The Use of Pillory and the Seventh-Day Adventist Church

(Kim Green) #222

"rather than the books smoothing out all of those ambiguities they only served to multiply them."

lol…very possibly! This is an issue when you are applying “old” information/laws to a different century/culture altogether with new dilemmas that never could have been previously known. This is why I lean towards the Bible having only certain specifics and a whole lot of “principles” that one applies with the help of the HS.

(Kim Green) #223

BTW…did our friend, Bob, take a leave of absence after the stress and strain of dealing with us apostates? Perhaps this is why Birder is “on duty” now?

(Johnny Carson) #224

I think you’re onto something, Kim, and I think Christ would agree with you. Take for instance his oft repeated words in various formats similar to, “Ye have heard it said…, but I say…” It’s also interesting that following those words he launches into an interpretation that flies in the face of conventional wisdom. It demonstrates more than anything else could that human interpretation of scripture and their resulting demands of others based upon that interpretation can be, and often are bogus.

(Johnny Carson) #225

It does seem suspicious, doesn’t it? Seems to happen like this a lot. Tag team tactics! hehe

(le vieux) #226

Apparently you are the final authority on the matter.

Short memory?

Of course you did. The article you posted was about the opinion of a Catholic cleric, who would be expected to parrot the ideas of his “boss.”

You’ve proved my point about those with a “low view of Scripture.”

You mock the truths of Genesis. Do you also mock the virgin birth, the resurrection of Jesus, or His ascension? Are they also “allegorical?” You can’t have it both ways. The stories in the Gospels are just as “unscientific” as creation. You have no more reason to believe them than you do to believe Genesis.

(reliquum) #227

Indeed, why would God not give literature to Adam, give written language, and write with his own hand in an unchanging language so that all peoples (and otherworld aliens) could refer to and understand for perpetuity?

I suspect God did not have a prescient hiccup that caused him to miss the problems (lets not even broach the “correct version” or apocryphal scripture) this would cause humankind, who he says He is desperate to save. Consider; what if God used the at times enigmatic process of the creation of holy writ, with all its deafening “silences of god”, as a means to identify the two groups (wheat/tares, sheep/goats). Perhaps those who truly seek truth hidden in spirit of law meta-message and often poetic form regard the free-will agency of choice embody and transmit the true character of God more accurately than those who too self-righteously fashion cudgels and spears from what they say is the literal current meaning of the original text. Even if the second group were right (meaning that the exact meaning of their “letter of the law” remained unchanged despite the fluidity and dynamics of human writers, cultures, language, lost manuscripts, ghost writers, poseurs, scribes etc etc), by what fiat do they have the right to bludgeon and quarter those who see the same text through different eyes?

Naked, and blind, pray for eye salve, and consider, perhaps the silences of God speak far more than all the clamor of men. And in his silences, God is inviting us all (literalists, as well we heathens/poets/scientists) to the wedding feast table. What does it say when we can barely tolerate burnt offerings at potluck with those we denigrate as infidels and rebels?

Seems I recall the groom and his father are furious that the invitations did not get out, and there were no witnesses at that forthcoming eternal ketubah. What did he then do, when even those who call themselves “his people”, failed to celebrate the feast?


I am simply astounded at our collective reading comprehension troubles.
Did not even Mother Ellen also expound that truth “is hid” in holy writ, to protect it?
If writ is all “plain reading” and solely literal in its entirety, where is the truth hidden?
Seems it would be awful easy to “change the truth”…

(le vieux) #228

Yes, and those Scriptures of which He spoke were the OT. And if we can’t rely on them, then the whole idea of the Incarnation, etc., becomes suspect. The creation story is considered “unscientific” by those who presume to know more than the Holy Spirit. Well, the resurrection of Jesus (or anyone for that matter), is just as unscientific; yet most Christians believe it.

The Scriptures are an interconnected, harmonious whole. Once you start picking them apart, and relegating portions to the realm of myth, the sky (or should I say the abyss) is the limit.

