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. As for the “defining of Adventism” vs the “downsizing of Adventism” (or the undermining of it) brought through evangelists for evolutionism.

    Please consider the quote from athiest evolutionist Richard Dawkins below in the light of Romans 5 where Paul argues that Adam existed and that because of his real sin – humanity all has experienced “death”.

    Where (as Dawkins argues below) does Paul say to his reader “of course you know I don’t believe what I just wrote literally because I am a Darwinist and so we all know I think Adam did not actually exist and I really think that death plagued us long long before Adam sinned”??

    Dawkins statment is clear – Paul was not out front with his Darwinism and so proper exegesis would not “allow us” to bend the text of Romans 5, or 1Timothy 2 (Adam Created first, Eve sinned first) to insert evolutionism — no not even by Dawkins’ standards!!

    The speaker, the writer, the author has not clarified his point to allow much less dictate that the reader insert darwinism into the text instead of simply accepting what is actually written.

    By: Richard Dawkins

    . All too many preachers, while agreeing that evolution is true and Adam and Eve never existed, will then blithely go into the pulpit and make some moral or theological point about Adam and Eve in their sermons without once mentioning that, of course, Adam and Eve never actually existed! If challenged, they will protest that they intended a purely “symbolic” meaning, perhaps something to do with “original sin”, or the virtues of innocence. They may add witheringly that, obviously, nobody would be so foolish as to take their words literally. But do their congregations know that? How is the person in the pew, or on the prayer-mat, supposed to know which bits of scripture to take literally, which symbolically? Is it really so easy for an uneducated churchgoer to guess? In all too many cases the answer is clearly no, and anybody could be forgiven for feeling confused.

    Dawkins gives us that helpful bit of information at this link promoting his new book.

    http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/book_extracts/article6805656.ece

    Now think about that for just a minute. It means that even if someone had no other clue regarding the basics of exegesis – other than the logic of Dawkins quoted above as they were trying to understand the text of Genesis 1-2:3 and Ex 20:8-11 you would be left saying “well the writer did not specify Darwinism SO God really is claiming to have made the world in 7 actual days!!”.

    —–

    So that brings up a “so what??” pause for reflection and my purpose in raising this topic here.

    Posted at Educate Truth –

    http://www.educatetruth.com/articles/evolution-in-education-by-jay-gillimore/comment-page-3/#comment-4813

    What SDA doctrines are affected by the doctrines of evolutoinism in your opinion?

    I have made a starting list but recently have noted that my list is not complete.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  2. Defining Adventism – or perhaps I should say – “How evolutionism undermines voted Adventist Fundamental Beliefs”

    SDA 28FB Belief 1

    1. Holy Scriptures:
    The Holy Scriptures, Old and New Testaments, are the written Word of God, given by divine inspiration through holy men of God who spoke and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. In this Word, God has committed to man the knowledge necessary for salvation. The Holy Scriptures are the infallible revelation of His will. They are the standard of character, the test of experience, the authoritative revealer of doctrines, and the trustworthy record of God’s acts in history. (2 Peter 1:20, 21; 2 Tim. 3:16, 17; Ps. 119:105; Prov. 30:5, 6; Isa. 8:20; John 17:17; 1 Thess. 2:13; Heb. 4:12.)

    Evolutionism argues that
    1. The Bible is not “the Word of God” – not in written form nor in any other form. Rather it is the “word of fallen and faulty man” who at various stages of ignorance tries to convey some truth via poetry or some other device.

    2. As such the Bible is not a “trustworthy record of the acts of God” rather it is merely simply “poetry” or myth or story that illustrates a concept rather than relating accurately historic detail, when it comes to the doctrine of origins.

    SDA 28FB Belief 3

    3. Father:
    God the eternal Father is the Creator, Source, Sustainer, and Sovereign of all creation. He is just and holy, merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. The qualities and powers exhibited in the Son and the Holy Spirit are also revelations of the Father. (Gen. 1:1; Rev. 4:11; 1 Cor. 15:28; John 3:16; 1 John 4:8; 1 Tim. 1:17; Ex. 34:6, 7; John 14:9.)

    Under the religious view of evolutionism – the term “creator” is redefined to mean that God did NOTHING at ALL in creation that could actually be “seen to show that the makER has intelligence” by the objective mind of man. So in essence – Romans 1 is dead wrong when scripture says that even pagans and barbarians can “clearly the see the invisible attributes of God” because they are “clearly seen IN the things that have been MADE”. The constant attacks evolutionists make against Intelligent Design (the argument that the design is SEEN IN nature showing intelligence was necessary in the design) – is (as it turns out ) a “distinctively atheist” argument in substance even when made by theistic evolutionists.

