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  1. 6 points
    Kevin H

    Are 'Celebration SDA Churches', new path to God, or away from truth?

    I've been wanting to make some comments here but have not had the time that I thought would be fair, so I will try a "Standing on one leg" answer. Then there is another direction on this which I feel is more urgent to address and I will do that below. Anyway, so called "celebration" churches are not one group. The post have lumped them all together. I've attended a few including in Milwaukee Oregon and Colton California. They were as different as day and night. And I have read balanced articles about others from people who I respect. What the "Celebration" churches have in common is that they do not follow the traditional 1700/1800 Methodist model of worship, but are willing to try other forms. Milwaukee had a style that was very culturally Christian. I don't see it attracting people who were not into a very sticky sweet Jesusiee type of religion. Having lived in Israel and had a couple of former girlfriends who were Israeli and one who was a Christian Arab from Bethlehem, if I did marry any of them (or had them come to visit) I would not have taken them to that church. But yet there are Christians who it appeals to. The big problem I saw with that church was that they were so close to "Hope International" in Washington that the "Hope International" people would accuse that church of this that and the other thing. For example a Baptist church in the area who they once rented from was on a Saturday holding a car wash. It was to raise money for a boy in Portland who had cancer. By the way the boy was a Seventh-day Adventist. Even thought it was not the Seventh-day Adventist church having that carwash, the people from Hope International accused them of sponsoring it. This persecution is what destroyed that church. Now the Colton church was not nearly as sticky sweet Jesusiee. They had a service which was not the traditional Methodist service but they worked on getting people into small groups. Many of these small groups were VERY conservative and VERY traditional. They were reaching out to people who had left the church, or were on the verge of leaving, giving them something to hold on to and discipline them into the small groups which as I said were steps to becoming more conservative and traditional Adventists. But because they had the title of being a "Celebration" church once again it was attacked by those who love to give an empty criticism. So with other "Celebration" churches. Some are very conservative, others more moderate, and yes others who are liberal. Some I'd strongly disagree with, others I can embrace, some I'd not get too excited about but can live with. The only thing that they have in common is that they are open to follow other methods than the traditional Methodist service.
  2. 5 points
    rudywoofs (Pam)

    Prayer

    I like the prayers Gregory posted. Public prayers that go on and on and on before the actual purpose of the prayer is even mentioned, drive me nuts. An example of that would be when someone is asked to bless the food before a meal, and that person drones on and on about the weather, about what they did (or will do) during the day, etc, etc, etc. I sit there and think to myself, "How long, Lord? .... "
  3. 5 points
    rudywoofs (Pam)

    very interested in feedback on our April cover story

    I showed the story to my Mom (a very astute 92-yr-old who's been a member of the church for over 70 years). Mom's reaction was different from mine. She was horrified to think that pastors or others in church leadership positions would behave in such a manner, and the fact that punishment was neither swift nor adequate. I'm thinking now that the story may be quite valuable in that it can open the eyes of long-time members who sometimes have placed church officials and pastors on invisible pedestals. Many people don't *want* to hear about (or read) anything negative pertaining to the church. But, imho, they really need to...
  4. 4 points
    8thdaypriest

