Comment on Notice of constituency meeting of the NCC by Denver Fletcher.
I have always been troubled by the ways in which Adventists sometimes refer to Mrs White and/or her writings.
For example, the “Spirit of Prophecy” (and I ask that you note the capitalisation used in that phrase) cannot ever refer to a human person, for that spirit is THE holy spirit, i.e. God.
To thus refer to a human in those terms strikes me as blasphemy.
Many devout Christian people in many churches where I have been a member or visitor, have referred to her as “The Servant of the Lord”. I find this also problematic, in that God tells us that if WE are not His servants then we are servants of the Devil.
Does God have, or has He had, only ONE servant?
Christ Himself, the scriptures tell us, humbled Himself, and became as a servant.
I agree that the point on creation in the 27 fundamentals is problematic in a number of ways, but I cannot agree that making it or any or all of the fundamentals conform to a narrow (and possibly blasphemous) view of inspiration, is or can be an improvement.
Mrs White herself, ironically, wrote on the manifest failure of the various creeds, and she referred to their constant multiplying as the visual historic evidence of their failure. She strongly advised us to retain “the bible, and the bible only” as our creed.
What we are seeing today is the fruit of having ignored her inspired advice on this point.
Strange that this fruit is so often borne by those who claim to most ardently adhere to her writings as having divine authority, is it not?
While I have no doubt she would have strong words for those who preach a Godless salvation by the “miracle” of death (i.e. evolution), I also have no doubt that the strongest condemnations would be reserved for those who claim to be God’s servants, but ignore His instructions. Is this not always the case in scripture also?
It is not time to “perfect” the 27 fundamentals, it is time to admit that they were a mistake from their inception, and that mistake is only becoming more apparent as more factions arise to squabble over what should be in them.
Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Sola Scriptura.
It is only by grace, it is only through faith, there is only the Word.
All else is, for me, a distant second.
Denver Fletcher Also Commented
Notice of constituency meeting of the NCC
Thanks very much for that excellent comment. I have no problem with any of that, at all.
My original comment was not about church doctrine – the “official” teaching of the church – with respect to the spirit of prophecy, but about how many Adventists use the term (as well as the other I mentioned, “THE Servant of the Lord”) as referring to the woman herself. Many of them use this term to refer to BOTH her and her writings, which does add some confusion to the matter, as you pointed out.
I am certain that many people who do this have the best of intentions, and many have never considered the implications of it as being in any way blasphemous.
Nevertheless, it bothers me.
I hold that Mrs White was a true prophet of the true God. I see no reason to add titles or other honorifics to her name because of this. Do we do this for any other prophets? Mary, when visited by an angel, responded: “Behold, the handmaid of the Lord.”
We criticise the Catholic church severely for its promotion of Mary above and beyond other women and other believers, but we come perilously close ourselves to doing the same thing to Mrs White.
On the other hand, are we instructed not be a “respecter of persons”?
My initial point in this particular thread was that so many who lay claim to holding Mrs White’s writings as being authoritative due to their divine inspiration, conveniently overlook parts of her writings that would call into question their ideas.
The Bible, according to Mrs White, is the standard of both our faith AND our practice. I would urge those who hold her writings as authoritative to demonstrate this in their practice by not elevating her beyond the place she gave herself: simply one servant of the Lord among many.
Notice of constituency meeting of the NCC
I haven’t questioned the authority of Mrs White’s writings. Indeed, I have repeatedly APPEALED to them on the subject at hand: the writing – and inevitable multiplying – of an Adventist creed.
I HAVE pointed out that those who most ardently claim to follow her writings as being authoritative – as having **DIVINE** authority – are also those who strangely wnat to ignore her advice on this point. This indicates that something, somwere, has gone wrong.
I have ALSO pointed out that those who call her “THE Spirit of Prophecy” and/or “THE Servant of the Lord” are breaching every commandment of God by so doing (since, if you break the first one, you’ve broken them all). Again, the idea that they are subservient to God’s will, as expressed in His word, by so doing, is one that I cannot “harmonise”.
So, the notion of harmony seems to have no power to bind anyone who is actually appealing to it.
I have already made my opinion clear on the question of the teaching of evolution in our Adventist schools, colleges, and universities. In case you missed it, I agree that it is entirely dishonest and completely unacceptable for a teacher to take employment in any of those places when what they believe and teach are contrary to the biblical teaching.
I further hold that the fact that we HAVE teachers actively denying the Word of God in our employ, is a failure of stewardship on our part, every bit as much as it is a failure of basic honesty on their part. Nobody charged with running one of our places of learning should be deficient in either the principles of good stewardship or the practices of employment law. “Wise as serpents, harmless as doves”.
I hope this corrects any misunderstanding you might have on that question.
The writings of E G White are the writings of E G White. To date, there is no evidence of the “Spirit of Prophecy” – i.e. God – having ever written anything down beyond the Ten Commandments and the writing on the wall at Babylon. (Even those were written by the finger of Christ, not of the Holy Spirit.)
To call her by such a title, for an Adventist pastor to call her by such a title, with all that implies, is quite startling.
