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Gregory Matthews

SDA Fundamentalism

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Gregory Matthews

 

I have started a separate thread  on how the word "fundamentalism" is defined.  

In the following, I will cite various comments that come from articles in the book listed below.

* * * * * 

Peterson, Paul & McIver, Rob, Editors.  Biblical Studies on the Trinity, Avondale Academic Press, 2014. 249 pages.  

 

Richard Rice writing in an article titled "The Trinitarian Basis of Christian Community," says:

  

 

Quote

Few developments in Christian history has had greater theological significance than the development of the doctrine of the

  Trinity, for nothing is more fundamental to any version of Christian faith than its understanding of God.  A trinitarian understanding of God has important implications for the entire range of Christian beliefs,. . .. (page 101)

Behind the question, Is Jesus Christ divine?, lay a more basic question:  Is salvation God's own work, or did God send a subordinate to carry it out?  (page 105)

As Martin Luther asserted, "It is the proper work of the Holy Spirit, to make the church."  (page 102)

According to Acts 10:38 God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power.  teh Spirit descended on Jesus at his baptism and remained for his entire earthly life.  (page 103)

The church is a fellowship created by the Holy Spirit, a community which extends the mission of Christ in this world, drawing its members into a circle of love that is both  characteristic of and  constitutive of God's own life.  (page 111)

 

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Gregory Matthews

Frank M. Hasel, writing in an article titled The Holy spirit: His Divinity and Personality,"  says: 

NOTE: For reasons, in part given below, when speaking about God, I prefer to use the term: "personal being." rather than the word "person."

   

A difficulty to understand the Trinity has to do with the term 'person.'

  Our word person is derived from the Latin word 'persona.' which was used by theologians of the Western Church (Latin writers as, for example, Tertullian).  Initially it denonted the mask of an actor; later it developed the meaning of an individual  character in a play and in roman law it referred to an objectively existing individual tha possessed its own substance or property.  Well, we need to use the word 'person' very carefully.  WE should certainly not use it with its original Latin meaning.  the three persons of the Godhead are not like an actor who appears in three different roles or costumes in a play.  We should also not use the word as in our vernacular. . ..  God does not consist of three individuals, next to one another and separate from each other,. . .. (page 140)

Each one of the three, divine persons possesses the same essence or substance.  It is not a tri-theismus, [sic.]  not a belief in three gods.  every one of the  three persons in God possesses the same nature and therefor also the same attributes of God.  The plural  of the person is not a plural of substance or nature.  We do not say that three substances are one substance, or that three persons are one person, but that three persons are one substance.  thus the basics of the Trinity are summarised in the following two sentences: "Every person of the Godhead is in himself God'; and 'Every person of the Godhead is united inseparably with the others.;'  (page 141)

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JoeMo
12 hours ago, Gregory Matthews said:

We, generally are not as  rigid in the application as were the Jews. 

I'll say! My next-door neighbor is a devout Jew.  Before Passover and  the Feast of Unleavened Bread, they completely emptied their cabinets, washed everything down, and "sold" us everything they had that could possibly contain any yeast products - including most grain products like plain flour and whiskey.  After the Feast Days, we "sold" it back to them.  This is just one example of how carefully they keep the Feasts.

Admittedly, much of their "keeping" of the Sabbath and feasts is in compliance with rabbinical tradition as well as the Torah.  I'm currently reading a book called "King of the Jews" by D. Thomas Lancaster of Hebrew Roots.  He pretty much portrays Jesus as a non-hypocritical Pharisee; but one who strictly kept the Law according to the Torah without necessarily complying with rabbinical tradition.

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Kevin H
1 hour ago, GHansen said:

Kevin, "Putting down Mrs. White" is a fool's errand and one I need to repent of. While true that I have a lot of issues with her entire theological scheme and certain details it may be because I have misunderstood her, i.e., I have done exactly what I accuse others of doing--reading her writings through the filter of my own prejudices. MR # 747 in MR vol 9 contains an article in which EGW mentions the law and gospel. It's likely that EGW was using the term "law" not to refer to the Decalogue but to the OT, just as Paul did in Romans 3. Whether the Decalogue or the OT in general, sinful man is condemned by the testimony of both. Of course, if I only understand the law to refer to the Decalogue and interpret EGW in that false light, she can hardly be blamed.

Appreciate your comment. 

I worded it wrong and I apologize for my wording which came out in an unkind way. You have some tremendous insights that I agree with and that we studied at Atlantic Union College. We also studied how those same issues apply to the Bible. 

These are true facts and neutral facts. Choice Theory points out that we filter information through things such as our background and knowledge and values  Among our teachers at AUC they were presented in a context of  excitement about seeing how God works with us.  When Walter Rea came to present his findings, unlike other Adventist communities which was devastated, his visit to AUC came and went without grief. We were excited that God so loved the world that he respected the knowledge that was already there, and how God works with people making him approachable and willing to work with someone like me. 

