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Gregory Matthews

On the Fringe of Adventism

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Gregory Matthews

How does one define "main-line Adventism?"    How far should we go in defining the so-called "big-tent" that has constituted Adventism in the past?

The author begins by listing a number of doctrinal issues (e.g. the trinity) that are often considered to be either on the fringe or actually outside of Adventism.  Some will quit reading the article with that listing.  Those who do so will miss out on a main focus of the article.  That focus, in the ending part, is to list how each of the listed doctrinal issues could be considered an acceptable part Adventism, on which we did not have to have total agreement, but could continue to engage in civil discussion.

See:

https://atoday.org/adventisms-weird-fringe-heterodox-or-heresy/

 

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Gregory Matthews

For those interested, the following are the subjects addressed by the author:

Semi-Arianism:

Lunar Sabbaths and Jewish Feast Days:

Universal Legal Justification

Last Generation Theology:

Theistic Evolution:

Rejection of Pre-Advent Investigative Judgment:

 

Again:   To get the full value of the article, do not stop reading with the above.  Go beyond that to the ending section where the author comments as to how people holding to the above believes could continue on in "big-tend Adventism."

 

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The Wanderer
2 hours ago, Gregory Matthews said:

Again:   To get the full value of the article, do not stop reading with the above.  Go beyond that to the ending section where the author comments as to how people holding to the above believes could continue on in "big-tend Adventism."

What do you mean by "continue on?"

I believe that this would lead to even more problems. I call whats written in this article, "chase the rabbit theology," because the author has simply projected a cluster of little "theology rabbits" for us to chase around and get all "worried" about. Or, we could call it "loophole theology."  Either one would fit the bill. The biggest reason I see myself as "right" on this point is because I have personally experienced getting along with people, both functionally, and practically, without *requiring* either of us to change what we believe. The author of this article, spoke like the lawyer that he is, but I question the soundness of this approach and its resultant "heterodoxy." Its like he is soliciting commitments of *heterodox* Adventists, that would just multiply current problems. That may not have been his intention, but thats how it reads to me.

I just dont get why we cant "continue on"  with people regardless of what they believe. Thats actually what our current beliefs, the  "official" ones, teach.

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Gregory Matthews

If I understand you correctly, the author is essentially proposing what you tell us you think that we should do.  Yes, he put some names to it that you have not done.  He is telling us to continue on with the "big tent."

What you seem to have missed in the  current state of affairs in which some are telling us that we should root out and even dismiss those who are not   in agreement with what some believe on points of doctrine.

 

 

 

 

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The Wanderer
2 hours ago, Gregory Matthews said:

What you seem to have missed in the  current state of affairs in which some are telling us that we should root out and even dismiss those who are not   in agreement with what some believe on points of doctrine.

Actually, you are correct. I did "miss" that but it was not by accident. I was posting in a hurry as I sometimes do, but I am also still thinking how to reply to that portion. I posted an initial impression of the article, and it was not intended to be in any way personal about the author of same. We could note here that when I said above that he wrote like the lawyer he is; it was actually, in my mind, a complement. His approach was detailed, and well designed and thought out. I liked the way he presented. He just sounded like a lawyer to me as I read the article. Not all bad!

I still feel that the article asks for the same kind of commitment that it is protesting. How to frame that in better detail will have to come later.  But I definitely would not agree with the "rooting them out" thing either.

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The Wanderer
5 hours ago, The Wanderer said:

I have personally experienced getting along with people, both functionally, and practically, without *requiring* either of us to change what we believe.

 

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B/W Photodude

This is an interesting collection of "fringe beliefs," but while to many some are out there, but at least one or two are very core Adventist beliefs. The investigative judgement is a belief almost as old as post disappointment Adventism and to deny it would be "fringe."

However, "Last Generation Theology" is a different case. Having just finished Andreasen's "Sanctuary Service" which included a chapter on the last generation and I am now in Herbert Douglas's book "Why Jesus Waits," I do not really find Last Generation theology "fringe" at all. But you might call it fringe in light of a saying by EGW, "It is a solemn statement that I make to the church, that not one in twenty whose names are registered upon the church books are prepared to close their earthly history, and would be as verily without God and without hope in the world as the common sinner." 1 in 20 might be considered "fringe."

While Andreasen may have coined the term "Last Generation Theology," the things that make it up are clearly in the Bible and all thru EGW's writings. Kinda reminds me of those lines from Shakespeare:

Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;

What's the meaning of the phrase 'A rose by any other name would smell as sweet'?
What matters is what something is, not what it is called.

So, a different name for some very old principles from Scripture and SOP still has the same meaning. 

What is really sad though, is even though it seems formidably difficult to do, The Holy Spirit thru Paul and even Jesus Himself encouraged everyone to "be perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect." Yet some will insist that you can sin right up to Jesus comes and still be saved. (Here I think Satan & Co borrow a line from Clear Light's song "Mr. Blue" where they say "Excuse us while we grin!")

 

 

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Gregory Matthews

I do not understand "fringe theology" to mean that the theology is wrong.  Rather I understand it to mean that a minority of SDAs take that position.  In any case, that is how I use it.

 

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The Wanderer
4 hours ago, Gregory Matthews said:

I do not understand "fringe theology" to mean that the theology is wrong.  Rather I understand it to mean that a minority of SDAs take that position.  In any case, that is how I use it.

In the interest of being charitable, and "erring on the side of mercy," I would definitely agree. The term does more harm than good, but I imagine that the intention was to dilineate between "accepted" or "fundamental" beliefs and non. Which could still be done without the disparaging terminology.

PS adding this PS so you can see what I have added. I do not agree that said theology is "right." Only that it can be talked about differently We should not have to agree with it to be able to do that

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B/W Photodude
6 minutes ago, The Wanderer said:

The term does more harm than good, but I imagine that the intention was to dilineate between "accepted" or "fundamental" beliefs and non. Which could still be done without the disparaging terminology.

  1. <from the dictionary(iPhone editing not the best!)
  2. something regarded as peripheral, marginal, secondary, or extreme in relation to something else: the lunatic fringe of strong political party.

The term fringe suggests something not core to the beliefs. It was probably not the best word to use for the article as all are coning to different conclusions as to what the writer meant.

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