|Posted on Monday, October 18, 1999 - 12:51 pm: || |
Thanks, Colleen for your answer. The reason I asked is because it seems to be Adventist on the surface, but I read some articles accusing Adventist Pastors of instigating massacres in Rwanda, and some other terrible things about Adventists. That doesn't sound like something Adventists would print, so I couldn't tell if they are pro or con. I think I'm still a little confused. Why would anyone who IS Adventist want to write terrible implications AGAINST Adventists? Aren't they sort of shooting themselves in the foot? Not to mention giving ammo to anti-Adventists.
|Posted on Monday, October 18, 1999 - 3:42 pm: || |
I like to ask Colleen about why Dr. Cottrells book about Daniel was never published? I used to get the magazine (AT), and never really got the answer, even though I asked about the "destiny" of the book a few times.
|Posted on Monday, October 18, 1999 - 9:11 pm: || |
I suppose that in a way you could say AT was "shooting itself in the foot," but the premise of the magazine is that the church needs to "come clean" about what's really going on and allow the members to have more information for making decisions. AT would promote a sort-of "big umbrella" concept of Adventism that doesn't require adherence to all the traditional doctrinal interpretations. They promote a more inclusive Adventism that allows people to be traditional or liberal.
In many ways AT promotes a re-packaging of Adventism to make it fit the 21st century. They are loyal to the church and seek to enhance a tolerant atmosphere where thinkers, scientists, and scholars can feel welcome and free to pursue their schoarlship.
Again I want to emphasize that I respect the people I worked with very much. I truly enjoyed my work on the magazine. The problem I have, however, is that I believe Adventism to be flawed from its conception. I don't believe you can reform deception unless you renounce the deception. As long as Ellen White is respected as God's gift to a struggling band of people, even if her "visions" are not believed, there can be no true reform.
I've come to believe that Adventism, if loyally followed, leads a person one of two directions: either it lead one into extreme conservatism and/or ultimately to a break with reality, or it leads one toward agnosticism. As long as one believes that Ellen was God's messenger but her messages cannot all be believed, then it's a logical next step to say that the Bible also is full of errors and contradictions and must be taken with a grain of salt. That's one reason Adventists have so many unusual interpretations of the Bible. If both Ellen and the Bible writers were inspired, one can read them both with a certain interpretive bent, and they can be sure that they see the Bible as agreeing with Adventist doctrines.
As a matter of fact, many loyal Adventists are not really Christian. Many are not convinced Jesus is the son of God, and an increasingly large group sees the cross as an incidental event in the life of Jesus. Forgiveness, they believe, is possible because God chose to forgive. His death was not necessary, they say. He only allowed himself to be killed to illustrate how depraved we had become.
There is a large group of "evangelical Adventists," but they are still compromised by the bondage of belonging to deception. They still have a sense of the Sabbath being important and of the SDA view of the state of the dead being vital. They also have an underlying belief that Jesus and Satan are engaged in an ognoing battle which we will help to win by our loyalty to Jesus. Until one can say EGW was a false prophet, I believe that it's not possible to be free of the bondage and to fully understand what the Bible teaches.
In short, Adventism officially believes what it always has taught. Unofficially, many believe it's not necessary to believe either in EGW or in Christ. In fact, many Adventists will argue that Adventism no longer believes the traditional doctrines. In reality it does still believe them. It's just OK to have different, even skeptical, viewpoints. The main thing is it's OK not to really believe as long as you stay with the organization. Leaving is seen as disloyal at best and as betrayal at worst. In fact, I've had someone remark that they wouldn't leave their husband just because they didn't agree with everything he believed or just because he was sick or infirm. Why then would I leave Adventism?
Regarding Timo's question about Cottrell's book: I don't feel free to discuss its publication or non-publication because I'm not part of that decision. Perhaps you should try to reach Cottrell personally and ask him.