|Posted on Thursday, August 10, 2000 - 6:44 am: || |
Thank you Bill for your insightful study! I've heard from many people (in my denomination) that these things have been fullfilled throughout history. While I can see some of that, it still leaves a few questions in my mind. Your Antichrist explanation was wonderful. You're right about "being an imitator of Christ" as a disqualifying condition for the 3 mentioned men.
I used to be so fearful of Rev. as an SDA. But after doing an indepth study of it as a Christian (in CBS), I was so richly blessed! To study these things without the EGW/SDA veil of deception over your eyes, is like studying a brand new book of the bible!
Your studies are truly a blessing!
|Posted on Thursday, August 10, 2000 - 6:55 pm: || |
Thanks so much for your expression of confidence and blessing.
What is your denomination? You don't have to answer, of course, unless you want to. Also, what is 'CBS' (I'm thinking of Columbia Broadcasting System--the TV company, so right now I don't know what you are speaking of--pardon my ignorance!)
Until I started interacting on this forum a few months ago, I had no discussion with former Adventists for 18 years! I went through a number of 'church' experiences with Independents, Baptists, and Presbyterians. I have pastored two churches since leaving the SDA ministry in late 1980. I only learned four years ago (at a national conference on the cults in St. Louis, where I purchased the books of Dale Ratzlaff and Wallace Slattery) that there were ANY former SDA's who had an interest in the true gospel! Based on my experience, I had concluded that all persons who left the SDA organization were either Fordites (who were longing to return to the 'fold' once the organization cried 'uncle') or liberals who denied the Bible entirely. All of my associates who left Adventism with me went off into liberalism (not few, but many!).
I am only trying to interpret the Word of God with reverence and I welcome any other viewpoints that might shed more light on the issue of Antichrist.
I have been through the same progression of thought on the salvation of Abraham's physical descendants. I know that God will fulfill his promise in this regard--but there is some obscurity as to exactly how it will be fulfilled! We can only trust our sovereign God to carry out his covenant promises.
|Posted on Thursday, August 10, 2000 - 8:25 pm: || |
Hi Bill, I've belonged to reformed churches for most of my Christian life. I'm currently at a Presbyterian one.
CBS stands for Community Bible Study. Similar to Bible Study Fellowship. We've discussed these groups a bit on other threads. Sorry for assuming everybody knew. Let me know if you'd like more info.
Until I found this website I had NO idea that there were other Christian "formers" out there. I'm so thankful that God has provided us with this wonderful place to fellowship.
What denominations did you pastor in after leaving Adventism? If you can't share I understand. Just curious.
|Posted on Friday, August 11, 2000 - 7:30 am: || |
You said to Colleen:
I know that God will fulfill his promise in this regard--but there is some obscurity as to exactly how it will be fulfilled
Perhaps the answer is found in Zachariah 12:10 and context. Note the "spirit of Grace" upon the house of David. What do you think?
I believe only in that day, whatever eschatology view one may have, God will remove the "blindness" of Israel. (Romans 11 and context)
You know my views of eschatology and how I feel about getting too deep into it. Paul calls it "the ages to come" of Ephesians 2 and that in the "ages to come", Paul says, in Ephesians 2:7: He (God) might show... Therefore as you wisely pointed out, it is His sovereignty. I am more in the "but now..." of Ephesians 2:13, and the "now" of Ephesians 3:10. Paul also said that pertaining to eschatology we should not be ignorant. From NOT BEING ignorant into attempting to BE AN EXPERT, there is a long stretch. That does not mean that we cannot discuss it, since in Grace we have "revelation" rather than "riddles". But there is great COMFORT in your position:
...there is some obscurity as to exactly how it will be fulfilled! We can only trust our sovereign God to carry out his covenant promises.
I say, I JOIN YOU in the same type of TRUST. I am glad to be in good company!
WHAT HAVE I TO DREAD
WHAT HAVE I TO FEAR
LEANING ON THE EVERLASTING ARMS
I HAVE PERFECT PEACE
WITH MY LORD SO DEAR
LEANING ON THE EVERLASTING ARMS!
|Posted on Friday, August 11, 2000 - 9:39 am: || |
Times past......Ages to come...But now!
I just thought I should humbly post this note. It is not intended to criticize "Adventism" or any other denomination.
In this forum we have a host of witness of the damage caused by teachers who dwell in the:
1 - times past... - law
2 - ages to come... - prophecy and its fulfillment.
On number one we have a tremendous legalistic system whereby people find themselves never pleasing of God and God does appear to be an unsatiable being never able to be satisfied.
