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3. A Hill Worth Dying On

Adam Ramdin

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Adam Ramdin

Youth Director for the North England Conference of SDA

Conference

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  • December 28, 2017
    2:45 PM
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This message was presented at the G.U.Y.Z. twenty seventeen conference. In Phoenix Arizona for other resources like this visit us online at www. Dot. Org. Good afternoon everyone. Hope you had a good lunch. And whatever else you did over the break. As well as for prayer as we begin next presentation. Father in Heaven Lord we pour thank you for this day for the blessing of life health and strength as we meditate for a few moments on this on the subject of a hill to die and I pray Lord that you through your Holy Spirit would impress upon us. The importance of our lives and where we stand in history with brain you and me men. OK our first presentation we looked at broader themes of the Reformation the second one we look at faith and formulas which was different the progression of. The belief on how we're saved through the Reformation and where we stand today this one is called the hill worth dying on you know when we think of the reformers what what imagery often comes to mind is imagery of people who actually gave their life for something they they may have lived and then their life was cut short because of the stance that they took and so the question for us today is you know what spans do we or will we have to take and what are we prepared to stand for something at the cost of something very precious even be it our life you know when we think back on to some of the past and the history we talk about John Wycliffe a couple of times already but I talk about him again welcome to love the work the work place of John Wycliffe because there's a certain quote There's a quotation that he gave. That I believe stands out as kind of like a foundational principle that he lived by and many reform after him live by as I mentioned earlier you can go visit is church if you do go go between the times of ten am and twelve pm and it's always open every day and just walk in and it's open now he was once asked if he would renounce and there was one time where he was on his his his bed and a room filled with all these other pay Preston people people and they wanted to get him to admit that he was wrong or to change his mind and there's a quotation that he gave that kind of really. Sums up in some ways the essence of Protestantism where he said these words he said with whom he so with whom think you he finally said Are you contending with an old man on the brink of the grave then he said no we're truth. Truth that is stronger than you and truth that will what overcome you I mean this was the this is kind of the principle that many reformers live by and I believe the early Adventists live by and I believe the Adventist Church and God's people at the end of time will also have to live by this principle who do you think you are battling with just me just an individual he said You think you're just battling with an old man with gray hairs on the brink of a great no he said you're battling with truth it's something bigger than me is something stronger than just me and you're battling with that and this truth is stronger than you and one day is going to overcome you as well you see the lives that we live we need to live a life that's kind of we live for a bigger cause than just what we are there's something bigger than the individual and there's something bigger than the church he recognized it wasn't just him as an individual there's something bigger out there there was a bigger issue at play and so the issue is on his day there was an issue of national rights a mention in a presentation this morning England was paying money to the Pope or to or to the Vatican it was a thousand crowns a year and he said no we as a sovereign country should not be paying money to another sovereign country for what and so they challenge that and that was a huge issue that he stood for he also stood for justification by faith and he also believed that the Bible should be in the language of the common people many of us would look at those things that they and say well that's fairly standard but in an age where nations didn't have a right to exist unless they have the Pope's blessing. You've heard the story of the German king Gregory I forget his name exactly Gregory who wasn't going along with everything the pope wanted him to do and so the pope just put the whole country of Germany under under basically a papal ban is that OK until you listen to me no one in your country can get married no one in your country can have a funeral no one in your whole country can get baptized as a baby the church is shocked and soon the people said to the king you better so are whatever differences you've got because in the Catholic belief if you have a baby and they were born but not baptized in the Die now we think that the world we just bury them and pray the Lord will resurrect them in the Catholic belief if they're bad if they die before they're baptized which frequently happened in medieval times the child goes straight to hell so it was a big issue and you can't get married outside of the physical structure of the church you know as Adventists today we may have a wedding on the beach or a meeting on the moon and you can't do that Catholic belief in the fifteen hundred you have to get married in the physical church by the priest and so when the pope says you can have weddings you can have baptisms and you can have funerals like those three institutions of life shut the whole country down and so they were able to control countries by controlling the church and so John Wycliffe was like no no no there's something wrong here and so he was the first one that stood up for national rights and that's a common thing you see through some of the Reformation stories where Martin Luther was kind of arguing for a stronger Germany as opposed to Germany listen to everything the pope told them justification by faith as I mentioned earlier and the Bible in the language of the common people this is another man here and I want to recognize this man or this place. House that is in the city of Pryor gets a beautiful city of a get a chance to go one of my favorite cities it really really picturesque and really just a nice vibe in the city. Look cafe shops and people play music and drawing pictures and very artistic place that's the old town square and they were I kind of like Czech Republic because they they really do like they're reformers there are some countries particularly like in England where the English