Sobering, wise counsel, Courtney!
Rav. Heschel adds this: “When faith is completely replaced by creed, worship by discipline, love by habit; when the crisis of today is ignored because of the splendors of the past; when faith becomes an heirloom rather than a living fountain; when religion speaks only in the name of authority rather than with the voice of compassion, its message becomes meaningless” - Abraham Joshua Heschel (1955). “Insecurity of Freedom”, p.181, Macmillan
I was making an understatement. You’re absolutely right. They are not biblical.
Why do the people of the book remain in an organization with many tenets of their faith in opposition to the Book, all the while claiming that theirs is the only true path that everyone else should join or be in danger of eternal damnation?
Very true! EGW is part of the SDA genetic code. It’s impossible to get rid of it without the house of cards collapsing. It’s a sad state, particularly when you have loved ones who totally buy into it, hook, line and sinker.
I’d be interested which “things that you had so strongly believed and taught” you started to question first? How did you go about it and what happened then? Since I was in a similar situation I am curious how you handled this. It wasn’t pretty for me (and still isn’t)…
You asked what it looks like for me, which I didn’t answer previously. I have been praying for conviction of sin, after being told my whole life by other people which “sins” matter to God. The sins I am being impressed to repent of are quite a revelation.
The meaning and intention of scripture and SOP quotes can be scrutinized and argued over endlessly. The nudging of the Spirit in my heart is not up for debate.
This is exactly the problem, the “organization.” The way several SDAs (including me) found to deal with this issue was to detach emotionally (and financially) from the “organization” but keep connected to the local church - if possible.
If the local church is not pushy on the controversial issues, and one is not marginalized for not believing in certain fairy tales like 1844, it’s possible to be part of that local church. But if things become nasty…, there is always a Baptist church down the street to be checked out… (right @tjzwemer?)
I am personally blessed to live in SoCal, two miles away from LSU, fifteen minutes away from Azure Hills church, and 20 minutes from LLU church. I feel sad for those who may not have a single open-minded SDA church in their neighborhood…
George, you’re also blessed to live in an area where the denomination seems to have a good reputation. I respect your choice and support you in doing what works for you. Consider those of us living in the shadow of the GC, though. I’ve had a problem in our neighborhood, after a married gay couple who live here were told that our family goes (went) to a church that opposes gays and is very uptight, so they better watch it. They are very nice people. It’s taken a long time for us to show them that we like them. Guilt by association is awful.
I know, it must be horrible! I know it by experience, since I had to get a break for about nine years from the SDAs (1985-1994). During that time I found great support first at a Baptist Church (while still in Brazil) and then in the US among the 7-day Baptists (here in Riverside) before I came back to my roots among the SDAs.
“…before I came back to my roots among the SDAs” --George Tichy
Welcome Home George! Perhaps J.R. Tolkien was right, it all comes down to how important “fellowship” is to each of us.
Along with Ellen White’s Great Controversy I grew up reading the three novels of the Lord of the Rings. They all describe a War between Good and Evil. But the title of the first book by Tolkien – The Fellowship of the Ring – doesn’t say anything about grand battles or last stands (even though there are plenty of those things in all four books). Instead, Tolkien chooses to emphasize something we all want: fellowship , which also means friendship, companionship, and kindness. Tolkien emphasizes friendship as the only way for the side of Good to fight against the Evil that Sauron brings. The book Great Controversy ends with these three words,when all are gathered together in our celestial home, GOD IS LOVE.
Church leaders should also read and glean wisdom from these stories. The Rings of Power represent pure, limitless power and its responsibilities and dangers. The One Ring of Sauron confers almost unimaginable power to its wearer; however, in return, it exerts an immense pressure on its wearer, and inevitably corrupts him or her. This can happen when church authority is abused (compliance committees etc.) and becomes coercive or obligatory.
On our deathbeds, nobody will wish that they had spent more time working. Our “roots” family, friends, and home are indeed what should matter most to us. When Bilbo finally returns to The Shire, the sights are familiar, the music and the “roots”, the simple lifestyle of the Hobbits is captured so well that you almost feel like you’re there. Home.
People condemn almost everything as sin and focus on the things they can see, especially in our denomination or fundamentalism in general. But no one can know your heart and inner motives and talk directly to your heart like the Spirit. Like you said, your heart. I like the “not up for debate”. You just know in your heart it’s HIM talking. Sometimes I do, too. Thank you very much for sharing and connecting!
For some, there is the community you attend on Sabbath.
And then, there is the community where you get fed on another day.
Or, if there is a nice Jewish community nearby, one can open the
Sabbath on Friday evenings with them. [Conservatives are good]
[For the men, “hats” are usually by the door.]
Thank you Sam. That actually happened in Dec 1993 (yes, 26 years ago), and in Jan 1994 I took a teaching position at the La Sierra Academy. Teaching…, believe or not, Bible classes.
Interesting that one of my students, is now a Bible teacher in the same classroom I used, and another one is a Theology professor at La Sierra University. BOTH FEMALES!!!
Over on Fulcrum7 in the comments on the abortion article there
are 2 quotations you might like to read.
one from Neal Wilson, Sr. and one from J.N. Andrews.
David Read’s opinion is that if something was not “present truth”, and
settled doctrine by 1915 will never become Adventist doctrine because
the church is evenly divided between liberals and conservatives.
“Sexual issues” were not “present truth” prior to 1915.
I believe he is probably correct.
Steve, I no longer have any regard for the ideas and opinions of those religious extremists like the Fulcrum7 fanatics. They are nothing but toxic religious freaks, and their contribution to healthy religion is nil. Enough of that nonsense.
I am also focusing more and moire on the Gospel according to Jesus Christ. This concept of “present truth” end us being tiring and explored by everyone to justify their theological positions, whatever they may be. Regarding doctrines, whatever was settled in 1915 or 1919 or 1953 or 1980 or 2015, has absolutely no meaning for the Christian experience. It’s all cheap sectarian exercises that are actually meaningless. What Wilson, or anyone else thinks is kind of… nothing but their personal opinion - which everyone is entitled to have.
Just my personal opinion at this point of my Christian journey.
For the past 2 years I have been helping with a small Bible Study
group in my apartment. The Episcopal church next door is the
sponsor of the apartments. One of the members began it 4 yrs ago, and I
started attending. Then I became his helper. We have it on
Mondays, and go over the Lectionary readings from the day
before, Sundays. We pass out the readings and do communion.
This year, because of his contracts with the Army I have been
doing them about half time by myself.
It has been a great learning experience. I write out all the
Scriptures, check my 6 translations, and attempt to offer the
best readings of the 4 Scripture Lessons. This has allowed me to
“study” and not just “read”. Much of the time they end up “the
translation according to Steve” as I end up blending the 6 into
one for the best reading in my handouts.
As you have mentioned numerous times. One sees things
that were there all the time, but past learning focused the eyes
on other “readings”.
In Sabbath School class one learns to just listen much of the time.
What hard evidence exists for the author’s observations? Was it based on a study? It’s hard to be a Berean with respect to this article since there’s nothing to check. Evidently, it’s based on the same anecdotal evidence the author was decrying.