Leap and Stutter

11/13/18 - #15 (21)

Some friendly advice: never surrender to something as sketchy as my apparent integrity.

Be ever vigilant of heresy, for heresy is ever well-meaning.

If I deserve hell-fire torture, wrath and vindictiveness, then I deserve it.

Waste no pity on one with the advantages I have enjoyed.

God certainly won’t.



I don’t surrender to your ideas or accept them. I simply appreciate the fact you say up front with integrity you don’t believe what it says. Based on that, I surrender because we have no common ground for authority and to debate is fruitless.
All that is best,

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11/14/18 - #1 (23)

In reality, what I said was that God cannot be confined to the theological formulae we deduce from a Book.

The Book will always have us out, and the formulae will turn to dust in our hands.

It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor.


Parallel Universe –
Recall the O.T. story of the town being surrounded by the enemy. The prophet’s
servant being scared. Then the prophet asked God to “Open the servant’s eyes”.
Then the servant saw what the prophet saw. The hills full of angels in flaming
chariots of fire.

Apparently our Eyes this side of Eden has lost the ability to see the Parallel Universe
all around us.

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Besides, my God, who created one Universe, can certainly create several Universes. And who are we, created humans, to say that He cannot?..

Barry previously has correctly said that Words have meaning. And, I point out that If we don’t take them in their “common usage” then meaningful communication is impossible.
Some seem to glory in the "unknowable God. " The celebration in humility of what we don’t know. It is true that we do not know exhaustively about God…or we would be God. But, what He has revealed through His word, we can “bank” on it.
"“The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.” Dt. 29:29.

I appreciated your opening comments that “The Bible says what it says. Do a word search on wrath.
We can’t build on this.”

This was an honest statement concerning word meaning and how you related to it.

Some imply there are “no absolutes”…except for the fact they are “absolutely sure” there are no absolutes. :wink:

11/14/18 - #2 (27)

I have no idea who “some” might be.

I am absolutely sure that there are absolutes.

And I am equally sure my mind will never compass them, even in an eternity. (no wink)

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Search the meaning for “some”

I have no doubt we will not understand all absolutes ever…
There are absolutes we can understand as humans without a philosophical debate on “being & becoming.”

I can absolutely tell you that as a human being if you don’t breath and take in an energy source and your body processes it and excretes the byproducts you will be dead or dying. It will not take eternity to understand that exhaustively.
There are some understandable absolutes not to be confused with understanding all absolutes known only to God.
Off to play senior softball!

Have a good day!

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What approach should be used?

Christ-like , clear, concise, cognitive, character converting communication.

Yet what is missing? If only the thought patterns are addressed, isn’t motivation lacking if the affections are not likewise targeted?

What is communicated when those who present use several abstract, ambiguous, obscure religious lingo or clichés?

What is communicated when one uses palliatives?

What does it tell about the speaker in each case?

11/14/18 - #4 (30)

Of course.

But no such deductive arguments about the nature of God can be conclusively defended.

The best we can do with ever-inadequate words is try to make persuasive inductive arguments, realizing that our human logic fails decisively in the face of Infinity.

It is a Pharisee’s task to convince by strong logical argument.

In the end, what Ellen White said holds true, I believe:

It is our own character and experience that determine our influence upon others.

In order to convince others of the power of Christ’s grace, we must know its power in our own hearts and lives.

The gospel we present for the saving of souls must be the gospel by which our own souls are saved.

Only through a living faith in Christ as a personal Saviour is it possible to make our influence felt in a skeptical world.

If we would draw sinners out of the swift-running current, our own feet must be firmly set upon the Rock, Christ Jesus.

The badge of Christianity is not an outward sign, not the wearing of a cross or a crown, but it is that which reveals the union of man with God.

By the power of His grace manifested in the transformation of character the world is to be convinced that God has sent His Son as its Redeemer.

No other influence that can surround the human soul has such power as the influence of an unselfish life.

The strongest argument in favor of the gospel is a loving and lovable Christian.