On number 2 we have a fearful set of "doom" scenarios whereby people are afraid to make the least of all plans or even avoid thinking on the event of Jesus' Return.
Worse yet is when a system of religion actually espouses both 1 and 2 above. The over emphasis on fulfillment of special days, sacraments, decrees and cerimonies places a burden that is NO HEAVIER than the BURDEN JESUS CARRIED THIS HEAVIER ON OUR BEHALF UP THE CALVARY ROAD SO WE DO NOT HAVE TO CARRY THOSE PLACE UPON OUR BACK BY RELIGIOUS SYSTEMS! He carried this burden so we did not have to carry our own burden. His burden is light and His yoke is easy! No less damaging is the over emphasis in doom and gloom theories of man, the idea that God is stalking us, just waiting for the next day or even minute to dispense his terrible punishment on us never allowing us to know what "can be done" or "how much should I do" to avoid such punishment. This has led many to that which Jesus died to deliver us from: guilt and despair. The worst kind of despair: The religious kind!
What a contrast with GRACE. Words about Grace are REVELATION, MANIFESTATION, IT IS FINISHED. The word in RELIGIOUS SYSTEM is DO...DO...DO...Brethren, IT IS DONE, IT IS DONE, IT IS DONE!
We live in the But Now. This is the time of Grace, this is our eternal Jubilee, this is our everlasting Sabbath. Jesus himself granted it, guaranteed it and is the sustainer of it, AND ACTUALLY IS IT. In Him we live, move and have our being! He is the Hope of Glory! Christ in us, the hope of Glory!
He fulfilled every thing for me. Every iota of the Law He fulfilled on my behalf. God accepted His offer, credited it to me, and now I am free FROM OFFERING IT EVER AGAIN!
HE PAID THE DEBT
HE DID NOT OWED
I OWED THE DEBT
I COULD NOT PAY
I NEEDED SOMEONE
TO WASH MY SINS AWAY
AND NOW I SING
A BRAND NEW SONG
CHRIST JESUS PAID
I COULD NEVER PAY!
This is the ...But now... time! He is showing his manyfold wisdom before principalities and powers using US as HIS ek-klesia! His sacrifice was accepted once and for all! ON MY BEHALF!
NOW I CAN PLAN AS THOUGH I WILL LIVE A THOUSAND YEARS, BUT CAN BE FREE AS THOUGH CHRIST WOULD COME THE NEXT MINUTE!
|Posted on Friday, August 11, 2000 - 3:07 pm: || |
I have extreme love for you as a brother. I think that we have known mutually for a long time that our respective interpretations of prophecy differ. We are in absolute agreement on the special revelation of Grace given to Paul and that it supersedes all previous administrations of 'whatever!'
In reference to the study that I posted, I believe that Zech. 12:10,11 has been mostly fulfilled in the past. God did bring salvation to the descendants of Abraham when they became jealous of the salvation of the Gentiles (nations). When I state that I'm unsure of the exact nature of how 'Israel' will be saved, I'm referring to extent & not reality. The reality has come upon us, we don't know whether God will exceed what has happened in the past with an even greater outpouring of his Spirit upon the descendents of Israel. I refer not to Jews only but the tribes of Israel scattered in the nations.
We would differ on the idea that the law is past but prophecy is future. I have explained why my conviction is that Jesus fulfilled both at his first coming. The only issue still involved with prophecy is the exact nature and timing of the Parousia: the final reconciliation of all things.
Changing subjects, I have regrets that I did not express greater sympathy for your grief resulting from the burning of your house of worship. I have been through some similar experiences in my own arena of existence. These involved not only a church burning but the deaths of a significant number of youths who were close friends of my daughter. My family and I have still not recovered emotionally from a terrible incident that occurred 16 months ago.
On the matter of this board as a former SDA discussion forum, let me assure you that no one cares about whether you have an SDA background or not. If you don't think that the real issues of our time are being discussed, start a new topic! Express your convictions about why you believe that what you want to discuss is significant and critical! Former SDA's are supposed to be interested in all pertinent issues of truth. Leaving falsehood demands that we seek to know the real truth of God, not the opinions of mere men.
In the gospel,
|Posted on Friday, August 11, 2000 - 3:39 pm: || |
As soon as you mentioned what 'CBS' is I knew exactly what you were talking about! I have been familiar with Community Bible Study for years but did not make the connection when you referred to it as CBS. I have not talked to anyone regarding it since 1996, when I stopped consulting for Anheuser-Busch Companies and switched to another. I had worked with a woman there who was involved with CBS--her Bible study leader was someone I had known a number of years earlier.
