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5. Delusions of Grandeur? (Panel Discussion)

Andy Im


Andy Im

Associate Director for the Dept of Public Campus Ministries in the Michigan Conference. Director of the Institute of Adventist Apologetics for C.A.M.P.U.S. 



  • January 1, 2016
    8:45 AM
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This message was presented at the Jew I see twenty fifteen come from an old chosen and the other brother resources like this visit us online at W W W W Y C web. Father we thank you so much. Or do you wifey. We thank you for all the young and the old to hear and firing that. Good As Your lifted up. We pray Lord that we will do the same that your spirit would emerge for part in our minds. Or we speak for wisdom and understanding as we discuss the rest so with this very important topic. And that we think you know or. We want all who want to ask all of this. In the name of Jesus Christ. A mad man. All right. Well I want to go ahead and start by introducing our analysts and if not in order of importance. Although I really do like Adam Ramadan. He's the youth ministries director for the North of England. Conference. He's also director of Peace. Center of evangelism he's no stranger to do I see you did the Sabbath. Nested just several G.Y. see the go. Good friend of mine. That's Adam Brandon that we have course. Chester Clark Pastor Ed. Dawkins Seventh Day Adventist Church. You're around southern You certainly want to go and visit is Kurt. It's also served in various capacities as. As an eighty five vice president had been executives' committee member of the General Conference. And of course he is a board member of G Y C. And we also see could doco one of. Several of the records add campus. Ministry in Michigan. She's also been a speaker had at your wife's spoke at the G.C. for morning devotion all very powerful masted. And again no stranger to do Weiss the. And last but not least we have high gives them. Light bearers. Pastor of the story line. Adventist Church. You cry seen him and his boat. Director on three A.B.N. and also no stranger to G Y C. And so I just want to walk the panelists and also all of you here this morning. I do want to start off by stating that our statements and the discussion points that we share it here do not reflect the views of G Y C N N E. Official capacity. So I just want to say that for the record it's not like we're going to say anything crazy. But just want to protect ourselves that we're doing house. Somehow boys up here and tell girl first that well. So I keep that in mind some of the head start of the statement from someone who many of us know. Professor John. All the news currently the dean of the School of Religion at Loma Linda University. And he describes it very well some of the issues taking place in regard to the remnant. In two thousand and seven he stated and this is when he was still at the seminary. As the chair of the New Testament department. He says Seventh Day Adventists through the years have come to identify themselves with the render described in Revelation twelve seventeen. They understand themselves to be a people that God has raised at the end of time. Who keep His commandments and have the testimony of Jesus. This traditional position has been losing. Around. In recent years. Increasing numbers of Seventh Day Adventists are on convince that the text can be focused. So narrowly on a specific that the nomination. And it believes. At the end of time. I find the perception. Even among students at the seminary in other words future pastor of a Seventh Day Adventist or. That the very free the remnant church. Smacks of arrogance and exclusivity. So just all and in addition to that. I want to share. Recent quote from Elder Ted Will said. Where he affirms are traditional position at the end of council. In two thousand and fourteen. Ice and and quote me. This prophetic move been described in Revelation twelve seventeen as God's remnant people who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus is constituted in only one body of paper today. The Seventh Day Adventist or so with that said I want to start with add up. When you receive the invitation to join your panel several months ago. You stated that among the two topics the subject of the run was of more importance to the average youth day one you see the subject is so hard just to clarify the two topics was the was a ren and also final generation of talking so final generation theology and on the subject of the remnant the reason why I said I thought that this one was more important was just surveying I guess. Amongst the young people that seems to be a lack of understanding about the identity of the remnant. And because there's a lack of on. The there and it affects the young people in the mission of the remnant. And so motivating young people for mission is is difficult because I don't even know if this is the remnant church. And so this. This poor understanding of who we are affects the mission as to why I'm even here. And so that's why I guess I said that I think it was it was more important that as young people today we understand who who we are. And I think the. The current generation that your millennial whatever we call. There's less of a desire to say you know. I am this in you are wrong. And so how this I guess. Maybe slightly different culture. Do we still stand for something definitive. At the same time as not as as some of those course earlier said smacks of arrogance so how do you balance that clearness in a in a nice way. I guess you'd say before the horse race one I want to move to the second related topic and that's as we discussed the good you. How do you define the notion of the running. Now this year. Whites on board and role for young people. How do you define the notion of the run and. Does the Seventh Day Adventist Church. The ethnological and run run revelation of the I mean I think referred to the first time we see the word remnant in the Bible in Exodus twenty six. Twelve. It's talking about building the sanctuary. And it says and the remnant that remain on the curtains of the tent the half curtain remain it shall hang over the backside of the tabernacle. So just the idea of remnant implies. Two things like first that there is an original. And then there's something that remains of that original that is identical. In that it's qualitatively identical to the original. And so in Revelation. When you get Revelation twelve seventeen and it's talking about the remnant who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus. That means that there must be under original people. All the way throughout the history of time. That have kept the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus. And there's a people when you come to the end of time who are the remnant of that but it's a it's a. I guess my belittle understanding of it it's qualitative like these are people who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus. And I want to say to that. Me look at the Israelites went by the time Jesus came. They don't even recognize Jesus when he came. But they were so sure that they were God's special people. And they don't even realize they wrecked they didn't recognize the God who was their Creator. So it's not about belonging to a specific group of people so to speak. Single Nations three. Paul says you know you're Abraham's seed. If you're like your father Abraham Jesus said the same thing. If you like your father he would have you something qualitative in a people who keep God's commandments. Have a testimony of Jesus Christ to me that I would have two points if I could. One is the. There's a pattern in Scripture. So when we come to the Book of Revelation. Every concept that we encounter in Revelation has its roots in Old Testament language and concept. The concept. In the Old Testament from which the idea of remnant is taken. Is the idea that Israel was a national people and national identity. And that people went into exile. Persecution war in scattering at different times. Once the people is scattered. Then there is a real gathering. And the language that is employed in Second Kings nineteen. Isaiah