Defining Adventism: A poll

Seventh-day Adventists accept the Bible as their only creed and hold certain fundamental beliefs to be the teaching of the Holy Scriptures. The twenty-eight fundamental beliefs summarized here, and officially voted by the General Conference in session are representative of “the truth as it is in Jesus” (Ephesians 4:21) that Seventh-day Adventists around the globe cherish and proclaim.

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116 thoughts on “Defining Adventism: A poll

  1. I think that you phrase the poll question well. The key is “openly” reject. I should expect that many people, whether professors or not, might struggle with various aspects of our faith. To the extent they have personal struggles, however, as long as they are on the payroll of the Adventist church, they must not openly teach in opposition its beliefs. If their personal struggles exceed their capacity to teach in alignment with church beliefs, they ought to resign and find a different career.

    This isn’t lack of tolerance. It’s common sense.




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  2. It is encouraging to see such a large majority take a stand for the Fundamental Beliefs of the Church. However, I pray we can come to the point where leaders and people alike take a stand for truth irrespective of the numbers on their side. Since the days of Noah, God’s faithful messengers have been vastly in the minority, and will be again when the final crisis breaks.

    Let us pray, at this year’s General Conference Session, that a leader will be chosen for God’s church who will be unsparing in his loyalty to Scripture and the writings of the Spirit of Prophecy, and thus bring about the beginning of the end of so-called “progressive” (better known as pseudo) Adventism.

    Pastor Kevin Paulson




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  3. There is no middle ground when one becomes an SDA christian. Either you believe in what Adventism stands for or you don’t. How can our Church allow Leaders to teach “beliefs” that are not in accordance with Scripture?!




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  4. Thank you Kevin. I have always appreciated your precise and unmistakable loyalty to God and HIS Church. Let’s never forget that He is still in control here. I am so thankful that HE can be trusted!




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  5. I don’t like the way the question is phrased.

    If “Yes,” there is a limit to the number of these fundamental beliefs a professor may openly reject and still be considered an adequate representative of the church, then what is the limit? All 28? Perhaps 20? Only 14? Two?

    If “No,” there is no limit to the number of these fundamental beliefs a professor may openly reject and still be considered an adequate representative of the church, then what is the limit? None? Ten? Twenty Five?

    In either case some or all can be openly rejected.

    Personally, if a professor openly rejects 1, only 1 of the 28, that is 3.6% of our SDA fundamental beliefs, then how can that professor be considered adequate as a representative of our church when God expects 100% committment?

    Is there something wrong with our 28 fundamental beliefs that we cannot expect an educated SDA professor to be committed to and profess to others all 28 (100%)?




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  6. Our church was never supposed to have a book of “Fundamental Beliefs”. In doing so, we have created a situation where the “truth”, can be changed every 5 years. Sis. White said that if rings were allowed to come into the church, every form of jewelry would also come in. And this we have seen. 20 years ago, you could tell and adventist just by looking at them. Today, we are no longer a “perculiar people”. We look just like everyone else. And why not, we have courted the Catholics and want to be like them. They march in our conference sessions and preach in our pulpits. They teach in our schools and have taken over our hospitals. They have changed our logo, (from the 3 angels message), to the flickering flame, which shows that we, (the SDA church), are under the same umbrella as all the other churches, cause all the churches now have a variation of t he flickering flame. Why has all this happened? BEcause we no longer consider the catholic church to be the beast of Revelation. We are called upon to point out the “man of sin”. How can we point him out when we are in bed with him? Truth is no longer accepted to be preached in the church, unless one is preaching “smooth things”, sermons that do not point out sin. The SDA church has apostasized from the truth; as ancient Israel did; we no longer believe the prophet, and God will deal with us as he did them.




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  7. I think the poll question is a bit unclear. What if I answer Yes, “there is a limit to how many fundamental beliefs a professor can openly reject…” but I am thinking that the limit should be three or four or maybe 10 beliefs? The same thing would be valid if the answer was Yes, the limit is just one belief. You may consider rephrasing the question, or change the possible answers…




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  8. Pastor Kevin, to “take a stand for the Fundamental Beliefs of the Church” is not the same as to agree that church employees should “openly” uphold those beliefs–which is what I understood the poll was asking.

    The church has long confused the need for speaking with one voice OFFICIALLY, with the desire to control what people believe.

    The whole Protestant movement was founded on the principle of “sola scriptura”, meaning that the Bible alone, and NOT the church, was to determine what is truth.

    –Kathleen




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  9. My prayer is that we, members and leaders alike, unswervingly uphold the values and truths as presented in the Bible. With equal importance, I also pray that, like Christ, our hearts break for those that choose not to follow that path. The first commission Christ gave to the disciples after His resurrection was to go directly back to Jerusalem – teach the ones who abused and crucified their Lord. What a task! So, sometimes undesireable action MUST be taken to uphold truth in our churches and schools. It isn’t easy. But I believe the test of a true member of the body of Christ is defined not just by the truths they hold but by the attitude portrayed toward those in the wrong during the moments of deepest conflict. Truth without love is worthless – the devil can do that, he knows it. People who argue against the truth are not won by arguments. Sister White is clear about that. The uncommon Christ-like love that is shown them even when they are attacking us and what we stand for – that is the tool that wins them to Christ. It makes no worldly sense to them. THAT love proves we have something different – the truth. Let us examine in this whole process, “Are our hearts breaking for them?”




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  10. I agree with Lucian and Richard that the question is not worded very well. I honestly put no b/c I feel that the limit should be zero. If anyone that is employed by one of our schools teaches in opposition to > zero beliefs, then they cannot be considered an adequate representative of the church. If the GC allows this to continue, then our schools will be just as secular as our hospitals are. It still amazes me the coffee stands and the other contradictions of the health message are in our hospitals. Where is the distinction that we are called to have according to 1 Peter 2:9,10?




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  11. The questions are not worded correctly. But I believe there are some of our beliefs that we might disagree a bit on. There are some that the Bible isn’t purely black and white on. Sabbath is very clear. State of the dead, very clear. Health, very clear. Salvation ONLY in Christ, xtreamly clear. Creation, very, xtreamly clear. etc. But some, although clear to me and fully accepted by me, others have a different view and I can not prove them wrong. Some having to do with God, and the Holy Spirit for example. If we could understand and explain God then I am afraid He would not be the God I believe in.

    I bet this will upset some people




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  12. (note- I voted No when i meant yes. Please amend my vote accordingly. Apologies.)

    My position is that all the 28 beliefs being”fundamental” cannot be compromised though on the surface, one might argue that a few of them seem less consequential and others more significant. This is a non-negotiable for “paid” employees of the church. The membership has a right to expect this.




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  13. I feel that all the principles of the 28 Fundamentals of Belief should be upheld, especially by our leaders and teachers. I feel the poll statement should be reworded for clarity.




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  14. I admit the question was confusing to me. I would like to suggest changing the question to say something like “How many…” and the answer choices:

    0

    2

    3

    More ____________

    I think this takes the ambiguity out of the question. The current format fosters some good discussion but if we hope for a true representation of the people (what really is a true poll??? ;-), a simple change may be helpful. 🙂




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  15. If you are following scripture, can you affirm trinitarianism, which contradicts scripture? Can you call the Almighty by heathen names, in violation of Ex 23:13? Can you ignore the special days He set apart (Lev 23) and follow the days the Catholic church set aside????




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  16. I understand the importance of academic freedom. Nobody wants to be dictated to or told what they can say. But, if someone chooses to teach at a Seventh-day Adventist school, it is their duty to uphold the beliefs of the organization that they, of their own free will, choose to work for.

    I can imagine working in a school which was owned by people of a different faith (ex. Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Catholic, etc.). I would not believe it my right to take their money for my salary while simultaneously erroding their faith among their students.

    This is an issue of personal responsibility of the professors who should find work at an institution that has similar value to their own.




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  17. There are several interesting comments above; many I can agree with, a few I have difficulties with. My vote was yes, and the number, in my view, is zero. By saying that I’m not trying to force any/everyone to agree with my position or even with the position taken by the SDA Church in its formal GC session over the years, known as The 28 Fundamental Beliefs. That would be totally inappropriate and smacks more of the Devil’s form of government than that of God.

    I’m also not sure of the clarity of the wording of the poll question. The word “openly” gives the impression that if a “professor” were to reject one of the 28 Fundamental Beliefs secretly, it would be OK. If it were truly done secretly, how would anyone know and therefore be able to bring his rejection into question. In light of this conclusion, I would suggest that if a professor (or any other denomination-paid employee, for that matter) disagrees with a Fundamental Belief and makes it public, regardless or when, where, or to whom, that employee should be required to resign his/her position immediately. In fact, there should be a clause in every employee’s contract stating this as a condition of employment.

    I know this is a very strong position to take and statement to make, but having observed certain circumstances in my own career as a church/conference employee, when this kind of position is not taken, it will eventually lead to all kinds of exceptions being made for questionable but allowed practices within our church owned/operated facilities. And I would add, contrary to what one person commented above, there are no beliefs so clear to everyone’s perceptions that those beliefs will never be compromised. And believe it or not, the Sabbath is at the head of the list.




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  18. Cindy, I could not agree more. The way the poll is currently worded leaves room for errors. Too me, all 28 fundamental beliefs have to accepted and observed to be a “true” Adventist.




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  19. If a belief isn’t actually fundamental to the SDA Church, as an organized body, let’s not call it “fundamental”. However, if we, as a Church body, actually believe something is truly “fundamentally” important, let’s not act as if it is not really fundamentally important by hiring those representatives to would go around publicly undermining a truly fundamental stand of the Church body – even if it is just one of the 28…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  20. No-one should be employed as church representatives unless they agree completely. Ministers should not, either. It’s not about Satan’s methods. It’s whether they are Seventh-day Adventists or not. Everyone is welcome to fellowship, and the Holy Spirit works with and in all, but our church must have defining and descriptive doctrine, or we might as well join the rest of the Protestants. Satan is working in so many ways today. Distracting music, evolution – who would have thought our church could be so damaged? Thank God that He is in control, even in the worst apostasy. Take your children out of this college if it fails to make a decided change.




