Comment on Supreme Court Decision on Church Employment Case by Faith.
David Read and Bill:
I posted this quotation below awhile back, (Jan 19 @ 10 PM) but I think it is appropriate to the current conversation. I would recommend that all the quotations I posted regarding the law should be revisited above, but I repost this one as it is the most appropriate to the topic under discussion.
I believe what Bill and others such as myself are afraid of is an unbalanced view of salvation. It was once explained to me like this: Salvation is like a rowboat with two oars, one being faith in Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for you and one your own works. If you try to use only one oar, you will wind up going in circles and getting nowhere.
I have heard many theories on salvation and its relationship to the law. One is that all we have to do is accept Christ as our Saviour and we will keep the law as a natural outcome–we don’t even have to make an effort to do it. I don’t believe that for one second. We are to work out our own salvation, we are told in Timothy. EGW explains this text as meaning we have our part to play in our salvation. I fully agree with her. None of us can keep the law on our own, but we have to make an effort and then ask God to do the rest. Read the quotation below. She specifically says that there is more to it than to just say, “I believe.”
Faith: here is a quotation from another devotional written by EGW:
The faith in Christ which saves the soul is not what it is represented to be by many. “Believe, believe,” is their cry; “only believe in Christ, and you will be saved. It is all you have to do.” While true faith trusts wholly in Christ for salvation, it will lead to perfect conformity to the law of God.
There are two errors against which the children of God—particularly those who have just come to trust in His grace—especially need to guard. The first . . . is that of looking to their own works, trusting to anything they can do, to bring themselves into harmony with God. He who is trying to become holy by his own works in keeping the law, is attempting an impossibility. . . . It is the grace of Christ alone, through faith, that can make us holy.
The opposite and no less dangerous error is that belief in Christ releases men from keeping the law of God; that since by faith alone we become partakers of the grace of Christ, our works have nothing to do with our redemption.
But notice here that obedience is not a mere outward compliance, but the service of love. The law of God is an expression of His very nature; it is an embodiment of the great principle of love, and hence is the foundation of His government in heaven and earth. . . . Instead of releasing man from obedience, it is faith, and faith only, that makes us partakers of the grace of Christ, which enables us to render obedience.
From Devotional: Our Father Cares, pp. 68, 69.
When ministers preach the message of Salvation they need to address both sides of the question or people are misled into believing either we work our own way to heaven or we don’t have to keep the law. Neither of these statements is true. They are Satan’s way of funnelling off the followers of Christ into the wrong paths and thereby lose out on salvation altogether.
We need Christ’s sacrifice as well as rendering obedience to His law in order to be saved. That is the Adventist stance I have grown up on and it is being attacked by people such as Morris Vendon, who wrote a book called ‘Love God and Do as You Please’ which is absolute heresy. It directly contradicts the Bible when it says, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”
Self needs to decrease and God needs to increase in our lives if we expect to be saved into His kingdom, where the commandments will be kept by all.
Faith Also Commented
Mack Ramsy: You must either acknowledge a massive global conspiracy, or that there is some truth in what is being taught.
There is a massive global conspiracy, Mack. It is called Satan going around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. All your supposed knowledge, if it contradicts in any way, shape, or form, what God stated in the Bible is WRONG. Anyone who is deceived thereby is not wise.
Mack Ramsy: We’re trying to incorporate what the bible teaches in a constructive meaningful way.
Not so–you are doing violence to the Scriptures to try to make it fit man-made theories. You have chosen, unwisely, to reject God’s word in favour of man’s theories. That’s the truth of it.
Mack Ramsy: Oh i know this is kind of a personal question but how many gay people have you killed this week? No? any pagans then? Hmm. Might want to get on that. Just a friendly suggestion in helping you be personally accountable for biblical teachings from friend in Jesus.
Hardly a friendly suggestion, Mack, more like a nasty accusation. I wonder how surprised you are going to be to see the wicked punished? God doesn’t like to do the dirty work, but it will have to be done. In the meantime, pointing out sin isn’t the same as killing someone, is it???
Mack Ramsy: I have enormous respect for God’s word. If God’s word is not consistent with observable phenomena then it is not God’s word that is wrong, but we who are wrong in our understanding of it. I think others have a misunderstanding in interpretation.
I’m sorry, Mack, but how you described the scriptures to me and how you are willing to shift their meaning to coincide with the beliefs of mere men, doesn’t really demonstrate to me that you have much respect for, or for that matter, confidence in the scriptures or God.
