Shades of Difference

I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump. I ran over and said: "Stop. Don't do it."

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Saw this poster recently:


We get the point of the allegory, Courtney. So true.
As someone has said:
In essentials - solidarity
In peripherals - liberty
In all matters - charity


Hi Courtney,
I appreciated many of the sentiments in your article and I appreciate your’s and Elmer’s comment we hopefully throw no one over the bridge. At the onset I would also state in my understanding women’s ordination in itself should not be the source of division.
Since you have a M.Div. you likely were exposed to what can be termed as Theological Liberalism. Many prefer to use the term “progressive” now as sometimes that is a way to rid oneself of undesirable footprints one may not desire in a discussion.
These comments are for those not informed of Theological Liberalism vs. anything most SDA’s would describe as “Conservative and Liberal” in their on little tribe. Past history i.e, What one allows on sabbath, jewelry, makeup, food/Veg. or Non Veg.,dress, alcohol and movies. These historically divided thoughts on “Liberal/Conservative” in adventism.
These are not the dividing lines of “Liberal vs. Conservative” Christianity. When I used to teach a SS class I would point out that I was first a Christian, then Protestant Christian and finally SDA. That made many uncomfortable for those who know our tribe would understand. Interestingly in the Philippines RCC members will say we are not Christian but RC. All people like the safety and superiority of their own little tribe.
I’ve lived in countries pretty much having all the world religions represented. I will state that the “God” of Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism is not the God of Christianity. Simply a fact not meant to demean anyone’s right to worship/practice as they please.
Now, back to Theological Liberalism. I have mentioned this name before on Spectrum. J. Gresham Machen. Machen was a NT professor at Princeton and then later over the entry of “Liberalism” there in the early 1900’s left with some others and formed Westminster Theological Seminary. Reading this book helped me decide to go to RTS.
As part of Machen’s theological training he went to Europe and was exposed to “the German School” of what is formative in the name “Liberal Theology.”
His faith was severely challenged. He came back and taught at Princeton and noticed liberal theology entering Princeton as well as most other major seminaries in the early 1900’s in the US.
The little book by Machen is an easy read of about a little more than 100 pp. It is a readable powerful book for laymen to educate them on the major issues describing the difference between Liberal and what had been the major tenants of Protestant beliefs for 100’s of years.
So, I agree with you that most SDA’s issues of conservative/liberal are insignificant in the big picture. As with most Christian churches however “theological liberalism” has made a mark at some level.
So, that’s my 2 cents for any curious minds that would like to increase their theological protestant history understanding. There are issues worthy of denominational separation and I suggest it is mainly over the above differences of essential theological understanding.

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I would propose that shades of differences are only the symptoms. There are deeper contributing factors underpinning these symptoms and even deeper root causes.

Unfortunately, carrying the title ‘Christian’ is not necessarily synonymous with being genuinely motivated at the deepest ‘heart’ level by the beneficent/Agape love that underpins even the heart of God. True unity is only able to exist between persons who have this kind of love as their foundation to life and living.

Nadab and Abihu thought so too about insignificant differences on worship that would be acceptable, but in the end they lost everything. Two men with unbelievable intellect and gifts compared to us today thought they were okay to act independently of God’s precepts. He requires that HIS word be followed and it’s always for our best in the end.

No problem with what you are saying BUT how does that apply to this article. Are you suggesting that only SDA’s are following His Word? In the Christian realm, I suggest no. Their sin was they presented their own ideas, righteousness and works before God in “the holies” as adequate. Can SDA’s do the same?


There are clear and abiding principles to which we can agree on and the church was founded on. Present truth is the founding principle and we should embrace this again instead of clinging to tradition of men and misguided attempts to coerce a narrow static view point.

What does that mean as far as the article. Are you a robot…as the test goes?

An example of section E
e) after the initial response to his/her initial comment there is a clear pattern of using inflammatory and digressive, extraneous, or off-topic message content to start quarrels or upsets people to distract and sow discord with the intent of provoking readers into displaying emotional responses and normalizing tangential discussion

Please feel free to continue to provide the readers with other examples of inappropriate behavior

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“Before anything else, we’re Christians”. No, I have not left the Adventist church, but I have ceased labeling myself “Seventh-day Adventist”. Instead, when asked, I reply, “I am an Advent Christian.” Sometimes I get tangled up and say"Christian Adventist". I don’t get any derogatory comments like I did before, such as “oh, you don’t eat meat and go to church on the wrong day”.

What is exactly the point you are making?

That’s exactly what I do, identifying myself as an Adventist Christian. Sometimes I add “Agnostic,” which some Adventist don’t like much… :wink:

The labels we choose to identify ourselves are primarily for our benefit. This is how we express the ideas we most closely align with. To say we are “liberal”, “progressive” or “conservative” is how we view our ideas. It is essentially us giving ourselves an identity, how we think most of the time. The labels others apply to us is their way of positioning us, placing boundaries around they way they think we will think or act. It is often done in a negative way.

You can be a christian without being a Christian. And I believe many in this category will be in Heaven.
You can be a Christian without being an SDA. And I believe many in this category will be in Heaven.
You can be and Adventist without being an SDA. And I believe many in this category will be in Heaven.
You can be a sabatarian Adventist without being an SDA. And I believe many in this category will be in Heaven.
You can be a seventh day adventist without being an SDA. And I believe many in this category will be in Heaven.
And sadly, you can be an SDA without being in the remnant. And I believe there will be many in this category not in Heaven.


George –
Probably only a few out of 20,000,000 SDAs would know that “Agnostic”
means “a seeker”, and some one desirous to learn “what is Truth”.
Willing to ask questions and engage in discussion.
Unafraid to learn new ways of “looking” at “things”.
No matter how “old” one becomes.

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Oh Steve, I was not aware of this. I thought they would know better, since most of them can discuss profound theology with a lot of conviction… :wink:

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George –
Adventists I know when one says “Agnostic”, they believe an “Agnostic” is an Atheist.
It was difficult to teach them different. Most did not get it.


“… you can be an SDA without being in the remnant…”

Could you be a Catholic and, in fact, be in the remnant - and could there be many in this category that will be in heaven?


I think there will be a lot of shocks and surprises at who is and isn’t in Heaven. We will all have our Samuel looking for a king moments.


Exactly! Like many people who have no clue that Communism and Socialism are not the same thing.
I wonder if those people should check with our “par execellence Psychiatrist,” Dr Cupino @elmer_cupino in the hopes that he can prescribe some kind of intellectual awakening pill for their dormant brains. :innocent: