Defending Last Generation Theology

(Nathan Robinson) #81

I fail to see the appeal of LGT.

Sometimes in life we must just obey God regardless of whether we understand the command, or even like the command. “Love your enemies” is an example. I get the impression that LGT followers only subscribe to LGT because certain EGW quotes seem like commands that must be followed, like it or not. Do it or else. . . Jesus won’t come back.

But is LGT likable? Jesus teachings, overall, are very likable. They bring peace, and joy, and selflessness, and love, and make me forgiving of others. Nothing about LGT passes the likability test.

I have family who are into LGT, and their defining features are paranoia, judgmentality, negativity, condemnation of others, and isolation from society. The one positive thing they seem to say is that they feel like they are overcoming sins, behaviors they have struggled with. Are they? I hope. I hope I am, too.

Again, LGT seems to exist on a threat level, and I just don’t see the appeal. In child development terms, it seems stuck in the Punishment and Reward stage of moral development. Their own personal value is measured by their behavior? God is mad at me unless I do XYZ?

Why do people like it?

(Nathan Robinson) #82

Yep, and I have friends exactly like you. MDs tend to be intelligent, thoughtful people. They deserve the respect they get. Hence the wiggle word “seems.”

There is that other class that concerns me. Medical professionals in SDA churches will be listened to with greater deferrence by laity, and so when they promote theology it is often swallowed whole. It is the authority that concerns me, and MDs tend to have it in spades. Wealth and prosperity also tend to buy influence in theology (see ASI for example).

I would add that I don’t see medicine and theogy as incompatible. Both require deep thought and committment. Some specialties, like psychology/psychiatry, may be better launching points than orthopedics, but whatever. May everyone find time to dabble in the word.

But lets also be honest, “Norman McNulty, Truck Driver,” just doesn’t have the same heft as “Dr. Norman McNulty, Neurologist.”

(Ray Smith) #83

I have no doubt that what I have written is a departure from classical Adventism which I grew up in. I also recognise that I have trouble with some things that Ellen White wrote about salvation and especially the IJ as recorded in GC chapters 24 to 28. The fact is that there are key Adventist doctrines that depend on Ellen White’s interpretations, not on Scripture.

You don’t have to answer this, but how do you understand Romans 6 where our old self was crucified with Him and Ephesians 4:23,24 - the old self, the new self, renewed in the spirit of your mind, created in righteousness and holiness of the truth? Put this in the light of Colossians 3, especially verses 12 and 13.

I’m not trying to put you on the spot. I’m still trying to come to terms with what Paul has written in these passages. In a nutshell, I believe we can become too obsessed with our own behaviour as a human work rather than as a result of being a slave to God’s righteousness, not slaves of sin. I think we need a much clearer understanding of what Christ actually did about sin on the cross.

(Steve Mga) #84

I don’t know how it is with this generation where anyone who wants to enroll
in community college [at least] has the opportunity.
But back when I was growing up the Adults [pre-Depression and Depression
age] looked on College persons as authorities. [My own father was only allowed
to go through 10th grade, then had to go to work at 16. My mother did graduate
from high school]
But I noticed Adults in my parent’s ages looked up to anyone who had gone
beyond high school. And I think that was big even into the 70’s and 80’s. And
so a LOT of those persons, although white headed, are still around and are
on church boards and church nominating committees.

(Cfowler) #85

That must be frustrating and sad to watch. I feel so bad for people stuck in such an abusive spiritual mind-set. As far as overcoming sins, if it’s a checklist, white-knuckling situation, not sure I would call that overcoming in the way of the Spirit. The fruit of condemnation, judgementalism, and a negative mind-set is not the fruit of the Spirit, as I know you are aware. We know what fruit the Holy Spirit produces in the believers life and LGT produces the opposite. Tragic.


Please vote:

I get the highest euphoria picking on

  1. W.O. opponents
  2. LGT proponents
  3. Ted Wilson
  4. EG White/SOP

(reliquum) #87

Incomplete survey.
Glaringly absent is “inept SDA teachers” and “biblically illiterate laity”.

But I really ought not feed the bears.

(jeremy) #88

this would have been the charge levelled against paul in his startling teaching that old covenant rituals held no more value…nowhere in the OT is this clearly taught…in fact circumcision, the big thing with apostolic jews, was originally presented in terms of an explicitly everlasting covenant, with no hint of any kind of abrogation down the line…it is telling that the other biblical apostles, all avid jews, steered clear of this line of teaching, even while they acknowledged that christ was and is our sacrifice…

the fact is that the NT is a presentation of the visions of apostles that don’t necessarily hinge on the visions of the OT prophets…even the NT’s method of OT interpretation must be considered suspect…for instance, matthew’s assertion that hosea 11:1 proves christ’s divinity because joseph took him into egypt as a child to escape herod would never have occurred to anyone…we only believe it does because matthew says it does, and because we believe, without any possible proof, that matthew was inspired…

my own view is that god is free to reveal anything to his church at any time…he isn’t bound by what he was able to teach within the constraints of the mindset of previous eras…christ himself told his disciples that he had many things to say to them but that they couldn’t bear it…that is, their cultural sensibilities prevented any receptivity to truth outside of those sensibilities…are we to be limited by christ’s disciples’ limitations…i don’t think so…