chapter one and number of other passages. Is is simply this pattern that you have a cohesive body that's visible before the world with national borders and identity. Persecution happens of some kind or war. The people scatter. Some are taken into captivity. There is a test of a person's commitment to the column. And then there's a regathering of the people the remnants. Come back together to form a cohesive visible body again. So when we come to Revelation Chapter twelve The whole chapter leading up to verse seventeen. That's the pattern that John is tapping into. He's essentially saying. You have you have the church. That goes underground. Through persecution through the dark ages. They're scattered You have everything from the wall than see in history to the Huguenots and all of that history that we are familiar with the dark ages. You don't have a visible constituted corporate body with national or denominational borders. It scattered. So who's who and then the twelve hundred sixty year prophecy is articulated. And then verse seventeen is essential he's saying aha. Talk hundred sixty years of persecution dark ages is over. And what reemerge is at the end of time to read gathering from exile from persecution. From spiritual war. A read gathering of the people the bear the identifying characteristics of the original thing before it went underground. So that's the. The basic pattern of the concept of room that I really like that you have anything that really are you one of their. Well you. I really appreciate that as well when. When we see in the Old Testament the concept of remnant. The Typically the word used as Sharif in the Hebrew. And the first time this appears is in Genesis Chapter forty five or seven if you have your Bibles I think it's very interesting the King James says this. God sent this is. This is Joseph speaking to his brothers. God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth. And to save your lives by a great deliverance the very first instance that Sharif is used which it's. It's translated. Remnant I don't know forty or fifty times. Sharif is used here in Genesis forty five or seven and is translated posterity. And I think it gives us already the exact. The clue to what Tiger was saying. We're talking about spiritual genetics here. We're talking about a D.N.A. that God is implanting in his people that D.N.A. is the characteristics of their of his own his own character and. And so the idea of remnant is. Is it cannot be separated from from the spiritual qualities that. That his followers have as his spiritual dissonance have. And so the remnant of the end of time emerges with the D.N.A. of Jesus Christ the D.N.A. that. Of his people that was true throughout all time. And so on is really important to realize that we're talking about about the spiritual characteristics here and not just a visible body's importance that is and we'll talk about that later on. You know I I mean you're reading this on quality of people in terms of informal. But what about the her. You know all of the organ and I don't hear a lot of that. And I. It's want to ask the question. You know because some people are confused is a Church of the buildings and the structure of the organization is that the episode. The emphasis. And I don't hear you guys. Aside from that can I just get some clarification on that in your mind. I think I'll go first and space I just I mean I don't think the in looking for a visible body. That embodies these principles. I believe the Seventh Day Adventist Church. Embodies. These things. In terms of what I want to doctrines are what we believe as a church. I'm denomination only remember growing up my parents told me I grew up in the Adventist Church. My parents told me they said you know. As you're going up. And you study the Bible for yourself if you find that anything. We've taught you is not biblical. You need to leave. Find a church that teaches what the Bible teaches. And that's why I'm still a Seventh Day Adventist because so far in my life. Everything else that in the Bible I see reflected in our beliefs as a set of data this church. I think the for me the emphasis on the qualitative aspect is because again. Growing up in the church sometimes you can get caught up in I'm a Seventh Day Adventist. You know and that is what makes me the remnant. As opposed to I'm. I want to be part of the remnant. Because I want to be part of a people who have these qualities which isn't necessarily always the same thing. I think be possible and Jesus. Answer the question. Very clearly. Jesus Jesus. Recognizing Israel is a part of Israel. He came to Israel the national identity and he said to them in John Chapter ten other sheep. I have that are not of this for all they hear my voice. They know. Oh the tone the D.N.A. the theological. They know the spirit of the thing that's coming out of my mouth they hear my voice. And they gravitate toward me. But they're not of this national body. That's more than one point that's crucial understand. Paul comes along in Romans three in Romans nine. And he says. Very very scandalous things for Israelite years. He says. They are not all. Israel who are of Israel. So this language is crucial. There's the national identity. And there's the spiritual identity and. If you can imagine that this way when national identity. Aligns with spiritual identity. You have the whole package. OK. But when you have merely national identity genetics I was born and raised. You know you were born and raised the Seventh Day Adventists it's. It's possible to be in. But out. And it's possible to be out but actually going. That's what Jesus and. And Paul are teaching us. So if you could picture a visual picture of a circle. We don't have a blackboard here but just picture a circle. Then picture another circle of bodies in that circle. There's two circles next to each other got that so far. This circle is the visible body called Seventh Day Adventists. This is the rest of the wide world of people who believe everything under the sun and the right next to each other now with that illustration. Draw in your mind. A circle. Right over the middle of those two circles where they touch. And you do that your imagination. Boom. Another circle. All right. Now you have four quadrants. The left quadrant. You have the Seventh Day Adventist Church the visible body. All right. But is divided. There are hairs and wheat. There are those who are merely national identification. But there are those who are national identification and spiritual. If occasion. This circle over here. What do you have. What you also have two two parts. You have wheat and tares so to speak. You have those who are not identified with the visible body of seven pm and that's. But the Lord says. Or Paul says or John or somebody in the New Testament some biblical writer says the Lord knows. Those who are hips. So he sees things we don't see the Lord looks at the congregation right here. And he sees two things not one thing. The Lord looks at the seven eleven is true she sees. We can tears. We can't sort that out. He toughens and also over here the circle. You have the language. There are sheep. Not of this fold that they're mine. And I know who they are. That's why when the call to Babylon is given it's come out of her. My people. God sees his people in those other churches. And that's why Ellen why it has this concept that the vast majority of those who professed faith in the thirteen joules message will abandon their position and join the ranks of the opposition. Some will take me asleep she says tribe after try from the world will come in as company after company that are in go out. So there's going to be this great exchange that's going to take place. So we have what we might call the final form of the remnant. That is up and coming. We don't have the final form of the remnant yet. Where the two circles completely overlap you have national identity and spiritual identity. That dovetail that views. In one body. Does that though that's very very insightful and I think we're going to come back and have on it if you don't mind just will move to the next question. But I think we're going to come back to