Perfectly stated. And quite clearly in the bible as well.
I would say that what you describe, and what you’re hearing is a misnomer. It’s really, “Uniformity, uniformity, uniformity,” under the guise of unity. Real unity implies a continuum of diversity, organized around something central that can contain, make room for, and even maximize the strength of differences. To me, this is the picture of the body that Paul gives in 1 Cor. A unified whole with a diversity of members, gifts, etc. It was also crucial to his vision of Jews and Gentiles, each as they are, belonging equally to Christ and his body. Uniformity would squash this into a homogenized blob.
Yes. even though Unity and Uniformity come from the same roots, they are much,
much different in the Biblical context.
Unity with Jesus – Recall when the disciples told Jesus “Stop the man who is using
your Name and Baptizing!”? Jesus sweet, calm reply was – “Whoever is NOT against
Me is for me. Leave him alone.” THIS WOULD NOT WORK IN SDA CHURCH CIRCLES.
Unity with Paul – Jews and Gentiles had some differences in practices – days considered
important, certain food differences. But the Jerusalem Conference sent a letter to the
Gentiles about just a few items that were important.
Paul discusses Unity along with Diversity that allows the living and worshiping in Christ
as ONE in one congregation, not separate denominations.
Paul would NOT be allowed to preach in SDA churches today. He would be too divisive!
Probably dis-fellowshipped. Or at least Banned from preaching.
NOTE – We never hear that “that man” was part of the group in the upper room when
the Spirit was given. But Jesus BLESSED him.
i agree with you here, carol…the people leaving over these things don’t really have a case, as few people who stay in the church have read much of egw enough to understand her…adherence to egw lifestyle issues isn’t really a test of fellowship in most adventist churches…
but i disagree with the position i’ve seen you express elsewhere, that many people study their way out of adventism…there may be some people in this camp, especially if they rely on evangelical sources, but the vast majority of people who apostatize that i’ve seen do so because they aren’t studying…they’re drinking in the world through their TV and social media non-stop…eventually they want to be like what they see…and because they haven’t invested effort in really studying the bible or egw, there’s nothing that stops them…they come to the point where they see nothing wrong with the way non-adventists live, and lot that seems pointless in the way adventists live…so they leave, or don’t continue…
More than you probably know or think, Jeremy. Especially since the 1980s crisis which shone a spotlight on theology. We are missing an entire generation of creative, energetic, honest pastors who left–mostly from the era of Dwight Nelson, an exception and a great politician. They left for theological issues, not lifestyle issues that EGW condemned. Thousands have done the same.
All I can say is what my experience has been, and I know personally quite a few others. And, their testimonies are all over the internet. I’m sure there are many more that I don’t know about, or who have not chosen to write about it on line.
I don’t doubt that some people leave because of lifestyle issues, and I don’t blame them at all.
Mormons say the same thing…people don’t leave because of doctrine, they just don’t want to be obedient to the church’s beliefs and lifestyle. Do you think Mormon’s actually study their way out?
Hold on…the antichrist(s) being spoken of in 1John is not a clear cut polemic against Judaism or especially Jewish Christians. In 2:18-19, John speaks of the antichrists as those who belonged to the believing community at one time, but left. This implies an internal problem that ended up in a splitting off from the communities being addressed, and culminated in a denial of the Jesus. It is a leap to consider this a wholesale polemic against Judaism, or Jewish Christians who may have continued to practice the law, while continuing to believe in Jesus. In fact, there isn’t a single mention of controversy over the Law in the entire letter.
Many scholars believe that John was addressing a deviant teaching that denied the actual incarnation and death of Jesus as the Son of God. It was the idea that the divine did not really come in the flesh, which is refuted repeatedly in his first two letters. It is then expanded in 1John 5:6-7, that Jesus came not simply through the water of baptism, but through the blood. The Son of God, the human who was the actual source of all true and eternal life, truly came and died in the flesh.
I simply can’t see this as a wholesale condemnation of Jewish believers who continued to live in adherence to the Law. Nor do I see that as the issue in Galatians, where it is clearly speaking against the attempt to impose the Law upon Gentile believers. This was the crux of legalism, the attempt to impose the Law upon others to validate covenant belonging. Paul likens this to coming under the elementary spirits of the world…IOW, no better than paganism.