You bring up much of the same information, but unlike the joy and faith it inspired at AUC, you seem seem to present it as if you expect a prophet should be a bit more exciting and not as earthy and human.

 

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Gustave
5 hours ago, GHansen said:

The Pritikin organization has been a pioneer in lifestyle medicine and reversing illnesses directly related to poor diet and inactivity e.g. type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease. After years of experience in the field, the Pritikin diet allows some meat consumption and dairy simply because they believe, based on extensive experience and research, that there are no negative effects from light consumption of certain kinds of meat. Personally, I started transitioning into vegan/vegetarianism when I was 16 and have been vegan/vegetarian for more than 50 years. Meat eating repulses me but  vegetarianism is not mandated by the NT, which, I must admit, annoys me just a bit.

That's a valid reason. 

Do you think it would be a valid reason if you were a meat eater and invited a co-worker or friend over for a steak dinner and the next month your co-worker or friend invited you to a Lobster dinner and you say back to him / her - "I don't eat Lobsters because the Bible forbids Christians to eat Lobsters, in the Book of Leviticus, see right here. "

 

 

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Kevin H
5 hours ago, Gustave said:

Kevin H, 

Could you point me toward any statements by Ellen White where she affirmed she was in error when she repeatedly maintained Christ was subject to mutation and had He sinned God would have annihilated Him eternally? 

There is quite a bit of evidence in the record that "it was vital" for SDA's to believe that Christ was "subject to change" from Holy to sinner and this affirmation is ABSOLUTELY incompatible with the Doctrine of the Trinity.  

 


 

 

 

 

Actually this is NOT incompatible with the doctrine of the trinity but the trinity is essential for Mrs. White's understanding of this.

The illusion that this is incomparable with the trinity comes from more of an Augustinian,  Anselm of of Canterbury , and maybe Calvinistic understanding of God, and a  Where God can do what he wants, he made us  and died for us to adjust our legal status to satisfy God's justice and meet penal substitution. It is the theory of "You're a sinner and deserve to die, but God loved you so much that he came and died in your place and if you accept it then his death will be in your place." it is where the understanding of the judgement is something like you are facing this great God with your knees knocking and you are all nervous while your record is reviewed and you either hear "Yes, you can enter heaven" and you wipe the sweat off your brow and run in with joy before God changes his mind. Or else you are told "No, you can't come into heaven, and you are dragged off kicking and screaming and begging for mercy but it's too late for mercy as you are dragged off to hell.

This is not the setting for Mrs. White. I'm sure that you have read but maybe read these four chapters together: The origin of Evil, Why was Sin Permitted, Gethsemane, and her greatest writing "It is Finished." Also if you can get a copy of the original "Sanctuary and the Atonement" (the reprints are abridged and these three chapters were were among those dropped in the abridgment) but the three chapters "The Mighty Opposites: The Atonement in the writings of Ellen G. White" parts 1 and 2 and "We Must All Appear: The Investigative Judgment in the writings of Ellen G. White."

To Augustine and  Anselm of of Canterbury  and the reformers the death of sin was an imposed penalty. for some reason or another God decided that if someone sins that they need to be punished and that punishment is death. If Jesus decided not to come and die for us then humans would simply be destroyed. If Jesus came to die but changed his mind, he could simply return to heaven, have Enoch, Moses and Elijah face a divine firing squad and humanity would be destroyed and God and the angels would just merrily roll along.

I have to get ready for work so have to come back here, but the above is not Mrs. White's views. From her "Great Controversy" position life is based on our relationship with the life giver. The three aspects of the trinity, Lucifer creating three deceptions against God, each deception was against each member of the trinity and the three angels message is the three deceptions of Satan being answered.  Created beings, not just sinners, need to have the relationship with the life giver for life to continue. Death is the NATURAL result of breaking that life giving relationship, not an IMPOSED PENALTY.  God's law is self sacrificing love,, loving their neighbor as themselves. For the Godhead their neighbor was the other members of the Godhead. If we do away with the trinity we already start out with problems in how God claims that his law is his character.  When Jesus came to earth God had never been a creature before. Can God still keep his law of self sacrificing love as a creature? If Jesus failed it would have shown that God's law is faulty, that God actually has some selfishness in him, that he is not worthy of the relationship with his creatures and it would have destroyed the universe as known. 

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Gustave
2 minutes ago, Kevin H said:

Actually this is NOT incompatible with the doctrine of the trinity but the trinity is essential for Mrs. White's understanding of this.

The illusion that this is incomparable with the trinity comes from more of an Augustinian,  Anselm of of Canterbury , and maybe Calvinistic understanding of God, and a  Where God can do what he wants, he made us  and died for us to adjust our legal status to satisfy God's justice and meet penal substitution. It is the theory of "You're a sinner and deserve to die, but God loved you so much that he came and died in your place and if you accept it then his death will be in your place." it is where the understanding of the judgement is something like you are facing this great God with your knees knocking and you are all nervous while your record is reviewed and you either hear "Yes, you can enter heaven" and you wipe the sweat off your brow and run in with joy before God changes his mind. Or else you are told "No, you can't come into heaven, and you are dragged off kicking and screaming and begging for mercy but it's too late for mercy as you are dragged off to hell.