this add on one of the identifying marks of the run that is having the testimony of Jesus or the Spirit of Prophecy. And what we understand to be the prophetic ministry. Why should we be concerned with the trend with in the right. Yes. Is the show answer. They say yes or no questions of the answer is yes I know. We should be concerned the reason why we should be concerned is the. The qualitative or or what it says in Revelation Chapter twelve is the identifying marks of the remnant church. Revelation twelve seventeen. The dragon was wroth with the woman went to make more the run and of a seed which keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus. As we you know as you do a study in Revelation on the testimony of Jesus we find a testament of Jesus is The Spirit of Prophecy. Not just isolated to. We what we believe is the Ministry of the prophetic gives an Alawite but that. You know not just what the prophetic gift has been manifested through the ages. But we definitely believe that she is one of the the gift. Reflected in her life is one of the identifying marks of the remnant church. So we should be concerned if there's a trend of belittling and. You know pushing to the side on the fringes that the writings of L. and Y. and and the importance of as a prophetic source of authority today. Because it's one of the marks. That we have in the in these days that we are in what the remnants as in Revelation twelve seventeen so they go hand in hand you can't say what we are the remnant. But we're going to put his side. So. And of course. I agree with and. But this. He literally. And this taking place among young boy. We're not even reading. White. We heard. Perhaps park response that I was the really go to that question. Just a little bit. In that they just rejected or right. What do you think is just Are you in an organ and young people around in a round the administration. I have found there's sort of different groups and about. And North America I would say about half of that innocent people really don't have much of an opinion about on white they don't have much exposure to her at their sort of agnostic about. And their feelings about her you know. Then there's about four out of ten that would have a negative feeling honestly. And as I talk to them I find that a lot of them have had Ellen White used as a hatchet. As sort of just on White said this so you can't do it. And there's there's there's not there's not a effort to explain or understand biblical principles or system. Ellen White was this. You know spoil sport that ruined their lives and. And they saw fights in the church Virt her and they just thought it was all useless. And then. Then there are those young people thankfully who. I think have a positive view of the gift of prophecy and have been blessed and have personally benefited from. And so what I found is that that we need to take accountability we need to take responsibility for the misuse of Ellen White in the administration I do believe that we have had as adults. Generations maybe that have largely depended on Ellen why does a crutch. As if instead of the lesser light to point us to the greater light to actually lead us to study the Bible more and to be able to base our understandings of right and wrong from scripture. They've used. You have used you know the snippets of her writings as as final answers and as. Sometimes take out of context and they've they've they've read it at the fringes you might say and not. Not really got the whole balanced message of her writings. And that's something that I just urge young people read her writings for yourself. You know. If you read her books. You will find they point you to Jesus. And they point you to salvation not through your own works but through Jesus merits. And that yes they hold a high standard but the high standard that comes from falling in love with our Savior it comes from the heart transformation not a not I'm going to try harder and grit my teeth and grin and bear it and it's a sacrifice No it's a joy to live for Jesus. And she is a person who loved Jesus. You Chester up. That's so. I do believe that we should take some personal responsibility. But we've got to simply encourage our young people to read for themselves and they will be blessed. They're really excited because we want to hear. I just agree with everything that said. If I added anything. I would I would simply say Ellen White was a super cool. Broad Minded. Human being who had the gift of prophecy. And under the inspiration. Obvious Pierrot she wrote a lot of material twenty five million words. In fact and. So if if if humans beings with their biases in their various inclinations. Compile a list of sentences from her writings and call them. And say Ellen what this is a book by Ellen line. That's not necessarily a book by all and why that's a book by somebody who compiles sentences and paragraphs from Ellen White but didn't take into consideration. The context in which she was writing a number of things. And this is why she herself came along and she said listen. When reading the testimonies I'm quoting her now. Time and place must be considered. There are things I'm saying you know there's one example that's a funny one worked where where somebody came to me with a quotation from Ellen White and said you should eat half. The food you eat they were applying it to themself not to me. They were saying this as I should be half the food. This guy. Weighed like one hundred twenty pounds. And he was six foot tall. And he was in the process of vanishing and. He thought that quote applied to him that quote did not apply to him that quote I showed him the context wasn't an isolated moral mandate. It had a concepts. Ellen mights writings need to be read broadly and opinions. Need to be formed based on what she says not based on compilations that people crank out by the dozens. And I appreciate that. I that's the over the next life and death are those the notion that the at then this. Are the run then inevitably a this or and us versus them mentality we're hearing a lot of that today. In the discussion and the rhetoric. This better than thou mindset. So I want you to a little bit about that and the other part of that question is how should we perceive other denominations. Well I think. I think tie in his earlier statements he made it a pretty clear illustration of those circles and. You know my understanding of Adventism is the goal of the cleansing of the saying surely is the harmonizing of those circles that. That's that's that's the mission of the of the typical day of atonement. And so as the books of record are cleanse the Church on earth is cleansed. Eventually the book of life. Those who are living in the book of life. And the visible Church on earth is the same thing. The Gods. God's people are not only to deter day it there that the process not finish so God's people are not only to be found in the visible. Church. The remnant body. He's always had a body he's always had a visible body but. But they were to plenty of people in the church in the wilderness who are complaining. And even worshipping the golden calf but they were is the lights. They work converted they weren't following God they didn't have a spiritual D.N.A.. And so in the last days we understand that God has still a visible body. Now the way I'd like to say it IS THIS THE BIBLE defines what God's last day. Message and movement is. That's not me. I don't define that the Bible defines it. What I do is I look at the Bible and I say A ha. The Bible says that they're going to keep the commands of God have the testimony of Jesus they're going to have the faith of Jesus. They're going to have the three angels messages they're going to be living in the fear in and of God and and giving him glory and and preaching the judgment our message and worshipping the Creator. So their characteristics the Bible defines of God's last eight people. I believe. Those are the same qualities that the early church had. I do I believe that's why they're the remnant they they began the church began those that pure spiritual D.N.A. and it emerges at the end of time with the same spiritual D.N.A.. The reason