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1. The Future of Adventist Biblical Interpretation

Jim Howard
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  • June 6, 2018
    6:00 PM
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Father in heaven we're grateful for this privilege that we have to meet together here can meeting we have the promise that when we gather here or can't meaning that Lord Jesus you are here to meet with us and we pray that you would give us of the Holy Spirit today we need wisdom from heaven we need strength and courage we need to be braced for whatever lies ahead whether it's the challenges in our own personal hearts and lives or whether it's the challenges facing the church today in either case we believe that you are on the throne and we can trust you to see us safely tune into port so please Lord God this ship and bless this meeting as we spend the time together in Jesus' name amen All right so let me give you a little introduction to the series today the 7th Avenue search is at a crossroad and I believe that we're living in what I would refer to as a defining moment in the history of the 7th amateurs I believe that we've come face to face with an issue that is destined to determine the future of the church what is that issue hermeneutics our method of understanding the Bible is the Bible fully authoritative or do we need to look beyond the Bible for views of what's right and wrong because parts of it were negatively influenced by the culture of the writers this is a huge issue facing the church and that's what I'm going to talk about today the future of Adventist biblical interpretation. Now tomorrow we're going to talk about an equally important topic many have adopted an evangelical view of the gospel that is actually hindered our understanding and our preaching of the full message of righteousness by faith maybe it was unintentional but many have divorced sanctification from justification and in so doing what has happened as we have is we have basically considered certain vital Adventist teachings such as the cleansing of the sanctuary in the judgment as being incompatible with the gospel so tomorrow we're going to talk about the future of the everlasting Gospel in the administers then in some areas of the church Adventists views of what the Bible teaches on health and Christian standards have been reexamined in the light of changing society what society believes is right and wrong you know society has a lot of strength because he sees something enough on the news you hear it with people that you work with it begins to kind of have this effect and it's had that effect on the church as the culture goes the church generally follows and that you do need to look no further than the current way of support for gay and transgender lifestyles for an example of this it's not something that the church is immune to and it's certainly something that is beginning to see cracks in the armor in the 7th Avenue Church so have we been too literal and are reading of the Bible too narrow minded and not progressive enough in our views of what constitutes a biblical lifestyle Wednesday we'll look at the future of ad been asleep style Now many people today are embarrassed to hear the 7th Avenue Church referred to as the remnant church they wonder what makes us think we're so special. The maybe many have never seen the powerful political evidence of the distinct and mission and methods of them church I think many people in the 7th Avenue Church who hold that view simply have not seen what they need to see Thursday we're going to talk about the future of Adventist identity and then for many Adventist evangelism needs a total overhaul they believe what we did in the past doesn't work anymore it doesn't reach young people it's too expense it's centered on beasts instead of being centered on Christ it arrogantly condemns other faith groups we need to start being inclusive we need to start helping our neighbors we need to start standing up for social causes is this the future of AVONEX evangelism has our evangelism been self centered instead of Christ centered have our typical of Vangelis thick meeting for mass lost their relevance in today's age on Friday we're going to talk about the future of Adventist evangelism are you probed Well all I need is one so good I'm going to go and get started. Today we're going to talk about the future of advent of biblical interpretation Now I mentioned the beginning that we're at a defining moment in the history of the church we've come face to face with this issue that's destined to determine the future of Adventism and some of you probably thought that I was going to mention when I said the issue women's ordination some of you probably thought I was going to talk about L G B T perhaps others thought I was going to speak about the doctrine of the Godhead or about justification by faith and all of you would have been partially right but underneath each of these issues our faithfulness to God at the end of time will be determined by how we interpret the Bible. We call the study of how we interpret literary texts such as the Bible or how we understand its meaning we call this hermeneutics Now if you want to understand how Hebrew or Greek scholars view this you've come to the wrong seminar I'm friends with a few of those guys at the G.C. But their knowledge has not rubbed off on me just yet I'm still holding off that maybe as Moses will happen and I'll just become this incredible scholar from just hanging around them. But the good news is this the bible wasn't primarily written for scholars the Bible was written for common folks like you or me and the other good news or it could be bad news you know depending on how you look at it is that the number one rule for understanding the bible is being willing to follow it and anyone who loves Jesus can do that but let's not kid ourselves how we interpret the Bible is a vital factor that's going to determine much about the future of the church today I'm going to do something I'm going to give a basic study in how to interpret the Bible which admittedly might sound kind of boring but so that you see how important of an issue it is and then going to show you how you apply that the implications of how we interpret the Bible on a few controversal topics and that won't be boring at all very ready let's start with the groundwork with a little study on how to interpret the Bible now I'm going to give you a little bit of a disclaimer to start back when I was serving as a local church pastor I would do a series on this that would be maybe 4 or 5 sermons. And I'm not going to be able to do that it won't be comprehensive it will be overly technical which probably suits you just fine and just be aware that this is going to be a basic summary of the fundamental principles here's a Don't tag me out of I don't cover all the bases. All right let's talk about the principle the other Bibles 1st of the 2 verse 15 1st of the chapter 2 and verse 15 you'll need to go to the T. books just before Hebrews 5 books it started letter T. and you'll it find 1st Timothy Chapter 2 and verse 15 and why don't I give you the right chapter are the right books 2nd Timothy Chapter 2 in verse 15 you're thinking that's a beautiful verse I've never seen it brought out like that before. Secretary to 15 be diligent to present yourself approved to God A worker who does not need to be ashamed of doing what rightly dividing the Word of Truth use it as a right way and as a wrong way to divide the truth to interpret the Bible OK And this is what we need understand the apostle Peter wrote about the apostle Paul and said he wrote some things that are hard to understand and there are people who have twisted it to their own destruction so people have actually with the Bible found their way down the road to destruction it's quite possible it's not enough to be in the Bible you have to rightly interpret the Bible so this is critical to our salvation and to our mission as a church All right 2nd Peter chapter one. 2nd Peter chapter one you go past Hebrews to your right and fat past. You known James and 1st Peter you're going to come 2nd Peter Jaffer won and we're going to look at verse 19 the Apostle writes and so we have the prophetic were confirmed which you do well to heed is a light that shines in a dark place until the day dawns in the morning star rises in your hearts knowing this 1st that no prophecy of scripture of is of any was a private interpretation for prophecy never came by the will of man but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit so the Bible is not a private interpretation there's not only certain people who can understand it and it's something that. Never came by an individual with you know brilliant intelligence this is something that only can come by the Holy Spirit it was inspired by the Spirit of God and therefore it only can be understood by the revelation of the Spirit of God And notice as holy men wrote holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit it's important to note that when the by was given the words were not dictated to the writer but God moved upon the writer to write in their own language and that's why Ellen White says God's you know own style of writing or his grammar or whatever is not on trial in the Bible because this is the combination of divine and human elements and so God moves upon the human and with that divine influence that person writes in their own expression. And yet because God is overseeing the whole process and is the one who moves on them with what the concept is it there to protect it's the Word of God So this is just the idea of inspiration God it's thought inspiration not verbal inspiration the Bible is not dictated OK it's important for us understand that when we're trying to understand the Bible because we recognize that there are differences in certain places and those are not cause any of us to stumble Now I don't even need to turn to 2nd Timothy 3 verses 16 and 17 because you know if that's. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and then you go to verse 17 it says that the man of God may be perfect or. Complete OK so it has every the Bible has everything a person needs to become in the full maturity of Christ and all scripture is given by inspiration of God What this means is that the entire Bible is inspired by God This is very important when it comes to biblical interpretation the Bible is the Word of God The Bible does not contain the word of God merely. The same We'll talk about other methods of interpretation in a moment but you can't say simply the Bible contains the Word of God because then you're saying that there are some things in the Bible that may be merely human opinion and you have to find that out in the Bible know all scripture is given by inspiration of God You recall that when Jesus walked up to those discouraged disciples they were just beside themselves because the one they thought was the Messiah had been crucified and now there are reports that he had risen from the dead jesus came up next to them and he said Oh foolish one and slow of heart to believe in what in all that the prophets have spoken you believed in part of what the prophets had spoken about the Messiah who the Messiah was you believed and rightly so that one day he would be a mighty king but you did not believe in the suffering messiah of Isaiah 53 you did not believe in all that the prophet had spoken so we have to understand one of the most important things and one of the biggest blessings for us is that we don't have to figure out what in the Bible is inspired and what is not what we can trust and what we can't it's all inspired and that way you can do what you need to do which is as I said $2810.00 says precept upon precept. Line upon line precept upon precept what you're talking about here is that when you understand the whole Bible is inspired then to understand the Bible you read a passage and as you are wrestling with it you go to every where else in the Bible you can find that shed light on the same topic and you stack them up precept upon precept and they all shed a little bit more light and they begin to limit and narrow what that text must mean it makes it easier and easier and easier to see what it must mean because all the Scripture has to be in harmony and that's how you interpret the Bible by comparing the weight of scripture and going with the conclusion that bears the weight of scripture the other thing that's very important let's look at this one 1st Corinthians chapter 2 verse Corinthians 2 in verse 13 Have you found it the Bible says these things we also speak not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches comparing spiritual things with spiritual Now what this is doing is adding to this concept that you compare Scripture with Scripture and lets Cripps your hear me now interpret. Scripture I love how many evangelicals like you give a revelation seminar and you talk about certain passages in there that are clearly symbolic like where it talks about the river Euphrates and they're expecting some big thing to happen over in the Middle East where you know there's little literal armies that are across the river and what have you instead of recognizing that Euphrates ran through Babylon and right there in Revelation it tells us that the waters on which Babylon sits are many peoples nations tongues right so the text itself right there in the body of the very book of Revelation you can know that that river is not literal I mean it tells you so the point is you and me to say something else sometimes we read words in scripture that have a certain meaning to us right now but the 1st thing we do and that's OK But before we conclude anything about that we need to make sure that we look to see if the Bible itself gives a definition of that word because that might give a definition that's different than the definition that we have in our head right now Case in point evangelicals often teach the doctrine of eternally burning hell fire well when they read this about this eternal fire I mean they immediately say what what more do we need a hair right but they are using their definition instead of the Bible definition before you use your own definition make sure you look to see if the Bible gives a definition and you can easily go to Jude in the writings of Peter and you can discover that it describes eternal fire as a fire that brought Sodom and Gomorra to ashes. So now you and it's not still burning so there's something always a talking about results and consequent you learn what the Bible is saying by reading what how the Bible defines what it says and you cannot put a current construction from the dictionary on nothing that's not helpful but you cannot put that and has not supercede a definition that's given in the Bible itself I gave give you another example of this the Bible does not say love is God The Bible says God is love what many people do is they put their construction in their mind of their definition of what love is and that's what Jesus is like no Jesus is like what the Bible says He is like and that may or may not be your conception of love there may be more mercy in it than what your definition is or there may be more justice in it than what your definition is but ultimately the Bible defines for us what love is because the Bible is the revelation of who God is and now we know understand what true love is now let me give you probably the most important one this is in the book of John Chapter 7 so look at John Chapter 7 with me and verse 17 John 7 in verse 17 Jesus is being challenged as the frequently is in the midst of his teaching and he stands up and says verse exchanges and to them said My doctrine is not mine but his is sent me now I am in John 7 verse 