    Originally Posted By: SDA 28FB Belief 4

    4. Son:
    God the eternal Son became incarnate in Jesus Christ. Through Him all things were created, the character of God is revealed, the salvation of humanity is accomplished, and the world is judged. Forever truly God, He became also truly man, Jesus the Christ. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He lived and experienced temptation as a human being, but perfectly exemplified the righteousness and love of God. By His miracles He manifested God’s power and was attested as God’s promised Messiah. He suffered and died voluntarily on the cross for our sins and in our place, was raised from the dead, and ascended to minister in the heavenly sanctuary in our behalf. He will come again in glory for the final deliverance of His people and the restoration of all things. (John 1:1-3, 14; Col. 1:15-19; John 10:30; 14:9; Rom. 6:23; 2 Cor. 5:17-19; John 5:22; Luke 1:35; Phil. 2:5-11; Heb. 2:9-18; 1 Cor. 15:3, 4; Heb. 8:1, 2; John 14:1-3.)

    Evolutionism does not value a “restoration” to conditions in the hominid caves of mythical (metaphorical) “Adam and Eve”. Such a thing would be a giant step into disease, starvation, predation and ignorance having no concept at all of science art religion or history as we have today. By comparison – we NOW live in the Garden of Eden.

    SDA 28FB Belief 5

    5. Holy Spirit:
    God the eternal Spirit was active with the Father and the Son in Creation, incarnation, and redemption . He inspired the writers of Scripture. He filled Christ’s life with power. He draws and convicts human beings; and those who respond He renews and transforms into the image of God. Sent by the Father and the Son to be always with His children, He extends spiritual gifts to the church, empowers it to bear witness to Christ, and in harmony with the Scriptures leads it into all truth. (Gen. 1:1, 2; Luke 1:35; 4:18; Acts 10:38; 2 Peter 1:21; 2 Cor. 3:18; Eph. 4:11, 12; Acts 1:8; John 14:16-18, 26; 15:26, 27; 16:7-13.)

    Evolutionism teaches that we need to divorce literal belief in the Bible account of creation from literal belief in the Bible account of redemption.

    SDA 28FB Belief 6
    6. Creation:
    God is Creator of all things, and has revealed in Scripture the authentic account of His creative activity. In six days the Lord made “the heaven and the earth” and all living things upon the earth, and rested on the seventh day of that first week. Thus He established the Sabbath as a perpetual memorial of His completed creative work. The first man and woman were made in the image of God as the crowning work of Creation, given dominion over the world, and charged with responsibility to care for it. When the world was finished it was “very good,’‘ declaring the glory of God. (Gen. 1; 2; Ex. 20:8-11; Ps. 19:1-6; 33:6, 9; 104; Heb. 11:3.)

    Evolutionism denies every single point of doctrine 6 for it says;

    1. God is not the Creator of all things. At best he created the big bang and then let everything else evolve and create itself over billions and billions of years. Thus the “intelligence” of the Creator cannot be seen in a single thing in nature today unless it is done “by faith alone” believing in spite of seeing nothing.

    2. Scripture does NOT give an authentic account of anything such as the creation of all life on earth in a literal 7 day week. It is myth, poetry and storytelling.

    3. God did not rest on the 7th day of the first week of Creation — because there was no “week of creation” with a literal day in it such that God could rest in a completed work – with mankind already in Eden on day 7. Simply “no such thing” according to evolutionism.

    4. Thus God could NOT have “established the Sabbath on day 7”. No not on “Day 7” nor on the 7 Millionth year nor even the 700 Millionth year!

    5. Since the Christian God is not a violent grunting animal-eating cave-dwelling hominid – the first humans were not in the image of God nor did they even have a language complex enough to understand a 7 day creation week concept much less the notion of “keeping the 7th day holy” or seeing God as the ONE true God creator of all life..

    6. The first hominids were of such basic mind that there is no way they could have been given “charge” of the earth to “care for it”. They were lucky to even “survive” as day by day they bashed in their ration of monkey brains in their caves.

    7. Evolutionism says that by the time mankind came along – the world was ruled by the law of tooth and claw. It was a ruthless and bloody place where “creation” was achieved by virtue of starvation and predation. It was not “good” at all – and humans today should not seek to return to such a bloody death-overall origin.