I'm a seventy AD is not because I think the seven heavens church is the right church. The remnant church. The reason I missed some of the avenues because I'm a disciple of Jesus. And I believe the seven devils church is the. The body. Because one the characters are of the remnant is it's a global movement right. I believe the some of the heavens church is the closest global body of believers. To the characteristics I see in Revelation. So I find that I want to be a part of that remnant. And I want to tell other people. You should be a part of that remnant too. It's not me saying I am the remnant. I'm saying I want to be a part of the remnant. When you when you look at the message of Jesus delayed of see if there's plenty of reason for us not to be proud and elitist. We're actually told that we think we're rich an increase of goods but we're rich miserable poor by the naked. And Jesus says this. I will spew you out of my mouth. Vomit in the Greek. Thank you. The antidote or the the way we are prevented from being vomited out of Jesus' mouth is also found in the message late. He says I stand at the door and knock. And so if we don't. If we if you want to ultimately be in the final picture of the realm of the final form of the remnant. We've got to have that it relationship with Jesus. And that will lead us I believe the humility. I believe that will lead us to wanting other people to know Jesus as we know him is not. It's not we are right and you're wrong. Is that we've fallen in love with Jesus. We found out what he taught when he was here. We want to teach that to. We find out how he lived when he was here. We will live that way to where disciples of Jesus. If you're a disciple of Jesus in a different Christian faith. I believe you're going to want to be a part of this remnant to. That's that's simply how I see it. This is really a lot of really enjoying this of anyone else have any to add to that. I want to throw a scripture on the table. Paul helps us on this and Romans Chapter three. He reasons through and he says. Basically your question but with different language he says. What it vanishes there in being a Jew. He poses that question is earned vantage we can take. What advantages there in being a some bad. Why not about this why not a method as why not why not why not. He says what advantage in his answer is much in everyway chiefly because to them was given committed the oracles of God. This word. Oracles in the For those of God refers to the entire court. Body of the prophetic works. Well. Israel had the prophets. And the law was given at Sinai and. This is the lynage through which my side is going to come. So there's again the National. Reality. The national identity. What it vanishes there to be a Seventh Day Adventists. Are you automatically eternally saved because you're a seven Bad us know what's the advantage. You have access to the raw theological materials for constructing the most beautiful picture of God The world has ever seen Remember you have. You have a doctrinal a doctrinal a body of doctrinal truths. And you have the writings of L. and why. You have a historical background. And that entire package that that that the oracles gives you a positioning in the world. To reach the gospel with unprecedented clarity. But it doesn't mean it doesn't give any place for arrogance or lead us on because the fact is it's a movement it's a revolution anybody can be a part of it. I was not born and raised as of they have been it's like he was I was not born in the movement. But nobody barred me I just said hey I want to be a part of that they said come on. So anybody can be a part of this thing. It's not it's not an exclusive thing now Ellen White River Butte the arrogance. In this statement this is profound. Because this is a potential She says quote. Our grand lesson. To our children to be taught to our children. Is that our freedom from every particle of ego Islam and bigotry. That's what we should teach our children she says. Freedom from every particle of ego is I'm and bigotry what she talking about she's time about denominational pride. She goes on and says they should be taught our children. That other souls. Outside of our faith are precious and that Jestina and sneering and sarcasm or contempt for those outside of our faith. Will be an offense to God Such a course will wound. Peep. And wound got I might add. It will wound. The soul. Hinder our prayers in feeble our spiritual growth. If we indulge these ideas. Then she goes on says this. We should educate our children. Not to be narrow. But to be Brod and to. And then agony. To have an agony of desire and wrestling the faith. To if to be encouraged. God will give them the ability to win souls and then she says I'm sorry this is a long quote but this is what you asked about. There are many true Christians. Not of our face. This is her words not mine many of your Christians not of our faith with whom we come in contact. Who live in accordance with the best life they have. And they have. And they are in the great favor of God God is smiling on these people he loves them he digs them he's like oh. These are my people. And then she says this there is to be no self righteousness or fairest use among God's people. OK so she directly addressed this tendency to say. The temple of the Lord the temple of the Lord are we where it. You are not. We just need to demolish that idea. That is to be completely out of our spirits. Out of our books have you Larry completely. Jesus came along and Jesus in John chapter you think your children of Abraham. Well. Nationally and genetically you are spiritually you're not your children of the devil. We need to be very careful that we do not posture and project ourselves to the world. You know way that gives the impression that where it. You are not agree at all you have some. Just real quick. I mean agree with everything's been said. The question says does the notion that out of interest other the rub inevitably fetes us. Yes. And I think the answer to that is no it doesn't. It doesn't. In ever to be faithless to us and them and we're better than you. It doesn't. I think it has at times in the past. And maybe big too. Because of bad explain a show or whatever but that has for whatever reason it has led to some of that in the past. It doesn't have to though. And it shouldn't. And I believe the explanations I mean given here. You know I've been excellent ways of explaining this concept of the remnant. You know when and how it shouldn't lead to that. Now it may have been and that's could be another discussion as to why or all those things are the causes which we don't have time for now. But it should never be freighters to that. Thank you very well. Yes please. Once I saw it as not hard Back to know the beginning of the conversation. How there's kind of a push back to the concept of remnant. And I think it goes at what I was saying that that that arrogance and the fairy fairy says and that can be manifested by people who believe themselves to be the remnant if I mean it's off putting So it wouldn't. It's not surprising then that somebody would be like. Well you're the remnant and you act like that and then on top of it like is it even a Biblical concept and it goes on and on and on. So we do a disservice to. You know to to Scripture. Scripture. How it's supposed to be lived out in our lives. And it results in this push back to what I actually believe core concepts that are fine. Yes I think one of the reason why I just bounce and more what secret said the disconnect that youth. Have with. Maybe the concept of the remnant is the disconnect between what they're told. This is right. In a sense the national identity of the remnant with the spiritual condition of the church. Oh well if. If we are the remnant. And we are God's chosen and faithful and your I went to Business me and. And I'm never going to Business me in again because the eldest so and so was fine and I'll do so and so insistent so and so was doing this than not a lot of not that doesn't look like the remnant to me. And so I think in the eyes of a lot of youth. There's a disconnect and a struggle and it comes back to you know if we will. Living