17 if anyone wills to do His will that means if anyone is willing to do His will was to do His will is putting their will on the side of God's will. He shall know concerning the doctrine whether it's from God or whether I'm speaking on my own authority in other words you don't know whether this is divine or just human opinion how well you know if you want to follow God and you are willing to follow the truth of God wherever it leads you then you'll know the truth that's a beautiful thought you know a lot is a lot of people who wrestle they say oh I'm not the most intellectual person in the world I'm worried about getting to see that at the end you know what some of the steps is it's a tricky and I think I always fall for everything look if you have a deep personal relationship with God and you read your Bible and you pray when that deception comes something's going to be not quite right you're there I'm saying because you want to follow God he want to do His Will you've known what it means to wrestle with self and to surrender to God and you've built an experience with God that is going to help you beyond what maybe your perceived intellectual you know weaknesses might be the heart of of deception avoiding deception is having your heart right with God if you're willing to do His will you'll know where there's truth or error however we understand in the last days of course the 2nd time the chapter for that. That many will not endure sound doctrine. But according to their own desires because they have itching ears they will heap up for themselves teachers who will turn them away from the truth to fables So this is a very real problem for every one of us to face we all have this heart that is your word Jeremiah calls it this deceitful above all things and desperately wicked right so we need to be honest with God honest with ourselves that's the number one rule of the book and your station being honest with God Now let me give you some more good news Psalm 1000 Psalm one teen in verse 130 Psalm 119 verse 130 haven't found it all right some 1000 verse 130 the entrance of your words gives the light it gives understanding to really smart people what to say to the simple can I get an amen with that I love it the entrance of your word gives light gives understanding you know that that the purpose of hermeneutics of how we interpret the Bible is so that we will understand the meaning of the text and this verse says that even the simple the most simple can understand the meaning of the Bible that's a wonderful thing let me give you a few Ellen white coats on this guy do that this from Child Guidance page 513 the book she's referring to the Bible was not designed for scholars alone it was written in a plain simple style to meet the understanding of the common people you know she also says a thing about Jesus' teachings in a direct plain way he spoke to people they didn't need a dictionary she said. Now I'll give you another one this one is incredible market down Testimony Volume 5 page 331. The Bible with its precious gems of truth was not written for the scholar alone on the contrary it was designed for the common people and the interpretation given by the common people when aided by the Holy Spirit accords best with the truth as it is in Jesus the great truths necessary for salvation are made as clear as the noonday and none will mistake and lose their way except those who follow their own judgment instead of the plainly revealed will of God then encouraging I mean it's telling us right there that the interpretation of the common people when aided by the Holy Spirit accords best with the truth as it is in Jesus now this concept of full access to the Scriptures by all believers this was very important in the process Reformation you may recall that the papal system taught that only the clergy were a quip to be able to rightly interpret and to rightly express the meaning of the sacred scriptures but you remember what happened in the Prophet Reformation they started translating the text into the language of the common people and guess what happened the kind of reversed all the errors like what are you people doing up there in your ivory tower this is clear and suddenly the prophet Reformation start overturning errors and exulting truth again this is an incredible thought how do the educated priests miss it and the common people get it right. Because ultimately being a scholar is not a cure for the carnal heart and a matter how an educated or educated person is the temptations of the car a heart will always push for what I call the whatever it takes method of interpret the Bible to avoid following the truth easy it really has to do with where our heart of the whole Bible interpretation is another one great controversy page 599 the language of the Bible should be explained according to its obvious meaning unless a symbol or figure is employed and then she says if men would take but would but take the Bible as it reads if there were no false teachers to mislead and confuse their minds a work would be accomplished that would make engines glad and it would bring into the fold of Christ thousands upon thousands who are now wandering in air so you catching this the obvious meaning take it as it reads unless a figure or symbol is being employed this is this is pretty common sensical isn't it that's why common people do pretty well when their hearts are right with God Now L Y indorsed a certain individuals rules of interpretation does anybody know who it was she strongly endorse their rules of tradition William Miller father Miller's rules of interpretation you can read about this in if you want to write this down in review and herald the Nov 25884 edition on in paragraph 24 I'm not going to go through it all. $884.00 but William Miller is essentially. Expressed the principles that we just went through in simple bullet point style. You also should know that in $1086.00 in Rio de Janeiro Brazil that the church and an annual Council which is meeting of the General Conference executive committee that happens between the 5 year General Conference full sessions but there was one that happened in Rio in $1086.00 and at that particular conference they were voted to approve a statement an official statement on how to interpret the Bible it's called the methods of Bible study document you can actually go on the General Conference website and you can read this document for yourself basically Miller's rules the Rio document it all comes down to some simple points the whole Bible is inspired you gather the weight of evidence on any given topic you compare Scripture with Scripture allowing the Bible to be its own interpreter you must be willing to follow the truth wherever it leads you and you seek to grasp the most obvious meaning as it reads unless symbolic language is being used that's it that's the sum of the avenues method biblical interpretation some people sometimes will refer to the historical grammatical which is which is a scholarly term that is pretty much a quibble and to this method of interpretation that we are talking about right now now let me give you another couple of a cylinder words I do that one of them is the word X. the G. says Have you ever heard about it say let's X A G That text that's what scholars say and what that means is let's read the text and let's draw out of the text the original meaning of the author of So the 1st goal of interpretation is to determine the meaning of the text for its original writer and its recipient that's the 1st place you start with interpret. L.