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Mistaken Identity

June 16, 2010

I apologize for not posting earlier this week … got a little busy.

I just finished the above book, “Mistaken Identity”.  Amazing book of God’s sustaining grace and love to a family that was heart-broken.  I highly recommend this book!!!

A friend of mine mentioned the book to me two years ago … My friend graduated from Taylor University where the main characters from the book were from.

Synopsis:  Several students from Taylor University were in a  horrific accident.  5 people were killed in the van.  At the scene of the accident, one student with critical injuries was misidentified and taken to the hospital, Whitney Cerak.  The family of one of the girls killed in the accident was told that their daughter was in critical condition, Laura Van Ryan.  The Van Ryan family cared for Whitney Cerak, thinking it was Laura Van Ryan, for 5 weeks.  As soon as they realized it was Whitney, they notified the correct authorities.  The Cerak’s had already had a funeral for their daughter Whitney, when a strange call came to them – saying bring Whitney’s dental records to the hospital – we believe your daughter is alive …

The Van Ryan’s then had to grieve the loss of their daughter, Laura, that had actually died in the accident.

The strength God gave both of these families, Cerak’s and Van Ryan’s is amazing … their grief is real and profound – but mixed with the realization that God can carry human’s through the worst …

The Word: Adventism vs. Christianity

June 12, 2010

12For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Heb. 4:12; NASB)

I realize that the title of this post will cause some to “react”.  Many Seventh-day Adventists see themselves as Christians.  Infact, they see themselves as the “remnant” Christian group that is “closest” in correct interpretation of scripture.  I know that is how I saw myself when I was a Seventh-day Adventist.  When I was a Seventh-day Adventist I liked to think of myself as “open” and “accepting” of other Christian denominations -but I was in the “capstone” category – a part of the “remnant” group.

I realize that this post is not an easy one to talk about … nor explain … Yet, I feel a prompting to “tackle” the topic:  “How Adventism views the scriptures vs. how a conservative Evangelical views the scriptures”.

16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.  (2 Tim. 3:16-17; NIV)

God-breathed – ever wonder what that means?  The Hebrews text quoted at the beginning of this post mentions that God’s Word is “living” and “piercing”.  Look at the use of God’s Words in Genesis … God spoke and animals appeared, and the heavens were created by words from the mouth of God … God’s Words bring life.  Jesus is called the Word in John 1.  “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.”

In 2 Timothy it says ALL scripture is God-breathed.  I had a conversation with a dear Seventh-day Adventist friend several weeks ago.  I love her very much.  She has been “taken-aback” by my decision to leave Adventism.  As we talked she peppered me with questions.  She asked me about inspiration and how I view the scriptures.  Then she said, “Only when the Bible says, ‘God said’, is it word for word from Him.”  I was silent, because I knew I had already shared my view that every single word of scripture is “God-breathed”.  I do not take the words of scripture lightly or view one section of the Bible better or more inspired than another.  This Word is life to me … even the prepositions like “about” and “in” are God-breathed.

Yet, Adventism teaches a double-minded view of scripture.  They love to say, “All our doctrines are found in scripture.”  We are “people of the book”.  Yet, look at what their prophetess teaches about scripture:  “The Bible is written by inspired men, but it is not God’s mode of thought and expression. It is that of humanity. God, as a writer, is not represented. Men will often say such an expression is not like God. But God has not put Himself in words, in logic, in rhetoric, on trial in the Bible. The writers of the Bible were God’s penmen, not His pen. Look at the different writers.

It is not the words of the Bible that are inspired, but the men that were inspired. Inspiration acts not on the man’s words or his expressions but on the man himself, who, under the influence of the Holy Ghost, is imbued with thoughts. But the words receive the impress of the individual mind. The divine mind is diffused. The divine mind and will is combined with the human mind and will; thus the utterances of the man are the word of God. (Manuscript 24, 1886; written in Europe in 1886.)

Where do I even begin to take apart that statement!  The “Bible is not God’s mode of thought and expression”.  Huh?!!!   … Adventists will then back peddle and say – you are distorting what she is trying to say … She means God has to work through human language … Ok, … look at this whole quote from Ellen White … Scripture is a combination of God and man and therefore the Word is “diffused”.  Sorry, it just seems to me that the Word of God is somehow diminished in nature …

Also, if you look at one of the doctrinal statements from the Seventh-day Adventist Church it says, Ellen White is an “authoritative source of truth” and the Bible is the “standard” by which we must judge things.  I don’t know about you but “authoritative source of truth” seems to be a step above their doctrinal word used for the Bible which is “standard”.

As an Adventist I saw scripture as having errors (which I was taught in a class at Walla Walla) and that it was “thought” inspired and therefore, at times had “problems”, BUT we must still see it as an important work of literature.  Therefore, scripture, for me as an Adventist, was akin to the inspired works of Chuck Swindoll or C.S. Lewis or ….