    Questions on Genesis

    The belief that "Sons of God" (either fallen angels or created beings from other worlds) had sex with human women who bore offspring, and were then shut up in "the pit", comes mainly from The First Book of Enoch, an Apocryphal book. A very small portion of 1Enoch was quoted by Jude, and Peter alluded to it (or both were using an as yet unnamed source). I very recently read through that book. I prayed earnestly first. Interesting read, to be sure. The Nephillim were 300 cubits tall (450 feet). Really! How could they possibly have sex with women? In First Enoch, (and excuse me for being gross here) The Watchers = fallen Angels = Stars = Sons of God (used interchangeably) , "had penises like horses". (Wonder how large horses were back then.) How could human women possibly give birth to such large babies. The Nephilim would live 500 years? Guess this was their lifespan - or the lifespan of their flesh. Then their spirits leave their bodies, and are confined in the place of conscious torment, until the judgment. The "stars" which disobeyed the Lord are bound in the place "under the earth" "until ten thousand years, the time of their crimes, have come to pass". If they "lived" only 500 years, how did they commit crimes for 10K years? Doesn't make sense. Another place says the spirits of wicked HUMANS go to a place of torment "whose souls are punished and bound there forever. Thus has it been from the beginning of the world." Does not agree with my understanding that the dead are unconscious. No wonder the Catholics teach unending conscious torment in HELL. They include the Apocryphal books in their Bible. Angels are presenting the prayers of the saints before God. I thought we have "one Mediator". Writing with pen and ink was introduced by a fallen watcher named Penemue. This caused many to go astray. Really? Writing with pen and ink was evil? Personally, I believe that God introduced writing to preserve a record of history, of His law, and of His dealings with men. In 60:1, Enoch is 500 years, 7 months, and 14 days old when he has a vision about judgment and sea monsters, etc. etc. Genesis says Enoch was 300 when the LORD "took him" away, and he was never found afterwards. Does Enoch receive this vision after he is in the heavenly realm? Enoch says the year is 364 days. Wrong. It's 365.25 days. If Enoch is passing on what he was "told" by the "angel" named Uriel, who "guides all the seasons and the heavenly luminaries of the sky" then Uriel was wrong. More likely, Enoch was actually written some time after 800 BC. That is the time when the extra days were incorporated into calendars around the world. Most probably a near earth fly by that pulled the earth into an elongated orbit. I believe another one will pull the earth back into a 360day orbit, so the end time prophecies can be fulfilled. If the Book of Enoch was actually written after 800BC, then it was NOT the vision of the original Enoch. 12 "portals of heaven" - the sun is directed through a new one of those 12 "portals" each month. Doesn't fit with science. 81:1 "Enoch, look at the heavenly tablets" This one sounds like Joseph Smith. Sorry. 83:1-11 is Enoch's first vision. He writes about "the abyss". Seems he had heard of it. Wonder where? From demons. 86:1-6, 87:1-4, 88:1-3 The first fallen angel was named Azazel. Raphael cast him into the abyss. Really? I thought Satan was the first fallen angel, and Christ will cast him into the Abyss. There are four archangels. There names are Michael, Raphael, Gabriel, Phanuel. In my Bible there is ONE Archangel (chief or head of angels). His name is Michael - the Son of God. I will stop here. So many things seemed inconsistent with the rest of Scripture, or at least with my understanding of the Scriptures.
  5. 4 points
    Gail

    very interested in feedback on our April cover story

    I thank God for noble men that value women instead of devaluing them.
  6. 4 points
    Gregory Matthews

    Blossom Jensen

    Who reading this post, know who Blossom Jensen is and why she never has posted in this forum?
  7. 4 points
    Gregory Matthews

    Why was Jesus baptized?

    Well, you probably did not laugh as hard as I did. I have corrected my typo.
  8. 4 points
    rudywoofs (Pam)

    Are 'Celebration SDA Churches', new path to God, or away from truth?

    yeah, I guess should just make certain that person should feel as embarrassed as possible and "not-as-good-as" the vegetarians in our midsts, because, you know, those who eat meat won't go to heaven... so... no one who is LGBTQ should be baptized because that could cost them eternal life? They should remain unbaptized? Or is it that no LGBTQ person will gain eternal life, no matter if they're baptized or not? (Sadly, that *does* seem to be what many believe.... ) NOTE: I understand the above illustrations by Photodude were just given as examples as requested.... and aren't really the topic for this thread....so I probably shouldn't have even commented. But I did. Alas, I emerge from one disaster to fall into a worse. ~ Pierre Corneille ...C'est la vie.
  9. 4 points
    rudywoofs (Pam)

    Are 'Celebration SDA Churches', new path to God, or away from truth?

    sorry, Wanderer, that my sense of humor is lost on you... I'll try to keep my amusement to myself, so as not to cause anyone the vapors..
  10. 3 points
    JoeMo

    Holy Spirit Withdrawn from earth

    Just because I don't believe that EGW was a prophet in the OT sense does NOT mean I don't respect her as an inspired writer, like many other revivalists like Billy Graham and Jonathan Cahn. There are some things EGW states that IMHO are contrary to a plain read of scripture (at least my understanding of it). There are also many inspired insights into scripture in her writings; and I have learned from her writings over the years.
  11. 3 points
    Gerry Cabalo

    Out of Adventism

    I’m so saddened by this story. We graduated together from Southern, but had little interaction because we had different majors. It seems he has followed the steps that comes to mind outlined by the same inspired.person he has disavowed - doubts about the SOP and end up doubting Scripture itself. If absolute assurance is what he craved for, I’m surprised he didn’t join the Baptists. I also wonder how he could have assurance knowing he is breaking one of the 10, assuming he has embraced the full the teachings of the Disciples of Christ.
  12. 3 points
    The Wanderer

    Questions on Genesis

    I like the way you put this into context Nicely done.
  13. 3 points
    Gregory Matthews

    The Time Allocated for the Judgment. . .