    SDA 28FB Belief 7

    7. Nature of Man:
    Man and woman were made in the image of God with individuality, the power and freedom to think and to do. Though created free beings, each is an indivisible unity of body, mind, and spirit, dependent upon God for life and breath and all else. When our first parents disobeyed God, they denied their dependence upon Him and fell from their high position under God. The image of God in them was marred and they became subject to death. Their descendants share this fallen nature and its consequences. They are born with weaknesses and tendencies to evil. But God in Christ reconciled the world to Himself and by His Spirit restores in penitent mortals the image of their Maker. Created for the glory of God, they are called to love Him and one another, and to care for their environment. (Gen. 1:26-28; 2:7; Ps. 8:4-8; Acts 17:24-28; Gen. 3; Ps. 51:5; Rom. 5:12-17; 2 Cor. 5:19, 20; Ps. 51:10; 1 John 4:7, 8, 11, 20; Gen. 2:15.)

    By contrast the doctrines of Evolutionism are that mankind was created as a a violent, base cave-dwelling brute. By comparison to that we NOW enjoy a “high exalted position” rather than falling FROM such. Mankind living in neighborhoods today is far less violent and far more domesticated than the first hominids who had to kill every day as well as defending their caves, friends and family from their fellow hominids as well as the wild beasts.

    SDA 28FB Belief 8

    8. Great Controversy:
    All humanity is now involved in a great controversy between Christ and Satan regarding the character of God, His law, and His sovereignty over the universe. This conflict originated in heaven when a created being, endowed with freedom of choice, in self-exaltation became Satan, God’s adversary, and led into rebellion a portion of the angels. He introduced the spirit of rebellion into this world when he led Adam and Eve into sin. This human sin resulted in the distortion of the image of God in humanity, the disordering of the created world, and its eventual devastation at the time of the worldwide flood. Observed by the whole creation, this world became the arena of the universal conflict, out of which the God of love will ultimately be vindicated. To assist His people in this controversy, Christ sends the Holy Spirit and the loyal angels to guide, protect, and sustain them in the way of salvation. (Rev. 12:4-9; Isa. 14:12-14; Eze. 28:12-18; Gen. 3; Rom. 1:19-32; 5:12-21; 8:19-22; Gen. 6-8; 2 Peter 3:6; 1 Cor. 4:9; Heb. 1:14.)

    Evolutionism teaches that global mass “extinction events” happened numerous times on this planet before the first humans arrived and that none of those extinction events has anything to do with “war in heaven”. Creation itself is violent and disorderly making progress through a process of chaos and destruction.

    SDA 28FB Belief 20

    20. Sabbath:
    The beneficent Creator, after the six days of Creation, rested on the seventh day and instituted the Sabbath for all people as a memorial of Creation. The fourth commandment of God’s unchangeable law requires the observance of this seventh-day Sabbath as the day of rest, worship, and ministry in harmony with the teaching and practice of Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath. The Sabbath is a day of delightful communion with God and one another. It is a symbol of our redemption in Christ, a sign of our sanctification, a token of our allegiance, and a foretaste of our eternal future in God’s kingdom. The Sabbath is God’s perpetual sign of His eternal covenant between Him and His people. Joyful observance of this holy time from evening to evening, sunset to sunset, is a celebration of God’s creative and redemptive acts. (Gen. 2:1-3; Ex. 20:8-11; Luke 4:16; Isa. 56:5, 6; 58:13, 14; Matt. 12:1-12; Ex. 31:13-17; Eze. 20:12, 20; Deut. 5:12-15; Heb. 4:1-11; Lev. 23:32; Mark 1:32.)

    Evolutionism allows for no literal creation week, no Adam and Eve at the end of that 7 days, and thus no seventh-day Sabbath until the time of Sinai when it was simply “invented” as a nice idea using a story format that would appeal to superstitious slaves newly released from Egypt.

    Hence as Darwin pointed out – he could not continue to hold to any form of Christian faith while faced with the glaring contradictions between the doctrines of evolutionism and the doctrines of the Bible.

    So it is not surprising that we find at 3SG 90-91 that evolution is a direct attack on the Sabbath (among other problems identified for the doctrine of evolution on those pages)

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  3. “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.” Bob

    Re the above….”first born of creation”…has the same connotation as in “firstborn of the dead”….even though others had died before Jesus died re the terminology “firstborn from the dead”…so also the terminology “firstborn of all creation” as in “the beginning of the creation of God” Rev.3:14…and as in “I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was”..Proverbs 8:23. All the preceding scriptural quotes say one and the same; and needs no further explaining.
    There is therefore no further need to explain the meaning of what is already absolutely without contradiction.

