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4. Lessons From 1888

Adam Ramdin
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Adam Ramdin

Youth Director for the North England Conference of SDA

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  • March 21, 2018
    7:00 PM
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I got a question for you why do people leave church. Because of the people of St Unfortunately it is no longer relevant Some people say their board peer pressure did you read my slides before they went to a peer pressure case really what about this one boyfriend or girlfriend depending on who you are or what your orientation is general distractions disagreements it could even be money pursuing money. And lying spiritually and just kind of changes your priorities in life and here's another one that you sometimes in politics is tired of the politics can't do it these are just some of the reasons there's the there's many more of them and sometimes it's a combination of them as to why people may leave church this evening our presentation is entitled Lessons from eight hundred eighty eight Now maybe you know what that means maybe you don't know what that means but it's you know we hear these dates in Adventism we have these dates that we'll hear in church or at a prophecy seminar A.D. thirty one what's that day significant for when Jesus was crucified right four fifty seven B.C. what's a significant for as the start of the the twenty three hundred days and also the four ninety prophecy seventeen o five thirty eight what's that one significant for the star the one thousand two hundred and sixty day or year prophecy seventy ninety eight if you cannot a very quick is the end of that prophecy OK eighteen forty four what's significant for that's the close of the the two thousand three hundred day prophecy and eighteen sixty three what's the significant for it's not a prophetic day by the way it's just a historical day. Adventist Church was. Incorporated on May twenty first eight hundred sixty three which is why lineage Season two is launching on May the twenty first. And no one will know why we're doing on the twenty but anyway I want to buy this state eighteen eighty eight it's what happened in one thousand eight hundred eight was the official event the official event was a general conference session happened in. Which number just forget which number of general conference sessions it was but an eight hundred eighty eight a general conference session happened now what is the general conference sessions of those who don't know what a general conference session is is essentially what we would call a business meeting for the World Church for the general conference session you have a business meeting at the same time it's an election process so they had this big meeting in eight hundred eighty eight well it wasn't that big today if you have a G.C. session if you've been to General Conference last one was in San Antonio Texas if you went there there are proximately two thousand five hundred delegates then you just have everyone else who's there to see the show as well and you can have up to sixty thousand people on Sabbath but the actual delegates who need to be there is about two thousand five hundred in eighty and eighty eight the number of delegates at the General Conference session I think it was only around the one hundred mark that's how many delegates we have now it's the name eight hundred eighty eight you hear in Adventism maybe you know what happened then maybe you don't but I believe there are lessons from that event and we're not going to look at the theological side of things because that's a whole minefield that we don't have any time to get into I'm going to look at something else this evening that I believe is relevant in many ways to us as some of the Adventists even as young people in church today in eighty and eighty eight you had a general conference session and there was a huge. Disagreement there was a huge disagreement people left church after eight hundred eighty eight we lost some good men have you heard of the name D. and can write no. Some of you have he is the man who came up you know yesterday we talked about Joseph but studying the Sabbath and someone D.M. can write is the man who came up with the Bible study that led to us as the church adopting the tithing system it was the encounter ten years after eight hundred eighty eight he left church that could put all these politics and arguments and whatever we lost a good man eighty JONES One of the characters in one thousand nine hundred eight let me introduce you to Ms born in one nine hundred fifty S. he would be kind of regarded as a second generation of pioneers he was born after the great disappointment cetera he stood before Congress in eighteen thirty eight he won at the age of thirty one and thirty one years old he was sent as a representative of our church you know you see on the news you know Donald Trump sitting there in Congress he was sent to that building and then as a representative of our church he stood on the floor quizzed by the senators of the United States of America for ninety minutes straight he was quizzed on the subject of the separation of church and state and he ahd qued that America should not pass a Sunday law in eighteen eighty one very very intelligent men and he was the editor of signs of the times another character in eight hundred eighty eight was E.J. Wagoner and he was even younger he was born in one thousand and fifty five he was the editor of the signs of the times along with a T. Jones there were these two men then there was also G.I. Butler G.I. Butler was born in one thousand thirty four he was