people really have no idea you drive the lot so they have no idea who John work with is and it's pretty sad whereas I do like the fact that in Czech Republic they they do see their reformers as national heroes from the past and so there's a big snatcher there in the Old Town Square and you can visit the that's the Bethlehem Chapel was a he was a pastor there at the Bethlehem Chapel and one of the big things the he stood for when he was the pastor of the Bethlehem Chapel a key thing he actually inherited it from the pastor before him the pastor before him said I want the Bible to be taught in this chapel in the local language that's a big thing and so when John Haas took over pasturing in this church. He was inheriting a heritage where the Bible was taught in the language of the common people and so that was one of the things he stood for he also stood for many of the stances that John Wycliffe stood for and this is kind of how you have some of the synergy of the Reformation John Wycliffe was in England and he was a reformer there and then the princess of England was from Bohemia or Czech Republic and so she came in contact with John Wycliffe writings and then through a couple of relationships some of those writings made their way to the Czech Republic and so then was started in England carried on in the Czech Republic or at the time it was called Bohemia and the Reformation went from one country to another and but these guys started a period of reform there in the Czech Republic you know how they were. To me this is a lesson this is a generation of what you for Christ. He took over this church which was one of the premier churches in the city of Prague capital city he was the age at the age of now another some of you this may sound old but in the grand scheme of things I think it's quite young he was the age of thirty one that's a me that's pretty young when it comes to being a pastor of like the biggest church in the city I don't know about what cities you come from and what conferences you come to it you come from and haven't isn't but where I come from the biggest church in the conference never gets a pastor who's thirty one years old to get the guy who's like you know one step from retirement and and but thirty one biggest church in the city and he's championed the cause of John Wycliffe before him he's sharp in the course of the Bible and the language of the people but it got him he got him in trouble and he got summoned to the city of Constance the city of Constance had a council It's called the Council of Constance It started in fourteen fifteen and he was summoned to Constance but he was told or when he went there he would have the same protection of the Emperor so the emperor is over the whole area the Holy Roman Emperor and he said Here's your safe conduct you can travel to Constance and no one is going to kill you no one's going to hurt you you have safe passage so he travelled there to Constance his friends didn't want him to go they said if you go you're going to die yes and then the you know the Empress given me safe conduct but either way I'm going to go whether you know whether I'm supposed to we're not so he travels to Constance and as soon as he got there he arrived in Constance his travel of safe passage from the Emperor meant nothing and he was put straight in prison you know what the irony is or kind of the quirk on history is that same Emperor got the throne and was put in prison later on himself so this served him right. The city of Constance if you've ever been there you may recognize this statue it's a statue of a rather curvy and scantily clad woman and it kind of is illustrating the colorful history of the city. While the council of Constance was on the population swelled from about ten thousand to about forty thousand and of that about fifteen hundred women of circumstance shall I say moved into the city and you know let's you know that they were all living by their vows and so in her hand in one of her hands she holds the Emperor and in the other hand she's holding the pope very interesting artistic imagery where you've essentially got a prostitute called in the pope and the Emperor in one hand. So. I was in them houses in prison and then Jerome said if I was in prison I'm going to go to his help so Jerome then leaves Prague and goes to Constance and when he gets the Constance he realizes there's nothing he can do to help us out houses in prison there's nothing he can do so he returns to Prague but on his way back to Prague Jerome got apprehended and then he gets thrown in prison as well as he got two of these reformers from Czech Republic They're both there imprisoned and Jerome and they had a trial and this should have been the constant is called them one star and we know exactly where John Haas do it exactly he was standing by row twenty four in the aisle that's where he stood during his trial and so he had to answer his questions and that's where he made a defense of his space so John Haas was there in this building he was gave a defense of his faith and it's interesting something happened in this building that really helped Martin Luther out about one hundred years later because when he was in his trial he was basically having to give a defense and he made a point. He said I traveled here to Constance under the protection of Emperor Sigismund and perceived as a man who was sat on the over there and when he sat there and held up I'm going to be held up is his safe conduct passage everyone in the room looked at him and the history accounts of that day or that event say that Sigismund blushed a crimson red he's embarrassed this guy came into your protection and you threw him in prison later on in fifteen twenty or fifteen twenty one when Martin Luther was in a similar position and he was at a council and there were some people that said listen what are we talked what why are we discussing with Martin Luther let's just throw Martin Luther in prison the Emperor of the time said no I do not want a blush like Sigismund blushed and so a little bit of personal pride from this situation can't keep Martin Luther alive was other people would have the slides are so clear this a picture of inside the church and when House was getting ready to be killed he was asked to renounce some things or announce his faith and he said these words he said what terrorist said postural I renounce I know myself guilty of none I call got to witness that all I have written and preach has been with the view of rescuing souls from sin of perdition and therefore most joyfully when I confer with my blood the truth which I have written and preached you've got John Wycliffe saying listen you're battling with truth truth that stronger than you you got John has saying what era should I renounce I