I was involved in a men's Bible study at my own church for a number of years. It was focused on the gospel, however, certain subjects were 'off-limits.' This is usually the case with sectarian (or ecumenical) study groups. I don't believe that we can ignore significant issues that the Word of God challenges us with.
I pastored two independent churches: one with no 'label' and the other Reformed. I was not salaried by either assembly and had to leave both when significantly better offers of employment came up (involving relocation).
Since you worship in a Presbyterian assembly, you are probably more familiar with many of the issues I'm concerned with than many of those in a different church experience (not all).
Looking forward to continued dialog in the Lord,
|Posted on Friday, August 11, 2000 - 5:01 pm: || |
Thank you for your response. I am really honored by the way you feel about me as a friend.
start a new topic!
Thank you for your advice on starting a new topic.
I have a tremendous ethical background. No better no worst than anybody else. But as for me, I carry it in my skin. We used to say in Brazil that I can say anything bad about my country but I will kill the first foreigner who says the very same thing. I apply the same rule to my family, house of worship and I feel that everybody does the same with their denomination even the one they left! My problem sometimes is the balance between "meddling" in some "domestic" affair wherein I have no business and teaching God's Word expressing my opinions at the same time. I believe that if I show myself to be apologetic when I directly refer to some claims of "Adventism" I will be more likely not to appear to "sticking my spoon on someone else's soup", (another Brazilian expression).
Perhaps I am being overly careful and repeating myself. Remember: I should refrain even from eating what I like (and drinking) if even in the slightest I feel that I will offend my brother.
Furthermore, I really believe that you and most of the others have been well capable of dealing with the issues of Adventism in an able manner. So much that I do not feel the need to start a new issue. That is why I limit myself to COMMENTING ON YOURS AND EVERYBODY ELSE'S POINT AND NOT STARTING MY OWN, which is something that I used to criticize that Doug Friezen guy for doing in our former list! Now I'm doing it! So what? the issues are good and I feel that honor is due where honor is due!
THE BURNING OF MY HOUSE OF WORSHIP
Don't worry about my feelings about my house of worship. My buddy, the Pastor, did what I feared THE MOST KNOWING PENTECOSTALS. And when he did it, I felt like all my sadness gave room to comtempt!
What he did would be comic if it would not be so tragic:
HE HAD A GOOD BYE MEETING FOR THE BUILDING!!!!
I'm laughing, but I should be crying! What is next?
Funeral service for our old shoes...? Perhaps...going to the bathroom and singing "till we meet again" while we flush??? That made me feel what a lousy work I am doing trying to teach some people!
Again, thank you for your love and consideration. I believe that our interpretation of prophecy is not in the least a wall of division beteween us. It is not a line in the sand either! It is just a blimp in our radar of ideas which will disappear some day crashing into the sea of Wisdom of the Eternal God.
Now unto the king eternal, imortal, invisible, the only wise God, be glory and honor forever and ever. Amen
|Posted on Saturday, August 12, 2000 - 4:12 am: || |
I tried your site and it is not up.
My question to you is by "Spirituals" (Things pertainning to the Spirit, a body dominated by the spirit, pneumatikos.) Do you mean the 9 in 1Cor. 12:8-10? At one SG class I took for 10 days, they taught that everyone was given these and they were different than the Romans, Eph. 1Peter and 1Cor 12:12: "Spiritial Gifts".
The other night after work I was in a lot of pain. As my husband and I were in bed I just cried and cried. He was holding me and I thought why don't I ask him to pray for me. So I did. I asked him to put his hand on my back and pray for me. He said "is it necessary to put my hand on your back?" Through my tears I said yes. He said a simple prayer with his hand on my back. We fell asleep. 3 days later he asked me how my back was. I told him that it was fine and that the new herbs I was taking must have kicked in. He starred at me with a gleam in his eye. I said What?????? and than I remembered he had prayed for me. We both laughed, and I said did God heal my back??? He said it would seem so.
This morning when he left for work he said don't do the vaccumming. (He wants my back to stay well)
Anyway as I was thinking about this, many things race through my mind. My husband is not what one would call "chrismatic" and scoffs at many of the so called healings, but he had faith that God would help me. Many times when I ask him to pray for me in regards to different situations, not just healing, it seems that things start to fall in place. My husband was born and raised SDA. Not me, I was raised Catholic until age 20 when I met SDA's and studied with them. He left the Church in mind and spirit way before we left physically. But... His upbringing still prevails in many things. And one of them was not to trust any other "spiritual" stuff from anyone but SDA.