baptised interesting Lee by J. and Andrews and I believe it's always a sad part of history that we don't know what would happen if J. and Andrews was that he died three years before. It was a general conference present from time to duties under full and eighty to eighty one and Florida conference president later on in his life so at the time he was the residing General Conference president and then you also had your RA A Smith who was born in eighteen thirty two he lost his faith after eighteen forty four the great disappointment and he left so to speak for about eight years and eight hundred fifty two he was reconverted joined the church and was the longest serving and it's of the Adventist review also serving as the General Conference secretary and treasurer these are four of the principal characters in eighteen eighty eight and their ages at the time if you didn't add it up fifty six fifty four thirty five and eighteen it's now sometimes eighteen eighteen has been picked puts it as a black hole or an odd human between the younger generation the younger men Jones in Wagga and the older men and Smith Yes On No thirty eight is not exactly massively young but it's still young. And there was definitely a generational gap between Butler and Smith and Jones and we're going on now what are they arguing about or is the debate what was the debate in question the debating question was this question What is the correct understanding of righteousness by faith what's right just by faith mean I we are saved by faith we abide in Christ now I don't want you may have heard those statements where Ellen White said that we had preached the law until we were as dry as they was kill bola and she the church up until this point had focused too much on the Law The Law The Law the Ten Commandments the Law the Ten Commandments the law Adventists would sometimes go into town and pitch up an open debate asking other ministers of congregations to come and debate with them on theological questions knowing that they would always win and she said of the church we had left all forgotten where we needed to be and it was preaching a gospel devoid of Christ Jones in a wagon I wanted or in the righteousness by faith message that they were trying to present they were trying to bring the church back to an understanding or centered on an understanding of Christ and the Gospel However part of their problem you could say aside from their age was some of the odd humans that they used. Let me share with you I'm getting you notes that I took in a class on my master's in law in Galatians in Galatians there's a law some people say the lore is ceremonial other people say no it's not ceremonial it's moral what is moral me. It's so is this rule or the ceremonial law or is this a law the that can't the Ten Commandments or the moral law well you Ryan Smith and the General Conference President G I but they said it's the ceremonial law and Jones and we're going to they say it's the moral law and this was the big debate the point of contention and why was it a point of contention your I a Smith and but I'm giving that if you say that the Loring Galatians is the moral law this will have implications for the Doctrine of the Sabbath and will undermine opposition of defending the Sabbath so when they were attacking Jones in a wagon the in their minds they saw themselves as defending the church leading up to eight hundred eighty eight they had been a background where different people had preached on this subject Jay and Andrews was the first one who preached on this subject of the lore and Galatians and in one thousand fifty one he said it's the moral law that's why I said I wish it was a law even though. You know why number one he is the General Conference president Number two he was your Ryan Smith brother in law they both married sisters and number three he had the same view as Jones and Wagner I believe the outcome of that general conference session would have been different if most respected theologian and missionary who had strong connections to the other side was there but we will never know because unfortunately he died in eighty and eighty four in Switzerland. I got my transition is quite right. In one thousand and fifty four J. hate going to which was Joe E.J. wagon his dad he came out and wrote that the Loring Galatians was also the moral law defending the same position of J. and Andrews but what do you know Andrew's did was very interesting and it's a lesson for us even though he said Loring Galatians is the ceremonial law sorry the moral law in eight hundred fifty one after that time he really didn't use the same arguments that the others used to defend the point he still taught righteousness by faith but he avoided the controversial topic of Galatians then an eight hundred fifty seven. All over the place eight hundred fifty seven Stephen speech Stephen Pierce said it was the law system what does that mean it was kind of a combination of the two in eighty and eighty one in eighty one eighty one E.J. we're going to wrote something else now what did Alan want say later on about this question notice down there at the bottom the bottom half of the quotation she says I am asking certain galore and relations what Laura's a schoolmaster to bring this to Christ she says it's both the ceremony and the moral is both an argument please stop arguing and we're going to put out some of these lessons as to her thing in just a moment but I just want to give you a little bit of background it was a very very contentious prior to eighteen eighty eight E.J. we're going to wrote in eighty four that it was the moral law and Ellen White was in Europe at the time and she rebuked him for writing so strongly