A Sabbath Worship Experience: Chaos

(Spectrumbot) #1
One memory hangs in my mind like a warping portrait.  Darold Bigger, one of my college professors, looked at me, tears streaming down his face as he shook his head, baffled and amazed.  I was a huddled wreck.  I was the scared child that didn't understand.  I was the beaten puppy huddled in the corner.  I was the question.

My phone rang and I heard my dad's voice on the end of the line.  "Steve, something terrible has happened."  My aunt had been struggling with pancreatic cancer, and I assumed that this was the notification of her passing.  I was not extremely close to her, but did feel concern for my mom who would take her loss very hard.  I prepared to be empathetic to the loss.  I prepared to hear that my aunt had lost her battle.  Sometimes preparations are in vain.

"Brandon was killed in a car accident today."  My father's voice cracked.  I lauged.  Then my heart exploded in my throat.  My cousin with whom I was the closest was...
"I need to go."
"Okay." My dad answered and hung up the phone.
Four hours later, I found myself here, looking into the face of a man who had lived through his own hell.  And, though I was reeling, though life was wiped clean of meaning in the waves of grief that built and crashed and subsided and crashed and built again, I was not alone.  I was not handed platitudes about the will of the divine.  I was given a memory of a crying face - distorted in my own tears - shaking back and forth amid the chaos... a face as tormented and confused as mine.

Jesus experienced loss.  Lazarus, the garden, His friends, His mother - He was no stranger to this chaos.  Jesus wept.  In this simple text there is no time allotment.  Given the amount of time He agonized under the weight of the world in the garden, I doubt this was a rushed process.  Before Brandon, I liked to speed past the awkward sobs and tears of Jesus' death.  I liked to skip to Sunday.  I liked to hear the tale of triumph.  Now I feel that sorrow is its own sanctuary.  It is a place to grieve that simple reality that things fall apart.  Without letting ourselves live there, is it possible that we deprive ourselves of a true sense of redemption?  Does order seem so wonderful if one has lived and fully understood the experience and the horror of the chaos?  Today we hear voices that speak of the chaos, not to worship the chaos, but so that we can truly see how great it is to ally ourselves with redemption.
Introit: Arvo Part - Tabula Rasa Movement 1
Opening Hymn: Lonesome Valley
Opening Prayer: Gary Jules - Mad World
The Spoken Word: Suheir Hammad: Poems of war, peace, women, power

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/6585

(Sirje) #2

When the printed page becomes experience, the ground shifts - the world changes - nothing can ever be the same again.

(Thomas J Zwemer) #3

The Psalms , Proverbs, and particularly Ecclesiastes deal with the chaos of the human experience. Their solution was to look up and behold the heavens that declare the Glory of God. There is an order even to chaos. the study of Chaos is now a discipline of science. God tried. to teach that to Elijah when Elijah hid in a cave in the desert. even the mob outside of Pilates court were part of God’s plan. Yes we are easily overwhelmed but the best is yet to be. Tom Z

(jeremy) #4

this is an excellent rendition of both movements of avro part’s tabula rasa, consisting of the a-minor ludus, followed by the d-minor silentium…who knew natural minor scales could be so interesting…one effect of this pairing of keys, of course, is the faux authentic cadence we immediately feel when we hear the d-minor opening of the silentium (in general, this ensemble uses silence very well, which the audience is to be commended for not disrupting)…these particular keys also enable multiple opportunities for both soloists to use natural harmonics, which definitely helps with intonation, no question…i think these soloists are doing a good job, and their pairing makes sense: the performer on the left is exquisitely expressive, and so is correctly positioned for the top part, which centers on the scale derivation of part’s tintinnabuli concept, whereas the performer on the right is solidly grounded on the lower triad part…from an adjudicator standpoint, i generally prefer the right upper arms of violinists to be in close angular alignment with their bow sticks, which both performers do well…my only complaint is that the prepared piano part is nearly inaudible, except for one fairly lush arpeggiated moment towards the end of the silentium, and it would have added to our interpretation of this performance had we caught a glimpse of what the pianist looks like…but in general, this is an effective performance…

(Thomas J Zwemer) #5

chaos theory asks the question can a butterfly over the Great Wall China cause a tornado in Kansas? Certainly Three angels flying Revelation has created megalomania in the minds of many. Tom Z

(jeremy) #6

tom, this really takes the cake for wacky statements i’ve seen you make…first of all, there really are three angels flying in the midst of heaven in revelation 14 - adventism didn’t make this up…if these angels don’t represent worldwide messages, what do they represent…if they do represent worldwide messages, what can they mean besides what adventism has always taught…do episcopalians have their version of what the three angels in revelation 14 represent…

(Cfowler) #7

Oh Tom…you’ve done it again. A laser beam observation, while also giving me a chuckle. Brilliant, as usual.

(George Tichy) #8

He is now the “glorius” Tom!

(Thomas J Zwemer) #9

Jeremy. praise God for the assurance of the Three Angels. my observation was to address the nonsense some have made of them. I am a member of Reid Memorial Presbyterian Church. As such the pastor and I have an understanding that we agree on Scripture alone. the Westminster Confessions are an interesting historical document. I have commented in some length on my understanding of the three angels. Tom Z

(Thomas J Zwemer) #10

Jeremy Have you ever wondered why Revelation always references Babylon? Certainly as a code word. But more than that, The Three worthy had the Everlasting Covenant. Now the Seven Churches, as do we, have the Everlasting Gospel. Yet the contest remains the same, yes even to the end of time. The issue remains constant, Who alone is worthy of Worship? It isn’t an issue of time to worship but Who alone by creation and redemption is the object of our affection?

