Do You Really Want to Know?


(Patrick Travis) #264

That is correct Frank. Paul didnt compel Jews to give up Jewish traditions, assuming they a accepted Christ as Savior, and he didnt demand that the gentiles keep them.
Christ and Him crucified for forgiveness of sins was paramount !
Here is the main issue. BY THE DEEDS OF THE LAW SHALL NO ONE BE JUSTIFIED!
THIS IS NOT ANTINOMIANISM, just reality!
LGT, in reality is saying sinless perfection for justification of God and the last generation of believers MUST take place for Justification. Justification becomes “make righteous” rather than “reckon righteous” for those called and who accept Christ as savior.
“Spirit led” obedience or otherwise becomes pure “galatianism” and apostasy!
It is a distortion of the grace found in Christ!


#265

I think we simply look at the issue of morality in a way that’s incomplete. Yes, I think that meat eating and jewelry can be moral issues in certain contextual settings of that morality. Let me explain though.

Morality is a concept of “ideal set of behaviors for specific setting”. Hence, morality is not a dot. It’s a range of behavior that we categorize as a hierarchy from best fitting to least fitting.

But, morality itself has categories of conceptual importance that compete in any given setting. It’s actually how your brain works. There are competing conceptual mechanisms that will inform your eventual decisions in any-given situation.

The problem with saying that meat eating is not related to morality at all, is that it communicates the wrong take on morality for a person who may be struggling with balance and health, and they would categorize “spiritual morality” as problematic, but “dietary morality” as a non-issue. It’s a false dichotomy, much like subcontious/conscious mind is a false dichotomy, since it’s merely a subjective category of perception that’s achieved by drawing the line and dividing certain continuum into chunks.

Hence, for a sedimentary heart patient, eating meat can very much be a moral issue. It’s not an issue for an athlete who burns through the meat and needs more. For someone who tries to overcompensate one’s inadequacies by “body art”, these likewise can be a moral issue.

My problem is precisely what we choose to focus on when we focus on those moral issues which we don’t struggle with, and ignore those that we do. For example, it drives me insane when overweight pastors tell stories about how homosexual couples who seek church hung up on them because the pastor said “Gospel will accept you as you are, but gospel likewise expects you to change”. Yes, that’s true, but what if the change is exceptionally difficult? … like getting to a healthy weight for you is difficult in the present environment and your physiological constraints that drive you into the direction of obesity, for example? So, it’s easy to criticize homosexuality, but when it comes to gluttony and health… ugh… “Kingdom of Heaven isn’t a matter of food and drink”.

So, either we accept everyone willing to come with all of their struggles and “inabilities to change”, or we cherry-pick morality in such a way that allows us to sit on some high horse of moral superiority.


(Kim Green) #266

Arkdrey, I am curious what you educational background is/what you field of work is/has been…if you don’t mind sharing?


(Kim Green) #267

Though I am not disagreeing in main with your points and conclusions, I believe that David is referring specifically to the SDA church in regards to the “morality” of them arbitrarily setting up jewelry wearing and meat eating as “tests of faith”.

In this regard, he is agreeing with your: “My problem is precisely what we choose to focus on when we focus on those moral issues which we don’t struggle with, and ignore those that we do.”, and “So, either we accept everyone willing to come with all of their struggles and “inabilities to change”, or we cherry-pick morality in such a way that allows us to sit on some high horse of moral superiority.”

Naturally, I am sure that he will speak for himself, if what I am saying is correct. :smiley:


(Kade Wilkinson) #268

Hmm…

St. John the Revelator himself wrote pretty strongly against the Jews, even explicitly calling them Antichrist. (1 John 2:22, 1 John 4:2-3, 2 John 1:7)

See also: John 5:23, 1 John 2:18, 1 John 4:15, 1 John 5:1,20, 2 John 1:7,9


#269

My educational background is vast, much like the work that I do is fairly vast, although that “vastness” revolves around media and communications field. There are things that I love to do, and there are things that I have to do to make money. So some of my education was formal, but most is informal.

In short, I’m a “generic dummy” who probably thinks he knows a lot more than he actually does :slight_smile: , so there’s that disclaimer that comes with everything that I say.