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  21. @frank Jarman:
    @frank Jarman: @frank Jarman:
    To Mr. Jarman: Please tell me where EGW says that ‘wearing a ring will let all kinds of jewelry come in?’ I cannot find such a statement anywhere in the writings of EGW. A search through the Index to the Writings of EGW as well as a computer search of her writings on CD failed to turn up such a statement. I would appreciate a reference.
    Sincerely,
    Ellie Green




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  22. I think the poll question was flawed. No professor should either openly teach, or in their hearts be having difficulty with, even one of our fundamental beliefs. What a teacher believes in is heart will invariably affect what he teaches, regardless of his agreement to not teach it openly. Sorry, but when we are judging who is to have the job teaching our children, our consideration must never include the harm to the teacher’s pocketbook, standing, or reputation–but everything to do with the good of the students. We will all answer for great loss if we do not stand against the politically correct but foolish evolution errors creeping in. Error breeds death.




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  23. I totally agree with Pastor Kevin’s remarks. Thank you for your faithfulness to the church. Such loyalty is getting harder and harder to find.

    As to the poll–I also felt that it left room for interpretation. Like Jose, I was thinking of the number 0 when I was clicking on the ‘yes’. However, it would be wise, I think to reword it so that we have the option of saying that straight out–perhaps that could be one of the choices?

    We really need to realize that fellowship in this or any other group depends on agreement with it’s tenets. I have seen so many people baptised while doing things they shouldn’t be–such as smoking, drinking, using tea and coffee, breaking the Sabbath, rejecting the Spirit of Prophecy, and worshiping in Sunday-keeping churches.

    It seems that there is little regard even among some of our ministers for the pillars of the faith. With the Willow Creek movement that has infiltrated our churches and the “contemplative spirituality”, along with this mega monster “theistic evolution” that has reared its ugly head, our church is under a huge attack. It is time to get back to the pure church that was established by the pioneers with God’s direct help.

    I daresay I will be attacked on this once again by people who think we should not be purifying the church, but as far as I’m concerned they are just working for Satan to block the work that needs to be done…so…I have broad shoulders–I can take it–with God’s help. 🙂

    Faith




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  24. Would that the SDA Church leadership would have the backbone in regard to apostate professors at LSU as the Catholic Church has, as is clearly evident in the following speech from Catholic Father Mallon:“Freedom to teach what is true is without practical applicability unless we have a norm….the Catholic college norm must be not only natural knowledge, but the deposit of divinely revealed truths immeasurably more certain than any truth arrived at by mere human deduction or experiment because we have for them the guarantee of the infinite knowledge and veracity of God…We reserve the the right to dispense with the service of the staff member whose life or utterances on the campus or off of it undermines the purposes for which we exist…In view of the very nature and fundamental purposes of Catholic education, violations of Catholic doctrine, or Catholic moral principles, or of the essential proprieties of Catholic life, on the campus or off the campus, render a man unfit for service in a Catholic college. “ {Father Wilfred M. Mallon, S.J., criticizing the American Assoc. of University Professors before the National Catholic Educational Assoc. 1942}

    We will be praying for the meeting on Feb. 11th.




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  25. To say that there is “no limit” to the degree to which one my reject SDA doctrine and yet claim a paycheck from the church – is folly.

    To say that “there is a limit” is helpful – but does not say if that limit is 1 or 27.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  26. Any person considered to be a “representative” of the church, any church or organization for that matter, must speak for those he/she represents. He does not speak of his own, just as Christ did not speak of His own, but spoke only what the Father directed.

    If a king or president sends an ambassador to another country to represent him, that ambassador is not commissioned to speak for themselves; they are only authorized to speak strictly according to what the king or president instructs him to speak – else he is no longer a representative but a free-agent.

    I am in full agreement with the comment above: “I should expect that many people, whether professors or not, might struggle with various aspects of our faith. To the extent they have personal struggles, however, as long as they are on the payroll of the Adventist church, they must not openly teach in opposition its beliefs.”




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  27. Catholic schools have catholic teachers, methodist schools have methodist teachers, baptist schools have baptist teachers and so on and so forth. Adventist schools need to have adventist teachers! being accepting of people that believe differently then us is good, and needed but to teach at an adventist school the teacher needs to be able to uphold our beliefs and practices and should not be allowed to openly disagree with the fundamental beliefs of our church.




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  28. This is a no brainer! NONE! I cannot believe that this would even be considered! If my children were going to this school you all would see nothing but their taillights. Over the years our belief systems has erroded to the point we are no different than any other religion out there–especially what I see in California–sad to say!




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  29. I appreciate all the support for “Adventist” beliefs. However, I have certain concerns with the poll. First, it appears some do not understand that part of the problem is that we have not hired Adventists to positions of professorship. If we hire non-Adventists to teach their beliefs in our schools how can we fault them for not adhereing to our beliefs? Why don’t we have professors that are Seventh Day Adventist church members in good standing with the denomination teaching our students and supporting them in a learning culture that promotes the Three Angels messages in depth as the present truth for this time!

    I am also concerned when we stand on a platform of certain beliefs. I prefer to adhere to the same wording Jesus used in His response to Satan in the wilderness. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” Deut. 8:3 Ellen White informs us that it is the scriptures we must know in order to not be deceived when Satan commits his great deceptions at the end. She does not mention the 28 Fundemental beliefs.




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  30. This is a bad poll. If you answer yes, you are saying that there is a limit although the limit could be anywhere from 0 to 28. If you answer no, you are saying there is no limit, and again it could by anywhere from 0 to 28. Someone needs to rephrase the question.




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  31. Lets not forget to pray for Pastor Boonstra, and the It is Written evangelistic team now in Rome ,Italy presenting the 3 angels messages. While we should continue to pray for upcoming leadership changes, and the removal of evolution at LSU, the remnant church has many bright lights shining in the world we can praise God for.

    The second meeting should be over by now and the first was packed to overflowing. Enthusiasm is high, and personally I expect our momentum to increase after the success of the event. http://rome.itiswritten.com/

    Rev 14:6 And I saw another angel fly in the middle of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

    Rev 14:7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

    The Time for an Aggressive Work.–To all people and nations and kindreds and tongues the truth is to be proclaimed. The time has come for much aggressive work to be done in the cities, and in all neglected, unworked fields.–Review and Herald, June 23, 1904. {Ev 59.1}




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  32. I agree that the choices in the above poll are poorly worded.

    A person can sit in the pews and have certain struggles with one or more of our beliefs and still be considered an Adventist. (But I really feel it would be better for him/her to settle what they believe and what they don’t before they join the church. But we are all humans and sometimes questions arise AFTER we are baptized. In this case they shouldn’t be criticized or condemned but prayed for and gently worked with.)

    But when it comes to teaching, preaching, etc., well, that’s an entirely different situation. Unless we really believe what we claim to believe we should have no part in any such activity. Our children’s salvation is at stake and that must be our first consideration. End of discussion!

    HOWEVER, I have a real problem with some of the textbooks that are being used in our grade schools. When a young woman in one of our academies who took a Daniel course in her senior year was shocked to learn that Daniel in the Lion’s den was a true story and not just another fairy tale like Cinderella then we have to face some hard truths about our own educational system–from grade one on up! This girl had been an Adventist ALL HER LIFE and had ALWAYS attended Adventist church schools! When I checked current Bible textbooks for our grade schools several years ago I found most of them could be used in almost any “Bible believing” church school of any denomination (probably except the Catholic schools.)

    When I was a child (MANY long years ago!) our Bible books were definitely “Adventist!”
    3rd grade….When the World was Young
    4th grade… From Egypt to Canaan
    5th grade… The Last of Old Testament Times
    6th grade…. The Life of Jesus
    7th grade…. The Gospel to all the World
    8th grade…. God’s Great Plan (From the fall of Lucifer to the earth made new.) We covered the WHOLE Bible in those formative years!

    These all had workbooks that went along with them as well as Spirit of Prophecy readings on the subjects. This was followed in academy by going over the same ground in a somewhat different manner. (Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control I had to attend a public high school from grades 10-12. so I will be forever grateful for my grade school Bible training!) Then I went on to Southern Junior College, Washington Missionary College and after I married, PUC, from which my husband and I both graduated. I truly treasure all of those years and felt very fortunate to have wonderful, Godly Adventist-believing teachers and I still treasured each one!

    My questions to all teachers, ministers, and conference officials are these: Are those now teaching evolution in our schools products of the early Biblical training they DID NOT received in their formative years? If so–HOW CAN WE EXPECT THEM TO CARRY, AND PASS ON,THE “TORCH OF TRUTH” IF NO ONE GAVE IT TO THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE?

    Truly, we are Laodicea–the one “church” God had absolutely nothing good to say about! Truly, “we have met the enemy and HE IS US!!” (I find it rather ironic that three of our leading evangelists today were not raised “Adventist” but studied their way in on their own when teenagers–Shawn B., Doug B., and David A.!)




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  33. When anyone rejects the truth of Genesis 1, then the rejection of all other divinely revealed truth inevitably follows. There may be a difference in how long this takes for different people, but the end result has been demonstrated so many times as to be very predictable.

    You simply cannot BE an Adventist if you do not believe that Genesis 1 is a true account of our origins (and our destiny).

    If God is not our creator, but is instead a liar, then the entire Gospel collapses.

    There is no room for middle positions on this question. There is no neutrality presented in scripture.




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  34. OK, am I not understanding what has just happened with this poll? I don’t believe that it was worded in a clear and simple way for people to understand what they voted for. The majority voted yes but as I read the majority of those commenting on this site I tend to believe they have misunderstood the question. It says, “Is there a limit to how many of these fundamental beliefs a professor may openly reject and still be considered an adequate representative of the church?” Another way to say this is “Should we allow a professor to openly reject any one of the 28 fundamental beliefs and still consider them an adequate representative of the church?” I voted no. They may be struggling with any one or more of them in their private lives as we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and seek for His forgiveness and overcoming power in our lives. We are Seventh-day Adventists because we believe these Fundamental teachings to be taught clearly in the Word of God. This does not mean that we all have come to the point where each believer has learned to live up to their beliefs entirely. However, to “openly reject” any one of these beliefs and to teach others so is grounds for correction and probation. The open rejection is the key here.




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  35. I voted yes also but also didn’t like the wording, we as a people need to have the eye save of Jesus so we can see error but also see God’s truth.Convinced by the Weight of Evidence.–God is presenting to the minds of men divinely appointed precious gems of truth, appropriate for our time. God has rescued these truths from the companionship of error, and has placed them in their proper frame-work. When these truths are given their rightful position in God’s great plan, when they are presented intelligently and earnestly, and with reverential awe, by the Lord’s servants, many will conscientiously believe because of the weight of evidence, without waiting for every supposed difficulty which may suggest itself to their minds, to be removed.–Manuscript 8a, 1888.
    What are these precious gems of truth, they are none other than Ron Wyatts Discoveries that so many want to disreguard. they are the SHOW of the show and tell that God is giving us adventists today http://www.bibleportraits.org




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  36. I cannot give a proper answer to an ambiguous question; however, if the question were to be reworded along the lines of…

    “Is it acceptable for a teacher, professor or pastor employed the Seventh-Day Adventist Church to openly reject any of the fundamental beliefs of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church and yet retain employment?”