In this, I admit, I have utterly failed, now and for the foreseeable future.

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Back in the early 90s I asked the Holy Spirit to show me God’s great love for us sin-damaged humans way back in the death-filled Old Testaments, and I was surprised to see this verse from the Ten Commandments in a brand new light:

“for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.” --Exodus 20:5,6 NIV

According to this verse, God is “4 parts wrath” to a “thousand parts love.” This means if you listen to 4 weekly sermons on the wrath and judgment and punishment of God, you would then need to listen to 1,000 weekly sermons on the great love and grace and mercy and compassion and forgiveness of God before you could then say that you had a Balanced View of God.

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The good news/gospel is Christ and Him crucified for our sins. Despite her comments and others “we are not the gospel.” This can be a yoke also. This is not to deny that a growing Christian can attract and make the good news more credible. There should not be complete dissonance between our life and what we profess…but it is an error to “preach ourselves.” “For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake.” 2 cor.4:5

11/14/18 #5 (33)

Yes, and it is the bane of Adventism, I agree.

Mere talk, dry formality and heavy drudgery.

But the times are changing now.

There’s nothing else I can say to those who do not feel it in their bones, sense it in the air.


11/14/18 - #6 (34)

Eugene, I appreciate what you said about your insight “back in the early 90s.”

That insight might have comforted me decades ago also.

In 2018, I believe that we are doing psychological and social damage to ourselves by trying to compartmentalize God in this way.

I do not believe we can corporately build on this fractured view of God.

I certainly cannot personally live in such a dis-integrated state.

Abused children are forced to live with such psychological splits, and it cripples them for life.

I cannot believe a loving God would force such torture upon us.

The impending split in Adventism is a mirror reflection of our split view of God.

Nothing can be healed among us until we stop projecting our internal psychological splits (or those of the ancients) onto God, and receive what God continually sends.

This is fundamental.

It’s been clear to me for decades that my beliefs are considered dangerous in Adventist circles, and that I must be checked, throttled, exorcized, or banned because of them, and also for my upholding of the sanctity of human life.

I have lingered too long where I don’t belong, never belonged.


Re Cassie #30 11/14/18
" …The strongest argument in favor of the gospel is a loving and lovable Christian.
In this, I admit, I have utterly failed, now and for the foreseeable future."

1st point: Yes! Stronger than logic or apologetics. Seeing someone ‘walk the talk’, as Jesus did,
grabs our ‘hearts’ - our emotional self; it is not just an intellectual appeal.
2nd point: Take the sound advice of the writer of Hebrews, Cassie: “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith”, otherwise we all end up in the loathsome pit of (self) despair!!
In too much ‘navel gazing’ we take unprofitable guilt trips. We beat ourselves up and negate the Gospel - forgiveness, healing. and peace.
Regrettably, we can’t undo a negative past (actions always have consequences), but because of Christ we have hope for the future.
P.S. You’ve selected some awesome EGW statements that we can all apply to our own lives.

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Cassie, this is one of your best and most revealing comment thread yet! Love it…love you. Especially for your clear insight that human psychology is the prism from which we see “God”. There are some that would argue that it is the Bible- but some of us know better. “God” is a reflection of what we see, sense, feel, and need Him to be.

“God” is love…you cannot have light and darkness mixed. You are correct that punishment is incompatible with the nature of God. Negativity comes from the absence of Love. There is no duality in Him…only in Humankind.

If our church leaders were good communicators, they would have strong, positive relationships with members of the church on all sides of issues. Because of their poor communication skills, many in the church feel isolated, misunderstood, and have trouble forming strong connections. So often the emphasis is on power instead of authority in church affairs. Communication is the transfer of meaning. We need to ask ourselves what things in our life have real meaning and what is most important. At a recent meeting of church leaders each one was asked to bring for sharing a childhood picture of themselves. This was intended to break the usual “ice” and initial stiff awkwardness that exists at some church administrative meetings. The only persons among fifteen leaders who had brought a picture was the only female of the assembled group.


