Does What We Believe Save Us?

(Allen Shepherd) #41

She is often quite precise, and Paul’s thoughts can be difficult. By this I mean, they require a certain amount if interpretation that Ellen’s don’t. No, I do not have a problem with it. I did it as you see above.

I have found Ellen a most wonderful resource and take her seriously. She has deep insights. I have been blessed immensely by her, But I am glad to use Paul, as I did above as well.

(Johnny Carson) #42

Allen, I’ll refer you (once again) to Godwin’s Law.

There are two kinds of people, Allen. Those who dictate and who will be dictated to are one kind. The other are those who use their God given intellect to think for themselves outside the realm of influence of the first group. Is belief important? Sure it is, but belief is between the soul and the savior and not to be dictated, in fact cannot be dictated by others, even pastors such as yourself. Those who will not be dictated to are the men, women, and young people who are in Jesus inner circle.

People who go along with the dictates think they’re fine and free as a bird, but those of us who are choosers, we bump into things, fall down, get up, go in another direction. Then we do it all over again. We refuse to stand in line, go along with the crowd, and do what we’re told. One day we find it. It isn’t that we’re looking for trouble. We just can’t follow folks because we’re told to follow them. No matter what we decide to do, we’re not going to be highly regarded by the dictators and their followers. We rub them the wrong way. For us there’s only one we will follow and he refuses to dictate. Instead he woos with the still, small, that allows us to stumble, all whilst validating our personal journey rather than a journey with the crowd at the behest of those who would dictate.

I realize that many can’t help the overbearing and condescending warnings such as those above. It’s in the blood of a religion that seeks to control rather than allow individuality in Christ. I reject such religion and such leadership. It’s not of God.

(Cfowler) #43

I wonder how the Gospel was spread for almost 2,000 years without EGW’s insights and writings…

(reliquum) #44

And yet, ending male supremacist headship is, in fact, love.

Keeping discrimination against women as a holy edict of God does violence forcefully to women, and to character of God.

Are you using the Adam defense? “She (eve, that wretch) did it FIRST?”
Does that somehow justify your position?

(Allen Shepherd) #45

My analogy is not about Hitler, but Chamberlin. He just believed wrong about Hitler. BTW, Stalin did the same thing.

Perhaps another will do, more to your liking. Belshazzar thought his walls were impregnable so had a party. But was killed that night. He had incorrect belief. There you go, no Godwin’s law.

Good, you are on my side…

You are right. I cannot dictate to you. You choose for yourself. I may, and am called to make suggestions, but cannot dictate. You are right.

This is interesting. I am not sure what you mean by “the dictators”, but I assume they are the ones who propose certain beliefs. Is that so? And you, I assume, are part of that group that does not stand in line, go along with the crowd, or do as you are told. Right?

We both agree that correct belief is important. You then go into a dissertation about some who you see dictating belief, and refuse to be influenced by them.

I agree, that’s why I am an Adventist. Don’t want to follow the crowd. Make up my own mind. I guess we are kindred spirits after all.

But maybe you mean something different. Your ball.

(Allen Shepherd) #46

Come on! Is there a problem about the gospel in the quotes I used? Then show it rather than this sort of pert remark. No she was not needed to spread the gospel, but has insights.

And I had a purpose using her here. I could have argued from Paul, I know how to do it. But I wanted to show that she and Paul are in agreement.

(Johnny Carson) #47

Yet Adventism is no less guilty of dictating than is the crowd you mentioned. There’s no need to bring up examples. Dissuasions we’ve both participated in here are rife with examples. Go figure…

(Allen Shepherd) #48

So, Timo, you feel that belief about WO is important. And so you agree with me that right belief is important, and disagree with the author, who says it is not.

No, but if you are going to criticize someone for pushing correct belief, you need to be willing to criticize both groups who do it. And both sides of the WO debate do it.

(Allen Shepherd) #49

Last i checked, belonging to this church was voluntary. A group has the responsibility to enunciate what they believe so that other may join of they so choose. As a pastor, I speak of beliefs all the time, and remind others of what I think are God’s position on matters. I am hired to do that. I want to give the church an honest bang for their buck.

Your are free. If you feel the church is dictating to you, by all means take leave. And if you stay, you are agreeing with their beliefs.

It is not so hard. We are all free. Are there costs to one or the other decisions? Yes, of course, there always are. But a free man such as yourself will weight the costs and act appropriately.

But complaining about dictators seems to imply that you don’t like the group you want to associate with or the leadership, or something.

Better to light a candle than curse the darkness.

(Cfowler) #50

If a stranger asked you “what is the Gospel?” What would you tell them in a nutshell, in a brief moment in time, if a moment or two was all that you had?

(Allen Shepherd) #51

What is the gospel is an intellectual question, not seeking to surrender to Jesus. What must I do to be saved? is a better question.

