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  1. Steve Ferguson
    15 November 2015 @ 9:26 pm

    “Fortunately, the Adventist Today web site models the kind of free speech that a mature, post-Fundamentalist Adventist Church of the future will welcome and celebrate.”

    Really good article Dr Taylor. Agree with pretty much most of it. Especially this comment. I love AToday because it is one of the few truly independent “non-creedal” discussion (as the SDA Pioneers wanted it and AR was originally used as). Even Spectrum has been hampered insofar as now tbeir commenting policy makes true ongoing discussion very difficult (please AToday don’t follow suit).

    A few things that didn’t entirely resonate with me though. In particular:

    “I’m sure that our Methodist, Lutheran, Church of Christ, and Presbyterian friends would be interested to learn that they have abandoned the moral authority of the Bible.”

    The answer to that is easy. It is historical-critical approaches to the Bible, that deny supernatural miracles, notably the resurrection of Christ. The ‘new orthodoxy’ is to see the resurrection as a mere mental hallucination by the disciples (technically known as an altered state of consciousness or ASC), brought on by grief.

    In other words, these “mainline” theologians don’t really “believe” in the Bible other than a fictional story that gives moral – like fairy talkes. It is increasingly why their churches are empty. It is also a denial of their own creeds, such as the Nicene’s Creeds statement. Criticism of liberal Adventism, in following suit, are…

    • EM
      20 November 2015 @ 8:58 pm

      Steve,

      I have to object to your putting all these denominations in the same box as your concept of “mainline churches.” One can’t do this any more than label our own church followers which some call fundamentalists. I have worked for the Presbyterian Church, and they have their liberals and conservatives. It is the same for their theologians. Many, maybe a majority, have not bowed to the contemporary theology of Baal. Examples are N T Wright, Eugene Petersen, and others. Perhaps it is different in Australia and much of Europe but not all even there.

  2. Sam Geli
    15 November 2015 @ 10:41 pm

    To most people’s way of thinking, “moderation” has always meant balance, carefulness, calm deliberation, evenhandedness, dispassion, impartiality, judiciousness. It is traditionally a conscientious objector in the universe of bellicose language. Moderate weather is lovely weather. How are we best advised to eat and drink? In moderation. “Moderation,” in the world of words, is the common-sense good buddy, walking the straight and narrow.

    A moderate Adventist has come to mean that you have no fixed principles, that everything can be negotiated away because all that matters is ‘the deal.’ ‘Moderate’ It is a label that means whatever the person applying it wants it to mean.

    Rome’s Marcus Tullius Cicero and also of early America’s Thomas Paine, who said: “”Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice.” So called moderates like Brother Holmes have blocked the progress of the Adventist church repeatedly.

    When the dust of San Antonio GC 2015, has cleared, the so called “moderates” will claim their continued discrimination against women clergy in our church, as a victory for the sake of “unity”. Others will continue on, wounded, staggering, wondering just what in tarnation happened.
    They may even allow themselves to get angry. Moderately.

    • Edwin A. Schwisow
      16 November 2015 @ 12:32 am

      In the good old days, “liberal” meant that Dad was a bit free-wheeling in his sports car and Mom used makeup, occasionally trotted out a mini-dress, and covered her shades of grey with salon dye. Conservatives were Adventists who did none of the above and dressed and acted “sensibly.” Ultra-conservatives were set apart by already having moved to the deep woods, where they had to generate their own electricity and drive 20 miles to use the nearest phone. Ultra-liberals were clearly making a step-by-step exodus from the Adventist faith, possible accompanied by a dramatic divorce and remarriage sure to ripple down the entire length of the Adventist San Andreas Fault, from Seattle to San Diego. That was Liberalism and Conservatism 50 years ago.

      Not today, of course. Both Liberals and Conservatives dress pretty much the same and drive the same kinds of cars. Liberal and Conservative now largely hinges on attitudes relating to Ellen G. White, women’s ordination, and last-day events. On the extreme right and left are some other issues, but primarily the faults and divisions relate to Ellen White’s role in the church, the place of gifted women in ministry, and how literally to take the position that we are the only True Church left standing; all others are apostate and destined for the ashbins of hell.

      Liberals take these teachings as contingent; conservatives as absolute. It appears that there is ample real estate to coexist and concentrate on those elements on which we…

      • John Fariseigh
        18 November 2015 @ 10:59 am

        I am a church elder. Tonight at the church board meeting, I will report that I saw the deacon in the topless bar last week. He will certainly have some explaining to do.

        • Roger Metzger
          20 November 2015 @ 12:22 pm

          Was he there with his wife?

          Was it her idea?

          • Irene
            20 November 2015 @ 11:05 pm

            Mr church elder, what were you doing in the topless bar in which you saw a deacon?

  3. Charity
    16 November 2015 @ 4:21 am

    You wish to discuss theory; within such limited wisdom of concept?

    Did you wish to contend that political, theological or individual ideologies have anything to do with serving HIM? Did you wish to change HIS labels? We either serve HIM or not; the choice is simple.

    I am sorry, but did you really wish to use Methodist, Lutheran, Church of Christ, and Presbyterian as examples? There are many devout conservative Christians still there (and we would never determent their value), but the Mainline Protestant denominations are dying as their Evangelical splits which follow Sound Doctrine are growing by leaps and bounds. The difference here is that the conservatives are the majority; not influenced by the world.

    Thomas Pain did further his quote with “Reputation is what men and women think of us; character is what God and angels know of us.”. I think this summarizes the intent.

    Within such ingress of ideology and theology; maybe we could ask which parts of the BIBLE bother you or fail to fit within your concepts? Maybe you could answer why you are so high maintenance; as we are commanded (but really from Love) and required to worry about the Souls of others and you?

    Just some thoughts, trying to figure out what any of this has to do with HIM.

  4. Bill Sorensen
    16 November 2015 @ 8:51 am

    ” Regrettably, it seems that the majority of conservatives will have nothing to do with an exchange of views with the goal of seeking a middle ground.”

    The fact is, there is no “middle ground” that liberals want to define as an acceptable norm in the church. Bible Adventism is a very articulate and definitive understanding of bible truth and there is no “middle ground”. We may even consider the idea of some “middle ground” in application, but not in definition. The liberals want a middle ground in definition, and this is not possible. So it is a “false dilemma” to contend for some middle ground in defining the objective non-negotiable givens vs. the application of law and gospel in the Christian experience.

    The creation of the world by God in 6 days and a 7th day Sabbath as the creation week is non-negotiable. Along with male headship, a man and a woman is the only acceptable definition of marriage and other non-negotiable issues clearly defined and stated in scripture.

    So those who call themselves “conservative” do so for the most part on the basis of what I have stated. We allow for interpretation and application, but not the changing of the objective givens. This may seem like a fine line in some cases. But it is easily stated in principle. The liberals want to “change the law” not interpret it. We can still have problems in interpreting any objective given, but we should have no problem in stating with the objective given is.

    • Bill Garber
      16 November 2015 @ 9:50 am

      I find myself agreeing with your suggestion, Bill, that there is no middle ground.

      We are each where we are and we cannot be elsewhere.

      So, How we can come to embrace each other in the same way that our Creator embraces us each and all?

      We are all and each God’s creation living in the World God created.

      We clearly cannot understand creation because that would be to understand God. And metaphorically or literally either way, when Adam and Eve succumbed to the temptation to believe they could come to understand God, to know both good and evil and thus to become like God, things didn’t work out so well.

      We humans will never come to understand God’s love by knowing, we will only ever understand by faith. Unlike knowledge, spiritual practices, and prophecy–all ultimately human expressions and thus doomed to inadequacy, faith and hope and love are fully sufficient and forever enduring, as Paul proposes to the Corinthians. This sure seems self-evident.

      As soon as we convert the substance of the things for which we hope and the evidence of the things we cannot see into something we can hold and see, even if only a collection of words, we have violated the Second Commandment.

      Better that we simply worship together with all of God’s creation, our Creator, secure in God’s loving embrace by faith that we are God’s creation.

      Anything more is truly less, is it not?

      • Charity
        16 November 2015 @ 12:00 pm

        Did you wish to take ownership of the entire Second Commandment, or just the definition of the word Love?

        Paul was explicit in 2 Corinthians 6.
        14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
        15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
        16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
        17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
        18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

        And warned us in 2 Corinthians 11:
        2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
        3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
        4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

        Maybe we should start preaching the warnings (like 2 Timothy 3)?

    • Ervin Taylor
      16 November 2015 @ 11:49 am

      “This is no middle ground” Well, that view is confirmed. Thank you. Moving on.

    • Ervin Taylor
      16 November 2015 @ 12:16 pm

      I thank Mr. Sorensen for another type of Adventist: “Bible Adventist” Hmm. I also thank him for agreeing that, for his kind of Adventist, there is no “middle ground.” Well, that is clear enough. It’s his way or no way. At least he is honest about it.

      • Bill Sorensen
        16 November 2015 @ 1:56 pm

        ” Well, that is clear enough. It’s his way or no way. At least he is honest about it.”

        In fact, Dr. Taylor, it is “God’s way or no way.” And God’s way is defined in scripture. This is historic Protestant Christanity. Those who attack scripture always claim the bible is not clear, so man must decide for himself what it says and what it means. If he has a sense of spirituality, he will say “The Holy Spirit will interpret scripture” with the conclusion that since the bible is not clear, spiritual manifestations will affirm if the conclusion is correct or not. And this is Catholic spirituality as opposed to Protestantism.

        Sad to say, much, if not most of the SDA church of today opts for the Catholic spirituality to decide what is truth, and what is not.

        • EM
          20 November 2015 @ 9:21 pm

          Bill Sorenson:
          I don’t think one can interpret the Bible without an emphasis on Christ’s way and following Him with His love and compassion. He is throughout the OT from which He taught, and the gems are not always on the service. One’s character influences how the Bible is interpreted. I think it takes an absolute dependency on Christ to understand anything. In saying your way is God’s way,sounds humanistic.

  5. jimbob
    16 November 2015 @ 10:12 am

    How many flavors of SDA re there now?
    What % of 18 million are not embarrassed with EG White, the health message, the book Great Controversy, look at the Sabbath school lesson guide before the class, ever talk in Sabbath school, even go to Sabbath school, have read the whole bible once, think that, with God’s powerful grace, can stop sinning, know what the gospel really is, think the sabbath is still valid, think that God created in 6 days?

  6. earl calahan
    16 November 2015 @ 11:30 am

    i love you fundamentalists, and believe you will be in the eternal kingdom, along with those of us who cannot accept the Bible as a literal linear path to salvation. Linearity is not absolute, mathematically. There are infinite dimensions in God’s
    Holy Order, not 3 as most on Earth believe, Even Einstein’s mentors knew of a minimum of 4, the 4th being “space time”. All who accept by Faith, The Grace, offered by God, Jesus Christ, and believe His promises, and resist the evil of sin in the world, and help his neighbors in the love of the Christ, will have Eternal Life. The inspired love and Word of GOD shines bright in the Christians immortal soul, and God will not forsake them. The Genesis story, Jonah, in a whale for three days, and other spectacular stories are allegorical, i believe. The worldwide flood was possible before the mountains were reared up by “continental drift”, Earth’s plates moving, and volcanism. Noah’s boat being sustained by God. The virgin birth of Jesus of Nazareth, was performed by GOD, through His Almighty acts of “super natural” happenings, because He has the power to perform His “Desire of Ages”. The Christian must accept the “SUPERNATURAL” ALMIGHTY GOD, as a certain reality of fact, to begin to understand His Eternal wisdom.