This is not the setting for Mrs. White. I'm sure that you have read but maybe read these four chapters together: The origin of Evil, Why was Sin Permitted, Gethsemane, and her greatest writing "It is Finished." Also if you can get a copy of the original "Sanctuary and the Atonement" (the reprints are abridged and these three chapters were were among those dropped in the abridgment) but the three chapters "The Mighty Opposites: The Atonement in the writings of Ellen G. White" parts 1 and 2 and "We Must All Appear: The Investigative Judgment in the writings of Ellen G. White."

To Augustine and  Anselm of of Canterbury  and the reformers the death of sin was an imposed penalty. for some reason or another God decided that if someone sins that they need to be punished and that punishment is death. If Jesus decided not to come and die for us then humans would simply be destroyed. If Jesus came to die but changed his mind, he could simply return to heaven, have Enoch, Moses and Elijah face a divine firing squad and humanity would be destroyed and God and the angels would just merrily roll along.

I have to get ready for work so have to come back here, but the above is not Mrs. White's views. From her "Great Controversy" position life is based on our relationship with the life giver. The three aspects of the trinity, Lucifer creating three deceptions against God, each deception was against each member of the trinity and the three angels message is the three deceptions of Satan being answered.  Created beings, not just sinners, need to have the relationship with the life giver for life to continue. Death is the NATURAL result of breaking that life giving relationship, not an IMPOSED PENALTY.  God's law is self sacrificing love,, loving their neighbor as themselves. For the Godhead their neighbor was the other members of the Godhead. If we do away with the trinity we already start out with problems in how God claims that his law is his character.  When Jesus came to earth God had never been a creature before. Can God still keep his law of self sacrificing love as a creature? If Jesus failed it would have shown that God's law is faulty, that God actually has some selfishness in him, that he is not worthy of the relationship with his creatures and it would have destroyed the universe as known. 

Unquestionably incompatible with the Doctrine of the Trinity. 

We invite all to compare the testimonies of the Holy Spirit through Mrs. W., with the word of God. And in this we do not invite you to compare them with your creed. That is quite another thing. The trinitarian may compare them with his creed, and because they do not agree with it, condemn them. The observer of Sunday, or the man who holds eternal torment an important truth, and the minister that sprinkles infants, may each condemn the testimonies’ of Mrs. W. because they do not agree with their peculiar views. And a hundred more, each holding different views, may come to the same conclusion. But their genuineness can never be tested in this way.” - Review & Herald, June 13, 1871

 

I know you are on your way to work and want to add more when you come back so I'll just give you a high level summary of the position I'm taking. And to be clear I'm the position Ellen's teachings are incompatible with the Doctrine of the Trinity. 

God doing what He wants & how He wants isn't a Calvinistic concept it's a Biblical one.

 

Isaiah 35,4
Say to the fainthearted: Take courage, and fear not: behold your God WILL bring the revenge of recompense: God himself WILL come and WILL save you.Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.Then shall the lame man leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall be free: for waters are broken out in the desert, and streams in the wilderness

That's extremely clear, Isaiah is issuing an unconditional prophecy that "God himself will come" and WILL save"

Isaiah is not unique in it's affirmation, there are nearly 100 such direct affirmations in Scripture.

 

Isa 46:9
Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

That Scripture is representative of scores of others which affirm God knows what's going to happen before it happens, i.e. "declaring the end from the beginning" & that all God's pleasure will be realized. Christ was the express purpose of God for us.

Ephesians 1,9
he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he PURPOSED in Christ

Ephesians 1,10
to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ. In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out EVERYTHING in conformity with the PURPOSE of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory

Religious Jews who accepted Christianity would have heard and understood the "trigger words" about Christ being "the purpose of the Father" & that according to Scripture NOTHING changes God's purpose.

Job 42,2
I know that you can do all things; NO purpose of yours can be thwarted

Psalm 33,11
But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through ALL generations


Again, these are representative of scores of other Scriptures that say the same thing using different words. Jesus Himself was explicit the Scriptures spoke of Him and that those same Scriptures HAD TO BE fulfilled. Jesus reminded His Apostles of this after everything had happened. 

Luke 24,44
And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that ALL THINGS MUST BE FULFILLED, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me

Scripture asserts that "God's Purpose" was to destroy the works of the Devil. 

1 John 3:8
For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil


All the above is systematized in the Creed repeated in Catholic & Eastern Orthodox Churches. I have collected multiple examples from the General Conference Archives that have the Authors of the articles calling out the Creeds repeated in Methodist, Lutheran, Catholic and Baptist Churches as apostate. 

Ellen White, from my understanding taught that the purpose of Christ was to "Vindicate God's Holy Law". NOT the injunction of eating from the Tree in the Garden of Eden but specifically the "10 Commandment Law" with extra attention paid to the Gregorian Saturday. 

