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Featured A Few Things to Discuss (A Bit Long)

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by E Hess, Jul 26, 2020.

  1. E Hess

    E Hess New Member

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    The SDA Church

    This is something that I've not been able to understand personally. Why do many people consider SDA to be a cult? I grew up in the church and the beliefs are different, though many people have different beliefs hence why we have so many different denominations.

    Although I do still associate heavily with the SDA and I also consider myself to be non-denominational. The reason being that there are something in the church that I don't agree with. One of them being the Investigative Judgment with does conflict with the Bible, and if it conflicts with the Bible, I toss it.

    Ellen G. White

    Another matter regarding the SDA church I've heard from outside sources it people criticizing Ellen G. White for plagiarism in books like The Great Controversy. She openly admits to borrowing from other authors, Mrs. White never tried to hide that fact. Mrs. White said she did this because they said what she was trying to better than she was able.

    Another thing that irks me is judging these events by modern standards. If you're going to judge something like this, then it needs to be done in the by the standards of the time in which it happened. Now speaking of the time in which it happened, this form of literary borrowing wasn't uncommon in her day and not typically frowned upon unless someone tried to pass it off as original work, which she didn't.

    Drinking Alcohol

    Another is the belief that it's a sin to drink alcohol at all. Don't get me wrong I'm not saying that modern Christians should drink. However I believe this matter should be taken into context from the time it was written. Is it a sin to drink, personally I don't believe it is.

    Ephesians 5:18 (KJV) And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit

    If it were a sin to drink at all, would the Bible not simply say 'Do not drink'. Got also created wine at the wedding at his mother's request. Now there is still a debate within the religious community where people practically trip over themselves trying to say that it was non-alcoholic wine, or grape juice. Again, I don't believe this.

    I don't think the people who wrote the Bible were ignorant to the difference between the two, and I doubt they would have left something like that vague or ambiguous. If it was grape juice I believe they would have said grape juice. I think Jesus created wine, and he drank wine. The difference being he never became drunk or even got a buzz.

    This is where the context comes in. The Bible obviously wasn't written in modern times. In the day and age that Jesus lived, most nearby rivers and running water sources were used as sewage disposal systems. Inside cities was the worst. This meant that drinking water could turn out to be a very lethal gamble with all the contaminants in it, and Jesus didn't have the option to run down to the Dollar Store and grab a 24-pack of Dasani Water.

    Thus I believe he, like a lot of lower class people, drank cheap wine which probably had a low alcohol content. Again people might try to counter this view by saying that alcohol is addictive and dangerous, well, so is over eating, extreme sports adrenaline junkies and a whole host of other things. Anything taken to excess can be dangerous and potentially addictive depending on how the person reacts to it.

    Personally I believe the church's exceptionally condemning view of alcohol is a holdover from prohibition back in the 1920s. So to sum this up before I type a book on the subject, I believe Jesus drank alcoholic wine but never got drunk because drinking water in his day wasn't always a good idea. In modern times with such easy access to fresh and clean water, modern Christians have no need to drink, and as it can be addictive it's best not to play with fire.
     
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  2. eleos1954

    eleos1954 God is Love Supporter

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    There is a difference between new wine (like grape juice - not fermented) and then fermented which of course is alcoholic.

    At the Last Supper, which was a Jewish Passover feast, Jesus said that the wine represented His blood. And in the Bible, blood always represents life. (Lev 17:11, Deut 12:23) Pure grape juice is a good symbol of life, because of its life-giving powers. It would sustain life for a considerable time. But this is not true for alcohol. Whatever life-sustaining qualities there are in fermented wine are those of the grape juice that was partly spoiled to make fermented wine. Alcoholic wine is a product of decay; fresh grape juice is a product of life.

    Since alcoholic wine is a product of decay, can it possibly represent the blood of our sinless and holy Savior? Furthermore, do you believe that such a product of arrested decay will be served in heaven?5 Jesus did say, “I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” (Luke 22:18)

    While it cannot be conclusively demonstrated that all positive references to wine in the Bible referred only to unfermented grape juice, it is reasonable to assume that the negative references to “wine” were to the fermented sort and the positive references to “wine” were to the fresh, unfermented grape juice. That people in biblical times were familiar with and drank both can easily be discerned from the biblical record.
     
  3. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    That's one. Considering her to be a prophet, that is. You don't seem to think she was.

    Soul Sleep would be another.


    "No" to that one.
     
  4. E Hess

    E Hess New Member

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    I'm undecided on the matter. Ellen G. White herself said she did make mistakes and if something she said conflicted with the Bible, discard it and keep to the word of God. Now I know people will say that if she was wrong about something she wasn't a prophet, because everything they say comes true without fail. The problem here is that it's not always easy for people who aren't prophets, like us, to tell the difference between a prophecy from God and something written as a personal point of view long after the fact.

