Adventist Idol

(David Kendall) #22

While I do get the point of the article, I am 100% sure that the yen is the currency of Japan, not of China. They have the yuan.



(David Kendall) #23

While I do not disagree, we should be careful that comments about our Catholic brethren are fair and accurate, especially when we make the accusation of idolatry (and as you and the article point out, we SDAs are hardly innocent on this point).

It is important to know to whom a specific parish or cathedral church is dedicated. A church whose primary patron is a particular saint, St. Stephen for instance, will likely feature a number of images and representations of that primary patron (and secondary patron, as is common). If the patron of the church happens to be the Virgin Mary, or more specifically a particular apparition of the Virgin (Virgin of Guadalupe, Our Lady of Fatima, etc.) or an event in the life of or a characteristic of the Virgin (Our Lady of Sorrows, the Annunciation, etc.), then a heavy iconographical presence of Mary is expected. It is also important to know when the church had its last major renovation. Many of them across Europe were renovated and restored in the second half of the 19th century, when the dogma of the Immaculate Conception was officially adopted by the Catholic hierarchy. This explains why many churches may include (after the renovation) several images and representations of Mary. Interestingly, though probably not related, this is the same time that the nascent SDA Church is beginning to develop its own dogmas and “iconographies” of its own primary female patron saint.

Again, I am not disagreeing with you, but I do find that in dialogue in the SDA world, even among the progressive voices, inaccuracies about Catholic teaching and theology and even about the motives and values of Catholic individuals and institutions are common. For instance, we are often uncomfortable with images of saints, but it is very instructive and illuminating to read what the Catholic Catechism has to say about them. And we may still remain uncomfortable after understanding their position, but at least we will understand. As I’ve said before on this topic, we can always afford to be fair!



(Steve Mga) #24

When thinking about Evangelism, HOW MANY local church pastors now days
preach their own Evangelistic Series of Meetings???
It has been years since I have seen this happen.
What I do see are STRANGERS coming in, lots of money for mailing fliers.
Then when the Stranger Evangelist leaves little followup. Because we [the
local church] have done our duty and warned the people.
We recently had a mini-evangelistic series on “Prophecy”. It was DVDs by
Pastor Doug. Prayer before starting. Prayer after ending. Leave.
Not presented by the local pastor.

I wonder what the Evangelist Paul would think. His mantra was – CHRIST and
Him crucified. His major commandment to church members was “LOVE!!!”
Actually, Paul was developing the major doctrines of the church at least 10
years BEFORE the first gospel [Mark] was written.
James, in his letter, was the FIRST to quote Jesus.

During paul’s time there were Evangelist Idols. Remember Apollos?
Paul was the FIRST to put in writing that Death was “sleep”, a very REVOLUTIONARY
idea because of the Doctrine of Death since Plato back in 300 B.C.
The next one to do so was Mark in his Story of Jesus.

(Tim Teichman) #25

At least in some cases, this is how it works. (It’s a sickness):

(Brad(Luna)) #26

Are there any articles on Doug Bachelor’s position on the subordination of Christ? I haven’t heard anything about this.


An “anti-vaxxer” has been inappropriately tagged as anyone that is pro-vax but would like them spread out and/or not a combo cocktail with informed consent to those that actually are against them regardless. Kind of like calling those that happen to worship on Sundays “Sunday keepers”.

(Michael Wortman) #28

I’m out of the loop. Who took Mr. Bachelor to task? How was this done? Who reported it? What about the tone of this taking to task? Was it shrill? Was it done out of pastoral concern for him or for his followers or for both?

(Kevin Paulson) #29

“Recently, Doug Bachelor was taken to task about his statements on eternal subordination of Christ to the Father. This theological question has been studied and settled many times over. To put it bluntly, Batchelor is wrong. The fact that a beloved church darling was at theological odds with the established doctrine of the church caused a meltdown in some circles of Adventism.”

First of all, what is believed by Doug and others who hold to the Biblical teaching regarding varying roles within the Godhead, is not “eternal subordination,” but rather, eternal submission. And it comes directly from the Bible:

“And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him that put all things under Him, that God may be all in all” (I Cor. 15:28).

Second, in what way is this position “at theological odds with the established doctrine of the church”? When did the General Conference in session—the only body authorized to articulate established doctrines within the church—take a stand in opposition to the submission of the Son to the Father, as articulated by the passage from First Corinthians?

Third, to read any article on this website lamenting departure from the “established doctrine of the church” is about like Donald Trump lamenting the erosion of civility in American political and cultural discourse. Attacks on the doctrinal and policy decisions of the worldwide Adventist body are both routine and ubiquitous on this website. The only reason the majority of writers and posters on this site detest the notion of varying roles within the Godhead is because they despise and abominate hierarchy in any form, in any place, even if the Bible supports it.

