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