General Conference Presidential Election: Growth or Development?

I’m convinced that the only people who would argue any of the points you make are those who have gone so deep in the EGW Rabbit Hole that they have become one with her, at least in spirit, and are so deeply invested in her hagiography as to believe that that their spiritual identity is tied to her status as a prophetess.

However-as I’ve said before and also discussed with you as well as my local pastor before asking to have my name removed from the SDA roll-I did not quit Adventism due to any issues I have with Mrs. White’s ability to act as god’s middle woman/publicist.

To my mind, the fundamental issue was and remains the question of Jesus’ essential nature-was he god, man, some sort of hybrid or did he actually exist-and even more importantly, what exactly was and is his news about god.

On the latter question I come down firmly on the side of those who say that due to a few misinterpretations of ancient, incomplete manuscripts, the whole of mainstream Christianity has got it wrong, to use your term.

That is, Jesus was a son of god, not The Only One.

And when he said, “I am the way.” he was not speaking of himself but rather that his “self”, or identity, was the exact same “self” as The Creator of The Universe and that by identifying with that consciousness humans can become one with their maker.

I’m also convinced that the reason so many Christians have gone to their graves disappointed by Jesus’ failure to return is due to the fact that they’ve been waiting for something that’s already happened. That is, Jesus can’t come back because he been right here with us, all along, just as he promised he would. Only now his presence is-and perhaps always was-not a physical one but is instead a spiritual one, as can be experienced at any place or time, in the “form” of The Holy Spirit.

I’ve said it before, and a much more detailed exposition of these ideas can be found here:

But the bottom line for me is that is that if one can at least consider the notion that Jesus had no intention of starting a new religion with his misspelled name over the door, and that his “church” is not a physical building, a much richer and enlightening version of this good news is available to anyone who wants it.

My apologies. I did not recognize your “identity” on this blog, so assumed you were negative on the efforts of SDA historians and scholars to set the record straight on EGW and biblical interpretation. You are in a very different place, which I understand and respect; hence, my previous comment, to put it mildly, missed the mark! In the end, the identity of Jesus for people who care, even to think about it is at a rational level, debatable; at other levels, it is not. That is, if you find it emotionally and ethically fulfilling, you lean one way; if not, you lean another. That is the human condition. Like the conservative Rabbi once said to me about the holocaust: "Some Jewish thinkers can no longer in believe in a personal God because of what happened. My father, a Rabbi before me, said this: 'If the most scientifically and culturally advanced nation in history could not destroy the Jews, There must be a God!:

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I voted with my wallet a long time ago, and about to vote with my feet.

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WHFS, an underground radio station in DC, used to have a show on Sunday mornings which discussed all things Jewish.

As part of the program one week, the rabbi-I can’t remember his name-explained why Jews do not accept Jesus as the messiah. I don’t recall any of his other refutations (the show was on in the 70’s and 80’s) but at least one of them was that miracles prove nothing.

Likewise, Christopher Hitchens, the notable atheist (and part Jew, BTW, but which fact is irrelevant to the point) went so far as to insist that even if all of the wonders surrounding Jesus life actually occurred-from the Immaculate Conception to his ascent into the clouds-none of these prove that Jesus was the only begotten son of god.

Thus, the fact that so many people claim to speak for god, or insist that god is on their side In any debate or war, does nothing to prove that god is real and I find it ironic that a rabbi would use the supposedly miraculous existence of the Jewish people as prima fascia evidence of anything, much less as absolute proof that the god described in the Torah actually exists.

(Indeed, the fact that god has so many putative publicists, all bringing contradictory messages reportedly from on high, calls into question god’s existence, or at least his reputedly omnipotent nature, as an almighty being could and should be able to stop such a circumstance.)

All of which is debatable, as you say, and might seem to be off topic except my point is that as a formerly religious person, I no longer look for god in the supernatural. Indeed, I’ve never seen an event that I believed qualified as such, unless one defines all things as essentially miraculous but in which case the term supernatural becomes basically meaningless.

Instead, I find god in the mundane, as when things fall to the ground when there is no visible connection between the earth and an apple. Or when light passes through a glass of water and immediately returns to its repeatedly observed and apparently absolute speed limit.

IOW, science, while it will never have all the answers as it cannot account for “unscientific”, unquantifiable things like emotions and logic, has steadily decreased the number of inexplicable events in the universe. But for me, every day occurrences, and all of the incredible activities around me everywhere I go, are irrefutable evidence for a relatable and reliable, but also irreligious and secular, maker of everything which is what we refer to as “real”.

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Very insightful. Very mature.

The term “supernatural” presupposes (Ala the enlightenment) that any deviation from common or ordinary occurrences must be a “invasion” of the natural order from “outside”; ergo, impossible. Oddly enough, while in my graduate program in philosophy, I was drawn to a remarkable article in the CAMBRIDE STUDIES FOR RELIGION. So long ago, I cannot recall either the author’s name or article title; but it stunned me. He had assiduously reviewed every miracle claim at Lourdes with its attending “evidence,” and easily dismissed the vast majority of them. However, as I recall, four or five left him baffled: they were scientifically inexplicable (even allowing the vacuous “spontaneous remission” as a legitimate explanation); limbs that grew back was the one that knocked me off my feet. His conclusion, which is a “reasonable” one I would admit, is that sooner or later, science will be able to explain how that happened. In theory, DNA has projected something like that is possible. So, I agree with you that alleged miracles, by themselves, prove little or nothing. But human witnesses keep asserting they happen, especially in other parts of the world. What the Christian community does insist actually. happened, of course, is the bodily resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Those NT scholars who defend it insist that the historical evidence justified that “belief,” not proof. (See NT Wright’s 800+ page volume on the resurrection, for example). Those who reject all historical testimony affirming it dismiss it on various grounds. One should and must read both sides to make up one’s mind, which as you suggest, cannot depend on “proof” in any scientific definition of that term. And the fact that philosophers and scientists disagree on the “need” for explaining the universe, is another clue to such decisions often coming down to matters of the heart.

The NT is not historical evidence and the only people (other than Christians) who insist that resurrection of a dead body is possible are summarily dismissed as being overly credulous-ironically by Christians.

Me, I’m an Occam’s Razor kind of guy and am fairly certain there’s a simpler explanation but Spectrum says I’m “hogging” the conversation, at this point, so I’ll leave it at that.

Thanks again for all you’ve done, though!

AMEN !!!. I have done evangelism in some of these places , even Cuba … the Holy Spirit is working in wonderful and amazing ways .in spite of the lack of unity of the Spirit in His church ----. have a blessed Sabbath ! Romans 8:38-39

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