Ellen White
Satan will continue to bring in his erroneous theories and to claim that his sentiments are true. Seducing spirits are at work. I am to meet the danger positively, denying the right of anyone to use my writings to serve the devil's purpose to allure and deceive the people of God. God has spared my life that I may present the testimonies given me, to vindicate that which God vindicates, and to denounce every sophistry [intended] to deceive if possible the very elect.--Ms 126, 1905, pp. 3, 7. ("A Warning Against Present Dangers," typed December 29, 1905.) {5MR 144.1}

Ellen White R&H August 13, 1895, paragraph 6
Representing the law of God in its true character arouses the enmity of Satan. Those who love God with all the heart, will love the law of his kingdom. They will not only profess to be guided by its principles, but they will actually live them out, even in a world that is no more favorable to the development of Christian principles than were the inhabitants of the world before the flood, of whom it is written that the thoughts and imaginations of their hearts were evil, and only evil continually. A similar condition of society exists in our world today, and if those who claim to be God's commandment-keeping people do not put in practice the principles of the law which Christ came to our world to vindicate, pronouncing it holy, just, and good, they misrepresent the character and mission of their professed Master

Ellen White, Review and Herald, Jan 14, 1909
We are to be partakers of knowledge. As I have seen pictures representing Satan coming to Christ in the wilderness of temptation in the form of a hideous monster, I have thought, How little the artists knew of the Bible! Before his fall, Satan was, next to Christ, the highest ANGEL in heaven

I suffered the expense of purchasing a very old "The Great Controversy By Ms. E.G. White". The cover on the book has a picture of what I suspect is a bearded Jesus with flapping angel wings holding a large chain. 

It should be understood that the quotes from Ellen above are not exhaustive, they are representative of other statements she made.

While I readily concede that Seventh-day Adventists today use an Orthodox Formula for Baptism and Concede that Shawn Boonstra produced a video about the Trinity that I could not find ANY fault with. This poses somewhat of a quandary that Pastor Matthew has helped me somewhat understand. The SDA Church is a "BIG TENT" that allows a wide spectrum of belief - this ultimately made sense to me as I once went to a local SDA Church that's very close to where I live after being invited to an "explore prophetic" series of meetings. After the message multiple SDA Members of that Church started to grind on the Pastor about the Trinity (they were being negative about it). 

Is it possible in your view that Ellen White wrote so much ant-Trinitarian material that she was between a rock and a hard place and so she then made a few statements that were JUST ENOUGH to have SDA's who wanted the Church to move toward that position to use those Ellen quotes as justification  or proof that she was migrating away from her prior belief? 

I can see how Ellen may have been told to try to please EACH SIDE of the argument which would make sense if you were trying to hold your church together and trying to please each side. 

Hope your day at work goes well. 

 

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JoeMo

Gustave,

You continue to impress me with your posts.  If memory serves me right, you are not an SDA, is that correct?  Yet you have a better grasp of our faith and history than most SDA's.  You are a blessing to this site.

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Gregory Matthews

I appreciate Gustave

  He is a Roman Catholic Apologisr who has specialized in Adnentism on a wider basis than the SDA Church.

He is welcome here.

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Gustave
6 minutes ago, Gregory Matthews said:

I appreciate Gustave

  He is a Roman Catholic Apologisr who has specialized in Adnentism on a wider basis than the SDA Church.

He is welcome here.

thanks Joe & Gregory, 

In the end if I can convince just a couple of viewers that the Catholic Church harbors no ill will to SDA's and in the future will never hunt them down because of their honest convictions about the Sabbath that would be enough for me. Truth be told I'm a 200lb self serving lust machine constantly fighting the urges to not do what I want to do. Keeping my mind engaged in higher things (like discussing theology on the internet) helps me by reducing "idle time". 

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phkrause
18 hours ago, Gustave said:

The food type restrictions were not enjoined on Israel for "health reasons", they were enacted to help separate Israel from the surrounding peoples. You CAN'T generally fellowship with people you can't eat with. It's the same way today. All that separation terminated at the Resurrection of Christ.

You have to be kidding me? First God gave those instructions to Noah, way before there was a nation of Israel!!!!! Secondly nowhere in the NT does Jesus say its now OK to eat unclean food.

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Gustave
9 minutes ago, phkrause said:

You have to be kidding me? First God gave those instructions to Noah, way before there was a nation of Israel!!!!! Secondly nowhere in the NT does Jesus say its now OK to eat unclean food.

When Jesus said "it is finished" on the cross do you understand He was referencing His current status, i.e. He was all washed up & finished?

I'm not being sarcastic here, I've heard many SDA's say that's what Jesus meant and they appeal to Jesus' prior words about 'why God had forsaken Him', attributing those words to their assertion that Jesus was depressed and heart broken that the Father "had turned His back to Him" because He [Jesus] was so heavily laden with the sins of humanity the Father, in disgust looked away.  

