Monday, January 08, 2007

Happy New Year

As that famous philosopher Yogi Berra quipped, "It's deja vu all over again." Of course, he's also credited with "When you see a fork in the road--take it" which provokes all sorts of deep thought and possibilities. But it's another new year again. It seems just yesterday that Libby and I were at a neighbor's New Year Eve's party watching the host working on her first hangover of the year. This year was much more tame as we and a small group of friends bemoaned how awful Dick Clark sounded for a guy who looks 27 still.

So what's this year going to bring? We've already discussed Pat Robertson's prediction, which prompted a "no duh" reaction from a friend. Terrorism? In 2007? Ya think? Tough call there Pat. But what else? Will the Democrats actually do something or just enjoy the Country Club membership like my party did? Will oil production peak (has it already?) or will hybrids save the day? Speaking of oil, will Americans finally start to understand the effects of a large nation who soaks up so much oil that it drives up the price and spews pollution into our already choked atmosphere? Yes, I'm talking about China and as they catch up to us and remind us of how we've been; will we finally start to take notice of the practice and change our wandering ways? Is this the year we dump the large SUV, not because we can't afford to drive it, but because we simply want to be more energy responsible?

Speaking of apathy, what about the average Seventh-day Adventist? Will this be the year that all the Adventists who know there is "something wrong" finally "search the scriptures to see if these things are so"? Those who who are too busy, comfortable or afraid: will they (you?) finally take a step back and look at the evidence that has been presented and decide once and for all what they should believe?

So, will this be a pivotal year of change, or will it simply be deja vu all over again? I guess that is up to us. One thing is clear: just like our oil will
eventually run out and our cars will sputter to the side of the road, ultimately we all will understand the truth about God clearly. Some possibilities?
  1. There is no god. We die and our life was all that we had. In this case the good and the bad we do leave their impact for better or for worse. (A happy, positive Christian with faith in a good God almost always impacts the world for better.) I'm not betting on this option, by the way. Update: Leaning this direction due to total lack of evidence and a strong case against religions of all type.
  2. Adventism is true. But in this case we have to define "Adventism". Is it what they believed from 1840-1855 or what they developed after 1855? Is it what was taught by Ellen White or simply what the church matured into and the current statement of belief? Is it the bland, watered down version modern Adventists adhere to or the sharp extremes "historicists" insist upon? If correct, it calls upon Adventists to dedicate 100% of their time and resources to warning the world with the "3 angels" messages. Living in the antitypical "Day of Atonement" has a price - a steep price.
  3. Adventism is false. Then it is dangerous to remain in it. Like the Mormons, though you may have many family members and friends who are Mormon, if your church is teaching a false gospel Paul insists that they are accursed. To remain is to continue to support, promote and breath deadly error that steals the soul of life-breathing oxygen of the truth in Christ.
I know many will look for other options relative to Adventism.
  • It's mostly true, but there are some problems.
  • It used to be more cult-like and had many errors, but we've steadily dropped them. (I'll check back with you in another 150 years and see how you're doing.)
  • No denomination is perfect - they all have their errors. I mean, what's with this "Left Behind" and double predestination stuff? (And speaking in tongues, praying to Mary, holy laughter, gems from heaven, and what's up with Benny Hill - er, Hin?) At least Adventists are not as bad as all that?
And it goes on. But the question in 2007 remains: What is truth? Specifically, are Adventisms unique truth-claims in fact true?
  • Must we keep the 7th-day Sabbath in order to avoid the mark of the beast?
  • Did Christ end the gospel dispensation, close the door to and leave the Holy Place in heaven and open the door to and enter the Most Holy Place in 1844?
  • Did 1844 begin the Day of Atonement? Are we currently living in it?
  • Was Ellen White in fact a prophet "just like Jeremiah"? Is she credible and to be believed and obeyed above my own judgment of scripture? Does her "borrowing", strange memory, strange early behavior matter?
  • Is Daniel 8:14 and Daniel 7 linked to Lev. 16 such that it teaches 1844 began the investigative judgment in heaven and the start of the Day of Atonement.
  • etc. etc. etc.
Is 2007 Deja Vu all over again? Or is this the year that Adventists decide to be honest with themselves and motivated to either fully understand and admit what Adventists believe and stand for, or discard the errors and walk more fully in the power of the true gospel?

No comments: