Adventism was born out of the experience often called the Great Disappointment – an October 22, 1844 non-event when followers of William Miller waited in vain for Jesus to come. In part as reaction, early Adventists immersed themselves in trying to understand biblical prophecy and eschatology. This extended into attempting to more clearly determine what the Bible did and did not say on many other topics. From this came an Adventist understanding of the Sabbath, the state of the dead, non-eternal hellfire and more. In 1863 the church incorporated, and the chosen name – Seventh-day Adventism – was a declaration of the fledgling organization’s focus on two major doctrines: the 7th day as the still-valid Sabbath for Christians, and the Second Coming. Thus it is completely understandable that early Adventist evangelism focused on these things, and more broadly on what correct Bible doctrine was. They typically contrasted Adventism with the alternate surrounding denominations, as well as, unfortunately, disparaging Catholicism and “apostate Protestantism”.
Until not long ago Adventist preaching was based on exploiting the power of fear to make people jump into the baptismal tank! And they did! I bet that in several places on Earth they still do!
The Church administration may be, just may be, dealing with this dilemma and doesn’t know what to do. They “need to do us a favor, though…” and change the focus from fear to grace. Until Justification by Faith and Salvation by Grace are properly understood and preached vibrantly in the open, this Church will be suffering "grave consequences*."
*“Grave consequences,” I mean, destined to tne grave - death.
It’s been about 35 years since I’ve seen an evangelistic campaign advertising the beasts of Revelation - in fact, it’s probably been that long since I’ve heard a sermon in an Adventist church on the beasts of Revelation. Is it still a thing?
We have to realize that a number of denominations have their own take on
Daniel and Revelation.
The NEED to check out the Seventh day Adventist CURRENT take on
D & R may not be on their list of things to sit through.
If we are going to bring the Good News to a community, we need to understand
WHAT it is that will bring Grace and Hope in the message that they might be
When the 2 first disciples followed Jesus, Jesus DID NOT ASK “What do you
Jesus asks – “What are you LOOKING for?”
We are probably NOT presenting what persons are LOOKING FOR.
So there is little or no interest in what we SDAs have.
In reality, the main issue lies on how cognitively mature the believer is. The progression of belief goes through a developmental path as the brain matures and grow. Some are able to sustain the progress, some get fixated at a certain level while some regress to childhood and infantile thinking. Jesus did not change his message, Nicodemus had to search the truth by putting to work all the capabilities of a mature brain compared to some of our GC leaders who seemed to have regressed to infantile thinking while demanding (whining) for full compliance (I want my milk NOW, mama!).
I must admit I haven’t been to one in about 15 years.
I saw this current “Final Empire” banner outside the Spencerville, MD church (very close to the GC) last week when I happened to drive by. I wonder if the people who live in DC find this sort of thing compelling? Honestly, right now real life for many in the Capitol is as interesting as apocalyptic predictions.
The basic problem has always been that dogmatic crusaders leave little wriggle room for growth in understanding and alternative thinking.
It seems to be a law of nature that dogmatists give birth to replicas of themselves. Then, in most cases the children of dogmatists prefer the dogmatic food in the lesson quarterly and Sabbath sermon to reinforce their dogmatism. It becomes an addictive spiritual drug. Changing the brand of thinking arouses anxiety and denial.
It’s the same here in Idaho, the VOP provides the streaming/DVD materials, a few show up for the weekend meetings, done for the year. Definitely not geared for non-Christians, it’s for already saved christians of a different brand, or nominal christians.
We showed it at our church. It was basically a history of the Christian church
through the last 2000 years with on the locations. Ended with the United States.
As you stated, it was quite low key. Even the last night. Had quotations by
There were handouts each evening with a number of questions with Bible
texts to look up at home.
Do they know how? Does the historic focus on doctrine somehow take over what needs to be the centrality of a Christian faith? Core Christianity hits the heart. Can the heart even be touched with the Christian message when the focus has been on the “fruits” of the spirit", rather than the Gospel that produces the fruit. You can’t give to others what you do not have yourself.
@Sirje, thanks for your commentary regarding fruits. I took GC down from the book shelf and read some of the symbolism of what constitutes “current historic prophetic interpretation”. I’ve always had difficulty “present truth’ing” where I (we) stand along the prophetic timeline … to me this specifically ties into the “apocalyptic inset of time and space”… which leads me to the reality that EVERYTHING prophetically ties into a socialized “context”.
SDA “evanglizing” is not related or tied into a call into the Kingdom of God, but to alignment and preparation out of fear.
If people are brought in “out of fear” then what flows out of the fear… is the tainted “fear” fruit. Being prepared for heaven is evidenced by “much fruit” because of he vine that someone is “attached to”… namely Jesus/Christ.
Bringing this current to today’s socialized context (unless you live under a rock and have no access to social media), the fear tactic and multiple contradictions of belief (abortion, WO, EGW sourcing, et. al)… water down “make of none effect” the fear mantra still followed in evangelization.
If SDA’s have the truth, and they are the train… going to the back of the caboose, picking up a cigar, and reading the paper, in the lounge car… doesnt really make sense in today’s world.