  7. jimbob
    16 November 2015 @ 11:45 am

    From article “What seems to be particularly troubling to Pastor Holmes is that “Church members sometimes hesitate to invite non-Adventists to church-sponsored activities because they fear the witness of a divided church.”

    I don’t invite because the sermons are pathetic. My associates have already church shopped and filtered out incompetent preachers who play church and use very little bible in their sermons. The SDA church closest to me has a pastor who tells mostly stories. I dinged his sermons on YELP. My daughter works for a non SDA dentist who went and listened to all of his stories and wants me to tell him to stop them.

    • Bill Sorensen
      16 November 2015 @ 2:55 pm

      Well, jimbob, sad to say, you’re spirituality reflects the spirituality of modern Adventism and I could wonder why the liberal element in the SDA church does not rejoice because you are winning, if you haven’t already won. Both Atoday and Specturm reflect the mature SDA spirituality that many are fast developing right behind you. They just haven’t got to your level yet. But they are getting there. So you have every reason to rejoice and simply wait patiently as the whole church in general is rapidly coming over to your view.

      Women’s ordination is a classic example of the victory you should all “celebrate” as the bible is being abandon more and more and at a more rapid rate than you could imagine. The church is a perfect parallel to the evil agenda in America in general. Church and state will unite with no problem in the near future. The overall agenda is one and the same.

      The odds are tilted in your favor to the point, that any who think they can actually expose and oppose this reality are not just uphill, but apparently against a brick wall. None the less, we will just “keep on, keeping on” and remember our brother Paul who said he would “by all means, save some.” And just who this “some” is, we simply don’t know for even the apostle Paul was a dynamic enemy of God’s truth, but God knocked him off his horse, and he finally found his way. This is our goal. “Get off your high horse and repent.”

      • jimbob
        18 November 2015 @ 5:24 pm

        Bill,

        You took my post, did a knee jerk spin and turned me into a pro W.O., liberal SDA, Korah clone, anti SDA rebel.
        If you came to the SDA church that I attend and teach at…weekly quoting more bible and SOP than the pastors normally do, you would eat your words.
        I am more pro bible, EG White and SDA fundamental beliefs than most SDA.
        I dare/challenge you to do a survey at your local church to see what % have read their bible through once in their life. Ask to see how many even look at the quarterly lesson before the SS class. Do a Google and see that the Catholic church reads more scripture at their weekly mass than are usually read at an SDA church during the Sabbath worship service and prayer segment.

        If they SDA church is so on-the-ball, then why are the members constantly referred to as lukewarm Laodiceans and why the call by the GC for revival & reformation?
        They just need a little polishing up?

        U think I am part of the liberal , rebel alliance Spectrum crowd? I counter most of them every chance I get.

    • Errol
      27 November 2015 @ 7:55 pm

      Dear Brother Jimbob,
      I hear your genuine frustration with your pastors’ s preaching (story telling). I suggest that you make it a matter of payer as to how God may personally use you to help your pastor. While I don’t know your pastor, just maybe God will make him humble enough to receive your genuine help , and you may be pleasantly surprised as to workings of God.

  8. Susan M
    16 November 2015 @ 12:26 pm

    I suppose the author would identify hself as a smarter-than-average leftover hippie who has somehow never gotten his act together to leave the church but just grouses about at the edges.

    • Ervin Taylor
      16 November 2015 @ 3:11 pm

      A “leftover hippie”? Thank you. My wife will be amused. And, I’m going to tell my grandchildren that their grandfather is a “leftover hippie.” After I explain what that means, they also will be amused.

      • Errol
        27 November 2015 @ 8:13 pm

        Dr. Taylor,
        Thanks for a well written and insightful article. While I certainly didn’t agree with everything you said, I’m having great difficulty with some who condescend to name calling when they disagree with a particular point of view. I sometimes wonder how sad God must be to see us beat up on each other. After reading some of the comments I am trying hard not to imagine what happens in those homes when there are disagreements.

  9. Charity
    16 November 2015 @ 2:03 pm

    It is HIS way or no way. “BIBLE Adventist” that sounds like a pretty good term; the BIBLE is our only Creed.

    What does it look like to be able to take the BIBLE out of being an Adventist? What else do you want to take out that does not meet your individual ideologies? Did you want to create another CHRIST? Do you have something to offer us to follow you instead? Are you another begotten SON (2 Corinthians 11)? Where exactly is your eternal kingdom?

    Maybe we will just reverence the pain and agony of the Flesh Sacrifice in Blood of HIS SON and be thankful HE thought about us as miserable sinners. Maybe we should Love others enough (and you) to want to ensure understanding.

    Maybe we should preach the BIBLE; 2 Timothy 3:
    1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
    2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
    3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
    4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
    5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
    6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
    7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

    Does this not sound familiar. Are you unable to read? Is there another…

    • EM
      20 November 2015 @ 9:28 pm

      You would be much more readable if you weren’t so snarky.

  10. Elaine Nelson
    16 November 2015 @ 3:31 pm

    So many who are willing to describe what it means to be Adventist. Much more important, is what does it mean to be a Christian? Many are Adventists that do not appear to be Christians, but merely Adventists.

    It’s easier to have a check list of Adventist Beliefs to know what exactly being an Adventist should mean. But to be a Christian is much more difficult and there is no long list of beliefs required. The meaning of Christian and Christianity is only found in the NT. The OT described the requirements for being a good Jew. Adventists seem confused trying to combine both and miss it altogether.

    • Charity
      17 November 2015 @ 2:02 am

      Just as easy to have a checklist to be a Christian.

      Believe in GOD, the BIBLE, the Holy Spirit and the Sacrifice of HIS SON; all gifts that you had absolutely nothing to do with.

      Love GOD and your neighbor are the two primary commands of CHRIST; from which all the Law and Profits hang. Not one jot or tittle changed and you definitely hold no ability to change them.

      Do the Beliefs void any of these requirements? Please provide proof.

      Your problem is that you are never commanded to Love as CHRIST and think you know it all; yet fail at every turn. Why would HE provide you wisdom of Love if you are never commanded to Love? You husband could have taught you this; did you ask? Can you not read Titus 2 and figure out what you should have been taught and then for Heavens sake start teaching it? Do you not love (lower case) others enough to do that?

      Can you not heed (or read) the warnings in 2 Timothy 3:
      5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
      6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
      7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

      Multitudes have conviction out there and executing HIS PLAN. Why do you stay in your silly vacuum and serve the creature? Maybe you should give up yourself and start serving the Creator; now.

  11. earl calahan
    16 November 2015 @ 3:55 pm

    Verily, i say unto you, he that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
    For the Son of God is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
    For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.
    And if any man hear my words, and believe not, “I JUDGE HIM NOT: FOR I CAME NOT TO JUDGE THE WORLD, BUT TO SAVE THE WORLD”.
    For whomsoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
    For when we were yet without strength , in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
    But God commendeth His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
    BY GRACE ARE YE SAVED, THROUGH FAITH. (“Note, not saved by the Ten Commandments, but by the GRACE of GOD”). No one comes to the Father except through the Son of God, the LIGHT of the world.
    Those who dwell in the Old Testament know not the Lord Jesus Christ, nor the Holy Spirit which dwells within you, and guides you to Truth and Wisdom, and into the eternal life. All will be saved except those who refuse the GRACE that God offers freely.

    • Charity
      17 November 2015 @ 2:38 am

      Joel 2:32 “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.”

      Romans 10:
      13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
      14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
      15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
      16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
      17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

      Matthew 7:
      21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
      22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

      I do not see the gospel of earl anywhere. Do you need a BIBLE or for us to teach you how to read? Is it selective memory and amnesia? Not one jot or tittle of the Law changed. You do not save anyone; HE does that (you can’t tie your shoe). How can you be commanded to Love as CHRIST and not understand Love?

  12. Elias
    16 November 2015 @ 5:30 pm

    Thanks for a good read. as i have grown up to understand, Adventist is synonymous with being a christian, sure there are complications in our history, in what is required set of dogmas beliefs, we have been bewilded by Ellen whites books statements what is inspired what is inspired, what is her outlook, etc, there is then 27 FBs 28 if it keeps growing it may be like the catechism or doctrine and covenants that keep growing.

    there are similar questions what is an adventist, will the true/genuine stand up, is it the most inline with the denomination, the most inline with Ellen white, Joseph Bates, Graham Maxwell, Herb Larsen M L Andresen, Advindicate or Des Ford?

  13. Charity
    17 November 2015 @ 1:37 am

    John 3 16:
    16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
    17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
    18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
    19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
    20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

    Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:”

    You need to learn how to read; then hit your knee to the ground in praise of HIM. Again, I would never consider the pain and agony of the Flesh and the Blood Sacrifice as “free”. You definitely had nothing to do with it, nor can you give it to someone else; but you can lead others astray. You open your mouth and force others to commanded rebuke. You dig your own hole; successfully burying yourself and accomplish nothing for HIM.

    We are commanded to take up our cross and follow HIM. Leave yourself and the world at the doorstep; the world cannot come along with you on this ride. As stated, you did nothing to Save yourself; how can you justify leading others down…

  14. Sam Geli
    17 November 2015 @ 11:50 am

    A Seventh-day Adventist should strive to be an authentic Christian person.
    According to the biblical definition, an authentic Christian is one who loves God. True love is the expression of God’s nature, because God himself is love. God revealed this love in history by so loving the world that he sent his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, into the world “that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” That speaks about the person of Christ, about the work of Christ, and about us who merited the very wrath of God, and yet to whom God showed mercy. God, who is love, showed his love to us through the person and work of his Son, Jesus Christ.
    But Jesus, after he died and rose again, ascended into heaven and is now seated as King of kings at the right hand of God the Father. He is not here; he has risen! But if Jesus Christ is in heaven, how can God’s love be revealed to the world? The answer is that he who is love, he who showed us his love in Jesus Christ, still demonstrates his love in and through the Christian and the Christian community. In other words, God expresses his love to the world through the life and actions of every authentic Christian.
    “They will know we are Christians, by our love.”

  15. Yudelis
    17 November 2015 @ 12:13 pm

    By the grace of God, we’re all going to be neighbors here on the new earth (if we allow God to live in us, we will!)

    There have been a few people who have disagreed with me, and I with them. I told one person, specifically (we don’t see eye to eye in anything!)that, when this earth is restored, I will wait and see which plot of land he/she will choose to settle in, and I will make it a point to purposefully seek out available land as close as possible to their property, so that I can build my manssion next to this person 🙂

    I say that to make this point:

    We will all strongly disagree, at times. Thankfully, salvation is by grace alone and it belongs to a merciful God. No matter how many labels we attach to one another, we will all be there together! (that’s my prayer, at least).

  16. Elaine Nelson
    17 November 2015 @ 1:49 pm

    “They will know we are Christians, by our love.”

    Sam, this is the only thing that matters. Sabbath, the IJ, the state of the dead and dietary rules and all the peripheral doctrines have almost replaced the most important, and only thing that really matters.

