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17- My Story and the Hermeneutical Question

C. Raymond Holmes

Presenter

C. Raymond Holmes

Pastor, missionary, retired seminary professor, and author

Recorded

  • October 4, 2014
    7:30 PM
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him here I have been in California for about twenty one years I flew out here with Kevin Paulson will and I did not know that he was born and raised here until after we got here and he has been raised ranging about the grapes want to thank faster more for the privilege of occupying his pulpit just before we came out on the platform Eileen ten back there with the specific purpose of telling me to smile and it reminded me my first appointment as pastor in the Seventh-day Adventist church that was as associate pastor at the Battle Creek tabernacle and the first time I was privileged to reach their when I got up to the pulpit I noticed a sign that said smile serve so I'm going to smile just to prove to you that I can do it when you're ready I'm not a really really a smiley person because I'm Scandinavian hi once known as offenders we are as the Finns say shalom and brought alignment and defense wheelchair arrived like to meet you after the service one morning when I came to my office at the seminary at seven o'clock I always came at seven I found taped to my office door this photograph of a beautiful eagle we have a lot of those in the UV with a piercing look on his compliments and it says at the top I am smiling and now that I have proven field that I can smile I want to tell you that I'm not smiling today because of our church is in a serious crisis and that's why we been here for the last three days before we have a prayer I'm one of you that I'm going to break a homiletical rule and read the sermon text at the end of the sermon instead of at the beginning and I also want to do something I've never done before I want to in this sermon to the memory of four people whom I loved and admired greatly and whose voice we would happily welcome today but unfortunately their voices are silent I'm referring to Doctor Leslie Harding Doctor C Mervyn Maxwell Doctor Gerhard Hansell and Mrs. Hedy Jemison let us pray heavenly father we have met as your people in this sanctuary to worship you today and to hear your word we pray for the ministry of your Holy Spirit open our ears to hear what you have to say to us today and give us the grace the determination but will the face to respond and obedience in Jesus name we pray amen when I began my ministry in my last Lutheran parish which by the way is only a little over a half a mile from the little Adventist church that I'm festering for the last twenty years in retirement entries and interesting situation when I began my ministry there in the sixties was not long before I discovered that the congregation had been deeply influenced by the prevailing social gospel of the time so I face a challenge how to counteract such influence and get the congregation on the biblical pass I started by consistently preaching expository sermons that focused on the Scriptures I preach longer sermons twenty minutes was customary I extended it to thirty now I preach forty five minutes or longer because I'm an old man I have a lot to say and a little time saying some close didn't like the longer sermons but some did I also try to start a Sunday school class Rudolph's that would concentrate on Bible study but I had few takers I remember also as a young minister meanwhile Prince a series of sermons how my hope that that's what they call that in those days and after one of the evening meetings a lady came up to me and asked me if she can talk with me license yes of course but they were turning out the lights in the chapel so we had to sit on the cement steps underneath one lightbulb so we sat down and I asked her how can I help you she's alive been a believer for many years but I've got a real serious problem to set up either I don't have the assurance of the forgiveness of sin I love God but I'm not I don't have the assurance that he is forgiven my sins and I thought while they didn't teach me anything about how to deal with that in seminary so I shot with prior octagon and he helped me I said well let's open our Bibles to first John one nine she opened her Bible mice agree would you read that verse although she should do if we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness and I said to her I do confess your sins she's an old man in Minotaur I said are you forgiven is that I don't know I really got so she run out loud again if we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness I asked you confess your sins geez I just told you yes many times I said are you forgiven I don't know I said read it again she looked at me and only got to be kidding also read it again so she did and I asked her how you confess your sins yes I said are you forgiven this time there was silence I didn't interrupt for silent finally she said I guess I am and I said Hall you know that and she said because it says so right here in I learned a lot that day well anyway during this time starting a Sunday school class for adults that failed in this experience with that lady I've often wondered what happened to her two other significant things happen my wife was the vacation Bible school leader that particular summer and when the materials arrive that she had sent for are dealing with human origins she was alarmed and you came to me and all the materials for me and she said we can teach this and was teaching evolution not biblical creation I told her to send it back when I wrote a letter to the denominational publishers explaining why why not time she had become interested in the Adventist church through a friend she's staying with them knowledge variance brings while I'm there and that same summer the vacation Bible school material was on creation and it was biblical all the way through the very first verse of the Bible says in the beginning God created at what it says