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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/6454
Copyright © 2014 Adventist Forum. All Rights Reserved.
As usual, Randy Roberts get right to the heart of the matter. This was a great message, from start to finish. I hope that anyone who comments here listens to the entire message as well as the questions and answers at the end. His acknowledgement of Morris Venden as one who had an impact on his beliefs really resonated with me. Thanks a lot for putting this up. Have a Happy Sabbath.
Listening to him quoting the song Adventist Blues, I have to say that I do see people who fit that mould, and it’s the problem of cultural Adventism, and I put the blame on church officials (at all level from local church upwards). The way I see the problem, people go to church and are not fed the Word. They are given sermonettes, the children and youth are entertained rather than studying the Bible, children’s Sabbath School is all about quizzes (the token Bible-related part), craft, cooking, games etc. There might be an object lesson on some Bible-related topic, or some other activity that has some connection to a Bible topic, but no study of the Bible.
C’mon, kids have the capacity to learn in a class environment. They sit in class all day at school and learn. Why do we think they need fun and games and entertainment at church? Why do we think people can’t sit through a 45 minute to 1 hour plus sermon? They sit through 90 minute movies, 2 hour mini-series on television, several hour sports events. They can’t sit through the sermon? Yes, because they’re so used to being entertained and not used to being asked to think deeply, especially about Biblical concepts.
I’m listening to Randy Roberts (haven’t gone to work yet), and I don’t think he has addressed the problems he alluded to at the beginning. He talks about the problems of cultural Adventism, and then starts talking about Jesus (historically, the time he was down here on earth) but fails to explain what that means in practice. It’s that age-old question that needs to be asked after every sermon, lecture, presentation - what does that mean for me today?
What he fails to mention is that Jesus is not here on earth anymore? How do we get to know Jesus? Through His Word. Not through experiential religion. Not through our feelings. Not through various forms of spiritual formation designed to alter our mind so we see and feel the presence of “Jesus”. Not through breath prayers - repeating the same words as we breathe in and out until we work ourselves into a trance. God told us not to use vain repetitions in prayer. Do you think we will get God’s attention if we say His name or some other phrase 3000 times? Really? Try it on your wife/husband. See how they react?
Why am I bringing this up, when Pastor Roberts did not mention any of this in his sermon? Because the main non-Adventist invites to One Project events are Leonard Sweet and Brian McLaren, who are into these things and regularly promote and comment positively on those who do such things. Even the people who start the One Project are into these things. I saw a clip of Sam Leonor talking about Lectio Divina. This is non-Biblical. It is eastern mysticism dressed in Christian garb. It is eastern meditation and eastern mantras with Christian words.
To know Jesus is not to do certain things in order to have a mystical experience with Him. That is not how the Bible tells us to do it. So, I fail to see the point of Randy Roberts speaking so long about Jesus. What he said is fine, but what is the conclusion. “What you need is the second touch.” Well, what does that mean. Is he leading us to try one of the methods of spiritual formation so we can experience the touch of Jesus, feel his touch, hear his voice? This is too vague for me. I feel he is leaving the audience open to try to do something in order to experience this “second touch” whatever it may be. Some might think they experience it after they change their mental state through some form of spiritual formation. Others may fail to “feel Jesus” and may end up leaving the church,
Our relationship with God is through His Word, not through feelings.
So, overall this sermon is a lot of talk but not much substance. What does Pastor Roberts really mean by a second touch? He needs to clarify. Otherwise he leaves it too open for mystical experiences as the solution to his implied legalistic cultural Adventism.
Why would Jesus touch you for a second time? And why didn’t he do it earlier? Is He arbitrary? Why isn’t Jesus touching you each day? These questions need asking.
Overall, a sermon of vagueness. This is one of the issues with the One Project. It talks a lot about Jesus, but tells you nothing concrete. I feel that it is that way to leave you open to some experience which is then interpreted as the touch of Jesus.
Uhh. heads up anti- LGT pom pom holders & flag wavers. Randy takes a shot at them near the end of the sermon. This LGT influence must be more ingrained in the SECC area than some think
From his message , they are in need of a 2nd touch from Jesus.
I have no agenda to defame Randy. Can one stay with issues?
He presented scripture and used additional context to make a point to exposit the text. Good.
I did notice like pago posted above that there was a diagnosis but the remedy is ambiguous.
How does one get a 2nd touch since Jesus left Earth almost 2000 years ago?
Then there was the verse Randy used.
Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
Does Jesus do this without our cooperation?
Why does Paul write this:Colossians 2:6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
Why does Paul have to write :Galatians 3:3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
Maybe some are concerned about being faithful in the future because they are presently unfaithful .
