On Rejecting the Spirit of Prophecy


#121

I need to qualify my “I agree,” about Chuck’s “deeply inexcusable” part.

The Adventism of the 1970s and 1980s regarding “the Spirit of Prophecy” sent my family on a tragic trajectory. We have not recovered.

I take 100% responsibility for my deeply inexcusable responses to the course Adventism took in general, and towards me personally.

Every single day of my life I grieve and ponder in deep shame whether I dare excuse myself.

I can’t. It is a black hole.

What good does God’s forgiveness for me do, I ask myself, when I can’t fix the damage I personally did?

I can’t blame my parents for that. I can’t blame the church.

I have to take 100% personal responsibility, even though I’m helpless to heal what has happened.

What does one do when burdened with things that are simply inexcusable?

Pleading “mitigating circumstances” numbs the pain, but doesn’t heal the damage.

LLU ethicist James Walters admitted that “special pleading” for Ellen White was not tenable.

She did what she did. It has resulted in what has resulted.

Our appropriation of her as “the Spirit of Prophecy” is not entirely our doing. She made many sweeping, and I would say intemperate, statements:

Ellen White’s Claims

https://www.nonsda.org/egw/egw29.shtml

I very nearly lost my life in the wreckage of trying to sort out my religious and family situation. My son did not make it.

I’m inexcusable. It’s all inexcusable. We’re all inexcusable.

Unless…

Unless the Lamb prevailed to open the Seven Seals.

I don’t even understand that, but it’s all I have.


#122

Is there a Balm in Gilead?


(Arthur Bowman) #123

Agreed, Professor Scriven! Unfortunately, it appears likely the ”vast right wing” of the SDA Communion is not going to easily find the path to restorative justice versus retributive justice. And that’s okay. Everything belongs, and everyone is at their own place on their own journey; however, let’s forget the notion of ”imminent.” This is going to take a while. What is it now? 1844 + 175 = 2019? Just saying. There’s a couple citations to ponder. 1SM 392.1, COL Chapter 24, paragraph 17 and Exodus 14:14. I’m okay with God’s work/creation and God’s timing and God’s transforming Grace. And a little Buddhist practice along the ’way’ won’t do any harm. It might even help a bit. Namaste :pray:, :butterfly::heart:


#124

Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child.

Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things?

Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.

Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the LORD: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God.

Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her…
—Isaiah

And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.
—Revelation

The agencies of evil are combining their forces and consolidating. They are strengthening for the last great crisis. Great changes are soon to take place in our world, and the final movements will be rapid ones.
—Ellen White

Do not despise prophetic utterances.
—I Thessalonians


(Arthur Bowman) #125

Okay. Again, Namaste :pray:. :butterfly: :rose:


#126

Namaste.

From a fellow syncretist.

Om mani padme hum.

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Books to Read on the Book of Revelation: An Annotated Bibliography
(Sirje) #127

We are so used to throwing money at every need that we don’t know how to respond personally. The Christian ethic is a personal responsibility - not only corporate. It’s about human outreach - not an adjustment in funding.

I heard of a pastor who decided to awaken his church to what it means to be a Christian. After the usual preparations, the pastor stepped up to the pulpit and began reading: “For God so loved the world that He gave us His only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in Him, shall not perish.” - and then he sat down. The organist began playing the postlude and the congregation looked confused. When it became clear nothing else was going to happen, they filed out. The next Sunday he again stepped to the pulpit and read the same text, and sat down. This was repeated the third week. This time people stayed around and began discussing what was going on. Small groups formed; and some made plans to go out and personally minister to their community instead of heading for the nearest “Pancake House”.


(Andrew) #128

I am no fan of the identity politics of today that seem to be causing more division than anything but then again the US has a lot to learn from other Western nations, not as regards the rule of law but equality of opportunity.

I am against manufactured equity per se, such as affirmative action but the US has been forced down that path due a wilful blindness as regards sharing the revenue pie more evenly in terms of health, education etc.

This need not be a race issue at all but when communities are still quite segregated, it is a joke to pretend that schools in one county are anything like the neighboring one. You can go on calling a more equitable distribution of tax dollars socialism but that missing education and health spend alone must be paid for 10 times over in running prisons and the cost of community violence, emergency medical treatment etc etc.