as we shouldn. You know that would not be played really really good points that's move to the next question that's a bit been of Church of the ethnological of and I'm remnant of Revelation twelve seventeen we've talked about that discuss that but we're also described as Laodicea and Roberts was made to that already a move or molest an ideal church. It's been suggested the church has fallen so far from God's standard that it's no longer the remnant that there's actually a read and then within the realm that. Composed of the truly. And really meaningful. Now Tom I would you agree with your your ministry the self-supporting ministry that supports the church. You may have received accusations of things like that in the past. Have you have the church. Fallen so far that we or fit the right. The run the church. Well the short answer. Historically eschatological e theologically accurate answer is just no there's there's no such thing as a prophecy does not allow in the unfolding of the prophetic scenario for it forfeiture of that identity because that identity will follow through to the end with whoever it is that aligns with it meant so there is no forfeiture of that identity. But at the same time. It's crucial to understand that the lady see and message is the seventh church. And therefore historically in time it lines up with us. And so we need to examine very carefully the Laodicean message and the layer to see a message. If you don't mind me just clarifying the is not about the word that was used in the question. Standards. Standards are important but the latest message isn't about standards. It's about identity and message. And what I mean by that is this. When Jesus. In the later to see and message says to us to something you have been us. You perceive yourself as rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing. Ellen White comes along and she defines that rich and increased with guns not as material wealth. But as doctrinal and illogical wealth. So Jesus is saying that you have. You have a perception of yourself. That is pretty pretty inflated. Based on the fact that you have doctrinal Veritas these truths you're reaching increased with goods with but the fact is that while you're holding the oracles of God while you're holding these doctoral crews. You are wretched miserable poor blind and naked. What you need is and he gives three remedies number one you need gold tried in the fire which both the Bible and Ellen White define as. And it's incredible to realize this faith. That works by love. The goal tried in the fire that the administration needs that cures the. The doctrinal and theological puffed up nests that's not a word don't look that up don't go. The that that attitude that spirit OK. Faith that is actuated our inner Gys by love. That's the gospel in other words. Jesus saying you know what stays the right there was days the wrong that you know when you're dead you're really dead you know you got the math of the twenty three hundred days figured out over twenty second one hundred forty four. You need the gospel. You need the Gospel not. Instead of that you need. The Gospel to prove they did that you need the. The Gospel to get into all the nooks and crannies of this doctrinal portfolio that you that you have. Then. Second Amendment. Not only do you need gold tried in the fire faith that is actuated by love. You need what Raymond people. You need the righteousness of Christ you need the message of justification by faith. To completely prevent your doctrinal understanding and thirdly you need I say that because you're super blind. You think you are what you're not. The fact is that I've given you all these gifts and privileges in doctrinal wealth and. You have you have extracted Jesus from it. This is why Ellen White we come along. On the basis of that message and say that administers preaching is as void of Christ. As was the offering of Cain. Outs. This is why on white the prophet of the movement would come along and say. While while they the other denominations. They have left. They have divorced the law from the Gospel she says we've left out Christ and his matchless love. So what's worse I don't think we need to parse that but the point is that the doctrinal message. Has the potential to ruin us with pride. Unless that doctoral message is completely prevented. With infused with the love in Christ as the constant refrain. So we don't say. Right neighbors is wrong. Let's close with prayer who wants to be baptized. We say. The Sabbath is the seventh day. As a memorial of a finished work of creation and a finished work of redemption. There is righteousness by faith. Rast in price. So we preach the Sabbath. As a gospel doctrine not as a bare bones write a verse is wrong day. There's more to it than merely proving what forty seven verses that this is the right A That's the wrong day. You don't close with prayer there. You keep preaching. And you get to Jesus. I think. Need to move forward go we're running out of time. So I want to move to the next question the preceeding rhetoric and thus I think the notion that beings fearfulness Bob to their religion is negative. The implication being that your values real. While religion if you know. Then thought all and explicit criticism of the current structure of perceptions of the hierarchical nature of the church are on the dry doing need a more thing centralized model of organization. That will better further. Our mission. Object at the top question thought. Chester. What's your response to that. When you have to answer a tough question you should be called Chester Clarke the third. The tester very well you know that. I think that several speakers. ADAM AND TIE have already touched on probably why this is happening. When it's been said. From a reliable source that the most powerful argument favor of Christianity is a loving and lovable Christian. Unfortunately. The converse is also true. The most powerful argument against Christianity is professed Christianity and a form of godliness which denies the power of their own. And I think the greatest reason why people see a conflict between spirituality and religion is because as was prophesied in the last days there would be a form of godliness. Without the power. And we have in the church failed to properly represent our Lord and Savior. Now. Where do we start with answering that question. I don't believe there should be a conflict between spirituality and religion. I believe in organized religion. I have people in my community who believe that they are seventh they haven't assume never go to the some Devon's George. They go hiking they go camping they go other places. DO anything unless they may watch three B. and they might even the study of hers. I believe that God calls us not into not just into his ideological intellectual truth. I believe that God calls us. Even in these last days even with an imperfect church even with the wheat and tares even with prior to the shaking going on I believe God calls us into fellowship with believers who are imperfect. And I believe that the only way we can grow spiritually emotionally socially as a whole being because I believe that's how we are meant to grow. The only way is when we're born into a family. We're born spiritually into the family of God That's the New Testament model that's that. I mean Paul didn't just meet Jesus on the Damascus Road and go preach God sent an a nice His representative of the church. To bring Paul into fellowship with the body. OK. Paul already was understanding more of the all a G. then the church. That he was interesting. I mean just those three days meditating in blindness. But he was called into fellowship with the body. I believe that God calls us into community for our own spiritual growth. It's messy. We're imperfect. The people around us are imperfect but we need that. And we need to know. You need to learn to love each other even though we have differences even though. You know I may have. I may have. I may have this understanding that I've grown into others don't have it yet but sometimes I forget that it took me twenty years to come to this conclusion I think. My brothers and sisters ought