    “from everlasting to everlasting thou art God”….is a reference to the no beginning and no end of the God being…notwitstanding,such a God can choose to have a beginning..as in the birth of Jesus….and choose to have an end; as in the death of Jesus. But such an orchestrated “beginning” and “end” does not in any way undo the everlasting nature of the Holy God.

    The Holy God also bestows on whom He wills the “everlasting life” that is contained in Himself..also giving to finite beings[humans] what is contained in infinite God;[everlasting life] even though finite beings were never created with a life that was to last forever..as is seen in scripture…”the years of man is threescore years and ten”, which puts a finite limit to human existence…but notwithstanding; such an “everlasting life” is now being bestowed on humans;and solely based on the preogative of God. And an “everlasting life” as is contained, and as was also bestowed on His only “begotten” Son.

    And just as as how Jesus was born of Mary and “begotten of the Holy Ghost”..so also is He the firstborn of His Father and begotten of Him.
    Jesus Himself states that he is “the beginning of the creation of His Father”Rev.3:14…..and nothing can be clearer than the testimony of Him who was so begotten. His Father also confirms this fact…”This is my beloved son”…Proverbs chapter 8:22-36, and clearly referring to Jesus, reads…”The Lord “possessed” me in the beginning of His way, before His works of old……when there were no depths I was ‘brought forth’……”.
    When or how Jesus was “brought forth” is the sole perogative of Jesus and His Father; and no human as the right to speculate the one way or the other as to the “how”.

    bevanton

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  4. Speaking of “Defining Adventism” and contrasting Adventism with the 3SG 90-91 concept of “disguised infidelity” we find this little tidbit of “disguise” commonly used by theistic evolutionists withint our denomination today.

    Erv Taylor –
    That fact is that, by definition, all Christians and thus all Adventists are creationists (with a small “c.”). They are creationists because they are theists. It would be very surprising if any Christian adherent whether Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, or any other member of any Christian denomination, sect, branch, or affiliation would dispute the confessional assertion that the God of Abraham and Jesus are ultimately responsible for the creation of all that is good in the physical universe.
    Posted November 12th, 2009 by Ervin Taylor at this link
    http://www.atoday.com/content/yecylc-adventist-creationism-ellen-white-connection

    So this tells us that the devotee to belief in theistic evolutionism — will at times come to a web site like EducateTruth and claim “I too am a creationist”.

    (I believe we have seen that once or twice on this board already).

    Erv Taylor continues:

    Beyond this, let us be honest and confess that contemporary institutional Adventist Christianity is in an extra bind when it comes to this topic. As a number of writers have previously suggested, the creation/Creationist division is a particular problem for the Adventist faith tradition in large part because of the manner in which many Adventists have been taught to view the function and role of Adventism’s 19th century prophetic voice, Ellen White.

    Like essentially all of those who shared her immediate religious and social environment in her time and place, it was a simple given that the created world was only about 6,000 years old because that is what it said in the margins of their Bible.

    She and they knew that there was an even more recent world wide flood (with the dates for the flood also in their Bible),

    that the door of salvation was shut,

    and the concept of the Trinity was not a Biblical concept.

    She matured in two of these four beliefs and so the religious community which she helped to found eventually ceased to believe in the Shut Door doctrine and an Arian or Semi-Arian view of the Trinity.

    Regretfully, she did not live long enough and her insights did not carry her along far enough to reevaluate her position with regard to a number of other beliefs including her understanding of the Genesis narratives. She was too busy focusing on what she viewed as much more important issues such as the theme that God is love.

    Thus, the flexibility of early Adventist Christianity was lost when the generation that knew how she and her husband and others close to her developed her ideas, passed off the scene and were replaced by those who did not share the vision of the flexible creativity of “Present Truth.” That original vision was replaced by the static Fundamentalist orthodoxy of the “The Truth.”

    Here we see that Taylor admits to the problem that Ellen White poses for truly determined evangelists for theistic evolutionism inside the SDA church.