#129

Again, how else can anyone teach about God? Any understanding of God, experiential or otherwise is by definition theological. That’s what theology is.


(Patrick Travis) #130

I dont recall calling equal distribution of tax dollars socialism. When taxes are necessary they should be used for equal benefit of all citizens.
If you have a specific issue in mind rather than a generalization I will be glad to attempt to answer Andrew.


#131

Thank you. I don’t recall including that factor in my piece I linked to earlier. I think it needs to be included. With her vilification of anyone who would question “the testimonies” (her writings), she did set herself up as immutable. Which is why, despite being cornered into denying that we hold her to be infallible, we aren’t as ready to actually say she is fallible.


(Arthur Bowman) #132

A nice way to start preparation day. In ”Spectrum” no less! A reason to hope! Namaste :pray:


(Lynden Williams) #133

This article is spot on, but the comments on it lead me to be concerned by the mindset of people in general and most specifically, Adventists. The end of Matthew 25 is self-explanatory. It doesn’t take a biblical scholar to parse and dissect its intent. Ezekiel 16 describes why God destroyed Sodom and should also be a wake-up moment for us as well. Sodom was destroyed because they did not take care of their poor, not because of sexual immorality, as so many mistake. “Stand out of the way lest I do worse to thee”, those are not sexual words. The entire incident about Lot and his family is about rape. Don’t be misled. If the human condition is unjust, unfair, inequitable, then the Christian must do what they can to rectify that condition, period. You don’t get a pass because you’re giving a bible study showing your charts and pictures of the beasts of Revelation and Daniel, or even proving that the Sabbath is on Saturday, while being unconcerned about the human condition.
If a crime is being committed and your automatic response to a situation is to suspect the person of color in the room, then you’re unjust and you’re a goat not a sheep. If you see someone of color in an expensive vehicle and your first thought is that they must be a drug dealer, then you’re a goat. If you are so uncomfortable sitting next to a person in church who is seated next to another person of the same gender who might be quietly holding hands, that you get up and reseat yourself then you’re a goat. If you’re concerned about the people that cross our borders whom you believe are unrightfully taking you or your family’s jobs, even though everyone in your family is too lazy to work in the fields or clean your house or do your yardwork, then you’re a goat. If you believe that separating a parent from their children because they crossed some manmade line, then you’re not just a goat, you’re a terrible goat. And, yes, if you think that building a fence between the boarders of Mexico and the United States is socially acceptable, you’re a goat. If you think that a woman who is working in a position that is the same as her male counterpart, but she is making 30% less pay for the same work is acceptable, then you’re a goat. If you feel people who have risked their vary lives to cross an ocean in an overcrowded, unsafe boat in order to flee an embattled country should not be allowed a safe haven from a brutal war, then you’re a goat. If you believe that people who dress differently, people who worship differently, people that speak a different language, people that come from a particular part of the world, are somehow, inferior to yourself and are not entitled to being safe, warm and well fed, then you’re a goat. I could go on but, unless you’re either numb to human suffering or your ego had been exalted to a higher plane, you should be getting the point.
It’s time every one of us start to be concerned as to whether we are sheep or the goats, and stop being so concerned about whether 2300 years after the Israelites left Babylon, that Jesus went from the holy to the most holy chamber in heaven. It wasn’t by accident that Jesus spoke about separating the sheep from the goat’s right after he talked about the 10 virgins, five of which ran out of oil. The oil, in large part, is empathy for our fellow man. Without it, you don’t have the righteousness of Jesus.
This country was once a beacon of refuge and safety for the downtrodden and marginalized. We had a lady who still stands in the harbor holding a beacon of light, and in her discourse, beckons to the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free. I truly hope it isn’t time to take her down. My fear is that we are dreadfully close.
I am a white, heterosexual, male but that does not make me any more qualified for the grace of Jesus than anyone else. My lack of concern for those who are treated as less, must consume me and you and every member of the denomination.


(Patrick Travis) #134

Hi Lindy,
Some of us might equally be concerned about the mindsets of those holding other views on this site. My issue with this topic was not “mainly” about exegetical points you mentioned, though on some I disagree with you… It is the inference that to differ with certain interpretations causes my mindset to be in question.
Believe as you wish but don’t say I am “immoral” or hint at my “mindset” if I don’t choose the State to be the “handmaiden” of fulfilling your ideas…or if I arrive at a logical interpretation other than yours.
Regards,
Pat


(Lynden Williams) #135

Patrick,
I don’t recall saying anyone was immoral. But I am pretty well settled on the notion that the judgment is exactly what Jesus said it is in Matthew 25. The last thing any of us wants to hear on that day is “I don’t know you”. How you interoperate that is you business.


(Patrick Travis) #136

Lindy,
I also believe “brothers” (Mt.25) is first of all contextually related to the disciples/believers. (Mt.10:40-42; Mk.9:38-40;Mt.18:15-17.)
I feel we should all, as Christians have regard to all BUT “the least of these”/brother is not a catch phrase that makes society a part of the church OR a text to show how “we” expect the state to act on our wishes.
Regards


(Andrew) #137

If thought I was reasonably specific but happy to be more so. My children attended a fabulous county run school with great teachers, resources etc etc. Couldn’t fault it. It was, I suppose, an upper middle class to wealthy county.

Neighboring county schools were unrecognisable. Worse still, I recall driving passed a school in Montgomery AL that looked like it belonged in Syria.

I am no expert on school funding but clearly wealthy county equals good school and poor county equals rubbish school.

That is where the, “why don’t they take personal responsibility” argument fails as just one eg.

In other countries, the state would say that it’s in the best interests of the majority to collect state taxes and have the state run the schools, offering pretty much the same opportunity to all.
Then there is more room to make your argument.


(William Noel) #138

That’s the stereotype but not the reality. My father conducted one of the first studies of school funding in Alabama back in the early 70s and I have been watching studies on that topic over the years since. While there is some relationship between funding and quality of education in public schools the evidence shows that there is no statistical relationship between funding and educational outcomes. The biggest factor promoting higher student performance on standardized testing, high school graduation and earning college degrees is parental valuation of education and pushing good study habits combined with having a skilled teacher who has complimentary expectations. Without a parental example of valuing education and outcomes are less. School principals and counselors that I have interviewed in both highly-funded and poorly-funded school districts both told me that same thing. Put a child without a positive parental example in the best funded schools in the state and you’ll still get a diminished outcome. Put a child whose parents value education in a poorly-funded school system and you’ll often see test scores above students in the better-funded systems. The students you can expect to perform the worst in all situations are not those from lower income homes, but from broken and single-parent homes regardless of income level.


(William Noel) #139

I draw the lines a bit differently than you because I have a bachelor’s degree in theology. Theology is the study of God and largely relies on commentary and theories about God, many of which are difficult to understand and even harder to apply in real life. Perhaps the biggest lesson I draw looking back on that training is how detached theology is removed from the realities about God that I have learned from my experience with the Holy Spirit as my teacher.


(William Noel) #140

I think I need to tell you a little story. One Sunday morning my team an I were heading to a house where we would have to do some major demolition before rebuilding the kitchen floor and repairing other damage. I was about halfway there when I got a phone call from a lady in the church, a slender-built and very gentle person from an island in the Caribbean and about the last person on the planet I would have expected to be interested in helping. She told me that in her devotions that morning she felt like God was moving on her heart to come. Could I give her directions? I could not believe my ears! Her on a construction site doing demolition? Unbelievable! I thought God had gone bonkers and in silent prayer I told God what I was thinking. Then I repented and decided if God wanted her there then He had a reason that I wasn’t seeing. She had never used carpentry tools before but was a quick student. She had never used a tape measure but soon was doing precise cuts at the exact measurements I sent out to her. Best of all, she and the home owner became friends and her testimony was the faith-building fuel she needed. God still surprises me from time to time but His ministry principles remain the same.

No, it is not “beyond speculative” because through the variety of my ministry experiences God has shown me a consistency in His principles that exactly matches others who are also involved in ministries that are guided and empowered by the Holy Spirit. It is merely hard for you to believe because you’ve made it clear you defending the popular and highly varied philosophy of social justice. I’ve been involved in social justice causes in the past and the differences between then and now are both many and dramatic. The first difference I see is how God’s love infuses whatever believers do to minister His love to others. Second is how the outcomes exceed human ability so it is clear that God’s power is at work. Third is how hearts are turned to God instead of to human philosophies. That’s been my experience for going on 13 years so the concept of “social justice” to me is about as attractive as the idea of drinking poison.