    …then I would most emphatically have to state absolutely not. Our fundamental beliefs are nonnegotiable solemn vows. To disregard these anyone vows jeopardizes who we are as a people and annuls our credibility as God’s remnant people.




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  37. We should consider carefully what is happening in the investigative judgement right now, especially considerint Revelation 11:1 “Arise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there.” It seems like this, along with many other abuses of God’s grace and disregard for His original instructions, are defining our corporate spirituality. Though God is so longsuffering toward us, and has patiently extended His hand of mercy, the church is in danger of repeating the experience of Israel- in passing the point of probation and rejecting their Savior. “Do not say ‘We have Abraham as our father.'”

    I personally believe this event with La Sierra teaching evolution is extremely significant in the eyes of heaven- one of so many signs that we are truely almost at the very end of time, and the Lord is soon to come. “He who has an ear, let Him here what the spirit says to the churches.” “Lift up your eyes, for your redemption draweth nigh.”

    “Where are the watchmen on the wall” are we ready for this, brothers and sisters? Are we ready to stand for God wherever we are and in the Spirit of Christ, and the spirit and power of Elijah fight for the Lords honor- even if it cost’s us all that is dear in life?

    We have read and loved the Great Controversy book’s stories- stories of history and heroism. But do we realize that now is also history in the making? Now is the time when the final chapters of the book will be written, and now is the time when God needs heros to stand for Him…




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  38. In response to Frank Jarmans comment I say Amen and Amen.

    frank Jarman: Our church was never supposed to have a book of “Fundamental Beliefs”. In doing so, we have created a situation where the “truth”, can be changed every 5 years.Sis. White said that if rings were allowed to come into the church, every form of jewelry would also come in.And this we have seen.20 years ago, you could tell and adventist just by looking at them.Today, we are no longer a “perculiar people”.We look just like everyone else.And why not, we have courted the Catholics and want to be like them.They march in our conference sessions and preach in our pulpits.They teach in our schools and have taken over our hospitals.They have changed our logo, (from the 3 angels message), to the flickering flame, which shows that we, (the SDA church), are under the same umbrella as all the other churches, cause all the churches now have a variation of t he flickering flame.Why has all this happened?BEcause we no longer consider the catholic church to be the beast of Revelation.We are called upon to point out the “man of sin”.How can we point him out when we are in bed with him?Truth is no longer accepted to be preached in the church, unless one is preaching “smooth things”, sermons that do not point out sin. The SDA church has apostasized from the truth; as ancient Israel did; we no longer believe the prophet, and God will deal with us as he did them.  




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  39. Rom 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned;and avoid them.

    How hard is the decision? In the interest of preserving God’s will in our body and in an attempt to redeem those who stray – this decision should be straight forward. If we think about those who gave their lives in behalf of the Gospel – the alternatives are limited. Have we become so politically correct that we can not support the Truth boldly? Alan




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  40. Some of the 28 statements are deceptively worded to mean two things. If they can be clarified, this poll might count for something. For example, Read carefully on the definition of “Church”. You think it is talking about the SDA church, but is it?




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  41. We should be openly accepting 100% of these fundamentals. Those things are the bases and beliefs of the adventist church. How can you say you don’t believe in the second coming of Christ or creation and still call yourself an adventist? To say you do not believe in these truths is saying you do not believe in the Bible. So if thats what our church is based how can you say you only believe in some of it? The answer is you can’t.




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  42. If we hold to the 28 Fundamentals as a rule of faith then in spite of what we would want to call it, IT IS A CREED. This was the first step of apostasy with the Catholic church and ultimately led to the persecution of everyone who disagreed with her fundamental beliefs and she declared them to be outside of the church and outside of salvation.

    Then you also run into the problem of changing creeds. As the church changes its beliefs then one day you could be an Adventist in good standing and the next day you are no longer considered an Adventist or worthy of being employed in our institutions because of holding to the original beliefs. We need to reread Great Controversy and remember the answer Martin Luther gave
    “I cannot submit my faith either to the pope or to the councils, because it is clear as the day that they have frequently erred and contradicted each other. Unless therefore I am convinced by the testimony of Scripture or by the clearest reasoning, unless I am persuaded by means of the passages I have quoted, and unless they thus render my conscience bound by the word of God, I cannot and I will not retract, for it is unsafe for a Christian to speak against his conscience. Here I stand, I can do no other; may God help me. Amen” GC 160

    The real question should not be whether or not our teachers support or uphold our fundamental beliefs that have already changed twice since the pioneers of our faith have died. The question should be whether or not our teachers uphold the teachings of the Bible and use the Bible as their rule of faith or not. If they don’t agree with certain positions held by the church and do not want to teach them then they can hold their opinions to their selves or be placed in an employment position where that issue will not be mandatory for them to teach.
    If you at least get to this point, someone who is saying “the Bible is false and science proves it,” just doesn’t know their science enough to be teaching science. Not to mention, if they are against teaching the Bible, then why are they teaching in a Christian school anyway. Christian educators should be Christians first and foremost. And if it is a protestant school, they should believe the scriptures to be a correct and proper rule of faith and guide for life.

    Can two walk together, except they be agreed?Amos 3:3 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
    And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 2 Corinthians 6:14,15




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  43. Let us say for example you have a math teacher or a Music teacher that objects to some statement in the 28 FB about the nature of Christ – should they be released even though they never share that view with students?

    That can be debated.

    But in the case of biology teachers and theology teachers at LSU – they make that rejection of ADventist doctrine part of their COURSE WORK – part of the require teaching for students!!

    What kind of blindness is that????

    Hmm – according to 3SG 90-91 it is not blindness at all – it is craft and skill.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  44. There is a difference between living up to all that you believe and actually not believing. I think it’s inherent in all of us that we often fail miserably to live up to our beliefs. Teachers and pastors are no exception. They are, however, held to a higher standard when it comes to what they teach and what they preach. The doctrines of our church are pretty straight forward and backed up by scripture. If one is struggling with their understanding of those beliefs or their acceptance of those beliefs, the classroom and the pulpit are not the place to work it out. A Bible study group or a wrestling with God in the garden is a better place. If you need a sounding board, utilize a peer group and the small group Bible study. Guard against heresy. We need to humble ourselves before God and remember that He holds us accountable for those we lead astray. It’s difficult to quantify how many (how much) one believes, but if they are teaching and preaching alternate doctrines, then they need to step down.




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  45. EG White says the shaking in our church will be because of “false doctrine” creeping in. We must be diligent in the teaching of the truth and nothing but the truth.




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  46. Hello,
    I really admire the persistence on this matter by Bro. Shane. We ought to uphold the truth as it is in Jesus. But I would like to point out something here and before I do I want to let everyone know that I am a 20 year Seventh-day Adventist and love this church and the truth that it has. But about the Bible being our ONLY creed – I agree the Bible is the book to define our doctrine and should be our only creed. But if the Bible is our only creed, as mentioned in the beginning statement at the beginning of this page – then why is it that the 28 Fundamental Beliefs book is suddenly moved into place as a representation of what the Bible is to say??? Please don’t misunderstand me here – I have to bring up this very critical issue.
    On one hand we are saying we don’t have any creed but the Bible, but on the other hand we are making the 28 Fundamentals a “standard” to look to. Many of us may deny this is what we are doing – but in actuality we are. Before I comment any further let me prove this point by quoting a section from the latest Church Manual – this is found on pg. 33 under the Baptismal candidate section entitled ‘Vow (Alternate)’ (Note: it should alarm us that we now have an alternate vow of only 3 professions for members to be baptized) here’s the quote from the Manual “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?” Please notice that the vow is making the Fundamental Beliefs book the ‘acid test’ and NOT the Bible. Please read it for what it is. The point I’m trying to make is we have to uphold the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy and not ANY other book. I’m not against reading other books and learning from them but to make it such a ‘test’ is not in line with Protestant thinking.
    Here is what I call the definitive statement of Seventh-day Adventists. From the book Evangelism, pg. 119-120 “In a special sense Seventh-day Adventists have been set in the world as watchmen and light-bearers. To them has been entrusted the last warning for a perishing world. On them is shining wonderful light from the Word of God. They have been given a work of the most solemn import,–the proclamation of the first, second, and third angels’ messages. There is no other work of so great importance. They are to allow nothing else to absorb their attention The most solemn truths ever entrusted to mortals have been given us to proclaim to the world. The proclamation of these truths is to be our work. The world is to be warned, and God’s people are to be true to the trust committed to them…” What a beautiful statement!!!
    Once again please don’t misunderstand me – some might think I’m just being ‘critical’, etc… (There are many of our own members who are surprisingly sympathizing with La Sierra over this matter) I guess one could call it what they will but it is my only desire to help awaken Seventh-day Adventist to what could be a possible danger. I believe this is what we should do to help each other. What if the 28 Fundamentals had rank error in it?? – and we were holding it high up as a standard and as a representation of what the Bible says and what we believe as a people?? Could this be the case??? Well I’m sad to say this is the case. In chapter 23 on the Sanctuary (I’m quoting from my 27 Fundamentals book – the 28 Fundamentals is chapter 24 – but it’s still there) on pg. 315 it says “The Atonement, or reconciliation, was completed on the cross as foreshadowed by the sacrifices, and the penitent believer can trust in this finished work of our Lord.” How can such a statement be found in something that is supposed to represent what Seventh-day Adventism believes? We as a church do not believe this – our pioneers did not believe this. Anyone who has studied the Old Testament sanctuary service knows that the sacrifice was not the end of the process of the atonement for sin. But yet we are saying it is here in this book – in essence our central pillar is destroyed by this one sentence. Look at this statement in the Great Controversy pg. 489 “The intercession of Christ in man’s behalf in the sanctuary above is as essential to the plan of salvation as was His death upon the cross. By His death He began that work which after His resurrection He ascended to complete in heaven.” The work going on in the heavenly sanctuary on our behalf is AS ESSENTIAL as Jesus’ death on the cross in the plan of salvation.
    The Sanctuary doctrine IS the central pillar of our faith. Without this doctrine Adventism has no reason to exist. There are other churches that keep the Sabbath, teach the correct understanding of the state of the dead, etc… But none of these have the sanctuary message – total victory over sin through the indwelling power of Jesus working in our lives. This is what really sets us apart from ALL other denominations. This is what defines us as a people and makes us a privileged people to present such a message in these very last days. May God be with us all in our journey.




