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Kingdom of Adventistan

Oxford Handbook


Gregory Matthews
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  • 4 months later...

Glad this is being done. My only concern is will it really, honestly, present Seventh-day Adventism, or will it be what Southern College and the Adventist theological Society wish that Adventism would be. 

Once there was a New England settlement that decided to incorporate into a town. As they worked out the town's structure there was a disagreement over what kind of church they wanted. Some wanted a church where only official doctrine was taught and preachers very orthodox. There were others who wanted a church that allowed anyone who thought they had a message from God to share and where the members evaluate it's value to them. They believed that church should be a place for a free exchange of ideas and as long as they were not fanatic, people could believe what they wished. The two groups agreed that this town should not have one church but two. One church that would toe the line, and that became the Washington NH Congregational church.  The other church where there was a freedom of ideas and members took their own responsibility with how to respond to what was being taught grew into what we consider our first Seventh-day Adventist church. 

As the Millerite movement spread in different communities many who accepted Miller's teaching were kicked out of their churches. These formed themselves into churches of outcasts of many ideas, and they decided to form their own church were there were only a few "Landmarks" or "Pillars" and outside of these they became more like that church from Washington NH. (Now, there were some Seventh-day Baptist communities, such as Lincklaen Center NY, where these same issues became an issue and which might actually be the first Seventh-day Adventist church, but we don't have the exact information to see if the Lincklaen Center church or similar churches in other Sabbath communities to see if it was before or after the Washington NH church starting to keep the Sabbath. ) But the spirit of free inquiry and discussion that the Washington NH church decided on before they knew about Miller or the Sabbath, is what our pioneers formed. Thus there are many shades of Adventism. At our high points we have learned to share the spirit of the Washington NH church. At our low points such as 1888,  1922, 2015, books such as "With Cloak and Dagger" "Us vs. Them" lists that people like Elder Kirkpatrick and others in the popular last generation or Fulcrum7 etc. post. (These misrepresent Seventh-day Adventism by placing ALL of us into one of two groups. Either we are 100% with them otherwise we are 100% Fordites, and they use extreme language in both lists and you are either faithful their sub-group, or where you are 100% at another unfaithful extreme, and if you don't see yourself in either group you are being deceived by the other group.)  where one or another of us believes that our version of Adventism is the only true form and others need to be forced to comply. Sadly that spirit was the spirit of the Congregational church of Washington NH, not the spirit of the Washington NH church that we call the first Seventh-day Adventist church.

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  • 6 months later...
On 9/24/2020 at 12:41 PM, Kevin H said:

Glad this is being done. My only concern is will it really, honestly, present Seventh-day Adventism, or will it be what Southern College and the Adventist theological Society wish that Adventism would be. 

I had this concern too; but does anyone know how/when we could get a copy of said hand book?

Thanks for posting @Gregory :)

Uh Oh! THIS is my 666th post!

Edited by BlessedMan
added sentence at end
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  • 5 months later...
On 9/25/2020 at 2:41 AM, Kevin H said:

One church that would toe the line, and that became the Washington NH Congregational church.  The other church where there was a freedom of ideas and members took their own responsibility with how to respond to what was being taught grew into what we consider our first Seventh-day Adventist church. 

I attended  a  church in S. Cal. The pastor was what I would call an extreme legalist, really extreme; nevertheless, he allowed a free exchange of ideas among the congregation. Sabbath afternoon, we had meetings and allowed whoever had a burden to share to do just that. Then we would discuss what was presented. There was an "evangelical" group in the congregation who leaned more toward gospel preaching. We all got along fine because we were allowed to discuss openly our viewpoints.

I suggested doing the same thing in another church in N. Cal. There was a young fellow who often brought up controversial ideas during potlucks and whenever he happened to corner someone; consequently, it was suggested to the pastor that we should allow the young man to present to an interested group on Sabbath afternoon. "He will never be allowed to speak in my church" replied the pastor. I was rather shocked at his response for a couple of reasons. One was that it might be an opportunity to clearly understand what the young man was saying. If he was wrong, perhaps a group of friends might persuade him of his error. Secondly, the imperiousness of the Pastor came as a surprise to me. He didn't raise up that church nor donate the money to build it. He was one member of a pastoral staff, yet he felt obliged to control what when on because it was "his" church.

Of course someone could have invited those interested to a home meeting but what is the purpose of a rather extensive church structure, if not to hold church related meetings? Adventism might have been a place for the free exchange of ideas once upon a time. Nowadays, it varies from congregation to congregation

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