Are you coming from this perspective OR do you believe something else was going on when Jesus said it was finished? 

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JoeMo
5 hours ago, Gustave said:

When Jesus said "it is finished" on the cross do you understand He was referencing His current status, i.e. He was all washed up & finished?

No; I think He was stating that He had successfully completed His mission of Salvation and redemption.  He had completed the task of providing salvation, redemption, and eternal life for all who would believe in Him and follow Him.  He had completed the task of paying the penalty for the sins of all mankind for all time.  All we have to do is accept the gift He freely offers.  If we don't accept it, we are "finished" in the sense which you state in your post.

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GHansen
12 hours ago, Gustave said:

Do you think it would be a valid reason if you were a meat eater and invited a co-worker or friend over for a steak dinner and the next month your co-worker or friend invited you to a Lobster dinner and you say back to him / her - "I don't eat Lobsters because the Bible forbids Christians to eat Lobsters, in the Book of Leviticus, see right here. " 

 

 

Take a look at Genesis 9:2,3. "Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant." Compare with 1 Timothy 4:3-5 "Men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God created to be gratefully shared in by  those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer." 

Paul is referring to Genesis 9 when he says "everything created by God is good  [for food].

Considering that the original diet excluded meat and that the Jews ate manna prior to entering the Promised Land, there is nothing in Scripture forbidding vegetarian eating. The lust for flesh and the quails brought a plague upon Israel.  

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Kevin H

Gustave: I really appreciate much of what you say and you do stretch my thinking and I'm glad that you are here. I STRONGLY disagree with you when you say that Mrs. White's view, especially her view that Jesus could have sinned and that God took a very real risk is incompatible with the trinity. I'm sorry but for her to have this view is based on trinity. She may not have seen it as clear earlier in her ministry as later, but it is there. 

When we get information we filter it through our values filter and our knowledge filter. I understand that from your background that you are unable to see how this fits with the trinity. 

May I please encourage you to read together the chapters of Mrs. White: The origin of evil, Why was sin permitted, Gethsemane and her greatest writing the chapter "It is Finished".

May I also invite you to get the chapters from the original, unabridged printing of "Sanctuary and the Atonement" and read the chapters "The Mighty Opposites: The Atonement in the writings of Ellen G. White" parts 1 and 2 and "We must all appear: the investigative judgement in the writings of Ellen G. White."  These chapters include the growth into the trinity in the Seventh-day Adventist church and how central the trinity became in her writings. I'd like to see if I can get you a copy of a DVD on the Great Controversy from the South Lancaster MA village church. It also deals with the way Mrs. White's great controversy theme is centered on the trinity. This is by a Harvard University PhD. candidate who has studied this. 

And may I remind you that there are different views that fit under the general umbrella that is labeled "Trinitarian" For some non=Adventist sources for the view of trinity that Mrs. White's view developed into may I recommend some work by Methodist Archaeologist Dr. Jim Fleming; Acts: New Discoveries of the Early Church. http://www.biblicalresources.net/product.cfm?product=37  Biblical Imagery in the Prophets and Jesus http://www.biblicalresources.net/product.cfm?product=32 

And from a bit of a different perspective from the above resources I'd also like to recommend to you the two books by A. Graham Maxwell titled "Can God be Trusted" and "Servants or friends"

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Kevin H
8 hours ago, Gustave said:

When Jesus said "it is finished" on the cross do you understand He was referencing His current status, i.e. He was all washed up & finished?

I'm not being sarcastic here, I've heard many SDA's say that's what Jesus meant and they appeal to Jesus' prior words about 'why God had forsaken Him', attributing those words to their assertion that Jesus was depressed and heart broken that the Father "had turned His back to Him" because He [Jesus] was so heavily laden with the sins of humanity the Father, in disgust looked away.  

Are you coming from this perspective OR do you believe something else was going on when Jesus said it was finished? 

Something different which is explained in both the chapters that I recommended from Sanctuary and the Atonement as well as from the works of A. Graham Maxwell.

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Gustave
32 minutes ago, GHansen said:

Take a look at Genesis 9:2,3. "Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant." Compare with 1 Timothy 4:3-5 "Men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God created to be gratefully shared in by  those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer." 

Paul is referring to Genesis 9 when he says "everything created by God is good  [for food].

Considering that the original diet excluded meat and that the Jews ate manna prior to entering the Promised Land, there is nothing in Scripture forbidding vegetarian eating. The lust for flesh and the quails brought a plague upon Israel.  

The same medical science that says smoking and excessive consumption of alcohol is bad for you also maintains being vegan without certain supplements / fortified foods is bad for you. While I grant that Adam and Eve were created to live off a vegan diet. Something happened after the fall. It doesn't and hasn't worked like that since. 