    Insead of paying attention “to the details” found in places like 3SG 90-91 as to where Ellen White claimed to have gotten her revelation from – Taylor muses the happy fiction that maybe – just maybe – Ellen White was actually inspired by “the margin of her Bible” whenever she said “God showed me” something like the Creation of the world. (Certainly Taylor knows that is where HE would get “his inspiration” at this point. And Erv seems to muse that maybe Ellen White was after all just like Erv Taylor himself when it comes to actual inspiration and revelation.)

    In any case it is facinating that Taylor assumes Ellen White’s “understanding” was all that needed to be updated – and that her “understanding” was simply based on what she read in the margins of her Bible, and whatever her neighbors or husband happened to think at the time.

    The other happy fiction is that Taylor seems to imagine that Ellen Harmon – raised as a Trinitarian — (United Methodist) somehow “discovered” the Trinity late in life (presumably in the 1880’s)

    And finally Taylor “imagines” that Ellen White ever claimed that “God showed her” that evangelism had ceased (or maybe Taylor argues that this is yet another tidbit Ellen White picked up from the margin of her Bible? He doesn’t say in this case).

    His point seems to be that if the “source” of Ellen White’s understanding is really just whetever her husband and friends and Bible-margin happpened to say – then the sources were indeed flawed and changing. Taylor’s article is designed to lead the reader to speculate on why in the world the denomination would ever have placed any kind of trust or weight in anything she said – vs whatever Samuel Clemens might have said.

    How “instructive” that this appears to be all the grasp that some of our theistic evolutionist brethren seem to have on the topic.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  5. from the link referenced above ..

    Erv Taylor –
    That fact is that, by definition, all Christians and thus all Adventists are creationists (with a small “c.”). They are creationists because they are theists.

    As noted – Taylor makes the not-so-convincing wild claim that evolutionsts are to be called “creationists” if in fact they also claim to be Christian while evangelizing for evolutionism.

    Suppose for a moment that atheists were inclined to that some kind of wrong-headed thinking. Suppose some small group of atheists innexplicably chose to accept the Bible account of origins the way our theist evolutionist brethren leap of the cliff of evolutionism. Suppose then that those sadly misguided atheists went around claiming “I am an evolutionist even though I have complete faith in the Bible doctrine on origins – because all atheists are evolutionist”.

    Their less-than-compelling transparently-flawed story would receive “low marks” from both their fellow atheists and from Christians alike.

    This is not unlike the position that theistic evolutionists find themselves in today.

    How “instructive” for the unbiased objective reader.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  6. @Vicki Gillham:
    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.

    So Vicki, what makes you think that statement was too strong and unreasonable? Do you think we should be funding Robert Schuller’s little university of heresy? Do you even know to what I am referring? As far as I am concerned, we have no business going to worldly churches looking for techniques to bring people into our church without any change in their lives whatsoever…actually, it is even worse than that because the Willow Creek church is suggesting we quit worshipping God as He directed, and substitute man in His place. To have coffee house/night club churches complete with food, drinks, and rock bands just to pander to the tastes of the worldly is absolute heresy…and our church has no business using the tithe contributed for the furtherance of the gospel to spend on this type of training. Our mission is to preach the truth and then we let the Holy Spirit do the converting. In the Willow Creek church, they aren’t interested in converting anyone, just filling the pews/tables and chairs.

    There comes a time for plain speaking. I do not misrepresent the SOP by doing so or by posting a direct quote. Are you aware that Ellen White almost lost her gift of prophecy by softening the plain messages of the Lord? She didn’t want to hurt anyone, the dear soul. But God told her to give the messages as she was told or she would not be entrusted with them anymore. And of course I understand that I am not a prophet–never have I represented myself as being one…but that doesn’t mean I can’t quote our sister Ellen’s writings. These things were written down for us to refer to and use in times of distress. In my opinion, this is one of those times.

    I am not saying that we shouldn’t be presenting the gospel in a loving manner…but we are not speaking of that right now…we are meeting heresy and we need to meet it head on…as the Lord told Ellen in one of her visions. Actually, it was a vision on this very topic of meeting heresy in the church. She was instructed to meet it head on.

    I don’t feel guilty one bit for posting that quote concerning the false shepherds. It is a shocking thing, but it is a warning that needs to be heeded. Something has to shake these ministers and professors up…they need a wake up call. So why do you feel that I took that quotation out of context? How could it be out of context? It is referring to the punishment of people who teach heresy when they know better. I am sorry if it offends you, but then, unless you are one of them, I guess the message really isn’t meant for you, is it? I don’t look forward with any glee or pleasure to these people being punished like that–neither did Ellen White–and certainly neither does God. All I want to do is give them fair warning in time for them to repent of their sins. Isn’t that only fair? Aren’t we supposed to rebuke sin in the church?

