For many, LGT theology is discouraging, causes depression, and worse. The quest for perfection is a heathen characteristic believed to be required by a god to “earn” rewards and eternity. It is so disappointing that our church has proponents of LGT with the added guilt of causing Christ’s return to be delayed. It is a formula for disillusionment.
You don’t have to hold church office in order to teach a Sabbath School class. I am not saying old people need to be excluded. All I am saying is that they should not hold church office, as they already have a tremendous amount of influence.
My issue with LGT is that when Christ’s character is perfectly reproduced in our lives, I doubt we’ll be aware of it. If we think we’ve accomplished it, we surely haven’t. Matt 25 comes to mind. The sheep don’t realize they were serving Christ–they simply did what His love in their hearts compelled them to do. They weren’t trying to be perfect; they were seeking to share Christ’s love with others. A focus on becoming perfect is simply another way of looking at self instead of at Christ.
Another interesting EGW quote is from GC 619 in the chapter on The Time of Trouble. “Though God’s people will be surrounded by enemies who are bent upon their destruction, yet the anguish with they suffer is not a dread of persecution for the truth’s sake; they fear that every sin has not been repented of . . . .” If we focused on Christ’s work for and in us instead of the threat of persecution, how many young people and children would have less fear of the time of trouble and be more willing to be loved by Christ and as a result, to love others in His name.
I don’t understand why you would imply that there is a place in any Christian church for erroneous doctrinal teaching for the purpose of “inspiring young people”. If the SDA church cannot inspire their young people honestly and in the way that Jesus intended then they have a basic misunderstanding of the message.
I have a 16 and 19 year old. They are eager to hear inspiring words on how to live their life. Being told they have to be perfect is the opposite of inspirational. It is depressing and soul-crushing. They are very young but both can tell you this is nonsense doctrine. Fortunately. And I hope they are never convinced otherwise.
I have longtime friends within the SDA church who believe in LGT and who are raising their teenage children with this belief. It is terribly upsetting for me to see how it affects their relationship with their children. They become constant overseers watching the children for what they deem as “unholy” or “worldly” conduct. It is unhealthy and counterproductive. Many here probably remember seeing this in their own families or friend’s homes as young people. It’s just as damaging now as it has ever been.
I respectfully disagree, Phil. The involvement of one does not necessitate the exclusion of the other from office. Age often brings a well of experience, something that is frequently discounted today in the quest for the new and the innovative, which are linked to youth. However, the reality is that both experiential points of view are needed for effective leadership.
Additionally, what you said actually comes across as discriminatory, even if you didn’t mean it in that way. Apply that broad brush of exclusion from leadership to women or minorities, and what kind of reaction would that provoke?
We’ve seen it with the firestorm over WO. However, age is a safe target.
Did I really just see a question asked regarding the factual context of a statement, followed by criticism of the response for not speaking to a personally preferred context?
In following a similar trend, one would assume that you have something against janitors, chefs, and office workers.
Why would those who are Christ’s have to worry when we have assurance that when we ask forgiveness, our sins are separated as far as the East is from the West?
I’m not sure I agree with the quote, but I think we shouldn’t emphasize physical danger in whatever the time of trouble looks like when the real issues are otherwise. Too many children have been scared and scarred by rhetoric that makes the time of trouble a thing to be feared, instead of being taught that Jesus in ALWAYS there for them.
Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light.
As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him.
Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?
I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies.
Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts.
Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols.
But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.
Have ye offered unto me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel?
But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves.
Therefore will I cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus, saith the LORD, whose name is The God of hosts.
Their feet run to evil, and they are swift to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; desolation and destruction are in their highways.
The way of peace they do not know, and there is no justice in their paths; they have made their roads crooked; no one who treads on them knows peace.
They did not destroy the nations, concerning whom the LORD commanded them:
But were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works.
And they served their idols: which were a snare unto them.
Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils,
And shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood.
Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions.
Do you really think so? I don’t. I think it’s rather awful.