to be here right now. You know they ought to be agreeing with me on everything and and. We need to be in that body. And have that accountability and that fellowship is not just about having a place to worship God. It's about having relationships with people who are on the same journey towards heaven that we're on. We need that and I can't emphasize that enough so I really believe that even millennialism post-millennial. They still need. Not just spirituality. They need organized religion the second reason I'll say. Real briefly. I believe that the remnant message is a global message. You cannot take as an individual. You cannot take the message to the whole world. Maybe lesser tie. I mean you've traveled an awful lot. Some of those of try to be all over the world. But the fact of the matter is that in order to finish this work. We need to be a part contributing towards a an organization that is a global organization. And you know. Are there problems with organizations yes. The organization as a human organization the structure may not be perfect but listen. It's the only hope for us to take the three messages to the whole world is for us to do it together. You know. Just for today I have to sound bites. Number one gives you only find out who you are in relationship with others. You need people to offend you see you can forgive them. And in the process. In the process of stain in a relationship with people who violates you. You grow spiritually interim likeness of Jesus. So you have to be intelligent you can't actually be a Christian in an isolated situation. At home channel surfing. You can't be a Christian. Yeah. Now I'm going after another really really challenging question I really I really always I see your e-mail. I've noticed that. And I want to say. It may not be stated very observant and the very opposite to me not be stated explicitly. I'm sure many assume that having an anti women's ordination stance. Should be a prerequisite for being a part of God's faithful church should want a position on women's ordination. Be used as a litmus test for being a true. Faithful Citigroup. Yet. I'm just kidding he has a serious. On the of what test those is talking about in terms of growing together and going and I understand it in the book of the seasons like if you just have to for. I just discovered this recently in the first part of the fees a step to foist talking about how to live together in community. And how to have unity that even in that I city and then he goes and he talks about the spiritual gifts that God gives to his church. In order to come to a unity. In terms of understanding and doctor and I to come to unity so there is this idea that we need to be unified. As we are getting unified. I know for someone to. I mean the problem with the question is not the problem. Question. The. Probably the crux of the question is that in that mist testing. Looking at somebody else. And making myself a judge over their spiritual condition. Making myself a judge over their faithfulness to God. A judge over their journey with God and where they are and where they're headed. If we're going to have wheat and tares. And the the lot of harvest told the servants the angels. You don't you can't decide who's a week. Who's in here or makes me think I can decide who's wheat and who's it here. So if I think a problem with little or whatever the litmus test is. You know in my church back I don't know if I should bring it up. OK. How to Say Thank You know one of the things you know in my church back home. I'm not home or anybody here a church here. You know it was you know does the girl wear pants addition not wear pants. You know and if the go away is pants. She can not be a tree seventy avatars. You know and. And we end up pushing people away. Away from a relationship with God. Where we have no place. Doing that he's not called us to that. It's called us to work together and to grow together to come to a unity of faith. As opposed to pointing fingers and deciding who's in and who's out. It's not our place. Very response. One of us focus on. I guess to two words in the prerequisite or litmus test and leave the women's alone for just a moment. I think that we do struggle in our church. And in our churches local congregation organizations like their saw or wider bodies with this. Litmus test like. What qualifies you something that I've looked at recently that has helped me in in terms of a framework of understanding. In categorizing things like I should say has been. I guess they did. Levels of where we put our beliefs and teachings. The highest level would be doctrine. A doctrine of the church and that's something that we reached as a church through. Oftentimes long study. Maybe ten maybe twenty maybe thirty years I mean the doctrine of the Godhead. We came to was a church over fifty sixty years of study. Maybe even longer. So doctrine is something as a church we've we've studied it for a long time and come to a worldwide consensus and that would be a litmus test. Sabbath stay of the dead. These are doctrines that we hold. And they're proven. Hundred percent we can prove them from the Bible. Below that is what would I don't of as a teaching. Now we're teaching maybe something we generally hold to be true. And maybe best practice. But we don't hold as a test the fellowship. Some of these teach not all of them some of these teaching may be things that generally may be more the writings of L. and white in the Bible to conclusively prove them below that you'd have majority slashed minority opinions. Below that. You then have personal opinion. Now. I believe some of the confusion comes in our church when someone takes a minority majority opinion. And then says. No that's a doctrine or it's what maybe our pioneers would have said. Our land mark believe or it's a core belief. Now we're just kind of illustrate this we want to example that I think we can understand. Easily. For example diet. Now the doctrine on diet. If you're going to summarize many is kind of clean and clean. That's what you conclude. Conclusively prove from the Bible. Now. Person I'm a vegetarian. Been one since I was born. I believe that best practice and as a church we hold it to be best practice. But yet we fall short of making that a test a fellowship because we can't. The proof in the Bible. Even though we believe it's best to do so so with budgetary ism is as a teaching. Now. Then maybe even below that you'd have different other things maybe maybe the can dial things like that could be a majority minority view except for but we get confused mostly no I don't want to take that it's just my of my opinion. I'm going to say that's nice to be a litmus test for the whole body. But it's not. We haven't come through consensus that way and so to me that can in a sense frame and I'm not in a sense answering the women's ordination thing but more so the litmus test. We move them up and down and that causes confusion. Now that very very helpful I think commune cycle in our discussion. Tomorrow as well. Should that be utilized as the. Yes. Really briefly the problem litmus tests. And they are very popular with our portion of the church when I say. Some people say more conservative by the church. The problem that missed this is that they change. Like when I was a teenager the litmus test for whether your true faithful Was don't know the nature of Christ or one of those other issues there's all you can look back in Nablus history we fought over issues that have never come to the point of doctrine we've never had worldwide consensus on but people have felt very passionate about and they've tried to make this a litmus test for everyone else and you're either with us or against us. And sometimes they can be. We can actually be agreeing but because of our differences in culture and language and Samantha an understanding of words and our spiritual journey where we've been and what things have meant to us in the past. We could be agreeing. If we really listen to each other but we're actually disagreeing in the language that we're using and. And let Miss tests can guess be a. Doctrine is the correct way of understanding. In other words if we have. We have