I agree, however, that a celebrity culture is always hazardous to the church, irrespective of the theological insignia worn by the celebrity in question. That is why it is imperative that the teachings of all be tested by the objective measure of God’s written counsel (Isa. 8:20; Acts 17:11).

(Phillip Brantley) #30

Kevin, subordination is the same thing as submission. Wayne Grudem, who is the leading advocate of the anti-Trinitarian heresy of Eternal Functional Subordination, freely admits this.

Arius and his followers were skillful practitioners of the proof-text method of biblical interpretation. They found every text to support their heresy. I have already suggested to you in another comment what 1 Corinthians 15:28 means, as offered by Kevin Giles:

“1 Corinthians 15:28: In this passage Paul seems to speak of the Son’s rule coming to an end at the consummation of all things and of him becoming subject to the Father. The first problem this text raises is that elsewhere the Son’s reign is said to be “forever” (2 Sam. 7:13; Isa. 9:7; Lk.1:33; 2 Peter 1:11; Rev. 7:10-12, 11:15; cf. Eph. 1:20). Then there is the question as to whether the Greek verb translated “subjected” is passive voice, “Christ is subjected by God”, or middle, “Christ subjects himself.” The latter seems preferable because in the incarnation the Son voluntarily subordinates himself, and this would be a parallel. What Paul thus seems to be suggesting is that the rule God the Father gave to God the Son at the resurrection is freely handed back to the Father by the Son at the end. Rather than speaking of fixed roles, or of the eternal subordination of the Son, this text indicates a changing of roles in differing epochs.”

To answer your question about when the Seventh-day Adventist Church took a stand in opposition to Eternal Functional Subordination, this occurred in 2015 in San Antonio. FB 3 was amended to specifically state the following: “The qualities and powers exhibited in the Son and the Holy Spirit are also those of the Father.” Angel Rodriguez in response to a question on the floor stated that this language denies that the Son is eternally subordinate to the Father. If you, Doug Batchelor, and Arius are correct that the Son is eternally subordinate to the Father (or eternally submissive, as you euphemistically prefer to say), then FB 3 is false and the Son in fact does not possess all of the attributes of divinity that the Father possesses such as sovereignty and omnipotence. (The Son is not sovereign if eternally subordinate to the Father; only the Father is sovereign. The Son is not omnipotent if eternally subordinate to the Father; only the Father is omnipotent). And if the Son does not possess all of the attributes of divinity that the Father possesses, then the Son is not divine. It is language gamesmanship, similar to your urging that submission is different from subordination, that gibbers that the Son is divine while denying that He possesses all of the attributes of divinity.

I will ignore your ad hominem penultimate paragraph, but I will agree with you that celebrity culture is very bad for the church. Arius was a celebrity. He was tall, handsome, and charming, unlike Athanasius.

(Steve Mga) #31

Subordination/ Submission == Same thing. No difference.
“Father”, “Son”, “Holy Spirit” are ONE GOD, ALL EQUALS.
Neither of these 3 are above nor below the other.
The “Son” voluntarily laid down His life for us humans.
Jesus said this.
Paul in his letters and Hebrews says this.

there is a QUESTION I would like to ask…
Jesus BEFORE THE CROSS was He just a “Man-human being”?
Was anything He did before the Cross done BECAUSE He was “Divine”?
Or, was everything Jesus did before the Cross done as a normal man–
human being, and the Father worked the miracles THROUGH Him at
His requests??
Was it ONLY after the Cross, at Resurrection that Christ became “Divine”
in a Transformed Human Body? And was the “perfect human”.

(Kevin Paulson) #32

Kevin Giles isn’t inspired. Ellen White is. She declares that at the opening of the great controversy in heaven, “the Son of God was next in authority to the great Lawgiver” (2SOP 9). So the subjecting of the Son to the Father will not be a new thing in the future kingdom of glory.

Ellen White also speaks of how, in the incarnation, Jesus “became the Son of God in a new sense” (5BC 1114-1115). That means He was the Son of God in an older sense before that.

All three Members of the Godhead are co-eternal and always have been, equal in eternity, qualities, powers, and wisdom, as our Fundamental Beliefs affirm. But our statement of beliefs says nothing about varying roles. Angel Rodriguez has the right to his perspective, but his opinion does not bear the imprimatur of the worldwide Adventist body.

Your statements about Arius and Arianism are as irrelevant to this conversation as the claim of certain ones that postlapsarian Christology is a form of Arianism. The Arian heresy concerns only one issue—the eternal pre-existence of Jesus Christ as a distinct divine Being with the other two Members of the Godhead, the Father and the Holy Spirit. Those in contemporary Adventism who believe both in three co-eternal divine Persons within the Godhead and in varying roles among these Persons, fully and firmly reject the notion that Christ at some point had a beginning.

