Embedding Last Generation Theology in Sabbath School Lessons


#241

Not sure what that is in reference to. I don’t really see much LGTarianism expressed in our churches. At least not in the ones I’ve been to. There maybe some hints here and there, and certain injection through Sabbath school discussion , but even that is deconstructed and questioned. I’ve yet to hear a sentiment that we must be perfect or near perfect before Jesus can come back, or before the events of great trib to take place.


(Kim Green) #242

This was your comment to me:

It just completely escapes me why this “perfection” would be required from God. In essence, we are becoming “Gods” in our own right…so blasphemous.

I don’t think that it implies all of the qualities of God. I think there is a good motive behind a rather terrible execution.

The problem with all of it is the Mickey Mouse effect. There are millions of people who come to adore a mouse with all of the myths surrounding it, but it doesn’t stop them from coming back home and keep breaking the neck of mice with a trap and trash them in the garbage. That imaginary reality is very different from the everyday one. So, the “mouse” in the Disneyland means something very different than “mouse” at home.

It becomes easy to flip the effect and turn any proverbial mouse, including oneself, into a “hero of faith” by means of constructing a narrative that lives in Disneyland and not everyday reality.

GC environment is that proverbial Disneyland. In that environment, LGT becomes inevitable. Any hierarchy of moral leadership will suffer from some version of that ideology.

But. I don’t think that we should trash the ideals along with expectations. Ideals are necessary.

“Perfectionism” has always been an issue within Adventism. LGTism is an even more extreme version of “Perfectionism”. You are fortunate that you haven’t heard: "I’ve yet to hear a sentiment that we must be perfect or near perfect before Jesus can come back, or before the events of great trib to take place."

This is why I was speaking about “perfection” being required from God and thus becoming “Gods” in our own right as blasphemy. Perhaps you misunderstood what I was saying?


(Steve Mga) #243

Alice –
When we read or see quotes from Ellen, we need to be very careful to
attempt “to reword what she wrote” and to do so because WE SECOND
GUESS WHAT She was REALLY TRYING TO SAY, but DID NOT say it
very well.
To say – Ellen DIDN’T MEAN what she said is taking a lot of liberties
with the way she crafted her words here.


(George Tichy) #244

We have to be astute in this area. Remember that there were several attempts throughout the years to infiltrate the heresy of “perfectionism” into our Church. Always unsuccessfully.

So, it appears that someone finally had a “bright idea,” creating a fancy name for the heresy. It would make it easier to infiltrate it without many people actually noticing it. Happen ng as we speak…

Now we know that even the GC is run by a LGTarian President.


#245

Again, my response was to the idea that any non-Biblically mandated form of idealism ends up being interpreted as “wrong LGTarianism”.

For example, would you be for the idea that people in church should take care of their health, and encourage support other people in church in doing so? And I’m not talking about fat shaming, or pushing people to cross-fit type of insanity, but in the very least promote healthy diet and help instill healthy habits?

Where do you think would be the line between harmful idealism and a healthy one?


(Ray Smith) #246

Shane I would like to bring you back to Ephesians 4:24 that was the central part of my initial long post which I probably didn’t explain well. Greek is Greek to me so I have to depend on various translations and what I can discover. I was hoping to draw attention to the meaning of this whole passage, not just the tense of one word. I’m suggesting that this is Paul’s description of the new birth experience. As such the meaning does not revolve around the tense of “new”.

  1. We put off the old self. By Paul’s description this is our old sinful human nature, our spirit or heart that is in rebellion against God. We put on the new self. This is the new heart, the new spirit, our new spiritual nature. It’s the answer to David’s prayer, create in me a clean heart O God and renew a right spirit within me that Calvary made a reality in Christ.

  2. The NIV translates as “made new in the attitude of your mind.” The NIV misses the point I think. KJV, NASB and others translate as “renewed in the spirit of your mind.” Body, mind and spirit is how the Bible often describes us. Part of the human mind is our spirit, the deep inner self or nature that truly defines us and gives us our identity. This new spirit of the mind is what is created when we are born again. This is what Adam and Eve lost in the garden when the spirit they were created with in God’s image, after His likeness, died. In the new birth it’s a DNA spiritual heart transplant. The Holy Spirit removes the old sinful human heart, it’s crucified with Christ, and replaces it with a new heart as Paul goes on to explain in amazing detail. Romans 6 describes it as rising with Christ to walk in newness of life. Human birth does not take a lifetime and it’s a one-off event. So it is with the new birth.