An individual cannot achieve moral perfection. If we could then the Law would have been sufficient and we wouldn’t need Jesus. The bible teaches that perfection is an impossibility - which seems correct - that instead we need the grace offered by Jesus death. Striving for an impossible moral goal is pointless and dangerous.
For “some” that may be true. But I was a believer in LGT theology for many years, due to the influence of EGW, as a youth. Looking back I know that it kept me out of a lot of trouble due to the addictions that run in my family. Only much later in life did I realize that the perfection EGW spoke of was impossible. However I know that it motivated me to more prayer, devotion, surrender, confession of faults, Bible study that drew me into a closer walk with God. This is the bases of the power of GYC movement–the call to come up higher.
Yes, exactly. Kudos!
A couple of questions:
There were a lot of statistics given about the outreach done at GYC. Just wondering why Jesus said don’t let one hand know what the other hand has done? Is there a principle there?
One of the objectives of GYC is to support God’s “Remnant” Church - the SDA Church. Would someone point me to the Bible text that says God has a Remnant Church? I find “here are they…” Are we sure it’s not a remnant “people?” Thus coming from more than one denomination or no denomination in particular, but those that truly love and trust their creator.
If in Adventist eschatology the organized structural church will cease to be during the last days - does that mean at best there will simply be people and not an “organization?” Maybe that’s what we have today…people. I don’t see how that would lessen the role of the SDA Church today other than to make us a bit more honest about who we are. And, we would not get caught up in the conundrum of everyone that lives to see Jesus return needing to see things through the lens of SDA beliefs.
Having been a devotee and teacher of the LGT for many years (past tense), I have never thought of it as you describe it, being told I have to be perfect. I knew we were called into holiness as Scripture say, “Be ye holy…” Living a holy life was a work of unmerited favor and grace that accounted me as if I was holy and perfect in the sight of God, as I strove for it I know my failures were all covered and forgiven by God. It drew me into more prayer and closeness to God. My part was to fight the good fight of faith, looking away from self turning my eyes to Jesus.
Calling you out Frank. At some point, beyond the precision-like way you carve out the inconsistencies of SDA, will you stop with the “we” and “truth”? Come on, some of us pay attention to what you write which can be summed up by “SDA false teaching”. Just do us a favor and cut out the “we” in the same sentence as showing their discrepancies. You are straddling the fence of integrity. It pains me to point this out because you rightly divide the Word like few others but you also cling to that which you continue to pummel.
“We,” because I am still a member of a local SDA congregation. I’ve also shared with you what that local situation is like. If it weren’t, I wouldn’t stick around much longer. I thought you knew this.
I should have placed the word “truth” in quotations. I thought that my tone would have made my meaning apparent. It seems that it wasn’t. A more accurate sentence: Adventism peddles its “truth…”
You say that you are happy to have grown up with LGT beliefs. I’m sure you honestly feel this. Perhaps it was best for you in your situation; it’s hard to say isn’t it?
However, I would hope we could agree that authenticity is preferable to falseness and pretending that LGT doctrine is a good idea when we know it to be inaccurate is at best inauthentic.
So you are arguing for the perfectionistic teaching…You argue that it keeps the kids out of trouble and soberly focused on motivations of fear to “come up higher.”
Please do not distort the meaning of my words.
Nice try, though…
Frank, I lashed out and I apologize. I have great respect for you. Sincerely. I just have to tell you that I am one who did leave after researching but my sister, myself and my immediate family are still seen as the black sheep because we believe pretty much everything you consistently point out but are surrounded by friends & family who, when given the same and because of tradition, don’t.
It’s not easy leaving “the community”. But like @Sirje you two are afraid. There are churches much closer to the Word that would not cause the cognitive dissonance that has to happen when you are in an SDA pew. Because of the preponderance of truth in your writings all that I’m asking is to be consistent in what you believe. If I were to research your writings here and summarized the narrative, it would not be pro-Adventist beliefs. If you know and uncover untruths why do you continue in group think? Why the “we”? Why not “your”? Why not the truth of your convictions because as you know they are truly not Adventist.
I have a BIL pastor of a major SDA church that you would demolish in a debate. Is that a good or bad thing?