And if the totality of Mrs White’s writings, plus the Bible, (which comes first?) are the standard by which present faith and practice are to be judged, then only one single statement would be required to say so, would it not?
But that’s not the case, is it? We had 27, we now have 28, “fundamental beliefs”. How many more will we have before Mrs White’s inspired commentary on their multiplication being the most graphic evidence of their failure, is taken seriously by Adventists?
Protestants generally, and Adventists very emphatically and explicitly, used to be “people of THE book.
Now it seems we have become a people of MANY books.
But of the writing of books, just as with the multiplication of creeds, there is literally no end.
You are making a grievous error. I urge you to reconsider.
Recent Comments by Denver Fletcher
Mortenson says these leaders and scholars are teaching â€œthat science is the final authority in determining the correct interpretation of some or all of Genesis 1â€“11, or at least that science is the final authority in determining that the young-earth view must be wrong.â€
Science is an abstract ideal. It has, therefore, nothing to “say” for itself.
Scientists, on the other hand, are people. Humans. Flawed. Subject to all that flesh is heir to, as the Bard put it. That inlcudes the influence of money, power, and popular acclaim, and it’s opposite, public opprobrium.
Anyone who claims (A) to be a Christian (and in particular, an Adventist Christian) and (B) that a man or group of men is their authority to whom they resort for adjudicating Truth, has strayed far from the path of wisdom.
These two things simply cannot be simultaneously held without contradiction. But truth does not ever contradict itself, and therefore those who take this position are in grievous error.
We must pray for people so lost and confused.
Dr. Geraty clarifies his “Challenge” to literal 6-day creationism
The Ten Commandments are built on the principle of Love. each is an application of that principle to a specific circumstance.
We do not bear false witness against (call a liar) those we love.
There cannot ever be any reconciliation between loving God and calling Him a liar.
If this really is Mr Geraty’s position then he is a long way from the path of wisdom.
Matthew 5:19 “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”
Mr Geraty has a stark choice to make, however he may like to deny that the choice exists at all.
Video show LSU undermining church doctrine
I’m disturbed by the sophistry on display in this first video.
The formulation given (that knowledge = justified, (and) true, belief) seems both self-serving and over-reaching. Further, it violates the consistency principle, since the speaker goes on to say that certainty is not knowledge and that certainty is not even possible (yet he seems certain that his principle of non-contradiction is true). He goes on to say that knowledge changes over time, that what we thought was true yesterday we “know” today to be false. But if it is false, how then could it have been true? If it is false, it was never true. It could have been “justified” previously, but can never have been true, and therefore cannot have been knowledge according to his formula.
I’m also disturbed by the quoting of E G White to the effect that the truth changes over time (which is not what she said) without giving any reference to her use of the term “the eternal verities” and similar terms, and what these portend.
For example, in Acts of the Apostles, page 64, we read:
When the disciples first heard the words of Christ, they felt their need of Him. They sought, they found, they followed Him. They were with Him in the temple, at the table, on the mountainside, in the field. They were as pupils with a teacher, daily receiving from Him lessons of ETERNAL TRUTH.
Hmmm, eternal truth that changes? I doubt that is what she was trying to convey. Leaving out such essential data is, in the scientific context, a lie.
These students are being set up by their teachers who, far from having in mind a free-ranging enquiry into the truth, have in mind a specific conclusion. A conclusion which is not truth or knowledge, but merely in conformance with their own opinion.
This is not even education, let alone an Adventist education.
It is only indoctrination.
Silence of the Geoscience Research Institute
I’d like, with the website owners permission, to recommend the following, all books written by Jonathan Sarfati:
– Refuting Evolution
– Refuting Evolution II
– Refuting Compromise
Especially the latter, which speaks directly to the foolhardy attempt to reconcile biblical Christianity with evolution, and decisively refutes it in quite comprehensive and devastating manner.
I have no interest in the sale of these works other than the defense of our faith, which stands on very solid ground.
When the apostle spoke of spiritual wickedness in high places, he wasn’t only talking about places we consider “worldly”. The bible is replete with examples of spiritual wickedness within the family of God. What you have been exposed to is one more in a line of many. You are right to oppose it, and we all in the church ought to be vigilant in rooting it out of our insitutions wherever we find it, however much we recognise that we can never entirely succeed, in this life.
Unfortunately, there exists a class of people for whom the good opinions of other people are more important to their sense of self-worth than the good opinion of God. So, wanting to seem like “good people” to other Christians they live amongst, but equally wanting intellectual respectibility in the eyes of the world and its scientists, they have attempted to combine biblical Christianity with worldy theories.
To people who understand that God is the author of life, while the world follows the author of death, it is plain that this attempt can never succeed: the two things are inherently opposite and irreconcilable. Ironically, the attempt is fatal to both faith and respectability, because the world will not give them what they want – respect – while they remain Adventist Christians, and eventually they will sacrifice what little remains of their Christianity on this altar, in order to get what is not worth having.
I commend you for taking a very public, and at the same time modestly restrained, stand on this point. I know that God will honour and bless you for it.