Why the fairly recent call for revival and reformation and the constant unceasing, badgering of the members, labeling them Laodicea?
What is wrong? Didn’t the R&R program already solve a bunch of issues?
I agree with your message assessment.
I sense more and more a failure on the part of pastors to present competent inductive teaching.
The data is observed, analysis is performed, but the application is lacking.
This is getting to be a trend on the take away part of messages…full of clichés, ambiguity, and superficial statements. The end result is confusion and frustration with the fleshly nature winning battles.
I would like Randy to post a 1 to 4 sentence definition /concept of the gospel so one can minister to him.
I spoke with an SDA pastor this morning and heard a gospel theme that I have never heard in over 40 years. I wonder what seminary professor taught it to him.
the problem is that the Church is attempting to use Ellen White as the model of Last Generation Christianity, while all that has been accomplished is a doubling down on religiosity. Pago gave us a good lecture on religiosity. He would take us back to the upper room in Portland, Maine–while The Bible would take us back to the upper room in Jerusalem and on to the road to Damascus. The Gospel is not hidden, read Stott, F. f. Bruce, Edward Heppenstall, and a host of other Christian scholars and pastors. Tom Z
There’s nothing wrong with “doing church” but the problem is the people don’t know why they’re “doing church”. The solution is not to do church differently necessarily. It’s to get people to understand why it is that we do things in a certain way. Why does the Bible say to live in a certain way? Not just point them to Jesus and say that they need a second touch. What does that mean?
This reminds me of a trip to Greenland I made with my friend in 2003. We were taking money out of ATM’s and they were being charged as cash advances. However, my friend’s card had a Cirrus logo and therefore he should have been able to withdraw directly from his linked bank account rather than have it processed as a cash advance with extra fees. So we went into the main branch of Grønlandsbanken in Nuuk (the capital) and asked them whether it was possible to withdraw from the ATM via Cirrus rather than via cash advances on Mastercard. The man didn’t know what Cirrus was, so he asked every other person in the bank and they didn’t know what Cirrus was either. So then my friend said “but you have a Cirrus logo on the door of the bank and on the ATM” and he said “Oh”. This was our general experience in Greenland. Many people had been taught how to do things but did not understand what they were doing. Throw a spanner in the works (i.e. Credit card pulls up an error message at the terminal) and they don’t know what to do.
This is what is happening in churches. People are being taught HOW to do things but not WHY they should be done. There’s nothing wrong with doing these things or living in this way. In fact, it’s biblical. But they don’t know why because they are not studying the Word of God. Kids are 18+ but their Sabbath School classes are stuck at age 7 level.
Here’s a recent sermon which makes a good response to this one. I think it’s on topic anyway:
I’ve come back from work and am watching the conclusion now. During the Q&A session at the end (and this is very telling. This is the clincher - which really exposes and confirms all our fears about the One project):
The second touch involves waiting on Jesus (like the blind man at the pool). He says “It saddens me deeply that the disciplines of the spirit are under such attack. That’s how Jesus comes. That’s what he does.” And the lady presenter agrees “yeah”. No. Sorry that is not biblical. Not in the slightest. By the disciplines of the spirit does he mean the spiritual disciplines developed by Ignatius Loyola and which involve repetitive mantras, emptying of your mind etc? All the things which fall under Spiritual Formation, which people are beginning to critics so much? Is this what we need to do in order to receive Jesus’ second touch? Sit and do nothing (except for possibly repetitive breath prayers, centring prayer, labyrinth walks, all the while emptying your mind, waiting so that “Jesus” will come and touch you?
I’m sorry (and I can hear the footsteps of the moderator, so I better phrase this properly). I believe this man has been deceived by the Spiritual Formation movement into believing that mystical experiences which come when you perform exercises to empty your mind are the touch of Jesus. That is not biblical. The blind man at the pool was not performing spiritual exercises. He was sitting and begging because he could do no other.
I’d recommend buying a copy of Tremble by Dave Fiedler and reading it. This is very very similar to the issues surrounding “The Living Temple” and Kellogg.
And he quotes Dallas Willard at the end. The quote in itself is not too bad. But it shows that he is into reading these questionable authors. Considering that the same names keep popping up at the One Project: Brian McLaren, Dallas Willard, Leonard Sweet, I’d suggest that the critics are right. This is emergent church spiritualism coming in by stealth into Adventism. Hearing one quote from someone now and then is one thing. I even quoted Osama bin Laden at church once to make a point. But to keep hearing the same names over and over again shows me that it is the message of these people that is the driving force behind the One project. And that’s sad, because these people are not Adventist, they have unbiblical theologies (Brian McLaren does not believe in the blood sacrifice - that Jesus’ blood has any merit. He is very adamant on this point) and so why do we allow them to drive us down this road? Why do we use them as our source of inspiration, read all their books, attend their meetings, allow ourselves to be taught by them and mentor us spiritually? Is it because there is no God in Israel that we enquire of them?