(le vieux) #229

If we can’t believe the creation story to be factual, as in literal history, then why should we believe the story about the virgin birth of Jesus or His resurrection and ascension–non of which are “scientific?” There is no hint of allegory in Genesis. Jesus referred to Adam and Eve, and the Flood, as literal history. Only because of modern “science” have Christians begun to cave on creation. Wouldn’t want to appear as ignorant “fundamentalist Bible thumpers.”

But we can’t put God in the lab and test Him. Either Paul was right about all Scripture (in his day the entire OT–including Genesis) being inspired by God, or we put the Bible on the shelf with other ancient literature and “eat, drink, and be merry,” for tomorrow we become compost. The arrogance of modern man will look pretty foolish when God steps in and cleans things up.

(le vieux) #231

Well, we have one with a talking wooden dummy, and not that many years ago. You figure it out.

(Tim Teichman) #233

My statements of opinion are no stronger than yours. However, they are more progressive and after careful study for many years I think they are more likely to be the actual case.

For example, we can all see that the world is very old and has a long history of life, if we look with an open mind. I don’t know where you live, since you are afraid to tell us, but in the western United States, all you really have to do is go outside and look at nature and it’s quite obvious what you see cannot have happened in thousands or tens of thousands or even millions of years. It took much longer. When a rock formation that is unique in the world exists only in New York City and the western coast of England, we find that this fact fits right into many other facts in the study of tectonic plate movements. Plates move very slowly and it took something like billions of years for the Atlantic ocean to appear between the eastern shores of the Americas and the western shores of Africa and Europe. Scientifically there is no way around this fact. You can call on magic as the solution, as some do, but that’s not a compelling argument for most of us.

Your consistent defense of old ideas seems to be simply because they are old ideas and some human bible writer or EGW (re)stated them. For example, we know masturbation does not cause blindness and crippling illness (another ongoing and rather exhausting topic here) but there are those who state it must be so because EGW said so. Well, she was wrong. She was wrong just like Jesus and Paul were wrong when they stated the Son of Man would return soon, in the lifetimes of their audiences. The bible can be inspired and still wrong about some things, and it is in fact wrong about some things, at least in the literal sense.

This is why your apparent insistence on a literal reading of the origin stories is dangerous. Making them literal makes them unacceptable to many people, probably most people, because of the preponderance of evidence that disagrees with them. It requires throwing out entire bodies of universally accepted scientific understanding, much of which we know to be factual.

On the other hand, if we understand them as allegory, as parable, everyone can accept them and they become beautiful, meaningful, and true.

When the stories of creation are allegory, one no longer has to ask how there could be days before there was a sun, or point out that we now know (by looking at the universe) that a sun forms first and then the planets form around that new sun. And it is no longer important to try to rationalize how it could be that humans could both be created together on the last day of creation as God’s last act before resting, and at the same time Adam could be created before the animals which he then named as God showed them to him, and then He last created Eve.

We know that there are two different creation stories in Genesis, written by different men from different traditions about 500 years apart, who use two different names for God and two different styles of language, about like the difference between 17th century English and modern English. If we understand them to be allegory, that’s not an issue at all. If we insist they are both historically factual then that creates all sorts of questions, many of which have no good answers.

I try to keep an open mind and not adhere to details that are not really that important in the big picture.

This topic remind me of two of my favorite quotes from St Augustine.

“In matters that are obscure and far beyond our vision, even in such as we may find treated in Holy Scripture, different interpretations are sometimes possible without prejudice to the faith we have received. In such a case we should not rush in headlong and so firmly take our stand on one side that, if further progress in the search for truth justly undermines this position, we too fall with it. That would be to battle not for the teaching of Holy Scripture but for our own, wishing its teaching to conform to ours, whereas we ought to wish ours to conform to that [the truest meaning] of Sacred Scripture.” - St. Augustine, The Literal Meaning of Genesis, Book 1:37, AD 401-415.

"Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics [creation and natural history]; and we should all take means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of the faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books [the bible], how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason?

“Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon the Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion.” - St. Augustine, The Literal Meaning of Genesis, Book 1:39, AD 401-415.

(Allen Shepherd) #235

Nothing about the process, you are correct. But if you know the teachings of the Jews at that time, there was no thinking at the time about any sort of evolutionary ideas. The Jews of the first century were not evolutionists. So, there was no other theory of creation to adhere to than that one.

Unless you have some other ideas.

(le vieux) #236

As my Irish friends might say, “bilge and beanstalks.”

No we don’t. That’s a false narrative created by liberal “theologians” who aren’t satisfied with the simple explanation of it being the same story from different angles.

That’s quibbling over minor details. It’s really quite irrelevant. A day is the time it takes for the earth to make one complete rotation, with or without a sun. Plants can survive for a time without light, but not for millions of years, if the days of creation were anything but literal days. God is light. That’s all I need to know.

No, we can’t. That’s the narrative created by scientists who weren’t there when the earth was created, and who have to make unprovable assumptions about past conditions to bolster their theories of radioactive decay. Since they don’t believe in a pre-Flood atmosphere (but they’re willing to believe in a toxic atmosphere “billions” of years ago), which may have been different (as in more rich in CO2, and with unknown levels of C14 in living organisms) than today, they can’t hope to come to the right conclusions. I’ve read their literature. Lots of speculation therein.

Your’e trying to force an infinite Deity into finite human understanding (i.e., ignorance). It can’t be done.

(Tim Teichman) #237

It’s got nothing to do with being liberal and is widely accepted by most biblical scholars, especially those that can read the original text.

Not for many people. Which was my point.

It has very little to do with when the earth was initially formed, was just a hunk of rock, which was long long before any of what I referred to.

I didn’t do anything of the sort. It never entered my mind.

(le vieux) #238

Do you accept any supernatural manifestations or occurrences that are recorded in Scripture, or are they all “just stories?”

When you discount these histories, you are speaking from ignorance, even though you claim to be speaking scientifically." An omnipotent, omniscient Creator would have no problem creating a tree that perpetuates life indefinitely, whether modern “science” can explain it, or not.

(Tim Teichman) #239

Besides being insulting and dismissive as you often are when others share their experiences and beliefs, you have no way to know that.

(Kim Green) #240

I don’t see an issue with believing in “allegory” in the Creation story…it does not demean the presence or purposes of God. It does not diminish in any way to me that it takes sheer faith to believe in the virgin birth or the resurrection or ascension. I have accepted that we cannot “prove” the existence of God…nobody can.

God can inspire…yes. But he can and does inspire in the Bible through poetry, prose, history, allegory, and through prophetic books such as Revelation. I could care less about what people think about my beliefs in general because there is a huge element of faith in order to transverse life. They are all welcome to what helps them get through life as long as they aren’t denying others of their sincerely held beliefs.

(Tim Teichman) #241

I think you’d really like this book, which I am finding very helpful as I read it:

(Steve Mga) #242

Tim –
Here are several words that Pastors, writers in our religious papers, have instilled fear in
SDA Laity. Forcing them to believe these all come from Satan [the Devil].

  1. Contemplation. 2. Meditation. 3. Transformation.
    I am sure there are a few more, but these are the biggies.

I enjoy Marcus writing his thoughts in books. I have also enjoyed his lectures on YouTube.
Another is Richard Rohr.
I have been blessed by both.
I have given away a number of Richard Rohr’s “Breathing Underwater”. I have given them
away to a number of my Addictive friends. The 12-steps with a Biblical Spiritual additive.


Also “emerging.” These terms have been demonized. You are right.

(Michael Wortman) #244

…and, to be fair, one doesn’t have to look too closely to sense condescension from both camps.