    Things get distorted due to personal bias from reprints, human error, even time itself. One of the problems is that Mrs. White's writings are recent rather than something written thousands of years ago. Because of this, and the problems I mentioned above, it's not always easy to what's what.
     
  5. Neogaia777

    Neogaia777 Apprentice Supporter

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    The main one I've heard about SDA's Mormons and JW's is that they do not believe Jesus was God or became just like God or one with or equal to God, etc, that they say Jesus was a Son of God only, and was like an angel only and on equal footing with Satan, and among SDA Jesus and Satan being spirit brothers, etc, this leads them also to view God in and of the OT as being greater than Him (Jesus) and because of this they think only He or that One is God and that Jesus is not God or at least is not that God nor is He equal to Him, etc, this leads them to stick to a lot of the OT law covenant pretty strictly a lot, which creates another division among them, etc, (divisions between SDA, Mormons, JW's and other Christians who believe that Jesus Christ is God and is one with and equal to Him (God or the true God, etc)...

    Also there are some other theology issues as well, that some think churches like the SDA and Mormons have taken too far, like each one of us getting our own planet, etc, some say SDA also has gotten too closely tied with politics and having a political agenda as well, some say, etc...

    Those are just the ones I can recall from memory right now, but maybe others can tell you more maybe, etc...

    Now, I don't hate them or anything, and I'm not saying this against them personally, I'm just telling you what I know and have heard, OK, I have a few good friends among and/or belonging to these groups, etc, I just personally do not, etc...

    I used to be a JW at one time BTW, but am not any longer and have not been for awhile now, now there would be way too many conflicts for me to go back now, etc, I've grown a lot since then, etc, way too much for them, etc...

    I still have a few friends that are JW still though, etc... I just try not to talk with them too much about these things, etc...

    God Bless!
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2020
  6. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    When it comes to considering the church to be a cult--that was your question--it doesn't really matter if she is seen as you do or as the church used to teach.

    If the faith itself, doctrines, practices, are to some degree unScriptural or supplements to Scripture, if that is the importance of her writings and sayings to the church, it qualifies as a characteristic of a cult (to people who chart such things).
     
  7. E Hess

    E Hess New Member

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    Jesus not being equal to God is an old SDA belief that did exist when the church was founded, but it's not longer held to in modern times. Having grown up in the SDA church I can attest to the fact that I was taught the Holy Trinity is God existing simultaneously as three separate, yet equal, beings.

    Also as to everyone getting their own planet, never heard that one.
     
  8. Neogaia777

    Neogaia777 Apprentice Supporter

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    I think that last one might be Mormons, etc...

    And as to the first, are you sure SDA no longer believes that?

    Well, either way, there is still and issue with them operating by OC OT law pretty strictly (they think) still, etc, and many say they are not NT NC believes under the covenant of Grace, etc...?

    Also, some of these groups are pretty exclusive and not very inclusive as well, if your not all cleaned up, or are not on the way to being so, and according to their standards, and also do not believe exactly the way they do, and don't ever not ever have a different belief system, or ever question it or theirs, etc, or your excluded, cast out, etc, tends to be what some think is kind of "cultish" behavior also, etc, and some, again, say it's a lot of OT and OC also, etc, not that much different from Orthodox Jews, etc...

    But then again, what do I know, I'm just telling you what I have heard, etc, like I said, I don't hate them, etc...

    God Bless!
     
  9. E Hess

    E Hess New Member

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    I won't deny there are people like that in the SDA church, but doesn't every denomination have their own negative cliques that do this? I can't speak for everyone because I'm not everyone. I just know the church I grew up in, and one that my mother and I used to visit regularly. They were both very friendly, welcoming, open and made me feel at home.

    I've also been gone for long periods of time because of faith problems and welcomed backed, I've stated I don't always agree with SDA views, even debated and questioned (politely) without anyone going nuclear. To be honest I think a lot of people are seeing the extreme (and improper) examples by the minority, not the majority. Again, I could be wrong, just my belief.
     
  10. Neogaia777

    Neogaia777 Apprentice Supporter

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    I don't know, I just know that, for instance if I wanted to join them, they would insist that I stop some things before I ever could first, etc, before I could even go to one or any of their services, etc, and then, if I had my own take or theories on things and differing beliefs on anything, I would be excluded, cast out, etc, and a lot of them, at least in my area, are pretty exclusive, etc, keep to their own, and only like to deal or associate with their own, etc, only take care of, and some even only care about their own, etc, not like other churches where you don't have to be all spiffy squeaky spotless clean first before you can even join them, or even come to one of their services, etc, and I know a lot that lie about it/that also within in their own bodies, cause that's what that kind of thing can lead to sometimes, hiding things and keeping secrets from them, and each other, so they don't get excluded, etc, and I hate that kind of hypocrisy, etc, not them, but just that kind of hypocrisy, etc... I believe the standard they set, not very many of them ever truly live up to, or ever fully meet, etc... And I don't like belonging to an organization like that, etc...