    One of our members has begun a thread that was titled The Time Allocated for the Judgment. . . . I have moved that entire thread from public view. In the opening post, it attacked a denomination and associated it with Satan. In this forum, we want people of differing views to be able to come here and find it to be a safe place to discuss their differing views. To openly associate a major Christian denomination with Satan does not make this forum a safe place for members of that denomination to come and talk with us. Further, it is so far outside of SDA views that it is likely to confuse people as to actually what the SDA church teaches. We allow considerable latitude as to what is presented in this forum. But, that post was so far outside of what the SDA church teaches that I have felt compelled to act. Yes, we in the U.S. have freedom of speech. That member is able to establish his own forum and publish there his views. But, we do not have to allow him to come to this forum and associate that Christian denomination with Satan.
  14. 3 points
    Kevin H

    Questions on Genesis

    No I am NOT saying that the Bible is not accurate. What I am saying is that we cannot impose modern ways of making genealogical tables on the Bible. We need to follow what we both see in the Bible and how it was done by others at that time. Even the genealogy we get of Jesus in both Matthew and Luke are very different, and I agree that Matthew is most likely using Joseph's while Luke is most likely using Mary's (even thought both claim to be Joseph's.). However as you compare the list to say who appears in other parts of the Bible you find both overlap and gaps. Matthew has it nicely divided in groups of 7s. This was a tactic used by Jews, understood by Jews as well as non-Jews back in Jesus day to make certain theological points. We think and use genealogies differently. As linguists compare Matthew's and Luke's lists with lists in the Old Testament there are different names that show up, different names that are not showing up and additional generations that would throw off Matthew's groups of 7 generations. Yet all of these made perfect sense to the Jews and others of Jesus' day despite the fact that it drives us crazy. I believe that the Bible is very accurate, that each and every one of those people we find on the different lists are indeed real people who were members of their particular grouping. However, I see you as wanting to make additional demands of the text that appeals to modern culture but which was foreign to their culture and use. At times you seem to want to follow what is popular in modern Christianity of people who have certain views about how inspiration should work so that they end up throwing temper tantrums that God has the audacity to actually work with the Bible writers in their culture and practices and understandings and I've seen and heard comments where they can become quite appalled that God did not force the Bible writers to cater to us and our culture and our practices and our understandings. After all doesn't God have foreknowledge? Surely he knew that one day we would exist so why on earth did he speak to the people in the days that the Bible was written in ways that they would understand, he should have seen it fit to force them to write for us only and for our culture only.
  15. 3 points
    Gregory Matthews

    Military chaplain facing reprimand in same-sex case

    To talk a little more on this subject: Both as a military chaplain and as a VA chaplain, I have on occasion refused to perform the marriage of people who has asked me to do such and I have been asked by people who supervised me to account for my refusal. My foundational answer has been that my performance of a marriage is in the context of a religious rite, not that of a civil officer of the government, and as such I had the right to refuse to perform the marriage of any couple that I chose to do so, and I did not have to give any other reason. In some cases I did give additional information. In other cases I did not give such. In both the military and in the VA, I had that right under the Federal Constitution. NOTE: As an important point: Never was my performance of a marriage considered to have been formally sponsored by the Federal government. I was always acting in my role as a representative of the SDA Church. In this case, it is formally stated that the marriage retreat was sponsored by a command section of the U.S. Army. As such, different rules apply to that marriage retreat. Under those rules, the Army can not discriminate against a couple due to their gender preference. That rightly should be so. In such a situation, the command is in charge and the chaplain is only a participant in the retreat. The command controls who attends and may require that all who attend are lawfully married couples. But, the command can not discriminate on the basis of gender preference. The command may have asked this chaplain to participate. But, the command was still in control. The chaplain should have known that if he participated, he would be required to include in whatever he did every person whom the command had allowed to attend--without consideration of gender preference. He should have advised both the command and the senior chaplain on the base of his personal restrictions. This would have allowed the marriage retreat to be held at another time with the participation of another chaplain. I do not want to come down hard on the chaplain. But, he has some responsibility for how this developed. In addition, I will suggest that there may have been some things that the senior chaplain on base could have pro-actively taken to reduce the potential for this to happen.
  16. 3 points
    Gregory Matthews