I went through the Soviet education system initially, which had a rigorous emphasis in math and science, it didn’t really dive into philosophy much. English isn’t my first language. I guess you’ve already deduced that much :slight_smile:. So, I had a strong background in science, since both of my parents were educators in the system. My mother was an engineer who taught physics, my father was a general pedagogy graduate, although he was professional athlete for most of his life, and proceeded with a career as a coach and pro team manager.

My early interest dealt with software development, and eventually progressed to creative aspects of that on the technical end. I began producing digital music at the early age and had a short professional stint in that during pre-college career when “EDM DJ-ing” had some emergence at that time , and then got interested in cinematography and Visual Effects, which I pursued in college, along with theology, philosophy and business. So, my major is in Multimedia Tech, with minor in business, and another minor in theology. So, my background and interests are rather complex. My love is that for creative aspect of visual and aural communication, so I did get involved in film/TV production in virtually all aspects of that production, but “bread and butter” aspect of that work is in advertising and marketing. I worked in film/broadcast for a while in a creative fields, and then started my own company which essentially develops software that automates stock media production, and we run creative agency on the side.

I love science, since my parents drilled that into me from the young age. I love creative aspect of media, as I am both film and music producer. I love wed-app development, as such I am a full-stack developer (although these days it’s hard to be one) and a designer for both broadcast and web. And I love theology, but mostly the deeper philosophical aspects of it as opposed to arguments about how many angels can fit on a pin of a needle.

I’m very much interested in the nature of consciousness as it relates to human perception. Hence, I think that the answer is somewhere in between the “Philosophical Zombie” … and the full-blown Berklean Idealism, in which thoughts are in some space of their own. I do resided a bit over the line of the Berklean side, since I think that consciousness is an attribute that “directs matter” by giving matter functional attributes.

As such, I’m interested in similar things that you do, although perhaps, with a broader position of examining certain extremes. Hence, I do read both the “materialistic extreme” of Pavlovian school of thought… more recently this guy who personifies that extreme. :

And the idealistic extremes of someone like … let’s say Jordan Peterson recently, who spends exorbitant amount of time to attempt to take Jungian approach to Biblical narrative, which I find both fascinating and valuable.

Overall, my generic perspective on any subject is that we can’t explain reality with a “reductionist mindset”, since whatever we observe in isolation in actuality exists on certain continuum, hence scientists falsely accuse psychology as a “peseudo-science”, largely because the approach in psychology is that of analyzing individual as opposed to formulating broader generalizations. Hence, IMO, psychology is more scientific than physics in that regard, since physics relies on formalized assumptions about the past.

Ok, I’ll end there. You can see why people run away from me at parties :slight_smile: You ask me “what do you do”, and I end up rambling about the nature of consciousness.


(Steve Mga) #270

All Anti-Christ means is “against Christ”.
Over 2000 years that has been interpreted in many ways as cultures in the church
has changed.
Not only said that about the Jews, but one group of Christians has called another
group of Christians “anti-Christ” over time.
Even political times have been called “anti-Christ”.


(Frankmer7) #271

I would go as far as saying that justification, while a legal term, is also a covenantal term, Pat. The first time Paul uses it, is in the context of Peter’s walkout from the fellowship table at Antioch. IOW, justification is about who belongs. Did people belong to God and were reckoned right with him and part of his covenant people because they adopted Jewish practice and live a life regulated by the Law/Torah in addition to faith in Christ, or was it through faith in/joining up with Christ and receiving his Spirit alone? Paul concluded that even we who are Jews by birth realize that it is the latter, and not the former!

This hits on a more crucial problem that Adventism raises, beyond the aberration of LGT. Its very existence is predicated upon the fact that it separates from other Christian groups based on law…minus circumcision. Sabbath and food laws become the defining marks of the faithful, and the grounds of belonging, not faith in Christ alone that expresses itself in unifying love. Its very DNA contains divisiveness, a separating of itself from and vaunting of itself above other Christians and Christian groups, based on adherence to points of Law. Points that Paul clearly made issues of conviction rather than compulsion. Adventism does the opposite.

In a way, this isn’t unique, because the sweep of the Reformation has been characterized by division after division. Adventism calls itself the heir of the Reformation. In this sense, it has been. It has perpetuated the worst part of it. Ecumenism is a dirty word. The simple gospel would lead to different results, the unity of the one faith that Paul sought to nurture for his entire missionary and pastoral life.

Thanks…

Frank


#272

I understand that, but I think it’s likewise difficult to determine one’s needs and motives behind “legalism” that may maintain certain structural integrity.

As a viable parable, there’s a Sci-Fi novel " The Inhabited Island" by famous Russian writers/philosophers (the same guys who wrote Stalker for Tarkovsky). And the story goes that a human from distant Earth who is as perfect and advanced as any human may be in both knowledge and understanding, crash-lands on a planet of savages that maintain apartheid society that structures hierarchy around concept that Earthling finds to be extremely unjust.

So, he proceeds to free society from the “shackles of injustice” by destroying the mechanisms that ran that society, and at the end he is confronted by another Eathling who is explained to be the original creator of the system in which the society is now as means to protect them from barbarians who will invade and destroy that society without certain constrains in place that channeled existing customs to create a functional structure in which society could progress.

It’s actually could be a criticism of any structure-wrecking “rebellion”, since it sees that structure solely from the position of “oppression”, without examining the broader continuum of where such structure may fit as a “temporary necessity”.

I understand that plentiful extremes are worth wrecking, and wars were fought in the past to wreck these. But, in present-day context of the church, we should be extremely cautious and considerate about people who internalized certain structure as a part of their identity, and wrecking that structure ends up having the domino effect of wrecking the “structural model” that certain people use to access Christianity.

Hence, I think “conceptual centralization” approach will not work. Church, in a way, should be a place where people could understand Christ “in their own language”, but that wouldn’t happen if we insist on certain “unified” view of the church. Hence, I don’t think jamming everyone in a single building and attempting to generically hammer certain ideals would work, unless each member of the congregation is given a voice and opportunity to expand on the “Orthodoxy” that they see expressed in their own lives.

Hence, speaking in film analogy, modern Adventism is closer to The Empire in the Star Wars saga. The soldiers are cloned, and dressed up in “ideological uniform”. So, there’s plentiful unity, and that’s what I hear a lot today “Unity… Unity … Unity”. Bad guys can have unity too :slight_smile: . Unity isn’t a virtue. I’m not saying that GC is an evil Empire from Star Wars (like some here do), but I do think that there’s elements of ideology that are present and disconcerting.

On the other hand, the “rebellion” is diverse, and where they are united is in maintaining diversity of independent expression of certain ideals, with such expression couldn’t be the same by various creatures living in separate galaxies of “varying cultures”.

Hence, we should allow for diversity, even if such diversity is on some extremes of certain idealism, which may be both necessary and beneficial for certain cultural locale.


(Steve Mga) #273

I think one of the Problems we SDAs have is that we do not enjoy fellowshipping
with “sinners”.
Remember when Jesus was declared by his enemies that he was a “glutton and
a drunk” – drinking too much wine? He was chastised verbally for having fun with
“sinners” and the low lifes who had the wrong occupations?
We fail to realize that Jesus was an “entertainer”. Great story teller. People had
fun with Jesus. Not turned off by Jesus even though HIS lifestyle was so much
different than theirs.
All Jesus ever said was “COME”. Learn of me. He did not say COME, after you
learn the 28, go through Baptismal class, give up certain things. “Come, learn of
Me” is all he usually said.
Many times we make it TOO DIFFICULT for persons we meet and talk to to JUST
COME meet Jesus.
Jesus said my Yoke is easy, MY burdens are light. Do we as SDAs make burdens
HEAVY for people we talk to about Jesus?
THEREFORE – we as SDAs find it VERY DIFFICULT to ALLOW several types of
people we “consider as sinners” to NOT sit in our pews and hear about Jesus.
For SDAs “OTHER SINNERS” are OK to come sit in our pews.

SDAs find it difficult to “be like Jesus”.


#274

Heb 7:12 For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well.
2Co 3:11 For if what was being brought to an end [he’s talking about the 10 commandments] came with glory, much more will what is permanent have glory.

To group the law into different categories can be convenient (sacrifical laws, civil laws, moral laws etc.) but I don’t see the Bible do so. Paul considers Genesis as much part of the law as the Decalogue (e.g. 1 Cor. 14:21.34; Gal 3:10). So either you have it all or you don’t. Picking some and ignoring others is common but the new covenant believers stands on a different footing altogether. The reason he doesn’t murder or steal is not because the Decalogue forbids these acts. It’s because the Holy Spirit convicts him that this would be incompatible with Christ’s way of life. This is why you recognize true Christians by their lifestyle, not by the lists and rules. If this is not understood the Christian life begets depression or legalism and pride rather than joy and freedom.

I am aware that this is the SDA reasoning. It ignores that the Jews were set apart ethnically and geographically and that Scripture plainly teaches that the law (where the Sabbath command is important) had an expiration date.
Gal 3:23 Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not listen to the law? I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. ESV.

I know nobody who truly would want to be under the whole law as formulated in the OT.


(Kim Green) #275

Thanks for sharing your background which is very interesting. Yes, there are some aspects that you and I definitely intersect. :slight_smile:

Actually you express yourself in English quite well. I would not have guessed it was second language. There have been a few commenters through the years that articulate well enough that one would not know.

I would not have guessed the artistic side…but the influence of the science and interest in psychology is strong as well. I am really interested in the intersection of psychology and media- particularly in communicating. Some of this comes from working in Social Services where “communication” could make or break you. I love to analyze what people think that they are communicating…and what they are actually doing.

Because of my background, I am more interested in “what works” than more generalist concepts. Yes, I understand them, generally, but I am more of a “doer/user”. :slight_smile: Most people don’t care much about what isn’t in front of their faces. lol


(Kade Wilkinson) #276

Orthodoxy?


(Kim Green) #277

" Hence, speaking in film analogy, modern Adventism is closer to The Empire in the Star Wars saga. The soldiers are cloned, and dressed up in “ideological uniform”. So, there’s plentiful unity, and that’s what I hear a lot today “Unity… Unity … Unity”. Bad guys can have unity too :slight_smile: . Unity isn’t a virtue. I’m not saying that GC is an evil Empire from Star Wars (like some here do), but I do think that there’s elements of ideology that are present and disconcerting."

Love the “word picture”. :laughing: And, of course, your “triplet”…“Unity… Unity … Unity”…so, neuro-liguisticly perfect! :wink:

This too is good:

"On the other hand, the “rebellion” is diverse, and where they are united is in maintaining diversity of independent expression of certain ideals, with such expression couldn’t be the same by various creatures living in separate galaxies of “varying cultures”."

Your film background is showing…lol

"Hence, we should allow for diversity, even if such diversity is on some extremes of certain idealism, which may be both necessary and beneficial for certain cultural locale."

And now the “Finale”…perfection!! :star_struck:


(Steve Mga) #278

In the Newly Created Earth – all “flesh” come before Me.
Perhaps our brains and imaginations are TOO SMALL to consider what this means.
“All flesh” – Our Guardian Angel [the one who had to put up with us for our whole
life time" – enjoying fellowship with our personal Body Guard].
“All flesh” – everyone we get to meet from Adam and Eve. Mind boggling. And that
is just the ones related to Adam and Eve.
“All flesh” – think of the different styles of music, the many NEW musical instruments
in addition to the puny ones we enjoy now on earth in 2019. Think of the wide eyed
expression of those who had never heard of violins, violas, bass, wonderful drums,
pianos, saxophones, guitars, mandolins, oboes, huge pipe organs who only had flutes made
out of twigs for music making. Will there be electronic instruments powered by solar power?
“All flesh” – those from other worlds that Ellen describes.
WONDERFUL SABBATHS!
Think of the pot-lucks. Exchanging recipes. Eating foods with wonderful NEW Tastes!
So MANY exciting things to DO, SEE, SMELL when one gets together with “all flesh”
once a month.
Singing, Stories, Eating, Excursions. Making new friends to do things together on the
OTHER 29 days.
YES! too often we see this “all flesh before Me” as being TOO RESTRICTIVE. When
it Really is EXPANSIVE.
PS— MY Guardian Angel is a wonderful Plumber!!