and then it tells us how he did it by his word now I'm going to insert a footnote here all of this was background later in Venice eventually about twenty centimeters ago the ordination of women ministers and in two thousand and nine at their annual convention the particularly Lutheran denomination after a ten year sociological study of human sexuality not biblical study sociological study they approved same-sex marriage on the ordination of gay clergy how was that possible and was possible because the principles of interpretation that would involve hermeneutics or in place of progression from evolution approval of same-sex marriage was inevitable how somebody's going to say that my calling this to your attention is scare tactics but it's not it's fact and hopefully not about the same time I attended a meeting of Lutheran pastors during which the discussion concerned hermeneutics and I felt obliged to defend the authority of the Bible and one of the young pastors was a recent graduate of the same seminary that I had attended came up to me and shook his finger in my face and very angrily and vehemently sent to me the time is coming when people like you who were not allowing in the newsroom almost a new know my story probably know the rest that happened after these events are described that by the fall of nineteen seventy brought me as a master of theology student to the theological seminary at Andrews University I was still a Lutheran still skeptical and my primary goal at that time was to discover whether Jesus lived on the campus of Andrews University in the lives of the students and the faculty and I discovered that he did I eventually decided to leave the Lutheran Church ministry becomes unveiled by the mobile timidity from to me I didn't know what was going I eventually ended up as a member of the faculty myself the tentacle of my ministry was wonderful those here I remember a number of the faculty members invited me to meet with them every Wednesday evening the only condition was that I tell them a week in advance what I would like to discuss so they could prepare WG C Murdock was there was the Dean Doctor home was turn the theology department Doctor Wilbur Alexander Doctor C Mervyn Maxwell couple others I can't remember it was masterfully done by the way everybody treated me with respect everybody called me pastoral mobility intimated that I was an apostate I felt accepted even appreciated we study that was masterfully done with one question in mind what does the Bible say our dance kind of a background you might imagine how impressed I was with the Seventh-day Adventist Sabbath school lessons remember I couldn't get an adult Sunday school class start start a Bible to study the Bible and here I found the church in which a large percentage of its membership attended him and all are Sabbath school class before the worship service in on someone these people are something there in church all all morning onset on Saturday I wasn't used to that and those lessons exposed biblical truth in line and how impressive I also was with the prevailing expository approach to preaching that I heard in those days all emphases that were part of my spiritual heritage because my spiritual roots are in the finish Lutheran Church of Finland which was characterized by all strong bid with a schism on the one hand and major emphasis on revival of awakening on the other so right from the start of my spiritual life as I began to read and study the Bible I was deeply impressed by the apostle Paul's reverence for an reliance upon the Scripture and later as I dug deeper into the Protestant Reformation I was so impressed by the impact but Paul had made on Martin Luther who is still one of my heroes I was so impressed with the chapter on the Reformation and Luther and Ellen White's book the great controversy you remember the loser of the diet of Warren stood before the representatives of both secular and religious power and authority and under extreme pressure and even stripped of his life reptile room mouse the convictions that he had declared in his ninety five theses the seventeen almost one hundred years this two years from now and he defined the holy Roman Emperor and the representatives of the pulp can you imagine a picture that at this huge gathering there's this one simple mom dressed in his monks have been any defiant symbol by saying this he said they asked him to retract and will not ask them what threatened you have to and Lisa since then your Majesty referring to the holy Roman Emperor Charles the fifth and your lordships the Roman Catholic prelates that were there since you desire a simple reply I will answer without horns and without teeth unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason amenity inserted is and I do not accept the authority of popes and councils for they have contradicted each other unless I'm convinced by Scripture and plain reason my conscience is captive to the Word of God I cannot and I will not pretend anything portable against conscience is neither right Marseille theorized that these are on Google on God help me remember words that changed history while that kind of confidence and fearless witness of Scripture is my spiritual heritage and nobody told me that I had to abandon that heritage in order to become Seventh-day Adventist still there am I believe that it fortifies me today that's my spiritual heritage and I was convinced that it was also the Seventh-day Adventist church along the same useful if we lose that we lose everything I was so impressed with the Bible conferences that were held throughout North America in nineteen seventy four I was baptized in January of seventy one by Doctor Tom Glynn bought Pioneer Memorial Church and shortly after ordained into the ministry but I was so impressed with old Bible conferences in nineteen seventy four and also with Ellen White's hermeneutics four principles of interpretation that one doesn't have to be a trained scholar to understand and apply the and by the way while I started out in this