  3. It’s Paul’s revelations in verse 24 that give the real meaning to the new self that we put on, not spending the rest of our lives putting it on. "The new self “which in the likeness of God” is the basis. This new self “has been created.” This looks like past tense to me. Here’s the cruncher. This new self is in the likeness of God, created by the Holy Spirit as we understand the new birth, but it is a new heart, or spirit of the mind, “created in righteousness and holiness of the truth,” the truth as it is in Jesus Christ.

Paul’s message to the Ephesians is revolutionary, especially when I think back to a lifetime of trying to patch up the old sinful nature by a lifelong sanctification process to transform the old sinful human heart. I still hear preachers from the pulpit reminding us that we have a sinful wicked heart and that our righteousnesses are like filthy rags. It doesn’t say much for the new birth and Christ’s righteousness. Unless the new birth is a new creation, we have problems.

I could talk more about how Paul defines the flesh where sin resides and how Calvary means once-for-all forgiveness which means that God does not hold any sin against us. He’s a heavenly Father who is not blind to our stumblings and failings and sins but He’s forgiven us and He’s patiently, lovingly teaching us to live the way our new heart, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit who lives there, is telling us to live, if only we would take the time to listen and learn.


(Kim Green) #247

You have not given any example of "any non-Biblically mandated form of idealism ends up being interpreted as “wrong LGTarianism”."

For example, would you be for the idea that people in church should take care of their health, and encourage support other people in church in doing so? And I’m not talking about fat shaming, or pushing people to cross-fit type of insanity, but in the very least promote healthy diet and help instill healthy habits?

Why would I be against healthy lifestyles?

"Where do you think would be the line between harmful idealism and a healthy one?"

Is practicing Polygamy or Polyandry or even Polyamory a good thing…even if it is my religious or idealistic “ideal”? I mean, most individuals are quite happy have extra husbands or wives…or multiple lovers…who am I to judge?? :rofl:

@JohnCarson @GeorgeTichy


#248

But you haven’t really done so either. Hence, it’s a very difficult concept to pin down. When I first joined this discussion I had no clue what LGT was, and I have a theology minor (from non-Adventist institution), and I’ve been a part of Adventist Church for over 10 years now.

When you asked me whether I was LGT a while ago, I though you were asking me about my sexual orientation :joy:.

But, to be fair, the first Adventist that I’ve ever met told me that he never sinned since he has been converted… So obviously it is ideology prevalent somewhere somehow.


(George Tichy) #249

Astonishing! Difficult to understand how someone can say something so outrageous like that. Almost impossible to believe that they are not aware of their hypocrisy.


#250

@ardkey, just to clear things up… sometimes based on the “read of the thread”… on this forum… we dont know who is reading… could be someone that is totally “in sync” with what LGT means and/or could be a “new reader” or someone that has not read this subject context/matter before.

On to the point of the post which @cincerity speaks to, regarding the "pink elephant’ of LGT. Let me attempt to post my understanding of LGT (my view will change and is dynamic).

  • LGT is couched (from an SDA viewpoint) as a Last Generation Theology. Given this as the backdrop, the LGT considers of “remnant” classification, the cannonical consideration of EGW as prophet/messenger, and the identification of her as the “spirit of prophecy”. From a “remnant” perspective, this is further “linked to” the TAM, and the "inclusion of the COFA series, specifically SDA = remnant. (I will not comment on the remnant within the remnant — completely different issue).