    Our neighbors and acquaintances care little or nothing about Adventist doctrines, but they will most certainly know whether we are loving and kind. Some demonstrate their true characters less with neighbors than with fellow members with their disagreements and arguments over doctrines. None of those will be of any importance in heaven; so why are they important now?

    • Charity
      18 November 2015 @ 2:41 am

      John 13:
      34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have
      loved you, that ye also love one another.
      35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

      Elaine, you are never commanded to Love as CHRIST and lack wisdom to understand what that means. You seem unable to see, read or listen; blinded, therefore you may never know. Many atheists have more worldly love for their neighbors than you and many other self proclaimed Christians; are they going to Heaven?

      Maybe you and Sam (or any others) could explain some of this. Are you not happy with HIM and HIS Blood Sacrifice? Are you not happy with the multitudes that are called to Love, provide and protect you; even from yourselves? The many that Sacrifice, even to death; just to allow you to post here? Did you help with any of that or are you just a couch potato wanting to listen to your own voice and cackles?

      Do you know how to Love your neighbors and acquaintances or family for that matter; saving them from the depths of the fire? Is this not the absolute purpose of true Love and HIS Sacrifice? Do you even see the multitudes of examples of true Love out there; or are you blinded by your own worldly lusts? Are you thankful and in praise of HIM and those HE has sent? Do you reverence HIM or is all your reverence held for yourself? Where is your testimony?

      Are you trying to save satan or just lead everyone down the rat hole with you?

    • EM
      20 November 2015 @ 10:13 pm

      I would say they are important to the kind of life we live here. Health issues because they keep us healthy to glorify God in our bodies. Other doctrines are only helpful as they point to Christ–the frame around His picture. If they are not presented this way, they are useless. The Sabbath points to the rest we have in Christ from any works for redemption. If we deny that, understanding what it means, we may be denying Christ because it is all about salvation through Christ alone, and we are refusing His rest.
      It’s all about the spiritual meaning and not the physical thing itself.
      Why can’t people understand this? It seems so simple.

  17. Nathan Schilt
    18 November 2015 @ 8:39 am

    Can anyone name an organization, state, or institution that became more unified or preserved common ground as it became larger and more culturally diverse? The only examples I can think of are businesses, with narrowly focused goals and objectives (making money with a good product at a competitive price in a “hostile” free market), and countries at war.

    Common ground between competing interests is generally only achieved when each interest feels it has more to lose by refusing to compromise than it does by giving up something in exchange for “peace” or settlement. Perhaps my 42 years as a litigator makes me too jaded. But it is my experience, in observing human nature at work when perceptions and goals differ, that fear is a much more powerful motivator, when it comes to finding “common ground,” than shared values or mission. And, absent a personal ongoing relationship, basically animated by love and trust, compromises resulting from fear of what might be lost if common ground is not achieved seldom result in unity or a shared sense of identity.

  18. Morris Foreman
    18 November 2015 @ 10:05 am

    Ervin, I was born and raised in the SDA Church (and my dad was a pastor) and I attended its schools through college. In the past couple of years, I have to come to understand that there is no “one true church.” Any church claiming to be the “one true church,” and focusing on a list of doctrines (more than a love relationship with Christ) and seeking to micromanage its members’ lives, is a cult.

    Now I understand that the SDA church, and others like it, are business enterprises similar to multi-level marketing companies, where the real goal is to increase membership in order to bring in more tithe money. In order to inspire other Christians to join this tithe-generating system, the SDA church tries to convince them that they will be lost if they don’t join this “one true church.” Then it tries to scare them from leaving, by fostering an “us vs. them” attitude where the world is divided into SDA and “non-SDA”–and everything “non-SDA” is bad. This is a cultic strategy.

    I am glad to be in a non-denominational fellowship now, where the focus is on falling in love with Jesus, loving God with all my heart, and loving my neighbor as myself. I have found the freedom of grace and Christ’s promise: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”

    • EM
      20 November 2015 @ 10:03 pm

      Morris,
      I have backed off this blog many times but keep coming back to find some pearls among the mud. We do have a few very balanced writers with reason and reality and don’t expect the church to meet their “high standards” and beliefs on all fronts.
      Your second paragraph is a case in point. I have worked for the institution and to claim money is at the root of all their ministries is ridiculous and bears false witness. Nor have I ever been taught that nonSDAs were lost. (My husband is one of them but a Christian who attends.) Fortunately you ended with a great third paragraph.

    • William Noel
      21 November 2015 @ 12:08 pm

      Morris,

      I praise God to be part of an Adventist congregation with that same focus on falling in love with Jesus and doing the work He gives us to do to share His love with others. It is a beautiful thing and I do not believe I would be an Adventist today- and I might not even be a believer in God- if it weren’t for that focus. Yes, we occasionally need a dose of the apocalyptic, but we don’t need to be bathing in it all the time. Yes, sometimes you hear someone attributing a thought to the writings of Ellen White, but you don’t hear it often because we’re focused on scripture and knowing Jesus.

  19. Ervin Taylor
    18 November 2015 @ 10:06 am

    Nate’s points are well stated and to the point. Some of us wish that we could clone Nate and others like him to make comments on the AT web site. That I or others agree with Nate is beside the point. In this case of my comment, there is agreement — fear is a much more powerful motivator and we see it in action on many fronts.

    • John Fariseigh
      18 November 2015 @ 11:00 am

      I am a church elder. Tonight at the church board meeting, I will report that I saw the deacon in the topless bar last night. I’m afraid he will have some real explaining to do.

      • jimbob
        18 November 2015 @ 5:28 pm

        Hey John,

        Did you speak to the deacon first?

        Uh John,

        We need to talk about you being there too.
        Or were you just delivering booze to the bar?

        • John Fariseigh
          18 November 2015 @ 7:40 pm

          Nah, I was just doing my duty of keeping tabs on the deacons and praying for the dancers. It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it!

          • Jack Hoehn
            21 November 2015 @ 8:37 am

            Hey guys stop ” pulling my legs” you are making me several inches taller !!!:-)

  20. Jerson Camoposano
    18 November 2015 @ 9:03 pm

    What is “moderate’,conservative and liberal SDA must be defined in he light of Scriptures and Spirit of Prophesy statements.Te problem of using those 3 terms is that te SDA Church has no concrete definitions of such terms.One may be conservative or liberal and moderate in one’s eye but it may not be in others eyes.SO I SUGGEST MUST ALWAYS STICK TO WHAT THE PRESENT 28 FUNDAMENTAL BELIEFS TO AVOID CONFUSION.

  21. Ervin Taylor
    18 November 2015 @ 11:26 pm

    The suggestion is that we “stick to what the present [SDA] 28 Fundamental beliefs to avoid confusion” when defining the terms conservative, moderate, and liberal SDA. I assume that this suggestion is that these terms be defined in terms of how many of the 28 Fundamental beliefs are accepted by an individual. That suggestion might have merit if we could agree on how many beliefs one has to accept of the current list of SDA Fundamental beliefs to be assigned to one of the three categories. For purposes of beginning the discussion, may I propose that one have to believe at least 26 of the 28 to be considered a conservative SDA, from 25 to 15 of the 28 to be considered a moderate SDA, and from 1 to 14 of the 28 to be considered a liberal SDA. I’m sure that others will suggest that these numbers will be have to be adjusted. Let’s see if we can come up with a consensus on what the most reasonable set of numbers might be.

    • jimbob
      19 November 2015 @ 10:15 am

      60,000 seconds of daily time during waking hours TIMES 7 days = 420,000
      An Adventist goes to church for 10,000 seconds a week (OR LESS) = 1/42 of their week>>>2.4%

      97.6% with the world and 2.4% with church…..uhhhh go figure for any conservative, moderate or liberal SDA.

    • Serge Agafonoff
      19 November 2015 @ 5:33 pm

      And just to avoid any further confusion, I suggest the category where the person who accepts less than three of the FBs, that person be called a Christian.

  22. Elaine Nelson
    19 November 2015 @ 12:26 pm

    “Going to church” is a very poor way to gauge whether one is a Christian. The simple definition was given in the NT: he who believes in the Christ is baptized. Sadly, as time passed, the church has added many more but always MAN made those additions.

    Many Adventists, during the recent Parisian attack have adamantly refused the idea of admitting any refugees, letting “others”–the European nations–offer sanctuary for them. This has been very similar to many self-designated Christian in the public sphere, seemingly dismissing the Christian’s duty to care for those in need He said should be cared for (Matt. 25).

    They fear that these refugees may be terrorists, but if investigation of suspected terrorists has long been done, there is no reason this cannot also be done if this nation is to live up to its welcoming of immigrants that made this nation great. Surely, 10,000 is far smaller than the European countries are absorbing and when dispersed throughout the states is is a minimal number averaging only 200 per state.
    /

    • Charity
      19 November 2015 @ 7:42 pm

      Why did you not complain before they were made refugees? Is the best attempt not made to feed and clothe them? Many have commanded obligations; but not you. We have many to take care of within command; maybe if you had not been so liberal we could have provided them a place to stay. Would that place have to be here? The situation is not simple; but the commanded requirements are met to the best of abilities. I do not see you helping in any of this.

      John 6:3 “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”

      The FATHER draws makes us Christians.

      Matthew 5:
      18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
      19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

      The ranging and categories are already set. We have nothing to do with them. We do not even fit into the picture; without HIM taking us into HIS Hand and carrying us. The perspectives are pretty simple.

    • Nathan Schilt
      19 November 2015 @ 8:40 pm

      It has been reported that 72% of Syrian refugees are military age able bodied male. Does that sound like a legitimate refugee population? They are overwhelmingly, if not exclusively, Muslims who have no desire to be Americanized, and will seek to establish Sharia law if they come to America. Are they fleeing religious or political persecution? Who knows? Why not establish military perimeters in Syria or other Muslim countries to protect individuals from brutal regimes?

      Europe is not successfully absorbing Muslim immigrants. Rather, intolerant, exclusivist Muslim populations are overrunning Europe and destroying European identities. Is that what Elaine wants for America? Why would we believe that any numerical limit offered by Obama is reliable? Polling shows that tens of millions of peace loving Muslims sympathize with and/or support violent extremism. Those who have immigrated to America, for the most part, are hostile to assimilation. They want to grow in ghettoes and enclaves where they can set up the same toxic political structures from which they fled.

      Do folks who lock the doors of their homes do so because they hate strangers or because they love the people in their homes? Sadly, the man child-in-chief who occupies the White House seems to care more about scolding those who do not share his love for the fertile soil of Islam, which is germinating murderous barbarians, than he does about protecting American culture and values that he seeks to radically…

      • Ervin Taylor
        19 November 2015 @ 9:12 pm

        I’m curious where my good friend Nate obtained the revelation that all of the Syrian refugees who may be resettled in the US “will seek to establish Sharia law if they come to America.” We also might wish to ask who is actually “germinating murderous barbarians.” Nate’s political agenda is showing when he calls one of the greatest presidents of the modern presidency who currently sits in the White House by a highly inappropriate name.