    Vicki Gillham: We can so easily misrepresent the Spirit of Prophecy writings to other people that way…Because the young people, etc, may not take time to read the Spirit of Prophecy writings, they will just look to our example.

    As far as the young people go, my statement should not be the first introduction of the SOP to the vast majority of them. If we are doing our part, the SOP should be well-known and understood by the time they reach their teen years and are interested enough in this topic to be part of it. And in using that quote I misrepresented nothing.

    Just so you know, I never wrote that passage out of anger, but out of conviction. I tend to look at things logically and state straight facts–perhaps not in the most politic way, but in sincerity nontheless. Personally, I think it would be better if we were to unite in the truth rather than quibble about the way I put things vs the way you would put them. There is a place in the work for straight speaking, as was evidenced by James White, who also spoke in a straight forward manner. In any case, if I offended you, sister, I am truly sorry, but sometimes the truth is sharper than a two-edged sword and must be used to cut out heresy. I believe that this case is one of those times.

    Faith

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  7. “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.” Vicki Gillham

    In the above quote taken from Vicki Gillham comments; advice is given re avoiding “intolerance” and “harshness”; and as well “taking things out of context”.

    It may well be true that only “prophets” have the right to be “harsh”;as is suggested in Vicki’s comments;….but if I understand the intent of Christ chasing, and with a whip, the false representatives who made His Father’s house a “den of thieves”…and it may also be true only Elijah can manifest “intolerance”,[he mocked his fellow Israelites; and told them to yell at their god baal, who was probably asleep;seeing he wasn’t answering]…and it may also be that only Jesus can call false prophets, “harlots” and “adulterers”; and in Revelation 3:16-21, add that he “will KILL WITH DEATH the children of Jezebel, the adultress, AND false prophetess….but again; if I understand the intent of Jesus’ “intolerance”, it must also be true that such reasons for intolerance still continued after Jesus’ “harsh” condemnation of same. If this is also true; and since Jesus is no more on earth in the flesh; whose is therefore the right to also condem those, who like their forbears, are the false prophets of today?

    But if it is also true that His word stand fast forever; and stands true in every and all generations…then if should also be true that since there are false prophets in existence today, then any condemnation applicable to previous false prophets, must also be applicable to all and every current false prophet.

    The question then is; who has the right to condem the false prophets in existence today?
    Paul gives the answer: “If any preach a different gospel; let him be accursed”. How did Christ condem the “accursed”? “I will kill her children with death”. Revelation 2:21-23

    It is not those who rightly represent the purity of truth and in context with the “cutting”, to the “dividing bone and marrow”, that are “intolerant”. Truth can only be seen for what it is…TRUTH, and no representing truth can be seen as intolerance….(In context…Elijah and the Israelite prophets of baal)….the rather, it is those who would water down truth to lure the false into its acceptance, that are described by Paul as false teachers who teach others what they want to hear.

    Jesus’ example of meeting “head on” progenitors of falsehoods, is seen in His condemnation of false doctrines when He was on earth. He proclaimed the false doctrines of the Israelite leadership as “doctrines of men”;stating that they were worshipping Him in vain/useless worship…He called the false leadership “blind leaders”…and those who followed their leadership…”blind”….”both”, He said would fall into the proverbial “pit”. Paul referred to false doctrines as “doctrines of devils”, and there is no more “loving way” way to approach satan and his hirelings, than with the two-edged sword that Jesus has in His mouth. Revelation 2:12,16.

    Courtney Edwards

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  8. Given that our quarterly is on fruits of the Spirit – and that today’s lesson is on meekness, it is certainly right that we be highly focused on the spirit and Christian content of whatever criticism we may have – of anyone.

    So thinking along those lines – take a look at this –
    http://www.educatetruth.com/la-sierra-evidence/perspectives-from-alleged-lsu-students/comment-page-4/#comment-9770

    Do you think of the reference given there as a case of the right amount of criticism given the level of the crisis being addressed?

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  9. Bob

    My view is that – claims to possessing an education notwithstanding – those who claim that Christianity and evolution can be reconciled, simply do not understand either.

    Christianity REQUIRES God; not merely any God, but THE God of the scriptures.

    Evolution REQUIRES that such a God does not exist.

    The two BELIEFS are eternally and inextricably opposed.

