March 24, 2011

Why do They Make it So Complex? – The Presentation of Adventist Fundamentals

I was talking to a friend about the presentation of Adventist fundamentals by some. It appears that often these teachings are ignored by many pastors and preachers, but when they actually do preach or teach them, the sermon turns into a theological lecture to enlighten the mind but not inspire the soul.

This is an interesting phenomenon. You will hear a preacher preach a powerful sermon about God being with us in our pain and our heartache and yet when it is time to preach the Sanctuary they turn it into a lecture about celestial geography or a mathematical calculation. Thus leaving the hearers with the question: “How is this helpful to me in my situation?” I think this lack of connection to our lives is one of the reasons why people think it is too complex.

This actually reminds me of my college days. I had a math minor in college. Math is a powerful tool to help us understand and solve problems. But I did learn some pertinent things from my time there that can be helpful to the hearers.

There is an Application to Real Life

Yes the calculus, geometry, and algebra had practical applications. I have found out over and over the truth of this. In my computer work, I have used all of them to help me solve real problems of the real world.

And just like math, our core beliefs have real application to the real world. Yes the State of the Dead doctrine helps us understand the current revival of the demonic in the culture. It also helps us understand why Satan will push you to destroy your body if he can’t get you to destroy the soul. Because the doctrine reminds us that both body and soul are inextricably bound together in an indisolvable union. Yes the Sanctuary doctrine helps us understand God’s guidance of the world towards final culmination. God is at the wheel purifying and protecting God’s people from the “throne-room.” Yes the core beliefs have application to real life.

Some Teachers Made Application Some Didn’t

Another point is that there are some teachers who make applications, while others didn’t. It was amazing to me how some teachers would tell you “how to use the tool is up to you, I just give you the tool.” This leaves you in the dark about the relevance and power of the tool. It was much later after completing my calculus training that I began to realize how to use the tool. If I didn’t realize how to use the tool, I would be in the dark about its effectiveness and how the tool is actually indispensable.

Likewise there are preachers who simply throw the fundamentals out there and then stop. You don’t know why it matters, you don’t know what it is good for. Because of this, you might just let the teaching lie dormant, just as I let calculus lie dormant.

You May Have to Find Your Own Applications

Finally, as with calculus where I had to find a reason for the existence of the tool, you will have to do the same thing in many cases. I praise God that there are some who attempt to teach the fundamentals with strength, but we as listeners must recognize that some of these preachers will not and/or cannot make it practical. In those cases we have to cultivate the trait of finding it for ourselves. Please don’t blame Calculus becuase a teacher didn’t give you an application. And don’t blame the core of Adventism either.

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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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