Thanks for sharing this poem. I once took a literature class with someone who was named Rudyard. He was named so because his parents respected him greatly. In the class we studied Kipling’s poetry and it was great poetic kismet that he was in the class.
Poetry is a wonderful way to make sense of a world that, by much evidence, seems senseless. I hope that Kari learns from this exchange that there are many people who question what she questions. Some of us are in our 50’s and still asking questions about belief and life.
No one should accept the reduction of any of our fellows as less than. We are all intrinsically valuable and deserving of respect and understanding. The SDA church often understands people as depraved and sinful. I have broken from that idea and believe that all people are capable of amazing things and are basically good.
Thanks for sharing your story, Kari, and allowing us to reflect on the issues you bring up!
This letter has me thinking and my heart goes out to Kari. Is the church doing anything right presently?
We are studying the lesson this quarter and it highlighted that John was calling the people to repentance. If we should love and accept ‘all’, is the message of repentance still necessary? I do agree the extent to which we speak against some issues need to be tempered.
Would Jesus want us to be homophobic? I certainly don’t think so. Would Jesus want us to hate adulterers? Probably not. Does he expect us to love the sinner? Certainly! Does he expect us to speak against what is immoral? Absolutely! Somehow, based on the scriptures I believe that we have misconstrued Jesus’ meaning of love and acceptance. I believe we need to dig deeper into the gospels to unravel this dichotomy that many are faced with.
When we read the Bible, we can see that “love and acceptance” are qualified. It is not just about doing whatever we want with the expectation of being loved and accepted. The door to God’s love is wide open and everybody is invited. It doesn’t mean that God will just let anybody come in without conditions (read Revelation 21 and 22 for example).
This being said, it is true (and sad) that there is a lot of suffering in the church, even among young people. But is it because the church is not adequate for the people or the people not adequate for the church?
Dear sister: I don’t know where to start. I know that I can never even start to realize what you are going through. Many of my childhood friends found themselves to be dealing with homosexuality as we entered puberty. Of course I started out as the traditional view. We spent many hours praying.
It’s late, I’m tired and have to go back to work in the morning. I want to say don’t give up on us.
Our church is in a unique position. Most churches are either so liberal that the Bible is seen as fiction, or very fundamentalist We officially have a moderate view although we tend to have voices who want us to either become liberal or conservative. And a large amount of our converts and money comes from the conservative spectrum.
But there are many in the church that knows that our “Proof Texts” don’t say what we think they say. But do not know how to express this without offending people and causing financial difficulty for the church or to have people think that we have jumped on the liberal bandwagon.
However the texts used against homosexuality fit into 3 categories: First in the paganism in the Middle East the people thought they could help the gods of life gain victory over the gods of death by uniting their life forces. They mixed grains together textiles together and everyone had sex with each other. You would have sex with your wife, children, pets, and your neighbor, your neighbor’s wife, children and pets and he would have sex with your wife children and pets. etc. The Bible condemns this behavior in worship and teaches that we should just trust God for the victory. That he does not need our help.
A second context was they believed that in raping someone they stole some (and if raping to death, all) of their life forces. So that food that would have grown in his garden will now grow in yours. That animals that would have been born to his flocks would now be born to yours. That children he would have had with his wife you can now have with your wife.
The third is when Paul talks about the topic he is either quoting verses from the above 2 contexts or uses a specific word that comes from men having sex with little boys at the gym, and should be translated Pedophile rather than homosexual.
Looking at these 3 settings does not deal with what you and so many others are going through. Please bear with us and continue to worship with us. Jesus loves you and we love you.
Not every thought and emotion is our own. We have an enemy kingdom in Ephesians 6 that wants to kill steal destroy us any way they can. We have as many as 60,000 thoughts a day and scripture says take our thoughts captive. Our soul is (mind will emotions) There are spiritual roots to disease & bondage’s and yes there are spiritual roots involved in gender confusion. Google spiritual roots of gender confusion. Spiritual roots of disease. Also look for humanism in the Church.
Leave no stone unturned!
(Your “comment” following this one has been deleted because you simply pasted in a full-length article. This is not what comments are for, they are for people to express their own view, succinctly. The article was also too long. - webEd)
Yes poetry is amazing. My educational background in English is very poor, so I never really understood this discipline. I first came across this poem around the time my father passed away. For the first time I really connected at an emotional level. I suddenly, ‘got it’. Human language is so inadequate when pondering our deepest longings; but poetry manages somehow to reach beyond the veil between our heads and hearts.
I think if we stop asking questions about life and meaning, we lose a part of our essential human nature. Someone once said, ‘it is the person who has no questions, that scares me’.
And yes, we all have intrinsic value. Those who seek to elevate themselves by treading on others, are the ones who emanate depravity and sinfulness
Kari is clearly intelligent and emotionally mature. I trust and have confidence Kari will maintain her dignity and integrity even in the face of hatred and lies. This was the verse that came to mind, when reading Kari’s story.
IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
This is really a passionate and truly reflecting some of the attitudes which are subconsciously often in our speeches, and even in our sermons. We are often too harsh on people who are unlike us. We must try to make things right as the days go by, then the church of Christ will be well purged. However, we must be careful with how we use the terms “homophobic” and “misogynistic” especially when it comes on theological positions of the theologians in the church. A theologian may be against same-sex marriage or the practice of gay; and would that make him a homophobic? Or when a theologian speaks against women preaching or ordination, like in Tertullian writings; would that make him a misogynist? Some of our theologians are highly moral as anyone else and I would not think such issues should be interpreted in such contexts. I don’t mean to pin down this article out of context. No! I’m only drawing attention to how some people can mix tares with wheat. For that part of love and celebration, that’s all Christ calls each one of us into. We need it each one. And we also need Christ who can make us see our true needs and humanity in His image not in the image of fallen humans.
Years ago I read the best definition of religion that I have ever seen,
“True religion is what happens between YOU and GOD, in your mind.”
The more I have thought about it throughout the years, the more profound it became, the more meaning it built, the more I unserstood that the Church and the ‘saints’ in the Church are not part of one’s religion. As you have already learned, they are often obstacles to the exercise of true religion.
Should we leave the church? This is a personal choice. I didn’t, and I won’t. First beause I am fortunate enough to belong to a local church that is a haven, not a hell. Second, because I don’t allow the church to be some kind of intermediary between me and God, but rather a place where people of similar faith congregate to worship God.
Don’t think about a church in terms of denomination. The denomination is worthless, it’s just a politcal arena where people fight for positions and for an opportunity to look “important” and feel “powerful.”
The only thing that really matters is your local church. Find one that accepts you as a human being, that respects you as a person, and where you can go and worship God freely. But do not stay in a church that does not meet your needs. Look for one until you find a useful one. There is always one, somewhere.
Perhaps you missed the part that Lucifer and his followers were not destroyed. God is not into destroying His own creation. You see, the Gospel of Grace pertains to people, not concepts. And herein is the illegitimacy of Adventism exposed, that right belief is esteemed over unconditional, unrestrained compassion and beneficence. God does not identify us by our ‘sins’, much less our temptations. What gives you that prerogative?
As far as seeking the ‘purity’ of the church, Jesus himself indicates that that will not happen by man. It is curious that Paul did not constrain his identification of those which opposed God to promiscuous: [quote]For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. …Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. 2But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? … But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; … But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, … For there is no respect of persons with God.[/quote]
What you call moving forward, would, in reality, be retreating toward Egypt. The church can never accept or celebrate that which the Scriptures condemn. God is indeed all about love, but that love is defined in the Bible, and the nature of that love is an “inconvenient truth” for many who would rather follow their instincts rather than God’s Word. That is human nature, and it is not confined to young people. I know many young people who categorically reject your conclusions, just as I know many adults who embrace them. It’s not an age related thing; it’s unregenerate human nature which rises up against the hard truths found in Scripture.
It appears that many in this discussion conflate the object with the subject.
The line quoted from Kari’s post, “God is all about love, love for everyone. Love in the form of acceptance and celebration”, are you contending that God does not love everyone, that it is not His will that all have eternal life? Even Jesus could not bring Himself to condemn the woman caught in adultery. How dare you? This does not mean He approved of adultery, as He said “Go and sin no more.” The point of that story is that our consideration of sin is always to be subservient to our consideration of the person, the child of God. This is all that Kari is seeking for in this organisation that claims to be authored by God. To alienate and ostracise individuals because of a peculiar temptation with which they deal is clearly below the belt, in the manner of the accuser of the brethren.
God does not love us with conditional love and acceptance. Some wrote this but if you are a parent do you accept you child only under certain conditions: that he obey you in every detail or you will reject him? Or do you love your child unconditionally, warts and all? Can a God worth worshiping do less than that?
Recall that many parents have followed EGW’s words when she wrote: “God doesn’t love naughty children.” Think about where this originated.
Blc Birder, please be careful about speaking about righteousness on this page or the BIBLE, they may delete your comment as they did mine. My opposing view, backed up by bible scriptures and spirit of prophesy references, was deleted here and on their facebook page. Yet they keep others which speak out against the bible and SDA principles. But if you call sin by its right name, you will be censored. Not sure what kind of views this site is promoting.
(Without going back to check your comment might have been deleted for extremism or for excessive judgmentalism. When you hold the opinion that you are expressing God’s perspective, that will be a clue that your comment might be straying over the line. - webEd)
I don’t know where you came up with that idea, but it doesn’t surprise me, given the level of unwarranted hyperbole and extrapolation which goes on here so frequently.
God loves everyone, but He does not approve of what everyone does; nor does He approve of the response which many give to His love. He is not willing that anyone should perish, but that all would come to repentance. But not all will repent; and many don’t think they have anything of which to repent. Too many people want God not only to accept them as they are, but to affirm them as they are. Ain’t gonna happen. If it did, He’d have to reinstate the devil to his heavenly position.
I think it’s fairly obvious. But in fairness, I don’t necessarily believe that all the moderators are antagonistic to Biblical truth. They just don’t say much; they mainly moderate. Since (unlike some other SDA forums) this site allows criticism of the church and its doctrines. those who can’t get a hearing elsewhere gravitate to this site to agitate their views, no matter how far out they sound.
(Moderators are supposed to say very little. It is inappropriate for us to interject our personal opinions. Thus, if you believe anything about our collective views on Biblical truth - antagonistic, gung-ho, indifferent, ?? - I think your belief is not very data-driven. I suppose occasionally a moderator strays over the professional line (never me though ) - webEd)