in the public publication about this question but then E.G. I Butler who was the G.C. president wrote another publication against him and ah forefathers so to speak what having open debate in public magazine it's like they were using the church's official papers to write articles against someone else and then they would use their publication to write an argument against someone else fighting going on through the church systems leading up to eight hundred eighty eight some say the atmosphere was very toxic leading up to this general conference session and the Jones' and whatnot had no chance by the time they got there of presenting their views anyway as these two young men presented with this in the background it didn't go down too well another thing that happened in general conversation one hundred eighty eight was this in eight hundred fifty four. J H Y going to roll his article saying it was the moral law and he was really really really strong in his language and forced in his article thirty years thirty four years Ellen White wrote wrote to him and said You're wrong and when she said you were wrong what she was meaning was you were wrong to be so forceful However the people at the time concluded that when Ellen White said Jay hates white and in eight hundred fifty four was wrong she therefore meant that the Lauren Galatians was the ceremonial law Now why is that a problem because in eighteen eighty eight she supported Jones and was going to. Kind of profit is this she changed her mind but no one could find the article she actually did write an eight hundred fifty four it was kind of hearsay she could remember saying it couldn't know where she wrote it and so you had all this kind of smoke in the air about what of the prophet had changed her mind and could the Prophet be trusted adding to the mix but you know the good thing I guess you'd say of eight hundred eighty eight is in the grand scheme of things the church did shift in its the ology from a more legal istic law based theology to one that was more Christ sent from eighteen eighty eight to about nineteen hundred the church went through a theological shift that brought a new emphasis upon Jesus as Savior and the third angel's message would be preached in this light it's interesting when you look at the book The Ellen White wrote the book design of Ages was written after eighteen eighty eight the book. Thoughts on the Mount of blessing was written after eighty and eighty eight and a lot of her Christ centered books were written after eighteen eighty eight even had an influence on her and that she also had a kind of not a shift but she had a change in emphasis in some of her writings after this date but one of the other issues in one thousand eight hundred eight was this. The wife says she said any pet theory any human idea becomes of the grave its importance and the sacred as an idol to which everyone must bow just as their only been the case in the theory of the Loring elations anything that becomes to be asked to usurp the place of Christ any idea so exulted as to be placed where nothing of light or evidence can find a large man in the mind takes the form of an idol to which everything is sacrifice she's essentially saying here we were focusing on the Mayan and making it into a major who ever did as a church today she said this the law in Galatians is what is not a vital question furthermore she said it never has been those who have called it one of the landmarks you see there were so many it's a landmark we've got to defend it those who are of course one of the landmarks simply do not know what they are talking about it was never allowed and it never will become such these mines I have been brought up in such a number coming manner and have manifested such students have been seen since the Minneapolis meeting may well begin to question whether a good tree produces such evidently fruit she said it's not an important question which is why we rarely ever talk about it today and why what I'm saying is I'm talking about the lore and Galatians some of you were just thinking why on earth is a Lauren Galatians because we really don't talk about it that much and it makes you wonder how this warning Galatians could have become such a divisive content shifts issue. That caused such disruption in the church so one of the issues in one thousand eight hundred eight was the question What is the correct understanding of what righteousness by faith we haven't already covered that I'm just telling you that was one of the issues one of the problems that Jones and want going to have was that one of the odd humans they use was the lowering elations someone started to attack that and people didn't like that the other issue is this what is a landmark doctrine what they don't want just say she said the Lord and Galatians is not a war doctrine it never has been and never will be. But this is a question that we still in some ways struggle with as a church today it's still causes us issues in our local church in our national church or around the country or around the world what is a landmark doctrine what defines you as a some of the Adventist we're talking about identity or. What defines you as a Seventh Day Adventist What makes you what's the landmark one of the pellets one of the hallmarks you see what sometimes is confusing for an Adventist for a young Adventists whether that young age or young in spiritual age is when someone else comes to you who's well meaning and raise Do you want to Bible text and then raised you three Ellen White quotations and tells you that you have to do this all believe this and then they might forward you a what's a video or show you a You Tube video clip to reinforce their