        • William Noel
          20 November 2015 @ 7:56 am

          Erv,

          A little history sheds some light here. In contrast with populations in the past that emigrated from East Asia and Europe to North America and assimilated into the general population, the Muslim populations coming from Eastern and Northern Africa have instead formed distinct communities in their new countries where they have vigorously attempted to reproduce the religious and civil structures of Islam. Radical Islamists are the most vocal in stating their intent is to take-over the world and impose Sharia Law everywhere and, while they may not be as vocal about using force to impose it, even “moderate” Muslim groups have the same objective. So the issue really is not where a refugee is from, but what their religion teaches and how that is being leveraged by their leaders to achieve certain objectives. Because of being predominantly Shiite Muslims, the Syrian refugees are the single group most likely to be radicals already, or recruited by radicals. Though I find it curious that it is primarily the Wahabi sect of Islam, primarily from Saudi Arabia, that is the driving force radicalizing the Shia because of their funding Madrassas (religious schools) in different parts of the world where students are taught that it is noble to wage Jihad, that Islam must take-over the world, etc.

      • Michael Wortman
        20 November 2015 @ 3:47 pm

        Mr. Schilt, “It has been reported…..” that part of your sentence about the sex and age demographics of the refugees makes your first sentence accurate, although I haven’t found reporting yet of the health of that demographic. If you go to factcheck.org where it discusses Dr. Carson’s recent assertion about the makeup of the refugee population you (and perhaps Dr. Carson) may be surprised to discover that the reports that you relied on are inaccurate. Would you please provide the reference for your claim that “They are overwhelmingly…Muslims who who have no interest in being Americanized and will seek to establish Sharia law?” I could find no reference to reports discussing studies of Syrian refugees seeking refuge in America,which reported attitudes about assimilation or wishes to establish Sharia law. Thank you.

        • Nathan Schilt
          20 November 2015 @ 5:33 pm

          Michael – Let me first ask you a question: Do you accept my implicit premise that assimilation and embrace of U.S. Constitution and laws as supreme should be a precondition to acceptance of refugees or immigrants? If not, there is no point in continuing this conversation, because no matter how verifiable my information is, it won’t change your mind.

          Multiple news sources and studies confirm that practicing Muslims tend, by choice, not to assimilate well into the customs and values of Western liberal democracies. Do you dispute that? All you have to do is look at how Muslim immigrant populations concentrate and behave in Europe, Scandinavia and England to know that this is generally true. What reports can you cite me that counter my “poorly informed” perceptions?

          • Michael Wortman
            21 November 2015 @ 10:59 am

            Yes. The premise is fair and ideal. Satisfactory assimilation of adult refugees without a facility for languages often takes a generation, with the next generation speaking both English and whatever their parents’ language was and subsequent generations often have no bi-lingual skills. So guessing from the tone of your post, I would be less critical of adult refugees with limited English language skills than you.(But maybe not.I don’t know you.) What I did notice from your response that you did not take responsibility for your misinformation about refugee demographics and your “many sources….” citing was not specific enough to convince me of the accuracy of your pronouncements about assimilation and religion.I share your worry about the problems of rapid integration that European countries have experienced, however, when you narrow down the causes to what you are asserting, and when you make vague statements about assimilation and apply the Sharia law charge to the whole (or at to least 70%) of the refugee population I remain unconvinced. Taking a look back in US history there were probably a good many “reasonable” arguments for closing our borders to the Irish, Italians, and Catholic (etc.)immigrants. History shows that there were problems, big problems, but in my view, the country also benefited in significant ways. I’m not even addressing the humanitarian issues. They need to be addressed on many fronts. We probably agree in many ways on that. Oops. Out of space.

      • Michael Wortman
        20 November 2015 @ 4:15 pm

        Mr.Schilt “It has been reported….” makes your statement about the demographics of Syrian refugees accurate. But if you had referred to checkfact.org you may not have passed on what you learned from those reports to the readers of Adventist Today. You (and perhaps Dr. Carson) have relied on inaccurate reports. Please supply the reference for your assertions that the Muslim refugees have no desire to be Americanized and that they intend to establish Sharia law. I could find no reference to formal or even less rigorous studies to determine the refugee’s attitudes about assimilation or about their intent to establish a Muslim form of government in the United States.Thank you.

      • Loren Seibold
        27 November 2015 @ 11:33 am

        Not sure you can defend using this kind of language. “Man child” reminds me of the “Hey, boy!” of the jim crow era.

  23. Elaine Nelson
    19 November 2015 @ 8:45 pm

    The two who passed by the victim of burglary and physical wounding, asked themselves the same question: “Why me, let others care for him. Who did Christ commend?

    What a handy excuse: “maybe if you had not been so liberal we could have provided them a place to stay.”

    So now we know why there are those who say “let them go elsewhere.” It’s all because of liberals who would help them to be admitted after vetting. If nothing else works, always blame the “liberals.”

    • Charity
      20 November 2015 @ 2:17 am

      And the one paid to have him looked after; he didn’t take him home. Again; you are never commanded to Love as CHRIST; do you expect him to provide you wisdom as such? If HE provided you wisdom would you use it?

      Many of those that have kept us safe for a long, long time are expressing “concerns”; even within the current administration. Congress, which holds the responsibility of our protection, has shown “concern”. The majority of the States have shown “concern”. Other Countries show “concern”.

      Representative King (NY) stated the risks back in September; including previous vetting issues resulting in attempted terrorism. HIS State holds greatest focus and risk of attack.

      Erv, might we ask where you get your information? I will note that you are commanded to Love as CHRIST. Do you always listen to one; and seemingly always other than THE ONE? How many spare rooms do you have in your house and how many can you afford to take (and continue to provide for)? You would also have to agree to be responsible over over them and their impact to the rest of us. That would take care of a lot of the liberal impact.

      How many can we sign you up for? Put you money where you mouth is and take the risks on your own.

    • Nathan Schilt
      20 November 2015 @ 7:49 am

      I think you meant “robbery,” Elaine – not “burglary.” Sorry, it’s just the former D.A. in me.

      I’m not sure the Good Samaritan is a felicitous analogy. In fact, I’m sure it isn’t. America is the most generous country in the world. Humanitarian assistance “is us.” We don’t even ask that criminals wounded and disarmed in the course of their criminal enterprise be vetted. The same cops that thugs try to kill take the wounded attacker to the hospital by ambulance to receive the best medical care in the world.

      If, instead of a badly injured victim of robbery, Jesus story had posited a healthy, uninjured military-aged Roman male who was demanding that the priest and Levite provide him with free food, iphones, and shelter in their villages for an indefinite time period, the story might not have had quite so much staying power.

      You concede the need for vetting, Elaine. So what are the criteria, and why should we trust this Administration to independently do the vetting? Are these immigrants Shia or Sunni? Exactly what is it that they are fleeing, or do they just want a better life than the hell-hole, that Obama has allowed Bashaar al Assad to make of Syria, affords? You know we have laws that govern the granting of political asylum. Why is finding Christians, who represent some 10% of the population of Syria, among the refugees like looking for a needle in a haystack?

      • Elaine Nelson
        20 November 2015 @ 1:16 pm

        The proposal is for five (5) SEPARATE government agencies to check all the credentials, backgrounds before entering. Also, it has never been suggested that we take them into our homes, but provide for them as we do the other immigrants: Education in learning the English language; how to navigate the American systems that they will be using; IOW, to assimilate as all other immigrants to this country have done since it was founded.

        If Christians are unready to do so, others who claim no particular belief system other than compassion and willing to aid the needy, will take over. The major agencies involved in non-profit aid for the needy or not necessarily aligned with Christianity; and in this case, it seems that is the case, also.

        When someone like Ben Carson compares the refugees to “rabid animals” he is feeding the frenzy just as is Donald Trump. Do you know any refugees who are members of ISIS plotting to come here? Or do you prefer to believe all the claims of big mouthpieces who are saying what many want to hear?

        • William Noel
          20 November 2015 @ 3:41 pm

          Elaine,

          Previous waves of immigrants have integrated into America because they were largely Judaeo-Christian. Muslims, on the other hand, do not integrate in the same way. Across Europe they have formed their own communities to the point of driving-out non-Muslims by force of violence and it is in those neighborhoods that sympathy for terrorist groups such as ISIS and Al Qaeda has recruited many to fight for Islamic causes in other countries and to commit acts of terrorism in Europe. The same is happening in America. The Muslim communities around Detroit, Minneapolis and other cities are where those already allowed into America have concentrated and where much of the terrorist sympathy is concentrated. Those are also the places where most of the Americans who have gone to fight with ISIS and other militant Islamic groups have come from.

          The reality is that ISIS is taking advantage of every opportunity to get terrorists into America to commit carnage like we saw in Paris. The problem is that our President and his followers are working under the illusion that such people won’t be coming with the refugees he wants to bring in. The French thought the same way and last Friday the world watched them pay a horrible price for that illusion. So what makes you think America can do better?

          It is obvious you are no fan of Trump or Carson, but they’re telling us the painful truth.

          • Jim Hamstra
            21 November 2015 @ 4:26 am

            “Previous waves of immigrants have integrated into America because they were largely Judaeo-Christian.”

            What about the Asian-Americans whose religious backgrounds include various stripes of Hinduism, Buddhism, and even the moderate Islam practiced in Malaysia and Indonesia, etc. I am wondering if you exclude them intentionally because you do not know these good folk, as they are more concentrated on the West Coast than in the Southeast where you live?

            “Muslim communities around Detroit, Minneapolis and other cities”

            Wowee! I must have struck the jackpot. My youth was spent in the suburbs of Detroit (12 years). We brought forth and raised our family in the suburbs of Minneapolis (23 years).

            It is ironic to note that in all of the political frenzy over Syrian refugees, in the wake of the Paris attacks, that so far every one of the attackers who has been positively identified was a citizen of France or Francophone Belgium. Maybe we should scrutinize French citizens seeking entry to America?

            Throughout history waves of refugees (and other immigrants) have included their share of spies and infiltrators. Maybe we should send all of them (and their offspring) back to where they came from? So in my case 3/4 of my family must return to the Netherlands and 1/5 to England and 1/20 to Northern France/Francophone Belgium. That last 1/20 were Huguenots who fled from France/Belgium to Netherlands to America. Nothing new about the refugee crisis.

  24. earl calahan
    19 November 2015 @ 9:18 pm

    The hundreds of thousands of Middle East and African young men surging amok and
    brutally assaulting the welcome committees in Germany should suggest to you that these young men rushing forward and fighting any one, woman, child, girls, oldsters, are not refugees, but Muslim criminal gangs and opportunists. The only way to stop them would be to shoot the ones at the front of the assault, but political correctness would “never” do that. The authorities indicate almost none have any identity papers. Forget vetting.

  25. Muchosa
    20 November 2015 @ 4:52 am

    Farewell Adventism. Your irrelevancy to our world diminishes daily. An embarrassment to say I have any connection with you.

    • muchosa
      20 November 2015 @ 4:56 am

      Sorry , missed some words.

      Your relevancy diminishes daily. Your irrelevancy multiplies daily

    • William Noel
      20 November 2015 @ 8:00 am

      Muchosa,

      I sympathize with you. I try to deal with that irrelevance by focusing the greater part of my energies on my direct relationship with God and in doing what He tells me to do to minister His love to others. That allows me to let a lot of the arguments about the things that do not matter to go on without me.

  26. Muchosa
    20 November 2015 @ 4:54 am

    correction:

    Farewell Adventism. Your relevancy to our world diminishes daily – your irrelevancy multiplies daily. These discussions only serve more to add to that. I’m tired of it all. An embarrassment to say I have any connection with you.

