“We Will Not be Deterred.” NAD Year-end Meetings Day 1


#143

I remember sitting in the Causes of Disunity SS class where the statement was made that “pride” was the cause of disunity.

Welll then the teacher said everyone is proud.
Great!

So 60% pro compliance =proud & 40% non compliance = proud…
So much for intelligent analysis.


(Kim Green) #144

"What book says that?"

God has told me. :wink:


(Denny) #145

Repaying from the past? Maybe its time for the West to pay full reparations for past atrocities and return the stolen lands to the indigenous persons? Should we also speak that way? And return stolen artifacts in your museums where they came from? It wont benefit anyone we start a geopolitical sling match.

NAD should not see itself as some big brother to world church just because they were suing the GC Hq for their offices and rubbing shoulders with GC leadership daily… Yes, we cannot deny the history of America and the pilgrims progress, or that our movement started in USA, and we have no problems with that. However we must respect each other as brothers and sisters in the faith and unite upon the foundation of the Word.


(Nkosi) #146

I honestly like your way of thinking. I do and pray you don’t leave the sda church


(Kim Green) #147

"What I have advocated is that the solution requires both sides of the divide to find a way forward. One that is mutually acceptable. What I mentioned in my earlier post is one way. If both sides are not willing to accept responsibility for past/present actions there is no way forward. Divisions will remain, suspicion and resentment will deepen"

I believe that you are correct, Robert…in a true negotiation environment this would be the way forward. I somehow doubt that the current administration has nothing like this in mind. I base this upon what has been apparently been happening for some time now. I truly wish that they would employ professionals to manage this mess that TW and cronies has steered the church into- but I sincerely doubt that they are/will.


(Kim Green) #148

"However we must respect each other as brothers and sisters in the faith and unite upon the foundation of the Word."

Denny…how could this be accomplished from where the church currently stands in your opinion?


(Denny) #149

I am not a qualified church administrator at such high levels to have a real workable solution… The problem is that the arguments or disputed issues are widening more and becoming more complicated…So we dont know is the issue about WO or the Compliance doc, or that the Africans and Latin America are not sympathetic to the rest of the world etc.

To me, in my simple mind, a road map to the solution must start with the fundamentals:

  1. We are a world church and so must be united in principle on the same biblical beliefs. Your order of worship and those nitty gritties are not important for discussion.
  2. We must move forward together according the “multitude of counsellors” says the wise Solomon in Proverbs.Even if we dont agree with the world church position. We see this often in church boards where at times my issues are shot down even if i strongly believe i am biblically on the right path. We go with the flow as long as the voted item is not sinful.
  3. We must remember we are in this for Jesus, whatever we do and how we treat each other and our leaders must have some respect to it. Even if we disagree with them of their ways. They are still ordained to be there.
  4. Whilst remaining relevant to our times, we must not use that as the basis for formulation of beliefs as we know the grain and pith of the world is totally at variance with the church’s way of thinking and beliefs.

(Nkosi) #150

I think it starts with the way we treat each other individually. One good starting place will be on this forum. Some of the words on this forum don’t portray our belief in a loving God well. I will be one to admit there are times I have completely lost my temper, the subtle jabs, the mockery, the sarcastic jokes, it is so sad and unfortunate. sadly these bad jokes have been said on division pulpits by division leaders. the not so veiled personal attacks on TW, on others. unfortunately unity in Christ can only be achieved through being Christ like.


(Kim Green) #151

Thank-you for your thoughts.


(Kim Green) #152

Yes…people are people and not perfect. Harder still to be a Christian. Thanks for adding in. :slight_smile:


#153

Hi Gideon,
Sorry you couldn’t review the sermon.
Perhaps Spectrum will make it available again.

When you first saw it, it must have impressed you in some way because you made six comments about it. In the one I identified with most, you mentioned you would like to know what Elder Jackson’s concept of the gospel was. That would be interesting.

The reason I brought that sermon up was because it had a significant effect on me. I was in the early stages of embracing a new theology and this sermon was a sort of watershed moment for me that encouraged me to continue on my path.

About three years earlier, for the first time in my Christian life, I had decided to start seriously studying the Bible on my own. One of the passages that had perplexed me at the time when I was still an Adventist was the account of the interaction between God and Pharaoh at the time of the Exodus. I tried unsuccessfully to reconcile the Biblical account with what I had been told over and over again in Adventism, i.e., that God would never violate man’s free will; our freedom of choice is sacred.

This absolute freedom of choice by man is central in Adventist theology. So, whatever God’s plans might be, He must follow our will. Yet, as I studied this passage of Scripture it said repeatedly (at least five times) that God overruled Pharaoh’s will and hardened Pharaoh’s heart. I was most interested in seeing how Elder Jackson would handle this apparent contradiction with his theology.