position from some unnamed ministry where you have it you want to be a bonafide out of this you got to do this too you got to believe this to. Sculpt I have heard anything about that and you tell me that this is vital we still struggle with question number two what is a land mock doctrine I want to share with you something that's a me has been helpful and I hope it may help you in may challenge but I hope it helps you as well in our church we have doctrines and. We have teachings want to share with you for cancer agrees we have majority minority views and we have individual positions now sharing this will create thought in your mind and it will create question and what each one of us put into these different categories may vary OK but what we put into the first can't agree should not very human a doctrine. What defines you as a Seventh Day Adventist You could also call a fundamental belief a landmark a pillar they define a person as a Seventh Day Adventist and how do we come to a doctrine historically as a church we have come to a doctrine through careful Bible study and church wide world wide consensus as a blessing of having the church Amen so that our Will church reflects all the cultures the nationalities of the world and one particular region is not able to foist their views on the rest of the world is checks and balances and its form and settled over a long period for example yesterday we talked about the Sabbath How long did it take the Sabbath of the doctrine to be formed roughly from yesterday's yesterday about eighteen forty eight to about eighteen what fifty five fifty six it took about seven eight nine years until we settled in the view of the Sabbath we have today the sanctuary took about. Three four years do you know how long it took us to come up with the doctrine of tithing I was going to share this yesterday when the time tithing is tithing important. It is used on nominating committee you know it's important. Like to nominate so and so treasurer as the return type know OK let's move on we hold it as important as a litmus test for church office but do you know that for the first fifteen years of our church we had no tight eight hundred sixty three we weren't tithing we didn't title eight hundred seventy eight Why what's the point God wanted us to tie because we discovered it in the Bible not because he gave a vision and then we did have a system call systematic benevolence of the church adopted in one thousand fifty nine which was it wasn't tired but it was a systematic form of benevolence that if you earned a certain amount you would return a certain amount but it wasn't tied we didn't tie them to one hundred seventy eight fifteen years after organization you know how long it took us of the church to form the doctrine of the Trinity and I'm sharing this one specifically because there's so much going on in our church right now about the Trinity doctrine. It took us as a church seventy years we didn't have a statement of belief on the Trinity until the eighth nineteen forty maybe late thirty's one nine hundred forty S. Why do I mention that I share that with you because this is what happened happening and I've been to some today hasn't really hit the U.K. yet praise the Lord but it will come out all the rubbish come here as well that we people will go around and say the pioneers didn't believe in the Trinity and what's the answer to that question divine is believe in the Trinity Well the answer to the question is a lot of them didn't a lot of them didn't I could read you right now James White quotes Jay and left requote your I a Smith quotes all saying there is no there isn't there is no Trinity or all saying Jesus was born not God because it's true if you do read some of the pioneers statements they didn't agree with the Trinity so when you say pioneer statement which decade of the Pioneer is the pioneers one fixed in time Amen they form their beliefs and they were moving and they were follow it so you can read a quote from the eight hundred fifty S. and to be very different from that same pioneer what they said in the eighty's and ninety's and if the church we didn't settle are not belief until the nine hundred thirty slash four seats even after Ellen White wrote her book The desire of ages which I think has some quotations that are amazing on the divinity of Christ our doctrines were formed over and settled over often long periods of time we have a twenty eight fundamentals now but those of you who are a little bit older than those then some in this audience will know it wasn't so long ago we only had twenty seven and it's not a question that will have twenty nine or thirty or thirty one of thirty two doctrines to find it was an Adventist stay at the dead Sabbath sanctuary second coming you define you as an Adventist what comes next. Teachings what teachings teachings This is where it starts to get muddy teachings are beliefs or lifestyle issues that the church has adopted it but they may not be a test of faith or fellowship what I mean by that they may represent Adventists whole to be true however it may not be a test of what it may not be a test of fellowship OK So for example for example what example I use is an example I use keep stick to myself a man I married my marriage a marriage where is my mental proof of marriage I don't have any you see my wife hold hands up she doesn't wear a wedding does our church teach you cannot wear wedding rings yes or no do they teach you have to wear wedding rings no they don't and there's a long white quotations that will give you the the room for maneuvering on both sides of the argument I want I know a lot of interest though that believe that so strong that you most of the time