-Y. had something to say about this also many blessings she says Page one understanding what the words of Jesus meant to those who heard them we may discern in them a new vividness and beauty and may also gather for ourselves their deeper lesson so well what in Dorothy's idea it's good to understand what what he said meant to the people who heard it what was the intent to that to those people in another place he says an understanding of the customs of those who lived in Bible times of the location and time of events is practical knowledge it aids in making clear the figures of the Bible and bring out the force of Christ's lesson so understanding the historical context of what was happening when the Bible was written is important when interpret the meaning of the text more than 100 years from New Testament times have now passed since those writers wrote what they did in the world is a very different place back then the biblical world consisted primarily of landowners and tenants and think it is a different place so their customs and practices in the Bible that are foreign to us and the temptation is to sometimes take what is written and impose our cultural understanding onto the meaning of the text OK So X. The Jesus is the process of drawing out the original meaning from a text but there's a bad word called Ice The G. says X. is Jesus Good I said Jesus bad eyes a Jesus is when a reader imposes his or her understanding onto the text they're not drawing out what the text says but they're imposing and let me tell you that the natural totally natural habit of any human being as I said Jesus. OK Let me give you an example as somebody who has you know had the privilege of giving some Bible studies to people you always say you know you go to the in the the questions in a Bible study and you ask a question and say once you read the text and see what it says and they read the text and then they look up at you you know you're the one leaving aside and look at you and you say well let's see how did how did that text answer this question you read the question again and they begin to answer but how do they answer they say whatever they thought before they ever read the text this is what usually have no other words they already feel like they knew the answer so instead of like drawing from the text what it said To answer the question they're just answering how they thought this happens all the time when you're reading something that somebody is new to somebody like the State of the dead let's say and you're going through and you read the text how that into the text and they say it and they're still saying what they always believed and you stop and you have to stop them and you say now what does the text say this is how I train people to get bible since this is the most important phrase in any Bible study you give what does the text say right because you're wanting them to learn from the Bible not from you so you say what does the text say and what you're actually doing is teaching them also how to understand the meaning of the Bible don't read into the Bible what you already think about that topic but and but stop and listen to what the Bible is saying about the topic that's Exa Jesus versus ice to Jesus Ellen White says this way if you search the Scriptures to vindicate your own opinions what's that Jesus you will never reach the truth search in order to learn what the Lord says What's F X Jesus you guys are quick learners and this is this is easy now. Wow considering the you know historical context that we've been talking about is very important historical and cultural understanding are not always consistent Have you ever heard of revisionist history you know sometimes you'll get people and they'll interpret the Bible and they'll they'll reconstruct what was happening historically at the time that it was written and you're like. Are you sure like how do you know that well you can draw from but somebody else has reconstructed the history quite differently and say that there were different circumstances happening at that time this is why when you're considering the cultural and historical context whatever conclusion you draw about what the Bible text is saying should not violate the obvious reading of the text and this is what some people do they will take the that the Bible tech says something that they don't really want to say and so they take and build up their cultural understanding and when they're done the Bible text doesn't mean anything remotely similar to what it looked like it said but they've convinced you because they have all this knowledge about history you understand if it violates the clear reading then that should be a red flag to you so this brings us to false methods of interpretation can I give you some false method I feel it has to be a clock in here because oh there it is well you should have pointed that out to me what time is it like 330 that Phil Yeah 330 because. If it. Does pastor Howard follow me in here 4 o'clock or but. Anyway Marshall does it a mark a phony you know that's what I thought Pastor. OK less money but OK False methods of interpretation are you ready have you ever heard of historical critical or higher criticism I'm going to introduce this concept to you this is what I mentioned earlier when I said the idea that the Bible contains the Word of God rather than actually being the Word of God In other words not everything is inspired in the Bible according to the historical critical scholars some scripture they would believe is negatively influenced by culture or by the writers human bias as impacted by his or her culture I guess it would be his divine truth is in the Bible according to this method but you have to dig through the weeds in order to find it so here's the point who determines what is culturally influenced in the Bible and what is divine truth the reader So this ultimately places the reader in the position of authority as to what is divine and what is not the final authority lies with the reader in historical critical method this is not how it is supposed to work this is what leads to everyone doing what is right in their own mind or their own site now Jesus we learn in Luke 24 verse 45 that something fascinating is as any opened their understanding this is to his disciples right before the Ascension in Acts chapter one you have the last chapter Luke and he opened their understanding that they might comprehend the scriptures you see the reader must adapt to the Bible the Bible does not adapt to the reader do you understand and have you ever read something that you needed to adapt to not just your habits and lifestyle but your thinking. Like like I don't understand Dan why when others are hell that is and extended our he received judgment from God that doesn't feel like love to me Well guess what love is not going to debt to you you must adapt to the Bible because the Bible is truth the Bible is inspired by God and God is love and with just a little understanding you could learn that God was actually being merciful but you don't know all of the things of God So just the point is there are going to be things that we read in the Bible that are confusing to us they don't match our idea of what should be right but we do not because of that say all the culture must have created that confusion no we don't make the Bible adapt to our idea we must adapt to the Bible and rather this is when you do that you come to an understanding of the truth and let me tell you something you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free you will have a deeper all wonderful experience of God as you realize the beauty of the truth that you didn't see before that's a wonderful experience when you let the Bible be the authority Ellen White says in Acts of the Apostles page 474 to many the Bible is as a lamp without oil because they have turned their minds into channels of speculative belief that bring misunderstanding and confusion the work of Higher Criticism in dissecting conjecturing reconstructing is destroying faith in the Bible as a divine revelation it is robbing God's word of power to control uplift and inspire human lives so when we raid the Bible with a right hermeneutic we ask the faith question. The faith question when you read