Flying by Faith Alone

Suppose you are paranoid about flying. After months of therapy, you are coaxed into actually entering a private jet. Weak-kneed, you drop to the floor of the cabin and crawl to the nearest seat. The stewardess then shows you how to get buckled in. You quickly don the football helmet and official Disney water-wings you brought along.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/11881
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Thank you for your thoughtful article. In regard the “poisonous myth” of the last generation, I thought this what EGW taught? This last generation teaching of perfection, living without sin, has its foundation in EGW.

Those who are living upon the earth when the intercession of Christ shall cease in the sanctuary above, are to stand in the sight of a holy God without a mediator. Their robes must be spotless, their characters must be purified from sin by the blood of sprinkling. Through the grace of God and their own diligent effort, they must be conquerors in the battle with evil. While the investigative Judgment is going forward in Heaven, while the sins of penitent believers are being removed from the sanctuary, there is to be a special work of purification, of putting away of sin, among God’s people upon earth. This work is more clearly presented in the messages of [Revelation 14] GC

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Great analogies here. Kim, you have contributed to our learning. Best wishes.

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Whehn I hear of the issue necessary I hear of “excellent holiness” - and the recipe of obtaining it :

Girls please be pale, quiet, whispering (also in prayer with a group !), keep your head bowed, the eyelids rather down, dress not too colourish - -

Boys - oh yes, what advice for you ?? Well, just only slowly and solemnly walk on Sabbath - -

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Thank you for your thoughts, and for centering living the Christian life on faith and love. A couple of other thoughts:

The fact is, the Bible hardly speaks of sanctification or holiness in this way. It speaks of it much more as a status of belonging to God, and as a purpose for which God has called his people. This is why the Corinthian church, filled with problems, was still called by Paul as saints, meaning the holy, sanctified, set apart ones. So are we if we belong to Christ, no matter what our problems, how mature or immature we may be, how long we’ve been in the faith, etc. God has called us into Christ and through the power of his Spirit to be set apart for his purposes in this world. That is what being sanctified largely means. That we can grow in this capacity is a given. That we grow to somehow be more sanctified is another story. in a sense, we are or we aren’t. In Christ, we are.

Secondly, this description is applied to communities of people in both testaments much more often than to individuals. Israel was called to be God’s holy/sanctified people. The renewed Israel, churches in Galatia, Corinth, Ephesus, etc., in Christ was called to be his holy people in order to reveal God to the world. This makes the work of sanctification not simply an individual pursuit of holiness, but a combined effort to work together to live the Lord’s prayer together, “your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” We learn to live this as God’s people in cooperation with and love for one another.

It’s like being called to play on the football team. The coach says you belong, it’s a given. Your purpose is to help the team play to its intended capacity and purpose in whatever position you’re fitted and called to play. That’s what the players individually and collectively have been set apart/sanctifed for, except in this case it is for us to work together to help the group/church in our own localities to grow in a shared faith, hope, and love.

I think that the overly individualist preoccupation with our own progressive sanctification, which in many ways is a distortion of what sanctification means or how it functions biblically, is put largely to rest when these emphases come into focus.

Frank

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As an SDA child I was always taught that I was not to literally “fear” the lord.

Now I’m convinced that a literal, almost palpable fear of god is the fuel that drives all organized religions.

If it weren’t for their basic insecurities about the nature of our maker, personal doubts about his existence and their inability to fathom the creator’s supposedly mysterious ways, people would not be motivated to spend one minute in church, could not be compelled to read books or sit through sermons on the topic, and would never feel the need to donate one penny to ensure religion’s perpetuation.

So now I understand that church pews are populated with scared and scary people whose fear brings them together but ultimately takes them further from the god they “love” by sheltering them from their creator with thick walls to filter out the sounds of the natural world, artificially amplified music and words to drown out his still small voice and stained glass windows that allow in only tinted, unnatural light.

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