you shouldn't believe it so strong in their minds if someone does wear one it's just an abomination Now we come from British culture where it's just kind of been around all time but it's interesting because the church in America up until the one nine hundred eighty S. never wore wedding rings and then about the eighty's in eighty five they started to adopt it so in America it's a huge issue it defines what you're a liberal or conservative over there where as for us it's just kind of like it's kind of a non-issue there's another example I share with you in a minute but I just kind of leave it at that one for the minute separation of church and state maybe I'm stepping on toes I don't know but that's not a doctrine of our church is it on a doctrine it's what we hold to be ideal and the best Amen. However not everyone lives in a country where there is a separation of church and state and in some countries it's a lot trickier and a lot harder than if you live in the United States of America and here in England we have union of church and state do we not the queen is the head of the church and she's the head of the state I mean it's a bit of a loose one but we have a union of church and state. We have a lot of insist on marching down to Palm and protesting that are we we're just going to leave that one alone it's not a major it's not a major what comes next majority minority views these are these can be positions all beliefs held by logic groups of Adventists that are not recognized as doctrines or teachings and they can include ideas that are not core faith ideas now depending where you live regionally or what the dominant culture or whatever may be in the church your rat sometimes it can feel that a majority minority view is a doctrine and this is where it gets confusing sometimes to all of us but especially to young people because you have some well meaning members that are pushing their view on everybody and if you don't sign up to this you're not a true and faithful Adventist I'll give you one more neutral example for example one example could be and some of you will shoot me down for this can you pull up on a white quote on it one example could be could be not joining a labor union that somebody would say Oh I know the reference is that a doctrine of our church it's not but we do hold that it's probably best not to join a labor union let me give you another example maybe I'll step on toes here too we can lifestyle is the thing is I'm a doctrine of adamant is I'm not technically no I've been to should be going to him and why because the. Background of egotism is a philosophical background that's not really what we believe you could say as an Adventist I don't eat dairy you know I mean you know I'm saying however however. Depending what local church you might be in you can go to places that will make you feel that the going is and out of it is a go hand in hand it's a good thing to do in men but it doesn't define you as an Adventist doesn't define it was an Adventist then what's next individual positions could be position held by a few or perhaps a local church now I met one guy once from the U.K. some of you may know him I don't know if you live streams of it to be careful but it's OK And everywhere he goes every church every group if he goes he always has some photocopy cheat stapled together about twenty and no matter what school class he sits in no matter what table he sits at table no matter what the Sabbath school lesson is on he will always bring the discussion around to the point that women should cover their heads in church every time without fail and if you didn't get the point when he was talking he'll pull out the photocopies and gladly give them to you now in his mind but lots of rain is not going to fall on a church that doesn't have women would cover heads this is not going to happen so if we want Jesus to come we've got to cover all the heads of the women in church you see he's made. It From what could have been his individual position because I know there's women in the church I believe they should cover their heads and that's OK but I don't believe it's a doctrinal position of the Adventist Church if you believe that fine cover your head but it doesn't mean that everyone who doesn't cover their head is a backslidden apostle a Adventist in need of your intercession Now I'm not saying this is an individual position and I know that this will cause different opinions in each one of your minds when I say this next word and I know that there are differing views right here in this room from previous conversations I've had with Christmas now there's some Adventists that believe about it very strongly do you know some of them. On both sides of the coin some of them are like no Christmas no nothing it's pagan it's this it's that we shouldn't even talk about it we shouldn't say it we shouldn't sing Christmas carols but of other and as are the ones who it doesn't bother their conscience if they single holy night in December the problem I see on that issue and not on I want to wade into that Muddy Waters because it can be muddy depending on the church ah that we sometimes push what may be our individual position or a minority view and try and make it of doctrinal weight there is room for variance in our church Amen and there should be some room for maneuver that not every Adventists looks the same around the world based on things that unite us let me give the example of diet as it fits in all these What's a doctrine on diet what's the doctrinal belief the Adventist Church holds on diet temperance. We've got a first on the actual food temperance is part of void of what what do we avoid what do we teach we should eat more than pork that's