Friday, September 12, 2008

A Challenge

As mentioned earlier we will be using the message Herschel Hughes gave in a Seventh-day Adventist church as an impetus to study some of the foundations of our faith. The following was the first topic he mentioned:

“The end is near, so I give you this final warning, you must return to your Christian roots, and abandon the false teaching that it is my will that you should observe and make the Jewish Sabbath the focus of end time events, and an issue of salvation. This is wrong, for the Sabbath was part of the old covenant I made exclusively for the Jews, and as Gentiles it's not yours to claim. But I have given all people, Jews and Gentiles alike, who believe and follow me, a new covenant, which is the inheritance of eternal life, freely given by my blood, and by my grace through faith, and which also includes the guidance and empowerment of my spirit, but it includes no allowance for any legalisms from the old Jewish covenant. My Jews celebrate my creation, but my Christians celebrate my blood.”

The subject of the Sabbath is important enough to the purpose and foundations of the Seventh-day Adventist church that it is incorporated into its very name. Here’s what Ellen White had to say about the name chosen for the group: “The name Seventh-day Adventist is a standing rebuke to the Protestant world. Here is the line of distinction between the worshippers of God and those who worship the beast and receive his mark. The great conflict is between the commandments of God (i.e. Sabbath-keeping) and the requirements of the beast.” SG Vol 4, p. 54

How do we decide what to believe and what to discard? Our supposition is that we decide by scripture alone. It's time to test that theory.

Because the Adventist Church has stated that none of its beliefs come from Ellen White but from the Bible alone, I believe it is very important to investigate this claim and to be clear on what scriptures actually teach. Are any of the above assertions true? If the beliefs of Adventists that contradict the teachings of most of the evangelical church come from God, how is it that mainstream Christians also base their doctrines on scripture and they have not been listed as cults? How many of the SDA doctrines do we actually believe? How do we decide what to believe and what to discard? Our supposition is that we decide by scripture alone. It’s time to test that theory.

Pressing questions present themselves to members and even ex-members of Adventism: Is it the desire of God that we continue to observe the Sabbath? Even when a person leaves Adventism it seems that there is a deeply rooted belief that they had better not give up the Sabbath – just in case. Is this what the Bible says of the New Testament church? Are we in God’s will to continue saying, “What’s wrong with meeting on the Sabbath, what does it matter?” instead of asking,“What does the Word of God say?” and “Does it matter to God?” Is it valid to act contrary to the Bible so as not to offend other Adventists, especially family and Adventist employers, in the hopes of influencing them to seek the Holy Spirit? What will we be bringing them to when we, ourselves, have not gotten off the bridge and into the New Covenant? Do Adventists actually keep the Sabbath? And, if not, why continue to hold onto it when it creates division from the body of Christ and confusion to new believers?

Let's push on to answer those questions.

Ultimate Rest Table of Contents

The Next Chapter: The Everlasting Covenants

Are all of the covenants in the Bible everlasting covenants? If God is the same yesterday, today and forever, could any of His covenants be temporary? Which ones are which? There are four covenants that are spoken of as being everlasting. Do you know which ones they are?

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