Do You Really Want to Know?

(jeremy) #324

i agree that motives are important, as is an understanding of context and intent, which only come from a broad reading over time…i disagree that egw adds to the bible in a way that contradicts scripture, although it is true that she often contradicts the way the bible is often understood and interpreted…i definitely disagree that egw prunes away at christian liberties…if anything, she strengthens them…

meat: there’s a lot of evidence now that regular meat eating, especially regular red meat eating, causes biochemical changes in the body over time (cholesterol and heart health are only one issue), and none of them are good…for instance, the iron in red meat transforms into N-nitroso compounds in the gut that lead directly to colorectal cancer…the fat content and ratios in red meat, as well as the hormones used to raise meat animals, contributes to breast cancer…the lowered blood pH from meat destroys gums, leeches calcium out of bones, and facilitates the growth of cancer…red meat is also associated with type 2 diabetes…the nitrosamines in processed red meat is toxic to insulin-producing pancreatic cells…

according to egw, the blessing in meat eating that god gave noah was a shortened lifespan, an association that harvard has now confirmed:

a shortened lifespan means there is less of a likelihood that individuals can progress in sin as deeply and thoroughly as the antediluvians did, and call down the wrath of god against their existence (which obviously would have been a concern for noah)…because every generation starts all over to a great extent in their familiarity with and involvement in evil, even though they inherit evil tendencies from their parents, the tide of evil in the world, overall, has been greatly hindered since the flood…

one example: according to WaPo, president trump has lied over 5,000 times this yr, and he’s only 72…he didn’t get to this point overnight…no doubt he winced, at least a little, when he first started lying as a child…ask yourself how bad things would be if he were 972 yrs old…that’s what we’re looking at in the situation with the antediluvians…instead of sin dying with them after 70 or 80 yrs, they lived to 700 and 800 yrs and greatly accelerated their descent into evil of all kinds…no wonder god had to destroy them…

according to the bible, violence was a feature of the ancient world…according to egw, cruelty went along with that violence…look at kim jong-un…the man is only 35 yrs old…what if he were 935 yrs old…how many innocent people would he have murdered and tortured during that time…he doesn’t blink an eyelash now…how bad would things be hundreds of yrs from now if he continued to live, steadily getting worse, for that amount of time…nero and hitler are other historical monsters…no doubt it’s a blessing to the world that they’ve died…nero lived 30 yrs, and hitler 56 yrs…those comparatively short lives are still cited for their shocking levels of evil…but could we even comprehend the evil that would be on the historical record if these men lived to 930 and 956 yrs, respectively…

coffee: i’ve talked to my dr. about coffee (he’s a non-adventist, and very good with diverging into conversations having nothing to do with why you’re seeing him)…he cautions all his patients against the amount of caffeine in coffee…he says it raises blood pressure, speeds up the heart rate (which is associated with a shortened lifespan), and disrupts deep sleep…although he thinks it can be part of an effective treatment regiment for people with attention deficit disorder, he thinks regular exercise is the best alternative to the boost people get from coffee…i haven’t talked to him about egw, but he sounds a lot like egw in many ways…

masturbation: there was an interesting fulcrum7 article on masturbation some time ago, explaining that masturbation in pre-pubescent boys leads to decreased levels of estradiol, and excess amounts of dopamine…apparently there are all kinds of problems associated with these effects:

in general, though, my view of masturbation is that it’s a form of fornication, which the apostle paul has a major problem with…i don’t think jesus masturbated…i don’t see it as part of a spiritual life…


Also, Jesus did expand on murder.

And He did expand on adultery.

And He did expand on the sabbath.

And He did expand on honoring one’s parents.


That makes it all the more telling that Paul is zeroing in on the covenant around the Decalogue as passing away (2Co 3:11 For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.) Earlier in V. 6 he says we are ministers of a new covenant, and then, to leave no ambiguity adds the words “not of the letter”. In context, “of the letter” means of the letters carved in stone (Decalogue). Isn’t this shocking?

As Frank has pointed out, if that one is gone, the rest of the 613 are gone as well. And yet - we don’t have license to steal, murder or commit adultery because God’s law is written in our hearts.

My ESV says: If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

John makes a distinction between the law and the commandments (which also applies to Rev. 12:17). Jesus isn’t talking about the OT law as such - or John would have used the term “nomos”, instead he uses “entole”.

And more importantly, keeping Jesus’ commandments shows that we love him. It’s not the other way around, namely that to make sure that we love him, we keep them. It’s the difference between legalism and righteousness by faith! Loving Jesus (automatically) makes us want to do what he tells us. I don’t keep his commandments to show my love to him. It’s a world of difference!


I have no problem with all of that and fully agree with you. My issue is that it is wrong to make a moral case of eating meat when God himself feeds Elijah (the symbol of last-day faithfulness) with meat and tells his nation they can eat all they want. EGW’s early admonitions against meat are from a moral not a health perspective (strengthening of animal propensities etc.). That is an unbiblical addition to Scripture fulfilling 1 Tim. 4.

Don’t know whether this anecdote is true or not, but from what I heard J.H. Kellogg believed that with his healthy lifestyle he could turn 200 years old.

Your doc doesn’t make a moral case of coffe, however! That’s the crucial difference. He doesn’t believe it is sinful and something you have to overcome for God to be pleased.

If it is with sinful fantasies I agree with you but I am not comfortable to generalize and make it something that will shut you out of heaven when the Bible doesn’t. Neither do I believe that all masturbation is done with sinful fantasies (e.g. in small children).