Hence the scoffing.
What is your "view" on all the Spiritual Gifts stuff? Do you see any difference between the "Spirituals" and the Spiritual Gifts?? I know I have brought this up before and asked others opinions, and it is not something I dwell on all the time as I have learned to trust in Jesus, and following Him, my first and foremost. (this is why I wanted to go to your site and discuss it) But you said spirituals and it sparked my interest. You also say Holy Spirit and not "the" Holy Spirit which is what they (the folks I went to the class on SG) say.
In an above post you said you were going to talk about "Spirituals" and the fire. I am interested in hearing from you. I really don't think the folks here would mind if you did. Or maybe your page is up? Or You gave the wrong address. Please let me know where to go so I may converse with you.
I truly do not have one view or another on this subject. I have found it so varied, as varied as people. But I am always interested, for some reason. I guess the quest for truth is there, but now that I am getting to know Jesus and Him alone, I trust this subject will fall into place just as many other issues have, like I said it is not something that I dwell on.
|Posted on Saturday, August 12, 2000 - 7:55 am: || |
In all respect, I don't believe that the analogy of those who criticize your country (Brazil) from outside is applicable here! Please don't rush to judgment, this is an honest disagreement. From what I have been able to gather about the people on this board, I believe that they don't care whether the evaluation of Adventism comes from former insiders or lifetime outsiders. Time may prove me wrong but that is what I believe today and I think that I am right!
You also state:
"Perhaps I am being overly careful and repeating myself. Remember: I
should refrain even from eating what I like (and drinking) if even in the
slightest I feel that I will offend my brother."
Using the first word of your statement, I will echo 'perhaps.' But there is a limit to this notion of attempting to avoid being a 'stumbling block.' Paul was referring to committed Christians in the body of Christ who had reservations about eating meat sacrificed to idols. They had a legitimate concern. But in the present time, should I or my wife:
1. Avoid meat because some of my Adventist relatives think that it makes me ineligable for translation to heaven?
2. Avoid all jewelry or cosmetics (even inexpensive ones) because these things are supposed to be 'costly array' invented by the devil?
3. Avoid mowing my grass, pruning my trees, pulling weeds, or harvesting my fruit/vegetables on the Sabbath, because SDA's think that I am receiving the mark of the beast in doing so?
I dont' believe so. It is impossible to practice a lifestyle that will avoid the ethical hangups of all Christians in all denomiantions. If we try and do so, we secretly demonstrate a belief that these externals are important enough to deserve consideraton in carrying out God's will in our lives.
Well, that is my perspective. I have to deal with these things on a frequent basis as I'm sure others on this forum do. All of my wife's relatives are SDA and all of mine are also, excepting my parents.
Milton, there is no connection between the opportunist activities of Doug Friesen on the ELECT bulletin board and the good that might be accomplished here. It is really a matter of what the Lord has convicted you of. If you believe in all of your heart that something needs to be said, I would encourage you to say it--at all costs.
In the gospel,
|Posted on Saturday, August 12, 2000 - 9:00 am: || |
Thank you again. Your advice is timely and proper. I will take into consideration if and when I see something that needs to be addressed pertaining adventism.
AS to your phrase:
From what I have been able to gather about the people on this board, I believe that they don't care whether the evaluation of Adventism comes from former insiders or lifetime outsiders. Time may prove me wrong but that is what I believe today and I think that I am right!
You probably have information that I do not! I analyze things somewhat different than others. One of the things I do is that I try to read ALL discussions. I carefully look at the days and the time posts were posted There is some strong sentiment as of yet in some members related to difficulties with Sabbath. If I am right and this is the case, the issue of the Sabbath is being fully discussed in a couple of topis in this forum and it has been discussed here. In this two venues I do not see anything that I could say that has not already been said. Then it simply becomes a case of "I left Adventism but Adeventism never left me". Meaning, you're out of it, but it is still in you!
Believe me brother, what can I do? Does anyone think anyone think that the issue of the Sabbath has not been totally covered EVEN after your studies? I will continue to love these brothers and sisters and continue to write in GENERIC terms trusting the Holy Spirit to do His work.
(I am stating this whatever the cost. Even if someone is thinking that I am either avoiding the issue or being too much interested in finding reasons not to participate). Neither is correct!
Again, thank you for your advice. I do have a tendency to be personal and probably this is not helping!
It is really a matter of what the Lord has convicted you of. If you believe in all of your heart that something needs to be said, I would encourage you to say it--at all costs.