  27. Nathan Schilt
    20 November 2015 @ 6:57 am

    I dare say, Muchosa, that what you read here represents a fair cross-section of most any intellectually and demographically diverse faith group in America. That actually makes me proud to be an Adventist. Fortunately, no one commenter speaks for, or singularly represents, Adventism. It is, to be sure, a niche group of Adventist who are interested in discussing controversial ideas at the cross section of religion, culture and politics. I respect those, including my wife, who do not find such conversations to be their cup of tea. Those who enjoy these conversations tend to be capable of writing and posting a three-sentence comment without having to edit it twice. Those who simply speak up to whine that that a conversation embarrasses them should be embarrassed – but perhaps for different reasons than they perceive.

  28. Anita
    20 November 2015 @ 11:55 am

    The title should be What Kind of Christian are you. People should be followers of Christ. The SDA church must have Christ as its head. I believe that the deification of EG White is nothing more than idolatry. God does not take too kindly to idolatry. E.G. White’s name is mentioned more than the name of Christ…(I WAS a member)

  29. Elaine Nelson
    20 November 2015 @ 1:18 pm

    Web Editors:

    In the last two days I have posted several comments that disappeared into the internet. Is there some reason they are not printed?

    Elaine Nelson

    • JC
      20 November 2015 @ 5:31 pm

      You’re not alone, Elaine. I had the same problem last week on two posts and then I just gave up. This is the first post this week and we’ll see if it gets posted.

  30. Ervin Taylor
    20 November 2015 @ 2:17 pm

    Elaine: I will ask our editors about your comment. They are very open to a wide spectrum of viewpoints and I know of no time where a comment on the opinion section of the AT web site has been taken down because of an opinion being expressed. But, I will be happy to check.

    • Elaine Nelson
      20 November 2015 @ 9:32 pm

      Erv,

      Thanks for checking; as several others have also reported their comments were never posted. I wasn’t concerned that it was caused by what was written, but a computer glitch in the website.

  31. E Ekimi
    20 November 2015 @ 5:36 pm

    I had the same problem for the past two weeks. Twice I sent a post and it didn’t get written. I know something is wrong when my name and email doesn’t get populated in the “Leave a Reply” boxes or when after I send the post I don’t get brought back to the spot where I posted it.

  32. Clyde Bright
    20 November 2015 @ 7:40 pm

    1 Tim. 1:9 We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11 that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me. NIV

    Paul notes “rebels” as unsound doctrine,

  33. Clyde Bright
    20 November 2015 @ 7:43 pm

    1 Tim. 1:9 We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11 that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me. NIV

    Rebel……..contrary to sound doctrine.

    • Ervin Taylor
      20 November 2015 @ 10:03 pm

      I wonder if Mr. Bright would enlighten us as to the point he would like to make in posting 1 Tim 1:9? Perhaps it is about “those who kill their fathers or mothers”? Or might it be about those who are “slave traders” Or even “liars”?

  34. Nathan Schilt
    20 November 2015 @ 10:14 pm

    Thank you, Erv, for giving me an opportunity to explain why I used what you call the “highly inappropriate” term – “man-child” – to characterize President Obama. It was not used as a knee jerk epithet. Rather, it quite accurately encapsulates an adult who behaves and talks like a child when he is criticized or doesn’t get his way. Oversimplification of complex issues; distorting and caricaturizing the positions of opponents; denigrating, as stupid, mean-spirited, and/or morally deficient, those who question his policies; bullying snarkiness; an overweening desire to be perceived as hip and cool; peevishness and petulance when journalists occasionally do their job – speaking truth to power and asking tough questions. These behaviors are “highly inappropriate” for a person who occupies the highest political office in the land.

    There is another related characteristic as well: Lack of capacity to recognize hypocrisies and inconsistencies in himself. For example, why has Obama fought so hard to deport a handful of Christians who clearly meet the criteria for asylum seekers, at the same time he is seeking to admit tens of thousands of Muslims without any compelling evidence that they are fleeing religious or political persecution?

    Do you really wonder, Erv, about the source of Muslim barbarianism? Why don’t you believe their own words? They tell us incessantly that they are following the Prophet of Islam and the Holy Q’uran. Are you disinclined to believe them?

    • EM
      21 November 2015 @ 1:07 am

      Nathan,
      My opinion of our president is similar, even though as a person I like him. I don’t judge his motives. However, your description sounds so much like Donald Trump I had to laugh.

      • Nathan Schilt
        21 November 2015 @ 6:58 am

        Yes, EM, as I said above, in response to Jim Hamstra, it does fit Donald Trump very well.

    • Jim Hamstra
      21 November 2015 @ 4:40 am

      “it quite accurately encapsulates an adult who behaves and talks like a child when he is criticized or doesn’t get his way. Oversimplification of complex issues; distorting and caricaturizing the positions of opponents; denigrating, as stupid, mean-spirited, and/or morally deficient, those who question his policies; bullying snarkiness; an overweening desire to be perceived as hip and cool; peevishness and petulance when journalists occasionally do their job – speaking truth to power and asking tough questions.”

      “Lack of capacity to recognize hypocrisies and inconsistencies in himself.”

      Really? Presumably Donald Trump and Ben Carson are free of this syndrome?

      There seems to be no shortage of the “man-child” syndrome manifest everywhere, including this web site 8-). Might we all still have a bit or even a lot of the “over-grown child” left in us?

      Be careful how you judge one another, for in the same manner that you judge, you yourself will be judged.

      How do you think you can remove the speck in your brother’s eye while there is a plank in your own eye?

      • Nathan Schilt
        21 November 2015 @ 6:54 am

        Actually, Jim, I think Donald Trump partakes of many man-child qualities. Carson has other problems. Trump rather reminds me of an American version of Vladimir Putin. At least Trump loves his country and recognizes the existential threats to the country. His solutions? Not so hot…

        • Loren Seibold
          27 November 2015 @ 11:36 am

          So you would go so far as to say that Obama hates the country he is president of—unlike Trump who unselfishly loves it?

  35. EM
    21 November 2015 @ 1:02 am

    Elaine,
    I would like to respond to your comment comparing the taking in of refugees to the Good Samaritan story. There is a big difference here. The Good Samaritan only put himself at risk by helping a stranger. Accepting potentially dangerous refugees into the country puts all at risk, not just ourselves. We want the good of all. The obvious answer would be to work for a safe zone in the Middle East for them in their climate and culture. Our nation should have taken a lead in this, but did not. The west has failed miserably in this whole dilemma.

  36. Jim Hamstra
    21 November 2015 @ 5:13 am

    Ironically portrayed in the comments on this very page, the answers to the title question “What Kind of Seventh-day Adventist Are You?”

    As the topic morphs to a discussion of the current international “bad-guys” there is a rising crescendo of Islamophobia among the professed followers of Jesus Christ.

    I submit that the even more important question is “What Kind of Christian Are You?”

    Read the Sermon on the Mount one more time, beginning with the Beatitudes.

    From the very same keyboards emanate the rhetoric of Love in the Religious Realm and the rhetoric of Fear in the Political Realm.

    “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?”

    Apparently for some Adventists the answer is YES. Considering who were the original audience addressed by James, have we reverted to this practice of the Apostolic Church.

    • Jim Hamstra
      21 November 2015 @ 5:38 am

      “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear is by [suspicion/torment/punishment], but he who fears is not [grown up/complete/perfected] in love.” (a very literal translation of 1 John 4:18)

      To fear is Human. To love is Divine. We hold both fear and love in varying mixtures. I can learn a lot about you by how and what you love. I can learn even more about you by how and what you fear.

  37. Jim Hamstra
    21 November 2015 @ 5:27 am

    I agree with those commenters who suggest that for committed Christians there can be no “middle ground”. But that does not mean there can be no “common ground”.

    For committed Christians our “common ground” is the “high ground” at the foot of the Cross. Here is the place where humans of divergent ethnic, ideological, social and political views can converge. And when we turn our backs to the Cross, we rapidly diverge to our individual “lower ground”.

    In Christ there is no East nor West,
    In Him no North nor South,
    But one great fellowship of Love
    Throughout the whole wide world.

    • Nathan Schilt
      21 November 2015 @ 7:33 am

      Jim, I appreciate you moving us back to topic. I am probably largely responsible for the refugee tangent.

      Ideally we do find common ground in Christ that transcends political differences. But when a movement institutionalizes, it develops needs and priorities that easily eclipse the common ground of the movement. Seeking common ground for the sake of institutional unity is by its nature a fear-based enterprise. That doesn’t mean it’s bad to do that. We just need to recognize human nature.

      Fear, like shame, can be a healthy thing. Calling those who believe that politicized Islam poses a threat to Western civilization isn’t Islamophobic, any more than thinking that Donald Trump poses a threat to America can be called Trumpophobia. Prudential concern for the well-being of one’s country and family necessitates a healthy fear of legitimate threats.

      Can we praise the Lord in Church and then, as citizens of earthly kingdoms, advocate for policies that we believe best serve the interests of those kingdoms? Or should we just abandon police and military protection – not try to separate wheat from chaff – or even call it chaff?

      Jesus had no problem identifying and calling out threats to the Kingdom he sought to reveal. He frequently used fear to motivate and activate. He “cursed” the religious and political power brokers of His day. Does religio-political correctness precludes us from doing the same in the earthly kingdom?

    • jimbob
      23 November 2015 @ 7:06 am

      Jim

      “For committed Christians our “common ground” is the “high ground” at the foot of the Cross. Here is the place where humans of divergent ethnic, ideological, social and political views can converge. And when we turn our backs to the Cross, we rapidly diverge to our individual “lower ground”.

      In Christ there is no East nor West,
      In Him no North nor South,
      But one great fellowship of Love
      Throughout the whole wide world.”

      This is ambiguous and begs for elaboration/interpretation.

      Have you been to the foot of the cross lately? Means what??

      Tell someone on the street that and they will go…”HUH”?

      All of this cliché, ambiguous religio speak is so superficially sweet sounding to churchian people, yet is just so shallow and ends up as verbal vaporware.

      Cliches, religio speak, superficial religious expression perpetuate Laodicean mentality.

  38. Bugs/Larry Boshell
    21 November 2015 @ 7:50 am

    There is a willing blindness on the part of kind people who assert the Moslem immigration is akin to the historical ones that created America.

    They previous people came to be American. Do Moslems? Islam is not just a religion. It is a political system with theocracy presumptions at its core. Moslems cannot indefinitely be subject to American laws. Will they bake cakes for gay weddings? Will they pay huge fines, go to jail, when they refuse? At what point when they achieve political power because of their increased numbers will the enact Sharia law? Will work places be legally required to provide Moslem accommodations for kneeling toward Mecca 5 times per day? Already Moslem truck drivers refusing to haul liquor products have received protection of US law. Will feminine mutilation be punished?

    Will killing of culturally miscreant girls be allowed? Will Americans willingly subsidize the vast financial underwriting of welfare for direct support of multiple wives and kids allowed by Islam?

    The unwillingness to assimilate is the long term Trojan horse for our kids and grandkids. At the core of Islam is world conversion. There is an inevitable clash between Christians and Moslems on its way, just as it is there is, even more so, in Europe.