know myself guilty of none of these men you see they understood the difference with the what was a real issue and what was something that wasn't and I said that thing the but this thing we are going to stand on and we're not going to budge on and we're not going to bend on you can go in Constance to the exact spot they believe it was right there where that rock is where Jerome was killed and also later on the story house was killed and also later on where Jerome was killed history tells us that as they were burning he started to sing the song when the flames kindled about him he began to sing Jesus the Son of David have mercy on me and so continued until his voice was silenced for ever. How do you have a faith wig you dying and singing a hymn while you're being birthed. Like sometimes today in church we get offended over such silly things someone didn't say something right you know so when addressing me with the right title or whatever. The end of their they many of these things are frivolous things he got people dying singing hymns recognizing they're standing for something that's bigger. Than. Than. Than their life itself L M Y writes on Jesus both bore themselves with a constant mind with constant mind when their last hour approached they prepared for the fire as if they were going to a marriage feast they ought to know cry of pain when the flames a rose they began to sing hymns and scarce could the vehement sea of the fire stop their singing. Their seminars entitle the hill to die on what issues is a one of the issues they stood for was the Bible the language of the common people what issues do we have a as a church have to stand for today What issues do we stand for in our local church or do we make issues of things that shouldn't be issues Martin Luther was born in forty ninety four his dad was a miner came from a poor family that's his birth ause that's the city of Wittenberg Witan burg Scuse me. That's the church you know the thesis to this one here the tower the church he preached in most of the time was that one there and his house is just about there. Martin Luther was standing for the belief that he often phrase The just shall live by faith. He was denounced by the pope this spot here if you've been to Wittenberg this one here this is not the original tree but it's the tree planted in the same spot. Where he burned the papal ball that denounced him you know he had a little bit as I said earlier deliberate of drama in him as well he had a crowd gathered around the Papal Bull and burned it in the presence of with the people and it was some way around where that tree is he was making a stand like sometimes people today say or what are these people just kind of arrogant are these people just kind of you know picky what were they making stands for what were the issues they were standing on Martin Luther was standing for the Bible in the language of the common people he was arguing for justification by faith alone as opposed to the sacraments these are what he was standing on now what about some of the other reformers have you heard of Thomas Cranmer maybe Thomas Cranmer in his phone I lived in my house for about four years until I realized that Thomas Cranmer was born literally five miles from where I lived so I got in the car drove there that they even got him on the village sign birthplace of Thomas Cranmer forty in eighty nine to fifteen fifty six Archbishop of Canterbury he is the most high profile person that Mary Stuart Queen Mary killed she's often referred to as bloody Queen Mary because she killed about two hundred eighty Protestants during her time as queen and Ashokan or as Locke turn was the birthplace of Thomas Cranmer Now what was the issue that Thomas Cranmer stood for why did he die. Like the side story is in the book you get the big reason the side story the side story is Thomas Cranmer was the Archbishop of Canterbury you know he was made the Archbishop of Canterbury King Henry want to divorce his wife right it was a wife named Catherine thank you Catherine and I wanted to divorce Catherine and Mary and but the pope said he couldn't and the reason why the pope said he couldn't was basically because Katherine was like you know related to him or something in some way so we didn't want to embarrass her even though he had authorised many of the Kings to get divorced he just didn't do this one and so the king was kind of annoyed like were you doing all these are the divorces why you do mine. So the king. Found someone that would agree with his divorce on this point Cranmer was wrong I would probably say that was kind of. Nuance of history Thomas Crown the authorized the king's divorce so the king made him the Archbishop of Canterbury so he could get a divorce. The argument was that the king should never have been married to her in the first place because she had already been married to his brother so Catherine of Aragon marry the king's brother the king's brother died and then the king married her and some people said well she shouldn't marry them therefore she was illegitimate Queen therefore it authorized the divorce anyway the arguing went round and round and round and round Thomas Crown and became the Archbishop of Canterbury authorized the king's divorce so when the queen died and when Thomas So when King Henry the Eighth died he was succeeded by Edward the six who was the boy king from the age of nine to fifteen he died and then we had the nine the queen Lady Jane Grey and then it was the first daughters sort of the first wife's daughter who was Mary bloody Queen Mary she became the king and queen she remembered that Thomas Crown had been the one who authorized the divorce of her mother and she had a vendetta against this guy so one of the things she wanted to do straight away was see him put to prison but the theological issue that's kind of the personal. The personal subplot to the story the the a logical issue what was the theological issue that Thomas Cranmer that Thomas Cranmer stood for why why did he die as Adventists we think at the end of time was going to be advantageous so our Sunday what it Thomas Cranmer Di What was your back then what was the issue was a life and death. The issue was this transubstantiation or communion that was the life and death issue now today we say we will probably say how can that be a life or death issue this is the spot where they were burned to death you see that cross on the ground the black cross with the wire around it that's the exact spot they believe on the ground where Thomas Cranmer Nicholas Ridley and Hugh Latham were burned at the stake in fifteen fifty five and fifty six now the issue was transubstantiation now. Let me just share with you a little bit Hugh last summer Hugh Latimer this is an it to me this is