 

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Gustave
22 minutes ago, Kevin H said:

Gustave: I really appreciate much of what you say and you do stretch my thinking and I'm glad that you are here. I STRONGLY disagree with you when you say that Mrs. White's view, especially her view that Jesus could have sinned and that God took a very real risk is incompatible with the trinity. I'm sorry but for her to have this view is based on trinity. She may not have seen it as clear earlier in her ministry as later, but it is there. 

When we get information we filter it through our values filter and our knowledge filter. I understand that from your background that you are unable to see how this fits with the trinity. 

May I please encourage you to read together the chapters of Mrs. White: The origin of evil, Why was sin permitted, Gethsemane and her greatest writing the chapter "It is Finished".

May I also invite you to get the chapters from the original, unabridged printing of "Sanctuary and the Atonement" and read the chapters "The Mighty Opposites: The Atonement in the writings of Ellen G. White" parts 1 and 2 and "We must all appear: the investigative judgement in the writings of Ellen G. White."  These chapters include the growth into the trinity in the Seventh-day Adventist church and how central the trinity became in her writings. I'd like to see if I can get you a copy of a DVD on the Great Controversy from the South Lancaster MA village church. It also deals with the way Mrs. White's great controversy theme is centered on the trinity. This is by a Harvard University PhD. candidate who has studied this. 

And may I remind you that there are different views that fit under the general umbrella that is labeled "Trinitarian" For some non=Adventist sources for the view of trinity that Mrs. White's view developed into may I recommend some work by Methodist Archaeologist Dr. Jim Fleming; Acts: New Discoveries of the Early Church. http://www.biblicalresources.net/product.cfm?product=37  Biblical Imagery in the Prophets and Jesus http://www.biblicalresources.net/product.cfm?product=32 

And from a bit of a different perspective from the above resources I'd also like to recommend to you the two books by A. Graham Maxwell titled "Can God be Trusted" and "Servants or friends"

Hypothetical Question for you Kevin:

Let's say God the Father was taking a tour of the universe and as He was passing by a star it went supernova and annihilated God The Father so He eternally became as if He never existed in the 1st place. 

Kevin, is or is not the above hypothetical question possible? 

If you could describe why it would or wouldn't be possible.

 

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GHansen
40 minutes ago, Gustave said:

The same medical science that says smoking and excessive consumption of alcohol is bad for you also maintains being vegan without certain supplements / fortified foods is bad for you. While I grant that Adam and Eve were created to live off a vegan diet. Something happened after the fall. It doesn't and hasn't worked like that since. 

50 years as a vegan/vegetarian convinced me that B12 should be supplemented in a vegan diet. Based on my own experience and that of a few other  acquaintances, a person can go about 5-6 years on a vegan diet without supplements before developing symptoms such as peripheral neuropathy and/or anemia. I include brewer's yeast in my diet. Not sure about the condition of my bones but nothing broken so far.

Medical science, when it comes to diet, is improving in the States and other Western countries but it is still pathetic i.e., misleading, deceptive, incompetent, ignorant . Pritikin formulated his program based on research in existing medical literature in the 60s/70s. The health program recorded in EGW's writings,  just like  her knowledge of the evil of tobacco was, is and will remain state of the art. Medical science is now "enlightening" us regarding  homosexuality, yet EGW correctly denounced secret vice as a soul destructive evil.

 

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Kevin H
1 hour ago, Gustave said:

Hypothetical Question for you Kevin:

Let's say God the Father was taking a tour of the universe and as He was passing by a star it went supernova and annihilated God The Father so He eternally became as if He never existed in the 1st place. 

Kevin, is or is not the above hypothetical question possible? 

If you could describe why it would or wouldn't be possible.

 

Very hypothetial as God is the creator and far superior to a supernova. It would be less intense to him than if you or I were to crack open a pistachio to us. He is the all powerful self existant one. He is infinite (outside of time and space) who reveals himself within the realm of the finite through the trinity. The trinity exist in a righteousness by faith relationship with each other based on the law of self sacrificing love. The only thing that can affect this is if God had some selfishness inside of him. Would that be exposed when he became a creature? If Jesus failed it would have destroyed the known universe and except for the idea of it being a tragedy we don't know how it would have affected God. 

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JoeMo
9 hours ago, Kevin H said:

I STRONGLY disagree with you when you say that Mrs. White's view, especially her view that Jesus could have sinned and that God took a very real risk

I believe that Jesus could have sinned.  I infer from the fact that He was tempted in every way that we are that He COULD have sinned.  He had a free will.  If He was incapable of sinning, He would also have to be incapable of being tempted and would not be able to exercise free will.  For example, I am not tempted to use heroin because the idea is absolutely abhorrent to me. OTOH, I am tempted to have a beer on occasion, because I have always liked beer.  We aren't tempted to do things we hate; we are only tempted to do things we enjoy.

Jesus had to overcome the same way will will have to overcome.  In the Kingdom, we will still have a free will; and for eternity we must always - 100% of the time - CHOOSE not to sin.  This boggles my mind.

