Fourteen Million and Counting

(Cfowler) #101

Believe it or not…there are churches that don’t bear false witness against people who have moved their membership to a different congregation/denomination, or against people who resigned their membership for whatever reason. They just don’t.

But you are correct about the bearing of false witness. This happens a lot in Adventism in several different situations (people who leave, or people who have a critique, or disagree with their doctrines). It’s strange that they don’t get that they are breaking this commandment, especially because they are so dogmatic about keeping the commandments, and claim that they are the only group that keeps them all. But, they don’t.

(Tim Teichman) #102

I encourage every Adventist - well everyone - to actually read the three versions of the 10 Commandments and then ask yourselves if you were taught to follow them - even to try to follow them.

Remember that the SDA church teaches they are to be taken literally and not figuratively.

Look out for phrases like:

  • “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.” [So no images of anything that exists - anywhere.]
  • “Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land where you are going, or they will be a snare among you.”
  • “Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread. For seven days eat bread made without yeast, as I commanded you. Do this at the appointed time in the month of Aviv,…”
  • “Celebrate the Festival of Weeks with the firstfruits of the wheat harvest, and the Festival of Ingathering at the turn of the year.”
  • “Three times a year all your men are to appear before the Sovereign Lord, the God of Israel.”
  • “…do not let any of the sacrifice from the Passover Festival remain until morning.”
  • “Bring the best of the firstfruits of your soil to the house of the Lord your God.”

(Allen Shepherd) #103

If a family member were alienated for some reason, would you, if you loved them, not seek to get them back into the family for fellowship and to be able to show your love to them? Issues can keep such individuals apart, but certainly efforts to resolve the differences would be steps in the right direction. I think real love seeks the other. Jesus invited the rich your ruler into fellowship because he loved him. He struck at the idol of his soul, and offered heaven and a place at his side. It was a fantastic offer, but the ruler refused. He would not leave his idol. A tremendous loss.

There is truth in this sentiment, but if I saw someone headed for a cliff, and I loved them, I might intervene even in a rude fashion to save them from loss. Loss of heaven is an eternal thing. Membership does not mean heaven, but “just enjoying their company” does not seem to measure the sense of the danger that earthly existence entails. Warning folk of their danger is an act of love, even if rejected. And even if done clumsily.

(Elias Rowlandson) #104

just saw this, carol’s son is still alive. there was a book and movie called prayers for bobby who committed suicide (such ugly words) I found this book a good read
we like making everything hard for the sake of being hard.


Interesting article just published today: U.S. Church Membership Down Sharply in Past Two Decades

“U.S. church membership was 70% or higher from 1937 through 1976, falling modestly to an average of 68% in the 1970s through the 1990s. The past 20 years have seen an acceleration in the drop-off, with a 20-percentage-point decline since 1999 and more than half of that change occurring since the start of the current decade.”

"The decline in church membership is consistent with larger societal trends in declining church attendance and an increasing proportion of Americans with no religious preference.

(Robert Lindbeck) #106

The “correct” measure is not how many people the curch idetifies as SDA members but how many people identify themselves as SDA. In some countries the best way to determine “membership” (self-identification) is through the 5 yearly census. Many will include a question on religion. In the anonimity of the census people will identify with the religion/denomination they feel closest too, even if they do not regularly (if ever) attend a church.

(Robert Lindbeck) #107

Buddhists, Muslims and Hindus should all be “fertile” ground for Christianity, if not the SDA church.

Buddhists: Buddha, a contemporary of Daniel, foretold of one who would come after him who was Love. The name Buddha gave him was Maitreya. (God is Love 1 John 4:8)

Hindus: Actually believe in one all powerful god but worship the many incarnations of the one god. (The Trinity)

Muslims: True muslims are adventists. They believe and are waiting for the 2nd coming of Jesus.

There are many touch points that Christianity and Adventists have in common with other world religions but we focus on the differences to shun them, rather than what we have in common to dialogue with them.

(Kim Green) #108

This may be true about the “self-identification” but if they cannot keep the church books straight…I doubt that they would take on such a revealing longitudinal study.