fascinating I just really found this out not so long ago as I was preparing for the summer Hugh Latimer was a bishop in England and he was a well known preacher and when Queen Mary became queen she said she ran around and of all the Protestants or the Protestant bishops and systematically killing them Hugh Latham was one of them now this is the think he was given six weeks from from when I think she became queen when a lot of the Protestant leaders William to in the minute when there was other one that fled the country John Locke was one of them they fled the country a lot of them went to Geneva which was a haven for Protestants Hugh Latimer could have fled the country had six weeks to leave is a no I'm not in the country to be as much in it he states more a lot of Protestant leaders fled he said no one going to stay and not leaving there and when the council summoned him the guy's name was called John careless I don't know who has a last name careless But anyway his name was John careless he heard that he was about to be summoned by the council so John careless went to see Latham and said they're going to summon you get away. And are leaving not leaving many of us would have probably fled right this is a messenger from the Lord John Kelis and he's told me to leave and I'll leave when the Queen's officer came to him he didn't even arrest him or put him in whatever and drag him away the Queen's officer merely came to him and said Here's your summons and then the Queen's officer left OK Is the Lord letting him live the sum and said he had to appear in London on the thirteenth of September fifteenth fifty four it's almost like bloody Queen Mary was trying to give him every opportunity to flee like this some she wanted to kill but she it almost looks by you when you look at that she don't want to kill the guy almost looks like that in a six week delay but one tells him out it then the Queen's office just says oh can you appear on this day I mean which Protestant leader appears on the day of his execution of his own free will. And then he showed up on the thirteenth of September and he was very specific he said No Number one he said I'm not fleeing Number two he said I'm not going to run the country I'm not going to run from the country he said I will show up on the date that the queen has summoned me because I am going to answer theologically for the reasons that she's told I am in heresy and I appreciate the stand you made because he could have led today you can go visit Oxford that picture there shows the the monument that was built in Oxford in eighteen forty one commemorating the stand of what are called the Oxford Martin he said read this quote here it was a magnificent Lee courageous recognition of the fact that where great issues are involved there comes a time when the bravest men cannot give ground. Yes I know there is a big issue a stake than just my temp or a life even though I had the opportunity to escape for leave to flee the country is I know I'm going to stand my ground and I'm going to defend the issue that I that I believe in even if it's at the cost of my life the oxen Martin the fifty five and fifty fifty six when it was really he will ultimately and the main issue was transubstantiation what's transubstantiation anyone. Correct so is the belief as a mention that when the priest says the prayer over the bread at communion that bread now becomes the literal. Literal body of Jesus. But wind becomes the literal blood of Jesus and you're drinking his literal blood that's the belief that's the Catholic belief and Hugh Latimer amongst others said no we do not believe in this and they argued against it now there were different beliefs at the time and this is a maybe a little bit of a summary of what some of the beliefs were you had the Catholics who believe in transubstantiation that was that the bread and the wine completely changed into the actual body and blood of Jesus Catholic belief right the reformed belief which John Calvin came up with was slightly different is kind of call reception is I'm not quite sure why and they say Christ is not present literally but he spiritually present kind of like you're on a cross between the two by faith you can receive the action so we didn't say it's the actual body but spirit show you can receive the actual body so it's kind of I don't know a bit of a fusion the Lutheran view is called sometimes called consubstantial nation and that where they say Christ's body and bread are present in with and under the bread and the wine not quite sure what that means how exactly is different. And they use the illustration the Lutherans where you have an iron rod in a fire the iron is distinct The fire is distinct yet both are united together this was Martin Luther's view now in my opinion these. Neither of them is accurate I mean then you had wing glee and this is a loser willingly is more called Memorial ism which is it's no physical or spiritual presence of Christ in the bread and wine the service is a remembrance of Christ you know this issue is the issue that split Lutherans only they met and discussed this I forget the name is it Magna Berg where they met and discussed this and Luther would not give ground in the willingly would not give ground and that caused a division between Lutherans willingly that was I believe in the long run very very damaging for Protestantism as a whole where you had this movement started to fragment Protestantism started to fragment over this issue. Where do Adventists stand were along this line we believe that when you have the bread is the literal symbolic The bread is just a symbol of the body the wine is a symbol of the blood and we do it in remembrance of what Christ has done for us. Today we don't die over this issue. But in the sixteen hundred fifteen hundred people died on this issue last summer he was asked the question where is a lot of it is in heaven he had a little bit of humor when you read Hugh Latimer sermons he had a kind of a humor about him as he wrote Where is the Lord he is in heaven whence he went at the resurrection the change at Communion is in the heart of the belief is in the heart of the believe are not in the bread and that's very much what we believe as Adventists today that at communion you know that the change comes in your heart as opposed to in something else if you get a chance to go to Oxford It's right outside Balliol College and it's flat it's not fascinating it's kind of sad you go there and stand on the side and you watch cars drive over this place I'm not saying it's a sacred spot and they shouldn't go but you watch bicycles go and people walk and people have no idea no understanding no idea like I'm saying I'm not saying is a sacred spot you can walk on I've taken pictures of you know