  • As well intentioned as M. L. Andreasen was (and I admire the integrity he exemplified) is not a “red herring” in SDA context/thought… SDA’s are and will continue to be focused on perfection as the goal and not the journey

  • When you accept EGW as the prism/causal reason and defacto source (authoritative for doctrine - see adventist.org (Ultrectch statement). – this leaves you with a 2 level sourcing conundrum - EGW IS in practical terms (in SDA process/thought) THE SOURCE, one is left with the realization that you must vindicate/source from the Bible, to verify - aka establish the verity of EGW. The Bible verifies itself. Either make EGW canonical and/or (SDA) declare your doctrine as extra-biblical and OWN it. Further in the logic tree… many SDA’s authenticate EGW with EGW (thats circular logic)…

Thus - the Bible doesn’t disagree with itself (source) wise… if EGW disagrees the Bible… the Bible is not wrong - EGW is… it’s pretty simple.

Which brings us to the term “perfection”. Since EGW is the source, lets cut to the chase. Does the Bible teach or present the same “perfection” as “loosely defined” perfection stipulated via EGW quotes in their entirety?

Here is a more cogent question. Is perfection where we are in a relationship with God and/or is it completely stipulated by our “sin state”… saved/lost/saved/lost?

I cannot be an SDA (even thou I was for 40 years), because I cannot keep my integrity and be a member of a church that considers itself the “remnant” based on external commentary.

As an SDA I never “picked up my spiritual armor, took my sword of faith, and jumped into the ring of life to be counted for something”. Whatever EGW was she was a soldier in God’s army and had integrity – but I will not “deify her” and/or put her on par or greater than the Bible.

I understand those that do - just take some integrity and OWN it.

with kind regards,


(Kim Green) #251

Arkdey, I have already answered your questions sufficiently…you may not like the answer(s).


#252

Interesting! Provokes three musings: 1) How did the fellow define “sin”? 2) What was he “converted” from? 3) What was the event by which he concluded “converted”?


(Cfowler) #253

I enjoyed your post (always do). My one point of disagreement is the integrity of EGW. She seemed to deny copying (which was done so prolifically), this is more than enough for me to see her as not having integrity. Perhaps she was too mentally ill or deceived, so she honestly believed what she said. If that is the case, then that’s a whole other topic.

Anyway, wanted to comment on that. Not trying to convince you, one way or the other. Just my thoughts. Thanks.


#254

It happened nearly 20 years ago during the summer job which required driving to remote locations, and we shared a ride. It was a Southern Ohio location, and the churches out there are actually very tightly-nit and “organic”… and rather isolated from external influence as these exist in small rural communities that have their own subcultures. I didn’t visit his SDA church, but really enjoyed the local Baptist church there, since it was a form of “organic organized chaos” that had that community enthusiasm that’s missing from many suburban churches today. I don’t think SDA churches would be much different.

The guy actually talked more about prepping animals for the fair than he talked about religion, and of course the complaints about everyday life. But that conversation came up and I didn’t really have the heart to question his beliefs, especially since he seemed to be fairly entrenched in them. I was minoring in theology, and I just let him talk and took mental notes as to what he thought about Christianity, etc.

He did make some good points. I’m doing a bit of paraphrasing, but from his POV, Christianity, like marriage, is a commitment of voluntarily limiting “freedom of one’s behavior” and channeling it towards ideals. The modern form of Christianity is not “existential” in term of commitment to be someone. It tends to be a commitment to listen to few lectures, and to dip your legs in the pool without ever jumping in. So, it’s a layer on top of the culture instead of a cultural alternative. In his view, commitment to God is like commitment to one’s wife. If one is committed, then he doesn’t break 10 commandments, which in his opinion constituted sin, so from that perspective he said he has not sinned since he because a Christian… he joined into the local SDA church as he rumbled about the importance of foot-washing that the other churches don’t do, and importance of keeping the Sabbath, etc. He didn’t cheat on his wife since he God married, and he didn’t cheat on God either.

Again, I found it interesting, but not outrageous in context of 10 commandments alone, at least how I imagined he perceived sin to be limited to the list of 10 strict items. So, I wasn’t going to argue with him.