So the founders of Adventism retrofitted the 2300 days, and adopted a Judiazer’s understanding of time. Thus they have claimed an exclusive right to salvation at the end time. We find that ego centric mind set in top administration as never before with such zeal. Tom Z

(Thomas J Zwemer) #11

Jeremy, What crossed my mind as i read this essay were the words of Thomas Jefferson, first written to Dr Ben Rush and now engraved on the rotunda “I have sworn upon the alter of God, eternal hostility against any form of tyranny over the mind of man”

the issue at stake in Rev. 14 Is the everlasting Gospel, the fulfillment of the Everlasting Covenant. the issue is the same as in the heavenly revolt of Lucifer-Who is worthy of worship. The when may or may not be implied. As it was for the three worthies of Daniel!s day, the final issue may include, When, How, and Who. Never the less the prime point is the who.

The only safety is to have ones eye, mind, and heart firmly fixed upon Christ and Him Crucified. As did Paul. it cost him his head. The question remains will there be a generation willing to face death in order to pay homage to Christ alone? now most Christians assemble on Sunday in corporate worship. others assembly on Saturday. It was Joseph Bates whose zeal over time brought the Sabbath to Adventism. I honor the man. but at this moment, I don’t follow the man… If I lived at Andrews, or Loma Linda, or at La Sierra, or Walla Walla, I would join in Sabbath worship among friends with a pastor of substance. In my present environment that is out of the question. my concern is that dogmatic Sabbath view is gaining power at the highest levels of the SDA church. The Everlasting Gospel is given mere lip service if at all. it is now the 28, The 28, The 28. Even creation is used to merely bolster the Sabbath. not to sing the mighty Power of God. The heavens do indeed show the mighty power of a God. I trust this will clarify my abrupt comment above. sincerely. Tom Z

(jeremy) #12

well, tom, i don’t see it as an either/or situation…we don’t have to pick and choose between the sabbath and the gospel…in fact we can have both…and if “dogmatic sabbath” views are gaining power at the highest levels of the sda church, it’s only because it’s coming increasingly under attack…some of our leaders, praise god, are seeing the danger that yielding on the sabbath point represents, especially in light of the fact that egw has prophesied in no uncertain terms that it will be the end-time test…

your whole view that the gospel overcomes all need for purity in doctrine isn’t right…it’s because the gospel is so important that we have to stand for all revealed truth, no matter what…remember, there is a satan, and he doesn’t want to see us escape the doom that’s already set in his own future…

(Thomas J Zwemer) #13

Doctrinal purity is what I am addressing… the dogma is all on your side… The test is over whom to. Worship, certainty there maybe be a sub set of that argument,but it is not the primary issue as the you claim. That subset may well include when, and how. one can agree by mental consent or by physical support. I certainly respect those who worship and “keep” the Seventh-day as the Sabbath. As I said earlier I would also if the content were substantial. I church to worship God not to be beaten over the head with nonsense. None of the seven churches were perfect. In the first century, imagine the last century… God coming again to save those who trust Him above all else, not churches or denominations. that will be out Of every tribe and nation… Tom Z

(George Tichy) #14

Tom, isn’t it exactly what “the glorious theology” among us claims? I can just envision the event at the parousia, people just showing up saying, “Hi Jesus, I am so&so, I successfully figured out how to be sinless, so thanks for coming back to pick me up!”

Ah,… what a “glorious theology,” isn’t it?

(George Tichy) #15

Jeremy, do you care defining “purity in doctrine?”

(jeremy) #16

well, as i see it, purity of doctrine is the set of truths that have the power, if received, to reconnect us to the divine, and thus to immortality…i do think the whole point of the messages of the prophets, from the beginning of time to egw, is that reconnection…ironically, that set of truths is life to some, but death to others…it’s all in the way it’s received…

(Thomas J Zwemer) #17

I think the focus of Scripture is three fold-

  1. To tell us who God really is.
  2. to explain what He has really done in creation and redemption.
  3. To invite mankind to return to Him, forsaking all other.

The final test will be that of The three worthies of Daniel – whom to worship
those who stand with God, God will stand for them. when trials come, remember the Goldsmith!

if there is such a thing as an investigative judgment it will be during the millennium, not before. Tom Z

(jeremy) #18

the investigative judgment involves the cleansing of sanctuary, or the cleansing of the records of humanity held in the heavenly sanctuary…people’s records in the heavenly sanctuary are either being cleansed by jesus’ righteousness, or they aren’t…that is, the investigative judgement literally determines the identity of the saved…

given that the saved will be doing the judging during the millenium, revelation 20:4, it goes without saying that their identity must be determined before the millenium, not during it…therefore, the investigative judgement must occur before the millenium…

and keep in mind, tom, that when jesus comes for the second time, his reward for everyone is with him, revelation 22:12…how can this be the case if that reward is being determined during the 1,000 yrs that happens after his second coming…

(Thomas J Zwemer) #19

how many gigabits of memory do you consider that the Godhead possess? You try to make type walk on four legs… Your proposition claims Jesus didn’t enter the Most Holy Place until 1844. Hebrews is explicitly clear He entered on His ascension. Jeremy everything is up to date in heaven. God made that explicitly clear by taking Moses and Elijah home even before the Cross. They represent the two types Christ comes to bring home–the quick and the dead.

You bought a pig in a poke. Tom Z

(Rohan Charlton) #20

The IJ doctrine is messy, a trivialization of divinity. God is the Alpha and the Omega, and unfathomably personal.

A God who notices when a sparrow falls, knows the number of hairs on your head doesn’t have to enter a different room in Heaven to do book keeping.

It’s time that this doctrine, imagined out of embarrassment and disappointment, was put to rest.