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  47. Thank you, BobRyan. I just read Chapter IX. – Disguised Infidelity, from 3SG. If there is any doubt about this issue that clears it up, assuming we still value the words of inspiration. If ever there was a time to pray, it is now.

    “The path of men who are placed as leaders is not an easy one. But they are to see in every difficulty a call to prayer. Never are they to fail of consulting the great Source of all wisdom. Strengthened and enlightened by the Master Worker, they will be enabled to stand firm against unholy influences and to discern right from wrong, good from evil. They will approve that which God approves, and will strive earnestly against the introduction of wrong principles into His cause”, Prophets and Kings, p. 31.

    Having said that, let me add one more thought.

    Although I am very concerned about what is going on in our schools, I do not think its fair to place all the blame on our schools or the teachers when our children leave our ranks. We as parents are on the front lines and it is our responsibility to give our children a solid foundation to build on. Then, when they are exposed to Professors that probably shouldn’t be teaching at Adventist Schools they will have a fighting chance.




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  48. Wanda Bohl: There is no middle ground when one becomes an SDA christian. Either you believe in what Adventism stands for or you don’t. How can our Church allow Leaders to teach “beliefs” that are not in accordance with Scripture?!  

    Hi, One of the main reason why nothing is done in these situations is because of “accreditation”. All of our schools have become accredited. This was never in accord with God’s plan. Please study this issue out. This is probably one of the main reasons why nothing is being done about this situation at La Sierra. This is why we have openly gay rights groups at Andrew’s University and other places. If we were to get rid of these people and stop what they are doing (even when it is so clear from the Bible) not only would a big lawsuit be brought against the church but the State could also come in and bring havoc on the situation. Federal money will be taken away (and we are probably relying on it at this point to operate our schools). I believe accreditation has wreaked havoc on our perfect plan of educating our people which was laid out by the Spirit of Prophecy.




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  49. David, I totally agree. However, before a SDA member (should be a must)takes on such an important position, they should be screened as to their willingness to teach the truth as we know it from Scripture. I am an Adventist, and with love I express the truth to others. Students have many avenues in this world that already are reaching them with non-truths. I don’t believe our institutions should compromise with them. That is why we are PRIVATE institutions, that we may teach as the Lord instructs us. Many struggle as they are growing in the truth. But a TEACHER should be a mature child of God, and not still feeding on milk, because of their great responsibility. PS: I also agree the poll question is not clear enough. My answer is 0!




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  50. This to me is only one of so many reasons these people need to be brought into account of their actions. The teachers and the school that upholds them.
    “Satan has been using you as his agent to insinuate doubts and to reiterate insinuations and misrepresentations which have originated in an unsanctified heart, which God would have cleansed from its pollution. But you refused to be instructed, refused correction, rejected reproof, and followed your own will and way. Souls are defiled by this root of bitterness and are, through these questioning, murmuring ones, placed where the testimony of reproof which God sends will not reach them. The blood of these souls will be chargeable to you and to the spirits with whom you are in harmony.” {4T 229.1}




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  51. Some people have mentioned that we shouldn’t have a creed or set of doctrines. But, if we don’t have that clearly laid out then it will be total anarchy and our church will quickly loose it’s identity, apostasy and deviation from the truth would increase exponentially, and the church might even disolve into splinter groups because it would go off in so many different directions. The doctrinal statements have been a blessing from God which have helped to keep some semblance of unity in a world-wide body of believers. Those who want to bring in dangerous doctrines and practices would have a hay day if we did away with the doctrinal statements.

    Doctrinal statements are a way of communicating clearly among us and to others in answer to the question “who are we, and what do we believe.” If we don’t have that, we might as well not bother to call ourselves Seventh-day Adventist, just call it “multi-denominational,” or call it whatever you would feel like calling it- because there would be no particular definition of what it is.

    Regarding creeds, (though I haven’t studied into it a lot, but from my brief look at the issue) Sister White does not seem to suggest that having creeds is wrong.




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  52. Vicki Gillham said it just right. If we don’t have some sort of statement of faith, spelled out clearly, for all to refer to, then how can we stay together? Thanks Vicki.




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  53. However, I also agree with the following statement from Barry; “The question should be whether or not our teachers uphold the teachings of the Bible and use the Bible as their rule of faith or not.”

    And in agreement with what some others have said, that the doctrinal statements themselves should in no way replace the Bible as our foundation, the doctrines should always be worded in a way that POINTS us to the Bible as our test of faith. It seems that for the most part, what we have at this point comes pretty close to doing that (although there are some words that are starting do deviate from that a little- as has been mentioned already).

    I also felt that the poll question was a little unclear, at first I wasn’t sure if I should check “Yes” or “No” in order to express my viewpoint.




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  54. @David R.:

    On one hand we are saying we don’t have any creed but the Bible, but on the other hand we are making the 28 Fundamentals a “standard” to look to. Many of us may deny this is what we are doing – but in actuality we are.

    I agree with the complaint here. Historically Adventists were very opposed to anything close to a “creed” not because they felt their existing doctrines were in error – but rather, because they knew they had more to learn and did not want to be frozen in time.

    I also agree that the only thing “voted” by the entire church is the language of the acual 28 Fundamental Beliefs. “The Book” the 27 Fundamental Beliefs has a lot of great information explaining our beliefs – but the language in that book was never “voted” by the denomination as perfect, flawless or even correct. It is a “best effort” by one or two primary authors – it is not the voted position of the entire denomination.

    The “completed atonement at the cross” language would not be supported by the church in general – as it is more Calvinist than Adventist. The Adventist position is that the “Atoning Sacrifice” was completed at the cross. The payment for sin.

    In that model – the remaining aspects of the Lev 16 process of atonement on the “Day of Atonement” (that which pertains to the work of the High Priest’s work inside the sanctuary) is still continuing.

    Thus you make a good point about the language of the book being flawed in some areas.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  55. @David R.:

    Hi, One of the main reason why nothing is done in these situations is because of “accreditation”. All of our schools have become accredited. This was never in accord with God’s plan.

    This has been suggested in the past – however we have a number of universities NOT selling Adventism out for evolutionism – and they are accredited.

    But in the sense that a sudden loss of biology staff in significant numbers could affect accreditation for biology (not because of creation vs evolution – but because of a lack of post-grad and PHD level faculty in the biology department) could be an issue. They might have to can their offerings in biology until they can find good replacements.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  56. David’s contribution should be carefully thought through, no matter what side of the present issue one is on. Truly, the Fundamental Belief referring to the Atonement being “completed” on the Cross is another example of a half truth. Contrary to the biblical text and certainly contrary to Ellen’s full-court spread of the enormous implication of Jesus fulfilling His dual responsibilities on the Cross and in the Most Holy Place today. Just let Hebrews speak to you! That reworking of the “Beliefs” was done under very interesting circumstances and I remember the occasion and certain conversations very well.




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  57. David R.: Hello,I really admire the persistence on this matter by Bro. Shane. We ought to uphold the truth as it is in Jesus. But I would like to point out something here and before I do I want to let everyone know that I am a 20 year Seventh-day Adventist and love this church and the truth that it has. But about the Bible being our ONLY creed – I agree the Bible is the book to define our doctrine and should be our only creed. But if the Bible is our only creed, as mentioned in the beginning statement at the beginning of this page – then why is it that the 28 Fundamental Beliefs book is suddenly moved into place as a representation of what the Bible is to say??? Please don’t misunderstand me here – I have to bring up this very critical issue.On one hand we are saying we don’t have any creed but the Bible, but on the other hand we are making the 28 Fundamentals a “standard” to look to. Many of us may deny this is what we are doing – but in actuality we are. Before I comment any further let me prove this point by quoting a section from the latest Church Manual – this is found on pg. 33 under the Baptismal candidate section entitled ‘Vow (Alternate)’ (Note: it should alarm us that we now have an alternate vow of only 3 professions for members to be baptized) here’s the quote from the Manual “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?” Please notice that the vow is making the Fundamental Beliefs book the ‘acid test’ and NOT the Bible. Please read it for what it is. The point I’m trying to make is we have to uphold the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy and not ANY other book. I’m not against reading other books and learning from them but to make it such a ‘test’ is not in line with Protestant thinking.Here is what I call the definitive statement of Seventh-day Adventists. From the book Evangelism, pg. 119-120 “In a special sense Seventh-day Adventists have been set in the world as watchmen and light-bearers. To them has been entrusted the last warning for a perishing world. On them is shining wonderful light from the Word of God. They have been given a work of the most solemn import,–the proclamation of the first, second, and third angels’ messages. There is no other work of so great importance. They are to allow nothing else to absorb their attention The most solemn truths ever entrusted to mortals have been given us to proclaim to the world. The proclamation of these truths is to be our work. The world is to be warned, and God’s people are to be true to the trust committed to them…” What a beautiful statement!!!Once again please don’t misunderstand me – some might think I’m just being ‘critical’, etc… (There are many of our own members who are surprisingly sympathizing with La Sierra over this matter) I guess one could call it what they will but it is my only desire to help awaken Seventh-day Adventist to what could be a possible danger. I believe this is what we should do to help each other. What if the 28 Fundamentals had rank error in it?? – and we were holding it high up as a standard and as a representation of what the Bible says and what we believe as a people?? Could this be the case??? Well I’m sad to say this is the case. In chapter 23 on the Sanctuary (I’m quoting from my 27 Fundamentals book – the 28 Fundamentals is chapter 24 – but it’s still there) on pg. 315 it says “The Atonement, or reconciliation, was completed on the cross as foreshadowed by the sacrifices, and the penitent believer can trust in this finished work of our Lord.” How can such a statement be found in something that is supposed to represent what Seventh-day Adventism believes? We as a church do not believe this – our pioneers did not believe this. Anyone who has studied the Old Testament sanctuary service knows that the sacrifice was not the end of the process of the atonement for sin. But yet we are saying it is here in this book – in essence our central pillar is destroyed by this one sentence. Look at this statement in the Great Controversy pg. 489 “The intercession of Christ in man’s behalf in the sanctuary above is as essential to the plan of salvation as was His death upon the cross. By His death He began that work which after His resurrection He ascended to complete in heaven.” The work going on in the heavenly sanctuary on our behalf is AS ESSENTIAL as Jesus’ death on the cross in the plan of salvation.The Sanctuary doctrine IS the central pillar of our faith. Without this doctrine Adventism has no reason to exist. There are other churches that keep the Sabbath, teach the correct understanding of the state of the dead, etc… But none of these have the sanctuary message – total victory over sin through the indwelling power of Jesus working in our lives. This is what really sets us apart from ALL other denominations. This is what defines us as a people and makes us a privileged people to present such a message in these very last days. May God be with us all in our journey.  (Quote)

    David you plead eloquently for the Bible as our only guide, and caution rightly against making a written creed equal with or even superior to the Bible. Then you turn around and plead for adherance to a doctrine based on what the pioneers believed, and also appeal to the writings of EGW. Do you sense the dissonance in your position? Why not keep it nice and clean and simple: the Bible alone, Christ alone, by faith alone?