As to interpreting the scriptures, we need to adhere to the interpretations God gave us when this church was established. This was not left to human interpretation. The group of people who first established the beliefs of this church spent days and nights in prayer to establish the interpretations according to God’s word. And if they were heading the wrong direction, God sent visions by EGW to correct them. That’s why I have full confidence in the way the church doctrines are applied. It fits together so beautifully…like a jigsaw puzzle of a masterpiece. Why mess with that? Just because some mortal men have come up with a fairytale? Not likely. You are putting your trust in evidence that Satan has tampered with. That you would be willing to change the doctrinal beliefs of our church to fit with that is sooooo unwise.
I just feel so sad for people who can’t see the beauty of our doctrines. How they fit together so perfectly and are established with several different texts throughout the Bible–sort of like the testimony of more than one witness.
We have been given extra light on the subject of evolution in the SOP writings. God has outright condemned the theory as error. How can you possibly go against such plain testimony? This is testimony from God–EGW was just the messenger. To reinterpret scripture to fit with evolution is the heights of foolishness.
Please, Mack, if you have any relationship with God whatsoever, go down on your knees and ask Him. With an open mind, let Him guide you. He will show you the truth if you will let Him. I would advise you to take the time you have been putting into studying the evolutionary error and put it into studying the scriptures and SOP. Your time will be better spent because you will find genuine truth there.
Supreme Court Decision on Church Employment Case
David, you are correct in what you are saying in that we cannot gain salvation through works. But we also have to acknowledge that works are a part of the process. It is an outcome of our salvation that we want to keep the commandments of God and that we are wholly dependant on Him to do so. “If ye love me, keep my commandments” is His requirement. Then He helps us fulfill this requirement. What marvelous grace He gives us! And how thankful we should be for His lovingkindness and care for us. He could have blotted out the planet Earth and all its inhabitants long ago, but instead He chose to save us. What a God we have the privilege of serving!
Recent Comments by Faith
WASC Reviews LSU’s Accreditation
Pauluc: “I do not judge my beliefs by anything other than the revelation of God in Jesus Christ. I judge my science by the conventions that has been the source of the knowledge of the world that we now possess and enjoy. I do not at all confuse the two.”
Seeing as science was created by God, just how do you presume to separate the two? Science, like every other part of our lives, should include God. You can’t profess to believe in a God that Created the earth when looking at religion and deny the Creator when looking at science. That would be “science-so-called”. True science reflects the Creator.
You can’t have it both ways–either you believe in the Bible and God as Creator in your science or you don’t believe the Bible and God as Creator in your religion. God does not accept the divided heart.
Bill Sorensen: We have a good spiritual time, and many tell me when they are getting out, they will keep the bible Sabbath
God Bless you and your ministry, Bill.
La Sierra University Resignation Saga: Stranger-than-Fiction
There has been much discussion on the church and whether or not it will, as an organization, go through to the end. In reading the various posts I have come to the conclusion that we seem to be using different definitions of ‘the end’ and thus are not in agreement on this topic. I would like to clarify, if I may, what I believe concerning the church and the end of time.
I do agree with many of you that there will be a time when the church will not be operating as a physical organization. That will be the time when we are scattered in various hiding places over the earth, or in prison, as the Lord sees fit–and this will happen after the close of probation with the entrance and enforcement of the International Sunday Laws. However, I don’t think that this negates the church being alive to the end. No, we won’t be meeting in churches, or paying our tithes and offerings to the organization just before God comes. But the church–the people and her doctrines–will survive to the end.
In the book Messenger of the Lord by Herbert E Douglass, he points to a statement that E G White made in 1908, “I am instructed to say to Seventh-day Adventists the world over, God has called us as a people to be a peculiar treasure unto Himself. He has appointed that His church on earth shall stand perfectly united in the Spirit and counsel of the Lord of hosts to the end of time.”18
The book goes on to say:
“Revelation 3 depicts no last-day church beyond Laodicea, thus giving hope that some day many of them will repent, overcome, and fulfill God’s plan for the last-day church (Rev. 3:18-21). No other subject for any church-related agenda, either for individuals or institutions, can be more urgent or important to implement.”
My beliefs agree with these statements. We have been given no other counsel to leave the Seventh Day Adventist Church. Since Ellen White was a prophet for the last days–to the very end of time, I think she would have made it crystal clear–abundantly clear–that we would have to leave this church if, indeed, we would. I remember a statement saying to the effect “Stay with the church for she will come into port.” So, I will not be looking for another church.
