || |
In rereading Colleen's post #14418, it captures what I was believing in the "enlightened" Bible studies and Sabbath school classes. Today I decided to go in our basement and pull out a long-hidden away box containing many of the materials from the Bible studies lead by the teacher I referenced in my post above. The materials were predominately EGW passages with a few scriptures thrown in here and there followed by her verbose interpretations. What amazes me is that I didn't seem to perceive that so much EGW material was being used week after week, but in looking back now I am truly horrified.
The worst part was to read my handwritten notes in the margins. What is sinking in today is that what I perceived as a bright light in Adventism (those enlightened ones who focus on a "loving God who doesn't get angry at sin") is just as dark as the rest of Adventism. Deceived deceivers--and I was right there along with them.
The best way to explain the emotions I am feeling right now are deep shame and remorse. I am ashamed and remorseful for so many years of "Bible study" that wasn't really true Bible study. It was week after week of taking in Ellen G. White and the teachings/writings of other Adventists "scholars." I repent of all my dabbling outside of Scripture and looking for more beyond Christ alone, and I have prayed for God's forgiveness for this. I rejoice that Christ's life, death and resurrection are all I need.
To any Adventists reading, I pray that you stop reading EGW and spend time in the Bible alone and that will research exactly what the true gospel of Jesus Christ is and ask God to help you understand His Word alone and trust and believe in Christ alone.
Post Number: 1088
|Posted on Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - 8:57 am: || |
I believe that everyone should concentrate on Colleen's paragraph's "8"
and onward to the end of her post # 14418, for
a clear and concise understanding of GOD,
and how HIS "economy" of LOVE and Justice operates!
It really is disturbing when you come to the full realization of the lies
we were taught in adventism~ you can almost
feel the putrid breath of the "evil one"
whispering in your ear~! just like he
did with "Eve"!
The Good News! GOD in HIS infinite Mercy, called us, and we responded to the Gospel
taught in Scripture! We are New Creatures in CHRIST! We are forgiven and redeemed
by HIS Blood, shed for us on the cross~
Try not to spend another minute with regrets!
Celebrate what JESUS CHRIST has done !
Post Number: 14427
|Posted on Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - 11:32 am: || |
Goodday2U...thank you for your post. You have so clearly identified the problem with the "enlightened" Adventists: they are deceived deceivers, and they are leading people even farther away from the gospel.
God is faithful. He forgives our own deception and complicity. And He redeems it. He wastes nothing and redeems everything we submit to Him.
I am so thankful that He is faithful.
Post Number: 44
|Posted on Monday, May 20, 2013 - 7:24 pm: || |
Kathy (Kbuhler), while I am not familiar with Herb Montgomery, I know some new-formers who are well acqauinted with his teachings/ministry. If I'm not mistaken, they see him as teaching things comparable to A. Graham Maxwell. I know from personal experience that the Graham Maxwell "gospel" is false, but smooth. The group "Goodday2u" was a part of is the same group a close family member of mine is a part of, and my husband used to be a part of. So, all that to say, do be careful with Montgomery's teachings.
Post Number: 443
|Posted on Monday, May 20, 2013 - 7:42 pm: || |
Kathy, you sent me a message awhile back to go to the profiles and get ahold of you. I am not too swift with computers and sent Colleen my email address. Send her your email and ask her to send it o me. Or, my phone number would be fine too.
Post Number: 29
|Posted on Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - 5:26 pm: || |
Punababe, I tried emailing Colleen, but server rejected and didn't go through. If you go into member section, and find one of my posts, you can just click on my name and you will find my email I believe down where it says "country"
Post Number: 10006
|Posted on Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - 8:22 pm: || |
I have 3 ABN on my tv. I listen to it once in a while. What I have heard is that the New Covenant is the old covenant written on the heart, that salvation is through Christ alone, by faith alone all the way to a preacher saying that EGW is essential to the sda church and he will quote her and preach her.
I see where it is so easy for Christians, who do not know their Bible well, can get pulled in by the adventists.
Post Number: 513
|Posted on Monday, July 29, 2013 - 3:07 pm: || |
Today for my amusement session I went through these pictures. My children haven't been raised with these pictures. I shared some of the really far out ones with my adult son. He's 28. His only response was that if he had to look at those pictures he'd have nightmare. Do they still have these pictures up for the kids in Sabbath School, etc?