Imagine, if you will, the bravely anonymous Pagophilus deconstructing the parables of Jesus of Nazareth. So much to quibble with! So few spiritual formulas. So scarce on checklist mentality. So lean on condemning those on the margins of religious institutionalism. So fat on criticizing the spiritual status quo. So . . . very . . . extremely . . . questionable. Oy vey.
Naturally the “driving force behind the One project” couldn’t be Jesus. Why, at their sinister gatherings He is hardly mentioned. Rarely celebrated. Never, ever quoted.
I was going to take all five Pagophilus posts seriously, of course, until I read, “I even quoted Osama bin Laden at church once to make a point.” (Gasp.) At last we know the truth: You are a terrorist at heart.
Pastor Roberts does a masterful job of bringing the healing and surprising touch of our Master into focus. Thanks for posting this.
[quote=“chris_blake24, post:11, topic:7229”]
Pastor Roberts does a masterful job of bringing the healing and surprising touch of our Master into focus.
Thanks for posting this.
I couldn’t agree more with your assessment. I’m beginning to think that arguing with some folks on these blogs is a total waste of time. There minds are like concrete, thoroughly mixed up and permanently set! Abraham Lincoln once said that if he spent time trying to answerr all of his critics, that is how he would end up spending all of his time
No, he is implying that the touch of the Master is found in spiritual exercise, which he does not elaborate on, but which we know are composed of the spiritual exercises promoted by all of the people that the One Project organisers like to promote books of and like to invite as speakers, and therefore include all that goes under the heading of Spiritual Formation.
I thought the sermon was vague but benign until I listened to the first question and Randy Roberts’ answer.
"I thought the sermon was vague but benign until I listened to the first question and Randy Roberts’ answer."
Did you listen to ALL of the questions and Randy’s answers? You needed to listen to the entire sermon together with all questions and answers before you commented. You made multiple comments as you were listening to it in small segments. Your posts indicate that clearly.
Now the question I have for you is, I was man enough to admit I made a mistake on the WWU blog about Veith. I should have waited till I had more time before I said what I did about him. I made a mistake. Now can you swallow your pride and admit that your assessment of Randy Roberts sermon was wrong? I’ll even share the same towel with you that I wiped the egg off my face.
Good points. I’m glad for our small church, which didn’t have a youth department when my kids were teenagers. So they started coming to the adult class and started asking intelligent questions and making intelligent comments. Kids don’t need coddling; they need instruction, done in a way appropriate to their age group, to be sure, but not a dumbed down version.
I would be wary of any event that included Leonard Sweet as a speaker. What can he teach us, except the errors of Babylon?
I was commenting on it as I was listening, and then when I came back from work I listened to the Q&A. I did listen to the end. As to admitting I’m wrong - when asked in the first question what does he actually mean by it’s exactly what I said in the previous post.
I don’t want to nitpick his sermon. And I’m not implying there’s no value to his sermon. Of course he says things of value. From his answer to the third question to the very end, he’s speaking well. For example, the question about morality - I didn’t pick up on that and I didn’t see it as a problem. My problem is with his reply to the first question. When asked what the 2nd touch of Jesus is, he says “It saddens me deeply that the disciplines of the spirit are under such attack. That’s how Jesus comes. That’s what he does.” Sorry, I can’t agree with that. It’s implying that you get to experience Jesus when exercising spiritual disciplines. And what else could these “disciplines of the spirit be” considering he quotes Dallas Willard & Bill Hybels, and considering that the One Project invites Leonard Sweet and Brian McLaren to speak. What else possibly could he be meaning by “disciplines of the spirit”?
It’s the mixture of truth and error that worries me. Sermons that have some value which also contain mild inferences to Spiritual Formation as practised outside Adventism (well actually, Adventism never did practise Spiritual Formation).
Ditto! Ditto! Ditto!
Ditto! Ditto! Ditto!
Not to be redundant, of course. But it is a two way street.
what could you learn of David the murderer and adulterer. What of Peter, Paul and the others, who have made more than one theological and behavioral mistake in their lives? I guess you are without error…if not, why do you keep posting…what can you teach us except the errors of Babylon?
Making mistakes is one thing, but inviting a speaker known for his dabbling in eastern mysticism, is just asking for trouble and confusion. We have been counseled to avoid such things. We ignore that counsel at our peril.