Seventh-Day Adventists/The Politics of Religion

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Question
While thinking about the recent election and the deep political divide in the US, I couldnt help but note how politically divided my SDA denomination is. One obvious division are the black and white conferences that still exist to this day. However it seems that this division seems to be dissolving into a more conservative versus liberal struggle for the identity of the church. Another way of looking at it is this  attempt to define who is really SDA and who is not. This struggle apparently spills over into many avenues from doctrine to food,to  national politics, style of worship and even sexuality.

Q: Is there a way to determine who is really SDA or is that not even an important issue anymore?

Answer
The Gospel is not to be confused with national politics, nor is correct doctrine determined by popular vote.  

Moreover, this idea from the Christian Right that certain religious views about gender, contraceptives, or abortion, etc must become the law of the land is outrageous and wrong.  

Religion is not to be legislated by, or mixed with, Civil law.  Those who try to force their religious views on others are not only refuting the teachings of Christ, they are also repudiating the fundamentals of the Pilgrim Fathers who came to America for religious freedom.  They are also refuting the Constitution, which deregulated religion and prohibited the State from making any laws about doctrine or religious faith.

The 1st Amendment states: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separation_of_church_and_state_in_the_United_States

Religious Freedom is not a slogan.  Rather, it is a fundamental principle of the Gospel as well as of American democracy, one that is often violated by those who claim to be religious.   

The 19th century Sunday Sacredness Movement, which focused on Sunday Blue Laws, is a good example of how the conservatives in the US have tried to force their religious views on others, -- in clear violation of the Constitution.  Prohibition was another shameful time in America history where religious zealots forced their views on others, making matters only worse for all concerned.

http://en.allexperts.com/q/Seventh-Day-Adventists-2318/National-Sunday-Law.htm

Shame on those today that try to force others to follow their religious views.  This is very wrong and counterproductive at every level.  It is against the Gospel and Democracy.

The teachings of Jesus do not support much of what passes for Christianity today.  Nor are the organized churches searching for Gospel truth or God’s will.  They have all been reduced to a business, where money, power, and politics matter most.  

2Tim. 3:1  But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.

2Tim. 3:2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy,

2Tim. 3:3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good,

2Tim. 3:4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,

2Tim. 3:5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power;

Two Choices

Jesus teaches that there are only two basic choices in life.  One that leads to the Gospel and one that does not.  What a stunning development that the last church, meaning ALL denominations, has chosen a false path, -not just the SDA’s.  Every church in the land is heading for “destruction.”

Matt. 7:13  “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.

Few understand that Jesus has condemned every church and denomination at the end of time.  He has judged them all to be blind and naked, unsaved and delusional in the real Pre-Advent Judgment.  They have all embraced a false and “wretched” Gospel for which they must repent or else.

Rev. 3:16 ‘So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.

Rev. 3:17 ‘Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked,

Two Types of Laodiceans

To better understand how to view SDA’s today, we should first look at how the NT views all Christians, just before the Judgment of the Second Coming.  There are only two basic types of Laodiceans:

Type 1 Laodicean

Type 1 Laodiceans are blind, naked, and doctrinally delusional.  This arrogant group does not understand the Gospel or eschatology correctly, nor are they saved.  But yet, they think they have all truth.  Jesus speaks about them plainly.

Matt. 7:21  “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.

Matt. 7:22 “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’

Matt. 7:23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’

Type 2 Laodicean

Type 2 Laodiceans understand that they have embraced legions of false doctrine.  Consequently, they are repentant, humble, embracing Gospel Reform with both hands, even as they promote correct eschatology.  They are shown in Rev 18

Rev. 18:1  After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illumined with his glory.

Rev. 18:2 And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird.

The SDA’s are part of Laodicea; they too have been judged guilty in the PAJ.  They are not excused, much less rewarded for embracing the wrong view of the Gospel and the Pre Advent Judgment.  They too have been told to confess their many false doctrines and zealously repent.  They too are instructed to search for truth and stop playing games.  

So far, the SDA leaders refuse to admit any errors, even as the majority of their members have walked out the door in protest.  So this denomination remains blind and very foolish.  But a portion of SDA’s will repent and become Gospel Adventists, just as some from all other denominations will do the same thing.

Two Basic Types SDA’s

While there are many ways to categorize the present SDA confusion, let’s keep it simple and look at two basic types of Adventists. The first group refuses to repent for their many errors and thus they will not search for truth.

However, the second group will repent of the IJ, tithe, and the Old Covenant Sabbath, etc.  They want to go forward and follow Gospel truth.  These are the “real” Adventists.  Only those who repentant and honestly follow Christ will go forward to become New Covenant Adventists.  

Those who cling to their false traditions are not genuine Adventists at all.  They are Old Covenant SDA’s and Judaizers, delusional and stubborn, banished from the kingdom of God.

Today every organized church and denomination in Laodicea is called to repent and embrace Gospel Reform.  Those that do so, are genuine Christians, those that don’t, are just pretending.  

Matt. 22:14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.”

I trust this addresses your thoughtful question.

Tom Norris for All Experts.com & Adventist Reform

Seventh-Day Adventists

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Tom Norris

Expertise

I can answer most any question about church history and theology, starting from 1818 when William Miller articulated the 1st Angels Message that became the foundation of the Adventist Movement. While this first prophetic message terminated in the spring of 1844, it was followed by what Adventists refer to as the 2nd Angels Message, which dates from the spring of 1844 until the great disappointment of October 22, 1844. By 1847, the 3rd Angels Message had been developed and this Sabbatarian theology represents the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Moreover, I can explain the historical and theological development of the SDA denomination from its beginning and on through the great Battle Creek schism that forced the SDA's to retreat to Takoma Park. Here the 20th century church recovered from their internal battles that had erupted at the 1888 General Conference in Minneapolis over the definition of the law and the Gospel. Fearing another repeat of this disaster, President Daniels, determined to hide this debate. However, this policy led to more conflict, especially over the role and authority of Ellen White, a unique and accomplished religious writer that had remarkable spiritual gifts. However, by the decade of the 1970`s, the church once again erupted into debate. The hierarchy settled the turmoil in 1980 with the trial of Dr. Desmond Ford at Glacier View. Here Dr. Ford was exiled because he supposedly disagreed with Ellen White over the Fundamentals. But this controversial action resulted in another major schism that is still in progress today.

Experience

Tom Norris was raised as a Seventh-day Adventist in Takoma Park, Md. He attended SDA grade and High schools, moving on to study Adventist theology at Columbia Union College. He also spent significant time conducting independent research in the General Conference Archives and the Ellen G. White Estate. Over the years he has also interviewed a number of prominent Adventist scholars, theologians, and Pastors ranging from the late Arthur White to the exiled Dr. Desmond Ford. In addition, he has amassed a large private library, which includes numerous rare books and manuscripts about Adventist theology and history. He is presently the online editor of Adventist Reform, and can be found at Adventist for Tomorrow answering questions online about SDA theology and history as well as promoting Adventist Reform. http://www.atomorrow.net/fluxbb/

Education/Credentials
Tom Norris attended SDA grade and High schools, moving on to study Adventist theology at Columbia Union College. He also spent significant time conducting independent research in the General Conference Archives and the Ellen G. White Estate.

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