standing around top of it but it's sometimes that the realise that these fans or people made people today have little understanding of them you know as Adventists today some of the stands that we will have to make may not be transubstantiation or communion that battle has been fought are but I believe the stance that will have to take in the times that are ahead will include things such as the Sabbath verses Sunday that's going to be an issue that we as adamant as well have to stand for now some people may say well that's not a big deal one day in seven it doesn't matter which one you keep well as we as Adventists have a different understanding both of the Sam both in the sample is not just a day of rest but the Sabbath has prophetic significance at the end of time. We see the end time the end time prophetic understanding links the family with the seal of God and sight yet to some people they will say. The some modern out of Insist argue that this understanding that the advantages have on the Sabbath being an end time issue is is framed or clouded by the Adventists stand in the eighteen eighties what happened in the eighty's well in the eighty's and eighty's in Congress here in the United States of America they were going to pass a Sunday law the Blair Bill they were going to pass a Sunday low so the Adventists went to Congress eighty Jones and argued against the passing of a Sunday law now some modern Adventists I would call them say that the Adventist understanding on the Sabbath is only clouded by that history like and that our stance today is out of touch with the current times and it was only a historic stand that is not really prophetically true I would say that's incorrect because the end time prophetic understanding of the linking of the family with the seal of God was first brought together by Joseph Bates in the eight hundred forty S. and the uniqueness of Adventism is the understanding of the Sabbath in the context of the sanctuary or the apocalyptic end time scenario that we understand the Sabbath is not just a day of rest but something more important than that a man called Joseph or sorry Thomas kill him with a seventh day Baptist in a sickly and hundreds and he wrote a tract in sixteen fifty seven on the Sabbath called the seventh day sabbath sort out and celebrated where here identified God's law and the Sabbath as being at the heart of the final conflict so even the sixteen hundreds you had a Baptist understanding the Sabbath in the same eschatological importance that we as a Seventh Day Adventist understand the essing interpretation of final events pre-dates as I mentioned just a few minutes ago what some call a contractual understanding or revelation based on the eighty's when the Sunday Little was introduced into Congress in eighteen eighty eight you think the Sabbath will be an issue in the end of time where do you think Congress is going to go on these issues I'm not an expert on religious liberty in these things but I was reading a book that brought out this point that you know we talk about is America going to pass a Sunday law well in one thousand nine hundred sixty one McGann one versus Maryland the court ruled that Sunday closing laws have a secular purpose so they do not violate the Constitution like they've already voted or They've already had a case that established. That it would be OK so it doesn't really matter today so much you know what's the ratio of Catholics the Protestants or whatever on the Supreme Court they've already got a historic precedent of two cases and then the same year in one thousand nine hundred eighty one drawn field versus Brown ruled the Sunday closing laws do not violate the religious freedom of Jewish shopkeepers even though we would handicap them in the marketplace because they would have to be closed on two days so if Congress has already ruled that this issue would kind of be OK elase the ground for us today. Being in trouble is the issue just Sabbath for us to stand for or is it bigger than that you know history has some tough lessons and it's important to look at the lessons of the past and we look at the history of the administration in Germany in World War two It doesn't make very good reading they stood for the Sabbath at the peril of a lot of things. And it almost shows you where if you stand just for the Sabbath but you fail to see the principles for which to stand both stands you can put us in a bad place we defend the principle of the freedom behind the Sabbath more than just the ability for us to go to church on one day and history of the Adventist Church and not see Germany doesn't make very good reading today there is an unpopular religious minority maybe this is controversial I don't know who've been targeted they've had their holy books confiscated their religious rituals disrupted and some of their members are jailed in violation of basic Jew process and civil rights and some people say and many Christians say well they're not Christian Their religion is false. They don't have a holy book like we have so it's OK if their constitutional rights are violated some of them are held in prison and haven't had a trial for ten years in the land of the free and the home of the brave. But it's justified because they're terrorists now it's very easy you know it's very easy for us to kind of stand aside and just get out well that's not us and because it's not us who cares that same way society things can just be taken from one minority group and just lift it next group you know the way that they've kind of divided Islam up into the peaceful loving majority and minority extremism. So you've got them you know everyone is peaceful. The majority is peaceful it's just a small minority that's not and that's the problem it's so easy for the same dividing of a particular subculture to just take the same dividing they've done to that group and do it to another group and do it another group and it will be so easy to do that through to us where they're peaceful loving people it's just a minority there's legal istic and whatever whatever whatever that's the problem I think we have to sometimes see the big issues at play and laws meant to control one group of people in society can establish a precedent for everyone who lives in a society and we as a people need to look at the issues that underlie the Sam birth and God's law and see how this plays out in the wider spectrum Otherwise our view of the Sabbath could be too narrow what issues are we going to have to stand for you know another issue I believe that as God's church you know transubstantiation the Bible in the language of the common people within the past but I think increasingly an issue for Adventists or Christians to even make a stand on today is going to be this issue their marriage