A Letter to Ted Wilson: 25 Alternatives to Hold Fast

An open letter to Ted Wilson:

Mr. President, I read your latest sermon at the General Conference Session. You gave us 25 things to hold on to. However, here are 25 alternatives to also consider.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/11876

Thank you for this beautiful and positive response.


Tack så mycket!


Br. Torstensson, thanks for your use of freedom of speech sharing with us your view point about these 25 statements Elder Wilson shared with the whole SDAC. In point 21, chosen as a sample among all of them you say: " Hold fast to the idea that no method of hermeneutics is divine . One preferred method might be approved by the church, but the Word of God can handle various attempts at interpretation without losing its power to change lives. Keeping only one perspective robs us of the beauty and richness of biblical interpretations."
Seen with critical eyes and critical mind, it is logical and reasonable.
But I would like to ask: Is it that God has many different truths, even that one is contradictory with another? If it were so, Jesus himself would be wrong when He says: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32); “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) and “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” (John 17:17).
According to the plain and simple literal reading of Jesus words, there is no choice, we get to the conclussion that TRUTH DO EXIST, THAT TRUTH IS AVAILABLE, it is not hindered wrapped in darkness and complete misterious, and that there is ONE WAY TO REACH IT WHEN WE YIELD TO THE GUIDANCE OF THE HOLY INSPIRED WORD OF GOD.
We must not forget the inspired words from Peter: “We have also a MORE SURE WORD of prophecy; whereunto YE DO WELL THAT TAKE HEED, as unto a LIGHT THAT SHINETH in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of ANY PRIVATE INTERPRETATION.” (2 Peter 1:19,20).
The Bible is explained by itself.
It is good to search in the complexity of labyrinths of Phylosophy or Theology [like Calvinism or Arminianism], in the thought of the German High Crticism, or in the foundation of Atheism, BUT we never should forget the NORTH guided by the compass, or the GPS, we should ask the Holy Spirit to open our MINDS and HEARTS not TO BE DECEIVED, and that all the knowledge we may get after studying deeply all those subject may be useful to us to BE ABLE TO DISCRIMINATE BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL, AND BETWEEN THE HOLY TRUTH AND THE LOT OF LIES THE DEVIL HAS PLANTED ALONG THE ROAD.
Otherwise we may be in the worst part of the following text: “Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.” (Eccles. 7:29). God bless you Br. Torstensson, also Elder Wilson and all the SDAC.

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i don’t think this particular alternative is ever going to go mainstream in adventism…

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Why not ? Maybe search the Bible and find Malachi 2 : 14 - “because the Lord having been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth - -”

See, me and those of my age have studied and asked and discussed and shared what we have found in the Bible - - just as our fathers had done so - - .

It’s the word “empathize” that I struggle with. I wonder what intention the author had in the use of that word.

actually, i believe the author used the word “emphasize”, not “empathize”…had he used “empathize”, i think more people would embrace this particular alternative…


Oh dear. I did mean the word emphasize! My bad for the misspelling. And you make a good point.


This appears to list practical and worthwhile advice that hardly anyone could disagree with. The reason for Christianity is the Gospel, and it comes across here as rather vague. It lacks the plain Gospel of Jesus as our substitute and righteousness by faith. All these good things are only possible through Jesus.


Thank you, Elder Torstensson for this balanced approach. You have put forward spiritual concepts that by far, supersede the brand of cultish dogma in Ted Wilson’s sermon.


While I appreciate this response to Elder Wilson’s near cultish paradigm and fortress mentality, I find it quite telling that Jesus as the lamb of God is listed at #19. The gospel of the crucified and risen king and the kingdom of God is the center of the NT and of Christianity. Here it seems to get buried within a listing of issues as one among many.

This is in line with a denominational culture that defines belonging and baptism by lists of thirteen points or twenty eight fundamentals with the gospel buried as one among equals. That is an unfortunate distortion of the substance of Christian faith.



Unfortunately, it is typical regarding the importance, or lack of importance, the Gospel holds in Adventism.


Long lists are like long trails through a forest. There is a lot to see that we will not remember by the end of the journey. I will focus for now on one item in this list.

  1. Hold fast to spreading the gospel. If necessary, give people a book or tract. If needed, introduce Steps to Christ as a first book to encounter Ellen White. One book in the right hand is better than millions distributed to strangers.

I personally think “Steps to Christ” is Ellen White’s best book. Was it inspired? Maybe - maybe not. We all can be inspired by the Holy Spirit.

“Steps to Christ” was NOT written to introduce us to Ellen White, it was written to point us to Jesus. I am not anti-Ellen White, but we don’t need her to find Salvation - all we need is Jesus.


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