The title of the article is telling… Adventist Idols…and by definition of the title… Idols do exist in Adventist cultural-ized processes and worship norms. Given the premise that EGW is “the prism of NT thought” in SDA parlance… she could be totally and exactly correct on everything she wrote, and yet the deification of personality (especially in our post 2000 society) would be problematic… (without including historical difference and/or consideration of plagiarist assumptions)
The major mountain in true worship is source authority… Are you going to the source “God and his Word” in a vulnerable way? The answer “modeling wise” within SDA circles is “NO” … to wit… all your thoughts, desires, and interpretations are first viewed in light of EGW (primarily via the origin of evil/post 2nd coming chapter overlay of “the great controversy theme”. And secondly (which is odd given the fact that God’s word is pre-eminent), any “other” ideas/themes which “fit” into the GC “thematic overlay”
This includes external definitives…
- Sabbath as a seal (not as a rest sabbatismos)
- Non-SDA (remnants) receiving the MOTB… aka unclean frogs – membership has its privileges…
- multiple “time of trouble” experiences – are you sure you are ready?
- and the one most detrimental to “assurance of salvation” - _has God reached your name during the IJ phase.post 1844
Strange as it may seem, these external definitives … are in actuality not “worship based”… and by definition are not relational and ultimately have no bearing on the “saved state” of an individual.
This is something I always sought as an SDA (before leaving when I found it conspicuously absent)… specifically the hope in a risen Lord, a finisher of our faith, someone who will never leave or forsake us…
Assurance is absent in SDA theology (at least for me, as i cannot speak for others)
Put in another vernacular… SDA in practice is about managing sin, not about seeking God. Which pulls us to the finishing thought. If God is lifted up, (we seek him each day). the more earnest and committed our seeking of him becomes, the more we reflect His desires, and plans in our life… and since we are on a journey with him. we see others as more valuable… not just sinners.
How can I instill and model hope in and for others, if I do not possess it myself and have no relational/experimental knowledge in my search for God. A healthy religion allows for discovery and/or growth and breadth of thought.
with kind regards,