Tuesday, October 10, 2006

YAB - Yet Another Blog

This represents my 3rd blog that I've started - none of which said much of importance. So keeping with tradition I'll try to keep this blog fairly trite and hopefully full of meaningless clich├ęs.

Or, just maybe I'll have something important to say. You'll need to be the judge. This blog, however, does have a theme. It has a purpose. It has intent. My primary focus will be on Christian theology, and mostly as pertains to the Seventh-day Adventist church. I am a former licensed SDA minister who over time has come to the conclusion that many of the peculiar SDA fundamentals could not be sustained by scripture. Though I asked many questions while a student, and was often outspoken on the subject of Justification by Faith while a pastor, I have generally avoided the clamorous arguments about who is right and what is wrong. The din surrounding the book of Hebrews and the sanctuary doctrines starting with the Ford era have been distasteful to me; reviewing the history of how the Church treated those who had questions in that era is like reading about the Spanish Inquisition – it is deplorable, despicable, and fully contrary to Christ-like decorum. Both sides shouted and shot arrows and the periods of seeming quietude were simply a time of sharpening arrows and filling quivers.

And yet: the SDA sanctuary doctrine, in my view, is fatally flawed. The traditional presentation about Ellen White is filled with deception and conflicting positions. The focus on the Law and on the Sabbath is spiritually lethal. The prominent placement of standards and the pervasive focus on prophetic timelines and interpretations has replaced what should be a focus on Christ as our Righteousness. While the mainstream denomination appears to be attempting to reform and present Christ and a more positive, grace-oriented message, the miasma from our heritage has steamed up through publications from the likes of Firm Foundation and Colin Standish to loudly attempt to re-interject the Law, standards, and “historic Adventism” back into the collective consciousness. Many Adventist leaders visit churches such as Willow Creek or the one that I attend, Northpoint Community Church in Atlanta in order to discover what techniques we use and to try to tap into our growth strategies, yet these Adventist churches still are built on their poisonous past and will never be able to enjoy the same growth and power while still teaching their subtle form of modern legalism.

Over time I have come to understand that my not speaking out about some of these issues is to quietly provide my voice of approval. Though some of my friends suspect that I do not approve of certain theologies, yet since I have not “gone on the record” my lack of objection could be misconstrued as approval. As you will discover: on many topics, I do not approve. It will never be my primary goal to get you to agree with me, or to defend my position. Quite frankly, my dear, I … er, could care less if you agree with me. But if you read my position on a subject you are forced to either carefully consider and adjust your position, or you will need to study deeply in order to refute my position in your own mind and sustain your Adventist position.

It is my hope that I will be able to share my enthusiasm for Christ and for the Gospel and to allow you to understand why I say that the Good news is better than we were brought up to think - it is incredibly awesome because it is focused on Christ 100%.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just a test