you know more the point I'm hearing lots of the right answers let me summarize it we believe that when it comes to animals on the land we don't clean what defines an animal to be unclean cloven hoof I mean that defines clean cloven hoof into the cut is clean if they don't have a clone who they don't use the cut dog cat camel unclean we don't eat them pig cloven hoof it into the cut. Fish scales and what. We have certain principles that define a clean animal and as a church we say doctrinal beliefs on diet is no one clean foods we also believe in avoidance of Alcohol Tobacco and those other things right that are doctrinal belief when you get mapped ties in the pool you sign up to that however I would argue as a church when you come down to a teaching as a church we have accepted the teaching logically that vegetarianism is a more ideal diet would you say that's true. True that's what we as a church believe that vegetarianism is more ideal but do we require everyone to be a vegetarian in the Adventist Church No we don't you can be an Adventist and your chicken OK now there's others that will say Well the but according to the letter of the law it's clean and unclean out I'll call tobacco and other harmful drugs that's a doctrine teaching I would argue is vegetarianism maybe a minority majority view you would then say might be the going is I'm individual positions I don't know you don't eat tomatoes on Friday maybe that's your individual position whatever you know that's your individual position but we need to be clear as to what's the doctrine and then see from there and the reason why as a church we've adopted that as our doctrine on health it's because God understands that you know God has an ideal but he recognizes that we live in a world which challenges he recognizes we live in a world where some people may not have the choice that we have here living in Western Europe etc and God recognizes that thing in the world in which we live and so you've got the basic this and then there's room for variance now all of what I said there I pray that you can help filter through some of the things in your mind what was the issue in one thousand eight hundred eight back to one thousand nine hundred eighty they were making something that was a majority minority view of doctrinal importance and it would doctrine intensity now I believe at the next general conference session someone comes to the floor with a motion that we need to change our belief on the state of the dead. We should defend that to the hilt Amen which strength courage and unflinching but that's another issue that I want to close with talk a little bit about the background issue of rightness by faith we talked a little bit about the difference between doctrine teaching majority minority and individual positions if it was to be one of the biggest lessons you draw from eight hundred eighty eight you don't even have to know the issues and know exactly what happened in one thousand nine hundred it's this one of the biggest issues of eight hundred eighty eight. And the biggest problems of eight hundred eighty eight was the to chewed that was manifested in Minneapolis that's the biggest issue and I share this with you because as a man just south of the Adventist Church whatever church you come from the biggest issue you could OG you is not so much that you know exactly what the twenty eight are the big issue is the attitude you manif best as you teach or defend that in eighty and eighty eight is a side point you know how many women write the general conference session you would have a guess and the women were at the General Conference session and they. Wrong a White was. It was one woman there now. My guess the outcome of the general conference session might have been different if there was more than one woman there there's something about men get into a fight and arguing with men let's be honest men you dig your heels in and you don't retract because that comes a point where pride and your manliness and what defines you as a man is at stake maybe if there was a few women in that room they just said Down down calm down down it would have helped but ultimately it would have helped if the people who were there actually reset the attitude Ellen White said this if you had not been blinded you would have seen and understood that the spirit brought to that meeting was not the Spirit of Christ the different views in regard to the lowering Galatians need not have produced any such exhibitions I am not the slightest burden upon that subject God has not inspired all this intense feeling over that subject I have not a particle of burden on the subject now I have no idea what you have if you have any issues here amount to the south or if you do have issues what your issues are going to show you the path of the not give me a briefing phone call before it came and I'll just throw the question out there to you Do you ever get caught up in. Hello What was the comment she would say I have not the slightest burden upon the subject what sometimes causes the heat I can tell you from the future which boards in business meetings that I have sat in in a few short years of ministry we rarely debate the twenty eight fundamentals we debate and the other stuff with such heat and intensity you would think we were defending the Sabbath before Parliament we need to sometimes reset ourselves and figure out what is a real issue that's why sometimes people get switched off from Target is like what's the point and why I said my only trouble is the position of those ministers who are at the conference who manifested so little of the Spirit of Christ and possessed more more logically the spirit which control the scribes and