|Posted on Friday, July 14, 2000 - 7:26 am: || |
Do we know who murdered him? If not I wonder if it was James, not Jessie James but James White!!;-))
|Posted on Sunday, July 16, 2000 - 1:26 pm: || |
I feel sad that no one chose to take me up on my mathematical challenge to arrange the precise number 144,000 into a perfect square as EGE said.
Not to worry. This is one instance -- among many -- in which I agree with her.
Reason: It is true that the square root of 144,000 is 379.47331... and therefore not an integer. Some have naively assumed that this means that 144,000 people cannot stand in a "perfect square," since you cannot divide a person up into parts to fit into a geometrical scheme.
However, that does not mean that 144,000 people cannot stand in a perfect square. The secret is to vary the number of people in every other rank.
To illustrate, take a number that is not a perfect square, say, 23. The square root of 23 is 4.7958315... Again not an integer. Admittedly, you cannot put 4.8... people in a rank and 4.8... people in a file.
But that does not mean you cannot arrange 23 people into a perfect geometrical square. In mathematics this is known as a "packing" problem. (While I don't pretend to be a mathematician, I do love mathematical games and puzzles, as long as they're not to hard for my more metaphorically oriented mind).
Here's how you can do it:
Put 5 people in the first rank, 4 in the second, 5 in the third, 4 in the fourth, and 5 in the fifth. Presto! they're standing in a perfect square! Count 'em!
Illustration (* = person, . = space):
A perfect square, five ranks, even if not exactly five (zigzaggy) files, but still 23 people standing in a perfect geometrical square, n'est pas?
Lesson: Let's not go overboard in our reaction to Sister Ellen. If we do we weaken our witness to Adventists who hold her dear and give them unnecessary ammunition to fire back at us.
Where she was right, give her appropriate credit. Where she was wrong, point out her error. In this way we retain our credibility with those among our Adventist friends who are honest in heart.
I know there are some, since I was an honest-in-heart Adventist for many many years.
Love every last one of you,
|Posted on Sunday, July 16, 2000 - 2:28 pm: || |
Missed you tremendously! The forum just isn't as spicy and juicy without you. Sorry about the math problem, but I lost my mathematical capabilities after giving birth to my third child. I haven't been able to find them since.( used to have a 4.0 in algebra). I really appreciate your point of view about Ellen. Considering the eye-opening awakening I've just been through in the last couple of weeks, it was just the tempering I needed so I don't go overboard. I do think she had good advice and was correct in some things. She just didn't have the right to vainly claim divine inspiration for them. Thanx. I was reading Amazing Facts last night and was perplexed to try to find out why they think that new covenant people believe that you can't keep the law perfectly and so you just shouldn't try. The way I understood it was that we can't ourselves keep the law perfectly,but the Holy Spirit within us can. Am I wrong? Help. I have a feeling that the confusion b/w the two groups is simply alot of word misunderstandings. Anyway, read through my posts, you might be surprised at a few turns in my thinking. Well I am sooo glad you're back and am looking forward to more conversation.
|Posted on Sunday, July 16, 2000 - 2:38 pm: || |
You're back! Welcome!
I didn't even think of attempting a "mathematical challenge"! That's definitely not my strong area... math! :-))
That was interesting how you explained how it could work!
I do think you have a point about EGW. I struggle with coming right out with all her negative and false statements and blowing the saints away with these. But like you said,
"Lesson: Let's not go overboard in our reaction to Sister Ellen. If we do we weaken our witness to Adventists who hold her dear and give them unnecessary ammunition to fire back at us. Where she was right, give her appropriate credit. Where she was wrong, point out her error. In this way we retain our credibility with those among our Adventist friends who are honest in heart.
I know there are some, since I was an honest-in-heart Adventist for many many years."
I think there are MANY honest-in-heart Adventists who would probably be benefited more by a gradual disclosure of truth. And always in love! Not by harsh debate and needless argument.
Again, like we've 'talked' about before, Max, it has always been a fine line to walk as pictured in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23:
"Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God's law, but am under Christ's law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings."
What a challenge! To speak the TRUTH,(JESUS ONLY!), in love-- without appearing to be a hypocrite, wishy-washy, or without the confidence in the glorious good news of the Gospel!!
|Posted on Sunday, July 16, 2000 - 9:36 pm: || |
Wendy, you brought up a great question.
The way Adventism teaches New Covenant law-keeping is to say that we can't keep the law on our own, but the Holy Spirit in us enables us to keep it.
The problem with this explanation is that it still has us "keeping the law." The law (Torah in Greekówhich means the entire Pentateuch: Genesis through Deuteronomy) was added 430 years after Abrahma until the Seed would come. (Gal. 3:17-19) The law was not permanent.
What the Holy Spirit puts in our hearts is not the 10 Commandments or the Pentateuch; it's the Living LawóGod himself, the source of the written law. Colossians 2 makes it clear that the law was a mere shadow of the reality which is Christ. Our call is to love and accept Jesus, not to keep the law.
In Christ the law was fulfilled. Jesus came and replaced the shadow of things to come. He is the ultimate realityóthe Living Law written on our hearts.
The Holy Spirit changes us. That process is not our learning to keep the law. Rather it is actually learning to yield to Jesus at every moment. The law could never account for our every moment or decision. The Holy Spirit, on the other hand, can. We become the vehicles of God himself in the world, not merely people being inflfuence to keep the law.
Praise God for living in us!
|Posted on Monday, July 17, 2000 - 12:51 am: || |
Thanks for putting that so well. I do understand it now. I think I was close but couldn't quite put it into words. That connection with God through the Holy Spirit makes us aware of when the cord begins to stretch and pull us away from Jesus so we cling even harder to Him because He is our only safety. Our character is no longer in enmity with God, rather we long to never be seperate from Him.
I sense a gentle, loving hand behind your posts. And your graciousness is greatly appreciated. Thanks again and bless you and your family for this ministry.
|Posted on Monday, July 17, 2000 - 6:14 am: || |
Colleen, Hi! Yes, I agree with Wendy, you seem to be a gentle, loving, and gracious woman. It would be fun to meet sometime!