I applaud Elder Jackson for tackling a passage that surely is a difficult one for Adventist theology. As I remember the sermon, Elder Jackson’s approach was to reframe this aspect of the Biblical account. He said that God sent Moses as a friend to Pharaoh to try to convince him to let the people go. He said God, through Moses, tried very hard to sway Pharaoh but this approach ultimately failed. He said God’s original plan didn’t work and the resulting plagues with much pain, sorrow and loss of life were Pharaoh’s fault.

Elder Jackson’s interpretation showed me the lengths one can go to make a Biblical passage agree with one’s theology. He was saying that, in effect, in some ways, man is more powerful than God and that God’s plans for us can fail. He was also saying that God would never do anything we consider ‘evil’. I now believe those things are not true. He showed me how powerful the lens of our theological assumptions through which we read the Bible can be. He showed me that to many people having to re-examine and perhaps modify these assumptions is unacceptable. Too much is at stake. I saw his sermon as taking the safer course of trying to modify the meaning of the words of the Bible. He showed me that Adventist theology could not explain this Biblical narrative as written.

I later emailed Elder Jackson about the sermon and asked him what he thought of Paul’s analysis of the Exodus account which is written in Romans 9:14-21. He kindly responded and did not mention Romans 9 but gave me Romans 1:18-26 instead. I think he felt that Pharaoh had previously rejected God and made his own heart so hard that God couldn’t do much about it except ‘give him over’ to his own way. This contradicts the account because Pharaoh asked Moses to ‘make supplication’ to the Lord for him, said he had sinned against the Lord and asked for forgiveness.

God’s killing of the firstborn of Egypt (undoubtedly including many children) is difficult to reconcile with the teachings of Jesus and the way God is portrayed in the NT. Jesus said we are to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. 1John 4:8 says God is love. So, it’s understandable to make Pharaoh responsible. But the Bible tells us that Pharaoh was ready to let the people go part way through the plagues. Before several of the last of them plus the chase to the sea, God hardened Pharaoh’s heart, ‘so that they may know that I am the Lord’. However difficult that is to accept, the Bible tells us God is responsible for what happened.

The word of this miraculous deliverance by God surely would have spread quickly throughout that part of the world and so one reason for God’s actions against Egypt may have been that they served to help protect the largely defenceless pilgrims on their journey to the promised land.

One of the things about the account I recently noticed was that immediately after the first Passover God instructed the Israelites that the firstborn of every womb, both of man and beast, was to belong to Him (Ex 13:2). It was to be devoted or set apart to Him (Ex 13:12). (Later God modified this to mean the Levitical priesthood only.) I am surely looking through the lens of my own theology now but I see this as God telling us that yes, He cut the lives of the Egyptian firstborn short but He has taken full responsibility for them. I believe His love means that one day, after several more stages in His plan for us have come to pass, they will be in His kingdom. (I think He meant the same thing when the Israelites conquered Jericho and killed all its citizens. Then God told Joshua that meant they had all been placed ‘under the ban’ or devoted to Him.)

God’s actions in the OT often seem brutal to us but I believe He has given us clues that He always acts out of love and for the ultimate good of all His creation.

WRT your enquiry, I’m sorry, I don’t know if Elder Jackson has written anything about Paul’s writings.


(George Tichy) #154

You are just rewriting what I have been saying everywhere for a long time. I almost feel being plagiarized!.. :innocent:

But yes, if there had been any “respect” as you indicate, there wouldn’t have been any imposition of ideology by one culture over another, and there wouldn’t have been any discrimination of women in our church. Which, unfortunately, is happening.

So let’s do this, let’s work together toward the mutual goal of increasing "respect [of] each other as brothers and sisters." But in practice, in real life, demonstrated by acts and behavior - not just some mere beautiful words… I am on! Are you?


#155

An apology for sowing vague, reaping suspicion, ever on the rambunctious back and forth. I support WO. Women in Africa or America or all over the world are pillars of society. SDA men from GC or NAD or world Adventist chapels and conferences… Their wives worship the ground their husbands have coming to them.


(Nkosi) #156

I agree with most of what you wrote here. I get that you’re one who would rather take the bible for it’s plainest (for lack of a better word ) meaning. For instance, if the bible says God hardened Pharaoh’s heart, it means simply that. My belief is God doesn’t have to explain Himself to His creatures and if Mr Jackson teaches that the bible teaches something else other than what is written then with all due respect he is wrong. This is essentially the "battle " in the Adventist world today. People’s interpretation vs what’s written, cultureism vs the written word. This whole issue is about is it written or not, never mind all the accusations and noise, that’s the single most poignant question in the adventist faith today, there seems to be some who are saying even though it’s not written accept it because we have moved on and accepted it, if you don’t want to accept it then at least allow us to practise it in our region and you can do what you see fit in your region, this is what we are getting Dan Jackson and others to be saying and like the Pharaoh story we are respectfully saying he is wrong.