Thus the “Arian” accusation against such individuals is entirely false.

(Kevin Paulson) #33

Steve, according to Ellen White, Jesus was constrained during His incarnation to function as any ordinary child of God must function in the spiritual realm, without relying on any divine power not available to you and to me.

Regarding His miracles, Ellen White tells us that “the miracles of Christ for the afflicted and suffering were wrought by the power of God through the ministration of the angels” (DA 143). Other human beings through the ages, like the prophets and apostles of the Old and New Testaments, performed such miracles, as the Bible bears witness.

Regarding Jesus’ experience in Peter’s boat during the storm on Galilee, Ellen White says:

“But He rested not in the possession of almighty power. It was not as the ‘Master of earth and sea and sky’ that He reposed in quiet. That power He had laid down, and He says, ‘I can of Mine own self do nothing’ (John 5:30). He trusted in the Father’s might. It was in faith—faith in God’s love and care—that Jesus rested, and the power of that word which stilled the storm was the power of God” (DA 336).

Most of all, we have this promise for our struggle with sin:

“Jesus revealed no qualities, and exercised no powers, that men may not have through faith in Him. His perfect humanity is that which all His followers may possess, if they will be in subjection to God as He was” (DA 664).

(Kevin Paulson) #34

I’m curious. When was any allegation of rape “proven” regarding the individual in question? Are you speaking of a legal, criminal proceeding? Or just accusations? Rape, as we both know, is a criminal offense, not an ecclesiastical one. To therefore speak of any accusation of rape being “proven” would have to involve the forum of a criminal court of law to be truly “proven.”

(Phillip Brantley) #35

Kevin, you are using the same Ellen White quotations used by those Seventh-day Adventists who argue that the Son is not divine. You fail to understand that Ellen White, though inspired, did not present herself as a Trinitarian until the latter years of her life. And once again, you are using a proof-text method of interpretation in interpreting her writings that you similarly use in interpreting the biblical text. You should begin to realize that your method of interpretation is problematic.

To argue, as you do, that the Son’s eternal role is not to be God in the fullest sense as the Father is God, denies that the Son is equal to the Father in eternity, qualities, powers, and wisdom. Your argument essentially denies that the Son is divine. What might be helpful to you is a realization that the word “role” comes from the theater and modern sociology. This word is not found in the Bible. To differentiate roles from attributes of divinity is an exercise in language gamesmanship.

So yes, Subordinationism is the essence of Arianism. Arius is history’s leading exponent of Subordinationism. It was Arius who hierarchically ordered the immanent Trinity and eternally subordinated the Son to the Father. And the logical next step of his Subordinationism he took was to deny that the Son is divine. Daniel Mesa and reportedly Ingo Sorke have possessed the intellectual integrity to take this logical next step. There is no rational reason for you, as a Subordinationist, not to do likewise, but of course, there are cultural and emotional reasons for you not to do so. You are not a full-throated Arian but merely an Arian who is struggling with his identity, an Arian who has not yet come out of the closet.

You have long been an advocate of the view that the incarnate Son possesses a sinful human nature, a sinful state of being. I am not surprised, and I don’t think anyone should be surprised, that this debasement of the incarnate Son has paved the way for your debasement of the immanent Son.

(Kevin Paulson) #36

Just because there are those who wrongly use these Ellen White statements to prove that the Son is not divine, doesn’t mean they don’t demonstrate a variety of roles among the Members of the co-eternal Godhead. And regarding Ellen White’s Trinitarian theology, her writings are entirely consistent on this point, even if some statements lack the specificity of others. The same is true in the Bible.

Your use of the “proof-text” phrase as a theological epithet is wholly without merit, unless you can demonstrate that an inspired passage has been taken out of its context. What is sad and deeply disturbing about your approach is that you prefer to use scholars to explain the statements of Inspiration, rather than permitting Inspiration to explain itself. As Ellen White has written so clearly regarding both her writings and the Bible:

“The testimonies themselves will be the key that will explain the messages given, as scripture is explained by scripture” (1SM 42).

I don’t know where you get the idea that I am “struggling” with Arianism, or a “closeted” Arian, as neither allegation lies anywhere near the truth. You are using this label in a careless and illegitimate fashion, as it has nothing to do with the varying roles held by the three co-eternal Members of the Godhead.