    Anyway, if you can be happy and find yourself home there, then I say go for it man, and more power to you, and I hope it works for you, etc, I just don't ever think it would be or would work out for me, etc...

    Might be different where your at, I don't know...?

    Anyway,

    God Bless!
     
  11. E Hess

    E Hess New Member

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    Any church, regardless of denomination, that treats someone like that really needs to re-evaluate what they're even doing. God came to preach to the sinner, not the righteous. Those that don't question faith and just do as they're told will be led astray. SDA or not even I'd condemn a church for treating someone like that. I question scripture, belief and tradition all the time. Not only does this help people to better understand, it weeds out false teachings. Sorry you were treated that way.
     
  12. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The master of the feast said the groom held the best wine until later. Usually, the better wine was served first; then, after the guests were under its influence so they could not tell the difference, then the groom was supposed to serve the inferior wine. So, if this is correct, then Jesus gave them wine with alcohol.
     
  13. BobRyan

    BobRyan Junior Member

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    On this board the SDA denomination is not considered a cult and what is more the book "Kingdom of the Cults" also stated clearly that the SDA denomination is not a cult.

    Christianity Today has a Feb 2015 article stating that the SDA denomination is the 5th largest Christian denomination in the world.

    There is an SDA forum on this website.
     
  14. BobRyan

    BobRyan Junior Member

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    I have seen a lot of SDA churches and a lot of visitors in them - as Christianity Today points out, it is one of the fastest growing Christian denominations (Feb 2015 article). The Barna group identifies it as one of the very best at reaching out to the unchurched in America.

    I have never seen any visitor subjected to a "qualification check list" -- Instead they all offered visitors a friendly greeting and in many churches they ask people to sign the guest book. (voluntary of course)

    I am not saying that no non-SDA has any objection to joining or visiting - just that the reasons are rarely along the lines of a checklist that someone who visits has to pass to visit. At least not that I have seen.
     
  15. BobRyan

    BobRyan Junior Member

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    SDAs are trinitarian and believe Jesus is the 2nd person of the Trinity - God the Son. Not a created being.
     
  16. BobRyan

    BobRyan Junior Member

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    The SDA denomination does not teach that... and never did.
     
  17. BobRyan

    BobRyan Junior Member

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    SDAs have a very strong a-political POV -

    Here is an SDA talking to that point

    "Those who teach the Bible in our churches and our schools are not at liberty to unite in making apparent their prejudices for or against political men or measures, because by so doing they stir up the minds of others, leading each to advocate his favorite theory. There are among those professing to believe present truth, some who will thus be stirred up to express their sentiments and political preferences, so that division will be brought into the church. {CCh 316.1}

    The Lord would have His people bury political questions. On these themes silence is eloquence. Christ calls upon His followers to come into unity on the pure gospel principles which are plainly revealed in the word of God. We cannot with safety vote for political parties; for we do not know whom we are voting for. We cannot with safety take part in any political scheme. {CCh 316.2}"

    =====================

    Historically SDA leadership took a strong stand against slavery, and against alcohol. But other than that the church stays out of politics in terms of its leadership or denominational endorsements.
     
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  18. Neogaia777

    Neogaia777 Apprentice Supporter

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    I said earlier that I thought that might have been the Mormons, etc, and am pretty sure it is or was now, etc...

    But, in general, SDA is just too strict for me, if you openly admit your sins, and you don't do away with them or overcome them quickly at some point, it has been my personal experience that they will shun you and push you out of their groups and/or organization, etc, and God forbid you have periods of backsliding at some points, and your honest about it or that also, etc, cause they really shun you and push you out then, etc... Just been my own experience, etc...

    And some of their teachings I just do not agree with also, etc, along with some of their "ways" also, that were just now mentioned also, etc...

    In my opinion they are still also too "law and works oriented" and not enough "pure or purely grace oriented", etc...

    Anyway,

    God Bless!
     
  19. Neogaia777

    Neogaia777 Apprentice Supporter

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    Do they believe he is equal to God the Father, or became so, or always was or had been, etc...?

    And I'm asking cause I honestly don't know this now, and want to make sure I have it right or straight in the future, etc, so if you could answer it would be much appreciated.

    God Bless!
     
  20. BobRyan

    BobRyan Junior Member

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    Always has been from eternity past just as God the Holy Spirit.

    No problem I am happy to answer those kinds of questions all day long. I don't insist that everyone be SDA or even agree with SDA doctrine but at least we should know what it is. :)
     
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