Comment on Open letter to General Conference by Christiane Marshall.
Eugene Shubert: The Seven Faces of Seventh-day Adventism is a Spirit of prophecy compilation. True Seventh-day Adventists are not surprised by nominal Adventists hating it. Amazingly, Sister White prophesied that the shaking would come about by nominal Seventh-day Adventists not being able to cope with her straight testimonies.
Eugene, You took that statement in the wrong way. It isn’t the Spirit of Prophecy that’s the issue. It’s the way it is used. I don’t know how to explain this without further confusion, but I shall try!*
If a person quotes a condemnatory statement from the Spirit of Prophecy and applies it to a specific person, he or she is implying that the person is guilty of the sin within the Spirit of Prophecy statement. I believe that people who do this are bearing false witness. (Using SOP rather than facts as proof.)
C’mon, don’t you think you go a little too far shooting accusations around? The LSU issue is clear and specific, but generalizations about the entire denomination is going to far. (And I’m not referring to saying we are Laodicea. That goes without saying.)
I believe the statement above was referring to accusations implied by your use of Spirit of Prophecy quotes as proof–rather than using facts as proof about specific cases. That is a sly and clever way of bearing false witness.
A good example is you changing (or expanding) the definition of pantheism in order to use a Spirit of Prophecy quote. But I could cite numerous other examples, like your lists of sins in the church within sentences that state authoritatively that the ‘vast majority’ of SDAs believe or practice them.
There are lots of practices and beliefs that are wrong even though a Spirit of Prophecy quote does not exist for it. If you have valid complaints about specific issues, then you don’t need to exaggerate or stretch things to make a point. Doing so is a manifestation of a lack of integrity which destoys a person’s credibility, and weakens his or her witness. I believe that rather than implying that the SOP quote was not valid, Victor was suggesting that it might apply to you because of your:
Victor Marshall: “slanderous misrepresentations of the church.”
If you have valid knowledge about specific issues, and talking or writing about them will help reform the church, then maybe you should consider using a more effective and Biblical approach.
*(Just to be clear: I am on board that something needs to be done at LSU. That has nothing to do with my statement here.)
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Christiane Marshall Also Commented
BobRyan: However in my view â€” hiring a non-proselytizing non-SDA professor is less of a problem than hiring an SDA that then goes on to evangelize-for-Darwin all the while offering to demonstrate to students the model for compromising Adventism with evolutionism.
Great point. There are hundreds of creationist scientists that have been expelled from secular universities because of their views. Perhaps one or two might be a good fit in ours? But I wonder, do we have a shortage of well-educated creationist scientists committed to Christ among us capable of filling these positions? If so, how sad.
Recent Comments by Christiane Marshall
We may just be arguing apples and apples. I am certainly not advocating ‘blind faith’ as you have had cause to address frequently on this sight. I am arguing against an over-dependence on extra-biblical evidence for our faith walk.
How do you know that the Bible is really the Word of God, while other religious texts, like the Book of Mormon, is not? How do you tell the difference? My LDS friends tell me that God gives them a warm feeling deep within themselves when they see or hear the truth. That is how they know that the Book of Mormon is from God. For me, I donâ€™t find this approach very helpful when it comes to establishing a solid hope or confidence in the Bible as Godâ€™s word.
I actually had the opportunity to study many of the world’s so-called sacred texts before accepting the Bible as the true one. The Bible’s internal testimony coupled with the convicting witness of the Holy Spirit is what finally tipped the scales for me. Yes, I did do a bit of reading about historical and archeological and logical reasons why this testimony was credible – but it was the testimony of the Bible itself (coupled with the personal witness and testimony of Christians and the witness of the Holy Spirit) that helped me experience a saving faith. Most people are not as analytical as you or I. Most read the Bible and are convicted that it is true – without undertaking an extensive research project into the scientific reasons that may be so. Poor uneducated people in the third world experience a more vital faith than you or I, without such in-depth confirmatory knowledge. Doug Batchelor did not have a computer and a library full of data to assist him in that cave outside of Palm Springs – only the Bible! Most people who are converted to Christ testify that it was through influence of friends who witnessed to them about their relationship with Christ (a very subjective thing scientifically) – not through a rigorous scientific examination of the empirical data.