I do know it is possible for the church to become Babylon. The possiblity exists as long as there is sin on this earth. However, I think that if this is going to happen to the SDA church, it would have been prophesied for us, so that we would be prepared to leave the church. I also realize that new light may yet come to us…but I sincerely doubt that, in the light of the shaking (which is a reformation), we need to worry about this. I fully believe the church will be cleansed to allow the work to be finished. From what Sister Ellen says, those who come into the church will fill the places of the ones who are shaken out. This will happen before probation ends, or else there would be no way anyone could change.
Hopefully this makes my stance more clear on this subject. Sorry if I have misled anyone with my earlier posts.
WASC Reviews LSU’s Accreditation
And round and round we go.
Professor Kent and Pauluc et al continue to try to force us all to admit to blind faith as the reason for our belief in Creation, and Sean, bless him, conintues to offer proofs for Creation because he knows that there are evidences of the Creator in Creation and we don’t have to take it all on “blind” faith. So…what is behind all this constant strife?
Here’s how I see it.
The professors and other like-minded individuals want us to claim blind faith because then they think they can put Creation into a little box called “Religion” and separate it from the box called “Science” (that’s their opinion, not mine.) This is a vain quest, because it can’t be done. You cannot separate the Creator from His science. You cannot, with any integrity, separate your religion from any part of your life. The only possible reason to try to do this is so you can put forth “proofs” propounded by mere men that don’t mesh with the Bible. This is being double minded…trying to serve God and man…which, of course is, in reality, not serving God at all, because you are basically calling Him a liar.
Don’t you realize that Satan is a masterful deceiver? Don’t you think he can manipulate the evidence to make you draw false conclusions from it? Don’t you realize that there is a perfectly good explanation for it all if it is seen in the correct light?
You see, this is where I feel that some SDA scientists lose their credibility. They have been faced with arguments that may, on the surface, prove evolution. So they begin to question God instead of questioning the evolutionists. Just the fact that if you look at the whole picture you can see that the world is getting worse and worse instead of better and better blows the whole theory of evolution right out of the water.
And why do our SDA scientists go to the world for their wisdom when we have the Bible and SOP to guide us? They are looking for worldly acceptance and acclaim, that’s why. They don’t want to be seen as the “lunatic fringe” who believe in God. They can’t tolerate the jeering of the worldly “scientists.” They perceive that as undermining their credibility and dignity as professional scientists. Well in actual fact, they lose their credibility as both Christians and scientists when they try to marry truth with error.
This is why Professor Kent’s claim to believe in Creation as stated in the Bible is not taken seriously. How can it be when he tries to claim there are no evidences to support Creation? That is simply not true. Sean can, and has, presented many evidences to support Creation. And there are many others out there like Sean that understand the significance of these evidences.
Of course the typical response from the “scientists” is that those who claim there is evidence for Creation are “uneducated”, “ignorant” people who “don’t understand scientific principles.” Yet these are the very people who claim that evolution, an unscientific and unprovable theory, is the answer to human origins. This is unfathomably faulty logic. There is no valid reason why SDA scientists should be promoting evolution in any of its forms.
While I know that there are aspects of God and His Creation that are a mystery to us at this point, and that must be taken on faith, we are not called to base our beliefs on “blind” faith. We have every reason to believe that God speaks the truth to us in His word and that we can rely on His veracity 100% whether or not we have concrete proof that what He claims is true. We have seen, and are seeing daily, prophecies come true. It is absolutely amazing that He could give Nebuchadnezzar a dream that accurately shows the world’s kingdoms right to the end of time. And it has all come to pass as predicted. That in itself should inspire complete confidence in His Word.
So, what it all boils down to is this: Professor Kent and Pauluc, who claim to have faith in God’s Word actually undermine it and Sean, who claims to have no blind faith, actually upholds the faith. Kind of funny, isn’t it?
Happy Sabbath everyone.
Sean Pitman: Cancer is not the result of intelligent design any more than your car breaking down and wearing out is the result of God deciding to slowly destroy your vehicle. It is just the way things are when when they are not constantly maintained. It’s a form of informational entropy over time. Things naturally wear out and degenerate when God is not constantly involved in maintaining them. That is why Adam and Eve grew old and died after they decided to separate themselves from God’s constant care.
Perfect example, Sean. One of the most obvious reasons the evolutionary theory does not work is that, as as whole, everything on earth is degenerating. That is opposite of what the evolutionary theory proposes. It says that everything is getting better…the one-celled amoeba is growing into something better than itself. This, in itself, blows the doors off evolution, as far as I am concerned.