in the family I mean right now this is like the topic in America transgenderism male female this that the other can you go to this bathroom without bathroom or which one can you go to are people born this way or the not born that way you state your gender of birth order you do it later on in these to marry can these to marry or what about those two these are kind of the issues and in some ways I don't know about you. In nineteen two thousand and fifteen United States Supreme Court ruled that same sex marriage was constitutionally protected right you know in California New Jersey Oregon in D.C. it's illegal for counselors to use what they call conversion therapy let's say you're a counselor and a young person comes to you and says I'm having these tendencies or these feelings and I don't like them can you help me combat them it's illegal for a counselor in at least those states to counsel them on how to overcome those temptations that legal now in many ways I think is Adventists we're kind of looking at the Sabbath on the issue and I believe that is a prophetic issue that's going to be there but I think in some ways they're going to be other issues that are related to the Ten Commandments as well that we may have to make a stand on that maybe we've been a little bit too quiet on as a church you could maybe argue we've released some statements affirming the biblical view yet in some ways and maybe this is my opinion maybe yours is different overall as a church we've been quite quiet on the issue of voiding get involved too much you know the Reformation helped the sexual revolution how Martin Luther married Catherine Bond she was an escaped nun it's a fascinating story Martin Luther helped her escape from prison she was a nun something like in a in in a wagon or in a beer barrel they escaped from prison and he America is one way to find a wife Calvin got married as well he married a widower she had a few children he lived a happy marriage they went against the grain they challenge the I grew older rejected the idea that celibacy was a superior form of spirituality that's the belief you know if you're celibate you're more spiritual than someone who is not celibate and they challenged that idea the Puritans everyone thinks they're all stiff stiff you know stiff upper lip and whatever whatever but the Puritans continued that even though they were very rigid with church discipline and other things the Puritans continued this and thought that the Bible up held romantic love and sex engaged for pleasure not just for procreation in fact Puritans if you're a Puritan member in a church you could be disciplined by the church. If you were only believing in sex for procreation as opposed to pleasure like if you were withholding yourself from your spouse it was grounds for church discipline so the Puritans weren't so Puritan. As we would sometimes think. So the Adventist marriage on the Sabbath had their origin we look at both these things then Sabbath and the marriage had the origin twin institutions for the glory of God When the benefit of humanity then as the creator join the hands of the holy pair in wedlock saying a man shall leave a spider is a mother as to cleave to his wife and they shall be one he enunciated the law of marriage for all the children of Adam to the close of time now how do you think the marriage might play at the end of time and are there prophetic references to marriage in the Book of Revelation yes or no in some ways you could argue there's more references or allusions to marriage in Revelation than there are even to other things which gives us maybe an indication that it might be a big issue that we may have to stand for as a church increasingly the view that a man should marry one woman may be seen as being archaic notice these imagery here in Revelation fourteen verse seven it talks about how the first angel. The first angel A uses these words the fountains of waters. And it's interesting imagery for John to use in Revelation Chapter fourteen why because fountains of waters the word fountains of waters is the word in the Hebrew Peggy which is the same in the Septuagint as going back. Is the same as the Septuagint So what is used in Genesis seven verse eleven when it says the fountains of the waters were unleashed on the world. Interesting that in Revelation fourteen he uses the same phrase as was used in Genesis seven and one of the reasons for the flood was what an abuse of the marriage institution interesting connection the second angel has marriage imagery as well it talks about fornication literal fornication symbolic or historical law or symbolic fornication as well and notice about the third angel the third angel says the beast and his image the beast and his image is a counterfeit of the image of God and the image of God according to Genesis one verse twenty seven you have the image of God in the union of man and woman so maybe the beast and his image is also another application of that where as a subversion of the marriage the medieval church subjugated women it made where did life an inferior state it led to the view of God that was off for a tear in hierarchial and oppressive that was the medieval church but today our battle is not so much the mediæval church is modern secularism which is distorting God's image today by denying the importance of gender would these be issues that the church has to grapple with or stand on notice here similar imagery in Revelation fourteen verse ten the punishment for those that have the mark of the beast is a fire and brimstone will come on them fire and brimstone is used in Genesis one nine hundred twenty four as the punishment for Sodom and Gomorra. Which had abused the marriage being rampant homosexuality is a Jew seventy use of the same words fire and brimstone the same word used in Revelation fourteen verse ten is the same as is used in Genesis nineteen verse twenty four per and the on our side of Revelation half the uses of this word have to do with Sodom and Gomorrah so. It's interesting that the Fourth Commandment Remember the Sabbath day and the fifth commandment on of the father and my mother are the only two commandments that have affirmative behavior remember and honor the other commandments are there are not these ones call for affirmative behavior marriage and the Sabbath and I think those two these two commandments are going to be issues that we will have to grapple or stand with some people ask the question though and Adventists today if we call for a law if we call that laws should not be there on the Sabbath how can we then call for laws on marriage in the question if we say no laws on the Sabbath how can we say laws on marriage is a contradiction of terms I would say no it's not a contradiction and why is not a