to again this is where we have the difference between organized religion and just spirituality. If you have a worldwide movement that we're working together living together in community and we have to define ourselves and doctrine is how that happens. I agree with everything they said but can I answer the women's ordination part. You may look at that the direct answer would be that no a person's position on women's ordination is not a test of fellowship for seventy Athens it can't be because the Bible nor this group props to make any definitive statement regarding women's ordination. Pro or con so it's not a doctrinal imperative. And it's not a moral imperative. OK. I personally broke some articles leading up to the General Conference. Session. To simply make that point. It's not a test of fellowship. Because there were a number of voices saying this is the rebellion of Korra David that Byrom the earth is going to open up this is apostasy this is the difference between right and wrong. This is the do. And all of that kind of language was pulling the conversation. Down to a level of basically you know five year old conversation or just a fight in a back alley. Because people were now on the defensive. And so I simply came out saying. Not. We showed our we shouldn't. That wasn't my point. My point was. It's not a test of fellowship. So let's all keep smiling at one another Let's be friends. Let's preacher thirty into his message together. Regardless of where you fall on that issue. One quotation. That will help with the broad context this is so amazing. Quote man. Human beings. Make the work of advancing the truth tenfold harder than it really. Than it really is by seeking to take God's work. Out of his hands into their own finite hands. They think that they must be constantly inventing something to make man do things which they suppose these persons. Ought to do. The time. Thus spent in inventing tests. The time thus bends. Is all the while making the work more complicated for the great chief worker is left out of the question. In the care of his own heritage man. Undertake the job. This is funny language but it's the only time she used it meant undertake the job of team Corinne up. Tinkering up the defective characters of others and only succeeded in making the defects much worse. They would better leave God to do his own work for he does not regard them as capable of reshaping character. So we shouldn't beat with people's characters or. What they hold to be true or untrue on those levels that Adam was talking about. You can be a Seventh Day Adventists a faithful Bible believing some day Adventists and have different opinions on certain issues. And we in the conservative branch of adamant design need to understand that and stop putting the screws to one another's heads. And turning people away from Jesus by an argumentative spirit. Elam I had a vision one time. It's called the basket of fruit vision. She said I saw in my vision a man with a beautiful basket of fruit that's the truth. And he took it to a group of people that's the church. He offered the fruit to them. And nobody wanted it. So he got discouraged. Blame the people and put the basket of fruit down and left the room and said they don't want the truth. She said Then I saw another man come along. Pick up the same basket of fruit. Offer it to the same group of people. And they freely partook. The problem wasn't. The message the truth the fruit. The problem was the man with his spirit and his attitude he was making the fruit. The truth. I'm palatable. So the spirit with which we convey and communicate the truth is of extreme importance of our men. We are running out of time both of those to board members on the stage and going to make an executive decision to go a little bit longer. With a fight over question. I want to talk a little bit about mission. Grip. I promise we will end. But this is just to an interesting for me I want to I want to quote a passage from or a statement from us back from and how a mission and message. As talk about mission slide. So if we no longer live in the modern society in which our church was founded could now in a postmodern one increasingly this sort for truth have been some planted by the truth that works for me because of the D.M. has its own objective. Through the number of our churches. Successful outreach Beth that no longer work. And number of outreach method. Youth fifty to one hundred years ago. Like literary vandalism. And the six month Evangelists the campaign or increasingly feeling like an Amish family in the New York fashion district. Wayne and out of touch. In some of course of the church. The response to this complexity has been to double down. Faithfulness to agonist lifestyle and behaviorial of them if they emphasize another response recognizes that time to change that traditional evangelism methods are not working. So they have shifted to a more social orientated evangelism. Or at Adventist. This is or minimize illustrated of mission grip has been the rhymes of Q I see your of your today. Generation youth cries. And the one cry. Object. Why one might argue that they are approaching the same problem from different angles their Diverging Approach just suggest that there is no clear of green men in our church. About our courage as mission and message on going to combine to question the with the close with this discussion. Out of your former evangelists are our Q.B. Angeles that approaches and messages. They did. Are we do you. Before deleting genes us from our distinct if we touched upon that already. Are we playing in balance. Emphasis upon an intellectual agreement with a set of doctrines. High You touched upon that. And I want to greet to some extent with some of the points in this article that that times have changed when the recognize that there is a need for us to contractual either method. We were living in a an age where our audience is polled mater and pull postmodern so we don't have to change the content per se or the message but maybe we didn't you know we acted yet so I want to ask that question to Adam and also try. What are your thoughts are you working or Eugene Oregon. A very liberal very progressive town and city water here is not. Do you have some practical suggestions. Moving forward in meeting these challenges. I know that's a lot of friends. The good. You asked as many questions there is you have in the whole panel. Ten question on this one because we've got all but some of the left of the think we're sort of at the high life. You know. I mean she would go by that mission with first of all with what you said about me personally on a personal level that I'm a former Vangelis to yes. I stand corrected. Here we are all evangelists. I meant thank you. Find our move on. There was there was I mean just trying at the just as some of the question before our traditional methods outdated. Answer to that I believe is no kind of would depend how you define traditional. I think if we're dividing traditional as a public campaign where we pitch a tent rent a hall preach for weeks. You know that the other is outdated the answer would be no. Is it as successful as it was twenty years ago or the at the answer would be no it's not should we do a waiver because it's not as successful as it was ten fifteen twenty years ago. No why should we not do away with it. Ellen White says it's one of the methods of advantages and we should do. And I believe her counsel in the book evangelism. Is timeless and will go to Jesus comes. Now. I believe in you when you read the book evangelism she talks about traditional quote public event and she talks about a whole lot of are the things as well. Now I think maybe if you use the context of North America but it applies to the places around the world. In the past. We have gotten away with not doing. The other stuff. Because we got enough numbers on that four week intense campaign. So we did a four week intense campaign we got twenty three baptisms. We could ignore doing. The more labor intensive other things that we're called to do. Now we get in less here. Does it mean we should we should still do that because you can't bring someone over the