    Military chaplain facing reprimand in same-sex case

    Typically, when I hear of alleged cases of a chaplain being discriminated against on the basis of the chaplain's protected religious beliefs, I can see that only half of the story has been told and based upon the information given to me, I do not believe that the chaplain was unfairly treated. IOW, I support the position of the military against the chaplain. This story troubles me. I can sense the position that the Army has taken as well as the position that the chaplain has taken. I believe that each side has stated, at least in part, a position that is correct. I am especially troubled by the action against the enlisted person, whom I suspect was the chaplain's assistant. My thinking is that the chaplain has the ultimate responsibility for the actions of the enlisted person and that the chaplain should be considered responsible. IOW do not go after the enlisted person who was simply following the directions of the chaplain. To, be clear, I do believe that the chaplain has raised some valid points. The direction that I am leaning toward in this is that on the Pentagon level the Office of the Chief of Chaplains should be engaged with the other generals in formulating a policy that addresses the issues that this raises and which seemingly have not been addressed. I think that this is foundational and that there is going to have to be coordination and communication between the Chief of Chaplains and the denominational endorsing agencies as they are going to have to become involved with further training of individual chaplains. I do not believe that this is a case that can be summarily dismissed in favor of either side. NOTE: As formerly on the teaching staff of the U.S. Army Chaplain School, I taught this very subject. However, this incident has raised issues in my mind that we at the School did not address in our training in any of our courses.
  17. 3 points
    pierrepaul

    Prayer

    Nor am I generally. However, many of the Psalms are written prayers; and many of our worship songs (be they hymns or other musical genres) are written and sung prayers. They are good too.
  18. 3 points
    JoeMo

    Prayer

    Coincidentally, my wife and I were discussing this just yesterday. When I pray before we have worship, my prayer is usually no longer than 3 minutes. When she prays, it's 20 - 30 minutes. I asked her politely to keep the lengthly begging and pleading and crying for her personal prayers; because when she goes on for 20 minutes, my mind wanders. I have the same problem at church when one person's worship prayer lasts as long as the sermon.
  19. 3 points
    Gregory Matthews

    Unity in Colorado

    Unity in in the news today, in the SDA denomination. Most of the conversation involves certain doctrinal understandings, the role of women in spiritual life and actions of denominational leadership. The above post does not address the above. Rather, it addresses aspects of denominational structure, some of which, in their beginning were tied to issues of discrimination. The above post reports on decisions made by local congregations in Colorado to get together and attempt to do what they could to build relationships without waiting for leadership. Sometimes, people on the lowest level can act more quickly and be more effective than can organizations and structure. Perhaps, those of us who might like to see change can simply do what we can and take the first steps. Perhaps we have some responsibility. Those congregations are to be commended for what they have begun.
  20. 3 points
    debbym

    Why I left an Evangelical Cult

    This problem is not confined to abusive evangelical religious groups. it is a human problem and found all over the world, where ever narcissistic charismatic men are domineering and controlling, whether it is just their family or whether additionally draw groups of families together. I was hitchhiking in my teen years and was given a ride by a man who tried to solicit me into a cult. He was very persuasive. He had given up a great job to join this commune, gave them all his money and property. He was very persuasive and they had a powerful leader. They were the Love family and very large and powerful. I knew it was not truth, but i still dealt with the power of the appeal. Human influence in the control of evil is not necessarily powerless because it is in error. and recovery from it is no small matter.
  21. 3 points
    The Wanderer

    very interested in feedback on our April cover story

    OK Thanks, I think I get it now. I have to say though, it really does shock me regarding how cruel and sick some people are; especially with how so many men think they can treat women. Conversely, I am aware of more than one situation where the woman said to the man as she was smashing his skull with the neaest blunt object she could find: "Ha ha, I am the woman and I can do whatever I want to you." So yes; I agree, its really sad that not a lot is likely to change. But maybe if even one person becomes more aware by reading this topic here, or by reading the article in the Review article of this OP then maybe, one person's life might be saved. Literally.
  22. 3 points
    Gail

    very interested in feedback on our April cover story

    That's it- the point right there.
  23. 3 points
    rudywoofs (Pam)

    very interested in feedback on our April cover story

    I guess I'm a cynic. My reaction to the article was, "This isn't anything new... and it's never going to change." I think the church and its ancillary faction of healthcare will always be a bastion of the "good ol' boys" mentality. And frankly, I'm tired of the "#me too" bandwagon. In my opinion, many who haven't really been sexually abused have jumped on board and claimed the #me too slogan, so that it basically has become passé and meaningless as a vehicle for change. **shrugs** Sorry that it happened to the gal in the article....
  24. 3 points
    JoeMo

    The Christians are coming ..well err leaving!