In humility before God, you just gave me the key with this last phrase. It works both passively and actively, meaning, it could be that the Lord is convicting me that I am not the shepherd of this flock! I am only a sheep-dog whose only role is to keep the sheep together for someone else to take it to the fold! Or, it means that God is indeed telling me to OPEN MY MOUTH as you say NO MATTER WHAT. May the Holy Spirit help me to find the difference!
In Christ's Love
|Posted on Saturday, August 12, 2000 - 10:31 am: || |
Sorry that my site was not up. It is now. CLICK HERE. My server was doing maintenance. But now is up. I just checked.
The Spirituals are the Gifts of the Spirit. The Greek only says "Spirituals". That's why I refer to it that way. The word GIFT may cause people to think that the SPIRITUALS are merely a special endowment from God, but Paul teaches us that some "functional" offices in the ek-klesia, or the gathering of the Saints, are called Gifts, Ephesians 4: 8-16. Read verse 8 and the first phrase of verse 11, which are key. What is in between is an APPOSITION, meaning that is used to explain something. As such there are offices in the Church that are gifts. Note also that thesed GIFTS as officers (not priests) are for the EQUIPPING of the ek-klesia. So they are the saints EQUIPMENT.
Note as well that 1 Cor 12 speaks of Gifts, Administration and Operations. All are "Spirituals".
Well... I do not justify your husband's scoffing, but I know what tickles him. I am myself appalled at the way "healing" has been made a fool's spectacle by the Charismatics in one sense, and a "fund raiser" in the other. Neither is biblical!
I believe that the Gifts of the Spirit never expired with the exception of the GIFT OF THE APOSTLE. which required one to have seen Jesus In 1 Cor 9:1 where Paul defends his apostleship using this argument. I believe that the Gifts as endowment, the Gifts as an office, administrations and operations are still TOOLS, AND NOT TOYS available to the body of Christ today.
The notion that the gifts passed away because "that which is perfect" has already come,
1 Cor 13:10, signifying the Biblical Cannon (of course I believe we have a perfect Cannon) and the death of the Last Apostles, is a wrong assumption. Such has been the strongest argument of the gift opponents. I study the Bible using a method whereby we analyze the language used by the Author inspired to write a particular text. Paul ONLY uses "perfect" as SOMETHING STILL TO HAPPEN, or a future event to refer to the resurrection of the dead. See Philippians 3:11-16. All the other occasions where Paul refers to "perfect", he does meaning something ALREADY accomplished. Example Colossians 2:10 (the word complete is the same word as "perfect"). So, in the eyes of God, our "prefection" has already been accomplished in Jesus, but our uncorruptible bodies, the changing to a heavenly tabernacle, or PERFECTION, is still to happen. As long as it does not happen, the gifts of the Spirit are available to the Church, or, as I prefer, the ek-klesia. (In my language, Portuguese, I not have this problem because the word for "church" is IGREJA, and in Spanish, IGLESIA, which is a derivative of ek-klesia.)
In summary: Spirituals are:
1 - endowments
2 - adminstrations
3 - operations
4 - offices
5 - FRUITS - do not forget the fruits!
Note as well that the Gifts such as tongues and prophecy and other miracles are not mentioned in the ek-klesia of Thessalonica. But Paul calls such a Church as "an example" to the others. See 1 Thess 1:1-7. So we cannot judge an ek-klesia for lacking the Holy Spirt, nor of being "cold and dead" (a Pentecostal derrogatory term for non Pentecostal Churches) for not practicing the more "supernatural" (all of them are indeed) gifts of tongues, prophecy or any other really!
The greatest of the gifts is the gift of Love.
See 1 Cor 13.
You can find the continual excercise of them in the letters of Paul.
I left out the counter arguments used such as Epaphroditus being sick, Timothy being sick in the stomach and Paul himself with an apparent eye disease. And there is no "healing" account of them. These arguments do not account for the "passing away" or "expirations" of the gift, but they point to the Sovereignty of God and what God as Sovereign specifically wanted to teach the church.
And they are more than the 9 the Pentecostal teach.
The article that I promised about John the Baptist is that the Bible says that John was filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother's womb. However John still wonders in Matthew 11:3 if Jesus was really whom he said he was. So, John had an "special annointing" that was not "revelatory". We have the final annoining because of the elements God used in the Upper room to baptize the Church with the Holy Spirt. The Holy Spirit, then, reveals to us beyond a shadow of doubt that Jesus is Christ and that He is the Lord!
This is what my article will deal with!
Do not expect a lot of studies in my site. I have some but I want to attract people to my "motidevotional" messages. I think I can be used better encouraging people and leave theology for a more local gathering where the interaction has the all the advantages of a personal contact.