    Only one who does not understand either of them can claim to believe both simultaneously. The cognitive dissonance that arises from attempts to reconcile these contrary ideas quite regularly manifests itself in a rage against any who draw attention to the contradiction, and associated contempt as over-compensation for self-doubt.

    It does neither us nor them any good to rail against them. On the contrary, we must pray all the more for people so confounded in darkness as to believe they are living in the light.

    In my experience, that is usually the BEST thing we can do for anyone, ourselves included.

    Regards
    Denver

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  10. @Denver Fletcher:

    Bob

    My view is that – claims to possessing an education notwithstanding – those who claim that Christianity and evolution can be reconciled, simply do not understand either.

    Denver –

    That is true. What is amazing is that Darwin himself figured that out – as did Richard Dawkins, P.Z Meyers, Provine… et al.

    Certainly in 3SG 90-91 it is clear that Ellen White was informed in no uncertain terms about that point you raise in the post above.

    And then there is that list of a few examples our 28FB showing just where evolutionism flatly contradicts the doctrinal statement of Seventh-day Adventists.

    http://www.educatetruth.com/articles/evolution-in-education-by-jay-gillimore/comment-page-3/#comment-4813

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  11. The dividing line between truth and error is fixed and well-defined in God’s Word. It is the Believer’s battle front. On one side is light, on the other side darkness. There is no demilitarized zone where the forces of truth and error may meet under a flag of truce and negotiate.

    Evolution is idealogically incompatible with the Bible record. People who desire to teach at our universities should be permitted to do so if they believe & teach the things that we stand for. Those who cannot agree with our position on a six day creation should have the decency to work elsewhere. It’s the right thing to do.

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  12. Adventists have more freedom than members of many other denominations to interpret the Bible individually. I appreciate this, and wish it to continue. However, there is a limit to how far “off” one can go. I disagree with the “Fundamental Beliefs” in a number of places…but it is unlikely that my disagreements would put me greatly out of favor with other Adventists. Here are some examples:

    3. Father:
    God the eternal Father is the Creator, Source, Sustainer, and Sovereign of all creation….

    I don’t believe the Father is the Creator. My Bible tells me this title belongs to Jesus. John summed it up nicely in his first chapter.

    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made…. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us…. (John 1:1-3, 14)

    God the Father was not made flesh, so the “Word” of whom it is said that “All things were made by him” can be none other than Jesus Christ.

    I also disagree with the first “Fundamental” in reference to the scriptures. The Bible defines what constitutes “scripture” and by its definition, Mrs. White’s writings are also “scripture” (given by inspiration of God, aren’t they?). So I do not limit scripture to just the Old and New Testaments, as the “Fundamentals” do.

    There are other disagreements I have. But not a one of my beliefs contradicts Scripture. If I am shown from the Bible where my belief does not match, I will accept the truth and adjust my belief accordingly.

    If Adventist professors are equally willing to grow in the light of truth, and to only differ with the “Fundamentals” where to do so follows the Bible even more closely, then I see no reason to “limit” their liberty. The “Fundamentals” should not really be our ultimate guide–that place is reserved for the Scriptures.

    Erik

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  13. The Bible tells us that God the Father is the Creator. Rev. 4:11. God the Father created all things through Jesus christ. See Eph. 3:9. In fact, Gen. 1:2 tells us that the Holy Spirit was involved. Gen. 1:26 tells us that the Father worked in perfect harmony with the other two members of the Godhead in the work of Creation. When we are spiritually re-created and are baptized, it is in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They work together in our spiritual re-birth. The Sabbath is the sign of God´s creative and re-creative power. Ezekiel 20:12,20.

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  14. Patrick,

    The word “Lord” in Rev. 4:11 is the same Greek word which clearly refers to Jesus in other passages (see Matthew 7:21-22, 8:25, 12:8, etc.). Eph. 3:9 likewise speaks of any member of the Godhead, to include Jesus, in using “God.” This Greek word speaks specifically of Jesus in multiple places as well. I agree with you regarding the Sabbath. It is a clear sign that God created this world and created us, and He is therefore Lord of this world, the Sabbath, and us.

    The discussion over to whom the title “Creator” belongs is a far better one than the one many so-called Christians are having over whether God was even involved in the creative process. This illustrates my point quite well, that there is a limit to the liberty and independence an Adventist institution or its employees can have from our fundamental beliefs. While I choose still to believe that Jesus is the Creator, and I have texts to support my view (and which clarify your texts to show they support my position too), I would never be so radical as to suppose that you or other Adventist employees should adhere to my view in place of yours, nor would I call for you or others to be fired for such a small difference.