Thanks to both you and Kim for your comments and observations.

To clarify, for those of us who ‘grew up’ Adventist meat eaters or jewelry wearers were classified as lost souls, period. You had an automatic ticket to hell and redemption was out of reach for these people. This is the level of thinking that is problematic.

(Steve Mga) #329

Back in my day when I was a kid growing up and on into College, even the wearing
of a “wedding band” was considered “lost soul” behavior.
In my home church when in 9th, 10th grade I sang in the adult choir. One of the women
was married to a non-SDA. To please him she wore the wedding band. But IF she
WANTED to sing in the choir, she HAD to remove it during church service each week.
NOW even conference AND union presidents wear wedding bands along with local
pastors and their wives in North America.

(jeremy) #330

egw’s moral framework of health is an expansion of paul’s linking of health to temple of god status, and the fact that god will destroy those destroy who that temple…there’s no contradiction…

ask yourself why god gave elijah meat, when he could have given him manna…


on being an expansion of Paul’s link to the body being the temple of God: In 1 Cor 3:16 the context is the different teachers of the Gospel and one’s life work which will be manifest at the judgment. In 2 Cor. 6:16 the context is idol worship, and in 1 Cor 6:19 it is fornication. To say that the body equals the temple and then make a whole doctrine of health on it is quite a stretch which is not found in these passages.

on there being no contradiction: It is precisely with regards to legalism (and notably foods) that Paul says in 1 Tim 4: “For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.”

Therefore, for EGW to write pages upon pages on what Paul says “profits little” is, IMO not an expansion of his thoughts.

(Tim Teichman) #332

I don’t think Paul’s point was that we are all to stay in our social roles. Re-read Galatians 3 and 4 together as if for the first time to see his point, which is that we’ve grown up, and are lo longer bound by the law or social constraints. Here are some clips:

Galatians -
3:26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

4:1 What I am saying is that as long as an heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. 2 The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. 3 So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces of the world. 4 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. 6 Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba , Father.” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.

8 Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. 9 But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? 10 You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! 11 I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.

21 Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. 23 His son by the slave woman was born according to the flesh, but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a divine promise.

28 Now you, brothers and sisters, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29 At that time the son born according to the flesh persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now. 30 But what does Scripture say? “Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son." 31 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.

(Frankmer7) #333

I agree, Tim. The listing in Galatians 3:28 turns the male Jewish prayer recited every morning after the Shema upside down: “I thank you God that I was not born a Gentile, a slave, or a woman.” It is striking at the heart of this sense of religious, social, and ethnic status, and leveling the playing field within the people of God, and before his eyes.

With that said, the unity that Paul proposes does not erase those said distinctions. My thought is that for real unity to happen, differences that do not matter were to be accepted. To me, the Jewish Christian sector of the church was still free to practice their Judaism, and not be judged for it. This could very well be behind the admonition in Romans 14-15, a church of Jews and Gentiles. If all were to be forced into the same practices regarding eating and drinking, and the observance of days, Paul’s counsel would make no sense. He allows for variant practice, and I’m assuming some of that was still rooted in Judaism. The point to which the passage, and even the letter crescendos is, “Welcome one another as God in Christ has welcomed you…so that with one mouth both Jews and gentiles may glorify God.”

Judaizing was the attempt to impose and force these practices upon Gentiles. This is the issue in the Jerusalem council, Antioch, and Galatia. It is not to force Jews to stop their religious practices, even if Paul says that they have no more covenantal significance.

Ignatius’ rhetoric was the attempt to do just the opposite. I don’t find Paul in agreement with either extreme.



(James Peterson) #334

Why, indeed! In answer, it wasn’t a matter of either meat OR manna. God gave him meat AND manna (i.e. bread). 1 Kings 17:6, “The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening; and he drank from the brook.


(Kade Wilkinson) #335

To continue practices that foretell a coming messiah after Christ has come is to reject Christ’s fulfilling of those practices.

(Tim Teichman) #336

Oh, wow! I never thought of it that way. Makes a lot of sense.


Like sabbath keeping?

In Colossians 2:16-17, the apostle Paul declares, “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.”

(Kade Wilkinson) #338

Yes, exactly. The Sabbath was fulfilled, and Christians now live in the eschatological 8th day.

(James Peterson) #339

Really? I didn’t know that. I didn’t know that at all.

I was under the impression that Jesus said, “The Sabbath was made for man …”

Don’t people down their tools and leave their work places saying, “Thank God, it’s Friday?” Which worker in this world (NAME ME ONE, JUST ONE!) who adamantly refuses the weekend rest, who instead looks forward each day to working every single day for all his life?


(Cfowler) #340

Indeed! The “rules” are certainly hard to pin down, but everybody knows what others should not be doing. It’s a state of confusion while trying to nail jello to the wall.

(Kade Wilkinson) #341

I think you should look up the eschatological 8th day, and then compare to the below.

(Rhiannon) #342

Exactly. So, if it were divinely inspired council, why didn’t she live up to it? Why did she bind burdens on men’s backs heavy and grevious to be borne but she herself wouldn’t abide by it?

(Rhiannon) #343

This level of thinking may be wrong, but it IS consistent with the stated beliefs of the SDA church … and that is a problem. It’s very easy to say that meat eating and jewelry are not moral issues, but when belief in Ellen White as a true prophet is made part of the baptismal vows to be accepted into SDA fellowship, and when participating in those activities is contrary to “inspired counsel” it is inconsistent to do them and still claim to be an SDA.