    It isn’t the presence of a proportionately few tens of thousands of peaceful immigrants, surely which most of them are. It’s what they bring with them, not terrorism, and what it portends long term for the USA.

    • Nathan Schilt
      21 November 2015 @ 9:45 am

      I mostly agree with you, Bugs. I think you meant that it is the WILLINGNESS – not the unwillingness – to”assimilate” Muslim culture that is a Trojan horse.

      You seem to accept the anodyne notion that most Muslims – and therefore those invading Europe as refugees – are “peace loving.” I’m not so sure. That mantra doesn’t seem to be born out in the reality of Muslim occupations – present and past.

      I am wary of the need to harp on the notion that tens of thousands of “peaceful” Muslim refugees are not, and will not be, part of the problem. What is the basis for such wishful thinking? Poll after poll taken in Arab Muslim countries shows that tens of millions of “peaceful” Muslims are to varying degrees supportive of terrorism and its objectives. And virtually all of them believe that Sharia law should reign supreme.

      How about weighing the number of articles by “peace-loving” Muslim clerics and academics which seek to justify and rationalize terrorism against those which condemn it. How many Muslim protests have you seen condemning any terrorist atrocity?

    • EM
      21 November 2015 @ 3:05 pm

      You are correctly addressing the proverbial “elephant in the room” that many ignore.

  39. Ervin Taylor
    21 November 2015 @ 9:54 am

    It seems that we did get off topic, but perhaps not. The theme was the different types of Adventist Christians. As we all know, in many respects, all religions and subsets of different religious traditions share a number of qualities.

    We got on the subject of contemporary Islam which like Christianity is divided into two major “denominations” and a large number of subsets within each major grouping and then a suite of sects of various flavors. Now we now talk about how much violence is associated with certain sects within contemporary Islam. Now I know my good friend Nate probably will want to object, but to put this current situation in Islam in perspective, we only have to go back to Middle Age to realize the violent nature of organized Christianity during the period of the Crusades as well as in the early Modern period with the so-called “Wars of Religion” which were, of course, mostly about political power but done in the name of religious orthodoxy.

    It’s very complex, but, in the main, what was the principal historical factor that “saved” Christianity from continuing on that track was the secularization of the West during the Enlightenment and the separation of the state from religion which actually only effectively accomplished on a large scale in the French and American revolutions.

    Regretfully, the Near Eastern brands of Islam have not gone made that transition as yet. They have not been able to figure out a way to separate the force of the state and…

  40. Nathan Schilt
    21 November 2015 @ 12:07 pm

    No Erv. I don’t object at all that you need to go back a thousand years to find a dubious Christian parallel to contemporary Islamic violence. The “parallel would have been even better if Christians had been blowing up mosques in Mecca or been insisting that ancient Arab civilizations welcome them with open arms, feed and shelter them. And it would be a real bonus if you could find some non-Christian enlightened political culture from that time period which rejected violence.

    I do think your suggestion, that the secular enlightenment freed Christianity from the religious chains of ignorance and barbarity, demonstrates breathtaking ignorance of history. Read “Atheist Delusions” by David Bently Hart for a bracing dose of factual history that counters the metanarrative born of the secular materialism and methodological atheism that sustains your belief system.

    • Ervin Taylor
      21 November 2015 @ 1:17 pm

      Nate conveniently ignored the proviso in my statement, “It’s very complex, but in the main,” Christianity was “saved” by the Enlightenment. Of course, there were other factors, but to ignore the Enlightenment contribution suggests that someone has an ideological agenda.

      • Roger Metzger
        21 November 2015 @ 2:58 pm

        Ervin,

        I take the position that Christianity (faith in the Messiah or “Christ”) has been around as long as there have been believers–roughly 6,000 years.

        Even if a person takes the position that Christianity is only 2,000 years old, however, Islam is MUCH younger. If the “violent phase” of “official” Christianity lasted, say, 1200 or 1300 years, is it possible that, without divine intervention, the “violent phase” of Islam will last “only” 1200 or 1300 years?

        My point is that, when we have opportunity to dialogue with Muslims, it might be best to be willing to admit that whatever other “advantages” we might think Christianity has over Islam, we shouldn’t wax too dogmatic about insisting that violence by Muslims is evidence of the superiority of Christianity.

        I realize that professed Christians who tried to promote Christianity by violence were Christians only in the sense of believing Jesus to be the true Messiah–not people I would vote to admit to voting status in our local Adventist congregation–but Muslims and many other people in our world would not readily recognize that distinction.

        • Nathan Schilt
          21 November 2015 @ 7:21 pm

          There never was a phase of Christianity that remotely resembles the barbarity of radical Islam. Again, read “Atheist Delusions” if you are interested in being exposed to information you are obviously unaware of. Most importantly, there was no more “advanced” religion or civilization to light the way to peaceful coexistence and democratic ways when Christians had not learned the value of separating church and state.

          But of course, Roger, how could anyone be so narrow-minded as to think some values might superior to others or that there might be a cause and effect relationship between beliefs and actions. You must be a highly educated person Roger, because only a highly educated person could think that widespread Muslim endorsement of violence in the name of Allah is no reason to believe that Christianity offers a vastly superior foundation for life.

          • Elaine Nelson
            21 November 2015 @ 9:40 pm

            No doubt there are writers that are recommended for historical views of the Islamic beliefs. But no one writer can tell such a complex story. Thousands of writers have written on this area and time of history and all do not tell the same story; which is why much more study of history is important to understand the very complex situation in the Middle East.

            There is no doubt that the U.S. involvement has not improved the situation but appears to have been a good recruitment for ISIS.

          • Roger Metzger
            22 November 2015 @ 4:34 am

            Nathan,

            If you didn’t understand the part about “Muslims and many other people in our world would not readily recogniz(ing) that distinction”, it is probably my fault for not explaining it very well.

            I’m willing to assume that you agree with me that violence in the name of Christianity or for the purpose of advancing the Christian faith is not committed by true Christians.

            On the other hand, how many Muslims make the appropriate distinction with regard to who are “true” Christians and who are merely “cultural” Christians–professing Christianity because they live in a supposedly Christian nation or because their friends and family profess to be Christians?

            In nations that are not predominately Christian, some Adventists have tried to “solve” this problem by referring to themselves as Adventists INSTEAD OF calling themselves Christians.

            There IS a sense, of course, in which Christianity is superior to Islam. My interactions with Muslims have been intentional in the sense of encouraging them to not only see my religion as sensible but to see me as one of those about which the prophet Mohammed spoke so highly–people of the Book.

            At the same time, in our interaction with Muslims as in our interaction with professed Christians, it is wise to not portray ourselves as thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought.

          • Nathan Schilt
            22 November 2015 @ 9:19 pm

            FWW, David Bentley Hart’s book – “Atheist Delusions” – is not, as Elaine infers below, a book about Islam and Christianity. In fact the book hardly touches on Islam. It is a rejoinder to the multitude of anti-Christian writers and historians who have created the metanarrative, often repeated by Erv Taylor, that Christianity was responsible for destroying the legacy of Greek civilization and ushering in the Dark Ages, an era that was ended only by the rise of secularism and the secular enlightenment. Hart’s targets are atheists like Dennet, Harris, Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens; and historians like Charles Freeman.

          • Stephen Foster
            24 November 2015 @ 8:59 am

            The Ku Klux Klan and iterations thereof purport to be Christians, and they are violent terrorists—and you don’t have to go back very far in time, and you certainly don’t have to go very far in distance from where I live, to find that example of nominal Christian terrorism. Some of those types got elected to public service here in the United States, and as segregationist sympathizers have run for President of the United States and have actually won electoral votes for that office—in the last century in fact.

            The point being that Erv is certainly on the right track in that the secularization of western society has saved the west from even more of the same.

          • William Noel
            24 November 2015 @ 10:01 am

            Stephen,

            “Christian terrorism?” Man, you are focused on the insignificant when the world is focused on far larger problems! For example, your mention of the KKK was the first I’ve seen anywhere about it in months. When was the last time someone from the KKK strapped-on a suicide vest and blew themselves up in a crowded market? When was the last time they shot-up a restaurant filled with people enjoying dinner out at the end of the work week, or a crowded concert theatre? When was the last time they beheaded crowds of Christians, nailed them onto crosses, or burned them alive? Apparently you can’t tell the difference between a minor social nuisance and a real problem.

          • Stephen Foster
            24 November 2015 @ 12:58 pm

            William, my comment was a response to Nathan’s incredulity that there have been Christian terrorists in recent history. It wasn’t a suggestion that the Klan is currently anywhere near as active as are radical Islamic jihadists. Specifically, Nathan had said (to Erv) that “you need to go back a thousand years to find a dubious Christian parallel to contemporary Islamic violence.”

            There are some of us who beg to differ.

  41. Elaine Nelson
    21 November 2015 @ 12:31 pm

    Until now when I find the majority of Adventists, both here and another similar site, are so fearful and so antagonistic to the refugees who will come here, I know that years ago I made the right decision to separate my name from this church.

    When trouble seems whirling all around, most Adventists seem to revert to NIMBY (not in my backyard) the OT theory to “utterly slaughter” all the enemies. The enemies being all classified as terrorists who are desperately FLEEING terrorism. Had they wanted to be associate with terrorists, they could have easily joined the many recruiters all around.

    When Christians talk of love and compassion and from Christ’s welcoming into the kingdom those who have cared for the needy and homeless, they have turned their back on the one major tenet of Christianity: “Love your neighbor as yourself. Your neighbor is someone in need.

    • EM
      21 November 2015 @ 3:21 pm

      The above is an extreme judgement of common sense. Actually I would not oppose a person-by-person gradual introduction of families, women, and children to sponsors in the nation. This is what we did with Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees. My church in Pennsylvania took in a family of seven. They were no Christian, but they became a part of our church. We were their family. This can be done on an individual basis. But that is not the plan as I understand it. The plan seems to be to set up little ghettos apart from the population.

      My opposition is not to the people but to the irresponsibility of governments. When those in the know, like the FBI can’t give any assurance of safety–one has to think seriously. There are alternatives that can provide help. I lose patience with those who make judgements on others like the above with such little information of how things work or without a plan. I am doubtful that any real Christian would refuse to take in a needy person with their local church or even in their home. Would you be open to care for such a family? Bring it home! You can also donate to ADRA.
      I am reminded of a renter we had who once said he wished the enemy would come over here. He was that kind of political liberal–let’s cause mayhem here to show how tolerant we are. He didn’t care about his own family or neighbors.

      • Elaine Nelson
        21 November 2015 @ 9:49 pm

        The FBI is only one of many departments that will check all the refugees; and even before they come to the U.S. they must pass inspection over there. T

        Two states now have the largest contingent of refugees from Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and those that were in the Vietnam area during the war there. Minnesota and California are the two states. Many have assimilated and completed studies here and entered into life just as natives.

        A close relative teaches at a Muslim charter school in Sacramento; the students all come from professional families who want their girls and boys to have a good education. My son also has many ethnic students in his college classes and the Muslims have gone “overboard” in being especially kind and courteous to try to impress others that all Muslims are not to be feared. The girls are very studious as well as the boys.

        It is similar to the prejudice seen in many states that had few African-Americans before Civil Rights Era. Prejudice is ALWAYS taught; children do not initially have any; they treat all the same unless they are taught otherwise.

