The Attraction of Self-Deception

(Elmer Cupino) #41

And I have asked myself, “What church would you join should you leave the SDA church.” With all my inquisitiveness, my luck would be to get kicked out of another church, ala @blc and AToday, so I have remained an SDA. Not only that, but I also have offered my expertise in church related activities. What else can I do? Just like I tell my staff “Only complain if you have a better suggestion. Otherwise, let me run the ship.”

(Thomas J Zwemer) #42

I am sure you are right. in the Southern Union they are very very quiet…If I lived where George lived I would most likely church where George churches. Have you read the comments in the recent ministry Mag on Rick Rices piece in the previous issue? Tom Z


(Rheticus) #43

First one needs to define “truth”.

In science, it is easy. A theory or hypothesis is true in so far as it successfully predicts the outcome of experiments.

What is the corresponding definition of “truth” in the arts? and how does one test that a statement in this domain is “true”?

(Elaine Nelson) #44

“What church would I join” having left Adventism, the only church I know?

Why is that the question many ask us who have left? There is an assumption that one MUST have a church to be part of. Millions live admirable, healthy and successful lives sans membership in any church. Is there a fear, or stigma or ? if one is not a member of a church? It is not necessary and after 25 years I still can think of no reason to be part of any organized religion. There are numerous charities I prefer to support and am happy to know exactly where such donations are used.

Who is listening to the many suggestions I have seen just on this site? No one in leadership has ever asked for my suggestions; have they asked of you, other than your local congregation? What possible impact does a single member have of 13,000,000 just like him? No one has given me a single good reason to rejoin this church, if there is one.

(George Tichy) #45

And, as I told you many times before, Tom, If I lived where you live I would most likely church where you church!

(Thomas J Zwemer) #46

As a member of the Board of United Way, I was asked to teach a Sunday School class at several churches, St James Baptist, St Marks Methodist, I stayed for the Church service. I also met and admired the Pastor of the Red Door Lutheran Church and St Paul’s Anglican Church. I found that the pastor of Reid Memorial . Suited me better and Betty agreed. Tom Z

(Frankmer7) #47

Hi Rich…

I think your quote of Pascal sums it up nicely. I’m not so sure I can definitively identify in the arts what we commonly refer to as truth. I even left open the idea, in my initial post, that this could lie outside the aesthetic experience. But what I do find on point, is the idea that there are areas of human experience that lie outside the boundaries of the scientific method… areas that it cannot quantify.

How can it quantify what is deemed enduring artistic beauty or excellence? And, to make the leap, how can it quantify the type of experiential and lived truth of which Jesus and Paul speak? The type of experience that transforms lives.

And to leap even further, how can a method that is centered around observations of the seen and the natural, be used to make judgements upon what is called the supernatural? To me, it’s like saying I lost my keys at night in the street, and the only place I can look is underneath where the nearest street light is shining. Is that the only place where they could be found? Especially considering that there is an entire portion of the street that lies outside the borders of the street light, where it doesn’t even reach, and where the keys may be?

Very rough analogy, but I hope the point comes across. Different way of expressing Pascal’s thought.



(Elmer Cupino) #48

I was not assuming that I should join another church should I leave the SDA church. I posed the question to bring up the fact that there is no perfect church. That people join religious denominations not because of their corporate doctrines and teachings but because it serves a purpose in their world belief. Should others feel the need to join other churches, they should be allowed to do so, for whatever purpose.

Besides Elaine, no one will ever convince you to rejoin the SDA church other than yourself. And if you’re happy without belonging to a church, so much the better for you.

(Elaine Nelson) #49

Elmer, a church should be chosen like picking a spouse. It doesn’t really matter that everyone may not agree with your choice, but all that matters that it is YOUR choice and suits you just fine (I hope) :wink:

(Steve Mga) #50

There is the Denomination with its tenants, doctrines, beliefs that one can subscribe to.
But the real place, the ONLY place where one can be fed is at the local church level, whether it is a Saturday go to meeting group, or a Sunday go to meeting group.
The Denomination CANNOT and IS NOT organized to feed one Spiritually, Emotionally, Mentally. Once can only find this in a local community of believers. Sometimes, like Tom Z, one has to “shop” around to find a fit for what one is looking for.
I attend my Saturday church, but it is at Friday Synagogue, and my Sunday church where I am blessed Spiritually, Emotionally, Mentally, and can put many of my gifts [and found new gifts] to work. We have a new pastor at SDA, will have to see if this changes.