the Bible is what does it mean historical criticism asks the doubter question which is Is it true you have to ask brothers and sisters is it true you don't have to ask oh was the apostle Paul like corrupted by the culture of his day and so that what he wrote right there is not really like we should really go by that. You follow me you don't have as a question that's the historical critical question that's the doubters question but the one who believes in the full authority the Bible he might be confused by what the Apostle Paul wrote but he doesn't ask Is it true he asked What does it mean you know when you start with that then you can begin to explore and God will open up your mind what is true so that's all about historical critical now to give you a form of higher criticism which is allegorical method of interpretation now this method assumes that most or even all of Scripture has symbolic meaning. Allegorize ing ignores the obvious literal meaning of the text or even if it doesn't ignore it it considers it less of less value than the more profound deeper meaning behind the text allegorize ing is searching for a a hidden or secret meaning in the text remote from an unrelated to the reality of the more obvious meaning that's right there so in this approach the literal is superficial the allegorical is true meaning it's the true meaning so an example of this would be the 2 dinero that the Good Samaritan gave the innkeeper symbolise baptism in the Lord's Supper. Or when I was in the Detroit area pasturing there was a strong movement toward a Branch Davidian and we had a law some people in our church to a new wave a Branch Davidian these are people who did not believe in David Koresh they think he was a messenger of the devil but they still believe in the foundational points that had been passed along by Branch Davidian belief before David Cross came along and one of the things they believe is that the 4 horns on the altar represent the 4 members of the Godhead that's what I said who told them that the 4 horns on the altar had some symbolic meaning you know just because there are lots of parts to the sanctuary for instance doesn't mean that you need to rack your brain over the spiritual significance of the tabernacle can't think you understand if the Bible shares it with us then good but that doesn't mean that there's a deeper meaning in everything and you get to speculate as to what that is and this happens within Adventism you know somebody who is promoting good health talks about the sanctuary as the body so the most holy place that's like the brain because the laws written on our mind the altar of incense the smoke of the incense represent prayer and this represents the heart because God wants to have a heart to heart with us through prayer candlestick Well that takes oxygen to burn so that's like the lungs the table of showbread that the Word of God in the Word of God protects us so the 12 priests the bread are like the 12 ribs that protect our love the labor is like the kidney because it cleanses the body just like the water cleanse is the body the author of sacrifice us like the digestive system because only clean animals are allowed there and are only permitted to eat clean animals Now this may be used to teach something right and good like healthy living but there is a danger in using wrong methods of Bible interpretation in order to come to right conclusions. Because somewhere down the line it may not lead to right conclusions allegory is a form of ice a Jesus because it does not truly draw from the text but imposes on the text our understanding or some speculative view whether that understanding is right or wrong are you tracking with me now allegory is not the same as type ology or prophetic symbols like when we hear Behold the Lamb of God The Lamb is a type of Christ and we can clearly see that expressed in the Bible the High Priest we see could dress with a type of Christ Jonah we even read with the type of Christ we learn about how the Day of Atonement was a type of a judgment these are types and the Bible uses those but that's different from taking every literal thing you find and trying to create a symbolic meaning to it now another Dangerous Method is what people sometimes call the proof text method some people refer to it as a literalistic reading what this truly is is using an isolated text arbitrarily to prove somebodies point now let me be clear about something I did clarify something because I hear a lot of people wrongly accusing people of using the proof text message there are many avenues I've heard who speak negatively about for instance are topical Bible study guides because they draw from texts all over the Bible to prove the truth on a particular topic there is nothing wrong with using Bible texts to prove a point did you get that that's not what we refer to as proof texting that is sound Bible study proof texting is when you wrongly interpret a text by taking it out of its context to prove the point in other words you are using the text to to prove a point that the text doesn't actually make. Do you understand that so you can take a few words or a phrase out and make it mean something different than it really meant when the author wrote it that is proof texting sure like the man who wanted to know the will of God and so he prayed closed his eyes opened his Bible put it down and said Judas went out and hanged himself you close it prayed open it go and do likewise you close it open it what you do do quickly. You put them together and you can make a narrative out of it right but that narrative is totally different than what the actual text was talking about if you had taken it in its context the problem with proof texting is that it fails to consider the historical context and ignores the surrounding context as well as the weight of inspired evidence and it approaches texts very superficially so you write talk about a few examples you get a few examples how about Creation vs the ethics evolution your theistic evolutionist that's the belief that God started it all but he used evolutionary processes to do it so when you are a Genesis Chapters one in 2 you have to ask yourself the faith question and what is that question what does it mean in what way did he create Well you go to the book of Mark Chapter 10 and verse 6 says that Adam and Eve were from the beginning of creation that's just like it reads in Genesis not billions of years before or after it began doesn't when they came they were at the beginning of creation according to Scripture. So theistic evolution violates both the obvious meaning of the text and it violates the weight of inspired evidence and this is not uncommon to people who think with an in with a historical critical or allegorical view of the Bible they do not trust that the Bible could be accurate because of its miraculous claims but Jesus did it and this is the beauty of somebody who believes in the entire inspiration of the Bible do you want to know if you know the story of Jonah and the whale is true well Jesus said it was right you don't have to do is wrestle all I wonder of no we have all this beautiful examples. Jesus. Talked about Adam and Eve as the 1st married couple he talked about Abel as the 1st prophet it was killed he talked about Noah and the flood he talked about Moses and the serpent in the wilderness he talked about Moses and the manna that fell from heaven and said Israelites in the wilderness you talk about the experience of a lot and his wife he talk about the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah he talked about the miracles of the lodges and Jonah and the big fish Jesus did not view these accounts as allegories are symbolic deeper messages he took them as straight forward history describing events that actually happened just as the Old Testament describes NESA beauty of when you understand that all of Scripture is inspired by God you have so much that you can glean from to understand what the Bible is meaning Jesus use these very accounts to teach his disciples that just like these things happen the truth of his death and resurrection and ultimately his 2nd coming were just as sure to happen we can be sure what about the doctrine that when you die you go straight to heaven or hell. Well you read in. The US look at a text some 13 let's look at some 13 some 13 and verse 3. That's known as yes consider and hear me Oh Lord my God in lighten my eyes lest I sleep the sleep of death you read that Tex and you ask yourself the question what does it mean in what way is death asleep then you can prescription the Scripture and you find that just like when you sleep the dead know nothing you read in that very day his thoughts perish no thought unconscious the meaning of the metaphor of sleep is shown to be consistent with the idea of sleep itself it's all harmonious The reason that the common error of going straight to heaven or hell is accepted because they ignore the obvious meaning of the great body of texts interpreting death as a life flight as alertness knowing nothing as knowing more than ever before and they take a few obscure texts that speak in metaphoric or parable language and they take them literally in contradiction to the dirt great body of clear unambiguous plain text that are spoken in clear language this is the the historical critical method in Exhibit A clear example you understand how we interpret the Bible changes everything if we start you know just for convenience sake making. A claim to a certain understanding. Thinking the end justifies the means because I want to get to that understanding but we use a wrong method to get there we're going to destroy all our pillars because the Sabbath is built on this method understanding and hey you may start saying Well Sunday sabbath you know I mean there's a lot of justifying and rationalizing that go on once you've changed the way you interpret the Bible so we have to keep it very very tight Well do you mind if we talk about the the issue the church is wrestling over and women's ordination OK Well one of you is open to it the rest of you want to leave you can't. So let me decide something I have no big burden like I'm in soloing that's what I do in the Sabbath school personal ministry department and everything I do is about getting members involved in solving. I don't have like this over this like a big thing that I'm calm please harping on but I and I would as long as I'm at it with. Caviar at some others will tell you that I have incredible friends and colleagues who view this on every side going to so there's no like you know feel a strong hard feelings I have that in my mind but I do have this sense that we all of the microphones on this issue are speaking on one side. So what the church voted there's not many people who are actually just looking at the bottom and saying out why exactly might they have voted that way like from a biblical standpoint not from a emotional standpoint or whatever but just looking at the texts themselves because that's what in my mind that's all I care about really like not that I don't care about people but I know that at the end of the day what's best for people is going to be what is the meaning of the text so to me I just want to wrestle over the text and I am still fully open like I'm wide open if someone who is show me ideas that you know would change that concept I'd be totally OK with it but I feel like this illustrates some of the issues that I'm talking about and I feel like. We are many people unaware that there is a biblical interpretation issue that's being addressed and I'll be. Remiss if I don't tell you that when the study of this issue was going on because I served on the theology of ordination Study Committee of the general conference that went on for you know a couple years and we heard papers from all scholars on all sides of this very well done papers on both sides and we talked about it and wrestled over and prayed over it and what have you but when you look at the interpretation that was used to basically support the idea of the ordination of women to the gospel ministry that particular. Viewpoint was gotten to by using a slightly modified hermeneutic. And if you read inferences the North American divisions report on this issue they show the methods of Bible study document that the church voted on how we interpret the Bible in Rio de Janeiro and they put a bracket over it and said basically there's an umbrella under which this allows us some wiggle room for this document and yes we've normally been historical grammatical that's kind of the expression I've been talking about but there's also under the same umbrella there's another hermeneutic that we could safely use and that's the historical principle based the store a cultural or something to that effect is a different and I was you know I'm not here to debate that except I think it's important to understand that it is a different way of approaching the Bible that we're talking about so if we're going to do that we need to be aware of it like people need to be aware we're going to say we're using a different approach to how are interpreting it in order to come to that conclusion so let's talk about a text Have you ever read where the Bible says that women are not permitted to teach I'm asked Mark to come up and expound on that for me. Let's let's go to 1st of the Chapter 2 1st of the chapter 2 and look at. First some of the is really the you know this most concentrated place where the Biblical text needs to be evaluated I believe. Probably not but but yeah thank you I've appreciated that you do but I'm afraid of what will happen and I already know that I'm going to be pushing in a mark time all right verse in the chapter 2 and let's look at verse 11 and he found. The Bible says let a woman learn in silence with all submission and I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over man but to be in silence for Adam was formed 1st then Eve in Adam was not the seed but the woman being deceived fell into transgression So let's talk about this idea of silence for just a minute. By the way Ellen White with is on record as telling a prominent woman in the early having a church address the can the crowd whenever you can so apparently according to other inspired in a 7th Day Adventists are hermeneutic My belief is that when you validate the prophetic gift which is inspired then that then becomes part of the body of inspired evidence that you draw from to come to your conclusion and here Ellen White says that women were to this particular woman was to address the crowd whenever she could there's a place where clearly women are speaking in a public setting cement. Not only that but we have scriptural examples. We have you know Priscilla helping with a quill of with teaching you have the Apostle Paul actually telling the older women to teach the younger women so is this approach of Bishan against all women teaching no how do we know that we know it by taking the weight of the scriptural evidence you look and find that other places in the Bible clearly and in the spirit of prophecy we see the example and acceptable example of women teaching Furthermore in 1st Timothy 211 and 12 the silence spoken of the word there hey Suki hot is a noun form of a sooky O. S. with is an adjective that is in verse 2. I want you to see it in verse 2 it says for kings and all who are in authority that we may lead a quiet and has to kill us like a peaceable law in other words do you have these. Kings people who are in authority and you are to live peaceably not to be contending with those who are in this particular position of authority from this type of reading where you can look at the same type of Greek form and see that it's translated inside the different ways but it can help color what you understand