Also, I agree totally with how you explained law-keeping above:
"In Christ the law was fulfilled. Jesus came and replaced the shadow of things to come. He is the ultimate realityóthe Living Law written on our hearts. The Holy Spirit changes us. That process is not our learning to keep the law. Rather it is actually learning to yield to Jesus at every moment. The law could never account for our every moment or decision. The Holy Spirit, on the other hand, can."
I see the works of the Law as bringing us to Christ, where we can now REST!
And the Holy Spirit is COMPLETELY ABLE to guide us!
I actually used to want a big 'Ten Commandments' picture like the one posted in the local S.D.A. church lobby for my home...thinking I needed that reinforcement daily and visually to help me live. :-))
|Posted on Monday, July 17, 2000 - 4:56 pm: || |
Praise God! These posts make me think of the line from the song "Amazing Grace":
"I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see!"
The reality of grace and security still absolutely astonishes me. To think that God would live in me and want me with him forever! It makes me feel teary!
In His Grace,
|Posted on Monday, July 17, 2000 - 9:13 pm: || |
"I actually used to want a big 'Ten Commandments' picture like the one posted in the local S.D.A. church lobby for my home"
I don't know if any of you had seen the actual stone tablet carvings of the ten commandments. They were advertised on some SDA publication. For a number of years I really wanted one of those for my home. I thought that they expressed God's wishes for us.
But the law points out sin. Jesus remedied that. I'd rather have Jesus in my home any day over the stone tablets.
|Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2003 - 4:32 pm: || |
I have noticed that no one has posted here in almost three years. Why is that, I wonder?
I have studied many different viewpoints from many differenct denominations concerning what the book of Revelations is all about and have concluded that the devil is the one that is confusing us and scaring us to keep us from searching for truth, so, I would like to take the time to mention two great truths.
No. 1--No one but the Holy Spirit can impart the knowledge of the scriptures, any of them, because God's book is spiritually discerned and not meant for the common laymen who simply seeks to destroy the faith and testimony of the child of God in their pursuit of truth.
No. 2--Even though the book of Revelations is a hard book to comprehend, we are plainly told in this book "let him who hath an ear hear" To simplify that statement I would say that to hear what the book is saying, you have to be submissive to the Holy Spirit and remember that his word also says to "knock and the door shall be opened, seek and ye shall find, ask and it shall be given unto you" and since God is true and cannot lie then we must believe that ALL scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for his children, helpful in correction, doctrine, and inspiration as well.
The book of Revelation is somewhat like a history book but in reverse meaning that it is both past, present, and future in its content. Although the letters were sent to the seven churches, the seven churches also are the different stages of the church throughout history and we are definitely living in the "lukewarm" church age and God is not happy with the way that SDAs and other cults are cutting down other groups and tagging them as taking the mark of the beast. The mark of the beast will be something that takes place "after" the church is raptured out and note too that the church isn't mentioned after chapter six of Revelations.
Too often, the terms ìRaptureî and ìSecond Comingî are used interchangeably, but they are in fact two entirely separate events. Let us review several vital distinctions between them.
1. The Rapture occurs before the Tribulation (1 Thess. 4:16-17), but the Second Coming comes at the end of this period. (Matt. 24:29-31)
2. At the Rapture, all believers on earth will be taken into heaven, but at the time of the Second Coming, Godís gathered people will remain on the earth. (1 Thess 4:17)
3. The Rapture is not a time of judgment for the earth, while the Second Coming brings Godís full judgment to the world. (Rev. 14:7)
4. The timing of the Rapture is completely unknown (Matt. 24:36-41), but the Second Coming will be marked by several predicted signs. (Matt. 24:29-30)
5. The Rapture is not mentioned in the Old Testament, but the Second Coming and Day of Judgment are referenced there. (Zechariah 14)
6. The description of the Rapture makes no mention of Satan, but he will be bound and cast into the lake of fire at the Second Coming. (Rev. 20:2, 10)
As we look toward these times, we must focus our attention on Christ, anticipating His return. And as faithful disciples, we must make evangelism an active part of our lives. We have a message that others need to hear. We must strive to share it while there is still time.
The above text was edited from www.rbc.org and they have many study books for anyone interested in studying about the book of Revelations along with many other fine books on subjects such as: [God] [Christ] [Holy Spirit] [The Bible] [Salvation] [Christian Living] [Marriage & Family] [Church] [Spirit World] [Contemporary Issues] [Future] [Knowing God] [10 Reasons To Believe] [Counseling Booklets]
I hope to study further with all of you, God bless and have a good night.
|Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 5:35 am: || |
After reading some of the old post and gave comment, I found this devotional this morning and thought that it said it better than I could. I hope you all enjoy it.
"The four living creatures kept saying, íAmen,í and the elders fell down and worshiped . . . ." Revelation 5:14
The End Times
Maybe the book of Revelation is one of those books you've secretly avoided. You tried, but you felt bogged down in mysterious symbolism or frightening visions of coming devastation. Many Christians admit they do not understand its applicability to their lives.
The apostle John, who was exiled on the island of Patmos in the first century a.d. during the reign of the Roman emperor Domitian, received a vision from an angel of the Lord. From the start, John is emphatic about the relevance and value of every word: "Blessed is he who reads and those who hear words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near" (Revelation 1:3).
Why is it so important to understand the end time and the events that will culminate in Christ's return to earth? Why isn't it enough just to trust the Lord with the outcome and not worry about the specifics? Jesus wants you to have the whole story. When you understand the magnitude and scope of His plan for all mankind, you gain a realistic perception of your important place in the grand scheme of redemption.