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  58. PATRICK:
    David you plead eloquently for the Bible as our only guide, and caution rightly against making a written creed equal with or even superior to the Bible.Then you turn around and plead for adherance to a doctrine based on what the pioneers believed, and also appeal to the writings of EGW.Do you sense the dissonance in your position?Why not keep it nice and clean and simple: the Bible alone, Christ alone, by faith alone?  

    Hi Patrick, The Bible is the only creed to define doctrine – if it’s not in the Bible it’s really useless – plain and simple. As for the Spirit of Prophecy – do you have any problems with the SOP? I’m just asking – I’m not picking an argument. The BIBLE says in Rev. 12:17 that the end time remnant will have the testimony of Jesus. Rev. 19:10 says that is the Spirit of Prophecy. I’m sure you know the verses. Ellen White manifested this gift. She doesn’t add anything that the Bible doesn’t already have. I can prove very clearly all the doctrines of (historic) Seventh-day Adventism from the Bible alone. God gave us this prophet because He loves us. Prophets set the record straight so the church won’t be tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine. The reason we are ‘exploring’ new views, methods, etc… is because we have made the SOP of none effect. In essence we say we believe it but don’t heed the counsel for what it is. So the SOP is Biblical – that is why I mention it.




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  59. BobRyan: @David R.:I agree with the complaint here. Historically Adventists were very opposed to anything close to a “creed” not because they felt their existing doctrines were in error – but rather, because they knew they had more to learn and did not want to be frozen in time.I also agree that the only thing “voted” by the entire church is the language of the acual 28 Fundamental Beliefs. “The Book” the 27 Fundamental Beliefs has a lot of great information explaining our beliefs – but the language in that book was never “voted” by the denomination as perfect, flawless or even correct. It is a “best effort” by one or two primary authors – it is not the voted position of the entire denomination.The “completed atonement at the cross” language would not be supported by the church in general – as it is more Calvinist than Adventist. The Adventist position is that the “Atoning Sacrifice” was completed at the cross. The payment for sin.In that model – the remaining aspects of the Lev 16 process of atonement on the “Day of Atonement” (that which pertains to the work of the High Priest’s work inside the sanctuary) is still continuing.Thus you make a good point about the language of the book being flawed in some areas.in Christ,Bob  

    Hi Bob, I have to kindly disagree – the Fundamentals book is an OFFICIAL book by our denomination on our beliefs. To my knowledge there have only been two books officially put out by the Conference on doctrine. The first was “Seventh-day Adventist Answer Questions on Doctrine” (published in the 1950’s). Anyone knowing the history on this book should know where I’m going here. This book, while containing very scholarly work undermined our position on the (human) nature of Jesus, the Sanctuary, true righteousness by faith, as well as other issue and doctrines. I have an original copy of the book. Fastforward about 25 years and you have the second official book by the conference “Seventh-day Adventist’s Believe…” – this book is a ‘ghost’ of “Questions on Doctrine”. Very confusing, not very clear, etc… But this book is an OFFICIAL book by our denomination.
    Another thing I think people should take note in this book is the references throughout the book – many of the references are from Sunday keepers. What do Sunday keepers know about our faith? I had this book for 15 years before I realized these things. Like many, I suppose, I just assumed everything in this book is what I was taught at the Revelation seminar I attended and then was baptized at. It goes to show we are all asleep at the wheel.




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  60. BobRyan: @David R.:This has been suggested in the past – however we have a number of universities NOT selling Adventism out for evolutionism – and they are accredited.But in the sense that a sudden loss of biology staff in significant numbers could affect accreditation for biology (not because of creation vs evolution – but because of a lack of post-grad and PHD level faculty in the biology department) could be an issue. They might have to can their offerings in biology until they can find good replacements.in Christ,Bob  

    Hi Bob, Accreditation does not cause one to teach error – it allows for it with no recourse because of legal issue that could arise if action was taken against the one in question. From my understanding we should allow ONLY SDAs to work in our institutions. I don’t know what the percentage is in our schools but the medical field is very low from what I have read.




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  61. I could answer this question if it was reworded to say “How many SDA fundamental beliefs can a professor OPENLY reject, teach against and still be considered an adequate representative of the church (aka keep their job)?
    This is the situation at LSU and as such makes more sense to poll on.
    The answer of course is 0.
    The only reason we have our own schools is to teach our students every subject in the context of our held beliefs. Context being a framework or worldview that we believe the Bible gives us and requires us to view every aspect of our lives.
    We shouldn’t be going to college to become successful and make a lot of money.
    We should go to college to prepare us to best carry out our work as a missionary to the world in what ever area we are called by God to work. Example (if you want to work in the area of science, you need to know everything about the evidence for Creation/the flood and how that relates to the world view so you can be a good witness in that field).
    Every aspect of evolution we teach should be taught side by side with the compareable evidence of Creation.
    People say that would be too hard or take too much time. It will take a little more time, but if it’s the reason for your degree it’s of the most importance.
    The main problem with our schools today is that we have lost sight of the very most important reason we exist as a people. “To carry the Gospel/Three angles message to the World”.




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  62. I could answer this question if it was reworded to say “How many SDA fundamental beliefs can a professor OPENLY reject, teach against and still be considered an adequate representative of the church (aka keep their jobs)?
    This is the situation at LSU and as such makes more sense to poll on.
    The answer of course is 0.
    The only reason we have our own schools is to teach our students every subject in the context of our held beliefs. Context being a framework or worldview that we believe the Bible gives us and requires us to view every aspect of our lives.
    We shouldn’t be going to college to become successful and make a lot of money.
    We should go to college to prepare us to best carry out our work as a missionary to the world in what ever area we are called by God to work. Example (if you want to work in the area of science, you need to know everything about the evidence for Creation/the flood and how that relates to the world view so you can be a good witness in that field).
    Every aspect of evolution we teach should be taught side by side with the compareable evidence of Creation/flood etc.
    People say that would be too hard or take too much time. It will take a little more time, but if it’s the reason for your degree it’s of the most importance.
    The main problem with our schools today is that we have lost sight of the very most important reason we exist as a people. “To carry the Gospel/Three angles message to the World”.




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  63. David R’s comments regarding the sanctuary doctrine are on point. Adventists view themselves as a remnant that came into being at a prophetically significant time, and rediscovered (1) the investigative judgement, and (2) the Sabbath. They saw that they must, as a body, follow and draw attention to the First Angel’s message to “Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come [the 1844 investigative judgment]; and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters [the Sabbath].” So it is not surprising that both of these distinctive doctrines are being undermined simultaneously. Without these twin pillars, the prophetic witness of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is effectively neutered.




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  64. BobRyan: @David R.: I agree with the complaint here. Historically Adventists were very opposed to anything close to a “creed” not because they felt their existing doctrines were in error – but rather, because they knew they had more to learn and did not want to be frozen in time.I also agree that the only thing “voted” by the entire church is the language of the acual 28 Fundamental Beliefs. “The Book” the 27 Fundamental Beliefs has a lot of great information explaining our beliefs – but the language in that book was never “voted” by the denomination as perfect, flawless or even correct. It is a “best effort” by one or two primary authors – it is not the voted position of the entire denomination.The “completed atonement at the cross” language would not be supported by the church in general – as it is more Calvinist than Adventist. The Adventist position is that the “Atoning Sacrifice” was completed at the cross. The payment for sin.In that model – the remaining aspects of the Lev 16 process of atonement on the “Day of Atonement” (that which pertains to the work of the High Priest’s work inside the sanctuary) is still continuing.Thus you make a good point about the language of the book being flawed in some areas.in Christ,Bob  (Quote)




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  65. I totally agree that the wording is not exactly our belief; “completed atonement at the cross” as Christ’s death and reserrection was the “atoning sacrifice” and the atoning work continues in the sanctuary as our High Priest




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  66. David R, thank you for your balanced contribution to this discussion.

    Having survived the acid years of the 80’s at PUC when our church lost thousands of precious kids because of the un-Christlike spirit exhibited on all fronts (more so than over doctrine), I would plead with those involved in this debate to reflect the spirit of Jesus Christ.

    Yes, Christ said He brought a Sword that would cut through the nonsense, but His prayer for us is that we will be one as He and the Father are one. The true followers of God will be known by their love, not by their doctrines. Yes, I believe that the doctrines are an outgrowth of our love for God resulting from actually reading, knowing and believing the Word of God, but I also believe that a result of our surrender to God and His will, will result in a passionate love for each other and not an infusion of venom.

    It is crucial that we stand for truth, but let us never forget that the Truth is a Person. Truth is not the 28 or the 3 or the whatever. Truth is a Person. I am not saying to cry “Peace, Peace” when there is no peace, but for the love of God and our children, stand up for truth with the spirit of Jesus Christ and not with the spirit of the devil. More harm is done by an unconverted Bible thumper than any other kind of individual. This battle must be fought on our knees with the focus first being on the surrender of our own attitudes, agendas, and caustic spirits or the victor will not be Truth even if truth is the outcome.

    The verse, “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.” (James 3:1) has always been a sobering verse to me. We are to be a highway of holiness that any person that ever has anything to do with us should be able to take straight to the heart of God. We need to fight our battles in God’s armor, not our own or we will surely defame the Name of God.




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  67. Bob Ryan: “I also agree that the only thing “voted” by the entire church is the language of the actual 28 Fundamental Beliefs. “The Book” the 27 Fundamental Beliefs has a lot of great information explaining our beliefs – but the language in that book was never “voted” by the denomination as perfect, flawless or even correct. It is a “best effort” by one or two primary authors – it is not the voted position of the entire denomination.”