(Robert Lindbeck) #157

@Nkosi this is very noble but be we are separated by two thousand years and several thousand kms from what was actually written. Language changes over time. Sometimes it takes several generations. The word “cleave” can mean ‘to stay close to’ (Merriram-Webster). This is the definition used in Genesis 2:24. Cleave can also mean ‘to separate or divide’ (Cambridge Dictionary) as in a meat cleaver. When I was growing up, the word “gay” meant happy. Many years later it has a different meaning.

To take culture, environment, and time out of the reading of God’s word invites misinterpretation. It is difficult to accurately translate between living languages in today’s context. How much more is it to accurately translate languages that are not in common use today.

The audience the Bible was written for is not the same audience that is reading it today. This also adds an additional layer of complexity. The understanding that the audience of Moses, of Daniel, of Isaiah, of Paul is vastly different to that of the audience in Africa, India, China or Nth America. The biblical audience had no concept of flying machines, self-powered carts or the like. Even 150 years agao these were unheard of. It is entirely plausible that the “horrible beasts” of Revelation, if the vision was seen today, would be described as fighter planes or the like. The Bible authors had to use the language and concepts they had available.

I have great admiration for those that translate God’s Word and make it available in our languages. They have a most difficult task. To get the best translation, interpreters need to take into account context, culture and word usage. It is almost impossible to translate idiomatic language unless you are very familiar with the base language. Over time the meaning of idioms can be lost entirely which can mean a loss of the embedded lesson.

Yes, it is about what is written. It is all about God’s Word. We need to be sure that we are actually reading what was written, what was intentioned. Without taking into account culture, environment and context, are we actually reading what was written?


(Nkosi) #158

I can’t dispute any of what you say, bcoz I believe you’re correct. The challenges you present, ie culture contemporary ism language etc are very valid. The issues you raise speak to the core of our belief, as Christians what do we think of the bible. is it inspired or not, if it is what exactly is inspired is it language or thought expressed in the language. the principles. I believe in the bible and that it is the inspired word of God, I don’t necessarily believe in the language but the thought. I believe in the sda faith we have something called line upon line, here a little there a little. I think we look for the principle or the thought.


#159

Agreed with Mr Tichy - please clarify the acronyms at least.

It does seem the gist of this post is based on this new idea of Jesus having a special connection to certain groups of people, and when He does, they are “in the Most Holy Place” along side of Him. The other side of this is the idea those you disagree with are excluded. This is very presumptuous and sounds a lot like Gnosticism and mystical Catholicism. The use of the acronyms reinforces this secret society style.

This kind of rhetoric has been used against our pastor without any real specifics. All we get is a vague attack on anyone who appears to have so called liberal views (as in a willingness to try new methods to reach our millions of neighbors who drift spiritually ever further from the Lord).


(Peter) #160

Abu - My family were among the very first Adventists over 170 years ago. Having traced my ancestry back hundreds of years, I can assure you none of them had any connection with slavery. However, multiple members of our family have given 50+ years of service in Africa, sharing the love of Christ, healing, and leading. And, BTW, we were not originally from North America. We still share loving, caring contacts with our brothers and sister in Africa. Just today we spoke with one by phone who had ben injured in an auto accident. He knows we will always care. We do not deserve what feels like your critical, demeaning attitude. We simply see things differently than you do.

Let me ask you this. Are rainbows all the same color? No. But in their various parts, they are ONE. That is how we see God’s children. Like the colors of the rainbow (in ethnicity, understandings of the Bible, culture, etc.) we are all different but we are all one in Christ.

Simply because one part of the world does not agree with another about women’s ordination (for instance) does not mean we can’t have harmonious unity. I believe it is a mistake for North America or Europe to expect Africa to be exactly like them. But I also believe it is a mistake for Africa to expect North America to be exactly like it. Since we are personally acquainted with Africa, we know that not all of Africa is just alike.

But, like the colors of the rainbow, we are all beautiful and we are different while being one!

Let us respect each other!


#161

Peter - I concur to your colours creation of rainbow. Your unity points very well taken. I feel after soaking your Jesus unity I feel I can be like a caterpillar. Eat a lot.Sleep for awhile, Wakeup beautiful? .


(Kim Green) #162

"I feel after soaking your Jesus unity I feel I can be like a caterpillar. Eat a lot.Sleep for awhile, Wakeup beautiful? ."

This made me smile. :slight_smile: I think that we all hope for this phenomena in our lives, Abubakar.