Interview: Immersion in Ritual Music New York

Musician and teacher Nicholas Zork; founder and executive director of Faith House Manhattan Samir Selmanovic; and Faith House Manhattan's director of operations Frank Fredericks talk about their recent immersion weekend, its purpose and their dream for an Adventist immersion.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

How about the greater truths of the Great Controversy theme and the investigative judgment? The world needs these more than some vague notion of wholeness (human experience) and co-creation with God (whatever that means). This sounds very New-Age and Spiritualistic. And Sabbath is not about spirituality of time, but time with God. It’s not the time that’s important (although it is the timeslot that is important to God), but it is God who the focus must be on, not on the time itself.


Why is the Emergent Church in its many forms throwing away solid teaching any going for ritual? Are people really turning away from rational thinking? Scientists rubbish religion because they believe in reason over tradition or ritual, and yet the new religionists have such a focus on ritual and not on substance. What is going on?

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We should know what others (Islam, Catholicism, Buddhism, etc, etc) believe so as to better understand them. To know where their coming from. And you don’t need to attend these ecumenical/emerging/emergent events to reach these people. Their your neighbors, your friends at work. Their all around you.

From what little I’ve gathered, Samir Selmanovic is a believer of the “Wider Mercy Doctrine” also known as “Universalism,” which is nothing new, going way back to Origen. In an article which reviews Samir’s book “It’s Really All About God: Reflections of a Muslim Atheist Jewish Christian”, says:

The author argues that God is not confined to one belief system (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) and humanity is powerless to control the true God, even though the major religious systems are designed precisely to do this. He suggests it is easy to domesticate God and create an idol out of one’s religion. It follows, therefore, that no one system we can exclude the “others.” Selmanovic suggests that God uses atheists and Wiccans to further draw Christians deeper into the Kingdom of God and away from the idolatry of religion. The author recognizes his ideas have radical implications, especially in regard to interfaith dialog, which actually becomes “dialog” and ceases to be proselytizing.

Brain McLaren, tells us about the book:

I’m speechless in trying to describe this book… All the religious pundits and broadcasters on radio and cable TV had better take notice, because this book threatens our conventional, comfortable categories and familiar black and white polarities. Selmanovic has the nerve to imagine our religions becoming not walls behind which we hide and over which we lob bombs of damnation, but bridges over which we travel to find God in the other.

So, according to Brian, Samir’s book builds “bridges over which we travel to find God in the other.” Leaving us now with the question: Is this someone we want teaching us, our children? Will he brings us closer, and to a better understanding of sda doctrines? Or pulls us away, so as to enter into the emerging/emergent movement, which is full of, as this article said over and over again, “rituals” and “experiences.”

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I bet there will be more negative comments as those above. When people are “properly indoctrinated” with Adventism, they often reject anything that does not smell, look, sound, or taste like the Adventist scheme.

Many Adventists could never live among the Bereans. It’s even difficult for them to live among Adventists that are more open minded. I don’t know how they can survive with so many Protestants and Catholics around them.


Can you imagine ancient Israel inviting the Ammonites, Moabites, Edomites, Assyrians, Babylonians and Egyptians to experience each others’ ritual worship music? Me neither.

'Nuff said.


Judgment! Judgment! Judgment! That’s the only thing you can come up with.

If you want to take examples from the OT to determine how we in the NT era should act in the world, please make sure you first start observing all OT rituals and following all the OT laws. All of them.

There was no commandment in the OT that the Jews should convert anybody outside their own ranks. They were an exclusive people “inboxed” in their own system.

But, were not the Gentiles the great target of the apostles? Shouldn’t the Christian message be delivered to every human being?

Unfortunately it’s obvious that you want to keep Adventism “inbooxed” and separated from the target that God ordained to be reached.

Yes, some people definitely feel like being creatures “beyond God!”

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Watch the mockery emerge for your metaphor. How right you are in your brief, albeit pertinent, observation.
In The Grip of Truth

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