    David R: “Hi Bob, I have to kindly disagree – the Fundamentals book is an OFFICIAL book by our denomination on our beliefs. To my knowledge there have only been two books officially put out by the Conference on doctrine.”

    I agree with Bob.

    “The present volume, Seventh-day Adventists Believe…, is based on the 27 short summaries . . . While this volume is not an officially voted statement-only a General Conference in world session could provide that-it may be viewed as representative of “the truth . . . in Jesus” (Eph. 4:21) that Seventh-day Adventists around the globe cherish and proclaim.”Seventh-day Adventists Believe…, iv.

    Other books published by departments of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventist include, How to Give Bible Readings (Home Missionary Department) and Pastoral Ministry (Ministerial Association Department).
    God bless,

    Rich




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  68. A good SDA professor can reject some of the 28 fundamental statements.
    A good SDA professor can accept some of the 28 fundamental statements.
    A heretical SDA professor could reject some of the 28 fundamental statements.
    A heretical SDA professor could accept some of the 28 fundamental statements.
    It just depends how carefully you read the 28 fundamental Statements.
    I will show that the question posed is made by someone who has never really read the 28 fundamental statements carefully.
    The 28 fundamental statements are worded in areas to mean two different things.
    For instance Statement #12 is defining “the Church.” You think it is about the SDA church, but it is not. It defines “the church” as any “community that confesses Christ.” A community can mean a church system, or a local church of any denomination. Catholic, Methodist, Lutheran, SDA–all are included in this definition. We believe that Catholic church fell centuries ago, and that the Protestant churches fell in 1844. We call these fallen church systems “Babylon.” In point #12 we are esentially saying that the SDA church is grouped in with Babylon. This is definitely not a true statement, and therefore a good SDA professor would have to reject this article of the 28 statments.
    Instead, the definition of “the church” should be any “individual” that confesses Jesus Christ. This would include individuals in Babylon that have not received all the light of present truth, as well as the truly converted in SDA. Specifically, Rev. 14:12 defines the true visible church today.
    Statement #13 is about the SDA church. It says that the SDA “remnant” church is part of the “universal” church. This can mean many things, because “universal” is another word for “Catholic”, meaning not that it is worldwide, but that it includes everyone.
    Statement #14 on Unity in the church. You think it about unity in the SDA church, but it is not. It is talking about an ecumenical unity based on the Catholic concept of the Trinity–the Triune God. This is the exact language found in the 1995 ecyclical of Pope John Paul II–Ut Unim Sint.
    This points us to Article #2 that defines God and uses the strange word “co-eternal” when “eternal” would do just as well, except the former agrees with Catholicism, and the latter with Spirit of Prophecy–“the Heavenly Trio.”
    The 28 statements also leaves out important SDA doctrine. It never defines who the beast is, or the image of the beast, or what Babylon is. These are vital points of the Three Angel’s Messages that the SDA church was raised up to preach.
    The Three Angels Messages is clear on the subject of Evolution: Worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” Rev. 14:7.
    Thus we see that the true question should be: Can a teacher in our schools openly reject the Three Angels’ Messages and represent the true SDA church?
    The answer is absolutely NO.
    But if you go by the 28 fundamental statements, the answer is absolutely YES. Because “the church” is not the SDA church, and most other churches that fall in the definition of fundamental statement #12 believe in evolution.




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  69. Rich Constantinescu: Bob Ryan: “I also agree that the only thing “voted” by the entire church is the language of the actual 28 Fundamental Beliefs. “The Book” the 27 Fundamental Beliefs has a lot of great information explaining our beliefs – but the language in that book was never “voted” by the denomination as perfect, flawless or even correct. It is a “best effort” by one or two primary authors – it is not the voted position of the entire denomination.”David R: “Hi Bob, I have to kindly disagree – the Fundamentals book is an OFFICIAL book by our denomination on our beliefs. To my knowledge there have only been two books officially put out by the Conference on doctrine.”I agree with Bob.
    Other books published by departments of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventist include, How to Give Bible Readings (Home Missionary Department) and Pastoral Ministry (Ministerial Association Department).
    God bless,Rich  

    Hi, I was familiar with this – But I’ll tell you what – Start putting this book down or denying it in anyway and you will be a ‘heretic’ to the vast majority. I would be willing to bet (if I was a betting man) that if you openly deny this book in anyway you would be pulled from your positions in your church, etc… Thus proving the importance put upon this book.
    Also if the book is not ‘official’ then why is it the ‘acid test’ for baptismal candidates? Read it for yourself in the Church Manual on pg. 33 “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?” The Church Manual IS an official book – voted on by the General Conference in Session.




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  70. Someone earlier also mentioned that it might be alarming to some that there is an alternative option of only 3 statements for the baptismal vows. I find that very concerning, because it means people coming in may not be required to understand or accept the majority of our beliefs at all. Especially when numbers and sensation seem to be the desired result -like the huge (“Pentecost” -was that the name?) mass baptism that was organized in Central America where something like more than a hundred-thousand people were baptized in a day in order to get the number of our members above the million mark in that division (or something like that).

    In Taiwan I have sometimes heard calls being made to groups of non-Christians (ie Buddhist, etc.) to come up to the front “if you want to be baptized this Sabbath (that is without much time to have studies of any kind),” (although recently they have not been saying it that way as much).

    It seems that perhaps many things we are seeing in regard to the churches stand on doctrines are in line with the “post-modern ministry methods” ideas being promoted by some leaders in our church. In some places (here at least) conference representatives are openly saying that we should not make our doctrines distinctive to anyone outside the church, as in holding Daniel and Revelation seminars, etc.- or if we do, be careful not to say anything that might offend other churches (such as by identifying Babylon). They say that we should just “celebrate our differences,” that when you’re working together in community outreach programs “who cares (direct quote)” what our doctrinal differences are. I also heard that key world church leaders and evangelists were also complying with this, not being willing to speak clearly when giving Revelation seminars, etc.

    As I mentioned before, it seems we should consider carefully what is happening in the investigative judgment right now, especially considering Revelation 11:1 “Arise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there.” It seems like many other abuses of God’s grace and disregard for His original instructions, are defining our corporate spirituality. Though God is so longsuffering toward us, and has patiently extended His hand of mercy, the church is in danger of repeating the experience of Israel- in passing the point of probation.

    As individuals, however, it seems we should not make any hasty movements or manifest a spirit of extremism. Satan would love that- because he can use that to make charges against us and cause people not to listen to our counsel because they think we are “unbalanced” or not able to control our emotions (we MUST be able to maintain wisdom- keep the relationships and work through love). God still loves His church so dearly, and I don’t believe that the church is past it’s probation yet by any means- even though it does seems to be flirting with it in many ways. God’s patience is so longsuffering and so must ours be- We must act as Christ did toward Jerusalem and Israel of old – loving the people, laboring among them, though standing for the right and speaking the truth- always in love (even any rebuke He gave was with tears in His voice, as Sister White says). It was with weeping that wracked His whole body that He finaly said “Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how I longed to gather you under my wings… but you would not.” What sad words those are! Pray that it will not be the fate of our dear people also.




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  71. “The Seventh-day Adventist Church Fundamental Beliefs” is the statement of the beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist church in session. “The Seventh-day Adventist Church Fundamental Beliefs” is not the same as the book, Seventh-day Adventists Believe…. The SDA Church Manual refers to, “The Statement of Fundamental Beliefs, not the book, Seventh-day Adventists Believe….

    The book, Seventh-day Adventists Believe… clearly states, “The present volume, Seventh-day Adventists Believe…, is based on the 27 short summaries . . . While this volume is not an officially voted statement – only a General Conference in world session could provide that – it may be viewed as representative of “the truth . . . in Jesus” (Eph. 4:21) that Seventh-day Adventists around the globe cherish and proclaim.” Seventh-day Adventists Believe… p. iv.
    God bless,

    Rich

    (cf. http://www.adventist.org/beliefs/fundamental/index.html;
    http://www.ministerialassociation.com/transaction_detail.php?id=186;
    http://www.sdanet.org/atissue/books/27/index.htm)




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  72. The Seventh-day Adventist Church’s 28 fundamental beliefs are the framework for our denomination’s beliefs, based on Biblical truth. If these are rejected (not upheld) by our leadership and/or institutions, then the very reason for our existence as a denomination begins to unravel. In regard to the teaching of evolution in its various forms at LaSierra University, it strikes at the very heart of Adventism…the belief that the fourth commandment was referring to a literal seven day creation week. Any form of evolution (including theistic) is incompatible with the fourth commandment. They are opposites, and simply cannot both be true. Either we believe the fourth commandment, which was written by God’s own hand (twice!), or we must accept that God wrote a lie…its just that simple. I have difficulty understanding why we are tolerating obvious error for so long with no resolution of the situation…other than another committee being formed to discuss it. The problem has “evolved” into a leadership problem at this point…or a lack thereof.




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  73. Rich said: If these are rejected (not upheld) by our leadership and/or institutions, then the very reason for our existence as a denomination begins to unravel.

    Response: The only reason the SDA church exists is to preach the Three Angels’ Messages. See 9T 19.
    The SDA church does not exist to uphold man-made statements. The Bible is very clear about Creationism.
    The poll question is really a Catholic question–directing our attention to statements of men. The question should not be, “How many statements can you reject?”, but rather, “How much of the Word of God can you reject?”, or “How many commandments you can reject?”, which is none. The fourth commandment is very clear about Creationism. In six days the Lord made heaven and earth.” This is exactly the same message that we find in the First Angel’s Message that the true SDA church is to preach.
    “God will have a people upon the earth to maintain the Bible, and the Bible only, as the standard of all doctrines and the basis of all reforms. The opinions of learned men, the deductions of science, the creeds or decisions of ecclesiastical councils, as numerous and discordant as are the churches which they represent, the voice of the majority–not one nor all of these should be regarded as evidence for or against any point of religious faith. Before accepting any doctrine or precept, we should demand a plain “Thus saith the Lord” in its support. Great Controversy, 595.




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  74. Is there a limit to how many of these fundamental beliefs a professor can openly reject and still be considered an adequate representative of the church?

    Anyone who professes to be a Seventh-day Adventist is a professor of the church. The biggest problem with the opening question is that no Adventist in his heart really believes all 28 official beliefs. It’s impossible to justify believing in a contradiction. No one really believes belief number 14:

    “Through the revelation of Jesus Christ in the Scriptures we share the same faith and hope, and reach out in one witness to all.”