so that you say OK now this can help harmonize with the other texts that help us to know that it wasn't a total prohibition now we see that this is talking about a peaceable non-contentious not. Opposing the structure of authority in the church notice that the text does not just say I do not permit a woman to teach somebody that I do not permit a woman to teach or was to have authority over men those 2 must be linked because if you cut off the 2nd half and you say I do not permit a woman to teach it violates what we already see in scripture right so it can't be that it has to be linked with this concept of authority and when you understand silence as this peaceable ness in terms of not trying to subvert authority you recognize is not a total you know a total muffling of women now we should note here something we should know that we don't come to the conclusion that Paul was not giving an outright prohibition to so to women teaching we don't do that by saying that Paul was a chauvinist and he was a product of his times and were more advanced now. He was a product of his culture and we are therefore going to ignore that part of the Bible then you understand I decide you already very quietly in other words you can't we don't have the right to just impose on the Bible writers that they were corrupted and that's why they wrote it the way they did Oh the you know and let's take another example it's amazing when you start evaluating this text when you do it from a from a miller's rules way comparing Scripture scripture and taking the obvious meaning of the text a a meaning starts to come out of it that makes sense and when that meaning starts to come out then you compare it with what you actually see in the practices of the church and if it harmonizes then you're doing pretty good so for instance if you keep reading in the text it talks about I do not permit a woman a teacher of authority over man a center Well what is its authority Well what do you know that in the same context you come to chapter 3 it said Chapter 2 is this prohibition is setting up Chapter 3 because what is chapter 3 say this is a faithful saying if a man desires the position of a bishop he desires a good work a bishop then must be blameless the husband of one wife temperate sober minded of good behavior hospitable and able to teach not giving a why not violent not greedy for money but gentle not quarrelsome not covetous one who rules his own house well having his children in submission with all reverence for if a man does not know how to rule his own house how will he take care of the Church of God Now let's think about it for a 2nd is talking about are not from a woman a teacher have authority over men then it says if a man desires the position of Elder a bit what type of position is that the position of authority in the church going to stand. And in the very context is talking about that and then it gives a couple of indicators that this role is one that is more designed for men and that those are that it says the husband of one wife this is not a prerequisite arms are this is not a characteristic or a qualification I should say it's not a qualification it's a prerequisite in other words you know it's sort of like. If if my. Daughter wanted to tell me the characteristics of the type of guy she wanted to marry you know she would not need to tell me because I know already know what orientation she's she would not need to tell me you know I want to be kind I want to make a good living I want to be a man I want to be she doesn't need that in there because that is a prerequisite to what we're talking about when you see the Apostle Paul right he doesn't need to lift out the gender because it's the prerequisite to what he's saying must be the husband of one wife then he goes on to say must rule his own house well now this is a point that I think from a Scripture with Scripture we need to bear carefully there are many people who wrestle with the idea of the. The male role in the church I understand that but in the home I there's no debate really because Ellen White has clearly written and I could give you reams of statements about how the father is the lawmaker in the home is the priest of the home he has the sterner virtues etc etc etc So you understand that and one of the qualifications is one who rules his own house well. Well if the man is the priest of the home and we will even a 7th Day Adventist from our belief in the inspired writings then that has to play into the qualifications for the elders you follow what I'm saying so it's just I'm not trying to be political or controversy all I'm dissing when you read the text and try to let the make sense of the text comparing Scripture to scripture not doing a superficial reading a superficial reading would be to say OK Betty Mary your never say buy in the pulpit again. No wait a minute let's not be too quick because we have these other pastors the talk about women teaching you talk about women in these positions of leadership Another thing so we do want this but there are certain aspects and you put all the pieces together and you begin to put together a picture that makes sense and is in harmony with what the Bible teaches then you start looking at saying well if this is true well maybe that explains why in the Old Testament the priests were always men knew that explains why Jesus chose only men maybe that explains why we have no example of instead of a female apostle or elder in Scripture. Now what's happened is and I'm just going to dive into the weeds here for a moment because I have 9 minutes plus the extra I'm going to think. What happens is you have these you need to try to figure out a way and so you know it just doesn't make sense to people so they look at glaciers 328 there is neither Mel nor female you know June or great etc beautiful text but it says nothing about the role of the elder the office of authority in the church and nothing about that that's not the context here is that I'm saying and what is been done is they've looked at that text as having more prominence then the other text that text is a forward looking text and even though yes there were some of the things that Paul was dealing with the culture of his age that text is more inspired they don't say it that way but that's what it ends up being and what you have is what we sometimes refer to as a Canon within a canon in other words some sects that are more inspired than other techs who chooses which steps are more 5 the reader right can't do that all the texts have to harmonize with one another now. I'm looking at all the things that I want. And making sure. I am not going take time to read it I want to be totally transparent here and I am being transparent OK thank you so so in the text Paul says an offering a woman to teach and have authority over man and then he says in verse 13 for Adam was formed 1st then Eve So he refers back to this order of creation Now let me just say something to try to put the lady I love my wife a guy and believe that she should be treated with the upmost equality and respect. Furthermore if I could if I had the time I would take you through a multitude of statement in which Ellen White says that the roles of the woman we may safely say are more sacred than that of men now by doing that she not only elevates the woman but she also clearly says that there are different rule if you say one more sacred than the other then there's a difference then she also says that women can do a work in families that is greater than that of men she also says that the mother is. Like the are comparable to the king upon his throne more important you have to say that didn't you. I was trying to do a little higher critical change from the front here and she caught me. Trying to make it say what I wanted to say now let's think about it for a minute if they're more important if if they can do a greater work than that of men if they're more sacred then what do you what's the point of men. No I'm asking you a serious question we need to wrestle we need to wrestle with this question if those things are true then maybe it could be that there is complimentary equality here but there is something important for men to do and there is an importance to men stepping into leadership and being the protectors of their families the protector of the church there is something important to that that is a God given. Purpose for men when when L.