I probably did not answer your questions. Certainly, I covered a lot that you did not ask and were not concernece with. But I cannot deal with the subject of the Gifts without dealing with some of what I dealt with here. Please, I try to write in a "conversational" manner. I prefer it that way. So, please understand if this post does not appear to be a lesson outline.
Thank you Joni for your confidence. Keep in touch! I will answer any specific question you may have any time you may ask!
|Posted on Saturday, August 12, 2000 - 11:07 am: || |
Joni, Bill and all:
My last post is full of typos. This is NOT MY ACCENT!!! It is just that I am rushing again since I have company in my home this week end and Eliana, sister Almeida, my wife is calling me to help with breakfast. At 12:48PM! I hope you know that:
"concernece" is actually concerned
and "all the all advantages" is only all the advantages.
My problem is not a South American accent. My problem is attention!
|Posted on Saturday, August 12, 2000 - 8:56 pm: || |
Dear Brother Milt,
Thanks for your honesty! That means a lot to me, as too many individuals never tell me honestly what they think about the views that I have expressed.
Let me comment on one observation of yours about some former SDA's:
"you're out of it, but it is still in you!"
You are absolutely correct. There is a lot of evidence on this board that too many have left Adventism in their heads--but their hearts are still deep within it. For me, the transition in leaving Adventism was easy. Although I had been in it all my life, I had grown to have nothing but a holy hatred for it and count it my enemy (to quote the Psalmist--139:22). The false doctrines of Christ and salvation became so repulsive to me after studying the Reformers & their heirs. The only things left in Adventism that mean anything to me are human souls needing salvation and some of the SDA foods (yes, I still purchase and consume that strange vegemeat--I became addicted to it when I was a kid).
It is impossible to love both truth and darkness. Adventism IS darkness. How can someone continue to love an institution that leads many souls to hell for every one that might see Christ: in spite of the deception. The same thing could be said about Roman Catholicism and a lot of other systems.
In Christ our calling is to hate all sin. Adventism is sin. If we haven't learned to hate it we don't yet know the full reality of what it is.
Because of the feelings that I just expressed, I actually believe that you are in a better position to influence former SDA's than myself. Even though it is not the majority, there are some former SDA's who really are interested in the truth. However, my eternal dislike of SDAism is a stumbling block to reaching these persons. Since you have never been in it, there is no expectation that you should express sympathy with it. I can see that people are very interested in what you have to say.
Just an opinion.
|Posted on Saturday, August 12, 2000 - 9:25 pm: || |
How can you say that Adventism is sin? It may not have worked for you but does that mean it doesn't truly work for anyone? Are you saying that I am sin because I am still Adventist? Are you judging the quality of my relationship and salvation with Jesus Christ? Please answer in specifics as I am unclear as to what you mean. Even I coming from Adventist background with all my training regarding the Catholic church, believe that it is the leadership at fault, not the believers. God's people are in all churches. No church in and of itself is sin. Although sin is within all churches. So please clarify what you meant as I know you couldn't mean it the way it sounds.
P.S. Don't you dare tell me to calm down! :)
|Posted on Saturday, August 12, 2000 - 10:01 pm: || |
No need to thanking me!
I actually edited my post to you because I believed to have been to harsh on the "statistical" mention I made. But "yes", there is a reduction of postings on Saturdays and some names do appear as authors of posts mainly on Mondays through Fridays. Most do not care, but I do not believe it is a coincidence. That's why I believe that someone with inside knowledge of Adventism would have noticed before I did.
Some Catholics leave the Roman Catholic Church to a Protestant one. Then, at the "Lord's communion" (quotation marks on purpose) they simply attempt to swallow the cookie whole, just as they did with the host in the Roman Catholic Church. It is amazing how much of "decontamination" is necessary when you come out of systems that are exactly what you described in your post above! I think we should start a "decontamination" center!
Sometimes I feel that I need "decontamination" from the old fashion Pentecostal doctrines as well! The "get saved every Sunday" type of thing for example only left my live about 5 years ago! Even after knowing Grace, I always felt pushed at the so-called "altar". Pushed by my OWN FLESH of course, since God never demanded such a thing of me!
How about throwing my ministry's resume at God? How often I did that even after knowing Grace? Some one would sing that heretical old tune "I wonder have I done my best to Jesus" and I immediately would go into a carnal feast of throwing at God, in an exhibitionist frenzy, my accomplishents to him!