church history we talk about the group that were called the pioneers just a handful of people from many different churches meeting together to study the Bible that were influential in founding this church this movement not one of them not one single one of that group had a PhD not one of them was was a scholar trained in the biblical languages that are messed up was simple to fall study the Bible and prayer discussed yes there discussions were lively but they hammered out the doctrines on the basis of the word of God that initiated this movement Ellen White's principles are simple number one the Bible is its own interpreter lumber to take the Bible as it reads number three focus on the Bible 's claim statements number four explain the language of the Bible according to its obvious meaning you can use those principles and arrive at confident conclusions about God 's truth my phone was spiritual home join the Seventh-day Adventist church and its ministry confident that it wasn't some mission to the full authority of the Bible and then this issue and work and I resisted for two years getting involved in because I didn't want to be crucified on the cross my wife warned me over and over again so don't get involved really in trouble Baltimore I saw the way the Bible was being used or rather misuse and trying to convince the church but the Bible doesn't say what it says more I came under the impression that I had to what I did write the book the tip of an iceberg the twentieth anniversary of the publication of the book in May of this year it's a form of deception flow to try to convince the church that the Bible doesn't say what it says on any Reformation scholar knows that Luther was heavily influenced by the epistles of Paul many Drew theological formal knowledge from from Paul's letters as well as personal faith and the kind of courage and spiritual strength that he needed at the time of crisis the words of Paul changed Luther Andrew in the course of history in the world you and I will not be here today in this sanctuary preaching teaching study believing the gospel of salvation by grace through faith were it not for the words of Paul words that were hurt by a simple model who was sincerely trying to do everything that he thought was necessary to be accepted by God but his efforts didn't satisfy including self-flagellation until the heart from Romans three twenty four that he was justified by God 's grace as a gift through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus but before he could hear that he had to hear something else he called it so long script for him the Bible and the Bible alone as the source of God 's revelation in the truth before so long there is no before Solon Graziano raise alone and so on feed a faith alone comes so long for a the Bible alone that was the major fundamental truths of the Reformation solo trip to everything doctoral and experiential depends on the rise from solo scripts or the Journal of medieval church never accepted the insisting that tradition and the power of bishops read administrators theologians are equal if not great eminent descriptor in other words the authority of the church was appalled out of the work of God some Protestants today give lip service also allows scripts or and in some instances abandoning abandoning it altogether in favor of what is called felt human needs and the pressures and demands of contemporary culture matters another footnote this is culminated in a reason to join Lutheran Catholic declaration notice I said John Lutheran Catholic declaration that the Reformation was a mistake that the protest is over of course it would be over to Manny it's inevitable if you throw out solo script for you to throw out the Reformation and the footnote disconnecting the old from the New Testament law from gospel in some instances insisting that the Holy Spirit is doing those things in the church in our time have you heard that reasonably but the authority of the spirit of all the work but Ellen White sets that the Holy Spirit never leads us in a way that's contradictory to the Scriptures attention needs to be drawn once again Paul's reverence for an reliance upon the Scriptures and begins Romans Michael Newman from the first chapter verse two to the Scriptures the holy Scriptures and wanting deals with justification and chapter four verse three he says he asked what does the Scripture say any answers Abraham believed God and it was called to him as righteousness and then in chapter nine of Romans or six he calls Scripture called the word of God and in making clear that there is no distinction between Jew and Greek with regard to salvation he says in chapter ten verse eleven the Scripture says everyone who believes in him Jesus will not be put to shame I'm in Chapter 11 verse two he underscores that God has not rejected his people the Jews and then he asks do you know what the Scripture says according to politician the scripture in the Bible that we find hope chapter fifteen verse four whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope unwanted case of the authoritative he claimed for the preaching of the gospel of the death and resurrection of Christ Paul said I will first Corinthians fifteen versus three and four he sent that it was called in accordance with the Scriptures and speaking further a hole in the context of his own ministry Paul says in second Corinthians four versus thirteen through eighteen he says since we have the same spirit of faith as Jesus according to what has been written by Billy I'm sold I spoke and he says we also believe until we also speak knowing that he will raise the Lord Jesus will raise also also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence for this all for your sake so that 's grace extends to more more people that may increase Thanksgiving to the glory of God so we don't lose heart he says even though our older nature is wasting away our inner nature is being renewed day by day for this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen throughout