contradiction is not a contradiction because the Fifth Commandment excuse me is on the second table the first table of commandments is Commandments want to four it deals with our relationship with God The second table of commandments is Commandments five to ten it deals with our relationship with fellow human beings the first table deals with our relationship to God Divine Law second table human law we as Christians or Adventists should believe that it's OK for the state to enforce the second table but not the first. Nature teaches us to survive and thrive civil societies need a structure of honesty integrity and respect for life and property based on nature and human experience the traditional family structure is one of the most basic and common values civil Morales you know this is something interesting I think I think we as a church have lost this and what do I mean our early pioneers of the Adventist Church got involved in the Temperance Movement Ellen White spoke to the largest audience is the largest audience is Ellen White spoke to were not an Adventist audience is when she spoke about the temperance movement all of our early pioneers and want to say all I mean every single one of the early pioneers what all bar none abolitionists was that it was I mean by that they all believe in abolition of slavery and they wrote aggressively and actively to that to that end. So much so that the Adventists review and herald the flagship Journal of the Adventist Church was abandoned in the southern states because it was seen as an abolitionist magazine now I think as a church we've lost the edge in some ways John Byington the first D.C. President was a member or part whatever you call it it was an assigned organization but he used his firearm on the Underground Railroad L A Y herself set the in there was a Lauren eighteen fifty that if an escaped slave came to the north you have to return the escape slave back to his master Ellen White said the law requiring. Us to return the scape slave to his master we are not to beg. You to break the law so early Adventists they saw the difference between what was civil morality issues that we could get involved in and what were not. The abolition of slavery the temperance movement those are all issues that are early pioneers got into now some people will say that marriage is you know we shouldn't be legislating it but it could be argued that marriage isn't even a Christian or Jewish institution as it existed prior to Judaism it existed outside of these cultures as well now to invoke a civil law on behalf of morality it must be shown that there are public consequences to morality I know this is not so much Reformation history we are just covering it because I think it has a relevance to us today let me share with you some statistics so I think as Adventists we should make a stand on not just the Sabbath but other issues are relevant as well young adult children of lesbian parents are eleven times as more likely to have been sexually abused by a parent or another adult and heterosexual The point I'm making is if we as Adventists or Christians argue that we can enforce by law certain issues of civil more ality because they come from the second table of the law we have to show that there's a civil consequence to society that justifies them being legislated. Is there a civil consequence to society when Commandment number five is broken down I think there is a civil consequence to society and we're only just with we won't see its fall reality until a few years time children lesbian and gay men are three times more likely to be forced have sex against their will children raised by gays and lesbians reported with greater levels of depression lower levels of happiness and physical health and thirty to forty percent more likely to get arrested but as another study you can say well these are kind of or some of them are subject object of some of them you because they are subjective in Canada the National Centers of Canada so this is census statistics these are hard cold facts children of gay and lesbian were sixty nine percent less likely to graduate from high school than children of opposite sex parents just like that's just graduate from high school there's no like that's just a fact lesbian household with sixty percent daughters of lesbians forty five percent daughters of gay parents fifteen percent so the question should we be passive or silent on the issue are you going to grapple with that yourself and where you stand I would argue that we should be passive let me share with you before we close something that I think helps us delineate certain things in the adamant this church and when we look at the past hill to die on what you stand on you're not church we have I believe four levels of teachings you have doctrines your teachings your majority majority of the majority minority views and individual positions what I mean you could divide everything we stand for a church on the one of these things let me explain what the doctrine a doctrine is a fundamental belief we call them landmarks we call them pillars they define a person as a Seventh Day Adventist they have been brought together by careful study church wide consensus they are formed and settled sometimes over a long period for example our teaching on the Sabbath as a church took us about a good ten years to settle on. Nine hundred forty eight hundred forty seven two at least eight hundred fifty seven until we settled on the Sabbath being kept from sunset to sunset took us about ten years the sanctuary you could say was what eighteen thirty something to about eighteen forty five Now these are landmark pillars the Holy Spirit and that's a big thing these is the Holy Spirit but the Holy Spirit if you look at it historically it took us about seventy years until we settled on the view that we have as a church on this Holy Spirit like it wasn't until one thousand nine hundred forty five that we actually put something in print as a church as an official statement because there was so much variance of Bill of view before that and that's why you can find all of these from pioneers saying wacky things from eight hundred seventy or eight hundred sixty because there was a huge diversity of opinion back then but it was kind of settled by the mid one thousand hundreds now this is doctrines these are the things that you need to believe to be an Adventist and these are the things I believe that we should kind of make a stand on if you go to Clipper girls or you heard Cliff I don't see it I'm not clever Jones was a political spin he'll say if you don't believe in creation I heard him say This is G R C A couple of years back if you don't believe in creation and you cannot be a some of the Adventist I would agree I don't see how