    There are churches out there like that. I feel like I attend one. People feel safe to talk about anything - including their shortcomings. Everyone in our church is flawed; and admits it. We share problems with ourselves, our spouses, our kids, our besetting sins, etc. It's called being "broken together"; and results in openness and willingness to call out for help when needed. Sometimes praying for ourselves and others takes longer than the sermon. Some people who visit are uncomfortable with such openness - especially in an SDA church - and they don't come back. Others are drawn to it and stick around. one of our members is even on the board of directors of a non-denominational church that caters strictly to those with "sexual deviancy" issues (i.e LGBQT's, etc) who want to correct or reconcile their social deviancy with their Christianity. I use the term "deviancy" not as a judgement, but as a term used by many conservative denominations as a reason to exclude these people from fellowship. It's the same for those who have chronic alcohol, drug, or tobacco problems. I think some people confuse leaving "church" with leaving God. Lots of people find Christian fellowship outside of the confines of a brick and mortar church. I find spiriual solace with my brothers and sisters here at Adventistan. I probably spend as much time here as I do in my brick and mortar church.
  25. 3 points
    Gregory Matthews

    Why was Jesus baptized?

    My personal position: I am reluctant to baptize someone who states that they do not intend to become part of a congregation. I consider the Bible to be clear that there is great benefit from becoming a part of a congregation and I tell people to find a congregation to which they feel led to join, and ask the pastor of that congregation to baptize them. However, there are some situations in which the issue is that there is no congregation to which that person could join. In such a case I might consider doing such. NOTE: I know of one SDA congregation that is in the process of developing an outreach to people who do not intend to join a congregation. This effort is in the developmental stage, But, that is part of that congregations goal. If anyone reading this would like to participate in such an experiment, contact me and I will give you more specific information. This also includes any SDA congregation that would like to be part of an outreach of this nature.
  26. 3 points
    Gregory Matthews

    SDA Passover

    This evening, I attended a service at a SDA Church that was billed as a Christian version of a Passover seder. Attendees were given a 20 page booklet which contained the required material. At appropriate points in the service the pastor developed the similarity to what was happening in the service and the Lord's Supper. That was the emphasis: Understanding that Passover seder that JC had with his disciple prior to his death instructs us on elements of the Lord's Supper. The service had the elements of the Jewish seder and included a full meal with a Jewish emphasis. At one point, and with instruction as to the meaning, we were to dip our matzah into the horseradish. I took a generous helping! My response was heard all over the auditorium and by all people! At the point where the leader instructed the audience to eat, he added the comment that it was evident that someone had eaten early. This was not a service by Messianic Jews. It was a SDA service in a SDA congregation that does this each year near Easter, as I understand it. Yes, it did enlighten as to the symbolism that was carried over into the Lord's Supper. The 20 page booklet was well written.
  27. 3 points
    CoAspen

    Are 'Celebration SDA Churches', new path to God, or away from truth?

    Those that would be king, is what often comes to mind when reading or hearing from people and sites that claim to have the 'only' truth or the pure truth or, etc, etc......
  28. 3 points
    Gregory Matthews

    Crime Does Not Pay

    The following is being reported from the Metro-Sacramento area: * In broad daylight a woman was dragged out of her car, thrown to the ground and her car was stolen. * Later a man was arrested who was in possession of her car. But, the police only had evidence to charge him with being in possession of a stolen vehicle, until they obtained results of a DNA test! * You see, when he drug the woman out of the car, he lost a shoe. * Following the DNA test of the shoe, and of him, he is now charged with three (3) crimes--assault on an elderly person, carjacking and possession of a stolen vehicle. Lesson learned: If you are going to commit a crime, keep your shoes on your feet.
  29. 3 points
    Kevin H

    Why was Jesus baptized?

    We have to let each individual book first speak for itself, what was the message the author was trying to bring. What are the samenesses and differences. Too many people are not interested in the Bible beyond it being some kind of magical book. Most of us are victims of Fundamentalism. There are much more harder things in the Bible that we close our eyes to. Have you ever noticed that in Mark no one knows who Jesus is until at the cross the Roman centurion is the only person who understands who Jesus is. He is a pagan, so far away from the people who are supposed to know the truth that he proclaims the truth in words that would horrify a good monotheistic Jew. In Luke nearly everyone knows who Jesus is from before his birth, and when we get to the centurion all he says is "he was a good man." The last deception is to make of no effect the word of God. Too many who base their faith on Fundamentalism as they start seeing these would throw out the Bible in the same way many have thrown away Mrs. White because she does not fit the Fundamentalist mold.
  30. 3 points
    JoeMo

    Are 'Celebration SDA Churches', new path to God, or away from truth?