        • William Noel
          24 November 2015 @ 10:07 am

          Elaine,

          You make a good point about not all Muslims being the same because there are distinctly different groups. The ones President Obama lived among in Indonesia in his youth were very secularized and non-militant in contrast with the Shia from whom ISIS recruits most of its followers, the Shia and other sects. The problem with the Syrian refugees is they are primarily from the sects most likely to be involved with terrorism. Plus, a significant portion of the “Syrian refugees” are actually from other countries so it may not be easy to tell what sect of Islam they are from or to identify other risk factors that could help estimate the chances of bringing trouble into America.

    • Nathan Schilt
      21 November 2015 @ 8:44 pm

      How ridiculous, Elaine, to think that the political views expressed here, which you disagree with, are representative of Adventists or Adventism! Let’s see… We shouldn’t judge Muslims by the barbarism of maybe a hundred thousand of them. But it is perfectly reasonable to judge Adventists and the Adventist Church on the basis of opinions expressed by maybe a few dozen of them. The Left, like Muslims, will not be content until their worldwide “caliphate” is established.

      How about this formulation of your statement: “When I find the majority of liberals here and on other sites are so fearful and antagonistic toward their Christian neighbors who have different values and beliefs, it makes me very glad that I am not a liberal.”

      Don’t you see what mindless drivel such statements look like? When you are losing an argument, why resort to arrogant pieties and angry demonization? I will say this for you, Elaine. Even at 91, your mind is razor sharp. You, as a reliable Leftist, have an unfailing instinct for shamelessly attacking and demonizing those you fear as fear-mongerers.

      • Elaine Nelson
        21 November 2015 @ 9:56 pm

        Nate, if you are an Adventist you represent yourself; all the others should also speak only for themselves. There is no argument to be lost unless you have not expressed yourself honestly. I don’t believe I called you an extreme “Right wing person.” Nor am I demonizing anyone even though you chose to use that term. I did say that many are expressing fear and even anger at the possibility of accepting refugees here.

        We both view the situation very differently, period.

        • Nathan Schilt
          22 November 2015 @ 12:32 am

          Well okay Elaine… If you don’t think that calling those who disagree with you on this issue fearful and antagonistic constitutes demonizing, so be it. Yoiur religion is highly politicized. By that I mean you tend to see issues in political and moralistic terms, and thus those who oppose your moral views and will are enemies, immoral or callous. It goes without saying, of course, that they are poorly informed. This is probably just a product of your vestigial Adventist genes.

          I see issues more prudentially. That is, I want to know what works, what doesn’t work, and why. I am risk averse when it comes to issues of security. That doesn’t make me a fearful person any more than your belief in CAGW qualifies you as a fearful person. If I judged as you judge, I would say that you want to bring terrorism to America, and that you value refugee lives over American lives, and that you believe in global warming because you want to destroy the economy. That would be a stupid thing for me to say. But those are the kinds of statements that Leftists make all the time about conservatives.

  42. Ervin Taylor
    21 November 2015 @ 9:06 pm

    Elaine: The AT web site administration has reviewed the few comments that were being held and determine that almost all of them were for violations of AT posting policies or duplicate posts. I’m sure none of these were yours. It is suggested that your problem and those of a few others might be that it sometimes takes from a few minutes to, in some rare cases, 30-40 minutes, for some comments to appear in their appropriate place. In some other cases, the problem might be with the caches on whatever browser you may be using. If your comments consistently have problems, you may need to empty your cache ahead of time or you may experiment with another browser. However, before you do that, please make sure that will not cause other problems for you on your computer. You might wish to check with your local computer guru to make sure you will not experience other problems if you empty your cache. I hope this is helpful.

  43. Elaine Nelson
    21 November 2015 @ 9:33 pm

    Thanks Ervin,

    That probably explains it that the program is often slow as it has been experienced by others.

  44. Charity
    22 November 2015 @ 3:06 am

    When we take our eyes off HIM, we sink; creating failure and fear. HE is all that matters, if we serve HIM. Following our heart is foolish and our ideologies mean nothing; otherwise we remove HIM.

    The individual callings are to help our neighbors; we feed, clothe and educate them as needed (we teach them to fish and hopefully be fishers of men). We are to individually love our enemies in testimony of Love to them.

    The calling of the Bodies are very different. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Righteousness and unrighteousness do not mix. If individual commands are applied to the Body, then should we not love the enemy; isil and satan?

    We do not have time for individual ideologies or “feelings”; this is as real as it gets. We do not have time for those outside of calling or armchair worriers. We need the experience and wisdom provided by HIM to those that do and have done. Not those that have sit back and done nothing but claim some privilege; while not helping to provide even that privilege.

    Just some questions in wisdom. Are you able to guarantee the safety of any of those you claim to Love, without HIM; well less those you want to bring over? Can you protect them from others here, others from them or even them from themselves? You are very liberal with others risks, efforts and funds.

    • Nathan Schilt
      22 November 2015 @ 9:04 pm

      Charity – you seem to conflate Heavenly Kingdom mindsets with earthly kingdom mindsets. The two are not the same, nor are they mutually exclusive.

      Jesus almost always acted personally and voluntarily. The beneficiaries of His loving actions were personally connected with Him in the act of love. He never invoked political power or acted in concert with those who sought to engage Him for political purposes. He did not engage in anonymous benevolence.

      In answer to the question posed in your last paragraph – “are you able to guarantee the safety of those you love” without Him” – well, I don’t know what you mean by “guarantee,” but I can do much to increase the odds for safety and longevity. Is it bad to be concerned with how best to maximize your loved ones’ opportunities for health and safety in this life, even though we know that those efforts may not be currency in the Kingdom?

      • Charity
        23 November 2015 @ 2:33 am

        Matthew 11:
        25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.
        26 Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.
        27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.

        John 5:
        19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.
        20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.

        CHRIST lived the perfect example in the will of the FATHER (Hebrews 5:7). We follow HIS example and understand that everything is of and comes from the FATHER. We are unable to tie our shoes without HIM. HE can show the path and provide wisdom, to those that follow; protecting the spiritual, physical and financial security of those we Love. We are commanded to provide and protect in such.

        Many are called for us; but we do not appreciate nor are thankful. Many sacrifice within HIS reverence; yet we fail to reverence HIM and the others called, as commanded. The actions of children; without wisdom.

        The Kingdom has no currency; you either Love with all or not.

  45. Ervin Taylor
    22 November 2015 @ 11:09 am

    The historic Christian Church honors the expressions of faith of its great Saints and Charity certainly speaks to these sentiments. For example, Charity in her comments echoes the words of the Spanish mystic St. Teresa of Avila. For example, “Silent prayer in my opinion is nothing else than an intimate sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with Him who we know loves us. The important thing is not to think much but to love much and so do that which best stirs you to love. Love is not great delight but desire to please God in everything.”

    That same historic Christian Church also honors the writings of the theologian and certainly non-mystic St. Thomas Aquinas, the interpreter of Aristotle in Christian terms.

    The historic Christian Church as an institution has done some really dumb things, but it certainly got it right that both St. Teresa and St. Thomas Aquinas were honored with sainthood.

    Might I suggest that our small, sometimes rather odd part of Protestant Christianity, Seventh-day Adventism, as an institution, would be well advised to follow the wisdom of the historic Christian church in this matter.

  46. Nathan Schilt
    22 November 2015 @ 8:43 pm

    Roger, I don’t really think in terms of who are “true” adherents of a belief system. I don’t know that Muslims have ever felt the need to make such a distinction when it comes to Christians. You say “violence in the name of Christianity, or to advance the Christian faith, is not being committed by true Christians.” Is it being done by ANY professed Christians? I am not aware of any period during the history of Christianity when Christian leaders or thinkers offered theological or Biblical rationales for terrorist tactics to spread the Gospel and pave the way for the Kingdom.

    I agree that we shouldn’t think ourselves better than others. But we sure as heck can and should believe that our faith is built on an infinitely better foundation than other faiths – especially Islam.

    • Roger Metzger
      23 November 2015 @ 3:26 am

      Nathan,

      What to me is “good news” about the nature of the kingdom and the nature of the king is decidedly not good news to many professed Christians. Adventists are not the only Christians who have anticipated an heavenly kingdom but many professed Christians expect and seem to prefer an earthly kingdom. Few Muslims understand that distinction.

      If a person has been taught that the second advent of Jesus is for the purpose of setting up an earthly kingdom, I don’t tell him he is not a Christian. At the same time, I think he will be more easily deceived if he clings to his hope of an earthly kingdom.

      My wife and I have a book about the protestant reformation by an adherent of the Roman Church and he includes many examples of the persecution of protestants by papists. The “theological rationale” seems to have been that
      if a few protestants were killed, it would result in the “salvation” of many others.

      I started to look up “persecution by professed Christians”. I got as far as “persecution by” and that pulled up “persecution of Baptists in the United States”. I have long been aware of persecution of Baptists in the North American colonies before 1776 and those persecutions were not perpetrated by papists but by people who were nominally protestant.

      The Bible IS a “better foundation” for faith than the Qu’ran. How do you explain that to a Muslim?

      • Nathan Schilt
        23 November 2015 @ 12:40 pm

        You want to refute a proposition I never asserted. I didn’t suggest that Christians have not or do not persecute others, including other Christians. I’m just not aware of Christian literature advocating or justifying terrorism in the name of God.

        • Michael Wortman
          24 November 2015 @ 1:33 pm

          “I’m just not aware of Christian literature advocating or justifying terrorism in the name of God”

          Hmmm… perhaps a Google search is what is needed here. No KKK literature? No anti-abortionist terror tomes? Well, maybe Christian terrorists are too illiterate to produce a body of literature.

      • jimbob
        24 November 2015 @ 8:32 am

        “Adventists are not the only Christians who have anticipated an heavenly kingdom but many professed Christians expect and seem to prefer an earthly kingdom.”

        I dare any SDA conference official to poll & see what % of a good sample size of SDA want Jesus to come back in 2015, by 2020 or even in their lifetime.

        This constant phrase/pep talk from pulpits…”Jesus is coming soon” is not met with enthusiasm or a positive reaction. Prove me wrong.

        Especially in the more affluent/worldly section of Earth.

  47. jimbob
    23 November 2015 @ 9:08 am

    Sabbath school is one of the better indicators of what kind of Adventist a person is.

    Do they show up?
    What kind of class do they show up for (if there are a few types)
    Do they verbally participate?
    Do they answer any questions from teachers?
    Do they even look at the SS lesson?
    Do they ever quote bible?
    If the teacher asks for bible readers, do they help out?
    Do they counter/contradict the teacher when they speak valid doctrine?
    Do they counter when the teacher voices heresy?
    Are they on their phone texting and just warming a pew?
    Are they playing games or doing online shopping on their tablets?

    • Nathan Schilt
      23 November 2015 @ 1:04 pm

      You want to refute a proposition I never asserted. I didn’t suggest that Christians have not or do not persecute others, including other Christians. I’m just not aware of Christian literature advocating or justifying terrorism in the name of God.

    • Nathan Schilt
      23 November 2015 @ 1:10 pm

      So there you go. Who knew? Pharisees make the best Adventists.