God wants you to be prepared for the things to come, and He doesn't want you to worry about upheaval of this age. He is in perfect control. Be sure to take time to tell others of the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ.
|Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 6:02 am: || |
Someone named Max did a post in 2000 and mentioned that he was sad that no one had taken him up on the numbers challenge. I have always enjoyed studying numbers, especially number relations in the Bible, but after I thought about the post, it came to my mind that this was how the SDA movement basically began. Had it not been for a mathematician trying to convince everyone of Christ's return on a specific date that he had calculated (twice), I wonder if EGW would have been able to come along so quickly to deceive those people who were sincerely trying to serve God. Was she an innocent pawn of the devil, was she also deceived, or was she a willing messenger of Satan? I often wonder about that, what do you all think?
I have found in a lot of writings, especially letters from my sister, that most of her followers are adamant about defending her and when they are confronted with lies, then they resort to saying that she was still "only human" and as human, subject to error like everyone else.
Does this not contradict God's word? Doesn't he say that "IF" a prophet "fails" the test of being 100% accurate on predictions and also if it doesn't edify the church that we are to throw "everything" they say out and a curse is placed on them from God Almighthy himself? How does ONE church elevate itself above other Christians? This is not unity, it is a division of the believers, and that is why we have so many different denominations active today and the very reason why so many are seeking to find a "nondemoninational" church because ALL churches are so full of anger, strife, and division. All of this simply fulfills another prophecy, in the last days people will be "constantly" searching for that perfect church that will "tickle" their ears instead of sitting down and feeding on the meat of the word. Too many of us are trying to do it our way or no way and again we should warn "let God be true and ALL men liars". There are many books written by God fearing men that reveal "scriptural guidelines" for finding a GOOD church and remember too that it in found in the NEW testament that we are not suppose to "forsake" or stop going to an assembly with fellow believers to worship the Lord. Where two or three are gathered does constitute an assembly but remember too that faith comes from hearing and hearing from the word of God and how can we hear without "a preacher"??? There is a way that SEEMS right to a man but what is to be the end of him? Death--eternal separation from God.
I believe that those early followers of EGW had a zeal for the Lord but, back in that time there were still many illiterate people, more or less, that chose to follow their "feelings" instead of praying that truth be revealed. Ignorance is the father of many deceived people throughout the ages.
I didn't mean to get into this so deeply this morning because I am trying to get ready for church, I need to get up and save this for later if anyone wants to reply, I will get back to this.
|Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 12:32 pm: || |
Your first paragraph has been an ever present wonder of mine also. Was she a pawn of the devil, was she decieved or was she a willing messanger of the devil.
I have not only wondered that about her but about everyone who so adamantly resists the truth. I say this all the time loving those that I say it about, if you can understand that. I will not say that I am trying to be a Jesus, but did not he do exacetly that?
Qeustion: Did not Christ love the devil while He was rebuking Him?
Question: Did He not in fact love Peter when he told the devil to get behind Him?
Now back to the first paragraph: Maybe someone can help out better with this than I but has anyone read that Ellen White in her last years recanted and really become in Christ, Born again or whatever term you want to use?
If this is in fact the case then I would have to say that she was deceived. Having said that I will also say the devil uses anything he can to do his dirty work.
By the same token God uses and even perpetuates things to do His good work. Case in point Exodus 10:1 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his officials so that I may perform these miraculous signs of mine among them
I could not for the life of me understand this, while I have been reading thru the Bible this year, as I kept seeing; and God hardened the heart of Pharaoh, until I came to this verse and then it was all explained. It was done so that He could perform His miracles.
DOES ANYONE UNDERSTAND WHAT I AM SAYING? Because if you don't please tell me and I will try and explain because I know what is in my mind but sometimes it just does not come out the same as I am thinking it. I will understand if you just say I am clueless. I am not the kind of person who takes offense at someone criticing me so please let's reason together.
I have felt from the get go that this thing(SDA) is a form of Anti-Christ, but I did not understand and still don't how person's in the church fit into it or how in fact God figures into it. Could it be that it is the same as the verse I just sited? I know for myself I can name you countless miraculous signs that I have seen because of SDA. And I have thanked my son-in-law on numereous occasions for it. But just like the miraculous things that happened because of Pharaoh's hardened heart(by God) does not make the things right that he did. Would you agree?
I hope to be hearing from someone who might have similar thoughts or knows something about Ellen White's death bed(so to speak)conversion.
Looking for ways to be sure I am not deceived while still loving the one deceiving me. Is it possible? I guess I would have to answer my own question with scripture: Mark 9
23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
|Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 2:22 pm: || |
Thanks for that wonderful post. Ditto seems like such a dumb word so maybe AMEN is more appropriate here.
It is amazing to me when I see a church full of people that will hear such an urgent call of God and know that unsaved people among us will choose to walk out the door and deliberately walk away from the "simplicity" of the gospel. It is so easy to receive a gift but how many do you know manage to turn it around and say that we teach this message of eternal security as a license to sin. It isn't intended as a license to sin but rather it is given as a comfort to all of us who have had that death sentence hanging over our heads. It is so reassuring to know that if/when we sin, we have an advocate in Jesus who has already paid the price, and I don't want to ever take that for granted. Jesus stated that we must be born again and that means to have an indwelling of the Holy Spirit that will in turn convict us of our sins that will lead to repentance even if we do choose to sin for a season, we eventually pay the price for that sin and lose many blessings of God as a direct result but even though salvation is a blessing, it isn't something that is taken back, Hebrews chapter 10 should be a good incentive not to continue in our sin too!
I can only believe what God shows me in his word, and scripture plainly warns us, that we can be deceived and that was the reason for my question about EGW. Many SDAs will swear that she was such a "good" person that only meant to help and edify the church, but how can that be true when the SDAs truly believe that their fellow brethren of other denominations aren't really their brethren at all but instead are being misled by Catholic teachings. If the prophets of the Bible came to unite the brethren and give them the good news of Jesus, then why is it that there is such a division with SDAs?
We are told over and over in his word that we should be in unity. Just this morning, I was reading from the Bible and found these verses:
2Cr 13:11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.
Phl 2:2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, [being] of one accord, of one mind.
1Pe 3:8 Finally, [be ye] all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, [be] pitiful, [be] courteous.
Rom 12:16 [Be] of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.
Rom 15:6 That ye may with one mind [and] one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Phl 1:27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.
You can't even make SDAs look at this scripture without them wanting to compare it to the writings of EGW. They have it all backwards, we are told to compare others with God's word and test the spirit of the writer to see if it matches up with "thus saith the Lord" not does the word line up with their prophetess.
I accidentally purchased SDA literature once when I got a used paperback book titled "Daily Bible Readings For The Home". When I got to the chapter on the Sabbath, I thought "this sounds like my SDA sister" and sure enough this book was from Herald Printing Press (very SDA).
I was very intrigued with the writings from a post of last month--the one where an SDA theologian wrote about all the lies that EGW spread around and even had gone and done seminars that revealed a lot of the false statements. Needless to say, I was totally blown away to find that he had then emailed the forum to defend EGW and said that he had been misrepresented in the forum. Boy, if you read it, you know what kind of double-talk that I am talking about!
Double-mindedness seems to be a trend among SDA authors as I have been noticing many of the statements in the literature that my sister sent to me. I prayed for God to give me scripture to enlighten my sister with and wrote scripture quotes down in red ink in the books that she has sent me and she was furious when I returned them to her along with some pamphlets that I sent to her that refudiated her author's works. She returned all my literature with a short message that stated that since I had taken it upon myself to DEFACE her books, she had no option but to throw them away. I replied to her that I was led by the Holy Spirit to expose those lies printed in the pages of those books and refused to apologize for doing as scripture commanded and that was to "try" the spirits to see if they were of God. I even dared to say that she would be doing her brethren a favor if she had placed them back on the shelves so that they could see through all the lies and double talk. Since a "double-minded man is unstable in ALL his ways, I concluded that it could only be a good thing if a SDA happened across these books and found "truth" written over a lie, I think you will all agree. It is the truth that sets us free, not the teachings of the SDA, the JW, or the Mormons to name only a few.
It is like you say Carol, or scripture says rather, "IF thou canst believe, ALL things are possible to him that believeth. I believe that God can reach other SDAs in the same way that he has reached ALL the formeradventists in this forum. Someone loved each and every one of us enough to pray for us in order for us to be where we are now, but we don't ever forget who loved us the most that he laid down his life for us and that is Jesus, the one and only that I owe my allegiance to. He wrote his laws in my heart and those laws are to love God with all your heart, soul, and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself and he says that the LAW hangs on these TWO. I would add that you don't lie, cheat, or steal from someone you truly love, so, if love is the deciding factor in the way we conduct ourselves then it is truth that all the laws are fulfilled when we put true LOVE into practice!!! I have the promise that I will never die now and I accept it in faith. So, having said that, let's keep the faith and build a hedge around those still in the SDA by praying for all of them that oppose us. Trust God and you will have JOY in the morning, night will soon pass. AMEN? Yes, amen.
I will close by pasting in the first chapter of I Corinthians for your further study, read this and I know that it will bless your heart as it certainly did mine: (Note verse 13)
1Cr 1:1-Paul, called [to be] an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes [our] brother,
1Cr 1:2-Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called [to be] saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:
1Cr 1:3-Grace [be] unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and [from] the Lord Jesus Christ.
1Cr 1:4-I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ;
1Cr 1:5-That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and [in] all knowledge;
1Cr 1:6-Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you:
1Cr 1:7-So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: 1Cr 1:8-Who shall also confirm you unto the end, [that ye may be] blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1Cr 1:9-God [is] faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
1Cr 1:10-Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and [that] there be no divisions among you; but [that] ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. (SPEAK THE SAME THING AND BE OF THE SAME MIND WITH NO DIVISIONS, JOINED TOGETHER)
1Cr 1:11-For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them [which are of the house] of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
1Cr 1:12-Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
FOR ANYONE READING THIS NEXT PARAGRAPH--CONSIDER ASKING THIS TO AN SDA MEMBER-ASK THEM WAS EGW CRUCIFIED FOR YOU? OR WERE YE BAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF EGW? (God forbid that I should speak such blasphemy, huh?)
1Cr 1:13-Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?
1Cr 1:14-I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius;
1Cr 1:15-Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.
1Cr 1:16-And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.
1Cr 1:17-For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
1Cr 1:18-For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
1Cr 1:19-For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
1Cr 1:20-Where [is] the wise? where [is] the scribe? where [is] the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? (OUR WISDOM SEEMS FOOLISH TO THE WORLD)
1Cr 1:21-For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. (THE SAVED ARE THE ONES THAT BELIEVED THE PREACHED WORD)
1Cr 1:22-For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:
1Cr 1:23-But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
1Cr 1:24-But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
1Cr 1:25-Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
1Cr 1:26-For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, [are called]:
1Cr 1:27-But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
1Cr 1:28-And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, [yea], and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
1Cr 1:29-That no flesh should glory in his presence.
1Cr 1:30-But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
1Cr 1:31-That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
(I HOPE YOU ALL HAD A SHOUTING TIME WITH THIS CHAPTER OF GOD'S WORD, I SURELY DID!!!)
|Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 4:02 pm: || |
I am so glad you posted what you did. It confirms something God revealed to me. I cannot speak to any deathbed conversion that EGW may have had, but the example about Pharoah that you posted is exactly the verse God used recently to help me deal with my anger with Adventism.
You mentioned 10:1. Well Paul cites that exact example again in Romans 9 as he talks abou the Jews rejection of the Gospel. In a nutshell, he says that the Jews were God's chosen people, and that he hardened the heart of Pharoah in order to accomplish his purpose. This was all done by sovereign election. It was ALWAYS God's plan that the Gentiles would be included in the Gospel invitation. As I read it, God even ordained that the Children of Israel would reject Jesus, so that the Gentiles could be included--had they not done so, salvation would have only come to the Jews.