-Y. described Adam she says he was the head of the human race and he was the protector of Eden. This is something that we have to remember it's a Godly thing it's not a now of course then messes everything up and so we have abuse and we have women being more mistreated than men and all this and we've got to solve the fact that we did not have that in the church and I always like to point out to men Ellen is very clear that for you men to talk to your wives about your you know priest of the whole role does nothing to deserve any respect in the long day that's not how you get it so but that doesn't take away from this beautiful picture that God has given Now let me say something about what those who who were presenting the position of in favor women's ordination at Santa Tonio session their position which was referred to as position number 2 I have it all here now going to share a few points from but I'm just going to share this this particular text in 2nd 1st Timothy there their explanation of the text is that this book is dealing with false teaching and it does deal with a lot of false teaching shares some of the false teaching it describes how the women were affected by this false teaching and describes that. In being affected by it they were beginning to pass on false teaching me show you 1st Timothy Chapter 5 for some of the chapter 5 and look at verse verse of the 513 speaking about these widows it says and besides they learn to be wandering about from house to house and not only idle but also gossips and busy bodies saying things which they ought not. And what the position is taken is that there in F.S.S. where this is referring to there was an issue with false teachers these false teachers were influencing the women and the women were then saying things that they are not passing on these false teachings now read the text when in verse 13 and besides they learn to be idle wandering about from house to house and not only idle but also what I mean it's some high speculation to say that what they're doing is passing on the false teachings when all the text is says is that they're being gossips and that even so then what the interpretation is that when you go to chapter 2 and it says I do not permit a woman to teach or have authority over men it says that's only referring to these women in other words only reason he said that was because of these women who had heard from false teachers and now there's this probation prohibition on the women in ethicist teaching because of that now this is an example of taking history and reconstructing a history in order to get the text to say something that is actually different from what the text the same because when you read the text it does not say I do not permit Mary and Betty and Sally to teach it doesn't specify certain women who are passing on it is a a prohibition to all women I do not permit a woman to teach or have authority over men right not only that but the reason given is not false teaching but for Adam was formed 1st then Eve That's not a local cultural reason you go back to the order of Genesis right now if this is true what is being proposed then why wouldn't there also be a prohibition against all men teaching and this is why I'm asking because in 1st Timothy there are only 2 false teachers named And guess what gender they are. They're both men now if that's true why does that or not permit a man to teach it doesn't pass the logic test you want to say when I'm saying you can't create it merely because you know there's some threads that are there it's the same thing that happens when they talk about a woman who was. In some sort of possible Who in their eyes was a woman named Junia they said that that name could be a male or female and that in when describing Janet says that Julia is of note among the Apostles so they say that's a evidence of a female apostle Well number one it could mean an apostle could mean a note among your POV in other words known by the Apostle Number 2 the name could be either or man or woman so what you'll find a lot when people are interpreting this way is words like it likely could be suggest that and as I read again before returning here through the position number 2 there are a lot of likely could be and suggest that followed by Therefore we conclude and I just don't feel I I'm telling you I'm wide open I'm totally open to having a different understanding but when I read the text and just use the same principles I've always used to come to the fact the Sabbath is the 7th day that the dead are asleep you know now they're really dead and that hell doesn't burn forever when I use the same concept in how I interpret the Bible that is very the idea of taking a role that it specifically says not. Let's not have one but I do not permit a woman a teacher have authority over a man and then here is the role of the elder the office of authority that is ordained and it speaks about must be husband one wife and rule his own house well which speaks to the priest at home when I put all those together and then compare it to the fact that priests elders all the examples that we have in Scripture are all men I mean it's hard for me to swallow the idea when I say but how is it that Jesus did not. Choose one female apostle and why would he not do that while he was he knew that that would shake up to whatever well he did lots of things the shake up what was happening right now why would he succumb to vent on such an important issue it doesn't really make sense and there's a whole issue on slavery that if I had time I would talk about but I've got a great book if you want to know what it is that you can read on the issue of some people's view that this is the same thing as slavery totally not slavery is always bad but the idea of males as priests of the home is not always bad it can be a good relationship so these are the types of. Things that happen when we are trying to figure out how to interpret a text in order to accommodate something that maybe we see in a logic would be a good idea as this is I believe that issue of one moment in a minute that you see I believe the issue of hermeneutics is not the issue that we're dealing with a San Antonio and now the unions that are going ahead and ordaining women all of the reason I don't believe it's just a distraction. Is because I believe that it is a gateway possibility that if we start allowing for different methods of interpret ing the Bible then we're going to see all kinds of things that could be acceptable and that's the real concern is hermeneutics will determine if you chair of the evidence church All right thank you for being so attentive Let's pray together Father in heaven we're so grateful for this time we were able to spend in your word and we know that we are imperfect vessels we don't see things always the way we should we give you full authority to change course and help us to know what the truth is whenever you want to shine light on us individually or as a church the Lord help us to be faithful in the way that we study the Bible so that we have a hearts that are right with you and are ready to follow the truth wherever it leads and now Lord we pray we know what the future of Avon's is because it's in your hands but we pray that we would be faithful and will be on your side during your torch all the way to G.-D. bless each one of them. 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