Messages from Young Adults

Lesson 10: The Message of the Prophets

Thou shalt not eat pork
Thou shalt not drink Coke
Thou shalt not go to clubs
Thou shalt not wear jewelry
Thou shalt not use drums in the church
Thou shalt not dance
Thou shalt not dance in the church
Thou shalt not clap your hands in the church
Thou shalt let everyone at the funeral home know that their dead grandma is NOT in heaven but termite food six feet under

And the list goes on and on.

Somehow we got lost, we went from the Bible teaching, Scripture referencing people to the doctrinal I’ve-got-to-shove-it-down –your-throat legalistic bunch. We like to think that this is a recent development but at the GC meeting in 1888, the Seventh-day Adventist church had their hands full trying to understand this concept of grace and the law. The founding members of our church including the then president of the GC Elder Bulter and Uriah Smith believed that the Whites, Waggoner and some others were involved in a conspiracy to usurp power and undermine the leadership. The message of 1888 as given to Waggoner and Jones was to correct the misconception that the SDA church taught the law but did not believe or teach Christ. Somehow 121 years later we find ourselves with the same dilemma, how do you minister to your Baptist friend about the Sabbath and still let them know that salvation is a gift, a free gift from God without sounding overbearing?

I don’t understand the concept of a non-denominational church mostly because it is an oxymoron, by worshipping on Sunday you are claiming a particular doctrine and I would say denomination and so I’ll never be swayed to see the relevance of watering down Christianity in an effort to appeal to the masses. You see without a solid foundation based on Scripture (doctrine) we are like a house built on marshmallows. Our doctrine is important, the state of the dead, the importance of Sabbath and its origins, the second coming are not just topics for interfaith discussions but the bedrock because they point us to the One that saves us. On the other hand our doctrine sometimes serves as a handicap. It’s a fine line between cheap grace and legalism and in most situations and even in our evangelistic series we forget the central theme. We tell people about the Mark of the Beast and the NEWSTART holy lifestyle and then we sprinkle Jesus on top. The only way we don’t fall to either side  of this thin line is to keep the crucified Christ the center and not the cherry on top. Yes, it might seem like a cookie cutter answer but without a true personal experience with God we have nothing, the closer you walk with God the more you will want to be like him. The drama of the 1888 GC Session led many Adventists to open scripture and study for themselves and connect personally in the Word, with the Word. Doctrine can only take you so far, we have to have that personal connection and not be swayed by leadership, or manuals, or books, or pastors, or seminars. We have to connect to the Vine.

I don’t have questions to ask this week, I just have one appeal, as you study this lesson and learn about prophecy, doctrine and its place in our church history never lose sight of the central theme, never lose sight of Christ’s redeeming blood.

If you have the 2009 Devotional “Lest We Forget” skip over to August and read August 24-30, oh and then trust mii when I say you will find yourself reading the first week of September also. J

Happy Sabbath

oh one more thing don’t try and figure out the coloring I’m just happy its Sabbath


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Comments

  • Herb Douglass said:

    Home run, out of the park! 1888 was a wake-up call then and now! Doctrine yes! But Jesus as Lord and Friend provides the only way to find the growth and maturity that doctrine describes. Issue in 1888 was that great debaters with great truths did not see the point, yet, of the purpose of the gospel–the transformed life by the indwelling Jesus/Holy Spirit. Keep thinking and sharing. Cheers, Herb Douglass

  • Neema Okal said:

    wow, Thats amazing.Even upto now, i am still trying to understand so many things that goes on around me. Your words of wisdome have enlightened me.As i take each day, i hope to put everything into practice and be a good example to everyone that i come into contact with.

  • Rhonda B said:

    Its amazing that we ended up talking about this very same thing on sabbath morning in class – even before I read this post. I guess a lot of people realize that we have sort of strayed to the legalistic side of things. You are right – it is a thin line to walk, but it’s not impossible. Focusing on the cross and using love to relate to each other is definitely the way to go.

  • Dolly said:

    hXIy6l TYVM you’ve solved all my polrbmes

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