Post Number: 380
|Posted on Wednesday, July 27, 2011 - 11:00 am: || |
Hey all, I was listening to "Knowing God" this morning and I want to share a section that was really validating to me. It explains well the need that formers have to share what they have learned about Seventh-day Adventism. This is from chapter 2:
"We have said that when people know God, losses and crosses cease to matter to them. What they have gained simply banishes these things from their minds. What other affects does knowledge of God have on a person? Various sections of scripture answer this question from different points of view, but perhaps the most clear and striking answer of all is provided by the book of Daniel. We may summarize its witness in 4 propositions.
1) THOSE WHO KNOW GOD HAVE GREAT ENERGY FOR GOD.
In one of the prophetic chapters of Daniel, chapter 11 verse 32 in the King James version we read: “The people that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits.” The Revised Standard version renders thus: “The people who know their God shall stand firm and take action.” … This reaction by those who know God is their reaction to the anti-God trends which they see operating around them. While their God is being defied or disregarded, they cannot rest. They feel they must do something. The dishonor done to Gods name goads them into action…such gestures must not be misunderstood…it is simply that those who know their God are sensitive to situations in which Gods truth and honor are being directly or tacidly jeopardized and rather than let the matter go by default will force the issue on men’s attention and seek thereby to compel a change of heart about it, even at personal risk. "
Post Number: 12780
|Posted on Wednesday, July 27, 2011 - 12:04 pm: || |
Great quote, Free! Packer is SO right.
Post Number: 8
|Posted on Wednesday, July 27, 2011 - 6:55 pm: || |
I have a question about formers sharing what they know about Seventh day Adventism. I am trying to determine where Christian tolerance begins and ends.
If a Christian believes and confesses the essentials of the Gospel, are differences of opinion about non essentials important? For example, although sabbath-keeping is no longer required under the New Covenant, is it a sin to observe the sabbath while confessing the Gospel?
When do we exercise Christian tolerance for other's beliefs and when should we speak out?
This morning I was relating the experience of an atheist I'd met to my Adventist relatives (who know I do not believe Ellen White anymore). A copy of 'Steps to Christ' was swiftly put in my hands, "Give this book to your atheist friend". I refused the book. Now I'm wondering if that was the right thing to do? After all it is a book about Jesus. Shouldn't I have been more polite?
Where does one draw the line?
Post Number: 12782
|Posted on Wednesday, July 27, 2011 - 10:58 pm: || |
Kelleigh, you were right to refuse the book. Ellen White was not a true prophet of God. God's prophets do not misrepresent Him or the atonement, and EGW repeatedly throughout her life wrote untruths about Jesus and proclaimed that He started applying His blood in atonement in 1844. That is heresy.
Even if Steps to Christ has some truths about Jesus, a false prophet is the wrong mouthpiece from which to receive them. Remember this story from the book of Acts, chapter 16:16-18?
As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling. She followed Paul and us, crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.” And this she kept doing for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour.
Evil spirits were never allowed to proclaim Jesus' identity in the Bible. Evil cannot tell the truth "truthfully". Moreover, regarding EGW, Steps to Christ does not tell the truth about the gospel and the Lord Jesus. Let's just begin with the title. There are no steps to Christ.
God seeks us and finds us when we are dead in our sin, making us alive with Christ while we are dead in sin and seating us with Him in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:1-10). He personally transfers us from the domain of darkness into the kingdom of His beloved Son (Col 1:13).
So you did the right thing. A false prophet cannot tell the truth about Jesus or the gospel...and Steps to Christ is no exception.
We cannot endorse the products of a system that proclaims a false gospel, even if the products themselves are innocuous because the recipient of them attaches some sort of loyalty or affection to them.
Think of it this way: would you ever use a Mormon booklet or a Christian Science tract or a Watchtower tract to tell someone about Jesus or reality?
Same thing with Adventism.