#255

Wouldn’t that constitute the “standard” SDA doctrine as per some items “on the list”?

https://www.adventist.org/en/beliefs/church/the-remnant-and-its-mission/
https://www.adventist.org/en/beliefs/church/the-gift-of-prophecy/


#256

@cfowler, thanks for your reply. I am undecided regarding the plagarism issue. But your point is valid and each person has to vet that issue. My view is more of based on her overall life and contribution (David was a murderer). I was more saying… at least she was a soldier… whether mis-intentioned or not) :stuck_out_tongue:

As I’ve aged I am trying to understand the totality of a person/issue and take in all aspects of the persons contributions. To expand upon your point, since she is “deified” in the minds of many SDA’s (whether they are in denial of that actuality or not :slight_smile: ) … what is missed in the “wash” is the mind confusion of not making the Bible (God’s Word) the prima facia on which we establish our fellowship in the Gospel… whether plagarism or no…the Bible still instructs, and I very much appreciate your viewpoint and counsel.

with kind regards,


#257

Just curious… would it make any difference if, instead, they focused on perfection during the journey and not the goal?


#258

@Arkdrey, thanks for your reply, actually NO. EGW is the prism (whether acknowledged or not) within Adventist “group think”. It’s a nice sentiment and is “sold” as such… and I will defer to @cincerity 's post on another thread … an “ideal” doesnt translate into practice… experience must be added to give relevance and perspective…

SDA’s stipulate the 28 fundamentals as informative (which include EGW as commentary) … they back door the “full acceptance” for doctrine (authority) … within the Official Statements.

If I was going to present any issue to an SDA minister… the first thing referenced is not the Bible or Bible commentary for that matter… if the “deferred to EGW” inclined pastor doesnt “check” all quotes on issue X… he would not be thorough in “dealing with the issue”… hence the first and last word (since the Bible – proofed text reference that deals with EGW … quote 1, 2, 3 or 134) is referenced to “capstone” HER view. If you believe HER on par or equal to JESUS… she needs to be canonical. Instantiation of the “embedding” (title of this article) of LGT = remnant = perfection = God depending on something we accomplish before he returns = NOT Biblical … however I will concede that this “perception” is evident in the writings or EGW.

with kind regards,


#259

@meldouglass, thanks for your reply. The simple answer yes it would. Given the formation dynamics of how the SDA church was formed and inculcated over the last 100+ years (and this is my view only) … global acceptance of the perfection concept as a journey would in it’s baseline definition would “be with the assumption that a dynamic walk with God is in play - aka active” … In order to define the remnant the definition of sin… is employed to imply the “veracity” of the remnant (us vs them) … non-SDA vs SDA “exclusionist” thinking.

I was never taught while in SDA education that all that “love His appearing”… obtain a “Crown” solely on membership privilege. Quite the opposite - only that those that had value (the remnant were savable…).

At this point I need to point out the antithetical point that the SDA viewpoint is not-Calvinist… The remnant concept by definition… decries “Limited atonement”… part of TULIP. I always found this very disconcerting and could never “reconcile” that into the “at any time you can loose your salvation camp”.

I believe that my name is written in the Lambs book of life… if it is ultimately “blotted out”… it means that it was there to start with with and this equates to Hebrews 4 (throne of grace)… in today’s language. God has provided all the provisions of His grace, and is the author and finisher of MY faith in Him (singular for emphasis). Faith is not an ideal – it’s where God’s grace meets us in daily life based on His providence. If there is no “self discovery” and evidenced growth… obedience stands extant and by definition – perfection stands extant as a non-sequitur

with kind regards,


(Johnny Carson) #260

Prevalent? That’s a stretch. There are individuals or isolated pockets of people of all faiths or people of no specific faith that believe this particular nonsense. Just look at Donald Trump who has no need of forgiveness and has never asked! :rofl::joy::crazy_face: This is not limited to adventism by a long shot, but, just like a cross section society, there are sda’s who fall into that particular deception.

When I was a teenager my uncle told me he’d not sinned in many years, yet the very next morning we were out with his pickup truck on a hidden CalTrans right of way stealing 3/4 minus gravel from the State of California to spread in his driveway! He was an adventist. His best friend and neighbor, a Nazerine, was similarly deceived about his sinless state, was also out there with us stealing gravel. While this too sinless hypocrites merrily sinned away, I, who had begun the venture in blissful ignorance, was petrified of ending up in Juvie.