March 5, 2009

Taking a Bite out of Adventism

Wrong, Right, or Irrelevant? You know there is no greater crime than to preach an irrelevant message. An irrelevant message is by definition unimportant and a waste of time. We all have heard wrong messages. Many of us have heard right messages. These messages inspire in us a desire to do something. They inspire us to move forward. Or maybe they just inspire us to attack the message. Yes it may be wrong, but it is important enough for the speaker to present it, therefore it is probably important enough for me to attempt to correct the speaker.

Right, Wrong or Irrelevant?

However, there is another category of message. This is the “irrelevant ones.” These are the messages that are only of “academic” interest. You may be right, I may be right, but in the end, it really doesn’t matter. For most of us, when we immediately recognize such a message, we ignore it and move on. There are some of us who actually specialize in this type of message, and soon we find ourselves in a position where no one will listen to us.

Is Our Contribution Irrelevant?

applebite300Interestingly enough, there are some among us who think that Adventism’s contribution to the Christian world is an irrelevant add on. We talk about the Sanctuary Message being the doctrine that we bring to the Christian world. But then we immediately assure our Christian brothers and sisters from other denominations that this message does not really affect our understanding of the Gospel. No our understanding of the Gospel is just the same as yours, we just have added this doctrine to talk about it. No the sanctuary does not really mean that Christ will one day stop doing the work of forgiveness while he will ever retain the work of empowerment. No the sanctuary just means that God investigates who will be saved before Jesus returns. It is not about soul transformation, no we are just like you as far as the Gospel in concerned. We just fiddle around with some mathematical calculations that end up at 1844, but you don’t really have to know that, all you really have to know is what you already know.

The Neutered Message

What we have ended up doing is neutered the sanctuary message so that the Christian world will not see it as a barrior to fellowship. Once you have done that, then you end up with a doctrine that is meaningless. And why preach a meaningless doctrine? And so we don’t. We set it aside and forget about it. No we ain’t been called to ignore that message. Neither have we been called to neuter it so that others will not find it offensive. Neither have we been called to turn it into a mathematical calculation or a celestial book-keeping operation that has no meaning for my contemporary living.

In short, I would rather you defend the real sanctuary message that includes soul cleansing. But if you must go ahead and attack the real sanctuary message. But please don’t continue to promote the ignoring of this important message by turning it into meaningless drivel that we pull out once in a while at revelation seminars.

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shermancox

Vanderbilt Trained Minister (MDiv), Univ. of Alabama Trained Software Developer (MS), Author, Blogger (http://soulpreaching.com ), Husband, Son, Brother, Father.

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