Post Number: 3745
|Posted on Wednesday, July 27, 2011 - 11:15 pm: || |
I agree with Colleen. To put it bluntly, it is not a book about Jesus, it is a book about a false Jesus (see 2 Corinthians 11:3-4).
Post Number: 17
|Posted on Wednesday, July 27, 2011 - 11:31 pm: || |
Thanks Colleen. That passage from Acts is powerful.
I've been considering a moderate approach to EGW writings, i.e. 'Some of what she wrote contains the truth about Jesus/she may not have written Steps to Christ anyway/therefore don't throw everything out/try to be accommodating'. I know, it sounds lame to me too now that I type it out.
During the discussions this morning I was asked if I was agnostic (?). I said that I am a Christian. I was asked whether I am a 'hard Christian' or a 'soft Christian'. I didn't answer. However inside I was answering 'soft Christian' because I don't want to be hard line.
"We cannot endorse the products of a system that proclaims a false gospel, even if the products themselves are innocuous because the recipient of them attaches some sort of loyalty or affection to them."
You're right. I guess I'm still finding it difficult to face that my family are part of a deceptive cult. I don't want to believe it. I want to find a way around it. I think Ellen White is the biggest enigma in Christianity today. But the verses in Acts are powerful. Thank you. Thanks for the time you take to answer too. I appreciate it.
Post Number: 18
|Posted on Wednesday, July 27, 2011 - 11:39 pm: || |
Thank you Jeremy. I'm going to look up the scriptures you mention.
Does anyone know of a good article or resource that critiques the gospel presented in 'Steps to Christ'? I ask because my mother considers this book to be one of the greatest evidences that Ellen White is a true prophet. I haven't been able to answer this yet.
Post Number: 12786
|Posted on Thursday, July 28, 2011 - 12:11 am: || |
Actually, Kelleigh, the best way to refute it is to really study Scripture. Read John, especially chapters three and four, poring over one verse at a time. The detail included is amazing, and for years I just skimmed right over it and didn't see it. Chapter three addresses depravity, that ALL who haven't believed in the Lord Jesus are judged and the wrath of God remains on them. It details that we must be born again...no other options...
You can't read EGW (or her secretaries) after internalizing Scripture and fail to see pitfalls. Ask God to teach you truth and reality. That is the prayer I pray every day when I spend time in Scripture.
Post Number: 3746
|Posted on Thursday, July 28, 2011 - 1:41 pm: || |
Here is one of the clearest statements in Steps to Christ which teaches a false gospel:
"So we have nothing in ourselves of which to boast. We have no ground for self-exaltation. Our only ground of hope is in the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and in that wrought by His Spirit working in and through us." (Steps to Christ, page 63, paragraph 1.)
Post Number: 2004
|Posted on Thursday, July 28, 2011 - 4:11 pm: || |
Ah; Ellen White had it backwards. She is saying here that part of salvation DEPENDS on what the Holy Spirit does in a person's life AFTER they're saved, while the Bible makes clear that once a person is saved, they "have been saved" (Ephesians 2:8-9). They are "sealed with the Holy Spirit Who is the guarentee of our inheritance" (Ephesians 1:13-14). The Holy Spirit is the One Who writes the law of Jesus on our hearts, but that work doesn't save us, because we are SAVED the instant we accept Jesus' sacrifice in our behalf.
When I was an Adventist, I couldn't completely accept Jesus' sacrifice in my behalf, because I thought salvation was a sort of "process," where if I would "cooperate" with God, I'd keep making progress and if I did so, I'd be eventually saved.
That's the difference between all the false religions and Christianity. Islam, Catholocism, Mormonism, J.Witness, Adventism, etc. all believe that obtaining salvation is partly up to the individual's performance in some way -- i.e. "cooperating with God," etc.
With Christianity, it isn't do, do, don't, don't; to be saved. It's DONE!