    The Spirit of prophecy compilation titled The Seven Faces of Seventh-day Adventism refutes that official belief in a flash.




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  75. how many? I have certainly not read them all. I would probably agree with the majority without further thought. But I would have to study up on some to make a personal decision. I probably won’t read all of them any time soon, unless there is a controversy about one or more. So I can’t decide for someone else good or bad on some at least.




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  76. Vicki Gillham: In some places (here at least) conference representatives are openly saying that we should not make our doctrines distinctive to anyone outside the church, as in holding Daniel and Revelation seminars, etc.- or if we do, be careful not to say anything that might offend other churches (such as by identifying Babylon). They say that we should just “celebrate our differences,” that when you’re working together in community outreach programs “who cares (direct quote)” what our doctrinal differences are. I also heard that key world church leaders and evangelists were also complying with this, not being willing to speak clearly when giving Revelation seminars, etc.

    I agree with what Vicki said here–it comes from the Willow Creek church teachings based on what Robert Schuller is teaching. Our church is soaking up heresy like a sponge from these seminars that our ministers are attending. We need to know what is going on so we can beware of these worldly teachings in our church.

    Of course Satan wants us to quit making our doctrines distinctive–that would suit his purposes just fine. But this is directly contrary to what our commission is, wouldn’t it? We are to go to all the world, preaching the straight truth–and we cannot do that as long as we are trying to conform to the world and hide our truths in the shadows like they are something to be ashamed of.

    Woe to the ministers that are practicing and promoting this heresy.
    I posted this comment once before on the EducateTruth site, but I think it is serious enough that it bears repeating.

    In the chapter “The Earth Desolated” in Early Writings, Ellen White points out the horrendous punishment meted out to the False Shepherds that mislead the people. Here she is describing the aftermath of Christ’s second coming.

    “The false shepherds had been the signal objects of Jehovah’s wrath. Their eyes had consumed away in their holes, and their tongues in their mouths, while they stood upon their feet.”–Early Writings P.289-290

    Ous leadership should stop and take a look at where they are heading. Not one dime of church funds should be spent sending ministers to attend these seminars of heresy.

    Faith




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  77. James states “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” 2:10

    If an Adventist institution CONDONES evolution, what next?

    Great Controversy pg. 595 states “But God WILL have a people upon the earth to maintain the Bible, and the Bible only, as the STANDARD of ALL doctrines and the basis of ALL reforms. The opinions of learned men, the deductions of science, the creeds or decisions of ecclesiastical councils, as numerous and discordant as are the churches which they represent, the voice of the majority-not ONE nor all of these should be regarded as evidence for or against any point of religious faith. Before accepting any doctrine or precept, we should demand a plain “‘Thus saith the Lord'” in its support.”

    That my friends, is a powerful statement…




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  78. Connie: David R, thank you for your balanced contribution to this discussion.
    Having survived the acid years of the 80’s at PUC when our church lost thousands of precious kids because of the un-Christlike spirit exhibited on all fronts (more so than over doctrine), I would plead with those involved in this debate to reflect the spirit of Jesus Christ.Yes, Christ said He brought a Sword that would cut through the nonsense, but His prayer for us is that we will be one as He and the Father are one. The true followers of God will be known by their love, not by their doctrines. Yes, I believe that the doctrines are an outgrowth of our love for God resulting from actually reading, knowing and believing the Word of God, but I also believe that a result of our surrender to God and His will, will result in a passionate love for each other and not an infusion of venom.
    It is crucial that we stand for truth, but let us never forget that the Truth is a Person. Truth is not the 28 or the 3 or the whatever. Truth is a Person. I am not saying to cry “Peace, Peace” when there is no peace, but for the love of God and our children, stand up for truth with the spirit of Jesus Christ and not with the spirit of the devil. More harm is done by an unconverted Bible thumper than any other kind of individual. This battle must be fought on our knees with the focus first being on the surrender of our own attitudes, agendas, and caustic spirits or the victor will not be Truth even if truth is the outcome.The verse, “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.” (James 3:1) has always been a sobering verse to me. We are to be a highway of holiness that any person that ever has anything to do with us should be able to take straight to the heart of God. We need to fight our battles in God’s armor, not our own or we will surely defame the Name of God.  

    Hi Connie, Thank you for your response. While I agree God’s people will be known for their love – but I think the problem lies in the fact that we may not understand the full meaning of certain words that are thrown around today: love, criticism, judgmental.
    Before going any further: In Jesus’ prayer for unity in John chapter 17 please read vs. 17 – It says “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” Jesus is praying for unity of his follower based on “truth”. This is the only kind of real unity we can have. It is always quoted (or I should say misquoted) that Jesus wants us to be unified as a church therefore you people that are causing a hornets nest need to settle down and let’s just have love and peace so we can be unified all for the sake of Jesus’ prayer. It sounds great but the context of that statement is misused because Jesus prayed that we be unified on truth.
    1 Corinthians 1:10 “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” Notice the emphasis placed upon doctrine in these texts Mark 1:22, Mark 4:2, Romans 16:17, Ephesians 4:14, 1 Tim 1:10; 4:13, 16; 5:17; 6:1, 2 Tim 3:16; 4:2, 3, Titus 1:9; 2:1, 7, 10, 2 John 1:9, 10. There are more but that is sufficient.
    Love – Almost everytime someone comes along and calls sin by it’s right name they are branded as not being kind or not showing love and even being judgmental. You seem to imply it about me (which to me is being judgmental). It is NOT judgmental to point out sin or apostasy. It is not unkind or unloving to do this either. It is actually the opposite. The greatest act of love is to warn someone of the dangers they are in or approaching. There is a sentiment throughout Adventism about NOT preaching the Third Angel’s Message. What kind of love is this – not to proclaim this message with power and conviction. Then when the end comes – millions are lost who might have accepted the message if they had heard it earlier. That’s loving people straight to hellfire. Now I agree we should use tact and discretion but I believe we have gone way beyond this. I have a 5 year old ministry that is primarily dedicated to “inreach”. I have several presentations on end time events. Every church – and every time – I go to I have people commenting that they have been in the church for 10, 20 and even 30 years and have never heard an end-time message. How sad. My aim is to fire-up the SDA people and hoping they will share our Three Angel’s Messages with others. But the greatest act of love we can show to people is too tell them the truth.
    Did Jesus have a bad attitude, or was unkind when he rebuked the leaders of his day? Was he unloving when he called them vipers? Did he have a demon in him when he did these thing? The answer is no. To rebuke and reprove someone is an act of love. Do a study on that word reprove and rebuke – I don’t have it here in front of me but one of the definitions (in the Greek) is “to add value to” – and this should be the motive of the one giving it. Rev 3:19 “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.”
    Love is the greatest thing available to us. Jesus is the ultimate example of love but as a people we must be careful not to fall into the “love” gospel trap – the SOP tells us that is a form of spiritualism.
    God Bless!




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  79. Faith: Woe to the ministers that are practicing and promoting this heresy.
    I posted this comment once before on the EducateTruth site, but I think it is serious enough that it bears repeating.

    The Bible says, “Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.” 2 Peter 1:12
    God bless,

    Rich




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  80. David R said :
    In chapter 23 on the Sanctuary (I’m quoting from my 27 Fundamentals book – the 28 Fundamentals is chapter 24 – but it’s still there) on pg. 315 it says “The Atonement, or reconciliation, was completed on the cross as foreshadowed by the sacrifices, and the penitent believer can trust in this finished work of our Lord.” How can such a statement be found in something that is supposed to represent what Seventh-day Adventism believes? We as a church do not believe this – our pioneers did not believe this

    I responded —

    I agree with the complaint here. Historically Adventists were very opposed to anything close to a “creed” not because they felt their existing doctrines were in error – but rather, because they knew they had more to learn and did not want to be frozen in time.

    I also agree that the only thing “voted” by the entire church is the language of the acual 28 Fundamental Beliefs. “The Book” the 27 Fundamental Beliefs has a lot of great information explaining our beliefs – but the language in that book was never “voted” by the denomination as perfect, flawless or even correct. It is a “best effort” by one or two primary authors – it is not the voted position of the entire denomination.

    @David R.:

    Hi Bob, I have to kindly disagree – the Fundamentals book is an OFFICIAL book by our denomination on our beliefs. To my knowledge there have only been two books officially put out by the Conference on doctrine. The first was “Seventh-day Adventist Answer Questions on Doctrine” (QoD published in the 1950’s). Anyone knowing the history on this book should know where I’m going here.

    My point is that the SDA church as a denomination only has “administrators” at the General Conference level – not doctrinal czars. Our denominational doctrine only becomes official when voted by the church in session. But I will grant you that the book does claim to have “authorization and encouragement” from Neal Wilson and it is a product of the Ministerial Association.

    Still – the explanatory text is not “voted” by anyone much less the GC Session. Thus we are encouraged to read that text – but do not have to swear by every word of the explanatory text. The snippet you quoted above from page 315 of the 27 Fundamental Beliefs book is a good example of a sentence that would never “pass the test” of a general vote.

    Since our denominational structure has not “doctrine czar” there is no such thing as “ministeral association publishes a document and now we all have to believe whatever they say”. As I am sure all will agree.

    But your point may well be that they “have influence” through those publications — and I will certainly grant you that.

    This book (QoD), while containing very scholarly work undermined our position on the (human) nature of Jesus, the Sanctuary, true righteousness by faith, as well as other issue and doctrines. I have an original copy of the book. Fastforward about 25 years and you have the second official book by the conference “Seventh-day Adventist’s Believe…” – this book is a ‘ghost’ of “Questions on Doctrine”. Very confusing, not very clear, etc… But this book is an OFFICIAL book by our denomination.

    I view QoD as another book that explains our beliefs – but does not constitute a new statement of beliefs that is voted in some way.

    I agree with much of QoD and have not found the errors that some people claim to have found in the book. Maybe I am a slow reader or something when it comes to QoD. I just don’t see it.

    But I suppose that is “another” subject.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  81. It was said,

    Not one dime of church funds should be spent sending ministers to attend these seminars of heresy.

    I’m afraid this statement is really to strong. We must be careful to fully reflect the spirit of Christ and the Spirit of Prophecy teachings in all that we say- especially on matters like this we must manifest a reasonable spirit which will help us to build bridges and solve problems.