11/17/18 #1 (38)

So true, Kim and Barry.

If the God of the Old Testament were an American human being in 2018, we’d say he should be locked up in an institution for the criminally insane.

If you can only tell the actions of God and Satan apart because the text tells you, pray, how do you have “communion” with such a terrifying being?

There is no way to rationalize away all the ways the Bible describes God’s words and deeds without doing violence to our mental powers and consciences.

Maybe if Christians could develop the sensitivity to read the Bible with the spiritual subtlety with which Gandhi read the Bhagavad Gita, the harm would be mitigated, but I don’t see that happening.


Someone has to say this: the only reason we tiptoe around these blatant issues is because we’re fearful and superstitious.

So, if the church splits, you’ll have two bodies still teaching these irreverent, psychologically and socially harmful beliefs about God, the difference being one body will ordain women to perpetuate both the harmful beliefs and the hierarchy.

If you really want a revolution, ask yourselves what the Gospel could possibly mean if it’s not about saving our sorry hides from hell-fire damnation torture.

I don’t think Adventists have thought this thing through well at all, and are about to create a bigger mess than five battalions of angels could clean up in five lifetimes.

God give us the courage to face down our superstitions and find true communion with the Divine and one another.


@cincerity @Cassie everything around us is filtered - what we see v what we notice, what we hear v what we listen to. Even language, writtern or spoken, is filtered based on our past experience. Concrete words have a more exact meaning, but even they are not precise. An apple is an apple, but which of the 7,500 varieties did you mean? Abstract words are especially vulnerable to misinterpretation.

When we read literature from another language it is not strictly a translation but an interpretation of the authors intent by the interpreter. This can be “mangled” by their ability in both of the languages, their past experiences and the nuances of the language. Idioms ar especially hard to translate/interpret.

Interpreting a living language can be hard, even for those who have been immersed in both languages. Over time language changes…how long ago did “gay” change meaning?

The Bible was written in languages that were living at the time but not now. If I have a problem with French, I can ask a French person, but there are not too many native speakers of Aramaic or Ancient Greek left to ask “Is that literal or an idiom.”

Fortunately for us, there is a theme that runs through scripture - Love. God is the originator, the promoter and desire of Love. He desires us to be in communion with HIm, and He uses a language all can understand. He doesn’t speak to our ears…He speaks to our hearts, by passing our filters. His yearning is for us to be in communion with us…even when we turn our back on Him and walk away (my own experience), He still desires after us. God calls after us in the language we can understand.

I love the way you put this.


11/17/18 - #2 (40)

This is the view from the Manhattan hotel lobby where I’m sitting right now:

The NYPD car (and the huge paddy wagon just out of view) is the most, um, arresting visual feature.

Lady Liberty seems a distant dream.

The energy it takes not to notice the barbaric themes in the Bible is the price of denial.

So I suggest we spare ourselves the energy drain of denying what is written in black and white on the pages of Scripture, and/or twisting our minds into pretzels to rationalize them into “love.”

Maybe some of it is poor translation, but Scripture was written by ancients who, at best, we’re raised by parents who were ignorant of the psychological needs of children.

The history of childhood is heartbreaking reading.

From the history of childhood springs the history of the world.

Any tenderness we attribute to God finds its font in our own hearts, like that hazy dream of Liberty above, and has somehow survived the immediate brutality of the world around us, much of it perpetuated by religion.

The earth was dark through misapprehension of God.


That the gloomy shadows might be lightened, that the world might be brought back to God, Satan’s deceptive power was to be broken.

This could not be done by force.

The exercise of force is contrary to the principles of God’s government; He desires only the service of love; and love cannot be commanded; it cannot be won by force or authority.

Only by love is love awakened.

To know God is to love Him; His character must be manifested in contrast to the character of Satan.

This work only one Being in all the universe could do.

Only He who knew the height and depth of the love of God could make it known. Upon the world’s dark night the Sun of Righteousness must rise, “with healing in His wings.”
—Ellen White

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