Nevertheless, they were scholars and gentlemen while contributing to Southern Publishing’s 1975 compendium, Perfection: the Impossible Possibility. "Four Seventh-day Adventist theologians - men who love their church and their Lord - have combined the results of their study in Perfection: the Impossible Possibility. Anyone who knows Edward Heppenstall, Hans LaRondelle, Mervyn Maxwell, and Herbert Douglass recognizes that these men are not amateurs. They did not thoughtlessly concoct the ideas they offer in this book. The concepts they share here have matured from the discipline of theological and Biblical study. - Preface. Men of Faith - The Showcase of God’s Grace (by Herbert E Douglass). “Let Us Go On to Perfection” (by Edward Heppenstall). The Biblical Idea of Perfection (by Hans K LaRondelle. Ready for His Appearing (by C Mervyn Maxwell)"
I experienced it as SDA. The use of critical thought tends to render one speechless on some of this stuff. I guess this is why I’ve heard some Adventists and Evangelicals of other fundamentalist bents decry critical thought as sin.
Or any other non-standard-narrative questioning.
We ascribe more power to the devil than we do to god when we fear our god-given intellect, querious nature, creative proclivities. As if the devil can somehow infect these easier, than say god could innoculate against…
When I put away her writings years ago, I felt like I began to increasingly understand the Scriptures for what they are saying. Of course, when I’ve shared such things from the Scriptures alone, it has brought me into a bit of conflict over the years. The filters of EGW and the accompanying theological edifice are a fact of life within Adventism.
This is a very definite problem. I recall many times when the realization hits home that my understanding of supposed biblical events aren’t biblical at all. Instead they’re completely Whitical.
I had to laugh when I read what you said about “ascribing more power to the devil”. It is kinda like praying the same prayer over and over again as if God had forgotten or hadn’t already addressed it! I have heard so many admonitions about the Devil in churches that it amazes me. So much emphasis on the negative is where the mind is left…not “God-like” at all.
So original…there could have been a career in Marketing and Advertising!
I know… I wonder if I can begin a new career in retirement? Others have done…
Yes…you sure could! You would be a natural.
At my Sunday choir church, they take Paul’s words literally [HEAR the Word].
With, EVERY SUNDAY, a Scripture reading from the Old Testament, read a
Psalm, New Testament [most of the time Paul, also James, Peter, John],
It is on a 3-year cycle of readings. Each – Matthew, Mark, Luke get their own
year, and John is read during all 3 years.
Some congregations READ the Psalm, we enjoy SINGING the Psalm.
So I hear MUCH!! more Scripture there than I would Sabbaths or other Sunday
churches where only a random verse or two is read during services.
PS-- One of the PROBLEMS with hearing Scripture READ, is that it is processed
by the Brain different than through the eyes. So many times a “light bulb” will come
on, a buzzer goes off, telling you your Brain just received a NEW THOUGHT about
a familiar scripture that you did NOT realize was there for you when your eyes just
looked at the letters.
Amazing what Hearing the Word in the quietness of church will allow your Brain to do.
I’ve really enjoyed the churches (non-SDA) where whole books are studied, verse by verse. Nothing skipped over. So, you do get the whole written text, in context.
I guess that what is in the Bible is Scriptural. But this is just a mere guess…
I don’t know to what church you belong, but your church is most likely 1 out of 100 Adventists churches in North America. The churches I have seen / attended (and there have been many) are nothing like what you have described. The only church I have seen close to your description is made up of mostly retired church workers who recite to the T Ellen White writings and cannot get themselves to look at what is going on in the world around themselves and make the effort to make personal contact (might get contaminated). It’s no wonder that many Adventist’s kids are not remaining in the church.
So why then did the members of the last GC session vote to approve that Ellen White’s writings would be the final say in matters not understood?
I couldn’t agree more If I’d said it myself,
but I’ll just bet you can’t actually guess which church it is that I really do attend. Go ahead. I dare ya!
I like much of the article Jared, and i would like to suggest it is time to leave behind false teaching like
- the investigative judgement (which infers that Christ’s atonement was not finalised on Calvary and that Christ’s righteousness was not efficacious to cover our sins).
- That we could even think it possible to attain to perfection of character (meaning that we could obtain the perfection of Christ, somehow in our own right!). How could we even entertain such an absurd idea?
- That we should get bogged down in doctrine and tradition by not moving beyond our founding fathers (and mother), by even one word or thought (that is, that before we even think one word differently, we should check it against everything EGW ever wrote and discard it if it disagrees with her.
I want to leave my comments at that, lest I get wound up too much.
You know…I was just thinking…members of the Orthodox Church greet each other during Easter with, “He is risen!” The response is, “He is risen, indeed!”
Adventist greeting, “Happy Sabbath.”
It’s a simple difference over a seemingly non essential, but, which greeting captures more of the essence of Christian faith and life?
Who needs the SOP when there is the Bible?
AToday just published that Dr. Desmond Ford passed away today. Will be praying for his family as they mourn the loss of their loved one.
We can see the difference between Ted Wilson’s article and this one on Spectrum. The former is trying to encourage and uplift the church whereas the latter (along with the habitual commenters) is criticizing, second-guessing and/or tearing down (but, hey, this is not a surprise. This is Spectrum after all)
I wonder why there are people in the church who think that their mission in life is to find something to criticize. I have the feeling that whatever Ted Wilson may have said, there would have been something wrong. “He should have said this”. “He shouldn’t have said that”. “Why is he using these words”? Blah, blah, blah…
Maybe we should look at ourselves in the mirror and wonder whether it is the right way to go to the Kingdom?