I would answer: The gospel is the power of God to give us life eternal, the best gift he could give, obtained by him at great cost to himself. He invites us to drink of the water of that life freely. if you are interested I will tell you about it…

(Allen Shepherd) #52

I am answering myself here because I want to make a point.

The author said that:

And most of you agreed with that premise. But then when I brought up “rigid belief in WO” suddenly, it was important that that belief be held.

So, it was not that rigidly hewing to a certain belief was bad, but that WHAT you believed was actually really important.

So, ladies and gentlemen, you are, in this regard, just as rigid as your fundamentalist brethren and sisters; it is just that you have a different set of beliefs that you feel must be accepted. And you feel these views are moral imperatives. Pretty strong stuff!

You are dictators in your own sphere, and will reject any who do not tow the line. it is important to realize this. it will save you from undue criticism of others.


My response to comment #27:

I included EGW quotes that support salvation by faith alone (Paul’s position) and EGW quotes that support salvation by faith + works. Sometimes she said salvation is solely by grace through faith, sometimes she said it had to include works. The prophet says both!
The Adventist dilemma. The Adventist conundrum. The inherent internal contradiction. The source of unending confusion and strife, often played out in the comments on this site.

But then you say,

I agree that once we are saved God does not want us to keep on sinning. Yes, we will sin after we are saved and yes there is a process called sanctification, in which we are to overcome sin. But if we don’t submit to it now, we have not lost our salvation. 1Cor 3:11-15 proves this. A believer (one whose foundation is Christ) can have all his works burned up, ‘but he Himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.’ He will be purged of his sin later in the fire, but it is preferable to undergo ‘the fiery trials’ of sanctification now (1Peter 4:12).
Everything will not be accomplished in this age. God is patient and there are ages to come (Eph 2:7).

Concerning the death and resurrection of Christ, I think we agree that both Christ’s death and resurrection are important.

I believe that God created all of us sinless in the first Adam at the time He created Adam. (One of the meanings of the word ‘adam’ is mankind). God does not create sinful beings. When Adam fell into sin, we all fell with him. That is why we were all born in a fallen state - sinful, selfish and alienated from God. When Adam sinned, God, in His mercy, removed Adam & Eve’s immortality (sin is not to be present forever). Thus, Adam’s ‘gift’ to us was mortality. The weakness associated with our dying leads us inevitably to sin. The law demands the death penalty for each of us for our own sins. God’s law has never been abandoned, but must be be upheld. Quite a problem. God’s solution was to put us in the last Adam (Christ) who took us through the death penalty.

We have been crucified with Christ…

Because we died, the law has been satisfied. We are no longer ‘under the law’ which means it no longer has a claim on us. We…’ were made to die to the law through the body of Christ’, and ‘…we have been released from the law, having died to that which we were bound’ (Rom 7:4-5).

The love and resulting grace of God to us made this possible. It is His doing.

What has replaced the sinful, Adamic life that died in Christ on the cross? Resurrection life, new creation life.

…therefore we no longer live, Jesus Christ now lives in us.

Peter tells us how this happened. Much as the Holy Spirit planted a divine seed in Mary, God has planted an immortal, divine seed in us (1Peter 1:23) that will come to fruition when we are glorified. John tells us that this seed abiding in us, begotten by God, cannot sin (1John 3:9).

God has not yet totally removed the effects of the old, sinful life in us (Paul struggled against it in Rom 7) because he wants us to use our new life to ‘overcome’ our old, legally dead one. Sanctification is the process of doing so. It is the outworking in our lives of the growth of this seed of Christ within.

Rom 4:17 tells us that ‘God…gives life to the dead and calls the things which do not [yet] exist as existing’. God sees our sanctification as already completed. He can impute (count or reckon) Christ’s righteousness to us because He is the One working it out within us (Phil 2:13) and He knows it will one day be completed. The trials of Christ’s life ‘proved out’ the perfection of this new creation divine/human life and the death of our old, sinful life in Christ on the cross cleared the way for its implantation within us.

God’s promise to write His law within our hearts is another way of saying this new creation life will eventually become our very nature. His agape, self sacrificing love for others will also be our nature. That is why sin will not arise again.

I believe the ones in whom the growth of this seed is most successful in this age (who have submitted most fully to this sanctification process) will be given positions of authority under Christ in the coming kingdom age. I think deciding who is qualified for these positions (not deciding who is saved or lost) is the reason for the coming judgment of our works at the end of this age.

(reliquum) #54

Spoken like a true shepherd. NOT.

Simplistic, and false.

So, since we believe in a non-discriminating, non-forcing, moral agency granting god we are not permitted to hold such beliefs within our shared faith community?
We are being implored to abandon our beliefs if we remain-and abandon our community if you deem we don’t agree?