egw extra-biblical truth can readily be squared with what is in the bible…it can only be held to be anti-biblical if certain assumptions are accepted, and held to be non-negotiable…but none of these assumptions are taught in the bible itself…even the principle of sola scripture is decidedly anti-biblical…and most of these assumptions are academically wrought, which in my view makes them less than useless…after-all, at no time in the history of israel, or even the patriarchs, was academia on the right side of history…why would it be now…

egw’s non-academic background, her physical frailty, her homeliness, her lack of what generally attracts, not to mention her gender, at the time of her ministry, is just the assortment of dubious qualities christ himself exhibited, and one big reason he was essentially rejected…it seems to be god’s purpose and method to associate truth bearers with veritable stumbling blocks in order to give doubters ammunition for their doubts…believers are rewarded only when they make the decision to look beyond what they see with their eyes…

romans 6 is an example of the effective use of pauline metaphor…paul isn’t asserting that we literally die during baptism (i think we can readily prove that no-one literally dies and is raised to life during this ritual, which is symbolic in its own right)…paul is simply helping his readers to adopt a mindset for effective choices after conversion and the decision to live for christ…that is, he is helping them in their quest for effective sanctification…he even uses the word “reckon”, in the context of being dead, so-called, to sin, v.11, which is essentially saying to them to think of themselves as being dead to sin even though they know they aren’t…and if this isn’t enough, he goes on to counsel them to not let sin reign in their mortal bodies, to obey any of its lusts, v.12, which he would not have needed to do if the sinful nature, let alone the physical body, were really dead at conversion…

i just think we need to look at what is in the bible in terms of mature, settled realism balanced with intellectual precision and contextual sensibility…the bible is very far from being escapist in any way…to think that we’re going to discover a paradigm for christian living in the writings of the greatest of the apostles that obviates the bread and butter self-denial that christ himself taught and lived is fantasy tinged with the most childish naivety…paul was living and ministering during a time of great and relentless persecution, in which many believers were physically killed…it meant something to take on the name of christ at that time…any valid interpretation of counsel to early christians must factor in this jolting context…the apostolic church was looking for rubber meets the road reality on which they could depend…they weren’t open to the kind of fantasy that is common in our time, at all…

there can be no doubt that it is possible to be obsessed with behaviour to the exclusion of what god does for us without our input, which is of course the pitfall of LGTers…but the remedy for this massive system of error isn’t escapism and dereliction of christian duty which christ and all the apostles, and especially egw, taught…the remedy is a full, direct look at what the apostles taught, but especially what they lived…the blithe intimation that the notion that christ did it all - let go and let god, which was a common refrain when i was growing up, which i even then knew couldn’t be right - can possibly square with the heroic courage we read throughout the NT, during a time when people were thrown to lions, crucified, disinherited, and consigned to abject poverty and hardship, and that he endured unspeakable suffering so that we can be wafted into heaven on a magic carpet, is so incongruous, it’s difficult to imagine that grown adults can think of it, much less embrace it…

god help us as a church to adopt the mindset that can identify and appropriate real truth, and not some escapist fantasy that sounds good, but that cannot heal us, and that comes to us from egw haters everywhere we turn…

(Tim Teichman) #89

Wow. This rings true to me. And all of it revolting. If this is where the church is or is going, I’m out!

(Tim Teichman) #90

Amen to that! While scripture is of course flawed - having been written, redacted, copied, and translated by men - the idea that anything Ellen wrote (or stole, or borrowed or had her editors heavily re-write for her) should be elevated above the Christian bible just takes my breath away. It’s literally heresy - even for the SDA church.

(Elmer Cupino) #91

Steve, would you be kind to post a link to DB’s sermon on the 28 DEFECTS in women? Thanks.

Should be a good case presentation to my next psychiatry grand rounds.

(Cfowler) #92

I wish that we would find out that we’re being punked…but I’m afraid it’s all to real!

(Tim Teichman) #93

I’m starting to get the hint that the church I grew up with, as critical as I am of how it was, is now going down a path that I couldn’t follow even as the naive young adult I was - who had for a time drunk the Kool-aid.

I’ve been waiting and hoping for progress for 25 years and I think that’s over.

(Cfowler) #94

I understand, Tim.

We bailed about 15 years ago, but I’m still fascinated and interested in the group. It’s kind of like a religious soap opera…

(George Tichy) #95

No wonder people are often obfuscated and end up seeing nothing … :wink:

(reliquum) #96

Or a car crash-one you can’t look away from, despite the obvious carnage…

(reliquum) #97

On 2010/03/19, this was published here on Spectrum, of all places.

Also found the youtube link for the 61 minute sermon, originally on Amazing Facts (AmazingFriction?)

(Kevin Seidel) #98

I got to thinking about the Spirit of prophecy recently. I realized it didn’t stop with Ellen White. It is actually alive today, but not necessarily in any one specific person. Unfortunately, just as with the Biblical prophets, the message is resisted. Messages like men and women should be ordained equally. Instead a 19th century prophet is institutionalize and controlled to say what those in power want to hear.

(Harry Elliott) #99

Well, not “Lucifer”. Lucifer is a combination of two Latin words. Even if Latin were the language of heaven (perish the thought!), it wouldn’t have been used before it existed.

(reliquum) #100

Latin is clearly not the mother tongue of heaven.
Jesus identified it in Jn 19:30, “it is Finnish…”