line. I mean you can meet people in the community and you can play football in the community meet people make make all these contacts. But you can't bring those contacts over the line. So that the to have to go hand in hand I think we should recognize yes some of the traditional methods we have done as successful as the only method a local church should do but it should never been the only method anyway. I think in the past we were just lazy. OK we got enough the we can sit on our laurels for the rest of the year. And now it's catching up with us. And what's happening in America happened in Europe like The years ago. Now it's catching up to we're not again. A so much bang for our buck and people are saying OK it's not financially viable that's not do another not. You know there's merit to the public preaching the gospel has merit to do in Bible study. And all these things. We should the methods that have been outlined from the. The method of Jesus you know him a little man except was actually those still those still work. And in the post modern secular world. People of the same the heart needs amount of the same with you there's a difference. Not not a sharp difference but there is a distinction between message and methodology. Ellen why. The Prophet to this movement. Encouraged experimentation and forward thinking. With regards to methodology. She was all about trying new things because the goal is to reach people. For Jesus Paul had this understanding. Paul said. I became all things to all me and I may by some means. When some the goal is to reach people not to become stuck in patterns that. That we that we regard as somehow Orthodox or doctrinal methods are not. Doctrinal methods change. Over time. We have for example the eleven o'clock service that we call the divine our the holy hour. There's nothing right or wrong about the Sabbath is the seventh day. That's holy. But the eleven o'clock hour I'm just using this is an example of how things become canonized that aren't we got the eleven o'clock service from Martin Luther's drinking problem. He couldn't make it to church. Early enough. So they kept moving it later and later and later. So you end up with the eleven o'clock service. I just give you that as an example that the seventh day is the Sabbath and that's holy time. But there are things that we can canonized that shouldn't be canonized there is a difference between method and message. So Ellen White specifically addressed our historical situation as a people by saying this and I quote. On the one hand religionists generally. The other churches. Religion is generally have divorced the law from the Gospel while we at been a son the other hand have almost on the same from another standpoint. We have left out. We have not held up before the people the righteousness of Christ and the full significance of the great plan of redemption. We have left out Christ in his matchless love and brought in theories. Reason means and. We have preached. Argumentative discourses. Now the language I'm trying to draw us to use this language of. Aren't you minute to discourse. It's a method. That was developed into a hybrid proved text method the average admin is layperson could roll up in the any town and challenge. The minister with a Ph D. to a debate. And like a machine gun. Just you know you want forty seven verses on the Sabbath but I have fifty two come up of of them. And when the argument. And lose the war. Ellen White was rebuking that methodology. She was saying the argumentative. Sermon. Up. Roche is contrary to the spirit of Christ. So methodologically. We need to preach. The message. You know way that people can hear it and process it and lean into it rather than leaning out of the message so you ask for practical. Are there. Are there ways that we can do this differently now. I'll give an example you said I live in Eugene very secular city with a lot of good vegetarian restaurants by the way. But that city. That city is a city of unbelief. And so rather than sending out a brochure. Of Prophecy sermons which they have no interest in. They're not biblically illiterate they could care less. We rather just did before I came here as a seminar called Crave. Based on a book I wrote called The God Named Desire. And the idea is basically to communicate to the community of secular people who came to hear this. That human beings have biological emotional and spiritual cravings. That all point somewhere. Higher than the cravings themselves. And coming to the punch line that Jesus is the desire of all nations. Jesus is the bed rock level craving. That we are all longing for. And these people that they were just like they were totally into it because they they're living in a culture in an in a situation right now that's all of Vout understanding human cravings. And so that was that's just one example of a method of all the method didn't just have that series of meetings. Before that we did two hundred thousand dollars of of medical and dental an optical work in the community. Free. And then invited them to these meetings and they came. So so it's a bigger picture than just sending out of brochure and saying you know we're doing the work of the Lord or Millie now. Zillion great controversies. It's it's one thing to do. But it's not that thing to do. It's not the only thing to do. There needs to be a broader people need to know that we are real people that we are drawing close to them. And then. This is where Ellen White comes along and says you should not rule up into a town she says. And say I'm a some they haven't is I believe in the natural the non immortality and so on some things happen what do you believe she says don't do that for. She says show them that you love their souls that you value their good and her words not mine. There will be time enough for doctrines. Quote unquote. So she is relational in her orientation to evangelism. Not merely cerebral. And they're nice. We need to incorporate the whole person. Into soul when we need a lot of people in Iraq close to them. So they want to hear we have to say. Agree that I think the final word from our very own I think as a minister I sometimes the Be honest with you I'll be frank. Sometimes I get sick and tired of going to ministers meetings and sin and listening to workshops. By the next. Answer to the problem of our world church. Like if and invariably as a pastor up there who sharing what they've done. That worked in their local locality. But it's now kind of almost forced it off as if this is what everyone should do. And it will answer the problem of church growth. There is no silver bullet. Like OK. They've done that story line. Great. Now. I could probably take most of the and popular in the U.K. and most of it would work likewise we could but it's not the end so the answer. Like in some ways I think we've been far too. There's been there's been a too much you can always write. There's been not enough creativity in our approach to repackaging. And what we do. We're lazy. With how we like what should we do that. You know. We're lazy. You know. The message doesn't change but I think we need to be formalised it down as Think how do we meet the needs of our community. What talents that we have in this local church how can I reach people on a personal level. As a mechanic as an A is as this. And lead them to Bible study commitment to Jesus Christ. And we're searching for some sort of some elusive method. Some program. I want to get and that you know. We have talent and we have personality and. And God has put us in places to meet people and to utilize that much more than this magic method with that we're going to go with the work that we have many many more issues. And we thank you for yours. Here in Michigan and that you or are you want to ask you this message was recorded at the Jew I see twenty fifteen conference called chosen in Louisville Kentucky U.I.C. supporting Ministry of a Seventh Day Adventist Church seeks to inspire young people to be bible based priced centered in soul winning Christians. To download or purchase other resources like this visit us online at W W W G Y C web.


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