you can be a Sunday Adventist and not believe in creation to me it doesn't go. Where you have like that's a foundational fundamental pillar What about teaching so your doctrine. Teaching what it teaching teachings have a lower status they are beliefs or lifestyle issues that the church has adopted that we do not see as a test of faith they represent what S the as whole to be true for the most part some of these things you could say argue not all of them some of them we may glean from the writings of L. Ron White more than the Bible. The doctrines or come from the Bible unmistakeably let me give you an example diet was the advantage doctrine and diet that you have to agree to when you get baptized it's clean and clean as it. That's what we can prove biblically But what do we hold as a teaching of the church do we generally teach that we should be vegetarian yes or no that is here we do. We can it can depend on where you are in the planet but it is something we still hold as a denomination to be best practice but we fall short of making it a test of faith but we do hold it to be a teaching really all the things that would come into this area you would probably say are things like. Let me see. Certain beliefs or even we would call them theological views that may not be a doctrine but they still what we hold potentially our view on church and state it's not a doctrine of the church but it's still something we still teach. What comes next majority minority views the positions or belief held by larger groups about images that are not recognized as doctrines or teachings they often include ideas and not core faith ideas and these can vary where you are in the world there are some places where you go in the world where you cannot mention the word Christmas you cannot celebrate Christmas you cannot even talk about Jesus being born you cannot even sing Christmas carols in December because pagan and I've had instances where it's been a huge issue in different places and other places you go it's no problem there were Christmas tree in church you know which way I mean our church doesn't have an official doctrine on Christmas it kind of varies where you go Yes Ellen White has given some statements on Christmas but if you have a strong belief that Christmas is pagan I can tell you can give them all the I why cause it means absolutely nothing they'll just ignore it that's pagan but otherwise it doesn't matter I'm going with a BY along this one and people pick and choose what they want based on whatever. And that's just one example but other issues you know they can make it they could be good their dietary things. Well there maybe even more finite area of diet than just vegetarianism but people make that a huge issue and then you have even lower down than that what I would say are individual opinions I mean I've met people that argue till they were blue in the face and I don't know whether it's individual positions or minority views that all women in church have to wear a hat now to me that's a non-issue I really don't care if you are unaware. And I'm certainly don't believe the latter rain falling on the church is dependent on all the females in here wearing a hat but some people you talk to them that have all the quotes printed in all this and that other name almost make a salvific view of something that has no real end time apocalyptic significance as a people I think we need to learn to delineate what are the core fundamental issues that make us a Seventh Day Adventist in this time what may be a teaching that we hold to be generally true but we may not impose it with the same force as a doctrine and what are some of the positions that we may just hold more ourself or may just be localized to what particular region or subculture of Adventism and what's just my own view and learn where we make the stand some of the issues we have in the local churches we represent where people are making the issues that look like number four number three or number two and defending them with the intensity of it being a doctrinal position let's defend our church doctrines at the cost of be it our life but not other issues they're meant you know Ellen White she was writing you know eighteen eighty and this is kind of not what I was going to talk about I just mentioned it very quickly before we close in eighty and eighty eight What was the issue. Righteousness by faith but what was the issue with which Bible passages were they using and if you study this before you know they were using Galatians chapter three the lore of Galatians and the new View guys were saying the lore of Galatians is the Ten Commandments and the all of you guys are saying the local Asians and ceremony alone and there was a big law there was a big argument is the law regulations or ceremonial law or is it the Think a moment and they argued this law with the intensity of a doctrine Ellen White later said the lore of Galatians is not a major issue please stop arguing about it today we don't discuss this it will be down a majority minority view from way down there but in one hundred eighty eight it was argued with the intensity as if it was a doctrine because the old guys thought that this new view was going to undermine the doctrine of the Sabbath and so they argued it like it was a doctrine Ellen why has the Course which she says listen guys. The law and is not a major issue today we put it we don't even talk about it but back then my goodness the church almost split over this thing let's know what makes us adman to statement. And let's know through the divine guidance God gives us to the impressions of the Holy Spirit what really is a hill worth dying on and what is not the reformers give us a legacy of standing for principle Hugh Latimer could have fled but stayed and died over a key Biblical issue let us know what we stand for and if we have to make a stand be it with our life that we would do so knowing that it's something worth dying for and it's not just something frivolous it's about ways for as we close we would have prayer Father in heaven we thank you Lord for your goodness to us we thank you Lord for the legacy of these men and women in the past May the lives and stories inspire us to live with integrity and firmness of conviction today bless us Lord we pray in Jesus' name amen. The next presentation as in tight for. The foundation of all freedom. This message was recorded at the G Y C twenty seven team conference arrives in Phoenix Arizona. G Y C A supporting Ministry of the Seventh Day Adventist Church seeks to inspire young people to be bible based Christ centered and so when Christians to download or purchase other resources like this visit us online at W.W.W. dot she Y.C. Web dot org.

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