When I began questioning Adventism I nearly tossed out the Bible – because I thought I knew the scriptures – but at the time I was finding that the words of scripture didn’t always follow the doctrines of the Adventist Church.  And I had been taught that Adventism understood the scriptures better than any other denomination …

Yet, now, for me … the Word of God is “God-breathed” bringing me LIFE, PIERCING my heart to the point of tears, and TEACHING me and EQUIPPING me for God-glorifying work.

The Bible is SO MUCH MORE to me now … No, I don’t worship the Bible … but it is God’s LIVING Word for me … it literally brings healing to my heart, conviction of sin, and a deep awareness that God is God and I am not.  The Word is Jesus … The Word pierces my heart and brings me to my knees in worship of the Living God, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.

Armageddon!!! (A Parody :-) )

June 9, 2010

Doomsday Clock

[Parody – Hope you don’t mind me poking fun at my own expense :)]

ARMAGEDDON

It has begun

The battle has begun.  The lines are drawn.  There WILL be death.  It is certain.

(Many of you have been reading previous posts about my most recent move into the country where my attic has squirrels, mice, signs of bat habitation, woodchucks gnawing on the house, and a crawdad strolling through my back yard.)

This afternoon when I came back from running some errands I walked downstairs.  And I found climbing down a curtain that shields a sliding glass door to the back porch … non-other than Mickey’s cousin, beady eyed Harry.  Harry scurried down, took a leap towards the bench by the fireplace and ran behind some unopened boxes.  I did the most wise thing to do in a situation of this kind … I ran upstairs to call a friend.  We had just been talking about my Dr. Doolittle, NO AH excursions.  She recommended calling my landlady.

My landlady armed me to the hilt with mouse traps (the sticky thingies) and I told her this was out and out war now.  No living creature that was meant for the forest would be sharing my living quarters.  NO LIVING CREATURE.  Yes, it is Armageddon for them.  I know this isn’t a Christian feeling or thought, and you can call me what you wish (the mark of the beast, whatever), but it is war and doomsday is coming.  And I won’t be the one caught unawares … no, no … it will be the “other” one who is caught unawares.

Hiding in my attic are 8 sticky traps and two near my fireplace …

The war has begun and I will not stop until all have found their demise or their way out of my new home.

Thank you for sharing this experience with me, but it is now the beginning of the END.

Rainbow Gazette

June 6, 2010

The Rainbow Gazette

_____________________________________________________________________

by your fur-eign correspondent, NO AH

Obituary:  The great, great, {great times 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000} grandson of Tom and Gerry, Mickey, has died.   Tom and Ger were troopers many years ago when we rode out the “big one” together.

Mickey and Minnie

It is understood that Mickey, and an accomplice, Minnie, were in the attic of a Miss Keri Anderson.  Mickey and Minnie upon seeing their chance stole a bite of cheese which was intended to catch a flying squirrel. Both Mickey and Minnie were caught in the act  or shall we say “found their demise as they coveted another’s goods”.  We honestly do NOT grieve their passing.

________________________________________________________________________________

crawdad

Crawdad giving the princess wave

Rat on steriods "woodchuck"

Rat on steriods "woodchuck"

by fur-eign correspondent Dr. Dolittle

It is apparent that Miss Anderson is attracting all kinds of critters to her new abode.  She was taking her blind 13 year old Jack Russel Terrier outside when Miss Anderson nearly stepped on an ugly beady-eyed creature that looked like a scorpion.  On closer observation, the critter (who shall we say is as ugly as sin) had a curled grey tail with a fin.  Miss Anderson made sure that her dog, Annie, went nowhere near the “ugly” creature.

Then while lounging on the couch Miss Anderson observed a rat on steriods saunter off her cement back porch into the woods.  She left the comfort of her home to search out the creature that had dared come so close.  Unfortunately, or fortunately she was unable to find any trace of it.

Miss Anderson, has since taken up learning “animaleze” from me, Dr. Dolittle, so she can speak to the animals.  The first word she asked to learn was “shew”.  She has learned this word with gusto “SHEW!”.

Change: Is it ever easy?

June 3, 2010

“In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the vessels of the house of God. And he brought them to the land of Shinar, to the house of his god, and placed the vessels in the treasury of his god. 3Then the king commanded Ashpenaz, his chief eunuch, to bring some of the people of Israel, both of the royal family and of the nobility, 4youths without blemish, of good appearance and skillful in all wisdom, endowed with knowledge, understanding learning, and competent to stand in the king’s palace, and to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans.” (Dan. 1:1-4; ESV)

Change

I don’t think I’ve ever experienced so much change in such a short amount of time.  I’ll explain a little later in this post.  I’ve been absent on this blog since I’ve been moving to a new place and waiting for internet.  I will try to be more consistent with my posts from now on – hopefully posting at the beginning of the week (Monday or Tuesday) and toward the end of the week (Thurs.-Sat.).

Reason for quote above: The Bible quote above is about deep change in the life of some youths from Israel.  Daniel, one of those youths from Judah, was probably 14 or 15 when he was taken to the courts of Babylon and taught the culture, language, and religion.