It was only when God showed me that he never asked such a thing of me and that he had already credited what Jesus did for me as my own resume, and that it was Blood Stained by Jesus' Blood that I came to repentance of my arrogance in fear and trembling! That's when I really understood Grace!
Perhaps that's why I try to understand our brothers and sisters in this forum that are still in d.u.i.s.d.a., or Darkness Under the Influence of SDAism. I pray that they will get to the point of total decontamination!
I believe that the owners of this forum have come a long way! Their work and openness will be rewarded in seeing lives totally free, OUT SIDE IN AND INSIDE OUT from the darkness of SDAism.
I hope you see my point! I intend to be more direct but just as direct and God directs me, but YOU ARE THE FIRST TO AGREE WITH ME THAT ATTEMPTING TO GET PEOPLE OUT WILL NOT YIELD THE RESULTS AS IT WILL DOING OUR BEST SO OTHERS WILL NOT GET IN! May God help us in this endeavor!
Now just a little bit of a humble brotherly advice: When you say:
Even though it is not the majority, there are some former SDA's who really are interested in the truth. However, my eternal dislike of SDAism is a stumbling block to reaching these persons.
Bear in mind that it was a murdered, pharisees of the pharisees, that became God's instrument to teach us about His marvelous Grace. Bear in mind that this man, called Paul, became so antagonistic with the old system, that led him to murder Christians or at least consent to murder, that he called those who wanted to revive the old systems. "witches, (who bewitched the Galatians), and in 1 Timothy 6:5 he calls these teachers, "man of corrupt mind and destitute of the truth". Then in 1 Timothy 4:14 he pronounces Alexander's reward for his evil deeds toward him.
Again, this is the man God chose to reveal his wonderful mystery hidden through the ages, Christ in us the Hope of Glory.
Therefore, brother, I hope NO ONE, in this forum or in your circle of relatives and friends, shuts you off from your sharp rebuke to their evil ways. Just as much as there was blessings for the baby ek-klesia to hear this ex-murder Paul, there will be blessedness for people in this forum and elsewhere to hear and actually GIVE HEED to what you say! It certainly has been a blessing to me!
|Posted on Saturday, August 12, 2000 - 10:16 pm: || |
Dear Grace Ambassador,
Just a note. I am still Adventist(you may have noticed) and I have no qualms about posting on Saturday. Maybe some ex-Adventists here do. I think this somewhat proves my point that it is possible to be SDA, keep the sabbath, and not be legalistic about it. I have three small children so I deliberately go out of my way(most of the time) to make sure it is a delight and not a drudgery for them. We are out there. Unfortunately we may be in the minority.
|Posted on Saturday, August 12, 2000 - 11:01 pm: || |
Thank you for your honesty!
I think this somewhat proves my point that it is possible to be SDA, keep the sabbath, and not be legalistic about it.
If I may, let me point out that the possibility of one keeping the Sabbath and not being legalistic about it IS THE SAME AS "not keeping it", at least on the minds and the doctrines of the SDA. The PURPOSE of teaching about Sabbath, since it comes from the ten commandments IS TO KEEP PEOPLE UNDER A VERY CLEAR AND DEFINITE FORM OF LEGALISM, SINCE IT BECOMES A WAY TO FULL OBEDIENCE TO GOD! We know that it is impossible to OBEY the Law but it is possible to believe that Jesus did it for me, in my behalf.!
Unfortunately, the behavior and interpretations of individuals does not assuage, attenuates nor mitigates the teachings of a denomination. A Catholic that does not believe in transubstantiation does not justify his Church for teaching such an error! Most do not even know about such a doctrine. When they find out, they must make a decision to believe it or leave it!
I know of many Catholics (and they are always a good example) that when they read the Council of Trent (I believe) they are amazed that it states that "anyone who believes Grace alone as a means of justification, and not the teachings of the church, let him be ANATEMA". Immediately they have to ponder: "If I believe Grace alone, I am accursed in the eyes of my church". Should I give in to error or leave such church (small "c")?
Ultimately one must ask him or herself: "If I remain, thinking what I think, am I a rebel? Am I in rebellion? If I think my denomination is wrong for teaching what I do not keep or agree, or believe, and I do not keep, agree or believe because obviously I do not feel it is necessary or correct, IS MY DENOMINATION TEACHING ME ERROR? AND IF THEY ARE, SHOULD I REMAIN WITH THEM? IF I REMAIN, CAN I CHANGE THEM FROM THEIR OPINION INTO MINE? IF NOT, WHAT IS THE POINT IN STAYING SINCE THERE IS NO LONGER A 100% FELLOWSHIP, WHICH IS THE PURPOSE OF STAYING IN A DENOMINATION?"