He then goes on to say that the Gentiles were "grafted in" in order to make the Jews jealous. In other words, they would see what the Gentiles had, and wish that for themselves (considering they didn't understand it previously). He warns the Gentiles about falling into the same trap (of spiritual arrogance) that the Jews did. Ultimately, it is God's plan that ALL men would be saved, but salvation will come through God's methods, not our own.
As I read this account in Romans 9-11, I could not help but think about the SDA's. Even before I left the church, I always saw such amazing parallels between the Jews and Adventists. In fact, when I was a kid and someone would ask me what a SDA was, I would tell them that it was a "modern day Jew." Little did I know how much truth I was speaking.
Anyway, my point is that were it not for our experiences in Adventism, I dare say that many of us may not have an appreciation for Grace as we do. Our experience uniquely qualifies us to be used of God to break the bonds of legalism that bind many a Christian. Just like the Apostle Paul, most of us were zealous about our beliefs, before "God saw fit" to reveal himself unto us. Is it possible that he used that experience to prepare us for a greater mission later in life (now or in the future).
Is it possible that he placed Richard and Colleen just where he wanted them (in the Adventist Church)so that they could be used later to sponsor this wonderful ministry that has been a blessing and a haven for the hundreds (maybe even thousands) who he has called and is still calling? Is it possible that he ordained before the foundation of the world that he would set people like Dale Ratzlaf up as leaders in the Adventist organization so that he could write a tremendous book like "Sabbath in Crisis" that would be viewed as a beacon of light by many who have been blessed by it? Is it possible that God has a plan for everyone of us on this board who has had experiences in the SDA Church?
I believe that Satan is ecstatic when he see these fringe religious groups that give people a form of Godliness, but lack any power or substance. It plays right into the hands of human nature, which is always looking for a means of self-justification. The people who belong to these groups are just where he wants them--stuck in a self-complacent prison. God's plan is to break down every stronghold of the enemy, and I believe we have been especially elected to be a part of that great work.
We don't accomplish that work by being abrasive or argumentative. We don't accomplish that work by beating people over the head. We accomplish it by being available to those whom the Holy Spirit has begun to remove the veil for.
So I guess the point I am making is that we need to be VERY careful of our criticism of Adventists. God has a master plan that is much loftier than any plan that we could have ever created. His plan involves the redemption of all mankind. He is not slack as we count slackness, but is longsuffering, not willing that any should perish. We cannot judge who might be being called such a time as this. Our job is to love them in the same way that God loved each of use. Our job is to pray for them, and out job is to welcome them with open arms when they step into the marvelous light of the Gospel.
I don't always remember this, so I am not preaching at anone. Considering my long experience with Adventism, it is easy to look back at it with a condemning eye and even with anger, but I must never forget that were it not for the Grace of God, I would still be one of them. Just as Paul counseled the Gentiles:
13I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I make much of my ministry 14in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. 15For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 16If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches.
17If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, 18do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19You will say then, "Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in." 20Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. 21For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.
In His Grace
|Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 4:18 pm: || |
Carol, I've pondered exactly those questions re: Pharaoh and deception and God's interaction with or about Adventism.
First, I've never read or heard anything that suggested EGW had a deth-bed conversion. On the contrary, it seems the older she got, the more arbitrary and demanding she seemed to get. Her "testimonies" against good men which she wrote with the intent to destroy them or reduce their influence did not abate as she grew older. She owned at least two homes--one in Australia and one in Elmshaven, California--with staffs in her last years. Just before she died, her royalties from her books reached $100,000 per year--and that was in 1915. (see D. Canright's book on the life of Ellen G. White.)
The pictures that exist of her from her later years show a woman with a hard--well, sort-of mean, actually--face and eyes that bore through one.
Yes, I do believe that in his sovereignty, God uses even deceptive and dishonest people and institutions to function in the accomplishment of his will. I know that from my personal experience, I now praise God that I grew up Adventist. If I hadn't, I doubt I would understand the astonishing freedom and grace of the new covenant. Without really understanding the bondage of the law (which seems to be making a huge comeback in many circles), it's easy to miss the complete miracle of what Jesus did and of the power of the new birth.
I believe that God wants a revival of truth in the world, and those of us who know the liberty of salvation by grace through faith after the futility and confusion of trying to amalgamate law and the gospel definitely have something to say.
And yes, Janice, I love the first two chapters of 1 Corinthians also!
|Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 7:13 pm: || |
Thanks Doug for that equally wonderful post, it blessed my soul and I have been getting blessing after blessing all weekend, first with the wonderful retreat and then with the lunch time fellowship and today's Sunday School lesson followed by a wonderful sermon and then tonight I got up and sang a special for my church and received such a warm response with words of praise after service that really blessed my heart. I sang Amy Grant's song "My Father's Eyes" and it seemed to tie right in with the great sermon that Bro. Mills gave afterwards. I get to feeling so good sometime that I wish I could just set up a tent and live in my father's house and praise him, someday I will live in glory with him but it won't be in a tent, AMEN!!!
Some of the posts really get to me and I can't help but cry, it tears me apart to see so much opposition and confusion that everyone seems to be in the middle of right now. Doug, you are right when you say that God has a master plan and like I said earlier today "God knows who his children are and in his time will call them out" and it is only the devil that hinders us from being that faithful witness that we all know we should be, and only by the grace of God are we all here trying to help one another in this forum. I really do feel inadequate when it comes to many of the subjects that you all speak about and all I can do is pray about the situations because I just can't relate because I was never an Adventist and would probably never been aware of their deceptions had it not been for my sister joining up with them about 25 years ago. You are right too that in God's plan of things, he found the perfect ones to get this forum up and going, I might know a lot of scripture, but I do believe that a former adventist is more able to relate to our visitors that come here than I ever could.
It is my prayer that my sister will someday be drawn here and read some of your posts and maybe tend to believe all of you formers a bit more than she believes a big sister that she thinks has always lorded over her somehow.