#279

Wow Jeremy, that’s interesting!

Let’s start with the meat argument: The Bible considers meat to be part of the “normal” post-flood diet. God explicitly allows the for the consumption of meat which is considered - of all things - a blessing!
Deu 12:15: Notwithstanding thou mayest kill and eat flesh in all thy gates, whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which he hath given thee: the unclean and the clean may eat thereof, …

Therefore, I am very careful to say that those who reject EGW don’t want to control their appetites. The Creator himself tells his people that they can eat meat - as much as their soul desires. Therefore I “defend” meat eating although I am still a very happy vegetarian with no desire for it.

In context, doesn’t Paul himself consider the teaching to abstain from certain meats as a doctrine of demons (1 Tim. 4:1-5)?

Coffee: The Bible allows for alcohol consumption - even for priests (Lev 10:9) and even if it is purchased with tithe money (Deut. 14: 26). If strong drink is explicitly allowed which we know causes lots of social disasters if used immoderately, then I am super careful to call coffee a sin. All the more since there is a growing body of evidence that moderate consumption has some benefits.

Masturbation: If this is to be condemned, is it proper to do so by making false claims about it (such that it leads to catarrh, dropsy, loss of memory and sight, affections of the spine or that women who engage in it often suffer from inward decaying of the head and that their mind is often utterly ruined?). Do you believe God showed her this? And given the widespread practice why does Scripture not forbid it explicitly as it does a number sexual sins which are far less common? I fully agree that masturbation can be sinful but I would not venture to say that it is always sinful - life is very diverse and multi-faceted.

So everyone has to ask himself for his motives. I find that she adds to the Bible in a way that contradicts Scripture. She prunes away at Christian liberties.


(Kim Green) #280

"The simple gospel would lead to different results, the unity of the one faith that Paul sought to nurture for his entire missionary and pastoral life."

Amen…there is nothing “simple” about the “gospel” of Adventism.


(Kim Green) #281

Associating “with sinners” would be a dilution of the “perfectionism” that every good SDA seeks. It is too much of a threat to ever be truly comfortable with the “others”. The Adventist Club has standards and only seeks members who are “worthy” enough (conforming enough) to associate with. This is not how Jesus operated…and he openly associated with the “others” despite condemnation from the religious leaders. He also went where they worked/lived. Such a different paradigm from Jesus, Steve.


(Tim Teichman) #282

That’s a good one! Perhaps his soul remains with his body?

Honestly I don’t think the founders would recognize the church today. They had some very peculiar ideas.


(Steve Mga) #283

For men, there seems to be healthy benefits to the prostate. I know THIS is not the
place to discuss the topic, but there Are websites that discuss it.
Masturbation for men and women can lead to Obsessive-Compulsive behavior. Which
is not healthy in this area. But we DO have to be careful calling something – OCB.
As far as Ellen and Masturbation, much of what she endorsed and written by James
White to mothers was information promoted by people in the 1700’s. “Copied information”,
not necessarily “a thus saith the Lord” message from heaven.
Certain SDAs are STILL republishing and selling the book that James wrote to mothers
even though we KNOW that all of it is wrong.
Messages to Young People also continued the “Mothers” book in it – called “secret sin”.
Ellen and James and the 18th and 19th Century believed there was ONLY so much
“Life Force” in the body. And for men, at least, this was in semen. And if one lost too
much then the body would deteriorate. Physically, mentally. Physical manifestations.
Neurological manifestations. Crazyness manifestations. This is ONE reason she promoted
a certain amount of “celibacy by men” in the marriage relationships.
[Could THIS be why Catholics would suggest sex ONLY for procreation?]
ANYWAY – SDAs do NOT like to discuss this in conversation. ONLY in books. NOT even
in our magazines.

PS- The promotion of “Mother’s Material” in the Messages book caused a LOT of BOTH
Emotional-Mental AND Spiritual Trauma to young men. Possibly to some women.