Perhaps even "DO I REALLY KNOW WHAT MY DENOMINATION TEACHES ABOUT THE SABBATH AND IF I SHOULD BE LEBALISTIC ABOUT IT?"
Sometimes we have to start questioning our own blessed selves and our motives and not the denomination! Thereafter we will be in a position to answer the questions above.
These are not even the most important questions one must ask! Actually one must ask, WHAT IS GOD SAYING ABOUT THIS?
Am I advising you to change back into legalism? God forbid! I am asking you to search your heart and find the reason for the variance between you and one of the dearest and most important teaching of your denomination. Both cannot be right! If one is wrong, there is no longer "fellowship" and the very participation with that group becomes "legalistic" at best and at worse meaningless and with ulterior motives! Think about it! Ask yourself, why do I stay?
This is just for your reflection!
|Posted on Sunday, August 13, 2000 - 12:47 am: || |
Grace Ambassadorˇexcellent post above.
For many years I believed I could stay and be at variance doctrinally with the church. Many in the churchˇparticularly the more liberal and even the evangelical onesˇsay that the umbrella of Adventism is big enough to accommodate a wide variety of belifes and practices, from historic persuasions to liberal, nearly-agnostic ones. This sentiment is not just subtle and underground; many actively espouse and even publish these views.
The interesting thing about this position is that it completley ignores the real question of "fellowship" which you mention above. Those who believe Adventism can accommodate a wide range of beliefs believe that fellowship comes from being loyal to the church as a source of identity and a cultural phenomenon.
The things that's really hard to see when you're inside is that this viewpoint is dishonest. Adventism is clearly self-defined by its official doctrines and beliefs.
The practical truth is that in most cases, as long as a person stays a member, especially if s/he gives money and/or creative services, that person is considered a member in good standing. In many Adventist communities "aberrant" beliefs will never be questioned.
In others, as has been the case in places like Southern Adv. University and Walla Walla College, theology faculty have been censured, threatened, or fired for non-"orthodox" beliefs.
The question of fellowship boils down to this: Adventists literally do not know what Christian fellowship is. They think they know; I thought I knew. I was as evangelical and Adventist as you could hope to find, and I had no idea what fellowship was.
Fellowship, I've come to realize, is what happens when you allow the Holy Spirit to actively live in you and to reveal truth. A born again Christian recognizes the Spirit in other Chritians, and it is the Holy Spirit who binds the unlikeliest people together in cloeseness and communion that has nothing whatsoever to do with doctrines, shared social experiences, or background.
So when you say, "If one is wrong, there is no longer 'fellowship' and the very participation with that group becomes 'legalistic' at best and at worse meaningless and wtih ulterior motives," you are absolutely right, but an Adventist will not understand that. A person who stays in Adventism has no idea what fellowship feels like; it almost never exists in an Adventist community.
I'm sure that Adventists will disagree with me, but the difference between the fellowship I believed I enjoyed while I was an Adventist and the fellowship I experience now is light years away from each other. Fellowship is one of the great deceptions in SDA-ism. A group of people with similar practices and loyalties and backgrounds enjoys certain feelings of affinity, much as a family does. But also much like families, that group of people is held together mostly by similar backgrounds and loyalties, not always by love, support, genuine interest and concern, and honest prayer for each other.
For Adventists, fellowship is marked by honoring the common heritage. For Christians, fellowship is marked by honoring the center: Christ.
This is hard to explain to someone who has not experienced the phenomenon from both sides. But the reality is true and powerful. Your observation is absoltuely correct: why stay?
Perhaps others will be able to add clarity to my explanation!
|Posted on Sunday, August 13, 2000 - 7:12 am: || |
Another observation. This whole thing of, YOU, yourself DETERMINING what the observing of Sabbath means is very confusing.
In ALL SDA families I've been around, this is a subjective thing. One family says, "oh, we do such and such on the Sabbath because......." another family would die before they would do such and such?! The kids of both families see what is going on and say amongst themselves, "wow, I wish I was in your family, you get to do such and such on the Sabbath," the other kid says "yeh." One kid says, "well, the Bible says we can't do such and such on the Sabbath," the other kid says, "no, that's EGW, and my parents think that applied 100 years ago, not now."
So, see the confusion this is breeding in the kids? Do you wonder why soooooooo many kids leave the "FOLD?" This is just one area of confusion! So much of the SDA doctrine is subjective.
That brings another thought up. Why mess around with something sooooooo subjective? What's the point?
I have more to say but have to go right now.