    FYI, I attend a comparatively conservative SDA Church with traditional or respectful, worshipful contemporary music. No dancing or falling on the floor or speaking in tongues in public worship. I have no idea what people do in their private worship. I went the charismatic route for a while and really enjoyed the enthusiasm, but didn't care for the doctrinal "slippage" and the total avoidance of discussion on apocryphal events (which are very important to me at this place in time). On the other hand, I respect the right and liberty of others to seek the Lord as they see fit. There are many things that I believe that people of other denominations don't believe (e.g., the sacredness of Sabbath). But that doesn't mean that I'm saved and they're gonna burn. Also, there are many intra- and interdenominational disagreements over things that are completely non-salvational as far as I'm concerned. This is one of them.
  31. 3 points
    JoeMo

    Are 'Celebration SDA Churches', new path to God, or away from truth?

    As I read this thread, I see a debate on how SDA's should conduct their services. I hope this isn't off topic; but is salvation about being the right kind of Adventist, or having a right relationship with Christ?
  32. 3 points
    CoAspen

    Why was Jesus baptized?

    He, Christ, lived in a time of much symbolism. Could it not be simply a public symbol of the change in a persons life for His time? In our day and time, when we are not so much, very little, into symbols, we still maintain it, but is it a requirement? If there is no one around to view this 'public statement', does that change or mean anything different about that individual? Would Christ say "Go and dunk thine self"?
  33. 3 points
    GayatfootofCross

    Are 'Celebration SDA Churches', new path to God, or away from truth?

    Of course we come as we are. How can we not? Unless a good sturdy mask is tightly bolted on. God is all about authenticity and non condemnation. and The Body of Christ heals and grows in this. The masks wont be saved.
  34. 3 points
    Gregory Matthews

    Are 'Celebration SDA Churches', new path to God, or away from truth?

    Hobie, I will reflect on your recent post: * Again, I appreciate your oppeness in sharing. * You come across to me as having a real struggle with being judgmental of others. I believe that God can help you as you work on this issue in your life. But, I wonder how judgmental you would be of me if you knew me personally? * SDA congregations do differ. Most cannot nurture every person. It seems to me that you have mostly experienced congregations in which you are not likely to grow spiritually. I hope that you can find one in which you can grow. * Music: I suspect that you would be surprised at the multiple issues that people raise about music. In a seminary class IS too a million year ago I learned that many well known Christian hymns traced their tunes back to drinking songs sung in bars. Also, in the Seminary I learned of a well-known elected General Conference official who, when traveling to certain countries would be asked not to bring a specific musical instrument with him, as SDA members in that country did not allow that instrument to be played in a SDA church. I learned of musical instruments that were not considered appropriate in U.S. SDA congregations that were an important part of SDA worship in other countries. Keep in mind that we are an immigrant nation and the worship practices in other countries has entered services in the U.S. Hobie, I could go on and list more. But, I should stop at some place. The bottom line is that as far as the tune itself is concerned, the SDA Church has not been able to develop a standard that can be applied in all nations of the world. * The SDA denomination is divided today over whether membership should be restricted to people who have reached a specific level of adherence to doctrine and life practice; or whether it should be open to most people who commit to being on spiritual journey of learning and growing. I am reminded of my first Sabbath worshiping in another country. I had considered that country to be quite conservative in their approach to Adventism. In truth, I was correct. But, on that day, I was astounded by a baptism that I witnessed that day. It was clear that this adult couple had not journeyed far into the Adventist experience and culture. [NOTE: The Conference President was the pastor of that congregation.] But, there was a factor that I had not understood that Sabbath day. The congregation continued to nurture and grow that couple over the months that followed. They were not left on their own. Within the time that I worshiped in that congregation, the couple made many changes in their lies. Well, at some point I must stop in reflecting on your post. It troubles me and on that I will stop for now.
  35. 3 points
    Gregory Matthews

    Are 'Celebration SDA Churches', new path to God, or away from truth?

