In the book The Andreasen File Compiled by LMN Publishing, M. L. Andreasen talks about a Sabbath School Quarter that promised to be one that presented “Christ-centered doctrines.” This is found on pages 100-103. Andreasen was surprised to find that the sanctuary doctrine, the mark of the beast, the 3 angels message, health reform, and other related doctrines were not discussed that quarter. Andreasen wonders if this was done because these are the very doctrines that cause our evangelical brothers and sisters to question our orthodoxy as Christians.
Christ or Adventism?
Over the last few years I have heard some clergy and laypeople calling for a movement away from an emphasis on such things as the Sanctuary or Prophecy to a more “Christ-centered emphasis.” While I certainly would have no problem with a Christ-centered approach, in that what else can we as Christians have at our center, I would strongly state that this idea places a false dichotomy. Is there necessarily a distinction between “Christ-centered” and “Adventist fundamental?” The reason why I am writing this is because I had another conversation with a preacher who is finding the present day relevance of the Sanctuary message. He is surprised to find that it is not irrelevant or boring, but a very relevant object lesson of how Salvation and the Great Controversy works. This is in stark contrast to the multiple preachers who think that their goal of preaching the gospel requires minimizing the teachings that make us who we are.
Sanctuary is Christ-Centered
For certainly it is difficult to argue that the sanctuary is not Christ centered. With Chirst being representing as at least the sacrifice, common and high priest, and even the various pieces of the tabernacle. Certainly with Salvation being illustrated in the services of the Sanctuary, it is difficult to make the argument that it is not Christ centered. One could argue that over time some have turned it into a mathematical calculation only, but as sister white reminds us “the sanctuary having a decided relation to the people of God.” is one of the landmarks of the movement.
The Real Problem
I think that it is not that these doctrines are less “christ-centered” but that they are more “precise and end-time focused.” The Sanctuary reminds us that Christ is doing a work to take care of sin. The Sanctuary reminds us what Christ is doing now. The Sanctuary reminds us that there is a judgment going on. The Sanctuary fits into our “Great Controversy” idea. And all of this is Christ-centered, but what Christ is it?
And here is the issue, you may not agree with the picture it paints of Christ, you may not believe that this picture of Christ is true, but please stop arguing that this doctrine does no have Christ at its center. Take Christ away from the Sanctuary and you have nothing but a shell. However, put Christ back into that heavenly sanctuary and you begin to catch a glimpse of the message that God has ordained that we preach in these final days.