While there are polemical thrusts towards Judaism in John’s gospel, and also in Matthew, there is also the emphasis of continuity with Judaism in the NT, as well. There is also the counsel Paul gives in Romans 14-15, to those who have differing convictions concerning food and holy time. This is clearly addressing a spectrum of practice amongst Jews and Gentiles in the Roman church. He never condemns any of their differences, but ends with the idea that they should accept one another, as God in Christ has accepted them, strong and weak, Jews and Gentiles, with their differing convictions and practices on disputable issues.This is a distance from the wholesale condemnation Ignatius throws out towards anyone who happens to keep the Sabbath or other Jewish observances.
Paul does not go there.
If you tell people (non-SDA’s) about these things, they think you must be making it up. They usually don’t know how to respond, because it takes them a minute to realize you really aren’t joking. Even then, they are amazed…
As would apply to Christians who became judiasers. See Gal 5:2
Which is a tenet of Judaism.
Which was also a tenet of gnosticism, an early form of which John also may have been addressing, according to many scholars. This may also have been the group that went out. The characteristics were also there. It’s just not clear enough one way or the other to make such hard and fast statements.
What is clear is that Paul did not make such extreme judgments on Jewish Christians in general as Ignatius… only upon those who tried to impose Torah observance upon Gentiles.
Neither Paul nor Theophorus condemned Hebrew Christians. Both condemned judiasing Christians. You are creating an artificial distinction between writings that are in perfect harmony by ignoring a natural distinction between ethnicity and religion. One cannot be a Jewish Christian any more than one can be an Islamic Christian.
He said “many people [do not] study their way out of adventism”. He is right. @vandieman
But many people DO study their way out of Adventism. So you are right too.
It’s amusing to see two people who are both right disputing who is right.
My experience has been that yes, among conserative xian types, they think you must be making it up, but after further conversation they have their own stories about things that leave you shaking your own head. For instance, a young couple was telling me the other day about their experiences as teenagers in a Calvary Chapel where they went through the whole purity ring and purity consecration services with the accompanying heaps of shaming indoctrination.
On the other hand if you speak of these things among non xian or among the more progressive xian denominations then yes, they do look at you like you’ve just become a unicorn and sprouted a horn from your forehead.
I’m getting there. The more I read and study both religion and science the more off center and less plausible Adventist teachings seem, and the more I realize that the proof texts used to push Adventist ideas are used inappropriately while other texts that should be instructive are strategically ignored.
Yes, there are other situations out there…it’s just that Sevies have so many areas of prohibitions and biblical interpretations that leave people wide-eyed.
I’m not so sure. Consider that all the New Testament biblical writers & most of the players including Paul, all the disciples, the authors of all of the gospels, and of course Jesus were all Jews. They lived out their lives following Jesus teachings, and yet always considered themselves Jews. This was likely true of all of the Jews of the first century who became Jesus followers (well before the disparaging “Christian” label was coined and then applied to them.) At first they were trying to reform Judaism, not create a new religion.
There also are modern Christians who self-identify as “Jewish Christians”. Here’s a pretty good article:
Yes. That’s not really the brand of Christianity most of the SDA members would be comfortable with.
God made a difference between the laws that he wrote and the laws that Moses wrote. And a major difference was that the Ten Commandments were placed within the Ark of the Covenant whereas the laws of Moses were kept outside. Another way that God shows that the Ten Commandments were different was that Moses had to go back to the mountain to have them rewritten by God after breaking them, that is, Moses could not simply rewrite them: God had to do it.
Precisely! This is what James said. This is why you cannot keep nine commandments only. It is either the Ten or nothing.
Exactly! This is why, according to God, the New Covenant is about having the law written in the heart and mind, not just written on tables of stone.
But the mistake is to believe that, just because the Holy Spirit helps us do the right thing, then the law has disappeared. It doesn’t make sense.
If your parents gave you a good education and you internalized that stealing is wrong, does it mean that the law against stealing is gone? Not at all.
The Bible is clear that there will be a judgement. So, it means that there is a law because a judgement is based on the law
Also, Christians are not just recognized by their lifestyle. Jesus said that, if we say we love Him, we have to keep His commandments.
Now, it is possible to become legalistic but is it because of the law or because of the individuals? Blaming the law of God because of the misgivings of men is like blaming the speed regulations when people speed.
This is incorrect. First of all, as long as there is sin there will be a law since it is by the law that sin is determined. So, there is no expiration date on the laws, at least, not across the board. For example, the Ten Commandments have no expiration date (unless you think it is okay to kill or steal now). However the laws concerning the temple have expired at the death of Jesus. This is why the veil separating the Holy place from the Most Holy Place was torn down.
Well…remember it was some of those “deep pocketed” conservative individuals that killed one of Adventism’s most ambitious/creative project to date (if not ever), the Steam Punk version of the Great Controversy, “The Record Keeper”. It was too much for some of them to handle.