    But to teach agnostic, macro-evolution and/or “mainstream science” as if it were fact, and that God did not do what He said He did in the Bible (Creation, the Deluge, etc.) is pure, unadulterated foolishness (see 1 Corinthians 3:19). To know the Adventist message, and to have the privilege of God’s truth in our hands and yet _still_ covet the world’s praise by accepting its agnostic theories hook, line, and sinker–and to further scoff at those who would find fault with such fiction–is a significant step beyond foolishness. Can we safely allow such false shepherds to teach our lambs without being held accountable for it in the Judgment?

    Erik

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  15. Patrick…..the Sabbath is indeed a representation of spiritual rebirth…. but such a representation is more than that which points us to God as Creator. God says the Sabbath is a sign between Himself and the children of Israel(us) forever. Certainly, this is not suggesting that we need to be reminded that God is Creator forever; but the rather, we will be keeping the Sabbath forever to celebrate our Salvation. It is this salvation that God celebrated when He first created the Sabbath. He saw that His Son did overcome satan…and that He did die for the sins of humanity, thus effecting humanity’s salvation;and so He created one whole day just to celebrate His Son’s victory over sin. It is also for this reason that from one Sabbath to another all the saved will come to worship like he worshipped when He first made the Sabbath….again; we will meet to celebrate with our Saviour…..” I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine until I drink it with you in my Father’s kingdom”…another clear reference to our celebrating our deliverance(Passover).

    It is therefore clear that celebrating the Passover feast is also celebrating our salvation; and we will all be celebrating with God, our Saviour and the heavenly hosts on the Sabbath.

    It is also for just this reason that even though the ancient Israelites kept the Sabbath; yet they “couldn’t enter into the eternal rest”, because they didn’t believe the gospel of salvation that was represented in the keeping of the Sabbath. See Hebrews chapter 3:18,19….chap.4:1-4.

    Courtney

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  16. Erik…..Jesus and His Father are one. This statement indicates that there is no degree of importance re the one being above the other for any reason. Saying that God created the heaven and the earth is not any different from saying that Jesus created the heaven and the earth. Both God and His son are one and have no desire to show who is the greater.

    This fact is seen in the statement of Jesus re the resurrection of Lazarus….”I thank thee that thou hast heard me”..John 11:41…”but because of the people….I said it…that they may believe that thou hast sent me” John 11:42.

    The resurrection of Lazarus is the same as the creation of Lazarus. His cells were all putrefied and were as non existing as had been the cells of Adam…so in the truest of sense Lazarus was created by Jesus..as we will be recreated in our immortal bodies….and just as Jesus was recreated in His.

    And whereas Jesus will be calling us from the graves at the first resurrection…do you think it then matters who has the power to call us from the grave—He or His Father?

    But should in case you still have questions—-read Proverbs chapter 8:22-36…..and tell me what you think. Who would you say did the creating? God or Jesus?

    Here’s another question. We are sinners—-we are undeserving to be called “sons of God” and “joint heirs with His Son”….but aren’t we? Are you as “joint heir” equal with Jesus? If you are—-You then should not have a problem in seeing Jesus equal to His Father and as a consequence, equal in every respect. So any reference to Jesus as creating the heaven and the earth; is the same reference as God creating the heaven and the earth.

    Re Ellen White’s writings as scripture…..
    Ellen White’s writings can only be considered scripture, if her writings add to scripture what is not already revealed in scripture; re the salvation that is already and totally there; and is all about Jesus… and all about Jesus alone…and all already in scripture!

    The entirety of scripture is about Jesus and the salvation he came to give sinners. There is nothing else! So if Ellen White adds to the story of salvation what is not already known re salvation; her writings would then have to be considered scripture.

    The parts of scripture that have nothing to do with salvation, are there for our admonition, encouragement, advice etc; and whether we read and obey or other, will have no bearing re our salvation, if we ignore in any way shape or form, the core of salvation; Jesus our Passover Lamb. On the other hand; anyone who loves the author of salvation would live out in their lives any godly advice given by a parent, a pastor, or one’s next door neighbor;including, be that next door neighbor, Ellen White. And whereas the advice, encouragement, or other from pastor or next door neighbor, is not considered scripture, neither would any such similar advice from Ellen White.

    Courtney

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