Rowlandson first and second Corinthian Lutherans won't go through the originators of the Paul uses the phrase it is written over and over again at least thirteen times when he says in second Corinthians six or sixteen in Chapter seven verse one that there is no partnership between righteousness and lawlessness no fellowship with light and darkness calling followers of Christ the temple of the living God the Colts Leviticus chapter twenty six as God said Paul says go all from their midst and be separate from them and touch no unclean thing then I will welcome you and will be a father to you and you shall be sons and daughters to me then he says also since we have these promises beloved let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit bringing holiness to completion and the fear of God not whether Paul talks about his development of the trove by the way the doctor and me from weather is talking about that or if you started about the development of his own theological thought or whether he's addressing issues in the developing early church has reference all as now contrast that was trying to convince the church the Bible doesn't really say what it says no longer that deeply involved in the development and organizing of the early church he horrible tendency and Titus but as he says the tendency is for you to know when I read that it's very personally say not to make as for you brother home continue in what you have learned and have firmly believe knowing from whom he learned how from childhood you have big been appointed with the sacred writings which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ all Scripture is a breeze all inspire my dog and profitable for teaching forward Pro for correction and for training in righteousness that the man loves the messenger of God may be competent and equipped for every good work the whole another footnote with Angel the aware of the fact that Paul's letter in witness that he was not conscious of the leading of the Holy Spirit as he was of the power and influence of the Scriptures however I'm here as a vital principle of interpretation which I've already mentioned from acts of the apostles page twenty five when she says the operations of the Spirit are always all away empowerment with the written word so Paul was the example for those such as Timothy and Titus who would eventually take his place as spiritual leaders of the early church and it's on the basis of Scripture alone but both the qualifications for ministry and how the spirit and power equipment for ministry is revealed and accomplished in one example Paul wants Ellen White writes in acts of the apostles page three thirty two listen to this fully convinced of the reality of the truth entrusted to him nothing could induce false to handle the word of God deceitfully or to conceal the convictions of his own so Paul always he was always bold enough to say this is where I spent and say or should he will not purchase well all the voices honor or pleasure by conformity to the opinions of the world though in constant danger of martyrdom for the faith that he had preached the Corinthian he was not intimidated for he knew that he who had died and risen again would raise him from the grave and present him to the fall uncle saw it was in complete harmony with his face in an reliance upon the written word of God to leave as his legacy of apostolic instruction these resounding words that we are careful to read at ordination services from second Timothy chapter four the first five verses while that passage was read at both of my ordination I was ordained Lutheran ministry ten years later is for this ministry I've tried over the years to convince the brethren that because I was ordained twice I should receive double salary and Doubleday as long and successful every once in a while they say that what that really means is that wanted to do double work anyway here here are the world here are the words from second Timothy four I charge you remember Paul is writing to Timothy young minister I charge you and I heard the mental health of my ordinations and all and every ordination that I have participated in in the Seventh-day Adventist church since I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus who is the just the living and the dead and by his appearing and his kingdom preach the word that's the specificity not just preach preach this be ready all not be ready in season and out of season I'd is to say when times are good and when times are bad reproved review and exhort with complete patience and teaching why all the time is coming also has when people will not endure sound teaching other words they won't put up with it but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths and renew his Henry ordained minister always be sober minded and/or suffering though the work of an evangelist fulfill your ministry I want to promote a something access not only to reprove and exhort but the review in fact he says it three times and Titus Hollis how does the creature review by throwing his weight around my exercising authority no black and white preaching the word the word does the rebuking the power is in the work not in the preacher preach the word mobilities as invitations and in-laws preach the word nothing else that's our duty but some are calling that's our ministry that's our no matter what popular or not I'm doing it consistently without deviation without compromise of biblical principles for the sake of peace why online has been from review and Herald July twenty four eighteen ninety four she says that we must often proclaim a message that is directly in opposition to the people 's sins printers and prejudices and customs read culture of the times why do we have to often proclaim the message that is in opposition to same prejudices and saw why in the context of this solemn charge all say for them to look to the organ and as for you and your software White is a center because friends there's a price to pay for faithfulness to God 's work to his web that is