Pharisees which planned the betrayal an act of the prominent part in the trial of Christ that's my only issue was the attitude of the men there that's the biggest issue you know what happened after eight hundred eighty eight ultimately as a church we realized that it didn't really matter what the law and Galatians was but the question was what's the purpose of the law and today if you ask and haven't is who studied what the purpose of the law the answer that will give is the purpose of the law is to point you to Jesus both as a solution to your sin and the standard of righteousness but it took us several years to get to that answer and in the process we had too many arguments you know one is a fight in church the best thing to do is not always to find the right answer but rather to stop and ask God to reset the attitude in the room or in the place and one of the real lessons to learn from eight. And as a church we still haven't learned this lesson general conference division conference union whatever local We still haven't learned this lesson what does it mean to be a Christian in conflict we really struggle with that still. On a local church level it's like well I would elder so and so and I would be consoling so and if they dare try to bring elders so and so to the church I'm going to stand up and let them look and if he's elected as head elder I'm not taking any office and God applauds you I don't know we have this camp mentality and we really struggle how can I be a Christian with someone I disagree with on some of the other issues a member in the church a pastor a church in Birmingham Yardley and we had certain members there and I bring up the Christmas issue who felt very strongly on Christmas now if I go back there now there are certain members there that I'm very very good friends with still am and I know their view is different to my view and they you know my view is different to their views but somehow we've been able to kind of see past that disagreement we have there and embrace the wider issues or part of life that we do agree on no I'm not perfect but there's other areas where I need to help him in but what does it mean to be a Christian in conflict you know if John Wesley let me share with story John Wesley from the Reformation John Wesley and George Whitfield went to Oxford University together they both graduated around the same time and they were both part of the club that's called the holy club that eventually grew and became the Methodist Church George Whitfield graduated and became an itinerant preacher he never settled in a parish travelled around England preaching and then he went to America eight times preached in America they loved him in America they knew George Whitfield they say every American on the eastern coast of America had heard George Whitfield preach at least once he was the first white man who ever preached to the to the slaves an Englishman he died in America now during the course of his life him and John Wesley had some serious theological arguments and and most historians believe that John Wesley is the person who coined the phrase ease. Firstly in private and now is known the world around let's agree to disagree he coined that phrase in a discussion with George Whitfield when they could not come to a conclusion on this theological point John Wesley even though he was five foot three became the bigger man and said Listen George let's just agree to disagree here they agreed to disagree and it did not affect their future relationship to the point that when George Whitfield died he personally by letter requested that is a memorial service in London it will be John Wesley that did it. To me that is a prime example of two Christians two great men of God who had conflict but status Christians after the conflict with a mutual respect for each other after eight hundred eighty eight what happened you know it's very interesting it's an it's an irony of history and it's very sad in some ways but the two men who oppose Jones in the wagon with you Ryan Smith and. Let me share with you what happened to Ryan Smith after eighty eight he was the principal teacher in the church he was a theologian the church he wrote the book called Daniel and Revelation that we still read today a classic masterpiece in eighty and ninety five he repented publicly in front of the Battle Creek dying tabernacle three thousand people publicly repented to the church for how he had opposed Jones and Wagner in eighty and eighty eight publicly repented in the eighty nine season when the church he had been the editor of the review and held for fifty edits when the church voted for him to be an associate editor. He gladly accepted it and served as the associate editor he reports to having a conversion experience in eighty and ninety five after he had been working for the church for forty fifty years why did I put the point about Associate Editor What does that mean that's the equivalent of being a head elder for thirty years and then you get asked to be a deacon OK. You're I A Smith in many ways. Even though he opposed the debate in eighty and eighty eight later on he accepted the message in his life of eight hundred eighty eight I believe will be in heaven G.I. but. What about him in one thousand nine hundred fifteen he was an old man. At Loma Linda what is Loma Linda now hospital University there were some financial troubles and there was a motion to close down Loma Linda praise the Lord they didn't but before they took the vote G I but who was now in his eighty's or ninety's what it would have been one hundred thirty or whatever he stood up and he said this he said You all know here that I have not always been right with the river and. He says