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Gustave
6 hours ago, Kevin H said:

Very hypothetial as God is the creator and far superior to a supernova. It would be less intense to him than if you or I were to crack open a pistachio to us. He is the all powerful self existant one. He is infinite (outside of time and space) who reveals himself within the realm of the finite through the trinity. The trinity exist in a righteousness by faith relationship with each other based on the law of self sacrificing love. The only thing that can affect this is if God had some selfishness inside of him. Would that be exposed when he became a creature? If Jesus failed it would have destroyed the known universe and except for the idea of it being a tragedy we don't know how it would have affected God. 

There you go again, 

"IF Jesus failed it would have destroyed the known universe and except for the idea of it being a tragedy we don't know how it would have affected God".

"The Christ", who it was going to be, when it was all going to take place, HOW IT WAS GOING TO END, was known before the world was created.

1st Peter 1,19
But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb unspotted and undefiled, Foreknown indeed before the foundation of the world, but manifested in the last times for you, Who through him are faithful in God, who raised him up from the dead, and hath given him glory, that your faith and hope might be in God

Applying Arius' [ and it was Arius ] primary "talking point" about why Christ wasn't God in the sense the Father was God it can be observed how it alters the meaning of the following texts.


John 3,17
For God sent NOT his Son into the world, to judge the world, but that the world may [ OR MAY NOT ] be saved by him [ DEPENDING ON IF GOD'S SON CAN CUT THE MUSTARD ]  

 

John 6,50
This is the bread which cometh down from heaven; that if any man eat of it, he may not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give, is my flesh, for the life of the world [ IF I DON"T SIN AND LOOSE MY SALVATION! ]



John 11,25
Jesus said to her: I am [ OR POSSIBLY WILL BE ] the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, although he be dead, shall live: And every one that liveth, and believeth in me, shall not die for ever [ IF I DON'T SIN AND LOOSE MY OWN SALVATION ].

 

Matthew 7,22
Many will say to me in that day: Lord, Lord, have not we prophesied in thy name, and cast out devils in thy name, and done many miracles in thy name? And then will I profess unto them [ if I succeed ], I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity [ AS LONG AS I DON'T SIN AND LOOSE MY OWN SALVATION ].

Matthew 26,64
Jesus saith to him: Thou hast said it. Nevertheless I say to you, hereafter you shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of the power of God, and coming in the clouds of heaven PROVIDED I DON'T SIN AND LOOSE MY SALVATION.

Ephesians 1,9
he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he PURPOSED in Christ [so be thankful Christ didn't sin and loose his salvation ]

Ephesians 1,10
to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ. In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out EVERYTHING in conformity with the purpose of his will [ except the definite success of Christ who could have sinned and lost his salvation ], in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory

There is a minimum of 91 additional Scriptures we could do this with but I don't want to belabor the point to where it becomes offensive to SDA's. All I'm asking here is that you look at the hardware  and acknowledge that the above dovetails with  CLASSIC ARIANISM and was one of the primary arguments of Arius himself (he was capable of Vice, subject to mutation ).

In your answer to my hypothetical question about God the Father being annihilated by a supernova you said it was impossible and listed reasons WHY it was impossible ( which I FULLY agree with you on ). However, you don't extend that same reasoning to "GOD THE SON" which tells me that despite your (and other SDA's ) ability to say words like Trinity, Godhead the reality exists that God the Son doesn't have the same attributes that God the Father does which equates to God the Son being a "different god". 

Where and how Jesus was born, the specific landmark events of His life and how he would die and be raised again were all foretold by the Scriptures. Lucifer himself, with all of his power, tried to mutate Jesus, personally. Recall what Jesus said about that beforehand:

"And now I have told you before it comes to pass: that when it shall come to pass, you may believe.I will not now speak many things with you. For the prince of this world cometh, and in me he hath not any thing." John 14,30

This is why the Historic Creed says what it does below, because it is systematizing Sacred Scripture.

That Part of the Creed
And whosoever shall say that there was a time when the Son of God was not (ἤν ποτε ὅτε οὐκ ἦν), or that before he was begotten he was not, or that he was made of things that were not, or that he is of a different substance or essence [from the Father] or that he is a creature, OR subject to change OR conversionall that so say, the Catholic and Apostolic Church anathematizes them.



 

 

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Gustave
1 hour ago, JoeMo said:

I believe that Jesus could have sinned.  I infer from the fact that He was tempted in every way that we are that He COULD have sinned.  He had a free will.  If He was incapable of sinning, He would also have to be incapable of being tempted and would not be able to exercise free will.  For example, I am not tempted to use heroin because the idea is absolutely abhorrent to me. OTOH, I am tempted to have a beer on occasion, because I have always liked beer.  We aren't tempted to do things we hate; we are only tempted to do things we enjoy.

Jesus had to overcome the same way will will have to overcome.  In the Kingdom, we will still have a free will; and for eternity we must always - 100% of the time - CHOOSE not to sin.  This boggles my mind.

Consider the Roman Catholic position & weigh it against your current understanding. 

 

God Himself said "in the Prophets" that He would come and He would save us.

Isaiah 35,4
Say to the fainthearted: Take courage, and fear not: behold your God WILL bring the revenge of recompense: God himself WILL come and WILL save you.Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.Then shall the lame man leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall be free: for waters are broken out in the desert, and streams in the wilderness

Jesus said that the above Scripture was speaking Specifically of "HIM" which defaults into  Jesus being "God Himself"

"Now when John had heard in prison the works of Christ: sending two of his disciples he said to him: Art thou he that art to come, or look we for another? And Jesus making answer said to them: Go and relate to John what you have heard and seen. The blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead rise again, the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he that shall not be scandalized in me". Matthew 11, 2

The Apostles who saw 1st hand the Miracles of Jesus, His Execution and Resurrected affirmed Jesus was God.

John 20, 28: "Thomas answered, and said unto Him: MY LORD AND MY GOD."

1 Timothy 3, 16: Great Indeed is the mystery of our religion "GOD was manifest in THE FLESH"

 

If Jesus is God Himself what does Sacred Scripture specifically say about the possibility of God being guilty of sin?

Zeph 3,4
The just Lord is in the midst thereof; he will NOT do iniquity: every morning doth he bring his judgment to light, he faileth not; but the unjust knoweth no shame

2nd Chron 19,7
Wherefore now let the fear of the Lord be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is NO iniquity with the Lord our God

We know God doesn't "change" .

"Remember your prelates who have spoken the word of God to you; whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation, Jesus Christ, yesterday, and to day; and the same for ever. Be not led away with various and strange doctrines. For it is best that the heart be established with grace, not with meats; which have not profited those that walk in them."

These  above Scriptures are merely representative of other  additioal Scriptures that remove the possibility of God sinning from the realm of possibility.

Jesus was EXPLICIT with the chronological order of events that he had to go through - because the Scriptures "HAD TO BE" ( not should be ) fulfilled. 

Luke 24,22
Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre; And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive. And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not. Then he said unto them, O fools, AND slow of heart to believe ALL that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

Matthew 16,21

From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, AND suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, AND be killed, AND be raised again the third day.

Mark 8,31

And he began to teach them, that the Son of man MUST suffer many things, AND be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, AND scribes, AND be killed, AND after three days rise again

Mark 9,31
For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day

This is a high level overview of what I believe ( or better said understand to be ) are some elements of acceptable Catholic reasons why we don't believe that Jesus "could have sinned & lost His salvation". These are some of the reasons the Creed Documents of the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches say what they do. 

This is just to give you a better understanding of where I'm coming from as we dig deeper into this subject. 

 

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8thdaypriest
14 hours ago, Gustave said:

Hypothetical Question for you Kevin:

Let's say God the Father was taking a tour of the universe and as He was passing by a star it went supernova and annihilated God The Father so He eternally became as if He never existed in the 1st place. 

Kevin, is or is not the above hypothetical question possible? 

If you could describe why it would or wouldn't be possible.

 

This is on the order of other questions.  Like:  Can God create a rock that He can't lift? 

If God the Father is "above all and through all and in all"  then He is the omnipresent great holy Spirit.  So why would He be "passing by" a star?  He is everywhere.  He exists outside this dimension He created. 

One tiny sun going super nova would not cause much of a shock wave - in godly terms.  There are as many suns in our universe as there are grains of sand on all the beaches.  If I stepped on a tiny grain of sand, and it exploded.  It wouldn't do that much to my foot. 

If God the Father ceased to exist - everything else would die.  Because He is the source of life, (and continued life) for every living thing. 

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8thdaypriest
On 7/12/2019 at 2:59 PM, Gustave said:

When Jesus said "it is finished" on the cross do you understand He was referencing His current status, i.e. He was all washed up & finished?

I'm not being sarcastic here, I've heard many SDA's say that's what Jesus meant and they appeal to Jesus' prior words about 'why God had forsaken Him', attributing those words to their assertion that Jesus was depressed and heart broken that the Father "had turned His back to Him" because He [Jesus] was so heavily laden with the sins of humanity the Father, in disgust looked away.  

Are you coming from this perspective OR do you believe something else was going on when Jesus said it was finished? 

I agree with Joe, when he said that Jesus had completed His assigned mission.  God the Father "sent" Him to do something.  He did it.  It was as if Jesus said, "Mission complete" or "Job done". 

I do not share the almost universal belief that Jesus died as a substitute, a sort of "whipping boy", because God needed to punish someone for the violations of His law. 

I believe that Jesus came to recover dominion of the earth for mankind, and to cause Satan to reveal himself totally, as a murder and liar, who would even murder the completely innocent Son of God the Father, in his struggle to hang on to power, and to cause pain to God.

The only way to recover dominion of the earth for mankind, was to live as the perfect man (perfectly obedient to the will of God).  In doing so, Christ could claim all the promises made to Israel IF they would obey His law.  He could recover the dominion that Adam lost. 

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