With regard to the human nature assumed by the incarnate Son of God, again it is the Bible that is clear on this point—that our Lord took the fallen, fleshly nature that all of us inherit at birth (e.g. Rom. 1:3; 8:3; Heb. 2:14-17; 4:15). The apostle Paul declares that Jesus “condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Rom. 8:3-4). The “flesh” in this context doesn’t refer to what covers our bones, but rather, to a human nature that tempts us to disobey God. The entire context of this passage in Romans 8 (verses 1-13) is clear as to the malevolent character of this fallen nature that our Lord assumed.

This is not, as you claim, a “debasement” of our Lord, but rather, an act of self-abasement on His part in becoming our example, “that we should follow in His steps. Who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth” (I Peter 2:21-22).

And again, this has nothing to do with the Son’s co-eternal existence with His Father and the Holy Spirit. That is an entirely separate issue.

(Phillip Brantley) #37

It is hilarious that you would think that your interpretation of a text is the text explaining itself, whereas my interpretation of a text is a giving of preference to scholars rather than the text itself.

But let me try once again to explain to you why your invocation of the modern word “role” is not only a superimposition of a modern veneer upon the biblical text but an act of intellectual dishonesty. If the Son is divine, He possesses all of the attributes of divinity, which would include sovereignty and omnipotence. So how can Subordinationists jigger a claim that the Son is neither sovereign nor omnipotent but is instead eternally subordinate to the Father? They do so by invoking the word “role.” Their argument, which is a self-contradiction, is as follows: The Son is sovereign, but His role is not to be sovereign and the Son is omnipotent, but His role is not to be omnipotent. The analytical structure of the argument of Eternal Functional Subordinationism, which you endorse, is the following: X is Y, but X is not Y. Therefore, when you articulate a belief that Jesus is God, we understand that you as a Subordinationist essentially believe that Jesus is not God.

You did not get Eternal Functional Subordinationism from Scripture. You got this argument from scholars, including the Presbyterian minister George W. Knight III, who invented Eternal Functional Subordinationism in 1977, and from Samuele Bacchiocchi, who brought this heresy into the Seventh-day Adventist Church in 1987. But this seemingly-new heresy is in essence Arianism dressed up in modern attire.

(Kevin Paulson) #38

Strange. Until this moment the only George Knight I had heard of was our fellow Adventist George R. Knight. This Presbyterian gentleman of whom you speak was totally unknown to me until now. It would thus seem more than slightly bizarre that you would accuse me of borrowing my convictions from him.

Regarding Bacchiocchi, I haven’t tended to read much of his material on account of his own departure from inspired counsel on a number of issues. His stance on roles within the Godhead is thus one of which I am only tangentially aware.

My stance on the varying roles within the Godhead is based on the study of the written counsel of God, as this discussion has demonstrated. The authors of whom you speak are either quite unknown to me (e.g. George W. Knight III) or only marginally familiar, as in the case of Bacchiocchi.

(Phillip Brantley) #39

Kevin, you are a historically-conditioned individual. Arianism permeates the cultural waters you have drunk. Arianism has influenced your theology and your interpretation of the biblical text and the writings of Ellen White. Why do you think we study history, including the stories in the Bible? We do so because history has shaped and molded us. You are a “historic” Seventh-day Adventist and you know what I mean by that. It is understandably difficult for you as a historic Seventh-day Adventist to divorce yourself from the Arianism of the Adventist pioneers. It is not surprising that historic Seventh-day Adventists who have made some progress toward such a divorce would in recidivist fashion lunge toward the glittering bauble of an idea that is Eternal Functional Subordinationism. Arianism is like a latent virus that never leaves the body. Like Southern whites who struggle throughout their entire lives to overcome racism, historic Seventh-day Adventists must similarly struggle throughout their entire lives to overcome Arianism.

(David Thiele) #40

The text doesn’t prove the point being made: it speaks of a future subordination, but says nothing of an eternal subordination in the past. The simple truth is that incarnation has occurred. Jesus is from that point on, human as well as divine. That humanity is to be subordinate to God is not theological news! Jesus now shares that subordination, but to suggest that this is inherent in the nature of his eternal relationship with the Father is a claim without support.

(Kevin Paulson) #41

Phil, you’re living in a fantasy world. For the vast majority of theologically conservative Adventists, Arianism carries neither lure nor loyalty. You and others of like mind are determined to repeat this falsehood often enough that at least a little of the mud will stick. But it won’t. Arianism and the anti-Trinitarian heresy have nothing whatsoever to do with either varying roles within the Godhead or the particulars of Last Generation Theology.

The Bible and Spirit of Prophecy form the heart and contours of classic Adventist beliefs. Ellen White’s writings in particular have enabled Adventists to reject Arianism and the anti-Trinitarian teachings to which a scant few are presently attracted. But you and your fellows will not succeed in tarring the whole of theologically conservative Adventism with this brush. Because it is a lie, pure and simple. And lies always have a way of being found out.