You all know here that I haven't always been right he said but this is one old hand that will never raise to close what God says should be operating normally in the universities they had opened a man but what happens eighty Jones in one thousand or three even though he opposed the office of the General Conference president when he was asked to be a general Congress president he took it on but he was a very bad General Conference president eventually he associates with a man called Ballenger and he goes into a very critical phase criticizing the church criticizing the church criticizing the church in ninety eight zero nine he had separated himself from the church now and in one thousand and nine there was a general conference session and they were talking they were trying to reconcile and bring Jones back into the fault is one of the brightest minds our church ever produced and I believe it was W.W. Prescott at that general conference session he looked at Jones across the table and he said these words he said Come home Brother Jones come home Brother Jones Brother Jones the man who taught right just by faith come home Brother Jones They say eighty Joan stood up held out his hand kind of like that and then was like no I can't I can't. And sat down and shook his head he taught the church the righteousness by faith message but ultimately and you can blame the older people or all these people who criticize him and all of that may play a part but ultimately eighty Jones never let the message he preached change his own heart E.J. Wagner left the church over some other issues both of them left the church the to the preached it left the two that opposed it were converted by that same message really what Jones left over was the issue of pride there is no fault which makes a man more unpopular and no fault of which we are more unconscious in ourselves and the more we have it in ourselves the more we dislike it in others. We think we don't have it the Loring Galatians conflict provides many lessons for us as a church today and it's so easy for us in our conflicts to forget about Jesus and to be human whenever possible we're having these debates on issues in our church we need to try and avoid us and them attitude is not always easy but we need to try and avoid it it's not our camp and their camp it's not us and them it's not the righteous against the wicked it's not the sheep and the goats oftentimes these are our brothers and sisters or our parents or a cousins or uncles or aunts it's what does it mean to be a Christian in conflict there is no sure a proof of a confirmed pride and the belief that one is sufficiently humble a lesson that I hope we take away from the message today two things I hope you continue in your Christian journey you have a clear idea as to what it is that defines you as an Adventist that gives you that sense of brotherhood to out of interest around the world and know that there amongst there all below there you may have your own personal convictions based on things that you have read and that may be OK. You may have an individual position is that you take a lot you've got some individual positions but know the difference between them and some of the other categories but also I pray that as a church we don't fall into the same trap that the church has fell into for decade after decade after decade I want that we know what it means to disagree and still maintain a friendship you know sometimes when I sit around and someone tells me maybe I shouldn't say this you know sometimes our church plants and Adventism will say sometimes our church plants and Adventism church plants the church schisms because elder so and so doesn't like elder so and so and the only way to solve the problem of having to worship in the same building is to go and start the church you see it over and over and the reason why some of our church plants don't work is because the reason why they started it was not evangelism but conflict and that's why twenty years on some of them are still as dead as when they started we need to learn. How to have the Spirit of Christ in our churches to love one another in our churches to agree and at times to disagree and still to be able to respect each other in the process going about for a word of prayer but I want to as we have a word of prayer just when I have a prayer a time of silence as we pray and if there's anything that you need to lay on the altar to God personally an issue a person and it may be that after we pray whether the person may be in this room or maybe you'll see them on Sabbath you may need to go up to someone and talk to them and be humble and apologize or maybe you don't need to ask for forgiveness maybe you need to give forgiveness let's kneel down as we pray and as these cards as well out of our you to fill out afterwards as well and after a few moments of silent prayer I'll close I'll close with a word of prayer. Father in Heaven Lord I pray that you would answer the prayers of a hot events of the burdens of us. I pray Lord that you would just help us as a church help us as individuals to have a clearer sense of who we are as Adventist and to possess your spirit in our hearts with how we deal with others and with how we relate to others that may think slightly different to us that we may have the Spirit that Jesus had and how he dealt with those around him and how he meant taught and trained his disciples. And they would just have the spirit of Jesus. Christ. In. This media was brought to you by audio first a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse or if you would like to listen to more sermons lead to visit W W W audio verse or.

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