And your kind of folk get to remain, creating rules, tattling enforcements, building walls to keep out us unwashed masses? No, not so much, not so fast. You do NOT get to hew your image of god and then hold this graven deity above, as God.

You might white the sepulcher and think you appear all holy, but writ has a characterization of that which you might wish to reconsider. Praying for you, Allen, not to leave the church (as you exhort us), but that you find the right image to reflect and testify about.

(Cfowler) #55

Why is it an “intellectual” question?

(Allen Shepherd) #56

I have confused you and Johnny Carson, for you take my quotes to him and answer. It is fine, but I have to think about what I am saying.

On reviewing your posts, I note:

  1. You feel that I exhibit the idea that our beliefs are “exclusively correct”, as do some others in your sphere.
  2. You think that I am pretending when I deny such a charge.
  3. That I think your and others’ beliefs are “abjectly wrong”
  4. That doing WO is an act of love, and thus very important.
  5. I am not a true shepherd, but more like those that white sepulchers
  6. I and my ilk are trying to harry such as you out of the church, or that you must abandon your beliefs.

My answer:

  1. You’re pretty judgmental. When I assert that I do gain insight from others, you say I am pretending. You call me one who whites sepulchers, etc. What gives?
  2. When did I say you were abjectly wrong? I don’t have a problem with WO, but do believe the church voted to not do it and should be respected. I have friends that believe in it and are members in good standing. I would never kick anyone out for holding that belief.
  3. But, if you feel the church is dictating to you improperly, and that is really bothering you (which appears to be the case, especially with the reaction I am getting), then considering another faith community might be a healthy move.
  4. Timo, I don’t dictate to anyone. The church itself has printed a list of its cardinal beliefs. Beliefs are voted in general session, and ajshep has no power there at all, and has never even been a delegate. But why belong to a group you disagree with? Now if it is WO, there is a big debate going on, and the issue has not yet been resolved. I have not said that you have to toe the line here or go, but those that want to do it are considering doing just that. So, to accuse me of being a bad shepherd because I suggest that if you are unhappy, and are feeling dictated to, that leaving might help is just to reflect what those who are adamant about WO are suggesting already. How does that make me a bad shepherd? And who said you were one of he unwashed masses?
  5. You are reading an awful lot into my comments. Where did I say I was holy compared to anyone? I have an opinion, just like you, but don’t go calling people who disagree with me those that white sepulchers etc. Really a bit over the top.

You seem really angry about something that has happened, and I am one who apparently reminds you of the episode. Again, what’s going on here?

(Allen Shepherd) #57

it is sort of like the question, which is the greatest commandment? It is a question seeking intellectual knowledge rather than heart commitment.

It is a good question to find what one is really thinking on the matter. But more a question posed in a debate etc. Still, not a bad question.

(Allen Shepherd) #58

Thank you for your long response. I would like to say a few things.

This is probably the main place we would disagree. I think if we do not submit to Christ to allow him to do his will in us, that is rebellion, and it cannot be cleansed by fire. Your position is similar, at least, to the catholic doctrine of purgatory, where God cleanses us of sin.

My view is that we must be ever submitting, dying daily. In the end, Jesus will cover that that has not been remedied, but there will be no “cleansing fire” so to speak. He covers us, simple as that.

But those that refuse to call Jesus lord, will not be in the kingdom.

I do not disagree with most of the rest of what you have said. I might have a slightly different take, but am in pretty much agreement. You have clearly thought much on this matter.

(reliquum) #59

Nice deflection, but to answer your query, nothing remotely represented by the way you have mischaracterized it.

A good shepherd, as a pastor, ought represent the true shepherd.
As such, seeking that not ONE be lost. We’re all in the same “sphere” (i suppose except for you headship men, with your higher sphere and all, and us spiritual deplorables).

BTW your conversation IS visible-and affects-more than just John. It’s really quite public, and as such, coming from you, a pastor, seems fair game to challenge.

Nonetheless, seems that I ought refrain from responding directly to you, you seem touchy that anyone question you regarding your vociferant mistaken belief that since the GC has “voted 3 times against ordination of women”, we should just leave you and your church to its wiles.
Fair enough.

(Allen Shepherd) #60

I’m the touchy one? I have said before, that if it had gone the other way, it would have been fine with me. And have even now wished it had.

It is the third world that has voted WO down. They have a majority in the church because that is where the growth has been. NA is only 7% of the total. So, they for whatever reason, decided to squash it, and with the growth had the power.

I didn’t know we were discussing salvation issues here. WO has nothing, as far as I can tell, to do with salvation.

How do you know I am a “headship” man? I have not discussed that view except very tangentially, and have not given my view at all. And when did I call you deplorable? (Hillary said I was that)

Touchy? Vociferant mistaken belief?

If it brings out this kind of response, then maybe that is a good idea.

But I am not the touchy one here. I think that is clear.