(That's the subtlety of Adventism. They say: "We believe in Jesus," but they really don't. Not completely. They believe THEY have to do part of the work. That's why they don't believe that future sins are forgiven when a person is saved - despite what 1st John 2:12 and all those other verses say.)
Post Number: 20
|Posted on Thursday, July 28, 2011 - 9:38 pm: || |
"When I was an Adventist, I couldn't completely accept Jesus' sacrifice in my behalf, because I thought salvation was a sort of "process," where if I would "cooperate" with God, I'd keep making progress and if I did so, I'd be eventually saved."
Yes this is it! Thank you! You have expressed what I am coming to understand through personal Bible study. The Holy Spirit is the guarantee of our inheritance (Ephesians 1:14).
"So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God's Spirit when he adopted you as His own children. Now we call Him, 'Abba Father'. For His Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are Gods' children. And since we are God's children, we are His heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God's glory..." .Romans 8:15-17 (NLT)
Salvation is not a process
"The Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives with you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, He will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you" Romans 8:10(b), 11 (NLT)
(Christians have eternal life TODAY because the life giving Spirit lives within us TODAY).
"He was handed over to die because of our sins and He was raised to life to make us right with God. Therefore we have been made right in God's sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done on our behalf. Because of our faith, Christ bought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God's glory." Romans 4:25-5:1,2 (NLT)
Post Number: 21
|Posted on Thursday, July 28, 2011 - 9:48 pm: || |
Salvation is not a process.
Growing in grace is.
Growing in grace is not:
-becoming 'more saved' than at the moment of conversion
-becoming 'more pardoned' than when converted
-becoming 'more justified' than at salvation
Growing in grace is:
-an increase of love
-an increase of faith
-an increase of knowledge
-an increase in the fruits of the Spirit
Growing in grace is not keeping the old covenant law.
“The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith. And now that the way of faith has come, we are no longer need the law as our guarding. For you are children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:24 (NLT)
Does keeping the 10 Commandments increase our love? No. 'Keeping the law' is outward compliance. The rich young ruler kept the 10 Commandments since his childhood and yet he lacked the heart experience that is our privilege to possess under the New Covenant.
The 10 Commandments were a guardian until Christ came. Now we have a far better covenant- God’s law of love written in our hearts (Hebrews 10:16/Jeremiah 31:31-35) and the sign of the New Covenant is that we have love for one another (John 13:35). So simple, beautiful and perfect.
“The old way, with laws etched in stone” (2 Corinthians 3:7) is over. The “new way” is “far more glorious” “now that the Holy Spirit is giving life” (love, joy, peace, patience,kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control).
"For the whole law can be summed up in this one command "Love your neighbour as yourself". But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another".
Do the writings of the Apostles emphasise observance of the law? Do they expound and stress Sabbath keeping? No. Not at all. The writings of the Apostles are deafeningly silent on the issue of Sabbath keeping.
The focus of the writings of the Apostles is about the accepting the Gospel by faith in Jesus and loving one another.
Shouldn't this be our focus too?
Imagine the joy of fellowship in the Spirit we could experience if we focussed on the amazing grace of God and loving one another! The Church would be revolutionised.
Post Number: 12787
|Posted on Thursday, July 28, 2011 - 10:07 pm: || |
Very good summary, Kelleigh!
Post Number: 41
|Posted on Thursday, August 04, 2011 - 7:43 am: || |
WOW! I learn so much from this forum.
Thanks for that bit of insight regarding Acts 16! You know, I have read that many times but it never really "clicked" before!
"Evil spirits were never allowed to proclaim Jesus' identity in the Bible. Evil cannot tell the truth, truthfully."
That is SO true!
Man, that is a subtle, ingenious deviation from the gospel! I had to read that statement over carefully several times to really understand why you posted it as an example and what she was really saying.
It really makes me wonder where my brain is when I am presented with these things. I can't help thinking, "Why didn't I see that! It's so obvious!" DUH!!!