What I thought was incredible was that “the Lord gave” Nebuchadnezzar, a pagan king, the people of Judah.  God was in the midst of this difficult change and had even orchestrated it (“the Lord gave”).  Nothing takes the Lord by surprise.

This past week and a half I’ve moved once again.  This is twice in 7 months.  My things were loaded up from storage and moved to the country.  Everything is in disarray.  Yet, God is Sovereign in change.

Olympian Squirrel

I’ve been sleeping on the hide-a-bed downstairs, because it is cooler.  The first night, in the new place, I heard the pitter-patter of feet running on the ceiling above me.  It sounded like an olympic track meet was going on.  As listened to the antics above me, a large “rodent” ran into the fluorescent light fixture straight above me. I saw clearly it’s large feet and nose.  The olympian rodent looked down at me through the smoked plastic of the fixture and then ran off to see which flying squirrel had won the gold for poll vaulting.  I was not impressed.

My landlady called a “wild-critter” (don’t know the politically correct term) catcher to set up traps in the  ceiling and attic.  The “catcher”told me he saw tell-tale signs of bats having been in the attic, as well.  I think he was smiling when he told me they, too, might return this winter.  Ugh!

An exterminator also placed mice poisoning in the ceiling this past week – yes, there are signs of them, too.

God is Sovereign in change.  Despite the wild life living with me, I am blessed.  I have a Christian landlady that invited me to stay in her home (which is right next door to me) until the critters are caught.  God is Sovereign in change.  I told her jokingly that if she’d like she could pop some popcorn and come listen to the olympiad taking place above me.  I told her it was quite entertaining.

God is Sovereign in change – even if the change is difficult.

I never fully understood God’s sovereignty as an Adventist.  As an Adventist, I understood my role on earth was to keep the law and vindicate God before watching worlds.  Now, I realize my life is to glorify God. He is to be glorified in changes that are both good and bad.  And sometimes He will “give” me change that is difficult.  How do I handle things when God, Who is Sovereign, gives me difficult change?

Do you see God as Sovereign in the midst of difficult change?  What does it mean that God is Sovereign?  The answers to those questions have changed for me as I’ve transitioned out of Adventism.

How well do you know the Bible?

May 26, 2010

Adventists pride themselves in being “people of the Book” and most will tell you that they don’t elevate Ellen White to the level of Scripture. Yet, if you were raised Adventist, the SDA version of biblical events is embedded in your brain. Don’t believe me?


Take this simple quiz.

And let me know how you score.

Was Jesus the Son of God? What does Adventism teach? You decide.

May 24, 2010

One of the biggest “ahaa” moments I have had during my search for truth was Who Jesus was while on earth.  I had been taught, as an Adventist, that Jesus had no advantage on earth over me.  That He was able to keep the law perfectly and so could I.  He was my Example.  With this teaching in my mind,  I was also then taught that Jesus was the Son of God.  Look closely at this paradigm.  He has no advantage over me, but He is God.  Let this sink in:  No advantage, but He is God.  No advantage, but He is God.  No advantage, but He is God.  Jesus had no advantage over me.  How does that work, unless I am a god or He is not God?  It doesn’t work.  Jesus’ came to save me, as God come in the form of man to earth.  Jesus always has been, continues to be, and will forever be God.  Jesus was God poured into a human form.  And yet, Adventism teaches Jesus has no advantage over me.

Since coming out of Adventism I am convinced that Jesus was fully God while on earth (as orthodox Christianity teaches) and born fully man (wrap your mind around that one!).  100% BOTH.  If Jesus is my example, then I am fully god and fully man, too.  Wrong!

Read these words Jesus said about Himself:  “I and the Father are one” and “The Father is in Me and I am in the Father” (John 10:29-39).  He said this while on earth!  Jesus also says, “If you’ve seen the Father, you’ve seen me”.

Furthermore, “God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” (2 Cor. 5:19; NIV)

Jesus Christ was fully God while on earth … He was Immanuel, “God with us”.

If Jesus was my example while on earth then either I, too, am a god, or Jesus was not God while on earth.  Either way it is scripturally wrong.

Jesus was God and the perfect lamb for my debt of sin.  Either you believe in Jesus as fully God – come to earth in a human body, to save you from your debt of sin and separation from God – or He was an example of a human living a perfect life and therefore, was not God.  God does not lose His “godness” EVER!  – otherwise He would not be God.

Adventists will then argue (out of context) from Philipians 2:1-11 (ESV) to say that Jesus had no advantage we don’t have … Look closely at the verses they use:

Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

What is Paul teaching in this passage?  Humility.  God, Who is Spirit, served mankind by coming into the body of Mary, being born in a human body and then dying for my debt of sin.  Jesus, Who always has been, always will be, God, HUMBLED Himself and put on a human body – but He never gave up His Godness.  He gave up His honor as God in heaven and humbled Himself.  This is Grace personified.

So I leave you with this question?  Was Jesus fully God while on earth?  Was He the Son of God?  You decide?