I told my sister in the last letter that I mailed that Romans 8:28 had once again proven to be true in my life because had it not been for so much opposition from my sister, I doubt seriously that I would have ever gotten back into my Bible like I should have had she not started questioning my motives for witnessing to her. Every cutting remark that she made only served to drive me to dig just a little deeper into God's word.
I am a firm believer in the fact that what doesn't kill you only serves to make you stronger. Some of the best preachers that I have ever had the pleasure of listening too were not the fine, educated men, but they were the ones that really lived in the world and were "plain sorry" as some would say, what a perfect witness when you see a vile person who lived for the devil for so long finally stand up in a pulpit and confess their sins and then get called by God to preach the gospel, so many more people can relate to someone when they feel that they are more or less on equal ground as compared to someone in a suit speaking in that "preacher's voice" like someone mentioned in a post last month and it was like Pheeki told me too--some people just like to use BIG words on you to make you seem small and insignificant while they elevate themselves just so they can look down on you. Yes Pheeki, that woman sure is going to WIN souls with that holier-than-thou attitude, isn't she?
I heard someone say last week that when an unsaved person comes into the church and hears a preacher say that we will be giving praise to God throughout eternity, it could seem very overwhelming to someone who finds it hard to sit in a church for one hour on a Sunday morning, when you can relate your joy to someone though and show your elation about how glorious the overall picture will be, more people would be interested in hearing more about this wonderful place called heaven.
I need to end this post for tonight, but wanted to get in a prayer request. Tonight, two children were to have been baptized that were part of our church bus ministry, the parents found out that their children were at church and they made us take the children back home, the kids actually got into trouble for being in church, isn't that sad? We had a special prayer for the kids but I was personally more concerned with what God was going to allow to happen to their parents. It is a sad thing when a person can get into trouble for visiting the Lord's house!
Let's pray for one another and God bless you all.
|Posted on Monday, February 24, 2003 - 1:49 pm: || |
Again I will say as I have said long before I even knew what SDA was PRAISE GOD FOR THE WAY HE MOVES AND WORKS IN OUR LIVES.
Only God could have orchestrated it so that we would be on the same page at the same appoximate time. Only He could have matched us up thru this machine of which is such a worldly thing but for His use as it is on this forum it is GOD GIVEN.
My daughter and I speak so often of how no one can really understand what is happening in this religion unless you are right in the middle of it, unless you confront someone as to its truthfullness. Most people if they get caught up in a conversation with someone with whom they disagree they just end the debate, but for those of us who live with daily deception it is not something we can just walk away from.
About 3 years ago now my sister-in-law called to a prominent radio and lecture personality to ask if SDA was in fact a cult. He said no it was not, consquently my sister-in-law had a hard time understanding why we thought it was if in fact this person of great notoriety said it wasn't. Well over the years and many talks she has come to believe that it is in fact a cult. I emailed this same personality and described my situation and told of the fact they had declared that it in fact was not a cult and wondered if they could check on some things to make sure they in fact were sending out the right message to someone who may not have as much fortitude as I have had to find out for myself the truth.
They cordially thanked me and said that -------had some good friends who were SDA and although they had some thelogical differences he still felt they were not a cult.
I asked had he ever discussed Investigative Judgment with them and whether he felt it was scripturely correct to declare that because Acts2:29 says David was dead and buried and then Acts:34 says he did not ascend into heaven it then is clear that sleep of the dead is in fact a biblically correct postition?
This then is what was sent back
In any case, given the relational problems your family seems to be facing at
present, we can't help feeling that the doctrinal issues you've raised are
matters of relatively minor concern. The important point is the health of
your daughter's marriage - - something that isn't likely to improve with a
deeper understanding of Dr. ........ thoughts on soul-sleep or Adventist
dietary regulations. If possible, we'd like to help her resolve the marital
difficulties you described in your original message.
Notice that nothing was said about Investigative Judgment.
I talked again with my sister-in-law Saturday night and she told me she still could not understand why Dr. ........ could still say it was not a cult if in fact he would have at his disposal the same things that we do on the internet. I told her that I had emailed him and told her how our converstaions proceeded and she said I think you should email him again. And I say I emailed him the first time and the second time and the third time because God directed me to but until he tells me to again I will not. There is only so much you can say and then the person you are speaking with must either accept or reject and at this point I beleive it has been rejected.
Now the wonder here is, why? As I talked to my daughter about it I said you know big business is big business and if it's the church or if it's not it's still big business and I believe that speaks volumes. I wish it didn't but I think it does for the SDA and I think it does in other religious programs. The old saying money talks is too true and what I have come to think is the friends are more than friends and the end is not anothers saved soul but the saving of the program
thru not rocking the boat and spilling the contribution.
Have any of you had encouters with others whom you cannot seem to make understand about the great importance of making this religion known to be a cult?
Trusting God for patience while we wait, Carol
|Posted on Monday, February 24, 2003 - 5:24 pm: || |
Carol, You would be amazed at how many people are out there that still have no idea at all as to what SDA even stands for. Even those who have heard or maybe read pieces of EGW's writings didn't really pick up on the fact that the SDA considers this woman a "true prophetess" sent by God. Also, they consider themselves the "remnant" church and seem to have no problem at all with getting in your face and saying "we make no apologies for stating that Ms. White was sent to OUR church". They totally disregard Bible scripture that describes the entire Christian masses as being ONE body with Christ as the head. We even had one church members at Calvary to ask us all if we had ever seen a body walking around without a head, of course we all laughed, but his meaning was that without a head--you are DEAD. It was a very good analogy. So, with that in mind, how can the SDAs consider themselves THE church when they don't even give Jesus the time of day because they are so hung up on the LAW, they speak of obeying God but can't even read where God gives ALL authority over to his son. Too many verses of clear scripture support the fact that other masses of Christians out here in the world were saved by grace for them to be considered the antichrist just because we worship on Sunday.