Once again, most people have no empirical evidence that the resurrection took place – they have only the testimony of those who witnessed that it took place. Yes, there are logical inferences that confirm that it must have taken place. But when you say empirical I’m assuming you are saying something that can be observed in present time reality and scientifically tested.
“Empirical evidence is a fancy way of describing facts that can be experienced and tested only through the senses.”
Faith has to do with learning to trust our spiritual senses above our physical ones. How else would you explain the numerous persons who testify that they were ‘deeply impressed’ to take a certain path when all the empirical data seemed to say otherwise – later to find out that their life depended on this ‘spiritual sense’ choice! Of course I’m not arguing for pentecostalism here, but you get the idea.
Did the faith of Jesusâ€™ disciples increase or decrease after they saw Him resurrected from the grave?
Of course it was strengthened. Christ said however that it was a more blessed experience to believe without such empirical experience. What was He saying? I think He was saying that it is more blessed to take God at His Word than to demand or depend upon empirical evidence. The story of Gideon is a powerful testimony to this principle.
Victor,Sometimes itâ€™s appropriate to hit-the-nail on the head.Take for example Jesusâ€™ statement to the Samaritan woman, â€œYe worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.â€That might seem inappropriately direct, but it wasnâ€™t.It was just what she needed.The scattered servants of Christ needed to hear the president of the world church express a clear understanding of where the church needs to go.And my own experience with non-Christians is that they respond much more vigorously and appreciatively to a meaningful presentation of the Bible than they do to a generalistic and generic appeal to their feelings.Iâ€™m sure you arenâ€™t advocating a meaningless presentation, but Iâ€™m all for exactly the type of message President Wilson gave.I suspect those outside the church who care enough to listen to his message appreciate the frankness with which this leader expressed the direction he intends to go.I think many of them know he wasnâ€™t targeting them â€“ he was talking to us.
Robert, I agree with you AND with Victor. I don’t really know what the answer is. In the information age, everything has changed. We have to rethink a lot about how we do things. We want to have a private evangelistic series and present truths by presenting the building blocks first, and building understanding before presenting the “more difficult aspects.” But how can we now? The last meetings we held, people went home and googled our personal names as well as doctrinal topics.
Sure we want a clear and meaningful message, but we want to protect those who are not ready to receive all of the truth at this time. We don’t want to push them away. It isn’t that we are afraid of offending them personally. It’s that we don’t want walls to go up so that we can’t reach out to them successfully.
I don’t know what the answer is. Even this forum is disturbing when our members have out and out conflicts, especially when behavior is not becoming of a Christian. It’s available for the whole world to see!
What it comes down to is things are different now. We need to approach everything differently. Otherwise, evangelistic interests will begin to think of us as the religious “Amway” brigade and lock their doors before we go up the steps.
The increase of knowledge and the rapid availability of it has changed our landscape. Christiane
Did Wilson explain how SDA members can actually hold our leaders accountable?We have many leaders out here in the Pacific Union Conference who have not been accountable and still arenâ€™t, but what can ordinary â€œJoe and Jill Schmoâ€ church members do?
I wondered the same thing. I just realized this year that I really don’t know enough about how our church works and how changes are made. It’s my intention to study this out. Of course Biblical principles and a Christlike attitude must be followed (Matthew 18, and Proverbs 17:9–“He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends”). Biblical principles and Christlike attitude first, church policy second.
Michigan Conference takes substantial action in LSU conflict
I hope more will follow, and will do so prayerfully.
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A classic case which should cause any Adventist to stop in their tracks when judging motive or destiny is the following one:
“If William Miller could have seen the light of the third message, many things which looked dark and mysterious to him would have been explained. But his brethren professed so deep love and interest for him, that he thought he could not tear away from them. His heart would incline toward the truth, and then he looked at his brethren; they opposed it. Could he tear away from those who had stood side by side with him in proclaiming the coming of Jesus? He thought they surely would not lead him astray.
God suffered him to fall under the power of Satan, the dominion of death, and hid him in the grave from those who were constantly drawing him from the truth. Moses erred as he was about to enter the Promised Land. So also, I saw that William Miller erred as he was soon to enter the heavenly Canaan, in suffering his influence to go against the truth. Others led him to this; others must account for it. But angels watch the precious dust of this servant of God, and he will come forth at the sound of the last trump.” – EW 258