    Hobie, as I react to your recent posts: Thank you for your openness in your recent posts. That does you very well. My overall feeling is sadness for what you have experienced. I commend you for your attempt to remain true to what you believe to be the call of God for your life and your struggle to remain within the SDA community. I would hope that the SDA Church could continue to be a place where people like you could remain, feel welcomed and be spiritually nurtured. May the Lord continue to be with you and to guide you in your spiritual life. At this point, I will simply say that people with whom you disagree are as committed as are you to doing the will of God and the mission of Christ in this last day. That may be true regardless of how you understand that and notwithstanding that I do not believe that you are always correct in how you describe them. I will suggest two important issues for the times in which we live today: 1) The SDA Church today is not reaching many people groups to the extent that God would want us to reach them. People who recognize that are attempting to discover the methods that are effective in reaching them and are consistent with God's plan for reaching them (regardless of what you might think). God will give success to those that are godly. Others will fail. Let us give God time to demonstrate which ones are of God and which are not. 2) We live today in a time much different from that of the time of Ellen White. In her time, it could be assumed that people had a basic knowledge of Christian faith and doctrine. Many did not need to be converted to Christ, rather then only needed to be informed as to certain doctrinal issues. This is no longer the case today. One can no longer assume that people have a basic knowledge. There is a place for some to teach basics and for others to expand on that foundation and teach to more detailed and less basic issues. One should not criticize those who attempt to build a foundation that needs more work by others. Expansion: I will give you and example of what I am talking about. Let us look at what had been called The One Project (TOP). For a number of years it held meetings that ranged from one to three days. Those meeting focused on making Christ the center of our lives. Those meetings did not focus on what some critics considered to be the basis of Adventism and the 3-angels of Revelation 14. There was not time to do so in a short meeting of one to three days. Japhet, a founder of TOP certainly preached on distinctive SDA doctrines, with Christ as the center in his preaching in the Boulder SDA congregation. That is where it should have been done. Hobie: I encourage you to work, as you believe God has called you, to build the SDA Church and to strengthen and nurture the people with whom you work to build a relationship with Christ. I encourage you not to spend your time in criticizing others, to include those whom you do not fully understand. God will lead and sometimes I believe that we spend too much time in attempting to correct others. Let God be God and do what God will do. NOTE: People may be allowed to post under a penname. In a few cases such may be justified. Most of the time it is not. I wish you could post under you true name. Ultimately that is a decision that you will make.
  36. 2 points
    Gregory Matthews

    Trump & Christian TV

    It is long, but interesting once you are past an introductory part. See: https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/04/22/trump-christian-evangelical-conservatives-television-tbn-cbn-218008?cid=apn
  37. 2 points
    8thdaypriest

    Holy Spirit Withdrawn from earth

    See Great Controversy, Chapter 39 - The Time of Trouble. pg 614 "When He leaves the sanctuary, darkness covers the inhabitants of the earth. In that fearful time, the righteous must live in the sight of a holy God without an intercessor. The restraint which has been upon the wicked is removed, and Satan has entire control of the finally impenitent. God's long-suffering has ended. The world has rejected His mercy, despised His love, and trampled upon His law. The wicked have passed the boundary of their probation; the Spirit of God, persistently resisted, has been at last withdrawn. Unsheltered by divine grace. they have no protection from the wicked one. Satan will then plunge the inhabitants of the earth into one great, final trouble. " I do not believe the redeemed (I don't call them "the righteous") will be without a Mediator/intercessor at any time. The Son of God was appointed "a priest forever" - not just until probation closes. I do not believe the redeemed will be supernaturally instantaneously transformed into literally "perfect" people. That is what the 1000 years are for - a period of rehabilitation and education, before we receive a new earth. So we won't mess it up the next time. Who really knows their own heart? We are committing sins every day, that we are not even aware of. Instant "perfection" - bypassing our own awareness and conscious repentance is manipulation. It is "the wicked" who have persistently resisted the Spirit of God, and refused to confess/repent, who will be "without an intercessor" - not the redeemed. Mrs White seems to equate "without an intercessor" - and Spirit withdrawn - and "unsheltered by divine grace". The redeemed with NOT be without grace. The Spirit will NOT be withdrawn from them. So why would we think they will be "without an intercessor" ??
  38. 2 points
    rudywoofs (Pam)

    Equalizers

    I think everyone likes to be appreciated, and not taken for granted...
  39. 2 points
    Bravus

    Equalizers

    We all put on our pants one leg at a time.
  40. 2 points
    8thdaypriest

    Passover & Christianity

    Why should anyone criticize me or my family for commemorating (notice I did NOT say "keep") the Passover?
  41. 2 points
    The Wanderer

    Trump & Syria

    He has given America the evidence they need to put someone else in office
  42. 2 points
    The Wanderer

    very interested in feedback on our April cover story

    I dont find it shocking as in not believing it. I find it shocking that people continue to do this. Why is it so "wrong" to be shocked by this? When I said I find it shocking, I fully realized how common it is, but why would anyone not be shocked by such abuses? Is it supposed to become easier to see or hear about just because it is "common?" I really dont get your line of questioning.
  43. 2 points
    Gregory Matthews

    Why was Jesus baptized?