      • jimbob
        24 November 2015 @ 8:27 am

        I do a flip.
        Adventists make the best Pharisees.
        Got that idea from A Graham Maxwell

  48. my2cents
    25 November 2015 @ 9:11 am

    After reading his intemperate comments here, I don’t understand how Mr Schilt is part of AT’s leadership.

  49. Ervin Taylor
    25 November 2015 @ 10:37 am

    It appears that “my2cents” may not understand the nature of the leadership team at Adventist Today (AT).

    First of all, unlike some other Adventist Church entities, each individual involved in various AT leadership roles holds a wide range of sometimes contrasting opinions about all kinds of issues including both theology and church polity and is at perfect liberty in any venue of his or her choice to express these opinions. Uniformity is not a criteria or characteristic of any part of the AT.

    The only AT body that can make statements in the name of AT is the AT Board and those specifically delegated to make statements in the name of AT, such as the Executive Director. My good friend Nate who is the chairman of the AT board and I hold and express different opinions on a whole host of issues. At AT that is never an issue.

    I hope this helps “my2cents” understand how AT works.

    Now in the spirit of AT, Nate may disagree with some of my views on how AT operates and he is at liberty to express these views. In the spirit of Voltaire, I will defend his right and ability to express these differences. That is the AT way.

    • my2cents
      26 November 2015 @ 1:35 pm

      .
      Ervin Taylor, you haven’t understood my objection to Mr Schilt’s commenting. Of course he may hold whatever opinions he prefers, both as an individual and AT leader. I do expect, however, that of all people your leaders model in AT conversations how respectful expression is done here. Mr Schilt has done the opposite, using inflammatory language about his disagreement with others’ opinions. Language typical of low quality online political posturing, but which isn’t appropriate here. It cannot foster greater understanding among diverse Adventists.

      But, perhaps I am incorrectly assuming that the hope for improved understanding about Adventists and between Adventists is part of the AT vision.

  50. Roger Metzger
    26 November 2015 @ 5:06 am

    This thread started out as a discussion about “What Kind Of Adventist Are You?” Was another question implied? Are all Adventists the same?

    In the 1970s, I attended the services of sabbath-keeping group not affiliated with out denomination. One of the members use a turn on the phrase, “cookie cutter Christians”. He called them, “moldy Christians”–pressed into a mold.

    Are Adventists the cream? Is the rest of the milk not really milk because it is different from the cream?

    Do we want to apply a similar differentiation within our own denomination? If some Adventists are “better Adventists” because of some difference in belief or practice, does that mean that those who are different from the “better Adventists” are not really Adventists at all? Or “Adventists in name only”?

    How “good” (or orthodox) does a person need to be in order to qualify as a “real Adventist”?

    • William Noel
      26 November 2015 @ 6:57 am

      Answering that question only leads to more argument and division. Since God holds each of us accountable to Him for our relationship with Him, why aren’t we instead focusing on helping people draw closer to Him and growing in the empowerment the Holy Spirit offers us? Measuring who is or is not a “good Adventist” works directly against that.

      • Roger Metzger
        26 November 2015 @ 4:00 pm

        William,

        Some questions are intended as rhetorical.

        Are all Adventists the same? Some people disagree with me but my answer is NO.

        Are other Christians less Christian or not quite Christian because they are not Adventists? No.

        How “good” (or orthodox) does a person need to be in order to qualify as a “real Adventist”? Some people disagree with me but my answer is NOT. Christians who who are expecting an earthly kingdom are not adventists but that doesn’t mean they aren’t Christians. Many of them may be “better” Christians than I am.

        Sorry about the confusion.

  51. Roger Metzger
    26 November 2015 @ 5:25 am

    My parents had answers to the questions I posed in my last post. Instead of saying that people who weren’t Adventists weren’t Christians or saying that Adventists who were different than themselves weren’t “real Adventists”, they made sure that their pastor didn’t recommend full voting membership for people who weren’t ready for the responsibilities of voting membership and they didn’t elect to local church offices ditto.

    If the members of their congregation elected people my parents didn’t think were ready for those responsibilities, they didn’t take an adversarial approach–they worked with the new officers while hoping for and expecting another slate of officers after the next elections. (And yes, more often than not, both of my parents were elected to local church offices.)

    The “great controversy” theme need not be taken as advice to have adversarial relationships with other Christians–or even with other Adventists “different” from ourselves.

    Does that mean that we shouldn’t stand for principle?

    No. It doesn’t mean that at all. It does mean, however, that there are various ways to “stand for principle” without opening your Bible, pointing to a Bible text and saying, “You are wrong!”

    One of those other ways is to find out where a person is in his own personal spiritual journey and then encouraging him to take another step in that journey.

    • William Noel
      26 November 2015 @ 6:39 am

      Roger,

      The first problem with pointing to scripture and saying something is wrong is how so many in the church have turned that into a habit of condemning the sins they perceive in others instead of examining themselves first. Yet the far more severe problem is that it is focuses exclusively on the negative and stops there instead of pointing-out the greatness of God, the instruction He has given us for how He wants us to live, the power He offers us to we will be able to obey and the forgiveness He offers us when we fail. God wants us to enjoy victory over sin and to celebrate that victory so others will be inspired by our example and testimony to attain the same.

  52. Roger Metzger
    26 November 2015 @ 6:20 am

    jimbob,

    There is difference between expecting something and wanting it. I’d prefer that Jesus return this week but my my eschatology prevents me from expecting that. I’d prefer that there not be severe persecution of Christians before Jesus returns–and I work diligently to preclude or at least forestall such persecution–but I expect it.

    I have a Baptist friend who doesn’t expect an heavenly kingdom. At the same time, he is keenly aware that Christians are being persecuted now. He knows I think we are living in the “tribulation” period and that I don’t expect a “pretribulation rapture”. From time to time, I ask him questions about how certain Bible texts fit into his eschatology and he has discovered that he “doesn’t know” how to reconcile those texts with his theology but I’m careful to not discourage him. I don’t need to elicit from him an “agreement”. What he needs is to know anticipation of an heavenly kingdom provides a way of understanding those texts.

    If my friend would “accept” my theology, I’d be delighted BUT the more important goal is that he be able to make sense of events as they unfold–that he will be able to see that coercion with regard to religious beliefs, religious practices or religious prohibitions is antithetical to Jesus’ kingdom. That way, he won’t be on the wrong side in the great controversy.

    That is far more important to me than his denominational affiliation.

  53. Elaine Nelson
    26 November 2015 @ 11:28 am

    I like Gandhi’s reply when asked which religion was the best. He replied: “If you’re a Hindu be the best Hindu you can; If you are a Muslim, be the best Muslim there is; If you’re a Christian, be the best Christian you can be.”

    The majority of the world will not change their religious “family.” But by living the best example of their belief that is all God asks of them. When did He ever suggest they leave Judaism? He only held a higher standard than how they were judging but detailed legalism which kills consciences.

  54. Roger Metzger
    26 November 2015 @ 4:18 pm

    In the early ’70s, I was invited to teach an adult United Methodist Sunday school class. The Methodists knew I was an Adventist but one of the lay members had been teaching the class and needed a break. The Methodist pastor described that lay member as “the only biblically literate member of the congregation”.

    Do you think my goal was to get some or all of the members of that congregation to join our denomination?

    No. I chose the title for the series of lessons, “How To Share Your Faith”.

    Whose faith? Their faith.

    I consider Christianity to be personal–not institutional. Each of us needs to grow in the Christian faith and encourage others to do so as well. Can I, perhaps, help in that regard more than someone who is biblically illiterate?

    Perhaps. But it isn’t because I am better than Methodists. My only “advantage” is that I’ve been studying the Bible more or longer and thus have found a few more pieces of the “puzzle”. I can function as a coach but I’m not “the authority” and I don’t consider myself to have more or any other kind of spiritual authority than any other believer–in any denomination.

    My classes included every doctrine mentioned in the book, The Desire of Ages but I wasn’t trying to get the Methodists to agree with me–just encouraging them to think about things in ways they might not have considered before.

    Some of them did and thanked me for raising their awareness.

  55. Charity
    26 November 2015 @ 4:34 pm

    Upon this day of thanks, we reverence our Heavenly FATHER in all and for all. We are grateful for YOU thinking of us and the Blood Sacrifice to make us unworthy sinners a path.

    We remember the messages to the seven Churches and follow accordingly. In such; we pray for the Body of the Church, all denominations, congregations and individuals that create that representation of those called and chosen. We pray for those in the world that are called but lost; that they would easily see the way and learn to rely upon HIM. We pray that we can carry YOU message to them within conviction.

    We are thankful for the many Blessings and the Comfort of the Holy Spirit, for the many that Loved and Love us, for those that sacrificed for us to be here and those that will have to. We pray for those placed in authority over us and those elect of us; that they understand the responsibilities and are guided in strength, conviction and wisdom in that difficult task.

    We pray for sufficient strength and wisdom to make it through. We pray for the ability to perform the tasks needed within these granted Gifts. We pray that YOU will watch over and guide us through these difficult times.

    Amen

  56. Nathan Schilt
    26 November 2015 @ 4:46 pm

    “What Kind of Seventh-Day Adventist are You?”

    Today, that’s very easy to answer. I am a profoundly grateful SDA. Not just grateful in general, but grateful for my church; grateful for the self-sacrificing dedication of my mother’s industrial strength Adventism; and grateful, above all, for how incarnate God reveals Himself to me at every turn.

    The great Roman orator and statesman Cicero – said that gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.

    • Bill Sorensen
      30 November 2015 @ 11:01 am

      “The great Roman orator and statesman Cicero – said that gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.”

      Gratitude is always based on an understanding of the intensity of the debt pardoned. The liberal agenda is to destroy the law, in which case, no gratitude is present for those who accept the liberal theory. Namely, Jesus died and did away with the law.

      Now we have “entitlements” that also means there is no need for gratitude, since “you owe it to me and it is mine, give it to me, or I’ll just take it any way possible.”

      The church educates the same false idea as the civil government. For the church, it is “God owes it to me.” and for this world, it is “the government owes it to me.” No problem with this false idea to unite church and state, based on the same philosophy. In the mean time, people rob, steal, plunder and even kill because “they” owe it to me, whoever “they” is.

  57. David Petersen
    29 November 2015 @ 8:40 pm

    Having skimmed through a number of the comments and given some thought it seems that Adventisim needs to get back to true Bible based belief system. Jesus asks me to do actively engage in life with TWO, and only two commands, love God with all my heart and love my neighbor as I love myself.

    If we Christians were able to convey this and live like we mean it, we would have been in heaven a very long time ago. I am a firm believer that there will be an incredible number of saved saints who will have no idea what are the 28 fundamental beliefs. They will absolutely know how to love God and to love their neighbors because to they know how to love themselves. A good example of this is Long Hollow Baptist Church, Hendersonville, TN and their team leader Robby Gallaty. It is incredible what this church does locally and internationally.

    • George Tichy
      04 December 2015 @ 9:43 am

      “…it seems that Adventisim (sic)needs to get back to true Bible based belief system..”

      As it is now, we actually have two Adventist systems to choose from,

      1) Christian Adventism – based exclusively on the Sola Scriptura source
      2) Whiteist Adventism – in which EGW has the last word on every single detail. Her writings are used to establish new doctrine(s) not found in the Bible.

      I believe that this is not going to ever change. After all, diversity of options may be an advantage since it can accommodate more people.