true because Ellen White says in the same article it is called whom possibly the main increase with the world blanketing off the principles of truth what the followers of Christ settled in their minds that they will matter compromise from matter you one iota of principle for the favor of the world uncle false compromising the word of God is not the way to finish the work will did call himself pay that price suffering enduring suffering let him tell the story himself second Corinthians eleven beginning with verse twenty four is as five times I received at the hands of the Jews of forty lashes last one three times I was beaten with Ross once I was still three times shipwrecked in danger from rivers from wrong from my home people lost friend in all as precious as it is there are some things that are more important he goes on from my own people from Gentiles in the city in the wilderness at sea all from false brothers he was betrayed by false brother and toil and hardship through many a sleepless night in hunger and thirst often without full in cold and exposure and apart from other things there is the daily pressure of my anxiety for all the churches while the price to pay as we look at the mission of our church and the times in which we live let us trust that as Ellen White puts it in great controversy page five ninety five God will have eight people on earth to maintain the Bible and the Bible only as the standard of all doctrines and the basis notice of all reforms all changes but also that as she says in the selected messages volume two page three eighty the church may appear as about the fall but it does not fall remain as is not to listen to this not but those who have been overcoming by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony will be found with the loyal and true the church will remain true to the word of God but that will not happen notice with all the word of their testimony we have to stand up and be counted when the issue is trained there's no such thing as anonymity remember Luther paradise that I can't do anything else then she goes on she says that it's the very stronghold for biblical truth that makes the church strong case as a whole the remnant that purify their souls by obeying the truth gather strength from the trying process and what my wife said when all of this agony began to take place she said the mole I think it's God 's will but the remnant church go through this agony what is and why you think the Tucson because I think it's not part of God 's answer to our prayers for revival and Reformation now we're hearing many appeals for unity today and we all know that unity is essential to finish the mission that we have been given I want to borrow a metaphor someone will recognize the source of it and say yes we must sing in harmony that is in agreement and saw an action but in order to sing in harmony this choir holds what I'm talking about in order to sing in harmony we have to sing in unison which means to sing the same song with the same song in the same stretch with our eyes fixed on the directors felt that the D as written by the composer mole choir concert in harmony or in unison apart from unity if each member or segment such as the tenors are of the Sopranos does not sing the same music what happens only discordant disharmony when you put your hands over your ears find first Corinthians four versus Wellington speaking of himself as a servant of Christ store of the mysteries of God the apostle Paul made it clear that as he says it is required of stores that they be following cross working on store is one thanks Carol Paris for and who protests one who can be defendant on display through the word of God and then he says I apply this to myself he says in verse six for your benefit is that I apply what I'm saying not just for me but for your benefit for the church for you than for me that you may learn by from us now listen not to bowl beyond what is written as stores of the mysteries of God and it is our duty to affirm and sustain the biblical trajectory and I'm borrowing a word there are male attention leadership in the home and in the church and not goal beyond what is written in the Scriptures leadership that began before the fall continued through the Old Testament priesthood in the New Testament apostles and into the early church through the Holy Spirit inch in news from friends of Paul Clinton resume times as stores of the mysteries of God it is our duty to pay careful attention to Paul's counsel contended the adverse tendency six twenty one Garner the deposit that is to say the revealed word doctrine the truth that has been entrusted to us are we going to be trustworthy and do that garnered not true the matter what price cost concerning the truth itself listen to this one white says early writings page ninety six truth itself is straight playing Claire and stands out boldly in its own defense doesn't take a lot of words and involved explanation all concerning hermeneutic interpretation of the understanding and application of the truth she exhorts all of us members pastors leaders in evangelist scholars teachers first select messages volume one page one eighty one she urges us to call let the playing simple statements of the word of God be fooled for your mind speculating lessons of this speculating of fun ideas that are not clearly presented their is dangerous here is the motivation for this symposium on some glass and able to participate page eighty five I'm so glad pastor more gentle bit immunities under the czar going to be fallout on your already started on the blogs my final comment it is our duty and this is why were here as stewards of the mystery of the mysteries of God protect the church from the hermeneutical desires that's a long life and payment as it was like I was a website dedicated to spreading God 's word to us and send audio and much more I would like to know more about our universe is like the more so than please visit www. .com universe .org

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