    Higher Criticism: Good or bad? As to the Bible, there are major SDA officials who reject it out of hand. As to EGW, the position of the White Estate, and also the denomination is that central elements of so-called Higher criticism are required in order to understand EGW. This situation is an inconsistency that is problematic. For an example of Higher Criticism applied to EGW, see the EGW Estate position on EGW's advice on the purchase of a bicycle.
  44. 2 points
    debbym

    Is There Room For The Cross?

    this is the blotting out of the record of sin that stands in heaven. this is the history of our sin. this history cannot be cleansed until it is history. if is it present and current and continual... if a new record is written every day then it cannot be done and over. the cleansing of the sanctuary started with a cleansing of the people. repentance... it began with a day of fasting and repentance, trembling and prayer and confession. There was great fear for the life of the priest. would God accept their confession, was every sin confessed and repented of. there was a keen sense of what sin was and was not. when the cloud came, the evidence that God accepted their confession and repentance and the priest came out alive the cloud represents a great outpouring of the holy spirit, the blotting out of sin, the times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord. there was a washing of the garments in the blood of Christ there was a great communion with God at the cross, the cross was the source of all repentance, forgiveness, and cleansing of the soul. the source of power and light to see sin and be delivered from it. the cross is central. the Book, is dealing with the record, marking the presence of sin forgiven, it is carried in Christ's blood in His ministered death and life.... this event is noted in the passage of time in eternity is a step in the plan of putting away sin in the universe for eternity. The forgiven sin to be cleansed was represented by sin transferred to the sanctuary by blood sprinkled on the curtain by the priest in the earthly sanctuary. Our sin is transferred upon Christ and he is innocent, it cannot rest there, and the record made and it is held symbolically in blood. i just don't think we have a clue of these divine things God has attempted to help us understand. but we can get enough understanding to cooperate and make choices that result in life and not death.
  45. 2 points
    The Wanderer

    Are 'Celebration SDA Churches', new path to God, or away from truth?

    Could be both. I don't think God likes it when we say we are something that we are not...so if we say we are something...we should b a good one "what think ye?"
  46. 2 points
    Kevin H

    Is There Room For The Cross?

    First of all, I do not see myself living in needing some sort of legal adjustment where I need to hide behind Christ's righteousness so that God sees Christ and not my sins other wise he legally has to destroy me. God loves us for who we are. We have in the Bible sins of David and others. They teach us. They are there to help us learn and grow. We are to look at the difference between Paul in Acts 18 and Acts 19. As we teach our families by our sins, and sins of others in history and scripture. But as we fact the end it does not matter and in that sense they are blotted out. But the thing that blots them out is what Jesus. His life and passion, death and resurrection are the only thing that saves us. It changes us. We can share growth to help others. It even helps the angels and beings on the other planets , even thought they have not sinned they are still saved by what Jesus did for us. Seeing what the cross does for us helps them understand their own salvation better.
  47. 2 points
    Gregory Matthews

    Why was Jesus baptized?

    I tend to think that as Christ lived the life that we must live, and as all of us typically need to be baptized, Christ, followed the example that applied to us. NOTE: My response does not exclude what others have said.
  48. 2 points
    rudywoofs (Pam)

    Are 'Celebration SDA Churches', new path to God, or away from truth?

    who was beating up Hobie? Nobody... that's who. There's nothing wrong with pointing out issues of documentation... smh
  49. 2 points
    The Wanderer

    Are 'Celebration SDA Churches', new path to God, or away from truth?

    Most people here on this forum dont do this. Just saying...
  50. 2 points
    Gregory Matthews

    How long is the Hour of His Judgment? Will it continue forever?

    HCH, what we are saying is this: Your approach to the Bible is eisegesis. You attempt to read into the Biblical text your pre-conceived notions that have often been shown to be wrong. You go well beyond what the Bible actually teaches. It is not that the Biblical teachings are not important. It is that your alleged elements of those teachings are not based upon what the Bible actually teaches.
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