Seventh-Day Adventists/SDA brothers and objectivity
I hope all is well with you and that you health is fine. I have some SDA friends and I find most of them to be rather bright and well adjusted people so it makes me wonder what's preventing them to access the objectivity needed to see the obvious (i.e. that EW was a false prophets and that her teachings are way off). The same reasoning apply to some other denominations (JW, Mormons...) - it is obvious that beliefs are a very emotionally charged topic and has often a lot to do with personality. How can we get someone to take a good hard look at what can be objectively verified? Personally, I rely on Traditions and the Magisterium as they back their conclusions with what I perceive to be the right interpretations of scriptures and sound reasonings. I have to rely on the right experts as I am not qualified to read all scriptures by myself - I simply don't have the educational background to do so.
Thank you brother Sal for your great work,
Dear Brother Serge:
Thank you for your concern for my health. I am experiencing what they call "a rough patch". I am optimistic that I will get back on track to good health soon.
This is a very difficult topic that you have chosen to discuss. As you said one's beliefs, especially religious beliefs, is a very emotionally charged issue and that is probably the number one reason why they cannot see the truth. Once one accepts a set of beliefs into his heart and soul it becomes very difficult for him to give up those beliefs no matter how much evidence you can present showing them to be false beliefs.
One problem is that they may not see things as we do. For instances we may see things as both/and while your friends may see them as either/or. For example, let's say we want to prove that the Ten Commandments are the Old Covenant. We might quote Deuteronomy 4:13, "So He declared to you His covenant which He commanded you to perform, that is, the Ten Commandments; and He wrote them on two tablets of stone" (NASB). He might quote Exodus 34:28, "So he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did not eat bread or drink water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments" (NASB). We look at those verses and see them as both/and, i.e., the Ten Commandments are both the covenant and the words of the covenant. While your friends may see those verses are either/or. They may reason that the Ten Commandments cannot be the covenant that has ended, therefore, they must be only the words of the covenant. By doing this they ignore the truth of Deuteronomy 4:13 (and like passages, for instance Deuteronomy 9:9, 11, 15) and thereby preserve their beliefs (in their minds).
If you or I try to teach these SDAs something they don't like they may say, "Who are you to teach me? You are not a member of the Remnant Church, you do not keep the Sabbath, you do not believe EGW. So how can you be right and the Remnant Church wrong?" So it can seem hopeless, but we must keep preaching the word of God.
"I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables" (2 Timothy 4:1-4 NKJV).
God Be With You,