(Elaine Nelson) #51

An alternative baptismal vow was introduced in 2005. It originated with the South Pacific Division branch of the Biblical Research Committee.[4] It consists of the following three affirmations:

This alternative baptismal candidate was suggested for the South Pacific Division. It is currently being used?

  1. Do you accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord,
  2. Do you accept the teachings of the Bible as expressed in the Statement of Fundamental Beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and do you pledge by God’s grace to live your life in harmony with these teachings?
  3. Do you desire to be baptized as a public expression of your belief in Jesus Christ, to be accepted into the fellowship of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and to support the church and its mission as a faithful steward by your personal influence, tithes and offerings, and a life of service?"

It is very similar to the one which I was baptized in 1934. But I was unable to locate.

(Allen Shepherd) #52

Well, Tom, with a Presbyterian who is not into TULIP, what else can he do but be pleased if you agree, and go in peace otherwise. Is there a challenge to holy living here?

I suspect I will get criticized for being critical at all. But I think the times deserve a more serious approach. We are near the end of time, especially those of us who are nearing our end of time…

(Allen Shepherd) #53

Don’t even pass the smell test?? Tom, you grew up and Adventist as did your father, who was a man of integrity. And the doctrines don’t even pass the smell test? You left disgruntled, or disillusioned, but that does not negate yrs of commitment, especially on the part of your father.

And God does say taste and see, a form of the scientific method.

(Andrew) #54

… And your remarks don’t pass the taste test.

(Thomas J Zwemer) #56

Allen Even men of integrity have the courage to say that they were wrong. dad was a Christain raised as a Methidist. his mother converted to ThevSabbath. she was raised in a largely Jewish community… we lived next to one of the members of the 1919 Bible Converence. we Viewed Ellen Whie as pastoral not prophetic. Dad was a builder for several union conferences. He knew these men had feet of clay, but his confidence was in The Lord. when, I decided to leave, He gave me his blessing,and said I agree with you Tom, but I am too old to make a statement. He had a severe heart attack, he called me. I called the ambulance. As we waited he said Tom you pray for me. I knelt at his knee and began–"Dear Lord, You know my dad, He has been a great father–Dad stopped me saying, no, no, Tom. He began–"Dear Lord, you know me from my birth. I am a great sinner, in need of your Grace, Foregive me, heal me if it is your will, be with Ruth and the children Amen. I got up from my knees! we emrassed wet cheek to wet cheek, He survived for four more years. He died in the Loma Linda Medical center. I saw him days before he pasted. he said, Tom I am sorry I am not leaving you an inheritance. I said, Dad, you made a man out of me, what more can a son ask? I never saw him again alive. So Allen, in our conversations please leave my dad out of it. my heart is in the same condition his was on that first call. I know his prayer by heart. my confidence is in The Lord, not the 28, Thank you!, Tom Z

(Rohan Charlton) #57

Thomas I have tears in my eyes after reading that.

Thanks ever so much for sharing with such love and Grace.

(Thomas J Zwemer) #58

thank You, I try to teach my SS classes with dad’s philosophy in heart and mind. I am more frank among Soectrumiits from infra red to ultra violet. Tom Z

(Allen Shepherd) #59

Tom, you know the respect I have for your father. I have said so before. I had tears as well after reading, you were a blessed man. enough said.

(George Tichy) #60

The results are often the same… :wink:

(George Tichy) #61

I noticed that they didn’t mention how many FBs. The door was kept open, so that any change in the number of FBs would be automatically applied retroactively. Smart move… I think it’s called “automatic upgrade for free”…

This is what was missing when you and I were baptized. They didn’t make provision for upgrades, and now we are stuck with only those few things we pledged allegiance to at that time. We were never given the opportunity to pledge allegiance to the 27, 28, or whatever is coming in the future.

Don’t you feel deprived from something??? I guess now I understand why you quit… :wink: