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  1. Bugs/Larry Boshell
    08 January 2015 @ 4:01 pm

    I was accepted into the Walla Walla engineering program as a Campion Academy senior (late fifties) during which I was diverted by convincing, passionate, proclamations of the “soon” second advent, went to Adventist college and seminary and eventually determined there was no longer fuel for the fire and headed off to other, non SDA, directions. I have posited recently that “end time” and “soon” are euphuisms for “never” in regard to the advent and that a new greater “disappointment” is in progress (mostly for the old guard). Adventism had a creative narrative during its birth, childhood and even midlife. But the critical actors/parts failed. The prophecies, predictions, warnings and calculations of the “end times” never fulfilled their roles. And the evidence of the approaching cataclysm, “signs of the times” turned out to be the signs of all times, nothing definitive on the stage to interest the audience.

    To the horror of the old time investors in the play, a rewriting of the script is under way and the story line will change. The coming rumble in Texas and its preliminary bouts in and around the country are evidence. The church will certainly survive, but eventually, with a new script and it won’t look much like the old one. Fervor remains for revival of the good old story. But many of us, having acted our part in the original saw its death long ago and are not much disposed to pity its failed narrative that was partially responsible for our deflated ardor.

    Healthy passions can die slowly, but frenzy derailed by farce and misplaced expectations quickly fade and leave us, the departed ones (me at least), wondering what is so now attractive as to keep the present audience in attendance?

    • Dennis Fischer
      10 January 2015 @ 10:36 am

      Max Gordon Phillips became a former Seventh-day Adventist who effectively used his pen to expose the deception upon which Adventism was founded.

    • Jim Hamstra
      13 January 2015 @ 7:33 am

      “Healthy passions can die slowly, but frenzy derailed by farce and misplaced expectations quickly fade[s]”

      All too true.

      And when our hope that God will do what we wish for God to do, slowly or quickly fades away, then we are forced to decide whether we are serving God because of we hope that God will come through for us, or are we serving God because we believe that God will ultimately do what is best for all even if it is not what we wish.

      If there truly is a benevolent God then God must know what is best and God must be in charge of what happens, not us.

      We can be angry at God because of our failed expectations, and we can be angry at those who stoked those failed expectations to fever pitch, and we can be angry at ourselves. None of which changes the hard fact that God is God and we are not.

      • greg prout
        13 January 2015 @ 8:12 pm

        jim,
        no one is angry, just flummoxed. ‘quickly’ and ‘soon’ did not/have not happened. Jesus promised He would come quickly. He did not. why? yes, we can fall behind ‘God knows best,’ and I agree, but that does not stop further inquiry, especially if you believe the bible. God is a mystery and mystery by definition arouses curiosity and speculation.

        job asked hard questions, but it was the canned answers of his friends that drew God’s ire. no, no one is angry, frustrated perhaps, but definitely curious.

        and what does ‘delay’ say about a God of love when one considers every passing day more lives suffer and are slaughtered. delay means more death. how does a God of love put up with this? and we’re not talking days, we’re talking millennia. (there’s more here, but for another time).

        I am a believer, probably unlike you, but a believer nonetheless…a believer with a lot of questions. and I must be true to myself as I approach God.

  2. Jim Hamstra
    10 January 2015 @ 4:41 am

    To quote an artist I met last year:

    “Hope is the ability to hear the music in the future.
    Faith is the courage to dance in the present.”

    Here is portrayed the paradox of pain and joy in being a Christian.

    Though my ears are not as sharp as they once were, I can still hear the music in the future.

    Though my knees have grown wobbly, at times I still summon the courage to dance to the music.

    Even so come, Lord Jesus. Thus spake the final survivor of the original Disciples, at the conclusion of his last reported dance..

    To be an Adventist is to participate in the pain and the joy of that aging Disciple whom Jesus kept on loving, and who kept on loving Jesus.

    • Bugs/Larry Boshell
      10 January 2015 @ 6:16 am

      Now I know, you are a flower child. Perhaps a spiritual type of cousin of Max, traveling an alternate route.

      • Jim Hamstra
        10 January 2015 @ 8:00 am

        Max and I were Michigan PKs. Maybe it’s contagious?

        FYI – I have at times been called an aging hippie. I never did drugs though. When I worked in Ann Arbor in my early 20s I was practically the only person I knew who was “straight” when that meant not doing drugs rather than referring to my sexual preferences (which were and are also “straight”). I was the reverse of Bill Clinton. He put reefers to his lips but never inhaled. I never put one to my lips but I probably inhaled some of the smoke from my friends.