    I’ve heard people saying things in this type of language at times, which I feel is not best- that is to seemingly use Sister White’s manner of speech making statements, but it is not said in the moderate and loving spirit, so it misrepresents the Spirit of Prophecy. People listening who have little experience with the Spirit of Prophecy writings (such as young people) will think “wow, if he/she represents what Ellen White and the Spirit of Prophecy writings are like, then I want nothing to do with that.” Ellen White truly was a prophet- so she sometimes made statements in more the form of a proclamation, perhaps, based on what God had showed her, but we do not have that role.

    I really believe that one of Satan’s tactics to destroy people’s confidence in the SOP writings is to cause people to take things to extremes or speak without love, and thus misrepresent them. Sister White herself warned a lot against that kind of thing.

    Some people above were discussing the issue of showing love versus speaking truth. But BOTH must be done together at the same time, really. Satan knows EXACTLY what he is doing, and he’s very good at it. He has been doing this with our church for a long time- he causes people to go to extremes and then plays one extreme side against the other. That’s also how He instigates argument and wars all over the earth.

    If we examine society, we will find these same elements all throughout it- there almost always is a liberal left and conservative right, arguing with each other, sometimes fighting, sometimes warring. This is Satan’s method. In Christ, in the church, we should be able to somehow rise above these basic dysfunctions of society, rather than perpetuating them. That’s why the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy writings counsel us to avoid all extremes, I believe.

    How do you shoot an arrow? You have to pull back to one extreme in order to get the energy to propel it out to your goal of the other extreme- so Satan’s plan for destroying faith and Christianity all along has been to create that tension of extremism (for example pharisaism) which causes people to go to the other extreme in reaction.

    That was the exact way that he accomplished the goal of getting the world to accept the theory of evolution to begin with- by causing the tension on the people through the Catholic’s dogmatic control of everyone, and the doctrine of eternally burning hell fire, etc.- which made religion a huge burden that so many people were grateful to be free of as soon as they could find another theory.

    In saying “avoiding all extremes” I am not suggesting that we compromise on doctrine in any way -that certainly is not my point. I myself am very firmly fundamentalist in viewpoint and often contend to defend the truths of our faith in my local setting. I am talking about the spirit which we manifest in doing this work of defending truth- that we should be careful to avoid manifesting harshness or intolerance, or taking things out of context, or make Religion seem like a burden to young people through our lack of having a sweet and natural spirit that is filled with love and patience.

    These are the two extremes we should avoid also; 1) arguing for more “love and grace,” almost as an excuse for moral compromise (in the name of tolerance), and 2) unsympathetic forcefulness in manner of speaking, or driving issues to an extreme conservative that even Christ and Sister White herself never did.

    I hope that we can truly find the beautiful moderation in Christ that helps us to win hearts to Christ, while holding firmly to every truth of God- after the example of our great Model, Christ. “Love will cover a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8

    “Mercy and truth have met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed.” Psalm 85:10




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  82. Maybe I should clarify, the quote I quoted above was something another member of this forum posted above as her opinion, it’s not an Ellen White quote.

    I don’t feel that anything Sister White says is to strong, because she includes so many explanations, stories, context- and overall has a tone of Christian moderation in what she’s saying, as well as constantly emphasizing the love of God. And she was really a prophet, so some stronger statements that seem like a proclamation of what the Lord has showed her are of course only natural and acceptable. But it’s not natural or good for us to make the same type of proclamation using language that was unique to her- when we don’t have a revelation from God like she did (That’s what I was trying to say).

    We can so easily misrepresent the Spirit of Prophecy writings to other people that way, by presenting ourselves as close followers of these words (even speaking like she does), but not demonstrating the same spirit that she did. Because the young people, etc, may not take time to read the Spirit of Prophecy writings, they will just look to our example.

    We must be fully as Christ was- “the word made flesh” – fully reflecting the whole beautiful spirit the writings when we present the truths that are in them- so that people can really understand what they are like (because just like “you’re the only Jesus some will ever see,” our lives may also be the only glimpse of the Spirit of Prophecy writings that some people ever get).

    Of course, perhaps not everything that Sister White says is appropriate to be used in every situation, just as when she said it she was addressing a specific issue.

    The statement from Spiritual Gifts Vol 3 pg 90-91 (right?) seems quite appropriate to the situation about the problem of geological interpretation (about evolution). If you look at the whole passage, you can get a feel for her spirit- even though she says the word “infidel geologists” she’s saying it as a matter of fact, not in an accusatory or emotionally out-of-control way. She is explaining everything, and she returns to talking about the Lord and His greatness- there are gentle undertones of peace, hope and love in all that she’s saying, even if you are stirred emotionally or feel convicted (rather than undertones of cold accusation, unkindness, discourtesy or despair that comes out through the spirit of extremism).




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  83. Thanks for sharing that. As I say – I do very much agree with sharing the truth in love. However I also agree that when a problem reaches a certain level we cannot send mixed signals —

    But in all cases it should still be “Sharing the truth in Love”. If we come across as having “runaway emotion” or “hatred of our fellow man” we are going too far. But there is very much the allowance for righteous indignation – even anger regarding sin itself being guided and directed into the church. Moses broke the tablets of stone – on purpose.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  84. I’m glad “David R.” is an active participant in this important discussion; however, I doubt that he would like to be confused with me! Many thanks!!

    David R. Larson
    Loma Linda, California




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  85. Regarding what Bob said, yes I totally agree that there is a time for righteous indignation, as we see in the Character of Christ also, like in the cleansing of the temple. But I think we need to be sure that we are fully in Christ if we manifest that stronger spirit, and are acting in His power rather than using our own power or frustration to deal with something (which is more like Uzza- taking things into his own hands, dealing with the Lord’s business in His own strength).

    We really must be very holy people in order to be able to do a good job with this type of work it seems. We must be able to know when to be strong, and when to be gentle- only a very intimate connection with God can help us have the sensitivity to do that right.

    Through my personal experience with this issue (as I’ve constantly dealt with this over the recent years- often taking public stands against the majority on issues, and openly fighting for the truth sake against so many liberal forces- sometimes saing things too strongly or harshly, and slowly learning to temper that with gentleness, yet without loosing the force of our message), I’ve come to believe that in most, actually nearly all situations when we are speaking up for truth, it will be MUCH more effective if we temper our words with a degree of calmness, and love, and try to avoid letting anger or emotional-excitement come in. That’s when Satan can take hold of things and cause people to say “oh, don’t listen to her, she’s just always getting mad and speaking out,” etc.

    But, regarding Moses breaking the ten commandmants written by the hand of God, I had understood that it was kind of an action done in haste by Moses, though- like striking the rock, and Peter cutting off the soldiers ear. Especially because after that, God didn’t re-write it for him, he had to chisel it all out for himself the second time, was my impression- I’d need to study that again in more detail.

    May the Lord give us wisdom as we do this work!




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  86. Jesus taught different from the organized, recognized schools of the Sanhedrin; but it is also true that whereas the “professors” at the “Sanhedrin university” taught falsehood(“teaching for doctrines the commandments of men”..)Jesus taught the whole truth and nothing but…!

    If the professors are to be put in the one category or the the other! To which would they themselves as “representatives of Jesus” prefer to be in?

    Would they prefer to be seen as promoting “the commandments of men”, if even apparently so; or would they prefer instead to be seen as promoting only the “teachings of Jesus”?

    It is Jesus who said that He is “The beginning of the creation of God”…Revelation 3:14…and in addition in John 1:1, Jesus’ own disciple,John, and to whom Jesus also conversed re the fact that He is the “begining of the creation God,in the book of the “Revelation of Jesus”…he John informs us that “all things” were created by Jesus; and without Him nothing was ever created.

    It certainly doesn’t require higher learning for any to see the obvious….But while truth should never be taken for granted; this business of truth revealed must be seen for what it really is!

    That:Jesus could not have been in the “beginning” be “creating all things”…and then at the same time…’only start the process’ of “creating all things”…Then after he Himself ‘started the process of evolution’…became a product of that which He himself had started.

    Anyone who therefore teaches any other doctrine than that delivered to the apostles…”let him be anathema”..so says another of Jesus’ disciple.

    If the LSU professors who insist on teaching theistic evolution believe that Jesus started the process of evolution, then became himself a product of what he himself had started..and if they believe that this is what Jesus would have taught were He a professor at LSU, then they should certainly be allowed to continue in this teaching….But if Jesus would not have so taught, were He a professor at LSU, then neither should anyone misrepresent himself as teaching as Jesus would have taught.

    And also: neither should such a misrepresntation of truth be given a platform to propagate falsehood in the name of Jesus….such a propagator of falsehood is proclaimed…”anathema”!….and so says the scriptures.

    bevanton




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  87. As a follow up to the above reasoning….”Jesus is the beginning of the creation of God”…

    If Jesus as He says…”He is the beginning of the creation of His Father”….he would therefore, as a result be either created “whole” as in “complete” or as is presumed by those who propose theistic evolution….he would have been the product of millions of years of the evolutionary process…that ‘His Father started’. If then he was the product of millions of years of evolution…then, now, because it fell His lot to “create all things”(“all things were created by Him…” John 1:1)He would create as His Father created…either “complete” as in an instant or ‘progressively over millions of years’ as the theistic evolutionists propose.

    But let us assume that humans and all of mammalia(lions, cats, cows, goats and dogs, were created in an instant…Theirs having the art of creating, pefected in the “instant they were created”, became as a result; ‘procreators’ giving rise to exact replicas of themselves..and that too in an “instant” , whenever they give birth to their young;and is a process that doesn’t take millions of years from conception to birth…not the male and female reproductive cells; spermatazoa and ova and or the processes involved in conception,gestation and birth.

    Wouldn’t it not be also true for Jesus?
    If He was created by His father in an “instant”..”the beginning of the creation of God”…Revelation 3:14…Would not one expect also that since Jesus is now the creator of “all things” John 1:1…that he would also create as His Father created Him ie also in an “instant”, all things that he now creates…ants, dogs, cats, cows and humans?

    The converse must also now be true….If it took millions of years for God to create Jesus…then it is not a strtech to assume that it also must take millions of years for Jesus to create the common “earthworm”…ie if the theistic evolutionist is to be believed.

    bevanton




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  88. The term “first born of creation’ refers to highest place of honor and authority. However God the Son was in fact from eternity past (Micah 5:2) as we see in – and has no beginning as we see in Heb 7:3.

    You see this in 1Cor 15 “firstborn of the dead” – even though Moses was raised and taken to heaven before Christ.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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