I know that when I accepted Jesus as my savior, the Bible says that God sealed me unto the day of redemption, and if there are any county folks out there visiting this web site, you want what canning and preserving are all about, so, if you are sealed then you are preserved, that means that you are safe and secure in the hands of Jesus and no one can pluck us out of his hand either.
Like all other sin, those blinders have got to come off first, and that is only going to happen with serious intervening prayer on all our parts.
It is like you say too that after you write so many letters and begin repeating yourself then you find yourself saying "God I did what I felt led to do and now I can rest". I do pretty good with those thoughts for a while and then I will read a certain devotional or hear a certain song or maybe have a particular sermon really touch my heart and then I get to feeling like God is urging me to send just ONE MORE LETTER to my sister to let her that I still love her and am praying for her deliverance still.
My last urging actually came by "chancing" across this web site (chance+divine intervention, like you say)and I actually sent her a letter to challenge her to check out this site. She had been after me for some time to check out web sites but I know that she didn't mean this kind, she wanted me to visit the good old SDA site. This is where I decided to visit and have really learned quiet a lot here from all of the formers. I will end this post by repeating that the letter came back with "return to sender" written on it by my sister. I believe that she actually steamed it opened and read it but she did that once before and nothing came out of it that time either. She didn't appreciate it when I asked her to read about stubborness in I Samuel either.
Stubborn like a mule was what my dad always referred to her as being. She wouldn't even give him the satisfaction of a tear when he laid a belt to her backside but cried all night afterwards in the dark so that he wouldn't know it. She is stubborn and my other sister is just totally ungodly in every way possible and my poor mother is trying to remain in ignorant bliss concerning the entire situation. I am the bossy, overbearing one in the family that took after my dad, so, I just don't count for much at all. I was the smartest daughter in the world though and best sister before I started stepping on toes!!!
I have got to go to bed, I will talk later, Janice
|Posted on Monday, February 24, 2003 - 5:42 pm: || |
I definitely understand about we say we've done all we can and then God comes along and tells us I have some more for you to do. My daughter is doing just that. Several months ago she was writing letters to husband every day(before they were seperated, since talk was not possible, as you well know from your sister)and then there was the seperation and she did not write for a while and then the urge came again and then she finally said I'm not going to write anymore I'm just going to pray for you. Well it happens again and again and I say PRAISE GOD and thank him unceasingly for the way he works in our lives.
Before she was writing to him I was writing to him just about the way God had worked in my life and when she took over I was on cloud nine.
May God be revealed to those especially close to us soon, and even now I give thanks for it.
|Posted on Monday, February 24, 2003 - 9:42 pm: || |
Janice and Another Carol, as a former, I am having an interesting time finding another church home. Interestingly enough, I have been able to come to peace with the day of the week issue, but attending a PCA Presbyterian church and see the way John Calvin is used and the Westminister Confession, I find reminescent of the SDA church. They are as Sabbatarian with Sunday as the SDA church is with Saturday. If the day of the week ever were the issue and still is, I would bet on the SDAs. Organized religion mission boiled down seems to be it's view of God. The predestination position and the sovereinty (sp) of God has been harder for me to handle than the shift in the day I worship on. By the way, I can not be a leader in the PCA church as long as I do not accept their position on predestination. We are too hard on our SDA brethern.
|Posted on Monday, February 24, 2003 - 11:28 pm: || |
I have to ask the question. Why are you there?I'd be curious to know why you left the SDA Church, but (by your description) you appear to have exchanged one form of bondage for another. You have many other options.
In His Grace
|Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2003 - 12:07 am: || |
Doug, God bless you. The point was that there is no perfect organized religion. I would enjoy hear about the perfect one you have found. Sunday keeping doesn't bring peace, rebellion against the SDA church does bring peace. Splitting hairs about unprovable doctrinal theology doesn't bring peace. Loving our fellowman as our selves and God with all our heart is the law Christ wanted us to follow. I am going to this church still because it is where my daughter accepted Christ as her personal savior and it is the first place before the elders where I heard what Jesus meant to my wife of 30 years. I don't consider this bondage as you put it but I would love to hear of the option you've chosen.
In His Grace
|Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2003 - 7:58 am: || |
I was not suggesting by any stretch of the imagination that I had found the "perfect religion." As you have so aptly pointed out, there is no such thing. In fact, since my experience in Adventism, I have determined never to align myself with any religious organization again. Instead, I have chosen to become a follower of Jesus. That is not to say that I do not fellowship with like-minded people. In fact, I have found a wonderful non-denominational fellowship that lifts up Christ and Christ alone. Every message is filled with truths about the wonderful Grace of God.
Let me say again that where I worship is perfect. There are things that I do not necessarily care for, but they have determined to keep the "main thing the main thing," and that is what is important to me. As soon as that focus shifts, I would be gone.
The reason I asked the question is because (in your words), you described the Church you go to as being, "reminescent of the SDA church," and "... as Sabbatarian with Sunday as the SDA church is with Saturday." You also mentioned things like reliance on extrabiblical sources, and the requirement for unity on disputable matters.
You identified yourself as a "former," so I was curious as to what it was about the Adventist Church that caused you to leave? For myself, the very things you described about the Presbyterian Church are some of the very reasons I left the SDA Church. From your post, you do not sound very happy with where you are, and I just wanted to let you know there are MANY options out there. I am sure some of the others on the forum would be more than happy to share their experiences.
I agree wholeheartedly with your last post. Splitting hairs over doctrinal issues doesn't bring peace. Rebelling against legalistic structures, while necessary, does not bring peace either. Peace is found only in the realization that Jesus is our portion, and that he came to fill the God-shaped void in our lives.
In His Grace
|Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2003 - 8:49 am: || |
I absolutely agree with you Doug, there are a lot of other options out there. Welcome to the forum Bob, rest assured you're among friends here.
I've found that in every major town, every area there is a church somewhere that is following the Word very closely. There don't all have the same name---some are EV Free, others non-denominational or Calvary Chapel, maybe Vineyard and lots of other names. Don't get hung up on the names---go and see what they are teaching. Stick around a while and see if they are an on fire, Spirit filled church clinging tightly to the Word.
It's been a real surprise to me to find that there is lots of unity among Christians IF they have the same viewpoint of the Scriptures. That seems to be the dividing line--if they believe that the Scriptures are the verbally inspired, literal and inerrant Word of God. When I was an SDA, I'd often hear others say 'I'd leave but where would I go? Out to the confusion of the rest of the Christian world?'. SDA's look at all of the different churches and figure that there are huge doctrinal differences and that these Christians can't get along with each other. The truth is that these Christians often do get along quite well with each other and reguarly cooperate in missions and community outreach.
This weekend I was up in Tahoe looking for a place to go for services. There was a church there that I had been curious about for some time. The parking lot is packed every Sunday, it's non-denominational and I had heard about this church having quite a few community outreach programs. These things are clues that you just might find a fellowship of like minded belivers and I did. I heard one of the best sermons on 'Faith' from Hebrews 11---and I'm going back there whenever I'm in Tahoe. Like I said, there is a church in every area if you just do some searching.
|Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2003 - 3:38 pm: || |
Bob, I don't know if you have checked out any of the web sites that I had listed in any of my posts but www.rbc.org does happen to have a great booklet titled How To Recognize A Good Chruch. You can read this booklet online by going to the site and clicking on the Discovery Series booklet section and keying in the title.
As a Baptist, we have caught a lot of sort due to Calvinism, John Calvin is held in much the same esteem as Ms. White is with the SDAs, so, not wanting to offend you by any means, but I am equally curious as to why the Holy Spirit has revealed the false teachings where you are now and you prefer to remain simply because it is where your daughter got saved?
Don't misunderstand any of us here in the forum, but I am curious as to why it hasn't occurred to you that your daughter got saved by heeding the call of the Holy Spirit and would have been called regardless of what church she was in at the time. (I hope that doesn't sound like predestination teachings of Calvinism, it isn't by a long shot)It doesn't matter so much about where you are when it happens but we are told to study to prove ourselves and are also told to desire the milk of the word so that we can grow.
If the Lord has shown you that this religion is wrong, then, shouldn't you be talking to your daughter about finding another church that preaches sound doctrine? Remember that God's word is not of any man "private" intrepretation, you will feed on the word and grow as the Spirit guides you, so, please consider looking at the booklet that I suggested. Any church that doesn't have the fundamentals and doesn't solely depend on the moving of the spirit isn't worth its salt in the long run.
One last comment, we are warned that there will be a "falling away" during the last days and people just seem to be wanting to do it their own way but you don't need to get discouraged either. We need to draw on the strength of fellow worshipers and not forsake the assembly to worship.
I will pray that you don't get upset at all the advice, we are all here to help, but we are still "human" and will mess up. You can't go wrong though if you listen to God, don't confuse faith with feelings either if you can understand what I am trying to say. Too many folks just want to feel good about themselves these days and don't take time to pray over important issues like church affiliations.
I am going to take some benadryl now and sack out for the night.
God bless you all,
|Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2003 - 6:53 pm: || |
Doug, what do you make of Hebrews 5:12,13,14 "In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need somone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Any one who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good form evil." Is non-denonminational the way to go when their are valid issues to discuss and solve. Because I differ with some of the positions of the PCA I don't believe I would be better served where every weekend the discussion remains on the elementary aspects of God's expectations of us once we become his.
|Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2003 - 7:05 pm: || |
Doug, I did not leave the Adventist church over doctrinal issues but procedural, organizational. When an elder becomes violent in front of a pastor bruising me and no recourse other than the local authorities then even a presbytery is a better structure than a group all related to each other that, of their own admission have chosen not to follow the Church Manual in these manners. I am not stating the Church Manual as the best way to handle things, however, it does have good advice about what should happen in these situations. Because the elder was the son of the Church Board and the Chairman of the Church School Board was employed by the Elder and Church Board Chairman and they threatened to censure my wife and I if we discussed the matter with anyone, we chose to leave and report the violence to the local authorities who pressed charges against the Elder. In other parts of the country we have not had these kind of experiences but the SDA choices in this part of the country were limited. Hope that sheds a little light without potentially embarassing anyone that might be aware of the situation of which I speak. I think I have been discrete. I used to teach a Sabbath School class and I facilitated open discussion of controversial topics sometimes leaving issues unresolved for further study of the attendees.
|Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2003 - 8:46 pm: || |
Wow, Bob--you have been through a lot. How long has it been since you left?
I agree with you about many churches being as Sabbatarian about Sunday as Adventists are about Sabbath. And when you analyze them, the Adventists have it more right. If you're going to follow the law and live by the law, then #4 is right there. It's part of the law, and it must be observed.
The problem I've found is that many Christians have not understood the new covenant--probably because they haven't had something as obvious and unwieldy as the fourth commandment to make them ask questions. The book of Galatians is a must-read for anyone who believes adherence to the 10 Commandments is part of being a Christ-follower.
When Paul admonished the Corinthians to get on with solid food and to quite revisiting the milk of the word, he was not saying to move on from Jesus and the gospel. He was saying there's LIVING as a Christian to deal with, not just becoming saved. Living as a Christian, though, does not mean getting onesself lined up with the 10 Commandments. It means being honest before God and becoming vulnerable to the Holy Spirit in us, being willing to acknowledge the thing He shows us that need to change, and accepting his power in our lives to change. The Corinthians were still giving in to their "flesh", as Paul would refer to it. Instead of yielding the fruit of the Spirit, they were still indulging their old habits.
Learning to surrender is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. Giving up to God our guilt, our pain, our resentment, our fears--these are the hard things. These areas are where we encounter the meat of the gospel. This is where we learn to say no to ourselves and yes to God.
I would like to second Bill and Doug above and encourage you to visit some other churches. There are some where you will be fed and will find the support and fellowship of true Christ-folowers who will pray for you and enfold you without that overlay of legalism and extra-bibilical understanding.
I praise God for giving us himself.